Fire and Ice Week 11


Jake Elliott and Grayson Heflin

Fire and Ice Week 11

With over half the season in our rearview mirror, we, as football fans, can reflect upon the season. Many of our pre-season predictions have been correct so far: Cleveland is the worst team in the NFL, the Patriots are really good, and the Denver defense is incredible. Many things, however, are the exact opposite of what we expected: the Panthers are below .500, Tony Romo is healthy yet benched for Dak Prescott and the Titans may actually be poised for a playoff berth if they don’t blow it. In the homestretch of the season now, we will begin to see teams fight for playoff positioning or a chance to even make the post-season.


Jake: 54-53



Pittsburgh (4-5)  @ Cleveland (0-10)

Jake: The Browns are terrible at football. This is a fact. The Steelers, who entered the season as a Super Bowl favorite, have had a disappointing season; however, playing the Browns this week shouldn’t pose much of a threat. PIT:30 CLE:10

Grayson: Cleveland has a great chance to go 0-16 this season and I can’t  see them playing spoiler to the Steelers, who lost a heartbreaker to Ezekiel Elliott last Sunday. The Steelers were clicking on offense last week and, if Big Ben can get some help from his defense, they have a great chance at turning their season around. Needless to say, Pittsburgh should blow out the Browns, look for a big game from Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. PIT: 47 CLE: 27


Baltimore (5-4) @ Dallas (8-1)

Jake: Dallas enters being considered by many to be the best team in the NFL. Baltimore has been right about what I expected: an average team. I expect this be a close game, but with the way Dak Prescott, and Zeke Elliott are playing right now, beating Dallas will be tough. DAL:31 BAL:24

Grayson: Dallas is red hot and at this point I don’t think that any AFC North team can beat them if Pittsburgh can’t. Baltimore is playing better again and back on the right track, but, alas, this week it simply won’t be enough to stop rookie sensations Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. It is interesting, however, to follow the Tony Romo storyline and his emotions regarding officially becoming Prescott’s backup. DAL:30 BAL:23


Jacksonville (2-7)  @ Detroit (5-4)

Jake: The Jags have been a major disappointment. The Lions have surprised many, as they find themselves in first place of the NFC North. Matt Stafford is playing the best football of his career; meanwhile, Blake Bortles has left the Jags wondering if he really is their quarterback of the future. Detroit should take this one. DET:26 JAX:20

Grayson: The Jaguars firing their offensive coordinator has proven to not be as helpful as Gus Bradley had in mind. They are playing slightly better, but Blake Bortles will need to work on his mechanics in the off season and improve for next year. I doubt that the Jags have much of a chance remaining this year to make the playoffs. The Lions are coming coming off of a bye and playing at home. Big game from Theo Riddick. DET:37 JAX:30


Tennessee (5-5)  @ Indianapolis (4-5)

Jake: Who leads the NFL in points per game the past four weeks? That would go to the Titans. Led by Marcus Mariota, the Titans have been straight balling, with a real chance to keep that going this week. The Colts, who despite Andrew Luck putting together the best season of his career, have struggled. I expect the Titans to keep it going. TEN:38 IND:24

Grayson: The Titans have impressed me as of late, and, with the Colts history this year of blowing fourth quarter leads, I would expect that the Colts will be up by about 6 with 5 minutes to play and blow a lead off a pass to Demarco Murray. Expect a big game from T.Y. Hilton and Kendall Wright. TEN: 35 IND:34


Buffalo (4-5)  @ Cincinnati (3-5-1)

Jake: The Bengals have not been good this year. Neither has Buffalo. I don’t expect this to be much of a game. I give the Bills the edge due to the fact that LeSean McCoy is returning fully healthy from a hamstring ailment. BUF:17 CIN:7

Grayson: Cincinnati just can’t get out of their own way, coming off a bye and getting healthy, look for Buffalo to expose their east/west defense of the run game with a now-healthy LeSean McCoy. The one concern for Buffalo is their lack of a passing attack– without Sammy Watkins they’re having to rely on Percy Harvin, a  retired player, pulling a Brett Favre to come back and help them out. Cincinnati has a superior pass attack but a worse run game, it should be close but I like Buffalo’s secondary a bit more. BUF:24 CIN:17


Tampa Bay (4-5)  @ Kansas City (7-2)

Jake: Kansas City has been playing great lately due to their great defense led by Justin Houston, Eric Berry, and Dontari Poe. Enter the inconsistent Bucs. Jameis Winston has been incredibly inconsistent, on the other hand Mike Evans has been absolute beast. I don’t expect he’ll be enough for the Bucs to win. KC:24 TB:14

Grayson: Kansas City has been firing off all cylinders lately and I don’t expect this to stop. Getting Doug Martin back will be helpful but not for the next two weeks, KC and SEA will be tough matchups for him after getting healthy. Look for Mike Evans to provide all if any of Tampa Bay’s offense this week in a boring game with slow or ineffective offenses. KC:20 TB:16


