They may have gone into Week 12 undefeated but I had my doubts about Carolina. I thought they'd lose at Dallas but they dominated and suddenly those question marks are a faded memory. They don't have a noticeable weakness, and outside of the ball hawking linebackers they don't have a massive strength either, but they are a good, well-rounded football team. They can win by throwing it, by running it and their defense can step up when needs be. The Panthers, [5.7] Super Bowl second favourites, are going deep.
Next up: @ New Orleans
Kansas City Chiefs
I wrote off the Chiefs weeks ago when Jamaal Charles went down for the season. They had lost five straight, were 1-5 and the dirt that was thrown on their season wasn't all that fresh. Yet here we are, five straight wins later, they are scoring points for fun and are stingy as heck when playing defense. On Sunday we even saw Alex Smith throwing it deep to Jeremy Maclin and connecting. This is just so bizarre, but they are very much in the wildcard hunt.
Next up: @ Oakland
Washington & Houston Texans
I have lumped these two together because they are trending up for exactly the same reasons. Neither team is very good but play in abject divisions and are therefore in the hunt to make the post-season. Neither QB is that good although Washington's Cousins throws a good deep ball. I love DeAndre Hopkins who plays wide receiver for the Texans, he can catch the ball, go deep and beat his man. They also have JJ Watt. I don't expect either team to be Super Bowl-bound - or even win a game in the play-offs - but they can both legitimately make it.
This isn't because I don't like Arizona. I really do. But their top two running backs went down with injury on Sunday and Chris Johnson is out, 'indefinitely'. This is a problem. While Carson Palmer is a fine QB and he has a plethora of wide receiving talent on hand, they need a serviceable running game to keep defenses honest. Without it, the linebackers can sit back and drop into zone much more and that'll block up the crossing lanes Arizona use so well.
Next up: @ St. Louis
New York Giants
They had the opportunity to take complete control of the smelly NFC east on Sunday but instead of grasping it with both hands, Eli Manning decided to throw three very bad picks instead. Eli annoys me because I know just how average he is as a QB, he has two rings thanks to two miracle plays in Super Bowls but he's just nothing special. If he can't win the NFC East considering the collapse of the other teams then it says everything about him as a player for me.
Next up: @ New York Jets
Tony Romo's collarbone. He rushed back but clearly that injury hadn't healed properly and now he's done for the season as are his team. Stick a fork in the 2015 Dallas Cowboys as they are done. This is one I think all the betting.betfair NFL writers will agree on and that is something rare in itself!
Next up: @ Washington
This team has quit on their coach. The Chip Kelly experiment hasn't worked. I would guess it is 50/50 whether he'll get one more year or he'll bolt for one of the prime NCAA jobs out there but for the 2015 NFL season, expect nothing from this team.
Next up: @ New England
2pt back St. Louis to beat Arizona at 85/40 on the Sportsbook
Neil Monnery NFL P/L 2015 Season
Staked - 132pts
Returned - 172.42pts
P&L - +40.42pts