Second Half of the Regular Season in Full Swing- We have reached the point where things will soon get very interesting in the NFL. As the league enters it’s 10th week of play in the second weekend of November it wont be too long before playoff scenarios start to form and take shape. With the second half of the season in full swing, teams who are in the hunt know that the only way most of them will get to the post season is to recognize they must bring their “A-Game” to each and every game. There has already been much done in the way of separating the strongest teams from not only the weakest teams but even from the middle of the pack. Four of the eight current division leaders such as New England, Indianapolis, Seattle, and Kansas City are basically mortal locks for January. Teams such as Denver, San Francisco, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Carolina have a shot at their division but may need some help to take the lead or keep their current lead. Kansas City leads the Broncos by one game in the AFC West, however the Broncos are still favored in this division. Even if that were to happen, the Chiefs baring an unforeseeable collapse are going to be around in January for certain. In the NFC West Seattle escaped a major upset bid by Tampa who showed up and gave the Seahawks quite a game. However Seattle found a way to win and they will be a difficult team for the 49ers to catch. The 49ers need to find a way to keep winning up to their date with the Seahawks at Candlestick Park on December 8th (Week 14). Green Bay looked like a mortal post season lock until Aaron Rodgers went down with a fractured shoulder Monday night against the Chicago Bears. This added to Chicago’s 27-20 win at Lambeau Field and all of a sudden the NFC North is now a wide open three team race. With Rogers out at least three weeks, this could have the impact of completely altering the Packers season. If you have State Farm Insurance, don’t worry. This discount double check still applies even if Rogers is sidelined.
Match-ups of Interest- As for this weekend there are a number of games on tap that will certainly both fun and interesting watches. The Panthers vs 49ers game may be the best game of the day as you have two teams with strong post season ambitions after putting together decent and impressive winning streaks. Carolina comes into this game having won four in a row while the 49ers have won five straight. Both teams sat at 1-2 after Week 3. The Detroit Lions will take on the Bears on Chicago. Throw in some tigers and you get “Oh my!”. This game has the potential to shift the entire direction of the NFC North. Green Bay and Philadelphia with Rogers out, and the Eagles finding their offense last week in Oakland becomes a very interesting match up. The defending World Champions are on the ropes at 3-5 as the Ravens at home are in a must win against the AFC North Central leading Cincinnati Bengals. With a win the Bengals (6-3) will all but be a mortal lock for the division and January football. Dallas and New Orleans have the Sunday Night Marquee game on NBC. This match-up on paper may look like a convincing win for the Saints, however if the Cowboys can get out of their own way and not commit turnovers this could become quite the prime time match up.
Kingshark Line- Week 9 was not the KSL’s best weekend to be certain as it posted a 7-6 mark. Last week was more or less "Upset Sunday" though really some of these upsets were not all that surprising. If Tampa holds on against Seattle that changes much in the NFC West. If nothing else the Buccaneers proved true the adage of “On Any Given Sunday...” The KSL stands at 92-43, and is 1-0 this week after Minnesota’s 34-27 over the Washington Redskins on the Week 10 edition of Thursday Night Football. The Kingshark Line here went 28-24 for the Vikings. Minnesota was at home and overdue while we really weren’t that impressed with the Redskins on the whole. Week 10 will have it’s challenge with some games looking obvious. Again, as maybe in play for the rest of the season, just keep in mind “On Any Given Sunday...” Week 10 is also a bye week for the Browns, Chiefs, Patriots, and the Jets. Here’s how the Kingshark Line sees Week 10:
Philadelphia@Green Bay (FOX)- Up until Monday this game looked like a lock for the Packers. With Aaron Rogers out this game could take a decidedly different tone. Seneca Wallace now leads the Packers. The difference between Rogers and Wallace is the same difference between a Ferrari and a Ford Pinto. Wallace should not give any team confidence unless you are the opponent. The good news for Green Bay is that the rest of the offense is there and all Wallace has to do is keep it simple and get the ball to the right people. The bad news is that he is still Seneca Wallace. As for the Eagles, Nick Foles had his coming out party in Oakland last Sunday throwing for seven touchdowns against the hapless Raiders. The Eagles would be wise to stick with him as long as he is healthy. The Packers defense however is much better than the Raiders too and the Eagles will be very hard pressed to repeat what they did a week ago. However defensively the Packers have their issues too. All of that and yet somehow Green Bay still finds a way here being in need of this game. Packers 20 Eagles 17.
