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NFL WEEK 15 Picks

Sunday, 12-16-07

 

1pm games:

 

Game of the Week, Pt. 1:

Buffalo Bills (7-6) vs. Cleveland Browns (8-5)

Location: Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH

 

For the Browns, a win this Sunday plus a Titans’ loss will

get them in the playoffs.  For the Bills,

a win this Sunday will keep them alive in the playoff hunt in the AFC. 

 

The Browns have too many weapons on offense for the

Bills.  The Bills defense is ranked 28th

against the pass.  The Browns are ranked

10th in passing offense. 

Also, RB Jamal Lewis has been

very effective running the ball.  The

Bills defense has their hands full trying to stop the Browns offense.  The Bills need to attack the QB and disrupt

the Browns offense at the line of scrimmage. 

They also have to take the Browns, receivers out of the game and take

away any weapon from QB Derek Anderson

 

The Browns have to stop the Bills on the ground now that RB Marshawn Lynch is back.  The Browns cannot allow the Bills to control

the ball with Lynch.  The Bills O-line

also has to protect QB Brent Edwards

and give him time to execute the play. 

 

This is a big game for both of these teams with a playoff

spot for grabs.  When you match-up these

teams, on paper, they are as even as you can get.  But the explosiveness of the Browns offense

and the fact that they are playing at home in the Dog Pound is the difference

maker.  The Browns win this game, but it

will be close.

 

My Pick: Browns

 

 

Tennessee Titans (7-6) vs. Kansas

City Chiefs (4-9)

Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO

 

The Titans’ playoff chances are slipping each

week.  In their last 4 games, the Titans

have a record of 1-3.  This is no time

for a team to start collapsing with two games left in the season after Sunday’s

game against the Chiefs.  The Chiefs were

hanging tough in the AFC West for a while and then just dropped the ball.  With their playoff chances finished, it’s

time to play some young guys and maybe play the role of spoiler for a few

teams.  This game is a good time to start

that trend.

 

Both teams’ defenses are solid.  The Titans are ranked 6th in the

league in total defense while the Chiefs are ranked 14th in the

league.  It comes down to offense, and

with that in mind, the Titans have more stability on the offensive side of the

ball.  Although the Chiefs will start QB Brodie

Croyle again this Sunday, it doesn’t mean he’ll stay at the starter’s

position for the remainder of the year. 

The Chiefs have consistency on their offense and that why they’re

losing.

 

With the Titans having a stable offense and the

return of DT Albert Haynesworth to the defense this Sunday, look for

Titans to put a hurting on the Chiefs this Sunday.

 

My

Pick: Titans

 

 

Green Bay Packers (11-2) vs. St. Louis Rams (4-9)

Location: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO

 

The Packers are already a lock for the

playoffs.  All they have to do is make

sure they keep their 1st round bye. 

The Rams have played very hard this season despite their 4-9

record.  They continue to give teams

problems because they won’t lie down and die. 

They’re one of the few teams in the league that will take it to you

whether the win or lose. 

 

The Packers have to continue to go to their running

game. Last week the Packers were ranked last in rushing offense, this week they

are ranked 24th, that can be attributed to the strong rushing

performances of RB Ryan Grant. 

The Rams are ranked 22nd against the rush, so the Packers are

capable to utilize their run game against the Rams D-line.  Especially considering the fact that the

Rams’ D-line is beat up.

 

The Rams have to shut the Packers passing game.  In order to do that, they have to go after Brett

Farve and take him out of the game. 

We saw what happened in the Packers/Cowboys match-up when Farve was

knocked out of the game.  Back-up QB, Aaron

Rogers did his best to hold it down, but it wasn’t enough for the win.  Farve runs that offense, if you take him out

of the equation, the packers offense is no good. 

 

With the Rams defense hurting and the Packers

offense flowing like it has for the majority of the season, the Packers will

lock their 1st round bye this weekend.

 

My

Pick: Packers

 

 

The “I Could Care Less” Game of the

Week, Pt. 2:

Baltimore Ravens (4-9) vs. Miami Dolphins (0-13)

Location: Dolphin Stadium, Miami, FL

 

The

Ravens and the Dolphins are part of a long list of NFL teams who will be glad

when their season is over.  The Dolphins’

chances of having a successful season went out the window at the 2007

Draft.  The Ravens’ had high expectations

for this season, but fell short due to injuries and age.  Both teams will be looking to make major

changes at the end of this season.  One

thing that will stay constant is that Ravens’ Head Coach, Brian Billick will return to Baltimore next season to run the

offense.  I know everyone is excited in

B-more.  That was sarcasm in case you

didn’t catch it.

 

Although

the Ravens’ offense stinks this season, it’s still better than the

Dolphins’.  Actually, the Ravens

outnumber the Dolphins in almost every category.  The Ravens’ defense is too strong for the

Dolphins’ offense and at the moment.  The

Dolphins will get squash by the Ravens’ this Sunday.

