Friday, February 3, 2017

Super Bowl Prediction

Atlanta Falcons (12-5) vs New England Patriots (15-2)

Falcons come in on a six game winning streak. The offense ranked first in points per game in 2016 scoring an average of 33.8 points. This came behind the strong play of QB Matt Ryan who had a passer rating of 117.1 with 38 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. Wide receivers Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu put on stellar performances combining for 10 touchdowns during the season. Add to this the potent rushing attack behind running backs Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman who combined for 19 touchdowns during the season. While the defense finished ranked 15th against the run, they made marked improvement through the final six games of the season.

Patriots come in off an eight game winning streak. The offense ranked third in points per game and fourth in yards per game. QB Tom Brady finished 2016 with a passer rating of 112.2 completing 28 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The team has been able to overcome the loss of tight end Rob Gronkowski with outstanding performances from wide receivers Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan. Running back LeGarrette Blount rushed for 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016. The defense finished 2016 ranked first in scoring defense and third in rushing yards allowed per game.

These two teams are pretty evenly matched on offense which means the game will come down to turnovers and the power of the defense to stop the scoring. Patriots lead the series matchup 7-6 and will get their fifth Super Bowl win on Sunday. Prediction: Patriots

Thursday, February 2, 2017

How the Rooney Rule has helped bring record number of minority head coaches for 2017

The Rooney Rule is a NFL policy that requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. The rule is named after Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the chairman of the league's diversity committee. It was created as a reaction to the 2002 firings of head coaches Tony Dungy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dennis Green of the Minnesota Vikings. The rule has seen an increase of minority hires from six percent prior to its inception to 22 percent. The rule was expanded in 2009 to include front office executives including general managers.

2017 will see a record number of minority head coaches leading NFL teams. This year eight teams will have a minority head coach. Marvin Lewis with the Cincinnati Bengals, Todd Bowles with the New York Jets, Mike Tomlin with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jim Caldwell with the Detroit Lions, Hue Jackson with the Cleveland Browns and Ron Rivera with the Carolina Panthers will be joined by Anthony Lynn with the Los Angeles Chargers and Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos.

On top of the eight head coaches are the six African American general managers- Doug Whaley with the Buffalo Bills, Rick Smith with the Houston Texans, Jerry Reese with the New York Giants, Reggie McKenzie with the Oakland Raiders, Ozzie Newsome with the Baltimore Ravens and Chris Grier with the Miami Dolphins.

While this is a record number, the fact is that minority hires are still severely lacking and diversity in ownership is nearly nonexistent. While two-thirds of NFL players are African American, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan is the only minority to be the owner of a NFL franchise and since the Rooney Rule does not apply to ownership, this fact is likely to remain unchanged. Eight head coaches and six general managers may be minorities, the remaining 24 head coaches and 26 general managers still remain white. The league is also more likely to give white head coaches second chances even when minority head coaches have better winning percentages than their white counterparts.While we can applaud the efforts the league has made to improve diversity in the coaching ranks, the NFL has a long way to go to reflect the faces of its players and viewers and give equal opportunity to minorities.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Conference Championship predictions

Green Bay Packers (10-6) vs Atlanta Falcons (11-5)

Packers come in off a win last week against the Cowboys. The team is riding high on an eight game winning streak. QB Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 40 touchdowns and just seven interceptions this season and has a passer rating of 104.2. The defense finished the season ranked 11th in takeaways.

Falcons come in off a win last week against the Seahawks. The team is on a five game winning streak. QB Matt Rayn threw 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2016 and has a passer rating of 117.1. The defense finished the season ranked 15th against the run.

Packers lead the series matchup 17-14 and despite the Falcons home field advantage, will get the win on Sunday. Prediction: Packers

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) vs New England Patriots (14-2)

Steelers come in off a win last week against the Chiefs.QB Ben Roethlisberger has thrown 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with a passer rating of 95.4 in 2016. The defense finished 2016 ranked third in yards allowed per game.

Patriots come in off a win last week against the Texans. QB Tom Brady threw for 28 touchdowns and two interceptions in 2016 and finished with a passer rating of 112.2. The defense finished 2016 ranked first in points allowed per game.

