NBA First Half Awards
With the season just over halfway done, let's look at the major awards. Feel free to disagree but it's James Hardens world right now and we're just living in it.
There are no more undefeated teams in the NFL. The Los Angeles Rams were the last team to lose a game this season. It is more than the halfway point of the regular season. The trade deadline has also past.
The Minnesota Vikings, the Baltimore Ravens, the Denver Broncos, and the Houston Texans are on a bye this week. Last week, I had the best week of the regular season so far. I went 11-2 with my picks last week. So far this season, my record is 78-54-2.
Carolina Panthers 24 Pittsburgh Steelers 30: This has the potential to be a very good game. It is an outside shot Super Bowl Preview, but you never know. The key of the game will be who can limit the big play. The Panthers will control the line early, but the Steelers skill players will take over at some point. The quarterback match up between Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger will be a fun one.
Detroit Lions 13 Chicago Bears 23: Mitchell Trubisky is has been a beast lately for the Chicago Bears. Jordan Howard is getting better. The defense is elite. The Lions could play spoiler but they won't.
New Orleans Saints 27 Cincinnati Bengals 23: The Saints can't have a let down this weekend on the road after beating the Rams at home last week. The Bengals will have a tough time running the ball against the New Orleans defense. Andy Dalton will have to beat them and I don't think that will happen.
Atlanta Falcons 31 Cleveland Browns 24: The Falcons could be on upset alert this week, but they might be starting to get on a roll. Cleveland is still dysfunctional. Baker Mayfield will be forced to keep up with the Atlanta high flying offense and he will fail to live up to the task.
Jacksonville Jaguars 14 Indianapolis Colts 21: Will the Jaguars offense get better after the bye week or will it get worse? The Colts have a winnable stretch of games coming up. This is one of them. Andrew Luck will be the difference in this game.
Arizona Cardinals 10 Kansas City Chiefs 35: The Chiefs offense is lethal right now. The Cardinals will have a long day. Kansas City's defense continues to get better every week.
Buffalo Bills 10 New York Jets 13: This is probably going to be the worst game of the weekend. Josh McCown will start in place of Sam Darnold because of a foot injury to Darnold. The Bills still may not have Josh Allen or Derek Anderson in time for Sunday. That means that Nathan Peterman is in line to start.
Washington Redskins 24 Tampa Buccaneers 20: This could be the most unpredictable game of the weekend. Both teams are hit or miss. This is a big game for both teams. Washington doesn't want to lose their lead in the NFC East and Tampa Bay wants to keep up in the NFC Wild Card race. Alex Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't your ideal quarterback match up either. The difference in this game will be the Washington Redskins defense.
New England Patriots 24 Tennessee Titans 27: The Titans had a big win on the road last Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys. The Patriots winning streak will come to an end this weekend. Tennessee will create a push rush. It is their strength. New England doesn't have a great defense. Josh Gordon will have a big game again, but the healthy of Rob Gronkowski could cost them this weekend.
Los Angeles Chargers 38 Oakland Raiders 17: The Chargers will look more fresh this week than they did last week. The Raiders will play uninspired football again this weekend. It has been a train wreck in Oakland. Los Angeles's running game is a force right now.
Miami Dolphins 24 Green Bay Packers 30: This game will be a reality check for the Green Bay Packers. If they lose this game, they will continue to in a tailspin. The Packers can not rely on Aaron Rodgers all the time,but he will be the difference in the game. Brock Osweiler and the Dolphins offense will score points on the board this weekend. The defense could be a problem for them. Both running games are not very good. It wouldn't be surprising to see Adam Gase out coach Mike McCarthy.
Seattle Seahawks 17 Los Angeles Rams 35: This game won't be as close as it was the last time. The Rams will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after losing to the Saints on the road last week. Expect Todd Gurley to be involved early and often. Jared Goff will throw the ball efficiently.
Dallas Cowboys 16 Philadelphia Eagles 34: Dak Prescott will receive a ton of criticism again on Sunday night. The Eagles defense will use different disguises. The Cowboys defense will be on the field often and Carson Wentz will take advantage. Golden Tate should make an impact in his first game in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform.
New York Giants 13 San Francisco 49ers 27: Nick Mullens will show the world once again in prime time that he is no fluke. The Giants offense will be stagnant once again. Eli Manning won't be able to make plays. Saquon Barkley will be tough to stop. The difference in the game will be the San Francisco 49ers offense.
Bold Predictions: 1. James Conner doesn't rush for 50 yards against the Carolina Panthers.
2. Andy Dalton throws three interceptions against the New Orleans Saints.
3. Josh Gordon will have 185 yards and two touchdowns against the Tennessee Titans.
4. The Philadelphia Eagles will have five sacks against the Dallas Cowboys.
5. Nick Mullens has a better stat line than Eli Manning.