With just a few weeks left in the NFL season, the magnitude of each game continues to increase, so of course, this week’s action will be ratcheted up to an all-season high. The pressure is mounting for teams in the playoff hunt to win these all-important games at the end of the season. However, since we can’t highlight each one, we’ll look at a couple of the big ones this week and here they are.
Minnesota Vikings 6-5 at Green Bay Packers 7-4
With both teams coming off rough losses last week, they are in desperate need of a win this Sunday and unfortunately for one of them, they will come away empty. Green Bay was blasted by the Giants 38-10 a week ago, ending a five-game winnings streak and dropping the Pack from the top of the NFC North. They still control their own destiny, as they are currently in the driver’s seat for a wild card position, but a loss to Minnesota would hand over the reigns to the Vikes and put them in an even more dire situation.
Over the course of the last few weeks, it’s become very apparent that the Vikings are dependent on their running game and Adrian Peterson’s offensive production to win, whereas the Packers rely more on the aerial attack of Aaron Rodgers and his slew of talented receivers. Both teams defend the opposition’s strength fairly well. Green Bay is 11th against the run, giving up slightly more than 100 yards per game and Minnesota is 13th against the pass, allowing around 220 yards per contest.
This game should be pretty close, even with Green Bay at home, so I like Minnesota to cover the +10 spread here. I’ll give Green Bay the slight edge on the moneyline to win the game outright, but it probably won’t be worth it to take that bet. Instead, take the Vikings to cover the spread in a close loss.
New York Giants 7-4 at Washington Redskins 5-6
This week’s Monday night game should be a dandy, as the Redskins and Giants battle in the wide-open NFC East. Both teams are coming off big wins from last week. As stated earlier, the Giants took care of Green Bay in what was easily their best performance of the year. Although, they’e been inconsistent up until this point in the season, this is about the time they typically hit the accelerator. Meanwhile, the Skins outgunned the Cowboys, drawing even with Dallas for second place in the division and a win for Washington this week would pull them to within one game of the lead.
Robert Griffin III shined in the teams’ first meeting back in October, completing 20 of 28 throws for more than 250 yards, but it was the Giants who came out victorious 27-23. This time, the Skins have home field and they hope that will be enough of an edge to exact revenge of the G Men.
However, if you are going by the numbers, you have to give the edge to New York. The Giants not only score more points per game on average, but they also give up fewer. And considering this is the time of year when they usually take off, the young and inexperienced Skins may be in trouble.
I like the Giants to cover -1 this week and get the win. This will almost seal the deal in the East for New York, which will look to defend its Super Bowl title.