Thursday, December 15, 2011

NFL Picks - Week 15: Because Tim Tebow will be forced to throw the ball, and that's a miracle that even baby Jesus can't help him with.

Week 14 NFL Picks: 8-8
NFL results season to date: 97-99-8

College Football results season to date: 29-27-2

Week 15 NFL Picks (winners in parentheses):

Jaguars vs. Falcons (Falcons, home, -11.5) Atlanta is back at home with a Wildcard birth on the line, while Jacksonville's ownership quit twice on their team this year. First by releasing David Garrard and forcing Jack Del Rio to play rookie QB Blaine Gabbert, and then by firing Del Rio midway through the season. Look for the Falcons to run early in order to set up deep passes to Roddy White and Julio Jones.

Cowboys vs. Buccaneers (Cowboys, road, -7) The only question in this game is whether Tony Romo will find a way to choke a game away to a Tampa Bay team that has clearly quit on its season. Look for Buccaneer coach Raheem Morris to be fired as soon as the season ends.

Pigskins vs. Giants (Giants, home, -7) With Eli Manning is quietly having the best year of his career, New York is now back in the Playoff race after defeating Dallas last week. With RB Ahmad Bradshaw returning to health to take some pressure off of Manning and Prince Amukamara adding some reinforcement to their secondary, a home game against Washington is one that the Giants should win handily.
Saints vs. Vikings (Saints, road, -7) Minnesota will get some much needed help with the return of Adrian Peterson. AP will take some pressure off of rookie QB Christian Ponder, who turned the ball over 5 times last week in just over a half against the Lions. Unfortunately, this will not be a good week for the Vikings to play conservative football, as New Orleans comes to town looking to exploit their injury depleted secondary through their record setting pace passing game.
Packers vs. Chiefs (Packers, road, -14.5) Green Bay not only comes into this game on a roll, but they get to take advantage of a Kansas City organization that fired coach Jack Haley mid-week. While Haley is not without blame in terms of his play calling and the way he handled his players, Scott Pioli needs to be questioned for assembling a roster that didn't have any depth to overcome several key injuries. Specifically, not having an NFL caliber back-up quarterback is inexcusable.
Bears vs. Seahawks (Seahawks, road, +3.5) As strange as it may sound, the battle between Caleb Hanie and Tarvaris Jackson could have huge implications on the NFC Wildcard. At this point Seattle has a slightly better situation at QB and RB than the Bears do because of the injuries suffered by Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. This game should be a defensive struggle that comes down to a battle of field position. My guess is that it's decided by a field goal, with Devin Hester and Leon Washington being the deciding factors on special teams.
Dolphins vs. Bills (Bills, home, -1) With Matt Moore expected to start at QB for Miami, I give them the advantage over Buffalo. That's right, I'm entirely basing my pick on this game based upon whether or not Matt Moore plays...which is kind of like picking one movie over another because Nicholas Cage is starring in it.
Panthers vs. Texans (Panthers, road, +6.5) With Carolina having no run defense, and Cam Newton putting up points no matter what defense he plays against, this game could become a shoot-out. With Houston having already clinched a Playoff berth, I will continue to take the Panthers and any points that they are handed.
Titans vs. Colts (Titans, road, -6.5) At least Chris Johnson is starting to develop a pattern...he only plays well against crappy defenses. Defenses don't get much crappier than Indianapolis'.
Bengals vs. Rams (Bengals, road, -7) Cincinnati is coming off of a rough schedule where they faced a string of tough defenses. Look for them to take out some pent up frustration out against a St. Louis team that is stopping absolutely nobody. With the Rams practically unable to score under Josh McDaniels' offense, and Sam Bradford dinged up as well, I look for the Bengals to win convincingly.
Lions vs. Raiders (Lions, road, -1) Traveling across country to play Oakland on the road is never an easy task. However, Carson Palmer and the Raiders have been hemorrhaging turnovers lately, and Detroit leads the league in defensive scores.
Patriots vs. Broncos (Patriots, road, -7) No matter how good the Denver defense has been playing lately, I'm pretty sure that New England will score enough points that Tim Tebow will be forced to throw the ball. That's a miracle that not even baby Jesus can help him with.

Tim Tebow might be taking this religious thing a little too far...
Jets vs. Eagles (Jets, road, +3) I just don't trust Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson against New York's secondary, even though they are playing in Philadelphia.
Browns vs. Cardinals (Cardinals, home, -7) Arizona is on a mini-streak of late, and given a favorable schedule, they still have an outside shot at a Wildcard. Playing Cleveland at home should be another victory for the Cardinals, although I'm not convinced that Seneca Wallace playing QB for the Browns in place of an injured Colt McCoy is a bad thing.
Ravens vs. Chargers (Chargers, home, +3) On one hand I want to stay clear of San Diego given their abysmal season, but history tells me that they are putting together their classic December winning streak where they finish 9-7 and do just enough for Norv Turner and A.J. Smith to save their jobs. I'll go with history and take the 3 points at home in a prime time game against a Baltimore team that has had some questionable losses this season.

Steelers vs. 49ers (49ers, home, no line) Pittsburgh was going to have enough problems facing the San Francisco run defense on the road on Monday Night Football. Throw in the possibility that Ben Roethlisberger might not play due to a high ankle sprain, and I like San Francisco to win in a low scoring game. While we're at it, how is it that James Harrison only gets a one game suspension for being a repeat offender head hunter, when Ndamukong Suh gets suspended for two games for kicking at the hand of a guy who repeatedly tried to untie his shoes because he knew he was physically outmatched? I guess the NFL's hypocricy has no limits.

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