 

My

Pick: Ravens

 

Game of the Week, Pt. 2:

NY Jets (3-10) vs. New England Patriots (13-0)

Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

 

Why would I make this game my 2nd “Game

of the Week”?  The reason why is

because Head Coach Eric Mangini and his J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets were

the ones who tugged on Superman’s cape and started the whole “spygate”

situation back in Week 1.  And we’ve seen

how that worked out.  That’s what

Man-genius gets for tattle-telling.  Now

the Pats are wreaking havoc on the league in their quest for not just a

championship, but for immortality. 

 

Last I checked, the J-E-T-S were a 42 point underdog going

into Sunday’s game.  Ouch.  The only thing that can help the Jets is the

weather.  A nor’easter is scheduled to

hit Foxboro when the game starts, hopefully the strong winds and the bad

weather will be miracle the Jets need for the win.  As the French essayist, Jean de La Bruyère

once said “Out of difficulties grow

miracles”.  Then again, his favorite

team didn’t come across an angry New England Patriots team.  Tomorrow will be a blood bath.  God have mercy on the NY J-E-T-S; Jets, Jets,

Jets.

 

My

Pick: Patriots

 

 

Arizona Cardinals (6-7) vs. New Orleans Saints (6-6)

Location: Superdome, New Orleans, LA

 

The loser of this game is out of the playoff chase

in the NFC.  That means both teams will

do whatever it takes to keep their playoff hopes alive. 

 

Both of these teams have been back and forth this

season.  One minute their game is on and

the next minute their game is off. 

Sunday’s game will be the test to see which team wants it more.  It all comes down to which team shows up for

either side.

 

The Cards have had injuries to key player son their

offense and defense and the same goes for the Saints.  The difference maker will be the play of the

QBs in this game.  Both QBs have to play

smart this Sunday and avoid any stupid mistakes because the defenses for both

of these teams are coming after them all day long.  If I was a gambling man, which I’m not, I

would have to go with QB Drew Brees and the Saints in this game.

 

With WRs Anquan

Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald’s

status still uncertain, QB Kurt Warner

doesn’t have all of his weapons and he needs them for a game such as this

one.  With the Saints pretty much knowing

where they stand and what they have to work with this Sunday, they look to be a

little more prepared for the game.  The

Saints are the logical choice for the win this weekend.

 

My

Pick: Saints

 

Game of the Week, Pt. 3:

Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-4)

Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

 

Last year when the Steelers and the Jags faced off,

the Jags won 9-0.  That game was all

about defense.  Look for the same in this

game. Both teams need to win this game to ensure their spot in the

playoffs.  The Jags need it more than the

Steelers.  If the Jags win, then they

would jump over the Steelers in the standings. 

 

If the Jags lose and the Browns and Chargers win,

then the Jags will fall behind those two teams in the AFC standings.  The Steelers need to win to hold onto their

lead in the NFC North.  After this game, their

last 2 games are against a non-conference opponent in the Rams, and a conference

and divisional game against the Ravens.

 

Don’t look for too much high scoring on the boards

in this game either.  This game is all

about defense.  The Steelers have the #1

defense in the league and although the Jags defense is ranked 17th

in the NFL, they have stepped up big this season in key spots. 

 

So the difference maker is the offensive side of the

ball.  The Jags are ranked 10th

in total offense in the NFL.  The

Steelers are ranked 14th in offense in the NFL.  That’s the difference.  The Jags have a good rushing game and that

will be the key to the Jags success this Sunday. 

 

Also, Steelers haven’t look as intimidating as they

have in the beginning of the season. The Steelers are 2-2 in their last 4 games

and they need to pick it up before the playoffs start.  It just doesn’t look like this is the game for

them to do so. 

 

My

Pick: Jaguars

 

 

Atlanta Falcons (3-10) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)

Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL

 

This is a big game for both teams.  The Bucs need this win to lock the NFC South

and head into the playoffs.  The Falcons

need this win so they can move on from a terrible week of bad P.R.  Honestly, I want the Falcons to win this

game.  Not just for the players, but for

the owner, Arthur Blank. 

 

Yes, he’s one of the people responsible for the

hiring of Petrino, but no one should have to endure the embarrassment he and

his organization have for the past couple of games.  In due time, this team will get it together,

but for now they don’t take this lose personally. 

 

The Bucs know that they should have had the NFC

South on lock by now.  Injuries and poor

game management has been the reason for some of the Bucs’ loses. That changes

Sunday.  Including this game, the next 3

games are against teams with records under .500.  That’s just what the doctor ordered heading

into the playoffs.