Chicago (2-7)@ New York (6-3)

Jake: The Giants are on a roll, riding a four game win streak into Sunday’s game led by Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants, who are taking on the lifeless Bears, shouldn’t have much trouble with this one. NYG:24 CHI:7

Grayson: The Bears season is just one huge roller coaster– you get on and expect it to be awesome, there are flames on the sides and it has corkscrews galore, yet you get on and its max speed is five MPH. They just keep having such high expectations, then fall short, and now with losing Alshon Jeffery for four weeks due to the substance abuse policy, it doesn’t really matter who they play. NYG:35 CHI:23


Arizona (4-4-1) @ Minnesota (5-4)

Jake: The Vikings have really fallen off after their 5-0 start. Arizona just hasn’t been able to get going this year; I expect this to be a competitive game. At the end of the day David Johnson will be too much for the Vikings front seven, as the Vikings fall to 5-5. ARI:24 MIN:20

Grayson: Minnesota has dropped four straight after starting off the season on a tear. If their defense can show up and play like they did at the beginning of the year, this will be a long game for Arizona. But, if they give David Johnson too much space, he will have yet another 100+ total yardage game and help the Cards pick up a much needed win. The key matchup will be the minnesota receivers against the Arizona secondary. ARI:33 MIN:24


Miami (5-4) @ Los Angeles (4-5)

Jake: Dear Todd Gurley, remember you’re an NFL player, not a ballerina. Hit the hole and get up field. Jared Goff will be getting the first start of his career as the Rams take on the Dolphins who have suddenly caught fire. I don’t expect anything to change Sunday. MIA:20 STL:10

Grayson: Where oh where has Todd Gurley gone this year? At this point given the Los Angeles offensive line, I would recommend him switching his career focus to professional hide and seek player because he sure has disappeared this season. Maybe starting Jared Goff will provide a spark? I think not. The Dolphins have been running the ball hard these last few weeks and even with the underrated Rams defensive line, I still like the Dolphins in this one. MIA:37 LA: 23


New England (7-2) @ San Francisco (1-8)

Jake: Anyone seen how well Colin Kaepernick has been playing lately? Well that more than likely won’t continue this week. The Pats who enter without Gronk won’t struggle at all, with Martellus Bennett taking over as the starter. New England shouldn’t struggle too much. NE:50 SF:17

Grayson: This one is a no brainer and a silly pick. Tom Brady will be without Gronk, yes, but there’s no need to fear, Marty B is here! The loss of Rob Gronkowski will stink, yet they still have a great tight end in Martellus Bennett. San Francisco doesn’t have any huge playmakers on offense, their only bright points being Jeremy Kerley and Carlos Hyde, you don’t have to be a psychic to predict a comfortable New England victory. NE:41 SF:27


Philadelphia (5-4) @ Seattle (6-2-1)

Jake: Seattle was able to hold the Pats out of the end zone and win in the closing seconds last week in a huge win. Here come the Eagles into Seattle this week. I don’t expect this one to be too competitive as Seattle continues its hot streak. SEA:31 PHI:17

Grayson: Seattle held off the Patriots last week, so I expect them to keep the ball rolling this week.  Philadelphia wins thanks to their run game opening up everything else and Seattle will shut that down. Look for Thomas Rawls as he plays in his first game back from injury, also don’t expect a huge game from Jimmy Graham as Philadelphia hasn’t been overly kind to opposing tight ends. SEA:24 PHI:17


Green Bay (4-5) @ Washington (5-4-1)

Jake: Washington was able to hold off the Vikings last week. Green Bay has struggled to get anything going. They have to eventually; I expect it will be this week as they win a shootout in Washington. GB: 34 WAS:31

Grayson: Washington ran hard against Minnesota last week and played good enough defense to help close out the game. Aaron Rodgers will certainly be a big test for the Redskins. Rob Kelly will be one to watch, looking to see if he can replicate his success he has had in the past two weeks after taking over the starting role as Washington’s lead back. The Packers don’t have much of a run game at this point so the key matchup will be Aaron Rodgers against the Washington secondary. WAS: 34 GB: 27


Houston (6-3) @ Oakland (7-2)

Jake: The NFL enters Mexico this week… anyone care? Nope, alright good, me too. The Texans 6-3 record is just inflated by them playing bad teams. Raiders should romp the Texans here. OAK:34 HOU:10

Grayson: Oakland has been hot as of late and Latavius Murray has been able to run the ball well. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree will stretch the field and make big plays, complementing a solid Oakland rush attack. Brock Osweiler still needs to prove to the nation that he was worth all of the money that Houston has paid them to be the quarterback of the future and to do that DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller will need to make plays and help him out. The key matchup will be the Oakland defensive front against Houston running back Lamar Miller. OAK:30 HOU:23