Thursday, December 17, 2015

NFL Picks, Week 15 - Thursday Night Edition

This week's NFL TV maps: 506sports

The majority of the country (in terms of map coverage, not necessarily number of households) will see 
Tennessee at New England (CBS, 1 PM)
Carolina at New York Giants (FOX, 1 PM)
Denver at Pittsburgh (CBS, 4:25 PM)

The entire country will see 
New York Jets at Dallas (NFLN, 8:30 *Saturday*)
Arizona at Philadelphia (NBC, 8:30)
Detroit at New Orleans (ESPN, 8:30 *Monday*)

Note, all times above are Eastern. 

Tampa Bay (+1) over ST. LOUIS 
Let's just say this right off the bat: neither of these teams is good. Both can run the ball pretty well, both have a turnover margin right about even, both have a 3rd down differential and points per drive differential that's on the wrong side of zero. 

The difference between these two teams comes down to quarterbacking. Namely, Tampa Bay seems to have one (though he's a rookie), and the Rams do not. St. Louis is dead last in YPA (5.98, the next lowest is Indy at 6.51 and the NFL median is 7.15!). And the Rams cannot put drives together, because they cannot convert 3rd downs. They are again last in the league in 3rd down percentage at 25.3%. Only one other team (Miami) is below 31%. It's hard to win in the league without a quarterback. It's also hard to be bad for this long when you've built a defense as good as the one St. Louis has. Somehow, Jeff Fisher and Co. have done it, which makes this tweet all the more incredible: 

Add in the possibility that this will be the final Rams game in St Louis ever (or until they get tired of LA again), so the crowd might be a tad irked, and I'm picking the Bucs. 

2015 Midweek Games: 10-5-1

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