Easy Like Sunday Morning is a quick hitting NFL game previews post that looks at the games to be played later in the day where I give you a little insight on each matchup and what I’m watching for. It’s a lighthearted way to blend comedy with America’s true, favorite pastime. So crack you a cold one, fire up the computer and let me guide your way to the day’s games ahead. Six days a week you may dread, but today I give you football knowledge that’s easy like Sunday morning.
I’ll also give my pick for each game with my “comfort level”. Usually when I give people my picks, they ask me how comfortable should they be with them and I always reply with a real life situation. For instance, if I was to say “riding in a car with Kenny Britt and the cops pull us over,” then I’m not too confident in the pick. But if I tell you that I’m “lying in the hammock with one sock on, wearing boxers and a pair of Blu Blockers,” then it’s a safe bet.
Listen to the NFL RedZone Report for the best blend of Week 10Fantasy Football and NFL analysis. Also listen to NFL Fantasy Football GameDay from 10am-12noon ET for a Fantasy Football breakdown of all the games. I’ll be on with Dr. Roto giving you all the insight you need to get your lineup set for the day’s action.
Houston Texans (7-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7)
All the talk has been about Matt Schaub’s injury and if Matt Leinart can keep the train on the track. He gets a warm up game before he’s truly tested. The focus on injuries should be on the Jaguars. They’ve lost both of their starting cornerbacks for the year and have been plagued by injuries across their team. Meanwhile, the Texans had the latest bye week of the year and it allowed almost all of their players to get healthy for this game. Included in that bunch is Andre Johnson. Leinart would have to be blind and crippled to not be able to hand off to Arian Foster and Ben Tate and occasionally throw to Owen Daniels and a healthy, fresh Johnson.
Comfort Level: Thinking that you’re going out with the Dos Equis guy for the best New Year’s Eve party ever and then when you show up you realize that it’s just his evil boring twin,the Men’s Warehouse guy.
Buffalo Bills (5-5) @ New York Jets (5-5)
I wouldn’t want to play the Jets right now. Rex Ryan is pissed, so the whole team is pissed. There’s no way that the Jets will lose to a divisional foe at home this week. The Jets are the team that laid out the blueprint for beating the Bills a few weeks ago. Stop Fred Jackson and you stop the Bills. Now that there isn’t a Fred Jackson to even worry about, the Bills are in for a long day. As a lifelong Clemson fan I would love to tell you that CJ Spiller will save the day but he’s playing like another CJ right now. Both, Spiller and Johnson juke too much now and until CJ learns to turn and burn, he’ll have a lot of 3 yard losses.
Comfort Level: Playing chess with a different race and the awkward moment when you have to pick either the white or black pieces.
Cleveland Browns (4-6) @ Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)
I told the Bengals’ fans that said I wasn’t giving this team any respect a few weeks ago to go an beat a good team and the respect would come. They went on to lose to the Steelers and the Ravens. As it stands they haven’t beaten any team that has a better than .500 record on the year. Cleveland has put too much on Colt McCoy without any running game. It looks as if they could finally get Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty back but it’s against the wrong opponent. The running game will belong to Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott. Andy Dalton will be glad to have AJ Green back.
Comfort Level: Being around Ndamukong Suh later in life after he develops a case of vertigo. (This is what happens when he loses his balance.)
Minnesota Vikings (2-7) @ Atlanta Falcons (5-4)
I wouldn’t like the Vikings too much in this game if that had Adrian Peterson, so without him, they don’t stand a chance. The Falcons need every game to stay within reach of the Saints. Atlanta plays well at home and they can stuff the run, without Peterson the Vikings will have to force Christian Ponder to leave his comfort zone and it won’t be pretty.
Comfort Level: Betting on a 8-0 Clemson team to end up losing at least 3 games on any given year or otherwise known as the patented “Clemson Collapse”
Arizona Cardinals (3-7) @ St. Louis Rams (2-8)
If Kevin Kolb is healthy enough to play in this game, I believe he comes out with fire in his belly. He has to prove to his team that he’s a capable leader before the end of the season. If he’s a no-go, then the Rams will win the home game. Betting on Kolb playing.
Pick: (Upset Alert) Cardinals +2.5
Comfort Level: After a natural disaster, being forced to stay in a bunker for 1 year and finding out that there’s a TV…but the only two channels are a constant emergency broadcast signal on loop or Tyler Perry movies.
Carolina Panthers (2-8) @ Indianapolis Colts (0-10)
Congrats to Cam Newton! After this game he will have his first NFL road win. Indy can’t stop the offensive attack of the Panthers. More importantly, they don’t want to stop it. If they wanted to win a game they would have claimed Kyle Orton. He’s clearly a better quarterback than Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky. I don’t want to hear the excuses of how they’re paying Peyton and Kerry Collins. Who cares, it’s about winning and if they wanted to win they would have paid the remainder of Orton’s $2.6 million this year. They stuck with the duo that has led them to 0-10 and at this point realize it’s pointless to make the team better.
Comfort Level: Trying to keep a straight face as you tell your fan base that you are still attempting to win games even after not claiming Kyle Orton.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6) @ Tennessee Titans (5-5)
The Bucs are better than what their record says but they struggle on the road. The Titans are mediocre at best. While the Bucs have 6 losses, none of them came against a team with less than 7 wins. Da’Quan Bowers gets his first start and if the Titans are true to their word, he should be chasing around a banged up Matt Hasselbeck. The sad part for Titans fans is that if their coach wasn’t so conservative, they could contend for the AFC South. What I mean is that he should start Jake Locker and Javon Ringer instead of sticking with higher paid veterans.
Pick: (Upset Alert) Bucs +3.5
Comfort Level: Being in a men’s locker room with “way to comfortable naked” guy.
