MUST WATCH GAMES
Seahawks at 49ers
The phrase gut check is thrown around a lot, but for these two teams this describes this game.
After confusion by safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Richard Sherman allowed tight end Greg Olsen to streak through Seattle’s vaunted Legion of Boom secondary for Carolina’s game winning touchdown, the Seahawks are now 2-4. If the playoffs were started right now, Seattle would be out. The Seahawks are at least two games behind the Cardinals for the NFC West Title and 1.5 games behind the Vikings for the last Wild Card berth. It is not impossible for the Seahawks to get back into the playoff race, but they better make their move now or their chances of returning to San Francisco for Super Bowl 50 will only be if players purchase tickets for the game.
The 49ers are also in the same predicament as the Seahawks. San Francisco might have staved off the inevitable with their win over Baltimore last week, but their playoff prospects are looking dim.
Jets at Patriots/Steelers at Chiefs
Tom Brady might not have thrown for 500 yards and 8 touchdowns while putting 60 on the Colts last week, but the Patriots got a win to push their record to 5-0. The Jets are in town and they may not be an offensive juggernaut the Patriots are, but the Jets 4-1 is due to their defense giving up 15 points per game. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis who was on the Patriots Super Bowl winning team last season returns to Foxboro in his second stint with the Jets. Revis already has 3 interceptions this season.
The Steelers are making their case for the “why not us” team. The Steelers are not one of the five unbeaten teams remaining, but they are making their case for why they should be considered for contender status. Since Roethlisberger’s knee injury at St. Louis in Week 3, Pittsburgh has gone 2-1. All of Pittsburgh’s losses have been by 8 points or less – a Week 1 loss at New England and a Week 4 loss in overtime to Baltimore. Next week they host division leader Cincinnati who is undefeated. If Pittsburgh is able to keep winning while Roethlisberger recuperates, it is possible that they could face the Patriots again in the playoffs.
Since their Week 1 win in Houston, the Chiefs have lost five straight. For the Steelers this could be the makings of a so-called trap game.
Cowboys at Giants
After three straight losses and a bye week to recuperate, the Cowboys decided to go with Matt Cassel as their starting quarterback as they await the return of Tony Romo from a broken clavicle. Dallas better start putting some wins together quickly or this will be the fourth consecutive loss.
I honestly do not know what to make of the Giants. Poor clock management cost them wins in their first two games. Then they win their next three with a dominating performance over Washington, a convincing win over the Bills in Buffalo, and Eli Manning showing why he won two Super Bowls with a win over the 49ers in prime time. Then in Philadelphia last Monday, the Giants stunk. It was good for me because my opponent had Eli Manning on their fantasy team, and the Giants offensive ineptitude allowed me to squeak out a close win in fantasy this week.
Not only getting swept by the Cowboys would put the Giants into a deep hole in the NFC East race, but losing to a Cowboys team WITHOUT Tony Romo and WITHOUT Dez Bryant would be embarrassing.
Eagles at Panthers
Hard to believe that Carolina is one of five unbeaten teams remaining. Remember, Carolina went 7-8-1 last season and did not win their fifth game of 2014 until Week 15.
The Eagles might be finally finding their grove. In their three wins, the Eagles rushed for over 100 yards each time. It will be difficult for the Eagles to achieve that mark with the Panthers defense.
And now the picks.
Kickoff times are Mountain Time
Sunday afternoon games airing in Denver are noted by (DEN)
Picks are in BOLD
Bears, Bengals, Broncos, Packers
THURSDAY NIGHT, CBS/NFL 6PM
Seahawks at 49ers
Bills at Jaguars (online)
Saints at Colts (DEN)
Buccaneers at Washington
Vikings at Lions
Falcons at Titans
Jets at Patriots (DEN)
Steelers at Chiefs
Texans at Dolphins
Browns at Rams
Cowboys at Giants (DEN)
Raiders at Chargers
SUNDAY NIGHT, NBC 6:30 PM
Eagles at Panthers
MONDAY NIGHT, ESPN 6:30 PM
Ravens at Cardinals