It’s a Showdown Weekend in the NFL. There are six games that involve winning teams, which is a first this late in the regular season. The Playoffs are just weeks away, and teams are fighting for seeds and open spots. This is what makes the NFL great. Every game can determine your fate. A week three loss could end up keeping you from post season play. The games this weekend are full of playoff implications.
Five: NFL Showdown Edition
1) Just like they did in last years playoffs, The New York Giants will defeat The Atlanta Falcons:
Last week gave us a glimpse at how Atlanta can let a game go. The New York Giants usually reserve this part of the season for accelerating in all aspects of the game. I cannot take much stock in The Falcons until I see them do something in the post season. The last two years have seen Atlanta going down in the Divisional Round of the playoffs to Green Bay in 2010 and The Wildcard round to The Giants in 2011. For those who will argue that this years Atlanta squad is only a two loss team, check their record in 2010. G Men all the way.
New York Giants 31
Atlanta Falcons 21
2) Chicago will continue their decline, and Green Bay will wrap up The NFC North:
In a season that looked so promising for The Chicago Bears, it doesn’t seem like they will be able to stop the figurative bleeding. Linebacker Brian Urlacher is done for the year, and quarterback Jay Cutler seem to pick up a new injury every week. The timing of their meeting with Green Bay could not come at a worse time for Chicago.
Green Bay will walk into Soldier Field winning seven of their last eight games. Aaron Rodgers has been a surgeon, dissecting defenses with precision. Expect The Packers to dominate on both sides of the ball, and head back to Green Bay with the NFC North crown.
Green Bay Packers 35
Chicago Bears 14
3) Houston will rebound from their embarassing loss to New England:
The Houston Texans are a team that wants to prove to the world that they belong. While I have doubted them as a Super Bowl contender, I will give them credit as one of the better teams in the NFL. The Texans are not as bad as they played a week ago. Houston’s defense is one of the best in football, and they will school Andrew Luck and the up and coming Colts. I expect this to be a good game for three quarters, then look for Houston to pour it on in the fourth quarter.
Houston Texans 42
Indianapolis Colts 28
4) Manning will help out Pittsburgh and Cincinnati by defeating Baltimore:
When Denver signed Peyton Manning during the offseason, to say I was a skeptic is putting it lightly. Instead, Manning picked up where he left off in 2010, and has led the Broncos offense where previous quarterbacks have not been able to. They are in the Super Bowl hunt because Manning has been able to provide the stability needed in the huddle for Denvers offensive attack. Their defense is damn good too.
While Baltimore has a first rate defense, they have mismanaged their offense at times, which led to the firing of Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron. Insert former Colts coach Jim Caldwell, Manning’s former head coach in Indianapolis. Unless Caldwell can figure out a way to give the team balance (like using Ray Rice in the proper manner) expect Denver to win a tough game in Baltimore.
Denver Broncos 35
Baltimore Ravens 28
5) Tom Brady will teach Collin Kaepernick what December football in the NFL feels like:
I love the way San Fransisco plays football. They are tough on both sides of the ball. They can pass, run, and their defense can play with anyone…well, almost. Tom Brady is playing with a purpose these days. He took on one of the best defensive units in football last week, and made Houston look like a practice squad. As good as The 49ers are, Bill Belichick will make life tough on the young San Fransisco quarterback. Expect Brady to pick apart the 49ers, and New England to win big.
New England Patriots 45
San Fransisco 49ers 14