Steelers lead the series matchup 15-14 but Patriots will get the win at home on Sunday. Prediction: Patriots

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Marijuana use and the NFL

In 2011 I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. During chemotherapy I was prescribed OxyContin to help deal with the pain from both the chemo drugs and the bone marrow stimulant that caused excruciating pain in my chest and lower back. The drug didn't make the pain go away, rather I was too high to notice I was in pain. When the high would start to wear off the pain would return along with fever, chills, sweating, nausea and vomiting. This was explained to me as withdrawl from the OxyContin and the only thing that would make the symptoms stop was the next dose of OxyContin. After three days of being high and crashing hard, I had enough. I spent two days sick in bed neither eating nor sleeping nor taking my medication. Finally on the third day a friend called and offered to help. He showed up that night with a batch of edibles (marijuana infused baked goods). Upon the first dose I felt the pain slip from my body and the hunger return. I was able to eat food and keep it down for the first time in three days. I slept through the night without pain or nausea. It helped me through the last several months of chemotherapy. Even now cannabidiol (known as CBD oil) helps with my severe migraines that often leave me in so much pain I have to sleep on the bathroom floor. Marijuana does wonders without causing the complications of opiod drugs.

The view on the benefits of marijuana for medicinal purposes have slowly been changing in the United States in the last several years. Marijuana is legal in 28 states for medicinal purposes including several states that host NFL teams. However, the NFL has continued to take a strong stance against the drug. While the league increased its minimum positive testing limit from 15 ng/mL to 35 ng/mL, the limit is still below every other professional sport and a hindrance to players who need the drug in order to live and function normally.

Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson is one such player. Henderson suffers from Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract. He had two surgeries to remove parts of his intestines due to the disease. Because of the surgeries, Henderson could not take traditional pain killers as drugs such as Toradol can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Instead, medicinal marijuana helped Henderson to deal with the pain. Unfortunately, while the NFL has a therapeutic use exemption for the use of Adderall by players with ADHD, the league does not have an exemption for medicinal marijuana use, so in so doing, even for a medically approved reason, Henderson was suspended by the league for 10 games in 2016.

For many years the go to drug for pain management in the NFL was Toradol  While the side effects from Toradol include upset stomach, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea the league never studied the long term effects of the drug on players including whether or not the blood thinning properties would cause damage to the brain. In recent years, many teams have switched to stronger more effective pain medications including opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. However, the use of opioids has brought about a new set of complications.With prolonged use, pain-relieving effects of opioids lessen and pain can become worse causing a player to take higher doses in more frequent intervals. In addition to being less effective, the body can develop dependence on the drug. Opioid dependence causes withdrawal symptoms, which makes it difficult to stop taking them and addiction to the drug occurs. Also, opioids can cause respiratory depression so players run the risk of overdosing.

According to an ESPN story, which published findings by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, retired NFL players misuse opioids at a rate more than four times higher than the general population. 52 percent of the players surveyed admitted to using the drugs during their playing days with 71 percent admitting to abusing them. According to an Associated Press story, a class-action lawsuit being brought by 1,800 former NFL players claim they were encouraged by medical and training staff  of NFL teams to abuse painkillers and continue to play without regard to the long term effects the drugs would have on their health.

With such high risks involved in the use of opioids, the league must look to alternative forms of treatment for pain management. Medicinal marijuana advocates such as former NFL player Eugene Monroe feel that cannabis can be just as effective as the prescription pain medications used by the league today, without the long term adverse effects that those drugs can cause. Monroe, along with Doctors For Cannabis Regulation,  have openly requested that the league reconsider its policy on marijuana. Now is the time for the league to finally make a consideration for it.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The six head coach openings

Buffalo Bills- Bills made the decision to part ways with both head coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan before the last game of the season. Bills finished 15-17 in the two years under Ryan. The team is looking to unload QB Tyrod Taylor in the offseason to avoid paying his $27.5 million contract in 2017. The new coach will have QBs EJ Manuel and Cardale Jones if the team is able to unload Taylor.

