Buccaneers to beat the Colts
The Bucs are on a winning streak and Jameis Winston is starting to look like the real deal. This Thanksgiving, NFL fans in Tampa Bay are just thankful that they have a team that looks like it can compete! The Colts have not been totally ‘Luck-Less’ (Matt Hasselbeck has proved himself a worthy replacement), but their ageing squad is showing signs of predictability and tiredness. Expect them to fizzle out and the Bucs to keep the good times rolling in Tampa.
Vikings to beat the Falcons
Don’t be fooled by Atlanta’s tasty looking 6-4 record… This is a team on the brink after four losses in five and a developing penchant for conceding turnovers. This is a team that also looked good at points last year, but really, the good times seem to be papering over deep cracks in this franchise. The Vikings, on the other hand, have only lost to two Superbowl contenders this season (Broncos and Packers), and display the consistency against lesser teams that the Falcons wish they had. Atlanta’s only hope is getting the same luck on the passing rush as Green Bay did last time out, but Minnesota should cruise this one and put another nail in the Falcons’ coffin.
Steelers to beat the Seahawks
This, arguably, is the boldest call of the lot. Earlier in the season I suggested that the Seahawks may struggle to make the playoffs with the Cardinals looking so good, and this is something I stand by after 11 weeks of football. The Seahawks have a point to prove after losing to every serious playoff contender they have played so far. The Steelers provide the latest challenge, since they are looking very good for at least a wild-card spot. This will all come to one of the most intriguing one-on-one matchups of the season: Pittsburgh’s irresistible wide receiver Antonio Brown against Seattle’s NFL legendary cornerback Richard Sherman. With Antonio Brown in scintillating form and question marks still lurking over the Seahawks post-season potential, Pittsburgh will end Seattle’s season here.
Patriots to beat the Broncos
The Patriots are a 16-0 team. There, I said it. They have overcome injuries to key players and whilst they haven’t always looked invincible, you know what they say about teams that still win when they don’t play their best… Tom Brady has been the once constant this season, and that is no co-incidence. His experience and brilliance have been too much for all 10 teams they have played this season, and whilst the Broncos will provide them with their toughest test so far, Mr Brady isn’t about to relinquish his chances of a post deflate-gate perfect season. Brock Osweiler is proving that the Broncos have a future past Peyton Manning, and they are certainly a playoff team, but the Patriots have all the answers and will find away past Denver on Monday night.
SCOTT SIMPKIN is a UK sports journalist with a growing interest in sports in the US, particularly American football and baseball. He has previously contributed to publications including Palatinate Online and FourFourTwo.