By Danny Cox
For the first time this season, my picks amounted to something last week and it actually felt really good. It isn’t something I’m going to get used to though because it just isn’t easy to keep up that kind of streak when it comes to the NFL and this especially wacky season of 2012.
Already though, my picks aren’t starting out too well. Fully expected the Vikings to take down the visiting Buccaneers, but Tampa Bay more than doubled up Minnesota and snagged the victory. Let’s hope that everything else in my predictions fares a little bit better.
Bye Weeks: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Houston
Thursday Night Football: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings
There is no way that anyone could have told me the Bucs would go into Mall of America Field and take down the Vikes. Still, this is the NFL where anything can and will happen. All the Bucs have to do is thank running back Doug Martin who racked up 135 yards on the ground en route to the win.
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears
The Panthers are falling apart at the seams and the Bears are streaking. Cam Newton is going to have a long day at Soldier Field.
My upset pick of the week comes in the wake of the Chargers’ collapse against Denver and then the “Stickum” scandal that is under investigation. Cleveland needs to catch a break sometime, and it could come at the expense of the imploding Chargers.
Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions
Should the Lions team that beat the Eagles two weeks ago show up, then Detroit has this game in the bag. For some reason, I don’t see that happening.
New England Patriots at St. Louis Rams
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots seem to falter in games they shouldn’t this season, but it won’t happen here.
The bad blood has been spilled, and this is going to be one ugly game. Both teams are out to not only defeat the other, but they’re looking to hurt someone. Expect cheap shots and a lot of trash-talking going on in this one.
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
All this season, Matt Ryan and the Falcons have been “finding” ways to win which is how they have stayed undefeated. It’s time for the close calls to run out as Philly gives Atlanta their first mark in the loss column.
Washington Redskins at Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh is hurting as usual, but they always play better at home. Containing RG3 is going to be the hard part, but Heinz Field may have a hand in that one.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers
So, is Blaine Gabbert going to seriously injure himself or not this week? If my health status was shaky as an offensive player, I wouldn’t test it against Clay Matthews.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Tennessee can be a scoring juggernaut or they can completely lay an egg. Andrew Luck is just getting better and better as the season goes on. He’s making this Colts team his own, and he’s going to soon show why he was picked first overall.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Brady Quinn? Not really thinking that is the answer to anything at all there, Kansas City.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
This is a rematch of the first week of the season when the Cowboys pulled off what many considered to be an upset. As the season has progressed, New York has improved while Dallas has straddled the fence of mediocrity.
New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos
The Saints are on a two-game winning streak and looking to truly stop the bleeding that came with starting the season at 0-4. Denver would like to pull ahead in the AFC West and build a lead on the Chargers. This is going to be the first meeting between Drew Brees and Peyton Manning since the Saints downed the Colts in the Super Bowl, and it’s going to be a fun Sunday night.
Monday Night Football: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
Arizona has just fallen apart after a very promising start to the season. San Francisco has stumbled at times, but they are proving that they’re ready to stay in the NFL elite class once again.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.