By Josh Kramer
America’s favorite division, the NFC East, seems to be in the midst of a real down year. Tim Tebow continues to shock the world. And the injury bug has hit in full force. We are well over half-way through the NFL regular season and the fun is just beginning.
As has become the tradition, we are once again having “TheSportsKraze Pick’em Challenge.”
The participants this season are as follows:
TheSportsKraze (TSK) (defending champion)-Josh Kramer-Founder/Editor-In-Chief of “TheSportsKraze” and former ESPN intern.
CV3-Chad Vordenberge-An elite high school wide receiver and a very successful business owner.
CB-Craig Baker-A former collegiate baseball player and current special education teacher.
DC-David Clark-A dedicated sports fan who was coached by TheSportsKraze on his fraternity flag football team. After playing for TheSportsKraze, he has developed a slow but steady motivation to show his coach who the real pick’em champion is.
After Week 11, here is the scoreboard.
Houston Texans (CB, TSK, CV3, DC) at Jacksonville Jaguars
-The Word: Can the Texans straighten out the quarterback situation enough to win one on the road?
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (CB, TSK, CV3, DC)
-The Word: Fitzpatrick is a very intelligent guy who is smart enough to realize that he is by no means playing up to the expectations set by his new contract. Luckily for Buffalo, Mark Sanchez has been even worse.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (CB, TSK, CV3, DC)
-The Word: The Bengals look to sweep the “Battle of Ohio” after two straight tough losses to divisional opponents.
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons (CB, TSK, CV3, DC)
-The Word: Minnesota’s brutal stretch continues against one of the League’s best rushing defenses.
Arizona Cardinals (CV3) at St. Louis Rams (CB, TSK, DC)
-The Word: Not exactly a game circled on anyone’s calendar. Two of the League’s worst square off in the home of the arch.
Carolina Panthers (CB, TSK, CV3, DC) at Indianapolis Colts
-The Word: No excuse for Cam Newton not to walk away from this one with victory number three.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (CB, CV3, DC) at Tennessee Titans (TSK)
-The Word: Tampa has been awful for well over a month now, while Tennessee has been presented a golden opportunity in the AFC South with Matt Schaub going down. This is a must win for the Titans at home.
Chicago Bears (CB, CV3) at Oakland Raiders (TSK, DC)
Washington Redskins (CB, DC) at Seattle Seahawks (TSK, CV3)
-The Word: Two teams heading in very different directions. Seattle are winners of two straight while the ‘Skins have dropped six in a row. Do not expect Washington to make it rain in Seattle.
Denver Broncos (CB) at San Diego Chargers (TSK, CV3, DC)
-The Word: Can Tim Tebow win the love and affection of John Elway and Broncos ownership? And when will the Philip Rivers’ nightmare end?
New England Patriots (TSK, CV3, DC) at Philadelphia Eagles (CB)
-The Word: There are two words to describe this game. “Big plays.” Expect a lot of them.
Pittsburgh Steelers (CB, TSK, CV3, DC) at Kansas City Chiefs
-The Word: If Tyler Palko is starting at quarterback for this Sunday night affair, it could get ugly for KC against a very confident Steelers team. Start Orton.
New York Giants at New Orleans Saints (CB, TSK, CV3, DC)
-The Word: Eli considers himself in the same class as guys like Brady and Brees. He already beat Brady this year. Can he take down Brees?
Game of the Week: New York Giants at New Orleans Saints
-I will admit that Thanksgiving Day arguably featured two better matchups on paper than this game, but this is still a great matchup. The Giants are currently tied atop the NFC East, while the Saints currently lead the NFC South. There are many playoff implications in this one as Eli and the boys head to Bourbon Street. Before the season, there was much controversy regarding comments made by Manning during a radio interview where he indirectly said he considers himself in the same class as star quarterbacks such as his brother (Peyton), Brady, and Brees. Though I felt his comments were vastly misconstrued, he already took down Brady. Can he defeat Brees?
-New Orleans has had an extra week to prep for this one in that they are coming off their bye week. The Saints passing attack is tops in the League, and obviously Drew Brees plays a very large part in that. New York on the other hand, has a pretty lethal aerial attack of their own, but are currently on a two-game losing streak. Well do not expect the skid to end on Monday Night. The Giants shockingly defeated the Patriots in Foxborough. Do not expect lightning to strike twice though against a Saints team that is undefeated at home this year. The Saints are far too balanced for a Giants team still searching for their identity.
Stat of the Week:
-228 is the number to think about in this week’s marquee matchup. Both the Giants and Saints have given up 228 points in their first ten games this season. The only difference is New Orleans has scored 313, which is the second most in the NFL. Eli and the Giants have only mustered up 228 total points on the year. The verdict is still out on the Giants, and luckily for them, they are playing in a division where all four teams are still searching.
CV3: This week is a huge one for the Who Deys. They cannot afford to lose a third straight game if they would like to be considered a playoff contender. I expect Andy and the boys to come out firing on all cylindors, and sweep the Browns in the Battle of Ohio.
CB: The majority of the marquee matchups occur on Turkey Day this year. But the Sunday/Monday slate is not too shabby in it’s own right. I really have my eye focused on the Giants/Saints matchup. Is Eli an elite quarterback? If he can take down Brees and the Saints, he just may be worthy of the praise.
DC: Despite the some thrillers set for Thanksgiving Day, the Bears and Raiders presents a good matchup. Oakland is tough at home and I think they show their toughness in a defensive struggle. Raiders win, 16-14 in Oaktown. Make sure to spend some quality time with the family at 12:30 on Sunday. Some good football is sure to occur.
TSK: Much of the thunder for Week 12 will take place on Turkey Day. But the slate on Sunday/Monday is still awful exciting. The Texans see if they can continue their winnings ways minus Matt Schaub. Eli looks to prove that he belongs with the elite quarterbacks in the game. And Vince Young/Tim Tebow try to continue their magic.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.