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Green Bay vs. Houston
I think Green Bay will win this game. They are the better team and are at home, so it would be very hard to pick Houston. I don’t think Houston’s offense can really score more than 21 on any defense, especially on the road. So the question then becomes, can Aaron Rodgers score around 24 points (that will easily be enough to win)? And the answers is obviously yes. Even though the Packers have been playing poorly, Aaron Rodgers is still putting up big numbers and playing good football. The discrepancy at QB and having Houston be on the road is the difference, so I will easily take the Packers in this game.
Houston and Green Bay Playoff Picture
In the grand scheme of things, this win will help the Packers get to 7-5 and drop the Texans to 6-6. I think Houston will slowly fall out of playoff contention and the Colts will snatch the AFC South. The lead is getting smaller and the season will probably ride on their game next week in Indianapolis (winner of that game will probably go on to win the division). I expect Indianapolis to win because they have a much better quarterback and they are at home (same reasons why I like the Packers this weekend as well).
In respect to the Packers, I expect them to get back into the playoff picture. They have a slightly easier schedule coming up than the Lions do (the Lions actually have quite a difficult schedule, at NO, at NYG, and at DAL), but the Packers have 2 games to make up. Therefore, I think the Packers will be tied with the Lions going into week 17, but the Packers will lose on the road to Detriot in that week 17 matchup for two reasons. Lions are at home with the better defense and all-around team, and Stafford has been better than Rodgers in 2016 (but that could easily change if the Packers really heat up over the next 4 weeks).
Buy or Sell, Miami Dolphins?
It is hard to not buy the Dolphins with them winning 6 straight, but it is still a challenge for them to make the playoffs. They are another team who has a very tough schedule down the stretch (at Baltimore, Arizona, at Jets, at Buffalo and the Patriots). Their only easy game is the Jets, and that game is still on the road. Best case scenario, they will win 3 out of their last 5 games, which would get them to 10 wins. At 10 wins they would have a very good shot at winning the tiebreaker over Denver (I see Denver getting to 10 wins as well) . If Miami can get to the 10 win mark, then I believe they will get in, but that is no easy task with their schedule. Their biggest opponent (in the wild card race), Denver, still has Oakland, at Tennessee, New England and at Kansas City. It will be hard for them to get 2 out 4 of those wins which is what would be needed to get to 10 wins (their other game is JAX, I am counting that as a win). So honestly, I still think Denver is the much better team, but Miami will probably sneak in over Denver just because of Miami’s strength of schedule and momentum. However, I still don’t quite buy Miami and think whoever they face in the first round of the playoffs (probably at Pittsburgh) they will get handled easily. Tannehill is wildly inconsistent every year and it will catch up to him at some point this season. Stats wise, Miami has an average defense and a below average offense, so it is very surprising they have 7 wins at this point in the season. That being said, there one equalizer is if Tannehill keeps his recent elite play up (I think unlikely) and they are able to dominate with their running game with Jay Ajayi and keep other team’s offenses off the field.
Ryan is currently a student at the University of North Carolina. He grew up in the Bay Area and has had Raiders season tickets his entire life fostering his love for the NFL. He has founded his own sports website, thejrreport.com and works at the Sports Desk for the Daily Tar Heel. You can follow Ryan on twitter @rytime98 if you want to discuss anything sports.