This will be first installment of NFL Games That Matter This Week. Basically I will make my picks and discuss why. It is week 15 and with three games left, I will only discuss games with playoff implications.
With the NFC playoff race heating up there is some massive games this weekend. Let’s face it, the AFC is pretty much set. The Chargers should win the west, Patriots of course have the East, Steelers North, and Jaguars have the South. Shouldn’t come as a surprise when New England is in the Super Bowl again.
First up we have the Eagles taking on the Giants. Vegas has Philly as -7.5 favorites to win this game. I have to agree, New York has pretty much said they are tanking for Darnold or Rosen. This team has quit. The Eagles still pose one of the best defenses in the NFL (3rd). Eli Manning is going to have a long day. Phi-28 NY-10
Carolina vs. Green Bay, this might set up to be the game of the day. The game is in Carolina and Vegas gave the Panthers a -3 point favorite. The one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb in this game is how bad the Packers defense is. As much as I want to see Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs, this is where their season ends. The Panthers, although Cam is very limited as a thrower, I just think the Panthers 5th ranked defense will be too much for Aaron and the boys. I am going to have to agree with Vegas on this one. Car-24 GB- 20
Minnesota vs. Cincinnati, not much to see here. The Bengals are hard to watch, they are dead last in total offense and are in the bottom half on defense. The Vikings on the other hand have the best total defense in the NFC and the only glaring weakness is stopping the run. Bengals have no run game. Vegas has the Vikings as -10.5 favorites which is a huge number in the NFL. I think the Vikings win by more. I will take Min-28 Cin-7
Moving on to the afternoon games, Seattle Seahawks at LA Rams. This game is massive, the Rams just coming off from a close loss to traveling to one of most hostile environments in the NFL. I have a gut feeling that Goff will struggle in this game. The Seahawk’s are just hard to beat in Seattle. Vegas has them at -2.5 favorites. Russell Wilson is going to keep his MVP campaign rolling. He will shoulder the load and win this game. Sea-28 LA-24
The game everyone is talking about, Steelers vs. Patriots. Most likely a preview of the AFC Championship game. Tom Brady, fresh off of a bad game. The Steelers just coming off a physical game against Baltimore. Statistically the Patriots have the better offense, I also can’t see the Pats dropping two straight. Gronk will be back this week, you have an angry Tom Brady, late December game. Vegas has the Patriots as -3 favorites. I will go with Vegas yet again this week. NE-34 Pitt-28
This next game is the tale of two seasons going in the opposite direction. You have KC who started off 5-0 and have now lost 4 out of its last 5. Then you have the Chargers who lost their first four games and now they look unstoppable. The Chargers might have the best one-two punch on their defensive line with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. They combine for over 20 sacks this season. A solid pass rush can take you far into the playoffs. The Chargers might be the most dangerous team in the playoffs in both conferences. Vegas has the Chargers as a -1 point favorite. I will take LA-28 KC-10
For the last game that matters, the Cowboys take on the Raiders on Sunday Night Football. This can be a make or break game for Dallas. Only a game out of the wildcard and Ezekiel Elliot slated to come back next Sunday, this game can be massive and could shift the whole playoff landscape this week. Dallas has now won convincingly two weeks in a row. The Raiders continue to reel, something looks off about David Carr. The defense is atrocious. Dallas should win this game, but this seems like a game Dallas could somehow lose. Vegas has Dallas at -3 favorite in Oakland. I think this game will be a 1 point game. Dan Bailey with the game winning field goal. Dal-24 Oak-23