With the apparent murder-suicide by Kansas City linebacker Jovan Belcher on Saturday http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/12/01/sports/football/01reuters-nfl-chiefs-shooting.html?partner=rss&emc=rss it throws the Panthers @ Chiefs game into doubt & means our selections are irrelevant.
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets
The Cardinals haven't won a game since week 4 meaning they're on a 7 game losing streak whilst the Jets have cobbled together an identical 4&7 record but with their wins more sporadic - they have at times looked laughable & some of their play last week against the Patriots was simply appalling.
(Not Mark Sanchez's finest moment on the football field)
The Cardinals started off the season brightly with good defense & doing just about enough on offense but injuries to their quarterbacks & general poor play from them has blighted their season & their lack of passing threat has also made it difficult to run the ball either with them ranking 30th in rushing yards. Rookie passer Ryan Lindley looks like he'll start his 2nd game this Sunday even after throwing 4 interceptions & no touchdowns against the Rams last week, Kevin Kolb is still unfit & the season's starting QB John Skelton is now completely out of favour & rightly so. Their running backs haven't stepped up to help the passers either although injury has again affected them with Beanie Wells & Ryan Williams both having prolonged periods out, LaRod Stephens-Howling has had most of the carries but only has 3.4 yards per attempt whilst they've seemed reluctant to use 1st year back William Powell even though he's done well when seen. Beanie Wells made his return last week & that could help them out a bit, they need their running game to get going against this defense that is poor at run blocking especially with their best receiver Andre Roberts struggling with injury.
This is an uninspiring game between two struggling sides but the Jets do have a semblance of hope with their remaining 5 games (including this one) against mediocre teams & although it would be close to a miracle they could still, just about, make the playoffs - we don't think they will though! With poor offenses but decent pass defenses this looks set to be a low scoring affair & the points total is at just 37 points, we think it'll go below even that though with the 31st & 22nd highest scorers squaring off.
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
The Texans continue to roll & have now got a record of 10 wins & one loss & even though their last two victories have come with overtime wins they face much more accommodating opponents in the Tennessee Titans this week.
(Andre Johnson is starting to become a dominant receiver again for the Texans)
We won't spend long previewing this one: we think the Texans are the best side in the league & are delighted our antepost bets sit with them to win the Super Bowl, their offense has begun to really fire in the past couple of weeks & they come up against the Titans defense that are giving up an average of 30.5 points per game - this could be a bloodbath! 9 of Houston's 10 victories have come by 6 points or more which is the handicap line in this one, back the Texans to rout Tennessee (as they did earlier in the season 38-14) with a -6 point handicap & confirm their playoff place.
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets to be under 37 points at 10/11 (General)
Houston Texans to beat Tennessee Titans with -6 point handicap at 10/11 (General)