I'll give you a little (unimpressive) resume so that you know to take my advice with a grain of salt. I've been playing this game for 5 years now. In my first 2 years playing I was champion of my league back to back years. That's when I stepped my game up to 2 leagues per year. Since then I've never missed a playoff and never ended up with a record below .500. A lot of time I spend with my friends, some of which write on other sites such as Bleacher Report, is discussing the ins and outs of this beloved game. So, let me get into my loves and hates for this coming week's games.
- Tom Brady (Patriots) - There's no doubt here. Brady is about to have a monster game. It's just due to happen. After last week's less than impressive performance in Seattle, the Richard Sherman trash talking, the turnovers, look for Brady to bounce back. Last week Brady walked into a very unfamiliar setting in Seattle where he has never played in his professional career against a coach that was familiar with the Patriots team. This week he gets a little more comfortable coming back to Foxboro to play the division rival Jets. In the 20 times Brady has played the Jets, he has a +16 TD/Int Differential (26/10) and puts up roughly 230 yards passing per game. The Jets are a bit depleted without their defensive leader in Darrell Revis and are 30th in both passing and rushing yards let up per game. Look for the Patriots' offense to get a lot of opportunities because I am going to predict that BB is working on the defense all week.
- Matt Schuab (Texans) - Following along with the depleted defense theme, the Texans are going up against Baltimore this week. After getting torched last week for 6 passing touchdowns from Rogers, the Texans need this win to keep their hype alive. Otherwise they're going to slip back into mediocrity. Baltimore took huge losses on defense with Ray Lewis and Ladarius Webb out for the rest of this season. With them gone, look for Arian Foster to get a whole bunch of touches. With all the touches he will get, that will open up the play-action for Schaub. That's his specialty. I wish I could find the stats the MNF showed when they played the Jets but I believe they are league leading in completion percentage, touchdowns, and yards per completion.
- Carson Palmer (Raiders) - I don't even really think I need to explain myself with this pick; the Raiders are playing Jacksonville in Oakland. After last weeks performance against the Falcons in Atlanta, I am impressed by the old timer. He has big time weapons with Denarius Moore and Heyward-Bey (if healthy) as well as a great running back and dump off option in McFadden. Not to mention Jacksonville is pretty bad on both sides of the ball
- Tony Romo (Cowboys) - Oh Romo, what do we do with you. This week, the Cowboys travel to Carolina to face off against the Panthers. Romo somehow managed to have a good game last week against the Ravens, of course after both Lewis and Webb went out with injuries, but none the less he had a productive game. But as Romo tends to be quite inconsistent, I can just feel it in my bones that he will follow up a good performance with a bad one. Look for the Panthers to eat up the clock with their run game and a scrambling Cam Newton and keep Romo off the field.
- Robert Griffin III (Washington) - If he's bound to have a bad game, this would be that bad game. Did you see what the Giants did last week in San Francisco against the quarterback that had the highest quarterback rating in the league? Held him to 3 points and forced 3 interceptions. I hate to say it, especially on this site, but the Giants are a very strong team right now. RG3's scramble factor is a big one, but the Big Blue defense is smart and will find ways to adjust and contain him; forcing him to throw at a defense that already has 11 interceptions this season. Pierre Garcon is not expected to play this week as well so that takes away his one true offensive weapons.
- Matt Stafford (Lions) - Not to take away from Stafford's efforts last week in their overtime win against the Eagles, but let's be honest; that was the Eagles. They are a team in shambles and struggle to figure out how to play football. This week the Lions are playing on Monday night in Chicago against a top-5 defense, at least I think. He will be forced to throw the ball all game as the Bears will shut down the run game early. He will have to rely on big plays from Nate Burleson and Brandon Pettigrew because Megatron wil be double teamed all game.
- C.J. Spiller/Fred Jackson (Bills) - With their new 2-2 series program that's been implimented (play 2 series, sit 2 series) there are a lot of different looks that they will be able to throw at a below than average Tennessee defense. Bot of these guys have a lot of talent and bring their own skills to the table. Spiller is a great receiving back that can make guys miss while Jackson is a great yards after first hit back; something similar to the Bradshaw/Jacobs duo that was in New York, except more efficient. Look for them to exploit Tennessee's linebacker core in the middle of the field.