Despite the issue at the quarterback position, the team has a strong rushing game behind running back LeSean McCoy. The run defense however finished ranked 27th so the new defensive coordinator will have issues to address immediately on their defense.  The team will likely hire an offensive minded head coach who can work through the issues at quarterback.

Denver Broncos- Gary Kubiak made the decision to step down from coaching which caught many by surprise. Kubiak is one year removed from winning Super Bowl 50, however, after having continuing health problems, he made the decision that it was best for him to leave coaching. Kubiak had suffered a complex migraine condition back in October which kept him away from the team for a week and a mini-stroke back in 2014 when he was the Texans head coach.

While the coaching opening is a surprise to the organization, the team has already made the decision not to promote any of the coordinators or coaching assistants to head coach which gives the team the opportunity to search outside the organization. The team has the number one ranked passing defense, but the 23rd ranked rushing defense which means the new coach will need to rush issues on the defensive line. On top of the issues on defense, the team will need to fix issues on the offensive line that saw both QB Trevor Siemian and running back C.J. Anderson go down with injuries. The team will also need to draft or sign a running back to backup C.J. Anderson next season. The team finished 8-8 in 2016  because of the lack of a healthy run game and the problems on run defense.With Wade Phillips at defensive coordinator the team needs an offensive minded coach to replace Kubiak.

Jacksonville Jaguars- Jaguars fired head coach Gus Bradley two weeks before the end of the season. The team finished 3-13 in 2016. The team made tremendous strides on defense last offseason and finished ranked seventh overall. There biggest issues were spending too much time on the field at the end of the games because of a week offense. This fell squarely on the shoulders of QB Blake Bortles. Bortles threw 16 interceptions in 2016. Add this to a paltry running game where running backs T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory combined for a lowly four touchdowns all season. The team will need to address the quarterback issue this offseason and an offensive minded head coach would be the best decision for the team.

Los Angeles Rams- Rams fired head coach Jeff Fisher after a loss in Week 14. The Rams finished 4-12 in 2016. The team banked on rookie QB Jared Goff. This leaves the team without any first round draft picks in 2017 so will need to make improvements through free agency including re-signing their own key free agents. The team's defense finished ranked sixth overall meaning their biggest issues will be to address their offensive woes. This includes fixing issues at offensive line that left QB Case Keenum injured. With a strong defense, the best decision for the team would be to get an offensive focused head coach who can improve the team without draft picks.

San Diego Chargers- Chargers fired head coach Mike McCoy after the last game of the season. The team finished 5-11 in 2016. With a strong passing game behind QB Philip Rivers and tight ends Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry, the team's biggest needs are on defense. The team finished ranked 18th in total defense in 2016. The team runs a base 3-4 defense that suffered numerous injuries during the season. A defensive minded head coach would be able to parlay the seventh overall draft pick into a defensive player ready to play next season.

San Francisco 49ers- 49ers fired head coach Chip Kelly after the final game of the season. Kelly was the head coach for only one season so his firing came as a surprise to many despite the team's dismal 2-14 record in 2016. The defense finished the season ranked fourth against the run which speaks to the strength of the defensive line but the secondary was often beat on the long pass. The team will also have to make a decision on their QB dilemma. The team will either need to support QB Colin Kaepernick going forward or unload him on a team in need of a QB that has played uneven in the last several seasons. They will also need to decide what to do with QB Blaine Gabbert who played poorly in 2016 and was eventually benched for Kaepernick. The team may need to go in a different direction altogether and draft a QB with the second overall pick they currently hold as well as address the issues at wide receiver if the team makes the decision to release wide receiver Torrey Smith. All this suggests that the team needs to find an offensive minded head coach who can address the numerous issues that currently plague the team.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wild Card Weekend Predictions

Oakland Raiders (12-4) vs Houston Texans (9-7)

Raiders come in off a loss last week to the Broncos. After injuries to QBs Derek Carr and Matt McGloin QB Connor Cook will get the start on Saturday. Cook completed 14 of 21 for 150 yards one touchdown and two interceptions in Week 17. Wide receiver Amari Cooper made 83 receptions for 1,153 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Runnning back Latavius Murray rushed for 788 yards on 195 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2016. The defense ranks 25th against the run and pass.

