Thank god for the ability to flex Primetime games is all I’m going to say tonight. Otherwise this week, in the first time since week 3 we would have had a full schedule except 2 out of the primetime games would suck. I mean, we still have to put up with a doomed Washington team playing a struggling Eagles team. But we don’t have to watch the whitewash that would be San Fran vs Seattle. Instead, we get to see two AFC giants in the 8-3 Chargers vs the 7-3-1 Steelers. Granted it will be a Melvin Gordonless game, but it’s better than the crap they had planned. With that said, let’s take a dive into that, and the other 15 games we have coming up this week.
Saints vs Cowboys
First up on Thursday night we have a matchup that has gotten more and more interesting as the season has progressed; America’s team vs the best Team in America right now. Dallas is looking to be the best of a bad bunch at 6-5 whilst the Saints are on a 10 win streak after dropping their first game of the season to the Bucs, man how things have changed. Let’s be realistic, this game shouldn’t be that close. Dallas looks like an 8-8/ 9/7 team and that isn’t good enough in this case, while the Saints look like they could go 15-1. The main thing for New Orleans is the fact the Defence has rediscovered what made them so dangerous last year, it also helps their Offence blows everybody else off the park.
Oz’s Pick: Saints
Cardinals vs Packers
How do you pick yourself up after a tough loss to a division rival? Play the Cardinals, ask the Chargers, it worked for them. Green Bay is firmly on struggle street, and even though this should be an easy win. Their problems are not going to fix themselves in this win. Rodgers is playing well below his general level, the D-Line is banged up, the Secondary is depleted and outside of Adams and Jones on offence, no one can gain yards or score points. Plus, they need a coaching change. God, I hope Larry doesn’t retire with this as his last season. Such a shame for a future HoFer, and before you ask, “what about the rest of the team Oz?” F**k ’em, they’re garbage, I’m not writing about them.
Oz’s Pick: Packers
Ravens vs Falcons
Now before I go getting excited about the possibility of Playoffs (Insert Jim Mora voice here) the Ravens still have some (on paper) winnable games to take care of. First up is Atlanta, a team that has been sliding since the early weeks after losing 1,953 players to injury. Ok, that could be a slight exaggeration but you get the point. I would assume that Rookie Lamar Jackson would get the start again even if Flacco is healthy. Winning 2 games on the trot has done enough to give him that honour, but I would say a poor outing and a loss would result in Flacco time again. Atlanta is done for the year, now’s the time to blood your rookie’s like Ito Smith, and pad the career stats of your veterans. Deion Jones could return for this game which would help massively but doesn’t fill the other 10 holes on D.
Oz’s Pick: Ravens.
Bills vs Dolphins
If you’re Bills fan you need to calm your farm, that game did more to showcase the dysfunction that is Jacksonville rather than the ability of your team. Though, I would encourage some quiet excitement, keep in mind you did beat the brakes of the Vikings and now you’ve done this. Josh Allen has a great platform to build off, if he can improve his throwing and decision making in the offseason I’d say he has the best chance of the group of Rosen, Darnold and him to hit that second-year growth like Mahomes, Trubisky, Wentz, and Goff have all done over the past 3 years. More receiver injuries in Miami tied in with a QB you don’t want to give the ball late in the game means that your hot start is amounting to bugger all. Between now and the end of the year Miami plays Buffalo twice, Jacksonville, Minnesota and New England. You’re 5-6 with other wildcard teams at 6-5 or 8-3. This is a must win if you want to be playing in January.
Oz’s Pick: Bills – just for the bants of it.
Panthers vs Buccaneers
So, picking the Bucs to beat the 49ers was always going to be unpopular, and outside of Breida having a great day, it looked pretty foolish. You know what I don’t feel foolish about? Picking Carolina in this one. McCaffrey just went to town on Seattle’s defence this past week and only poor kicking from Graham Gano deprived him of knowing he single-handedly carried his team to victory. Unpopular opinion, Cam is just a more physically gifted Jameis, their decision making at times looks identical, bad, so very very bad. With that said, Jameis played an inch-perfect game this past week, unfortunately for him, Carolina isn’t San Fran and we could see an ugly repeat of the blowout we saw in Week 9, granted that was Fitz but I don’t think it really matters.
Oz’s Pick: Panthers
Bears vs Giants
I’m not going to spend to much time on this game, I thought the Giants might beat the Eagles due to the Eagles having such a mangled Defence and the talent of Saquon and Odell. Odell and Saquon are still really talented, but this Chicago Defence is legit. Trubisky should be returning this week which will get the Offence running at a higher level. Also, the O-Line of NY that has managed to improve to average over the past few weeks is going to regress massively and I’m legitimately worried about Eli’s health.
Oz’s Pick: Bears.
Browns vs Texans
It’s 2018 and I’m excited to watch the Browns play, Freddie Kitchens has unlocked the key to this offence. It’s called, mostly ignore Jarvis Landry, in the 8 games with Haley as OC, Landry averaged 11.6 targets a game and the Browns went 2-6-1. In the 3 games with Kitchens as OC, Landry has averaged 5.6 targets and the Browns are 2-1 and the 1 loss was to KC, Contagious bruh… Unfortunately, the Texans play tonight so I don’t get to see how they go against the Titans before writing this, I would assume they’ll win (I picked it that way) and I think Cleveland has benefitted from playing bad defences the past two weeks. Houston doesn’t have one of them, and I think that’s the deciding factor.