Jacksonville@Tennessee (CBS)- The Titans and Jaguars hook up in Nashville in an AFC South tilt. The Jags are coming off a bye week. The Titans are coming a win over the Rams which in someways is similar to a bye week. The Jaguars only good news is that the bye made it impossible to lose. The Titans need this one to keep in the running for a possible post season spot. Jacksonville will win again at some juncture, just not here. Titans 28 Jaguars 13.
Buffalo@Pittsburgh (CBS)- The Bills in Steelers meet in a match up of two teams that are desperate to find a win. The Bills lost a tough game at home to the undefeated Chiefs last week while the Steelers were getting their hats handed to them in New England. Honestly this game in the big scheme of things will have little in the way of post season implications for either team. However the Steelers still need the game just so they can feel they still have some shot in the second half after a 2-6 first half. The Steelers find a way to squeak past the Bills in what may turn out to be a fairly decent football game. Steelers 24 Bills 20.
Oakland@NY Giants (CBS)- The Giants are at home and coming off a bye week after an abysmal first half losing their first six games before winning their last two. The Raiders were doing okay for the season until last week when Philly came into Oakland and reminded everyone of how far the Silver and Black still have to go. The Raiders should have a better game here however are on the road against a team desperate to get back into their own divisional race in the NFC East. The Giants off of a bye should be well rested and better focused. The Raiders just don’t win games on the road as of late. Giants 24 Raiders 17.
Seattle@Atlanta (FOX)- When the schedule came out in April this looked like a good Week 10 match-up. Heading into this week Seattle is 7-1 and one of the NFL’s most dominant teams (last week not withstanding). Atlanta at 2-6 has had a horrible season where any chance they had of any serious post season contention may have ended with a bad two game road trip to Arizona and Carolina. The Falcons despite the injuries can still be a tough team to play in the Georgia Dome and they should be able to give the Seahawks a decent game. However Seattle right now is just too loaded and a decent game may be all the Falcons can offer at this point. Seahawks 30 Falcons 17.
St Louis@Indianapolis (FOX)- If Sam Bradford was healthy the Rams would at least have some chance here. In the same vain, if I had $20 million in the bank I’d be retired too. Kellen Clemens vs Andrew Luck. This is exactly what mismatches are made of. Blow out of the week here. Colts 35 Rams 13.
Cincinnati@Baltimore (CBS)- The Ravens come into this game off of a tough loss at Cleveland after a bye week. Baltimore offensively has just struggled for a good portion of the season. At 3-5 this game could be their last stand if they don’t win here. The Bengals are 6-3 but are coming off of a very strange game a week ago Thursday night where they lost in overtime to Miami on a safety. The Bengals have had a few days extra rest however are now coming into the teeth of their schedule in the second half. Do the Bengals have what it takes to maybe put the Ravens away for good in 2013? If Cincinnati can win here, it should springboard them towards the AFC North Division title. However they will have to earn it. Ravens last stand for 2013 stars now. The Bengals are just slightly a little suspect here still. Ravens 17 Bengals 16.
Detroit@Chicago (FOX)- With the Bears huge win in Green Bay this past Monday night (coupled with Aaron Rogers’ injury), the NFC North is now completely up for grabs (except for the Vikings). The Bears showed the rest of the football world last Monday night they can win a high stakes game on the road in a stadium that has been a past house of horrors. The Lions are coming off of a Week 9 bye and open up a difficult two game road trip starting in Chicago. The Lions in the past have had as much trouble playing in Chicago as the Bears have had playing in Green Bay. The Lions have shown they can stay with most any team and hang around just long enough to have a chance to win. The Bears however have shown they can have success by just sticking to their plan to begin with. The Lions got the last meeting in Week 4 at Detroit, the Bears even things up here. Bears 27 Lions 20.
