Shawn Rine’s NFL Picks
New Orleans 27, Atlanta 21
Believe it or not the Saints are still breathing. They are in fact breathing, due in part to previously beating the Falcons. Can New Orleans pull off another upset? Yes, because Atlanta is ripe for the picking.
Chicago 17, Seattle 14
Matt Forte is once again nursing a bad ankle. At some point soon you have to start wondering if this is going to be a chronic injury. Speaking of chronic, Marshawn Lynch is going to need a big effort if the Seahawks hope to recover from a loss to the Dolphins.
Green Bay 20, Minnesota 12
Have we seen the real Packers? Perhaps they are just going to be average this season? I understand they are 7-4, but even in victory they haven’t been convincing. But they won’t need to be against the Vikings.
San Francisco 34, St. Louis 21
The 49ers are suddenly scary again and they have two people to thank – Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick. Smith is unblockable right now from his defensive end spot, and Kaepernick has the offense exploding.
Carolina 6, Kansas City 3
As if it wasn’t bad enough people had to sit through Panthers-Eagles, now comes this dandy of a matchup. The Chiefs would have a difficult time beating Sherrard Middle right now, so the pick is Carolina.
Houston 35, Tennessee 9
Yes, Titans, you did just lose to the Jaguars. And for that futility, the NFL has awarded you with a visit from the Texans. Good luck with that one. It’s about time Andre Johnson went on a tear.
Arizona 45, N.Y. Jets 7
Tick, tock. Tick tock. Time’s running out on Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum of the Jets. First Tim Tebow couldn’t play, then he could. They should be ashamed of what they have done to that guy. It’s a joke in New York right now.
Indianapolis 23, Detroit 21
Has anybody noticed the Colts are holding the first AFC Wild Card with a 7-4 record? I have, because the Steelers hold the second. You can’t help but be impressed with what T.Y. Hilton has done in the receiving and return games.
Jacksonville 14, Buffalo 13
Both of these teams could soon no longer inhabit their current dwellings. And make no mistake, they are cellar dwellings. The Jags have shown a lot more pop offensively with Chad Henne at the helm. For some reason the Bills seem to be pushing Fred Jackson aside.
New England 31, Miami 14
Welcome to Miami, where the player’s play. Talk about your misnomer. There will, however, be a player in town this week and his name is Tom Brady. Too much to ask the Dolphins to win twice in a row.
Tampa Bay 28, Denver 26
Pretty hard to believe the Broncos can clinch their division this week. Oh, no it isn’t. That division is the worst in football and it’s not close. The Buccaneers are looking to stay alive in the NFC and are more hungry.
Oakland 2, Cleveland 0, OT
Very sadly, both of these teams have beaten the Steelers this season. That won’t matter when the playoffs start, but it stinks regardless. This is going to be a snoozefest and a squeaker.
Cincinnati 25, San Diego 18
The Chargers somehow managed to let the Ravens convert a fourth-and-29 last week and eventually lost in overtime. How you recover from that, I don’t know. Chalk one up for the Bengals.
Pittsburgh 17, Baltimore 14
This is the one. Actually, the Steelers have to have this one and every other one until the end of the regular season. Now that Mike Tomlin has settled on Jonathan Dwyer at running back, look for Pittsburgh to run with success early and often.
Philadelphia 21, Dallas 8
The Eagles get two night games in a row? You have to be kidding me. I understand these are made ahead of time, but can’t we do something about it? Another chance for the Cowboys to find a way to lose.
Washington 30, N.Y. Giants 29
If Robert Griffin III can pull this one off, he really should be in the consideration for MVP. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a rookie come into the league and perform this week right away at the QB position. The Giants are falling, but we all are waiting for their run.
Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at Rine@theintelligencer.net