Thursday, Dec. 8
Oakland Raiders (10-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-3)
The Raiders are facing perhaps their biggest test of the season on the road in Kansas City against a team that already beat them this year.
In that game, Derek Carr only managed to throw for 225 yards and Oakland’s offense was held scoreless in the second half.
The Chiefs’ defense has countered their own offense efficiently — the team has played in five-straight games decided by five or fewer points and they’ve won four of them.
Q’s Pick: Chiefs, 30-28
Sunday, Dec. 11
Denver Broncos (8-4) at Tennessee Titans (6-6)
The Titans are in a three-way tie for the AFC South lead while the Broncos are in danger of missing out on a Wild Card spot. Interesting how that works out, given both of these teams’ records.
Q’s Pick: Broncos, 27-23
San Diego Chargers (5-7) at Carolina Panthers (4-8)
The Chargers have a more excitable offense behind Philip Rivers than the Panthers have going at defense.
San Diego should take care of this one.
Q’s Pick: Chargers, 30-20
Houston Texans (6-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-6)
In a battle for the AFC South, you would think a team led by Andrew Luck would be having an easier time than this.
They’re fortunate that they get to face Brock Osweiler‘s dismal offense this weekend.
Q’s Pick: Colts, 30-20
Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-12)
There’s no way the Browns are going to go 0-16… is there?
For their sake, I hope not, but they’re going to go 0-13. Thanks, Andy Dalton.
Q’s Pick: Bengals, 28-21
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) at Buffalo Bills (6-6)
But the team from Pittsburgh also has a pass offense and a better defense.
Q’s Pick: Steelers, 30-24
Arizona Cardinals (5-6-1) at Miami Dolphins (7-5)
The Bird Gang’s hopes for back-to-back NFC West titles look bleak, but they need a win to keep their season alive.
They should get one, even against the streaky Fish.
Q’s Pick: Cardinals, 31-26
Chicago Bears (3-9) at Detroit Lions (8-4)
The Lions have been struggling far too much to stay in the way of a Detroit team that still has a chance to win their first NFC North title since, well, ever.
The last time they won a division title was 1993 when the division was called the NFC Central Division.
Q’s Pick: Lions, 30-17
Minnesota Vikings (6-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10)
That 5-0 start seems so long ago for the once promising Vikings, but they’re still a better team than Blake Bortles‘ Jags.
Jacksonville has a lot of work to do this season. How they perform against a defense like Minnesota’s will dictate some of that work.
Q’s Pick: Vikings, 24-20
New Orleans Saints (5-7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)
The Buccaneers are rolling. I didn’t believe in them but I do now.
If you still don’t believe in them, tell me how you feel when they shut down Drew Brees.
Q’s Pick: Buccaneers, 28-24
Washington Redskins (6-5-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
The Redskins are on the outside-looking-in when it comes to the postseason but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a chance.
Those chances will be a lot more bleak if they can’t beat Philly.
Q’s Pick: Redskins, 27-24
New York Jets (3-9) at San Francisco 49ers (1-11)
Another battle of the bad teams includes the 49ers this season, but I still don’t see them getting a win.
Does that make the Jets a good team? For this week, it does.
Q’s Pick: Jets, 26-24
Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1) at Green Bay Packers (6-6)
The Seahawks are on their way to winning their third NFC West title in the last four years.
In their way this week is Aaron Rodgers‘ 15-2 record at home in December. Expect snow and a lot of scoring in this game.
Q’s Pick: Seahawks, 28-24
Atlanta Falcons (7-5) at Los Angeles Rams (4-8)
The Falcons continue to fly-high behind Matt Ryan‘s video game numbers and the Rams contine to look lost in their first season in Los Angeles.
Good thing the Rams have a good run defense for Julio Jones and company?
Q’s Pick: Falcons, 30-20
Dallas Cowboys (11-1) at New York Giants (8-4)
I know the Giants won this matchup in Week 1 but both teams are much different than that day four months ago.
I also am not sure New York is as good as their record indicates. They would prove me wrong with a win.
Q’s Pick: Cowboys, 27-21
Monday, Dec. 12
Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at New England Patriots (10-2)
Baltimore’s top-ranked defense is a tempting choice but it’s hard to bet against Tom Brady in a late-season conference game.
Still, don’t expect a blowout by any means.