- Felix Jones (Cowboys) - Last week we saw Felix and Demarco amass 227 yards on the ground against Baltimore. This week they're heading to Carolina and with Demarco's sprained foot, Felix is the go to back for Romo. He's going to have to come up big for the Cowboys to keep their momentum alive on drives where Romo may falter. He's a quick back with good hands out of the back field and when Romo feels under pressure, which I'm sure he always does, he will dump to Felix.
- Matt Forte (Bears) - I have been waiting for Forte to have a breakout game all season. It's just bound to happen. Two weeks ago with 107 yards against Jacksonville wasn't bad, but we all know he can do better. Coming off the bye week I expect him to be actually 100% from the ankle injury that's been ailing him for the past few weeks. The Bears are looking to retain atop the NFC North and with a win over Detroit they can do just that. Look for Lovie Smith to put together a balanced attatck to push his team forward.
- Ray Rice (Ravens) - I'm not sure why, but I don't think the Ravens know what they have with Ray Rice in the backfield. He is one of the most under utilized backs in the game. I'm not even sure how he manages to put up as good a stats as he does every season. But this week traveling to Houston, it's just going to be too much J.J. Watt. Dude has been an animal on the front line all season in both the pass rush and run stopping game. If Houston starts to go on a run like I expect and put up a lot of points, Flacco will start throwing a lot downfield as he has been all season and Rice will not get his touches.
- Frank Gore (49ers) - Just Frank Gore being typical Frank Gore. Getting a lot of offseason hype and then starting slow as a turtle out of the gate per usual. The Seattle defense that he will be running against is just too fast for his style of play. Even if he does make it past their frontline, Seattle's DBs will eat him up before he hits 10 yards down field. Smith will be looking to prove himself this week after being benched last week for his poor performance.
- Shonn Greene (Jets) - If you think Greene is going put up numbers even relatively close to what he did last week you'd be poorly mistaken. The front 7 of the Patriots this season has been unbelievable. Their ability to clog all the holes and push offensive lines backwards will shut down the running game early. Plus the Jets are going to be watching tape of last week and figure out "Hey maybe we should pass the ball a lot and see what happens".
- Reggie Wayne (Colts) - Lynch me all you want for making this comment, but I love Reggie Wayne. He is just an all around natural athlete. How he and Andrew Luck have started building a strong relationship already is awesome. Every rookie quarterback needs a veteran receiver like Wayne. After Luck had a tough game last week, he can now come back home and take his chances against a weak Cleveland defense. His go to target Wayne will get his fair touches.
- Jordy Nelson/James Jones (Packers) - While Greg Jennings has been out with a groin injury, Nelson and Jones have both been taking full advantage. Last week Jordy was Aaron Rogers' favorite target with 9 catches for 121 yards and 3 touchdowns. On the opposite side of the offense is James Jones, who in the past three weeks has averaged 2 touchdowns per game receiving. Playing against the Rams, look for the Packers to continue rolling with their pass happy offense.
- Denarius Moore (Raiders) - If I didn't make this clear enough, the Raiders are going up against the Jaguars... That should be enough to start anyone on the Raiders. Without Heyward-Bey in the lineup last week, Moore still managed to haul in 5 catches for 104 yards. H-B is expected to come back this week so that should only give him more room on the field to catch and run.
- Vincent Jackson (Buccaneers) - I still don't see him as the outright number 1 receiver in Tampa Bay. There is too much chemistry between Mike Williams and Josh Freeman (as shown by that catch against the Chiefs last week). New Orleans corners are pretty fast and tough to throw against so I don't expect him to have much of a game.
- San Francisco Crew (49ers) - I'm sure I don't need to explain this one much to you. We all saw how Seattle's corners played last week against the Patriots. These guys are the real deal. Big, tall, fast, strong corners all across the field. If anything Crabtree will get the most looks just to move the ball down field and get those short yardage first downs.
- Jets Wide Receivers (Jets) - Just because frankly they don't have any.
If you readers are looking for any advice I'm always open to talk about it and see if I can help. Or if you want to debate me on my picks, come at me bro (and broettes). Always find me on Twitter @I_Am_Edlund. Stay frosty.