Each week Dan Barber, Fergus Head, Reece Mowlem and Owen Turner pick one team who is a lock and certain to win their game and one team who will cause a shock and win their game despite being the underdog. Below are this week's picks.
Lock: PANTHERS over Packers
OOOOH Aaaaron, mmmmm, yeahhhh, you're gonna save our season, mmmmm, 10-6, oooooh take us to those playoffs. I've had it with this s***. I don't even care if he does. Hooray for him, but I hope and think the Panthers are on a roll with momentum far stronger than the wisps of Christmas magic people keep spouting about the Packers making the playoffs. I want to see a complete dismantling of a one man team of epic proportion. In fact, I want to see Rodgers benched for Hundley, and everyone having to scrabble around looking for an excuse that relates to an 'unexpected pain' in his dodgy collarbone, even though he's actually fine and just being trashed by a decent team. KEEP POUNDING (Aaron Rodgers' collar bone pls thanks).
Shock: 49ERS over Titans
Yep, it's those pesky Niners showing off their new toy again. "Can I have a go?" squeaks Mike Mularkey, as his Quarterback pummels another pass into the back of his O-line, while making 3 yards on 12 carries with his shot to f*** knee. "NO" replies an indignant Shanahan, arms folded in childish refusal. Even Belichick is sulking in the corner of the playground as Jimmy G hits Marquise Goodwin in stride for the 8th time. It feels all too much like that time he said he wanted one of those toys that show on Saturday morning child TV adverts, but when all his other toys got given to charity, that toy wasn't as great as he thought. Ok so that analogy may have been bit long/wrong, but I think Jimmy G goes 3-0.
Lock: VIKINGS over Bengals
Despite a tough loss against the Panthers last week, I still think the Vikings are the real deal and there's a good chance the NFC will go through Minnesota this January with the Eagles without Wentz for the rest of the season. The Bengals are out of the playoff race and have nothing to play for so I highly doubt they'll give Keenum and co. any trouble as the Vikings get back on track with a comfortable home win.
Shock: 49ERS over Titans
Jimmy G has an 100% win rate as win rate as a starter in the NFL and I expect him to continue his impeccable record against an overrated Titans outfit. If Garoppolo carries on like this, the Pats may just regret letting him go so easily.
Lock: SAINTS over Jets
Tough break for the Jets losing Josh McCown for the year. Sure they weren't in playoff contention but think about the fans, they finally get to see some exciting football to have it snatched away as abruptly as it arrived. And the whole 'Scam for Sam' is long gone as well. New Orleans on the other hand still holds playoff positions but are coming off a disappointing loss to the division rival Falcons. Look for Drew Brees and Co to bounce back with a W against the reeling Jets.
Shock: BROWNS over Ravens
That's right, it's gonna happen... The worst team in NFL history over a four year span will get their first win of the season. The Browns actually played well last week before we saw the most Brownsian ending ever imaginable against the Brett Hundley led Packers. The Ravens on the other hand played well against the Steelers Sunday night before narrowly losing out at the death. To be honest, a small part of me wants to see the Browns go 0-16, but it's so statistically unlikely over a whole season I'm betting on this being the week they catch a break.
Mowlem is a sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).