Another 5-1 week for Ernesto the Prediction Iguana - his third consecutive 5-1 week, which brings the season totals to 19-6. That's a better than 75 percent record. (Once again, it was the darned Rams who tripped him up for the only loss of the week.)
Here are this week's winners before they happen!
PATRIOTS-Dolphins OVER 45
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
The Patriots look unstoppable, particularly at home. The Dolphins show marked improvement against the Texans, rolling up 44 points and with Ryan Tannehill throwing for four TDs, no picks and 282 yards. Should be another shootout for a league addicted to points and casual eyeballs.
BRONCOS-Packers OVER 37
Even with Jordy Nelson out, Aaron Rodgers has too many weapons. The Packers may top 37 on their own. Meanwhile, even Peyton Manning at the end of a Hall of Fame career should still be able to put enough points on the board to help hit a surprisingly low over.
NFC SOUTH HOME COOKIN'!
PANTHERS (+1/2) vs. Colts
A Falcons-Panthers playoff showdown will be worth diamonds. Suffocating defense: That's how you win championships in this league. Now the Panthers - like the Bengals in the AFC - have to turn that into playoff success, too. Meanwhile, the Colts have yet to get unleashed -- except of course for that laughable fake punt play that looked like something out of a Tecmo SuperBowl video game. You pull a stunt like that against the Buccaneers, not the defending world champions.
FALCONS (-1) vs. Buccaneers
Speaking of the Buccaneers, they have shown us absolutely nothing all year long. The Falcons won last week while playing a sloppy game, leaving at least 10 points on the field. (They were lucky to pull out that win.) A slightly sharper game this week will have them clear of Tampa Bay by the 3rd quarter.
Jets (+5) at RAIDERS
The Jets improved and are impressive in rolling to 4-2 so far and claiming - for now - the top wild card spot. Fitzpatrick moves the team and makes good decisions. The Raiders are like China - an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Which Raiders team will show up from week to week? Again, we look to defense to tell the final story. The Raiders will make one turnover too many and the Jets will close the deal.
COWBOYS-Seahawks UNDER 47
The Cowboys have no offense and the Seahawks are lousy on the road.