 

QB Jeff Garcia returns this Sunday against the

Falcons and with no real leadership on the Falcons, there is no way the Falcons

will win this game.  Look for the Bucs to

get the NFC South and the playoff spot in the win this Sunday.

My Pick: Buccaneers

 

Seattle

Seahawks (9-4) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-8)

Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

 

The Panthers got their 1st win at home 2

weeks ago against the 49ers.  This Sunday

they match-up against a Seahawks squad who are winners of their last 5 games

and are a lock for the playoffs.  This is

going to be a very interesting game.

 

The Seahawks are ranked 12th and Panthers

are ranked 13th overall in total defense.  On offense, the Seahawks are ranked 11th

while the Panthers are ranked 29th overall in the NFL.  The difference, the Seahawks has a steady QB

in Matt Hasselbeck while the Panthers have no idea who will start for them at

QB on a day-to-day basis. 

 

Although their defense is average, the Panthers have

no stability on their offense.  The

Seahawks, who have their running game back as well, are balanced on both sides

of the ball in this match-up.  Look for

the Seahawks to hand the Panthers their 6th home loss this season.

 

My

Pick: Seahawks

 

 

 

4pm games:

 

Indianapolis Colts (11-2) vs. Oakland Raiders (4-9)

Location: McAfee Coliseum, Oakland, CA

 

The Colts, like the Packers, are in the playoffs and

are playing to hold on to the 2nd place spot in their conference for

the 1st round bye.  The

Raiders’ season is done and they are now playing to see what they have in store

for the future. 

 

The Colts have to protect QB Peyton Manning

and not allow the Raiders D-line to put any pressure on him.  Once pressure is applied, Peyton will make

key mistakes and force turnovers.  The

Raiders have to control the ball on offense and keep the Colts off of the

field.  The Raiders can’t afford too many

“3 and outs”.  If that happens, the Colts

will have the ball all day and run up the score.

 

The Raiders has had some bright moments this year

despite their record.  Too bad today

won’t be one of them against a Colts squad that has too many weapons.

 

My

Pick: Colts

 

 

Philadelphia

Eagles (5-8) vs. Dallas Cowboys (12-1)

Location: Texas Stadium, Irving, TX

 

After losing to the Giants last weekend, the Eagles

season is all but done.  The Cowboys

almost added another “L” to the los column last weekend had it not been for the

last second heroics of QB Tony Romo

And as the road to the playoffs continues to slowly arrive to its

destination, old adversaries continue to pop up every now and again.  I want to give this game to the Cowboys

outright, but when the Eagles and the Cowboys face off, there’s always

something that gets the fire started and the games are usually good.  By the way, T.O. is playing this

Sunday against his old team.

 

The Eagles have to attack the Cowboys O-line and

take out Romo and T.O.   Also, they have

to slow down the Cowboys run game.  For

the Cowboys, their objective is to take out RB Brian Westbrook

 

The Eagles/Cowboys’ rivalry is always good and the

games are always interesting.  With the

high the Cowboys offense has been riding and the consistent play of their

defense, look for the Cowboys to get the win.

 

My

Pick: Cowboys

 

 

Detroit Lions (6-7) vs. San Diego Chargers (8-5)

Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA

 

The Chargers pulled out a good win last Sunday that

pretty much gave them the AFC West. The Lions gave up big in last Sunday to

Cowboy that may have shut the door on their playoff chances.  The story out of this game is whether or not

QB Philip Rivers and RB LaDainian

Tomlinson are on the same page. 

After the way L.T. walked away Rivers on the sideline last Sunday, Head

Coach Norv Turner needs to make sure

his top 2 guys on his offense is on the same page. 

 

For the Lions to win, they need to throw off rivers and

disrupt the offense.  On offense, the

Lions have to move the ball on the ground ad wear down the Charges

defense.  The Chargers have to get their

offense going against a weak Lions defense. 

They have to let L.T.  do his

thing and run down the Lions’ 31st ranked defense.

 

The Chargers offense is too much for Lions’ defense

to handle.  It looks as though the Lions

playoff chances are done after this game.

 

My

Pick: Chargers

 

 

 

8:30 pm game:

 

Washington Redskins

(6-7) vs. NY Giants (9-4)

Location: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

 

Like the Steelers/Jags game, this game will be a

defensive showdown.  The G-men are ranked

7th in the league in total defense while the Redskins are ranked 11th.

 That means the offense for both teams

have to play smart football and the defenses have to put pressure on the QBs.

 

QB Tood Collins did a solid job last Thursday

for the injured Jason Campbell in the win against the Bears.  The question is can he keep it up against one

of the leagues most punishing defenses?  Eli

Manning cracks like an egg when teams’ defenses come after him.  He has to stay poised throughout this game

and not force any mistakes.  This is the

Giants game to win due to the better defense.  Look for the Giants to keep it close, but win

in the end.   

 

My

Pick: Giants

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