Chicago Bears (7-3) @ Oakland Raiders (6-4)
Don’t get me wrong, Jay Cutler has played his best, thinking man’s football in 2011. With that said the Bears’ passing attack is only ranked 22nd in the NFL. I realize the problems with the offensive line and everything else but let’s not act like Caleb Hanie is replacing Aaron Rodger type numbers. Hanie will be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Of course there is always an adjustment period when coming off the bench but he just needs to play smart. Besides the Al Davis memorial game(Texans), the Raiders haven’t beaten a team above .500. We love to talk about the black hole but Oakland’s record is 2-3 at home this year. They actually, have played better on the road (4-1). This is another game where we’re focusing too much on one injury (Cutler) and not the whole team of injuries in Oakland.
Pick: (Upset Alert) Bears +4.5
Comfort Level: Being in the middle of a 3 way with Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera…and by 3 way I mean Simpson, Aguilera, and a buffet.
Washington Redskins (3-7) @ Seattle Seahawks (4-6)
Seattle has a talented defense and plays well at home. The bulk of their games have been on the road to this point but now start a stretch of 4 out of their last 6 games at home. They are 2-2 at home this year and while it would be a miracle to make the playoffs this season, it’s still possible if they fix the offense. Tarvaris Jackson has led this offense to a ranking of 28th out of 32 teams. He’s not working out. It might sound crazy but why not try the rookie Josh Portis? He can’t do no worse than running a 28th ranked offense. Pete Carroll should try to build on something and take a chance. If it doesn’t work out, he’s drafting a quarterback in the first round anyway. I purposely didn’t talk about the Redskins. Mike Shanahan has lost it and I fully expect Evan Royster to get 20+ carries this week because he’s the most recent addition to the active roster.
Comfort Level: Watching as Mike Shanahan tell Dan Synder that he plans on starting Tarvaris Jackson at running back for the Redskins this week. Then enjoying Synder’s reaction when he realizes what everyone else knows, Shanahan is completely nuts and doesn’t understand how football works anymore.
Denver Broncos (5-5) @ San Diego Chargers (4-6)
The last time these two teams met it sent both organization in different directions. Tim Tebow entered in the game after the first half was over. He led an exciting comeback that fell just short. After the game the Chargers were 4-1 and the Broncos were 1-4. San Diego has gone on to lose the next 5 games, including 2 at home. Meanwhile, the Broncos turned over the quarterbacking job to Tebow and they have gone on to a 4-1 record under Tim, including a 3-0 road record. The Chargers cornerbacks have struggled recently and I expect Eric Decker to link up with Tebow a few times during this game. San Diego hasn’t showed anything that makes you think that they’ll right this ship. Look for Von Miller & Elvis Dumervil to have their biggest collective day vs. banged up San Diego offensive line.
Pick: (Upset Alert) Broncos +6.0
Comfort Level: John Elway with the camera on him after the Raiders lose and Tebow leads another game winning drive.
New England Patriots (7-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles (4-6)
The Eagles can’t afford another loss. They stack up well against this Patriots team. Most of the media is complimenting how the Patriots have played on defense with all of the injuries but they haven’t faced anyone in the last two weeks that could take advantage of their secondary. Before NE beat Tyler Palko and Mark Sanchez, they loss to Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. As I write this it appears as if Vince Young will get the start. His skill set is built to destroy this type of defense. Even if Nnamdi Asomugha can’t play this week, I believe the Eagles can slow Tom Brady’s passing attack. The tight ends will get theirs but Brady will feel the pressure.
Pick: (Upset Alert) Eagles +3.5
Comfort Level: Being an Eagles’ teammate and not getting an invite to hang out with Vince Young at one of his awesome, shirtless, all male after game parties where you will be surrounded by the most masculine men.
Sunday night game
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) @ Kansas City Chiefs (4-6)
The Chiefs have been a streaky team this season. After a 3 game losing streak to start the year they went on to win 4 straight before losing the last 3. I don’t think this streak stops at 3. After the first week of the season it seemed as if everyone wrote of the Steelers as too old. Yes, the team that went to the Super Bowl several months ago, all of a sudden became too old overnight. All three of their losses have come to division leaders, Baltimore and Houston. Their #1 ranked pass defense should be too much for Tyler Palko as he still gets comfortable as the starter.
Comfort Level: Betting that a guy the Chiefs claimed off waivers in week 12 outperforms the quarterback that they gave a huge contract to.
Monday night game
New York Giants (6-4) @ New Orleans Saints (7-3)
If you love to watch quarterbacks air it out, don’t miss Monday Night Football. Neither of these teams have a secondary that scares you and both teams have quarterbacks that can kill you through the air. The Giants started that much talked about stretch of insanely hard games a few weeks ago with a big win over the Patriots. But after that win they’ve now dropped the last two. The news is only going to get worse for New York. The simplest way I can put it is that the Saints don’t lose at home. Whether it’s voo doo in that building or whatever, they are 4-0 this season and step their game up at home. Rookie watch: I’ve been very adamant about not believing that Prince Amukamara is a NFL caliber CORNERBACK. I believe he can be one of the top safeties in the game but he doesn’t have the hips for the corner position. Expect to see him abused by double moves in this game.
Comfort Level: RotoExperts’ Tiki Barber trying to convince everyone at the company that this is really a picture of Ronde. - Sorry Tiki, couldn’t resist
Thanksgiving Day games
 Green Bay Packers (11-0) @  Detroit Lions (7-4)
 Miami Dolphins (3-8) @  Dallas Cowboys (7-4)
 San Francisco 49ers (9-2) @  Baltimore Ravens (8-3)