Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pick 'Em: Week 15

Last Week: 10-6
On The Season: 115-85-7

Thursday Night 8:20 PM (EST)

San Francisco At San Diego The Chargers are going to have to win out and get some help if they plan on reaching the postseason. Luckily, Phil Rivers is 20-1 in regular season games from December on. With Vincent Jackson starting in his second game since returning from his contract holdout, I like the Chargers big against a banged-up 49ers team. Chargers -10

Sunday 1:00 PM (EST)

Cleveland At Cincinnati The first time these two AFC North rivals met the Browns held on late with a 3-point victory on the legs of running back Peyton Hillis. That Bengals loss set off a string of 10-straight losses, a streak they're still in the midst of. Quarterback Carson Palmer is having his worst season of his eight-year career, and the Bengals are facing the reality that his career as a starter in Cincinnati may be over. One last gasp, Bengals -1

Washington At Dallas The Cowboys are 3-2 since Jason Garrett took over as interim head coach. Two 3-point losses to playoff bound Philadelphia and New Orleans have been their only slip-ups. The Redskins on the other hand, well the dysfunction continues in Washington with the benching of Donovan McNabb and starting of backup quarterback Rex Grossman. Cowboys flex their muscles and finally face a team without playoff hopes. Cowboys -8

Houston At Tennessee I feel for the Texans. After storming all the way back on Monday night against the Ravens then only to lose in overtime on an INT returned for a touchdown, rough. Lucky for the Texans woeful passing defense, the Titans don't have much in the area of dominating field general. However, with two underachieving teams squaring off in Tennessee, I'll take the home team. Titans -1

Jacksonville At Indianapolis The highlight of the 1:00 games, an AFC South match up for a playoff spot and the division championship. For all the injuries the Colts have suffered this season, Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai, and the list goes on, Indy still finds themselves in control of their own playoff destiny. The Jags however are the surprise of the AFC. At 8-5 with three games remaining, a victory in Indianapolis would put them in position to play host to a first round playoff game. This game is going to be close with the stakes that are on the line. Jags +5

Kansas City At St. Louis If backup Brodie Croyle is under center for Kansas City, they're in trouble. Rams running back Steven Jackson is having another good season, his sixth straight 1,000 yard rushing year. Why do I mention this? The Chiefs gave up over 200 yards rushing to San Diego just last week, they're about to do the same. Rams at home still looking for the NFC West crown, I like it. Rams -3

Buffalo At Miami Since the beginning of November the Bills are 3-3 and were a dropped pass away from dropping Pittsburgh in a 3-point overtime loss. Apparently someone forgot to tell Buffalo that they were playing to draft a franchise quarterback. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing a much higher level than expected and the Bills are winning games because of it. For a team that keeps things close, in a division game to boot, they earned some respect on the road. Bills +6

Philadelphia At New York (Giants) If the Giants are going to prove they are still in the mix for the NFC Championship, beating Philadelphia and taking control of the NFC East would go a long way to doing just that. In the Giants last two games they've outscored their opponents 52-10. Looking to put Mike Vick on the run and shake him up a bit, the Giants still have a top notch defense holding quarterbacks to just 185 yards passing against them, good for second in the NFL. Giants finally break through against a team that has beaten them six straight times. Giants -3

Detroit At Tampa Bay The Lions are going to steal one in Tampa today. With injuries swirling around Tampa Bay, losing rookie sensation Gerald McCoy last week, things have turned on the Buccaneers. Narrowly escaping Washington with a one-point victory last week, Tampa Bay will still have a shot at the postseason if they can beat Detroit and get some help from Philadelphia. I expect Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson to have a huge game against a secondary of cornerbacks I'm just not impressed with. Lions +5

Arizona At Carolina How is a 1-12 team favored? The Panthers are giving three points to a Cardinals team that scored 43-points against Denver last week. The Broncos did rush for over 100 yards against the Cardinals last weekend, the one thing Carolina does well. Alright, because I could care less about discussing two teams with no quarterbacks that will for sure be drafting in the top five, I'm going with the home team. Panthers -3

New Orleans At Baltimore How unimpressive is Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco? Flacco is surrounded with a ton of offensive weapons and still can't produce offensive powered victories. With a huge lead in Houston, Flacco still couldn't put away the Texans till the defense ended things in overtime. The Saints could really announce themselves with a victory in Baltimore, which I'm confident they'll do. Pierre Thomas back, Bush back, an offense scoring 30+ points per game in each of their last five. The Saints are planning to put it on Baltimore today. Saints +2

Sunday 4:00 PM (EST)

Atlanta At Seattle Much of the Falcons 2010 success can be put on the shoulders of running back Michael Turner. The Atlanta 1,000 yard rusher has gone over the century mark in seven of 13 games this season. Heading into their week 15 matchup with a defense that allows over 100 yards rushing per game, and over 260 through the air, the Falcons should be in top form today. Expect big games from quarterback Matt Ryan and Mike Turner. Falcons -7

Denver At Oakland What do the Denver brass have against rookie quarterback Tim Tebow? This is the time to start the 23-year old Florida rookie? Against a Raider defense that has sacked the quarterback 38 times, good for fourth in the NFL. The Raiders are going to get after Tebow early and often, expect them to rush the ball down Denver's 31st ranked rushing defense. Oakland big, they'll be licking their chops. Raiders -8

New York (Jets) At Pittsburgh At some point the loss to New England has to be put on the back burner for the Jets. Losing a third straight game in Pittsburgh will really take a toll on their rookie quarterback who is already as shaken as can be. It's about to get worse. The Steelers will rattle Sanchez and force him into mistakes, mistakes the Jets offense has shown they can't recover from. Steelers -5

Sunday 8:20 PM (EST)

Green Bay At New England Enough about New England. The Packers are in a really bad spot on Sunday night. With quarterback Aaron Rodgers out, the Packers playoff hopes are sliding away very fast. Not only are the Patriots going to blow up Green Bay, they're going to send them home very early. Green Bay has the Giants next week and Chicago to close the season out. Keep everyone healthy, get back to Green Bay in one piece and hope Minnesota shows up against the Bears tomorrow night. Patriots -15

Monday Night 8:30 PM (EST)

Chicago At Minnesota Chicago has a shot to put the division away with a victory against a reeling Vikings team. With a win at Gopher Stadium, Chicago will lock down the division and wait for the playoffs to begin. A week after being dismantled by Tom Brady, a week Chicago spent talking about field conditions, they've got be focused here. The Vikings have nothing to lose and should come to play with wrecklessness. Because I don't respect the Bears and haven't all season, Vikings +8.

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