Texans come in off a loss last week to the Titans. QB Tom Savage is still under concussion protocol so QB Brock Osweiler will get the start on Saturday. Osweiler completed 301 of 510 for 2,957 yards and 15 touchdowns. The defense ranks fifth in yards allowed per game.

Texans lead the series matchup 6-4 but Raiders will get the win on Saturday. Prediction: Raiders

Detroit Lions (9-7) vs Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1)

Lions come in off a loss last week to the Packers. QB Matthew Stafford completed 388 of 594 for 4,327 yards and 24 touchdowns this season. Wide receiver Golden Tate made 91 receptions for 1,077 yards and four touchdowns in 2016.

Seahawks come in off a win last week against the 49ers. QB Russell Wilson completed 353 of 546 for 4,219 yards and 21 touchdowns. The defense ranks second against the run. Running back C.J. Prosise is out for the matchup.

Seahawks lead the series matchup 8-5 and will get the win on Saturday. Prediction: Seahawks

Miami Dolphins (10-6) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)

Dolphins come in off a loss last week to the Patriots.With QB Ryan Tannehill still healing from a shoulder injury, QB Matt Moore will get the start on Sunday. Moore completed 55 of 87 for 721 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry mad 94 receptions for 1,136 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Jay Ajayi rushed for 1,272 yards on 260 carries and eight touchdowns this season. The defense ranks 10th against the pass.

Steelers come in off a win last week against the Browns. QB Ben Roethlisberger completed 328 of 509 for 3,819 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2016. Wide receiver Antonio Brown made 106 receptions for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Running back Le'Veon Bell rushed for 1,268 yards on 261 carries and seven touchdowns. The defense ranks fifth in rushing yards allowed per game.

The series matchup is tied at 13 games apiece but Steelers will get the win at home on Saturday. Prediction: Steelers

New York Giants (11-5) vs Green Bay Packers (10-6)

Giants come in off a win last week against the Redskins. QB Eli Manning completed 377 of 598 for 4,027 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2016. Wide receiver Odell Beckham made 101 receptions for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. The defense ranks 14th in yards allowed per game.

Packers come in off a win last week against the Lions.QB Aaron Rodgers completed 401 of 610 for 4,428 yards and 40 touchdowns in 2016. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson made 97 receptions for 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. The defense ranks 11th in takeaways.

Packers lead the series matchup 32-26-2 and will get the win at home on Sunday. Prediction: Packers

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Week 17 Predictions

Baltimore Ravens (8-7) vs Cincinnati Bengals (5-9-1)

Ravens come in off a loss last week to the Steelers. QB Joe Flacco completed 30 of 44 for 262 yards one touchdown and one interception. Wide receiver Steve Smith made seven receptions for 79 yards and one touchdown. The defense is ranked number two against the run. Linebacker Zachary Orr and cornerback Jimmy Smith are out for the matchup.

Bengals come in off a loss last week to the Texans.QB Andy Dalton completed 28 of 41 for 268 yards one touchdown and one interception. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell made six receptions for 130 yards and one touchdown. The defense ranks 24th overall. Offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, tight end Tyler Eifert, wide receiver A.J. Green and guard Clint Boling are out and tight end Tyler Kroft and linebacker Vontaze Burfict are doubtful for the game.

Ravens lead the series matchup 21-20 and will get the win on Sunday. Prediction: Ravens

Houston Texans (9-6) vs Tennessee Titans (8-7)

Texans come in off a win last week against the Bengals. QB Tom Savage completed 18 of 29 for 176 yards. Running back Alfred Blue rushed for 73 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown. The defense is ranked first overall. Linebackers Jadeveon Clowney and John Simon, fullback Jay Prosch and running back Lamar Miller are out for the game.

Titans come in off a loss last week to the Jaguars. The team lost QB Marcus Mariota for the season with a broken leg. QB Matt Cassel completed 13 of 24 for 124 yards one touchdown and one interception. The defense ranks 20th overall. QB Marcus Mariota, defensive end Medhi Abdesmad and defensive lineman Karl Klug are out for the game.

