Week 15 sure has come up fast hasn't it? It seems like just yesterday that every NFL team was in camp and all their fan bases were excited about the upcoming season that was full of potential. Were are all the Raider fans who claimed they'd win the Super Bowl? It seems like so long ago that we told them all to zip it and they'd be lucky to win two games.
This week has plenty of story lines. There was a QB benching in Cleveland, and a QB done for the year in Carolina. There is the endless circle jerk over the Seahawks, and now the Browns. Ugh, can we start playing football again and stop talking about sideshow circus acts?
This week will help shape the playoff race. Can Cincinnati hold off Pittsburgh and Baltimore? Can an NFC South mathematically have a shot at reaching .500? Tie breakers will be determined and playoff seating will start rounding into form after Sunday. With anticipated results, we might even see starters being rested as early as next week. Now onto the picks.
Last Week: 10-6
Season Total: 130-77-1
This game is truly a "pick-em" contest. The Cardinals should win, but the Rams probably will win. Besides, Saint Louis' defense is on an absolute tear lately after pitching back to back shutouts. I'd be crazy to pick Arizona, right? Prediction: Cardinals 17, Rams 10
Which Steeler team will show up this Sunday? The high powered offensive juggernaut with a stifling defense? Or the anorexic offense that we saw last week? The same can be said about the Falcons. Will Matt Ryan show up and score in bunches like they did last week? Or will they struggle to do anything like we've grown accustomed to? Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives which adds an extra dimension to this game. Prediction: Steelers 31, Falcons 27
Remind me again who the starting quarterback will be for the Redskins? Forget it, it doesn't matter. That team is a train wreck. Prediction: Redskins 13, Giants 27
I know it's a popular opinion among Broncos fans to say that the Patriots will lose, but they Patriots aren't losing. I'm all for blind homerism, but saying the Patriots won't run the table is simply unrealistic. Yes, this is a divisional game which means that it's unpredictable, but both teams need this win desperately; The Dolphins for a playoff shot and the Patriots for the #1 seed. Since this is equally important for both teams, I'm going to go with a) the better team, and b) the team that hasn't dropped a home game to an AFC team in 8 years. Prediction: Dolphins 27, Patriots 38
Can the Raiders play Cinderella three weeks in a row? Not in Kansas City and definitely not at Arrowhead in December. The real question is if this will be the week that a wide receiver scores a touchdown. Prediction: Raiders 17, Chiefs 27
I think this game will be a lot closer than people think. The Colts haven't looked right in a few weeks, and even though the Texans lost their quarterback for the year, they seem to keep marching forward. I'm curious to see what Clowney is capable of. Too bad we'll all have to wait until this time next season to find out! Prediction: Texans 24, Colts 31
I refuse to live in a world that has the Bengals losing to a rookie midget quarterback. That's all I'm going to say about that because I refuse to give said quarterback any publicity and page clicks. Prediction: Bengals 31, Browns 13
The Ravens desperately need this game. They are in not only a fierce wildcard battle, but a division championship battle as well. Look for the Ravens to continue their winning at the expense of the toothless Jags. Prediction: Jaguars 9, Ravens 24
The Bills had such a good thing going for them for most of the year... And then Orton remembered who he was. If he played for Cleveland, he'd be benched too. Look for the Packers to dominate once again. Prediction: Packers 35, Bills 10
Well, color me conflicted as to who will win this game. It would be the Panters all the way, but Cam Newton decided to get messed up in a car accident (not his fault). So it's essentially a quarterback I've never heard of for the Bucs against Derrick Anderson of Cleveland fame. Hmm... dicey at best, but I'm going with the quarterback that I've at least heard of. Prediction: Bucs 6, Panthers 12
Ah yes, it's the battle of the 2-11 teams. There would be so much to write about this if I was a fan of either team. Thankfully, I'm not a masochist, so I follow the Broncos. Look for this barn burner to be low scoring and Geno Smith to yet again proclaim that he's a pro bowl quarterback waiting to happen. Prediction: Jets 17, Titans 16
Finally! I thought I'd never get to this game! Look, Peyton Manning looks off. He looks tired and worn out, and really, what 38 year old would be when he hasn't had a week off since week 4 of the season? What does this mean? Easy, it means that Manning will probably throw for 400 yards and 5 touchdowns, that's what it means! Just when you count this guy out, he reminds you that he's PFM and you should never doubt his mastery of the quarterback position. Now lets just hope that Adam Gase decides to stick to a balanced attack so Peyton doesn't have to throw that often. Prediction: Broncos 51, San Diego 20
The Vikings are scrappy, and the Lions seem to be content with a wildcard berth (not that they have a choice). I think the Lions' defense will be far too overwhelming for the Vikings to handle. Look for this game to get out of control early. Prediction: Vikings 20, Lions 38
Didn't we just see this game? I'm only going to say this once, so listen up: If you can't beat the Raiders, you can't beat the Seahawks. Prediction: 49ers 13, Seahawks 31
The Eagles handled Dallas pretty easily in Dallas, so why should this game be any different? I want to say that Dallas will win because they'll adjust, and who knows, maybe they will. I just don't see it happening though. I think the Eagles are wanting to curb stomp the Cowboys en route to a divisional championship that only a few weeks ago looked to be a sure lock for the Cowboys. Prediction: Cowboys 27, Eagles 34
Didn't I say that I wouldn't pick the Saints anymore a couple weeks ago only to pick them last week? I really want to learn my lesson, but the Saints keep having these juicy matchups that they should absolutely dominate! Ok, seriously, if the Saints don't beat the Cutlers, I'm through picking them until I break that vow and pick them again! Prediction: Saints 35, Bears 27