Friday, December 17, 2010

NFL Weekend Preview: Week 15

Another 13-3 week for me last week, plus I had the Eagles-Cowboys game picked exactly. I said 30-27 Philly, and that is how it ended. I'm feeling proud of myself, but sad that there are only three more regular season football weekends remaining. Except when I remember that the Broncos are as pathetic as possible, at which point I long for the offseason already. Anyway, here is how I have week 15 pegged.

49ers at Chargers – I enjoy the Chargers when they break out their baby blues. They took it to the Niners on Thursday night, just as the prophets foretold. And by prophets, I mean me on my twitter account. The actual final score was San Diego winning 34-7, but I was pretty close, as I had it the Bolts winning big. Chargers 38 49ers 17

Chiefs at Rams – The battle of Missouri also happens to be the battle of two middling teams that are likely going to be reaping the benefits of being a terrible division, only to get their butts kicked at home in the first round of the playoffs. I’ll take the home team in a close one that I could really see going either way. Rams 24 Chiefs 21

Cardinals at Panthers – This was a playoff game less than two years ago. Now it may be one of the least interesting games in the NFL this season, it would probably get that title outright, but the Broncos did play the Cardinals last week, so that game is neck and neck with this one for least interesting. I’ll take the Panthers, if for no other reason than it seems impossible that the Cards should win two in a row. Panthers 19 Cardinals 13

Eagles at Giants – A terrific division battle, and an important game as the winner will have the inside track to win the NFC East. I’ll take the Philly to win a tough one. Eagles 23 Giants 20

Lions at Buccaneers – The Bucs have struggled against good teams this year, but they seem to take care of the dregs of the NFL and they really need to get this one to keep pace and have a shot at the post season. Buccaneers 27 Lions 17

Browns at Bengals – The Bengals were good last year, but not so much this season. While the Browns have been much less than a juggernaut, they do have wins against the Saints and Patriots on their resume, and I think they are much better than Cincy. Browns 24 Bengals 10

Bills at Dolphins – The Dolphins are 6-1 on the road and 1-5 on their home turf, which is clearly weird. So despite the fact that it’s just the lowly Bills coming to South Florida, I still am hesitant to pick Miami. Still, it is the Bills… Dolphins 16 Bills 13

Redskins at Cowboys – The Cowboys are resurgent, but it’s far too late to matter. Per usual, the Redskins appeared to be big winners in the offseason, but now that it is late December, they are doing what they do every year to the fans in DC, and that is becoming colossal failures and disappointments. I’m not sure which is becoming more certain in the NFL, the Chargers making a late season run after stumbling out of the block, or the Redskins ramping up expectations in the offseason and then coming nowhere near to fulfilling those hopes. This year’s version of the disgrace takes the form of a flailing Mike Shanahan benching the Skins offseason prize Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman, because THAT is surely going to end well. Cowboys 30 Redskins 16

Jaguars at Colts – It seemed like a fluke in week 4 when the Jags pulled one out against the Colts, but now that win is what places the Jags in first place ahead of the Colts. Indy has been struggling and is hurt all over the field, but I think they find a way to win this one. If they fail on Sunday, they can kiss farewell to any shot at the playoffs. Colts 27 Jaguars 24

Saints at Ravens – Baltimore looks vulnerable after nearly blowing a huge lead on Monday night to the Texans, but their defense made the big play in overtime which keeps them in striking distance of the Steelers and in decent position for a playoff push. The World Champs are quietly sitting as one of only four teams with double digit wins, and are perfectly placed to be the team that sneaks back to the Super Bowl in the NFC when no one was looking. I had the Saints to repeat at the beginning of the year, and I’ll stick with them for consistency sake, even if the Patriots look nearly invincible at the moment…Things change in the NFL, and the Super Bowl is in February, not December. All those nice words about N’awlins, and I’m still going to take the Baltimore. Ravens 20 Saints 13

Texans at Titans – These two teams are basically the exact same thing. They both have ties to Houston, they both have six letters and start with T, they both had high expectations early, and they both will be watching the playoffs from the couch. Although, I think if I had to pick one team I’d rather follow, it’d be the Texans. That team may lose more than it wins, but has any team had a more exciting season of football than the Texans? Excitement doesn’t always transfer to wins, but they sure aren’t boring. They have opened the season with a big win over their nemesis, they were the only team to lose to Wade Phillips this year, they overcome huge deficits, took a late lead and let Mark Sanchez come back on them, won in Overtime, lost with a pick six in OT, and lost on a Hail Mary. All of those heart palpitations for a population in Houston that is always counted amongst the most obese in the nation. Who knows how many untold heart attacks the Texans have induced this year? For their suffering, I’m going to give the Texan fans this one out of principle. I say they get to win this meaningless game. (And something insane will happen during this game, they are due for an overtime game where their kick returner takes back the opening kickoff back all the way for the win, let’s say that!) Texans 26 Titans 20

Falcons at Seahawks – The Seahawks miraculously are still in the hunt to host a playoff game. I wish that were a joke, because this team doesn’t deserve it, but the Falcons will probably help see to it that they don’t get there. The Seahawks are one of the candidates to potentially become officially the worst playoff team in NFL history. Atlanta is much too good for them, even if they have to traverse the entire country to get there first. Falcons 31 Seahawks 13

Jets at Steelers – This game looked a bit more awesome a month ago, but both of these two have come to earth a bit. It’s still a very good game with massive playoff implications, and should be a fun one to watch. The Jets are one of those teams that just when you count them out, they go and surprise you. I’d say winning in Pittsburgh would qualify, which is exactly why I’m calling for this as a minor surprise. Jets 20 Steelers 17

Broncos at Raiders – The Broncos just lost by 30 to Arizona; so legitimately, how much further can they fall? They lose this one, but hopefully we get to see Tim Tebow in action. There is no reason that the Broncos shouldn’t try and discover what they have with their first round pick, it’s not like there is anything else worth playing for. At least figure out if the kid can play in the NFL. My guess? He can’t, but I’m pulling for him. If the Broncos trot out Kyle Orton and his smashed up ribs on Sunday, I am going to be very disappointed. The Broncos should be out to prove that the 59 points that Oakland hung on them was a fluke, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t. Raiders 38 Broncos 13

Packers at Patriots - The Packers look broken right now, and the Patriots have never looked better. Plus it's in New England. I can't pick the Pack, I just can't. Patriots 31 Packers 19

Bears at Vikings - The Vikings playing a home game outside AND it's at night! About time. I read they were thinking about bringing in heaters for the fans. Have they really become that soft as a result of life in a bubble? I'm picking the Bears because they always play outside. Also, Brett Favre will not play, although that sort of makes me want to pick the Vikings...but no. Bears it is. Bears 20 Vikings 10

Week 14: 13-3
Season to Date: 130-78

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