How incredible were the 1 PM games last Sunday? I can tell you as a Ravens fan it was a lot less enjoyable in the moment. Watching all of those scores in succession is only fun when your team isn't the one giving them up.
We've got only three more weeks to go until the NFL Playoffs start. I told all of you guys back when I started this column to enjoy the football season now because it'll be gone as soon as you blink. Stop blinking...Week 15 is upon us!
Week 14 Results: 11-5
Game Picks Overall: 125-82-1
Upset of the Week Overall: 7-7 (Picked Bears over Cowboys, Won)
Eliminator Challenge Pick: 11-3 (Picked Broncos over Titans, Won)
Against the Spread: 11-16 (Got Saints -3 right and got Steelers -3 & Raiders +2.5 wrong)
Week 15 Picks (Bold Indicates My Pick):
San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos: Remember last week when I stated how much I hate picking Chargers' games last week? Well I picked it wrong again in Week 14 and I am now 3-10 picking them this year. Luckily for me I feel very confident picking against them this week. I fully expect Peyton Manning and the Broncos' offense to move the ball at ease vs the Chargers' bad defense. Even without Wes Welker, the Broncos should dominate. Broncos by 17.
Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons: Both of these teams have been pathetic this year. The Falcons just have less off the field conflict going on right now. RG3 is now shut down for the year and Kirk Cousins will have a chance to showcase himself for a possible trade. I don't expect anyone to care too much about this game, except for Falcons and Rams fans rooting for a loss to improve their draft pick. Matt Ryan has been bad in 2013 but he's still competent enough to have a good game vs this pathetic Redskins' defense. Falcons by 10.
Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars are tied for the longest current winning streak with three in a row! They have now won four of five and have a shot to make it four wins in a row vs a bad Bills team. I like the fight the Jaguars have been putting up even though it has been a lost season for them. The Bills will need a heavy dose of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller if they want to win this game. While I think this game could go either way, I'm going to give the slight edge to the red hot Jaguars at home! Jaguars by 3.
Chicago Bears @ Cleveland Browns: The Chicago Bears are still very much alive in the NFC North thanks to a struggling Detroit team. After backup quarterback Josh McCown dismantled the Cowboys on Monday, the Bears will turn back to Jay Cutler this week. While the Cowboys defense could make high school QBs look good, it's still a gutsy move to not ride the hot hand. I will go out on a lim and say Josh Gordon is the 2nd best wide receiver in football. On the other side the Browns lost in a heart breaker (sound familiar?) to the Patriots last week. It may be more beneficial for the Browns to lost out at this point and get a better draft pick. I don't think they have to worry because the Bears will take care of business. Bears by 10.
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts: The Texans got swept by the Jaguars and would have the #1 overall pick if the season ended today. They became the first team to fire their head coach when they sent Gary Kubiak out the door on Friday. The Colts haven't played a complete game in quite some time and I'm really worried about this team. They already clinched the AFC South title but if they don't get better production from their offensive line, receivers, and defense down the stretch they won't make it very far in the playoffs. I think this game will be closer than you'd think but I can't take the Texans to win another game this year. Colts by 4.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins: The Patriots offense is back to square one after Rob Gronkowski tore his ACl last week vs the Browns. The Patriots may heavily feature Shane Vereen in this game since he's quite possibly their best rusher and pass catcher on the team. The Pats have been lucky to come away with wins the last two weeks after being down by double digits. They need to come out and play well in the first half if they want to avoid a trap game on the road. I still don't think this Dolphins team is very good and Brady will expose them. Patriots by 10.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings: Nick Foles is legit. He's now won an impressive five games in a row and did it last week in a blizzard. The Vikings run defense has struggled all year and due to that, I expect LeSean McCoy to have another big game this week. The Vikings may be without both Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart in this game. Unless they get some big special team plays, I don't see how they can keep up with the high power Eagles' offense. Eagles by 14.
Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants: The Giants just aren't good this year. Their offense is dreadful and the Seahawks should be able to force many turnovers in this one. While the Giants' defense has played much better recently, I still don't think it'll be able to stop Marshawn Lynch. Seahawks by 17.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders: The Chiefs finally ended their three game losing streak with a dominant performance vs the Redskins. They got back to rushing the passer, forcing turnovers, and making good plays on special teams. With the Raiders struggling to contain the Jets putrid offense, I don't think this should be much of a challenge for the Chiefs. Chiefs by 20.
