Friday, December 18, 2015

NFL Picks, Week 15

Quick picks again this week. Brevity appears to suit me when making them. Home teams in CAPS.

New York Jets (-3) over DALLAS 
There have been many years when the prospect of faicng a Ryan Fitzpatrick-led offense with a bad quarterback would not have been much cause for concern. This is not most years.

MINNESOTA (-6) over Chicago
Just when I was ready to jump onto the "the Bears can win with Jay Cutler and good coaching" the Redskins come to town and the wagon crashes, the wheels fall off, and it catches on fire.

JACKSONVILLE (-3) over Atlanta
The most important thing for the Falcons in these last 3 weeks is to not completely break Matt Ryan. Ryan has been a good quarterback, but he's devolving into a Cutler-like albatross this season. Part of it is a lack of support around him, but there have been plenty of quarterbacks who fall like this and never recover. If Atlanta is going to turn this around, they need Ryan's help to do it.

Houston (+2) over INDIANAPOLIS
I love (like a fan) Matt Hasselbeck. But I think we've seen the limits of how much weight a 40-year-old (non-Brett Favre) quarterback can carry. I don't particularly like Houston's offense against decent defenses, but the Colts don't have one of those.

Kansas City (-7) over BALTIMORE
Jimmy Clausen, Matt Schaub, Ryan Mallett. When those are your options, frankly it doesn't matter what Baltimore's quarterback's name is.

WASHINGTON (+1.5) over Buffalo
If the Bills were going to snap out of their undisciplined, underachieving funk this season, we'd have seen evidence of it by now.

NEW ENGLAND (-14) over Tennessee
Is Gronk playing? Gronk's playing. Patriots cover.

Carolina (-4.5) over NEW YORK GIANTS
I feel like many people are picking the Giants to win this game for one of two reasons:
1) They don't think Carolina is good enough to go 16-0, and the Giants are the only team left good enough to actually have a shot of hanging on L on the Panthers.
2) The Giants beat the 13-0 Denver Broncos at home in 1998, and it would be very Giants to rise up and knock off the 13-0 Panthers amidst another disappointing season.
I don't particularly like either of these reasons to base a pick on, let alone a big upset pick.

SEATTLE (-15) over Cleveland
Russell Wilson is playing on another level right now. And he's home against Cleveland.

Green Bay (-3) over OAKLAND
I've been expecting the Packers to snap out of their almost season-long offensive funk for weeks. They showed signs of waking up last week (albeit against Dallas), so I'm going to assume that's what they have done.

Miami (+1.5) over SAN DIEGO
The Chargers shouldn't be favored over anybody right now.

Denver (+6.5) over PITTSBURGH
Yes the Steelers offense is playing on another level right now. But Denver's pass defense is damn-near elite too. While I don't trust either Broncos quarterback to keep up with the pace this Steeler offense is setting, I do trust the Broncos defense to hold that pace down and keep this game close.

Cincinnati (-6) over SAN FRANCISCO
The 49ers are a bad team. The Bengals (even without Andy Dalton) are good enough to take care of bad teams.

Arizona (-3.5) over PHILADELPHIA
Right now I consider the Cardinals the best team in the conference. The Eagles aren't in the conversation.

NEW ORLEANS (-3) over Detroit
I'm probably giving last week's Lions no-show against the Rams too much weight here (because man the Saints defense is a hot mess), but that was a truly terrible (no-)showing.

This week: 0-1 (D'oh!)
Last week: 6-10 (.375)
Season: 101-101-6 (.500)

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