SportsPulse: In spite of the ultimate two weeks going off the rails for bettors Lorenzo’s maintained a profitable document. He is again to supply his highest bets for Week 14 within the NFL.
The fourth quarter of the NFL season is simply starting. Various time stays for a workforce to clinch a place within the playoffs. And as soon as you are in, no telling what can occur.
So simply since you don’t seem to be main a department lately, doesn’t suggest you will not have post-season have an effect on. In any case, who picked the Tennessee Titans to win in New England and in Baltimore and achieve the AFC championship recreation ultimate season?
With that during thoughts, we requested USA TODAY Sports activities’ NFL newshounds and columnists:
Amongst groups who aren’t main a department, who do you suppose will take advantage of noise within the postseason (may also be workforce in wild-card spot or lately outdoor box)?
A minimum of one USAT staffer issues Tom Brady and the Buccaneers will make noise within the NFL playoffs. (Photograph: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports activities)
Extra: USA TODAY Sports activities’ Week 14 NFL alternatives: Steelers, Expenses conflict in matchup of AFC heavyweights
The Tampa Bay Bucs. I am simply having a difficult time counting out Tom Brady. In a couple of notable losses in November, the Bucs were given thrashed by way of the Saints and annoyed by way of the Rams. Perhaps they are going to get an opportunity to make amends in January. No, it may not be simple. However Tampa Bay has such a lot of of the components that might be important to make a legitimate run — TB12, big-play receivers, a strong of working backs, a skilled defensive entrance seven — if they may be able to put all of it in combination from a chemistry perspective. Perhaps the bye week and the momentum they must mount with a manageable slate of regular-season video games down the stretch will put them at the observe. Bruce Arians and his offensive coordinator, Byron Leftwich, wish to tweak their offensive designs to take higher benefit of Brady’s highest characteristics, which surely don’t seem to be wrapped with throwing deep balls whilst being pummeled underneath force.
In the meantime, Todd Bowles’ protection will wish to to find some consistency. Hiya, it is on tape. The Bucs D dismantled Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in October. They have were given it in them. Regardless, it is going to be amusing to look at — and a variety of noise, consideration and hype as TB12 makes an attempt to seize his internal Patriot and take any other stab at chasing Tremendous Bowl glory.
I’m going with an excessively darkish horse and opting for the Baltimore Ravens, who lately are living in 9th position within the AFC. (They’ve additionally by no means received a playoff recreation with Lamar Jackson as their beginning quarterback, however that is all immaterial!) With the Browns, Jags, Giants and Bengals rounding out the time table, I feel lovely excellent probability John Harbaugh’s workforce (lately 7-Five) reaches no less than 10 wins – which must be excellent sufficient for postseason access. Get that some distance – and steer clear of a wild-card assembly with Kansas Town – and Baltimore fits up neatly with anyone within the AFC given its perennially forged protection and the league’s top-ranked working recreation, which simply tore during the Dallas Cowboys for almost 300 yards.
Admittedly, Jackson has been inconsistent a 12 months after profitable MVP honors. But when he will get again right into a groove, the Ravens – with veteran revel in and an all-weather makeup –are greater than in a position to a Tremendous Bowl push.
Would I chance being categorised an NFC East homer if I picked Washington Soccer Staff? Alex Smith, Ron Rivera and their Soccer Staff certain could be a excellent tale. However I’ll cross with the Cleveland Browns. The franchise’s first profitable season in 13 years is sufficient to excite the fan base with out delving into the nitty-gritty.
However what first-year trainer Kevin Stefanski’s program does is spectacular even upon additional mirrored image. They’ve punished groups by way of run and by way of go. Myles Garrett is a game-wrecking defender. They’ve gutted via unsightly climate video games. They usually haven’t let the lack of Odell Beckham Jr. sluggish them. Positive, their four-game win streak has featured some softer combatants, which is why ultimate week’s travel to Tennessee used to be crucial litmus check. With a 41-35 win, they handed it. Cleveland is peaking on the proper time.
There are a large number of groups to make a choice from. The Seahawks and Rams reputedly flip-flop for NFC West lead each different week, so it may well be considered one of them. The Buccaneers path the Saints within the NFC South, however in spite of their two-game dropping streak hiccup, stay an impressive workforce. You have got the Dolphins, Raiders, Browns, Colts or even the Ravens all within the hunt in spite of no longer main their divisions.
I in point of fact need to say Tampa, however I’m going to move with Baltimore. Yeah, they wouldn’t even make the playoffs if the season ended lately in spite of their Nine-Three document. However the time table shakes out favorably for them to get some momentum (construction in this week’s win over Dallas). I think like they nonetheless have some issues to type out with their offense, and wish a couple of guys to get wholesome on protection. However they have got the revel in issue and really feel like in the event that they get into the postseason, the place bodily soccer is just about a will have to, they will give groups bother. They have got skilled early exits the ultimate two postseasons, however I think just like the adversity of the ones failed campaigns and of this season will lend a hand domesticate a toughness and resolution that might raise this workforce and lead them to a difficult out.
This is more or less loopy to kind out, however I’m going to move with the Cleveland Browns. They’re inbuilt some way that are meant to give their workforce a recipe to have luck in January: a dominant, clock-churning speeding assault; competence in changing pink zone journeys into touchdowns; an offensive line that provides quarterback Baker Mayfield considerable time to throw; an competitive protection that’s tied for 3rd within the league in takeaways (20); and person who does rather neatly in preventing the push and excels in forcing groups to accept box objectives in goal-to-go scenarios.
The important thing for Cleveland would be the play of quarterback Baker Mayfield. If he can proceed to restrict his turnovers – Mayfield is on tempo to set a profession highest in interceptions – and doesn’t pass over open objectives, the Browns’ offense can compete. Simply take a look at the offensive explosion the workforce posted at the street towards the Titans within the first part. Nonetheless, there are issues about taking part in entire video games and no longer letting groups again into contests that glance to be determined, however trainer Kevin Stefanski has a skilled roster attaining ranges this franchise hasn’t noticed in a very long time.