(Brad Penner/USA Today)
November means the New York Giants are preparing to make their late season bum rush to the NFL postseason. Tom Coughlin was all but gone after an 0-6 start, but after four straight wins, they’re talking playoffs again. A win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday will only complicate matters in the schizophrenic NFC East.
Byes this week: Bengals, Bills, Eagles and Seahawks
Thursday November 21, 2013
Jimmy Graham and the Saints were able to hold off the Atlanta Falcons Thursday night.
New Orleans Saints 17, Atlanta Falcons 13 – Drew Brees passed for two touchdowns as the Saints survived an ugly offensive showing to hold off the Falcons and move to 9-2. Atlanta — who has been swept in the season series is guaranteed their first losing season since 2008. Matt Ryan was 30 of 39 for 292 yards, but could not find the end zone.
Sunday November 24, 2013. Games beginning at 1:00 pm:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) at Detroit Lions (6-4) – Tampa Bay has won in consecutive weeks, while the Lions dropped a tough game in Pittsburgh last week. Detroit has to be careful not to caught looking ahead to their meeting with Green Bay on Thursday.
Lions 30 – Buccaneers 17
Minnesota Vikings (2-8) at Green Bay Packers (5-5) – No Aaron Rodgers only knocks the Packers down to the Vikings level here. Adrian Peterson has failed to rush for 100 yards in the last two weeks.
Vikings 27 – Packers 16
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) at Houston Texans (2-8) – This would be a lay-up for the home team under normal circumstances, but the Jags are playing better and the Texans have lost eight in a row. Ben Tate’s 19 carries for 88 yards last week put to bed any questions about his ailing ribs.
Texans 24 – Jaguars 13
San Diego Chargers (4-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) – The Chiefs pass rush was humbled by the Broncos patchwork offensive line last week. A mistake prone Phillip Rivers will restore their confidence.
Chiefs 27 – Chargers 16
Carolina Panthers (7-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-5) – Letdown Alert! The Panthers have won six in a row as Cam Newton and the defense have come together at the right time. Bad news for a Dolphins offensive line missing two-fifths of their starting unit.
Panthers 28 – Dolphins 17
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-6) – The Steelers have rallied and are two and half games back of the division-leading Cincinnati Bengals. The Browns have come apart at the seams, but they’re at home and it’s the Steelers.
Steelers 24 – Browns 21
Chicago Bears (6-4) at St. Louis Rams (4-6) – What looked like a write-in victory for the Bears is now another tough match up heading down the stretch. Jay Cutler will watch from the sidelines as Josh McCown gets the start. Expect Matt Forte to get a hefty workload.
Bears 20 – Rams 14
NY Jets (5-5) at Baltimore Ravens (4-6) – No matter how ugly things looked for the Jets last week, the playoffs are still within reach. The Ravens have lost four of their last five games. Ray Rice needs to equal last week’s breakout game for Baltimore’s chances to improve.
Ravens 17 – Jets 13
Games beginning at 4:05 pm or later:
Tennessee Titans (4-6) at Oakland Raiders (4-6) – Terrelle Pryor is questionable for this one, but Oakland is confident in Matt McGloin — who passed for three touchdowns last week. Running back Rashad Jennings will step in again for the injured Darren McFadden. Tennessee needs a vintage game from Chris Johnson.
Raiders 23 – Titans 10
Indianapolis Colts (7-3) at Arizona Cardinals (6-4) – Bruce Arians faces his former team and his friend Chuck Pagano. The Cardinals are a dark horse in the NFC after winning three in a row. Carson Palmer has cut down his turnovers and is spreading the ball around. The Colts continue to give up too many points.
Cardinals 30 – Colts 24
Dallas Cowboys (5-5) at NY Giants (4-6) – Both teams are relatively healthy heading into a pivotal game in the NFC East. The Giants have been outscored 256-192. Dallas is looking to move to 4-0 in the division. Tough call here.
Giants 23 – Cowboys 20 (Overtime)
Denver Broncos (9-1) at New England Patriots (7-3) – One team is coming off a season-best performance and the other feels wronged by the officials. The Patriots allowed the Panthers to drive 80+ yards in 13 plays — opening the door for a controversial final play. Wes Welker returns to the lineup and will be more than willing to show the guys on the other sideline what they’ve been missing.
Broncos 27 – Patriots 23
Monday November 25, 2013 8:40 pm:
San Francisco 49ers (6-4) at DC (3-7) – Tough game for the visitors after a cross-country flight. At some point Robert Griffin III is due to explode. I just hope it’s on the field and not on the sidelines.
Niners 23 – DC 18
Last Week: 11-4
2013 Season: 83-57