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Not Saving It For Later

Mill Woods

Posted on November 7, 2018 13:58

1 user

The Saints and Falcons have joined other teams making big moves to shoot for a playoff run. The hottest NFL contest this weekend could actually precede the weekend - the Thursday night battle between the Panthers and the Steelers promises to be a head-knocker. And I have little doubt that the Titans hosting the Patriots will be both exciting and important to the playoff picture.

Don't tell NFL teams that it's too soon to worry about the playoffs! With Thanksgiving right around the corner, teams are adding players and girding for major battles during the holidays.

The 6-2 Panthers are known for toughness - especially their big QB Cam Newton. For a team that can get after the quarterback like the 5-2-1 Steelers, now is the time to let the dogs out. Both defenses will be tested: the Panthers have the league's #2 rushing attack, while the Steelers rank #4 in total offense. The fact that Thursday night's clash will be an inter-conference battle does not diminish its importance in the playoff race.

The 7-1 Saints, who just signed WR Dez Bryant, visit the 5-3 Cincinnati Bengals Sunday. The Saints just beat two top teams - Rams and Vikings - back to back, and they already have a win over the Falcons in the very tough NFC South. The Bengals have been sputtering on both offense and defense, yet have managed to eke out wins over the Ravens, Falcons and Bucs.

The Falcons just added Bruce Irvin, an Atlanta native, who won a Super Bowl with Seattle when Falcon HC Dan Quinn was defensive coordinator in Seattle. The Falcons have been struggling to pressure quarterbacks, so this move makes sense; Irvin is a pass-rush specialist who has been successful playing both defensive lineman and linebacker.  

Last week, after a break, the Titans - who trail the Texans in AFC South - appeared to return to form, beating the Cowboys in Dallas. Now, Mariota and company host Bellichick, Brady and those wily Patriots, who recently added WR Josh Gordon to the NFL's #9 offense.  

Sunday night, the Eagles get back in action against the division-rival Cowboys. The Eagles added WR Golden Tate, while the Cowboys picked up WR Amari Cooper. The Redskins, who are just a game ahead of the Eagles in the NFC East, must go down to Tampa Bay and tussle with the Bucs - the league's top passing team and #2 in total offense.

In those six hot contests, I am going with the Steelers, Bengals, Falcons, Titans, Bucs and Eagles, but I would not bet a nickel on any of the outcomes! Things are that even. What I will bet on is action galore - and some last-second drama.

Here is all the action - and my picks (last week, I went 10-4):

1. Panthers at Steelers             Steelers
2. Saints at Bengals                 Bengals
3. Falcons at Browns                Falcons
4. Lions at Bears                      Bears
5. Cardinals at Chiefs              Chiefs
6. Patriots at Titans                  Titans
7. Redskins at Bucs                  Bucs
8. Bills at Jets                           Jets
9. Jaguars at Colts                   Jaguars
10. Chargers at Raiders           Chargers
11. Seahawks at Rams             Rams
12. Dolphins at Packers            Packers
13. Cowboys at Eagles             Eagles
14. Giants at 49ers                   Giants

Mill Woods

Posted on November 7, 2018 13:58

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