Is Kyrie Irving Planning to Leave the Celtics?
The Boston Celtics are worried that Kyrie Irving will leave instead of resign with them. Should the Celtics be worried?
There are no bye weeks for any team for the remainder of the season. Hopefully everyone is rested up and ready to roll for the final five weeks of the regular season. A lot of teams still have a chance to make it to the postseason and some of them are focusing on 2019.
I was much better with my picks last week. My record was 11-4. My record so far this season is 102-72-2.
New Orleans Saints 27 Dallas Cowboys 24: Both of these teams are hitting their stride right now. The Saints have won 10 in a row and the Cowboys have won three in a row. This will be another solid Thursday night contest. New Orleans will have a plan defensively to stop Ezekiel Elliott early and often and force Dak Prescott to throw the ball. Drew Brees will have a chance to continue his greatness. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram will represent a problem in the running game.
Baltimore Ravens 23 Atlanta Falcons 21: The Ravens will ride the Lamar Jackson train once again this week. Baltimore is playing with energy right now and it is a different vibe inside the locker room for them. This team has not quit for John Harbaugh. The defense has risen to the occasion. The Falcons don't have a very good defense and they have been a disappointment.
Denver Broncos 34 Cincinnati Bengals 10: The Broncos will look to continue their winning ways against a banged up Bengals team. Cincinnati looks deflated and Andy Dalton is done for the season. Jeff Driskel will be the starting quarterback for the Bengals this week. Denver's defense will be ready to feast. Case Keenum will get many opportunities to possess the ball.
Los Angeles Rams 41 Detroit Lions 27: Jared Goff and Todd Gurley will be ready to roll for the Rams offense off a bye week. The Lions offense hasn't looked sharp at times this season and will Los Angeles's defense tighten up? Aaron Donald is a man on another level. He has 14 sacks so far this season. Detroit will make the game competitive, but the Los Angeles Rams will be too much for them.
Arizona Cardinals 15 Green Bay Packers 27: If the Packers do not win this game, then you can kiss their playoff hopes good bye and possibly Mike McCarthy's job. Aaron Rodgers has not looked sharp in tight situations this season. They don't give the ball to Aaron Jones enough and they need to. The Cardinals are offensively challenged, but Green Bay's defense will find a way to make them look good.
Cleveland Browns 28 Houston Texans 30: This is a big game for both teams. The Browns are still in the AFC wild card hunt and the Texans want to keep a cushion on the AFC South lead. Baker Mayfield and Deshaun Watson will be an interesting quarterback battle. Both teams can force turnovers. Whoever limits the big plays will win this game.
Indianapolis Colts 42 Jacksonville Jaguars 17: The Colts have won five straight games and the Jaguars find themselves in a mess right now. Cody Kessler will be the starting quarterback and they also fired the offensive coordinator as well. Andrew Luck has thrown at least three touchdowns in the last eight games. They also have a solid running game. Leonard Fournette is suspended for this game for the Jaguars because he threw a punch in last week's loss on the road against the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo Bills 24 Miami Dolphins 7: The Bills will have good memories heading down to Miami this weekend. This is the first time Buffalo will be playing down their since Week 17 of last season and that was the day they clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 1999. Josh Allen played well last week in his first game back against the Jaguars. The Dolphins blew a 10-point lead on the road last week against the Indianapolis Colts. They are heading in the wrong direction.
Chicago Bears 27 New York Giants 13: The Bears are playing like they care right now and the Giants don't seem to care. No matter who is quarterbacking Chicago this weekend, Matt Nagy will have them ready to go. Eli Manning is past his time now and they need to give Kyle Lauletta a look, but ownership is getting in the way of that. The Giants might be booed early and often at home. The Chicago Bears defense is no joke and they could have a defensive touchdown or two.
Carolina Panthers 21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17: The Panthers are pressing the panic button right now and they need to find the win column again. Carolina needs players to step up early and often. They can't have the same players stepping up every week. That has been a problem for them. The Buccaneers are struggling defensively right now. This is a big week for Jameis Winston and Cam Newton.
Kansas City Chiefs 38 Oakland Raiders 21: The Raiders don't have a very good defense and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Chiefs put up a 50 burger again. Patrick Mahomes will sling it early and often. Derek Carr will have confidence in this game because of how bad Kansas City's defense is. The speed of the Kansas City Chiefs will be a nightmare for the Oakland Raiders.
New York Jets 13 Tennessee Titans 30: If the Titans want to make a run to get to the postseason, they will have to beat the Jets. Tennessee has one of the easiest schedules remaining. New York is offensively challenged and that fits perfectly into the Tennessee Titans defensive game plan. Sam Darnold could be back for the New York Jets this week and if he plays, Darnold could be in for a long day. Marcus Mariota had one of his best games ever last week in a loss against the Houston Texans on the road. He will be ready to roll again this week.
Minnesota Vikings 34 New England Patriots 30: Kirk Cousins needs to show up and ball. The Patriots defense will try and make him uncomfortable, but they don't have an elite pass rush. New England doesn't have a great secondary either to slow down Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. The Vikings defense will struggle stopping the Patriots offense. At the end of the day, the New England Patriots flaws will show up.
San Francisco 49ers 13 Seattle Seahawks 42: The Seahawks have been a surprise in 2018. They should beat the 49ers, but this is also a trap game for them. Nick Mullens will have a tough time playing at CenturyLink Field. Russell Wilson continues to impress for Seattle.
Los Angeles Chargers 24 Pittsburgh Steelers 38: There will be a ton of points scored in this game. The Chargers not having Melvin Gordon in the backfield will hurt this team. Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger will both have big games. Special teams will be a big factor in this game. There is also a lot on the line in this game and it will most likely impact playoff seeding in the AFC.
Washington Redskins 10 Philadelphia Eagles 20: Colt McCoy was average last week against the Dallas Cowboys on the road on Thanksgiving. The Redskins received a lot of backlash for signing Reuben Foster. The defense will be the reason why they stay in the game, but the Eagles will get the ball enough times to be more effective offensively. Carson Wentz will have to pull out a magic trick again and Philadelphia's running game isn't very good.
Bold predictions: 1. Ezekiel Elliott will not have 50 yards rushing against the Saints.
2. Josh Rosen will have more passing yards than Aaron Rodgers.
3. The Titans will force five turnovers against the Jets.
4. Myles Garrett will have more sacks than J.J. Watt.
5. The Chargers and the Steelers won't have more than 60 rushing yards.