Titans lead the series matchup 15-14 but Texans will get the win Sunday. Prediction: Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12) vs Indianapolis Colts (7-8)

Jaguars come in off a win last week against the Titans. QB Blake Bortles completed 26 of 38 for 325 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Allen Robinson made nine receptions for 147 yards. Running back Chris Ivory rushed for one touchdown. The defense ranks seventh overall. Defensive tackle Jordan Hill, linebacker Sean Porter and running back T.J. Yeldon will be out for the game.

Colts come in off a loss last week to the Raiders. QB Andrew Luck completed 19 of 29 for 288 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton made four receptions for 105 yards. The defense ranks 31st overall. Cornerback Darius Butler is out and wide receiver Donte Moncrief is doubtful for the game.

Colts lead the series matchup 21-10 and will get the win Sunday. Prediction: Colts

New England Patriots (13-2) vs Miami Dolphins (10-5)

Patriots come in off a win last week against the Jets. QB Tom Brady completed 17 of 27 for 214 yards and three touchdowns with one going to running  back James White. Running back LeGarrette Blount rushed for two touchdowns. The defense ranks second in total defense. Wide receiver Danny Amendola and cornerback Cyrus Jones are out and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell is doubtful for the game.

Dolphins come in off a win last week against the Bills. QB Matt Moore completed 16 of 30 for 233 yards two touchdowns and one interception. Wide receiver DeVante Parker made four receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown. Running back Jay Ajayi rushed for 206 yards on 32 carries and one touchdown. The defense ranks 10th against the pass. QB Ryan Tannehill is out and linebacker Jelani Jenkins and cornerback Byron Maxwell are doubtful for the game. Safety Isa Abdul-Quddus is done for the season.

Dolphin lead the series matchup 53-49 but Patriots will get the win on Sunday. Prediction: Patriots

Chicago Bears (3-12) vs Minnesota Vikings (7-8)

Bears come in off a loss last week to the Redskins. QB Matt Barkley completed 24 of 40 for 323 yards two touchdowns and five interceptions. Wide receiver Cameron Meredith made nine receptions for 135 yards and one touchdown. Running back Jordan Howard rushed for 119 yards on 18 carries. The defense ranks last in yards allowed per game.Linebacker Leonard Floyd is doubtful for the matchup.

Vikings come in off a loss last week to the Packers. QB Sam Bradford completed 34 of 50 for 382 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Adam Thielen made 12 receptions for 202 yards and two touchdowns. The defense ranks third in yards allowed per game. Safety Andrew Sendejo and running back Adrian Peterson are out and wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and guard Alex Boone are doubtful for the matchup.

Vikings lead the series matchup 57-52-2 and will get the win Sunday. Prediction: Vikings

Buffalo Bills (7-8) vs New York Jets (4-11)

Bills come in off a loss last week to the Dolphins.The team fired head coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan this week and will be starting QB EJ Manuel in the season finale. The defense ranks 27th against the run. Offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and cornerback Stephon Gilmore are out for the game.

Jets come in off a loss last week to the Patriots. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick completed eight of 21 for 136 yards and two interceptions. The defense ranks 30th against the pass. Running back Matt Forte, defensive tackle Steve McLendon, linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin, QB Bryce Petty, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and running back Khiry Robinson are out and cornerback Nick Marshall is doubtful for the game.

Bills lead the series matchup 60-52 and will get the win on Sunday. Prediction: Bills

Dallas Cowboys (13-2) vs Philadelphia Eagles (6-9)

Cowboys come in off a win last week against the Lions. QB Dak Prescott completed 15 of 20 for 212 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Dez Bryant made four receptions for 70 yards two receiving touchdowns and one passing touchdown to tight end Jason Witten. Running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 80 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. The defense ranks third against the run. Defensive lineman Cedric Thornton, defensive tackles Tyrone Crawford and Terrell McClain, defensive ends Ryan Davis and DeMarcus Lawrence, linebacker Justin Durant and cornerback Morris Claiborne are out for the matchup.

