NFL GAMES OF THE WEEK – 2013 – WEEK NINE

03Nov13

Wow!  Talk about a roller coaster last week.  In a matter of minutes, I went from a 1-2 week to a 3-0 week, thanks to collapses by the Cowboys and the Steelers.

In all honesty, I shouldn’t be all that surprised.  The Steelers are a mere shell of the mighty teams they have put together over the past decade.  And the Cowboys?  They’ve made an art out of folding in the 4th quarter.

But seriously, I’m not sure my aging heart can handle another week like that one.  Let’s get this week’s games wrapped up early!

This week’s Lock of the Week (8-0).

Once again, there is only one game that jumps out for this category.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Seattle Seahawks.

Yes, the Seahawks have been playing pretty average over the past few weeks, but c’mon.  They’re back at home this week and they get to host one of the worst teams in the league in the Bucs.

This may be just what the doctor ordered for the team that yours truly had picked to win the whole thing back in September.  Although a couple of teams have figured out how to contain their powerful rushing game, forcing Wilson to try to do more than he should, their defense is still one of the top three in the league.

Meanwhile, the Bucs were bad before their locker room fell apart and their starting quarterback was sent packing to the great white north (okay, just south of there)!  Now they are just another victory for their opponents to mark on the schedule each week.

This one should be over by halftime.

This week’s Upset of the Week (4-4).

Once again, I find myself disagreeing with the odds makers on only one game.  The Baltimore Ravens at the Cleveland Browns.

If I had to pick my Upset of the Week for week nine a month ago, this game wouldn’t have even been considered.  But things have changed drastically over the past four weeks.

Not only have the Ravens become a very average team, the Browns have actually become a team to contend with, something that hasn’t happened in about six years.  Call me crazy (okay, you were a bit too quick with that response!), but I think Jason Campbell just might be the spark this team needed to get the offense going.  He is never going to be a Hall of Famer, but he does have a lot of talent and a lot of experience working on not-so-great teams.

It’s really difficult to look at this year’s Ravens team and believe that they won the Super Bowl last year.  Granted, there a few key players that are no longer in Baltimore, but to be 3-4 at this point in the follow-up season is just plain embarrassing (at least it should be).

This should be a low scoring, black-and-blue, rock ‘em sock ‘em brawl from start to finish.  The team that figures out how to score a couple of times during the battle will come away the victor.  I’m betting the home team Browns will be that team!

This week’s Game of the Week (4-4).

There are a couple of games that fit the bill this week.  Even though we’re not talking great records, the Falcons at the Panthers should be an offensive thriller.  The same with the Chargers at the Redskins (is that still their name?).

But we’ll need to wait for Monday to enjoy this week’s choice.  The Chicago Bears at the Green Bay Packers.

Let’s be honest, when is this not a good game to watch?  You don’t even have to be wearing a cheese-head or constantly saying “‘da Bears” (which is really getting old, by the way).  These two teams have hated each other for decades!

The fact that this game already has playoff implications just adds fuel to the fire.  At 5-2, the Packers can take a major step forward in their quest for the division title with a victory.  The Bears, on the other hand, need a victory to stay tied with the Packers and the idle Lions.  A loss would drop them two games behind Green Bay.

So, will we see a defensive battle, as in years past?  Not hardly.  Both teams are averaging more than thirty points per game.  Both teams are loaded with offensive weapons.  Both teams have no problem going for the big play.

The difference is, only one team has been playing any defense at all.  And it’s not ‘da Bears (sorry about that)!  While Chicago is allowing nearly thirty points per game, the Pack is allowing less than 24 points per game.

Add to that the fact that the game will be played in the tundra (not frozen tundra – that’s redundant) of Green Bay and you have no choice but to go with the home team.

In a game that’s sure to be a shootout, look for the Packers to win by double digits, somewhere around 42-31.

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