(If Aaron Rodgers plays) Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys: If Aaron Rodgers is out there on Sunday this game becomes a lot more interesting. Both of these defenses are horrible and couldn't stop even the smallest of nose bleeds. I'd expect Rodgers and Eddie Lacy to have huge days vs the Cowboys defense which I think is a bit worse than the Packers'. Packers by 7.
(If Aaron Rodgers doesn't play) Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys: If Aaron Rodgers isn't playing, I'm going to take the Cowboys. Matt Flynn is not a good quarterback, and even though the Cowboys defense could make the worst players look like stars, I don't think Flynn would light them up. In this case, I would trust the Cowboys offense a lot more than the Packers. Cowboys by 13.
Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans: The Titans have turned the ball over six times in the past two games. They can't make those mistakes vs a very good Cardinals defense on Sunday. The Cardinals are still alive in the playoff race and have to win out if they want a chance to grab a wild card. The Titans will have a chance if they can limit the turnovers but I don't think they will. Cardinals by 7.
New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams: The Saints are much worse on the road than they are at home. However, I don't think that'll be the case this Sunday because they will be playing in a controlled environment indoors vs the Rams. No matter where the game is played I don't think the Rams offense has enough talent to keep up with Drew Brees and Co. The only way the Rams win this game is if they win the turnover battle and get some big plays from Tavon Austin. I think the Saints should win this one easily. Saints by 13.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers: This is the first and hopefully last time I will ever root for the Pittsburgh Steelers in a football game. The Ravens desperately need the Bengals to lose this game if they want a shot at taking the AFC North. The Steelers come into this game after just barely missing out on a miracle win, when Antonio Brown stepped out of bounds to negate an almost game winning lateral touchdown. The Bengals secondary is not that good and if Ben Roethlisberger gets enough time, he will move the ball down the field easily. The Steelers usually play pretty well at home and I'm gonna take them to do just that this week. Steelers by 6.
Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions: WOAH! Talk about almost dying of a heart attack last week. The Ravens and Vikings traded five touchdowns within the last 2 minutes of last Sunday's game. We luckily held on and won but it sure was an adventure. Now the Ravens take on the struggling Lions in their house on Monday Night Football. Dennis Pitta coming back payed a lot of dividends last week and I think he will only get better as his hip injury heals even more. The Lions can't beat themselves if they want to win this football game. As long as the Ravens keep it close, just like they have all year long, I think we have a shot to prove to the football world that we are back in business! Ravens by 3.
Seth's Upset of the Week:
San Francisco 49ers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Why do I keep picking against the 49ers? It seems like I pick them to get upset every week and every time I'm wrong. Well, I feel this may be my best shot. Teams who play the Seahawks the previous week struggle the week after and lose the majority of games. The 49ers offense also hasn't impressed me a lot this year and the Buccaneers defense is playing extremely well as of late. While this could easily be my typical "pick against the 49ers and lose" upset pick, I think this is the week I finally get it right. Buccaneers by 4.
Seth's Eliminator Challenge Pick:
New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers: Geno Smith on the road. The Panthers defense just salivated reading that previous statement. While Smith isn't a good quarterback whatever building he plays in, he seems to be even more atrocious when he isn't playing in Met Life Stadium. The Panthers are going to play angry after losing to the 49ers last week and I expect them to force many turnovers. I don't think this game is going to be remotely close. Panthers by 21.
Seth's Against The Spread Picks of the Week:
Eagles (-5.5, @Vikings): The Eagles are so explosive and the Vikings defense is so vulnerable. Throw in Adrian Peterson betting out and we've got ourselves a blowout in the works.
Seahawks (-7, @Giants): The Giants turn the ball over a lot, the Seahawks get defensive turnovers a lot...do the math.
Buccaneers (+5, vs 49ers): I wouldn't recommend anyone else take this spread. I have a bad history of picking against the 49ers this year. I personally think the Buccaneers will win this game outright and even if they don't, they usually play very close games.
That's it for this week. If you'd like to see me tweet about football during the week please follow me at @RavenNation21. I'd also be glad to answer any fantasy football questions you may have for me. Have a great Week 15!