Eagles come in off a win last week against the Giants. QB Carson Wentz completed 13 of 24 for 152 yards one touchdown and one interception with the lone touchdown going to wide receiver Nelson Agholor. Running back Darren Sproles rushed for one touchdown.The defense ranks eighth in total defense. Running back Ryan Matthews is out and guard Allen Barbre is doubtful for the game.

Cowboys lead the series matchup 65-50 and will win on Sunday. Prediction: Cowboys

Cleveland Browns (1-14) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5)

Browns come in off a win last week against the Chargers. QB Robert Griffin III completed 17 of 25 for 164 yards. Running back Isaiah Crowell rushed for two touchdowns. The defense ranks 31st in total defense. Defensive back Trey Caldwell is out for the matchup.

Steelers come in off a win last week against the Ravens. QB Ben Roethlisberger completed 24 of 33 for 279 yards three touchdowns and two interceptions. Wide receiver Antonio Brown made 10 receptions for 96 yards and one touchdown. Running back Le'Veon Bell rushed for 122 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown. The defense ranks fifth in rushing yards allowed per game. Tight end Ladarius Green, safety Robert Golden and defensive end Stephon Tuitt are out for the game.

Steelers lead the series matchup 71-58 and will win at home on Sunday. Prediction: Steelers

Carolina Panthers (6-9) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7)

Panthers come in off a loss last week to the Falcons.QB Cam Newton completed 18 of 43 for 198 yards one touchdown touchdown and two interceptions. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin made four receptions for 63 yards and one touchdown. The defense ranks second against the run. Defensive ends Charles Johnson and Ryan Delaire, QB Derek Anderson, wide receiver Devin Funchess, linebacker Luke Kuechly and safety Tre Boston are out for the matchup.

Buccaneers come in off a loss last week to the Saints.QB Jameis Winston completed 23 of 35 for 277 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions. Wide receiver Mike Evans made seven receptions for 97 yards and one touchdown. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for 63 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown. The defense ranks fifth in yards allowed per game. Defensive end William Gholston, running backs Charles Sims and Doug Martin, tight end Cameron Brate and cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah are out for the game.

Panthers lead the series matchup 20-12 but Buccaneers will get the win on Sunday. Prediction:

New Orleans Saints (7-8) vs Atlanta Falcons (10-5)

Saints come in off a win last week against the Buccaneers. QB Drew Brees completed 23 of 34 for 299 yards and one touchdown to running back Travaris Cadet. Running back Mark Ingram rushes for 90 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns. The defense ranks 25th in yards allowed per game. Cornerback Ken Crawley is out for the game.

Falcons come in off a win last week against the Panthers. QB Matt Ryan completed 27 of 33 for 277 yards and two touchdowns with one going to tight end Josh Perkins. Running back Tevin Coleman rushed for 90 yards on nine carries and one touchdown. The defense ranks 15th against the run. Tight end Austin Hooper and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel are out for the game.

Falcons lead series matchup 50-45 and will get the win at home on Sunday. Prediction: Falcons

Oakland Raiders (12-3) vs Denver Broncos (8-7)

Raiders come in off a win last week against the Colts. QB Derek Carr has been lost for the season with a broken fibula. QB Matt McGloin will get the start on Sunday. Running back DeAndre Washington rushed for 99 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. The defense ranks 25th against the run and pass. Offensive tackle Austin Howard, linebacker Aldon Smith and QB Derek Carr are out and safety Karl Joseph is doubtful for the game.

Broncos come in off a loss last week to the Chiefs. QB Trevor Siemian completed 17 of 43 for 183 yards and one interception. Running back Justin Forsett rushed for one touchdown. The defense ranks first against the pass. Defensive end Derek Wolfe, tight end A.J. Derby, safety T.J. Ward, linebacker DeMarcus Ware and cornerback Kayvon Webster are out for the game.

