Welcome to the NFL Picks! Last week was a fun one for the panel, as everyone went 3-1. Amazing. Don’t forget to take a look at the NFL Roundtable from Friday as well, for more discussion.
Chad: Very hard to call here as the weather is expected to be a factor with icy conditions for the game. The Steelers did jump all over KC in their matchup earlier this year in route to 43-14 win so I am going with the playoff-experienced Steelers over the Andy Reid led team because of Andy Reid’s history in the playoffs.
Dan: I think the Steelers will win. While I love the Chiefs’ defense, I think Le’Veon Bell and Big Ben are too dangerous for them. Kansas City has shown flaws and I can definitely see them getting hit hard by Bell. They’re not a very good run defensive team and Pittsburgh knows it. They have the best running back in the league. Plus, they’re hot. Red hot. Winners of 8 straight and I don’t think they end that streak this week. I like KC a lot, think they’re a very good team with a dangerous kick/punt returner in Tyreek Hill, but their offense and defense combo isn’t enough for KC. Don’t forget the strong defense that Pittsburgh presents.
Joe: yeah, they have the better record and all that jazz but I’m just not convinced the Chiefs are better than the Steelers. The only thing I see stopping a Steeler win is Roethlisberger acting like Bad Eli which he is very capable of doing. Chiefs’ probably keep it close but Steelers prevail. If, I had to guess… 24-20.
Le’Veon Bell will break at least one big run for a TD.
Steve: One of those games where I had to go back and forth. Pittsburgh is on a hot streak right now. I think that Kansas City and Andy Reid will have a few tricks up their sleeve. Big Ben is a little roughed up, and the KC defense may cause him problems. I like KC in a close game.
David: Whoa, we got two very good coaches that can have a brain fart at anytime and cost his team a game. Both teams have QBs that can throw the ball to the wrong team at any time. Big Ben has a MUCH higher ceiling, but Alex Smith takes fewer chances. Both teams have very defenses, and both can score with that defense. I’m taking Pittsburgh, but I’m not happy about it as KC has a definite home-field advantage. I’m just looking at who I trust on 4th and 7, and that guy aint Alex Smith.
Chad: I’m taking the upset here with a hot Green Bay team even without Jordy Nelson. Aaron Rodgers has been on fire since the Pack were left for dead at 4-6; Rodgers is playing at his highest level against a Dallas team who has had essentially 2 bye weeks in a row since they did not go all out in Week 17 against Philly with everything clinched. Can you trust Dak and Zeke as rookies in a playoff situation? I say no.
Dan: While I assume most people will select Dallas, and I don’t want to sound like a homer, but I’m picking the Packers. I really like how the Packers are playing in their 7-game winning streak. They had to win out in order to make the playoffs. They did. They took care of the Giants easily at home. Now they go to Dallas. If they get out to the slow start they did vs NYG last week, then they won’t be winning this match-up. They ride Aaron Rodgers and they’ll be fine. I’m not worried about the Dallas defense stopping the Packers’ offense, I’m worried about the Packers’ defense stopping Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott. But, two things that help me in my confidence is that both players are rookies. While the college season is just as long as the NFL season, I think them being rookies without the playoff experience, not playing meaningful football in four weeks, being on a first-round bye and, basically, missing week 17 as well. That’ll hurt them. I think Green Bay has the favor in this match-up and will take out Dallas by a touchdown. This is definitely the game of the week.
Joe: I have no idea how this game goes. Can the rookies keep it up into the playoffs? Can Rodgers keep his hot streak going? Time to flip a coin… Cowboys in a close one… with a score lot closer to 20-19 than 35-34
Steve: I didn’t pick them last week and they came through for me. The Cowboys are rested, and healthy, while Green Bay is VERY banged up. I just don’t think Aaron Rodgers, as great as he is, can hold this team together in Dallas. Green Bay struggles against the run, and Zeke is a monster star. That will be the difference, The Cowboys should win this game by at least a TD or more as they will pull away late.
David: The Packers have a better coach, they have more experience, and a Super Bowl winning QB on an amazing hot streak. The Cowboys have every other advantage. They also have more distractions. Jerry Jones wants to coach, and if Dak has problems, then Jason Garrett might have to pick up that Blue Courtesy Phone. Thats going to hurt morale and Dak’s confidence. Elliot is a great runner, but he’s also behind a great line. Dom Capers has made a living making great lines look ordinary.I have a real problem coming up with a winner here. The Packers get up by 2 scores, then Dallas might be toast, and I’m not sure they can come back. If the Cowboys get up a touchdown, then they will make Jason Garrett look like Tom Osborne. I’ll take Dallas, just because of Elliot.
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