Thursday, December 13, 2007

NFL Picks, Week 15

Can you believe it is Week 15 of the NFL season? There’s really not a lot of suspense out there. All of the divisions are pretty well spoken for, as are the first wild card spots in both the AFC and NFC. The only playoff races left are for the final wild card spot in both the AFC and NFC.

The Patriots are 13-0 with three games to play. Conversely, the Dolphins are 0-13 with three games to play. There is a very good chance that the Patriots could finish undefeated, and that the Dolphins could finish winless.

Here are the picks for this week’s games:

Last week: 12-4
Season: 139-61

Philadelphia at Dallas: The Eagles stumble into Dallas with a 5-8 record, not much hope of making the playoffs, and are at a crossroads as a franchise. The Cowboys got a big comeback win last week in the Motor City, adding to the legend of Tony Romo. The Cowboys are still playing for home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Pick: Dallas

Denver at Houston: The NFL Network Thursday night game comes to us live from Houston, where the Texans will wear their Battle Red uniforms to take on the Broncos. Both teams are 6-7. With the injury problems of the Texans, that’s a miracle. Denver won big last week over Kansas City, 41-7. That only means they can’t do it two weeks in a row. Pick: Houston

Cincinnati at San Francisco: Earlier this year, when the NFL Network was looking for Saturday night games, this game looked like a good matchup. Instead, it’s one that makes cable operators glad they’re not signing customers up for that channel. The 49ers are putrid unless they’re playing the Cardinals. The Bengals are just mediocre. Mediocre beats putrid. Pick: Cincinnati

Seattle at Carolina: Two teams going opposite directions. It’s hard to believe these franchises played each other two years ago for a trip to the Super Bowl. The Panthers are injury-riddled and are playing out the string. The Seahawks have clinched the NFC West. Pick: Seattle

Buffalo at Cleveland: There will be plenty of points scored in this one, as these teams battle for bragging rights to Erie, Pennsylvania and possible playoff position. The Browns are the surprise team of the year. The good fortune continues for another week on Lake Erie. Pick: Cleveland

Tennessee at Kansas City: This one is quickly turning into a stinker. The Titans blew a lead last week against San Diego, and probably kissed their playoff hopes goodbye. The Chiefs are turning plain awful. They’re a different team at home, though. Pick: Kansas City

Baltimore at Miami: Double yuck. The Ravens, losers of seven in a row, have had their hearts and guts ripped out the last two weeks, losing to the Patriots and Colts. They head to sunny South Florida for a game with the hapless Dolphins. The Dolphins, believe it or not, have a chance to beat the banged-up Ravens this week to get win #1. I’m not going to bite on it, though. Pick: Baltimore

New York Jets at New England: Yuck. The Jets lost the first meeting, which became better known as the time Jets coach Eric Mangini turned in his mentor and former boss, Bill Belichick for illegal camera work. Needless to say, the Patriots have been on a rampage as a result. If the Patriots get a chance to run up the score, they will. Be surprised if there’s a post-game handshake. Pick: New England

Arizona at New Orleans: The Saints are still in playoff contention, and host the always inconsistent Cardinals. The Cardinals aren’t always good, but they’re never dull. The Saints are getting it into gear. Pick: Saints

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh: Two playoff teams hook up in the Steel City. Go with the home team. Pick: Pittsburgh

Green Bay at St. Louis: Mismatch city. The Rams have nothing to play for. The Packers do. Pick: Green Bay

Atlanta at Tampa Bay: Yuck. The Falcons were left at the wedding reception this week by ex-coach Bobby Petrino, who took the Arkansas money and ran for the hills. The Bucs have clinched the division, and are most likely locked into the fourth playoff position. The Bucs are much better. Pick: Tampa Bay

Indianapolis at Oakland: Mismatch city, AFC edition. The Colts make quick work of an outmanned and outgunned opponent. Pick: Indy

Detroit at San Diego: The Lions have lost five in a row, and head to California to take on the resurgent Chargers. The Chargers continue on their roll, and clinch the AFC West this week. Pick: San Diego

Washington at New York Giants: The Giants are the ugliest 9-4 team out there. They have been squeaking out wins week after week. The Redskins will make this a good game, but the Giants win in the end. Pick: New York Giants

Chicago at Minnesota: The Vikings are making a surge behind QB Tarvaris Jackson and the RB tandem of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. The Bears also have a RB named Adrian Peterson, but he’s no match for the Vikings’ Peterson. Pick: Minnesota

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