Raiders lead the series matchup 62-50-2 and will get the win on Sunday. Prediction: Raiders

Arizona Cardinals (6-8-1) vs Los Angeles Rams (4-11)

Cardinals come in off a win last week against the Seahawks. QB Carson Palmer completed 16 of 26 for 284 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver J.J. Nelson made three receptions for 132 yards and one touchdown. Running back David Johnson rushed for 95 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns. The defense ranks first in total defense. Offensive tackle D.J. Humphries and safety Tony Jefferson are out for the game.

Rams come in off a loss last week to the 49ers. QB Jared Goff completed 11 of 24 for 90 yards one touchdown and two interceptions. Wide receiver Tavon Austin and running back Todd Gurley each rushed for one touchdown. The defense ranks sixth overall.Wide receiver Nelson Spruce is out and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner and wide receiver Kenny Britt are doubtful for the game.

The series matchup is tied 37-37-2 but Cardinals will get the win on Sunday. Prediction: Cardinals

Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) vs San Diego Chargers (5-10)

Chiefs come in off a win last week against the Broncos. QB Alex Smith completed 25 of 36 for 244 yards one passing touchdown one rushing touchdown and one interception. Tight end Travis Kelce made 11 receptions for 160 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill rushed for 95 yards on six carries and one touchdown. The defense ranks eighth in points allowed per game. Linebacker Justin Houston is out for the game.

Chargers come in off a loss last week to the Browns. QB Philip Rivers completed 23 of 46 for 322 yards two touchdowns and one interception. Tight end Antonio Gates made eight receptions for 94 yards and one touchdown. The defense ranks 18th in total defense.Running backs Kenneth Farrow, Melvin Gordon and Branden Oliver, cornerback Craig Mager and wide receiver Keenan Allen are out and offensive tackle King Dunlap is doubtful for the game.

Chiefs lead the series matchup 57-55-1 and will get the win on Sunday. Prediction: Chiefs

Seattle Seahawks (9-5-1) vs San Francisco 49ers (2-13)

Seahawks come in off a loss last week to the Cardinals.QB Russell Wilson completed 29 of 45 for 350 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin made 13 receptions for 171 yards and one touchdown. The defense ranks second against the run. Running back C.J. Prosise is out for the game. Wide receiver Tyler Lockett is done for the season.

49ers come in off a win last week against the Rams. QB Colin Kaepernick completed 28 of 37 for 266 yards two passing touchdowns one rushing touchdown and one interception. Wide receiver Rod Streater made six receptions for 63 yards and one touchdown. The defense ranks fourth against the run. Guard Andrew Tiller running back Carlos Hyde and center Marcus Martin are out for the game.

Seahawks lead the series matchup 21-15 and will get the win on Sunday. Prediction: Seahawks

New York Giants (10-5) vs Washington Redskins (8-6-1)

Giants come in off a loss last week to the Eagles. QB Eli Manning completed 38 of 63 for 356 yards one touchdown and three interceptions with the lone touchdown going to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Wide receiver Odell Beckham made 11 receptions for 150 yards. The defense ranks 14th in yards allowed per game. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and safety Nat Berhe are out for the game.

Redskins come in off a win last week against the Bears.QB Kirk Cousins completed 18 of 29 for 270 yards two rushing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Running back Chris Thompson made one touchdown reception and one rushing touchdown. The defense ranks 23rd overall. Cornerback Quinton Dunbar, safety Su'a Cravens, offensive lineman Vinston Painter and defensive back Donte Whitner are out for the game.

Giants lead the series matchup 98-67-4 and will get the win on Sunday. Prediction: Giants

Green Bay Packers (9-6) vs Detroit Lions (9-6)

Packers come in off a win last week against the Vikings. QB Aaron Rodgers completed 28 of 38 for 347 yards four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson made nine receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns. The defense ranks seventh against the run. Running back James Starks is out for the game.

Lions come in off a loss last week to the Cowboys. QB Matthew Stafford completed 26 of 46 for 260 yards and one interception. Tight end Eric Ebron made eight receptions for 93 yards. Fullback Zach Zenner rushed for 67 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns. The defense ranks 15th in points allowed per game. Running back Theo Riddick is out for the game. Defensive tackle Stefan Charles is done for the season.

Packers lead the series matchup 99-68-7 and will get the win on Sunday. Prediction: Packers