Detroit at Minnesota
Earlier this season the Vikings handled the Lions in a somewhat fluky fashion with the Vikings returning a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns.
Maybe with Percy Harvin this isnt so fluky, but its not something you can hang your hat on. As mentioned, the Vikings can run the ball but are struggling through the air.
In Ponders last three games, hes completed 38 of 74 passes for just 362 yards. Thats really bad. With the Lions solid run defense and 3-1 record since their bye, I expect them to avenge their earlier loss. Enjoy the matchup of Antoine Winfield, who quietly has been one of the best corners in the league this year, and Calvin Johnson.
Detroit: Jake, Mike, Josh, Colin and Will
Houston at Chicago
Two 7-1 teams face off in Chicago in what should be a defensive battle. The Bears forced five turnovers and scored a defensive touchdown for the seventh time in eight games en route to dominating the Titans 51-20 in week eight.
The Texans handled the Bills in a less inspiring fashion but got the job done 21-9. These two teams have had unusually easy schedules thus far, both losing to the Packers, and are, in my opinion, a little overrated at the moment.
In a coin-flip game Im backing Houston. I trust the Texans passing offense more than the Bears, or, in other words, I dont think Matt Schaub will lose the game and I wouldnt be surprised if Jay Cutler did.
Houston: Jake, Josh, Jeremy and Will
Chicago: Mike and Colin
San Diego at Tampa Bay
In a battle of mediocrity, the 4-4 Chargers take on the 4-4 Bucs. Both teams are coming off wins, but have combined for only one meaningful win in the season, with the Bucs beating the Vikings in Minnesota.
Doug Martin ran like a fat kid with a Twinkie on the line last week as the Bucs beat the Raiders 42-32. Martin accumulated 25 carries for 251 yards and four touchdowns in the contest. The Chargers did what teams are expected to do against the Chiefs, winning handily. It was a nice bounce-back game for Phillip Rivers, and it appears Danario Alexander has surpassed Robert Meachem on the depth chart, which cant be a bad thing. I have the Chargers winning a close one. Doug Martin will have a much harder time against one of the leagues better run defenses, and Josh Freeman is at his best when they can rely on the run. Coming off a Thursday night game with 10 days of preparation, Ill take Rivers over Freeman.
San Diego: Jake, Mike, Josh and Will
Tampa Bay: Jeremy and colin
New York Jets at Seattle
Fresh off a bye, the Jets travel to the unfriendly confines of Seattle. Rex Ryan says a quarterback change isnt imminent, but vowed to find new ways to incorporate Tim Tebow into their offense.
Id expect to see a reminder of the option attack we saw in Denver incorporating Tebow and Joe McKnight. Seattle handled the Vikings with a 30-20 win and held Christian Ponder to a 37.3 passer rating and 2.9 yards per attempt, further proving they are an elite defense. Their only blemish was Adrian Petersons big day. Stopping the run wont be nearly as difficult, as Shonn Greene doesnt deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as Peterson.
With the Seahawks boasting a 4-0 home record beating the Cowboys, Packers, Patriots and Vikings I dont see how the Jets can take this game. RIP the Jets playoff chances.
Seattle: Jake, Mike, Jeremy, Josh, Colin and Will