Oz’s Pick: Texans
Broncos vs Bengals
I think I need to stop writing the Broncos off, it looks like they plan to keep on winning in spite of Keenum. Employing the bend don’t break strategy this past week where they gave up ridiculous yardage, but only 2 scores (one being a Juju special) Denver’s Defence came up big when it mattered with the end zone pick. Cincy is not even close to being done in this slump it would seem, Dalton has just been put on IR, claiming Tom Savage off waivers and Green is yet to be back practising with the toe injury too, if I’m AJ I’m not hurrying back until I’m 100%
Oz’s Pick: Broncos
Colts vs Jaguars
Big news coming to light as I write, the Colts have just put Jack Doyle on injured reserve due to a kidney injury sustained in last night’s clash with Miami that put him in the hospital overnight. On the other side of the ball, nothing further has been announced in the Leonard Fournette saga so we don’t know whether he gets suspended or not (I would assume so) The loss of Doyle is a hit to Luck, he’s thrown 32 TD passes this year and I think at least half of them to the TE position. Still even with that, losing Fournette for this game would be worse for the Jags, add in that their star Free Agent acquisition G Andrew Norwell was carted off the field last night, things have gone from bad to worse for the Florida based squad.
Oz’s Pick: Colts
49ers vs Seahawks
As previously mentioned, if not for schedule flexes I would have been writing about the Chargers and the Steelers, but luckily that’s now on Sunday night and we manage to hide this game amongst everything else on Redzone at the same time. I can’t see this as much more than a straightforward win for Seattle, Tampa tidily put San Fran away and Seattle is much better than Tampa is. Shanahan is just in experimenting stage with injuries and off-field issue (Marquise Goodwin/Reuben Foster) pillaging his roster at every turn. Look for a heavy dose of Chris Carson/Rashaad Penny/Mike Davis in this game as Seattle continue their march towards a Playoff Berth.
Oz’s Pick: Seahawks
Rams vs Lions
Another game I won’t spend a lot of time on, this game is pretty much a foregone conclusion too, earlier today Marvin Jones was put on IR by the Lions, whereas on the flip side Rams Coach McVay said Gurley would be 100% after tweaking his ankle in Week 11. Yes, the Lions Defence has gotten better since the acquisition of Snacks Harrison, it doesn’t matter at all. I expect a 95/5% split or higher on the pick percentage for this game when we look on Thursday.
Everyone Sane’s Pick: Rams
Chiefs vs Raiders
If I expected a 95/5% or higher on the last game, I expect a 100/0% split on this one (now someone will troll me and vote Raiders) Look, KC is a top 3 team in the league and Oakland is a bottom 2, it’s not that hard. If you’re playing against Mahomes, Hill or Hunt this week in fantasy, you have my condolences. I could easily see this being a game where the backups are in midway through the 3rd quarter.
Oz’s Pick: Not the Raiders
Jets vs Titans
Now, I was just about to slag this off as a completely meaningless matchup, but if the Titans win tonight, they’re firmly in the Wildcard hunt and what we assume will be a victory over the Jets will keep them there. If they don’t win tonight, this is a must win if they want to still be in consideration for that last spot. This season is a complete write off for New York, usually, when that’s the case you would go about getting your rookies that much-needed game time, unfortunately, their main rookie is still sidelined with injury watching the season pass him bye. Someone tell Todd Bowles he’s gone at the end of the season at the lastest, it’s time to go balls to the wall my man and do what you can to maybe get a win or two, let’s see Elijah Maguire.
Oz’s Pick: Titans
Vikings vs Patriots
The Pats quietly sit at 8-3, and I say quietly because they’ve been unimpressive this season. The thing is, Tom and Bill have been in this game so long they know it’s not in November that statements are made, it’s in January and February. Is Gronk back?? I’ll explore that more in detail tomorrow night but for this purpose, he’s back on the field and scoring TDs. Cousins finally remembered who Adam Thielen was and went back to what worked at the start of the season, feeding him the ball. Dalvin Cook looked healthy and rejuvenated against sub-par Green Bay Defence and I think because I haven’t picked many upsets this week I think Minnesota can follow the blueprint laid out by the Titans in Week 10 and I’m going to rock the boat, go out on a limb and see what happens.
Oz’s Pick: Vikings
Chargers vs Steelers
If you’d asked me prior to last night who was going to win this game I would have been more on the fence about it than I am now, as I don’t know if LA can beat Pitt without Gordon. Then, at the same time, I think that the Chargers with Bosa healthy easily have a defence that can rattle Ben as the Broncos did. The major thing that tips the scales for me is the fact the Steelers are at home. This could be a preview of a possible Wildcard matchup though depending on the last 5 weeks of the season and I think now as it will be then if you have to go into Heinz field it’s going to be a lot harder than it would be at StubHub. Still, I’m not catching the leaders of the GH Picks seasonal rankings so let’s take a flier. Also, I hate picking the Steelers.
Oz’s Pick: Chargers
Redskins vs Eagles
I hope you guys are as amped for a good night’s sleep on Monday night as I am because this is a game I will not be staying up to watch. Yes, Philly beat NY, but that’s not an achievement, it’s expected of them. Washington started red hot, got blown out by the Saints, picked up the pieces, and then fell apart even more. They’re not taking the Division from Dallas and they’re not making Wildcard with Colt McCoy. Philly has the more talented team by far, but the dysfunction runs deep with them. The Tate trade seems utterly pointless for both teams involved and has not helped either at all. Hopefully, Pederson ignores Smallwood and Clement, and Adams gets all the opportunity he needs to prove he’s the best back in Philadelphia until Le’Veon arrives next season (Yeah right)
Oz’s Pick: Eagles
That was my Monday night roundup for this upcoming Week 13. For those of you who play fantasy, best of luck in your quest for playoff berths and manoeuvring all of the announcements we had this evening. Week 12 was the last week for the Red Dead Redemption 2 competition so I’ll be taking a look at that and announcing the Winner on Wednesday. I’ll also be back tomorrow night to dig deeper into Week 12’s games with my review. So until then,
Ciao for now,