Carolina@San Francisco (FOX)- This looks like the game of the day in the NFL as the 49ers with a five game winning streak take on the Panthers with a four game winning streak. Obviously something will have give here. Cam Newton has the Panthers offense firing on all cylinders. The Panthers are the toughest team to get off the field on third down situations. It does not hurt Carolina that they also have a top 10 defense. Colin Kaerpernick does not have the same stats that Cam Newton has, however he has been just as effective. The 49ers are running the ball better. Their passing game is okay but needs to be better. The 49ers also have a top ten defense to match Carolina’s. This game could truly could come down to who either has the ball last or who makes the most of their given opportunities. The 49ers are coming off a bye week and are well rested. They should be ready for this challenge. 49ers 34 Panthers 27 ... for more on this game go to this link... http://goldengatereport.com/articles/nfl-week-10-49ers-meet-the-carolina-panthers-at-candlestick
Denver@San Diego (CBS)- The Denver Broncos version of the greatest show on turf comes west to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The Broncos are 7-1 and surprisingly in 2nd place in the AFC West behind the undefeated Chiefs. Peyton Manning in his past visits to San Diego as a member of the Indianapolis Colts has only won at Qualcomm once in his career. However Manning, as good as teams as he had in Indianapolis, has a much better situation with the Broncos. Manning biggest problem here is that he has too many weapons (which needless to say is a nice problem to have). This time all the matchups here easily and decidedly favor the Broncos against the San Diego defense. On offense Phillip Rivers gives the Chargers some chance and he will do what he can to keep San Diego in this game. The Broncos are not the NFL’s best defense which can be their achilles heel. Unless something happens to Manning in the game however this one is really not going to be that close. Also factor in that the Broncos are coming off of a bye week where their Head Coach John Fox had to have emergency heart surgery. That raw emotion for the Broncos to win one for their head coach will be more than enough to overwhelm the Chargers here. Broncos 45 Chargers 31.
Houston@Arizona (CBS)- The Houston Texans look to snap their six game losing streak as they take on the 4-4 Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are also a well rested team this week coming off of a Week 9 bye. The Texans lost a tough game in the last moments at home to Indianapolis this past Sunday Night while their Head Coach Gary Kubiak suffered a “mild stroke” before halftime. The Texans will have a lot of emotion which can be turned into fuel and this gives them a good shot here. Case Keenum has come in taking the place of the injured Matt Schab and has held his own quite well. Meanwhile Arizona is starting the second half of their season looking for a way to get back in the NFC West race and sneak up to the 49ers and Seahawks. Carson Palmer has had by all accounts a decent year and has enough veteran experience to lead the Cardinals back. Truthfully the Cardinals, as far as getting back into the post season chase is concerned, would have a long ways to go and a short time to get there. The Cardinals at this point have more on the line here as the Texans know they are more than likely playing out the second half string and for jobs in 2014. Cardinals at home should come out on top. Cardinals 24 Texans 14.
Dallas@New Orleans (NBC)- This will be a fun game to watch also as two explosive offenses take the field at the Superdome for Sunday Night Football. The Saints are coming off of their poorest showing of the season playing a surprisingly bad game against the Jets in a six point loss. The Cowboys meanwhile struggled at home against a one win Vikings team before scoring the game winning touchdown in the last minute of the contest. The Cowboys have all the talent that any good team has. Most of the mistakes they have made are more of the mental variety than physical. If the Cowboys learn to get out of their own way they can be very dangerous. The Saints meanwhile know the performance they gave at the Meadowlands last Sunday was well below their own standards. It was just one of those days. Playing at home it’s really tough to envision the Saints having two bad games in a row. The Saints also have former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan who has seen enough of the Cowboys to give the Saints a very good scouting report. Drew Brees out duels Tony Romo, however this game will be close and back and forth for most of the evening. Saints 38 Cowboys 30.
Miami@Tampa Bay (ESPN)- Monday Night Football was once a proud brand. Now it’s the NFL dumping ground for games that are often times the worst match-up of the week. This is not intentional on ESPN’s part or the league, it just has worked out that way over time. For most die hard fans and gamblers in Las Vegas there is probably a reason to watch. Otherwise most of the country will be catching up on “Sleepy Hollow”. As for the game, the Buccaneers played their best game of the season in a close road loss at Seattle. Miami is a team that is on an uptick however they are enduring some serious growing pains right now. Tampa has to win sometime. It may seem cheap to some but this the KSL’s upset of the week. Buccaneers 24 Dolphins 23.
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*Mandatory Disclaimer: The Kingshark Line is stickily for entertainment purposes only. I have the same exact information that anyone else has and do not claim to know any more or less than the next guy. This is not to promote or encourage gambling on football or any other sport. No point spreads are played here or implied in any way. Scores are for entertainment purposes only and are only based on team trends, team reports, etc. There is no inside information given here or implied. This is just for your information and entertainment. Enjoy the games.