It took nine weeks of the 2012-13 NFL season, but we here at Bears 101 finally hit our groove when it comes to predicting football games. After a nine-win Week 7, we followed up that performance going 10-3 in Week 8.
Our record now stands at 63-48 for the year.
To being the week, we almost want to go against the rules and take credit for the San Diego Chargers win on Thursday night. It's almost as if everyone and their mother picked San Diego to beat the lowly Chiefs. Quarterback Philip Rivers was 18-of-20 passing, and the defense scored two touchdowns of their own to top K.C.
However, rules are rules, and we will leave that game out of this week's predictions.
Week 9 seems to feature a lot of games where teams are simply just better than their opponents. There will be a few games that will be difficult selections, but for the most part there won't be any second guessing.
We'll start with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos against the Bengals. Cincinnati has really under performed this year, and Manning has been the best quarterback in the NFL as of late. He currently leads the league in Total QBR and has Denver's offense rolling at the midpoint of the season.
The Green Bay Packers welcome the Arizona Cardinals to Lambeau Field, and should take this one easily. The Cardinals may be the coldest team in the league, losing their last four games, and really looking lost since starting the season 4-0. The Packers beat the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, and we expect the Detroit Lions to do the same.
In the "blowout of the week," we have the Houston Texans. Do we really need an explanation?
Finishing off the AFC South, we have Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts beating the Dolphins at home, and Chris Johnson struggling once again as he faces the Chicago Bears. Chicago's defense has caused nightmares for the NFL, and we'll see if they can outscore their own offense in this one.
The Carolina Panthers and Washing Redskins may be the most anticipated matchup of the week, not because of the teams, but because of the quarterbacks. This game features the last two Heisman Trophy winners in Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III. Although Griffin III has outperformed Newton to date, the sophomore should prevail against a poor 'Skins defense.
The other hyped game this week is between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers. Both quarterbacks were first-round picks in the 2004 NFL Draft, and each has won multiple Super Bowls. Eli Manning at home should prevail in a Cinderella story following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. If you haven't helped the cause, please do whatever you can.
The Baltimore Ravens will love a Steelers loss, and love it more when they beat the Browns for the second time this year.
The next two games may be the toughest to call this week. Although the Bucs trounced the Minnesota Vikings last week on national television, we see a bounce back game for the men in purple. Although going to Seattle is a tough test, Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin will do whatever they can to get their team a win. Speaking of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, if they want to show the rest of the league that they will challenge their opponents the rest of the way, this is step one.
They will be without their two best corners (Denarius Moore fantasy owners sure are happy) because of suspension/trade, and without star guard Carl Nicks (who Doug Martin has had success running behind all year). Either way, we still like Tampa Bay in this one as Oakland has been very inconsistent on offense this year.
Tony Romo has looked plain old bad this year. Matt Ryan, on the other hand, has looked fantastic in Atlanta. We like the Atlanta Falcons to roll over Dallas at home and improve to 8-0.
As for Monday Night, we will continue to pick against New Orleans. The Philadelphia Eagles offense sure has been turnover prone this year, but the Saints' defense hasn't shown up to play. Michael Vick will be playing for his job in primetime.
That's all for this week. Hope our hot streak continues.
*Note: Help with the Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to go towards the Red Cross Disaster Relief.Tags: Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Chicago, Chicago Bears, Denarius Moore, Eli Manning, Football, Lambeau Field, Matt Ryan, Michael Vick, NFL, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Robert Griffin III, Tony Romo