The frost is on the pumpkin and that means the beginning of the drive toward the playoffs for NFL teams. This week sets up some intriguing matchups of teams that could meet down the road when the playoffs begin. Those are the later games, though. The early slate of games features some real "dog" matchups. If you have any leaves to rake, you can get it done early before the Colts kick off in New England at 4:25.
Steven and I both enjoyed winning weeks last week. Steven went 10-4, raising his season mark to 80-66. I went 11-3 to move my season total to 96-50. I could probably swing an all-expenses paid Vegas vacation if anyone wants to take me along.
Here's how we see this week shaping up:
Miami at Buffalo- Steven: Dolphins – "Such an egg layed by Miami last week, so I'll wager it doesn't happen two weeks in a row." Chuck: Bills- "In a battle of two schizophrenic teams, I'll go with the home club. Ryan Tannehill could be hitting the 'college wall' in his rookie season."
Arizona at Atlanta- Steven: Falcons – "Now that the loss is out of the way, Atlanta will be comfortable in cruising through the season." Chuck: Falcons- "Arizona tops Atlanta in the NFL alphabetical listings. Other than that, this is all Falcons."
Tampa Bay at Carolina- Steven: Panthers – "Carolina is looking for an offensive breakout game and a performance similar to last year from Cam Newton." Chuck: Buccaneers- "Last week was the Panthers last stand. They fell. Greg Schiano has the Bucs thinking playoffs."
Cleveland at Dallas- Steven: Cowboys – "Sure, I wrote them off last week and said I wouldn't pick them again. But they're playing Cleveland." Chuck: Cowboys- "The 'Boys put the "fun" in dysfunctional, but they've got enough talent to beat the plucky, but undermanned Browns at home."
Green Bay at Detroit- Steven: Packers – "Insert comment from Chuck on how I'm not good at picking Detroit games." Chuck: Packers- "I'm leery of being on the same side with Steven on this game, but the Pack is hitting its stride. I'm glad the Colts got them early in the year."
Jacksonville at Houston- Steven: Texans – "Fans of both teams make up some yard work to do in this push over game." Chuck: Texans- "Custer was a lesser underdog at Little Big Horn. Can't the Jets just trade Tebow to Jacksonville to at least make them interesting?"
Cincinnati at Kansas City- Steven: Bengals – "Cincinnati is not who we saw last week, but Kansas City is still very bad." Chuck: Bengals- "The Bengals saved their season last week, while the Chiefs peed down their collective leg in Pittsburgh. Maybe the Chiefs will bust out some new dance moves though."
New York Jets at St. Louis- Steven: Rams – "Someone tell Danny Amendola they won't start the fifth quarter after the victory." Chuck: Rams- "They're not scheduled to play, but could the NFL somehow create a Jets-Eagles Trainwreck Bowl?"
Philadelphia at Washington- Steven: Redskins – "Philadelphia won't make any moves until after the season, so let's save that talk until then." Chuck: Redskins- "Another matchup of rookie quarterbacks. Nick Foles will show Skins fans (and Colts fans too!) what a rookie quarterback usually looks like."
New Orleans at Oakland- Steven: Raiders – "I already decided last week to pick whoever New Orleans faced this week after they got a big home win." Chuck: Saints- "Drew Brees has a great record in the second half of the season. Carson Palmer is known for folding his tent when the losing starts. I like the Saints in a Fantasy Football dream game."
San Diego at Denver- Steven: Broncos – "New England is first in touchdowns this year and Denver is second. I wonder who the quarterbacks are for these teams?" Chuck: Broncos- "What will the Broncos give Norv Turner as a token to remember them by on his last stop in Denver? A stinging loss would be appropriate."
Indianapolis at New England- Steven: Patriots – "Great run for Indianapolis, but it ends on the road. Defense isn't ready for the tall order that is stopping Tom Brady." Chuck: Patriots- "Too much firepower here for the thin Colts secondary to keep up with."
Baltimore at Pittsburgh- Steven: Ravens – "No Ben Roethlisberger means no more wins for Pittsburgh. Things may go downhill quickly in the Steel City." Chuck: Ravens: "No Big Ben is bad news for the Steelers. No Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu is worse."
Chicago at San Franscisco- Steven: Bears – "I think this will be the NFC Title game preview, and defense rules the day in a 12-9 battle." Chuck: Bears- "Jason Campbell's experience trumps Colin Kaepernick in a defensive tussle."Tags: Football, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Colts, NFL