NFL Picks - Week 15

Saturday Night

Miami @ New York Jets
Many are worried that the Dolphins' playoff chances may be kaput now that their starting quarterback is out for at least a few weeks. But I'm not so sure the sky is falling in Miami. In other words, let's not make a mountain out of a Tannehill (no applause necessary guys, I mean I know that you're not applauding, but I just was saying that if you felt compelled to applaud based on how clever that line was and you thought it might make me feel nice, don't worry, it's totally unnecessary). However, I don't blame Fins fans for being a bit worried now that their backup QB is forced into action, because if his past performance is any indication, Moore is less (again, if you feel like politely clapping I won't stop you, and I'll admit it might even provide a bit of an ego boost, but don't feel forced). The Jets have their own quarterback uncertainty to worry about, but even if they've finally benched Ryan Fitzpatrick for good the change in play they get from the position will only be a Petty difference (STILL NOT CLAPPING?!?).

Dolphins 20-16  

Sunday Morning

Green Bay @ Chicago
The Bears have been not terrible over the last four weeks, by 2016 Bears standards that is. They're 1-3 in that stretch, but none of those losses has been by more than a score. So what does this mean? It means they're probably exhausted. After trying really hard for about a month now odds are they're pretty tuckered out, and with winter officially only three days away from their Sunday match-up against Green Bay it wouldn't surprise me if these Bears go into hibernation a little early.

Packers 35-17

Cleveland @ Buffalo
The NFL announced the match-ups for the four games that will be played in London in 2017, and guess who's making the trip ... That's right, the Cleveland Browns. When their game is played Trump will have been president for almost a year, maening our foreign relations will already be severely damaged; the last thing we need is to send the Browns abroad. Though, NFL U.K. Managing Director Alistair Kirkwood insists that it will be "a lot of fun" to welcome in the Browns and their fans. First of all, it's clear that Alistair Kirkwood had not watched any Browns games this season. Second of all, Alistair Kirkwood is definitely not a real person. Obviously the league needed a British person to shine a cheery light on these consistently lame international series games so they made up someone and gave him a cartoonishly English name. And ya know what? It worked. I can't wait for Vikings/Browns 2017!

Bills 27-10

Philadelphia @ Baltimore
In their game last week the Eagles lost their long snapper to a wrist injury forcing TE Brent Celek into action. After Celek went down with a stinger they were forced to turn to a third option. This got me thinking, now that we live in the future, couldn't we just have robots handle long snapping duties? It seems like it would be easy enough to engineer a robot that would get the snap perfect every time, just have one of the guards press a button, the bot fires the snap back and then just sits there. No one is supposed to make contact with long snappers as is, so it's not like it would really have to block anybody. But if you did try to run through the robot you'd be dealing with two tons of twisted steel and sex appeal! You read that right, these robots are going to be VERY heavy and VERY sexy. Is there any way that this would becomes a slippery slope and leads to an all robot team? Yes, that's absolutely what will happen, but aren't we ready for that? They'd be the ultimate villains! Cold, calculating, inhuman, it would be like a team full of Belichicks. And besides, if they ever got too good we would just deactivate them before they got so sophisticated that they enslaved us all. That's simple enough, right? Right? Oh God, oh God what hath I wrought?

Ravens 23-13

Tennessee @ Kansas City
Last week the Titans exploited the Broncos' subpar run defense en route to a 13-10 victory. This week they take on another AFC West foe with a rush D that leaves a lot to be desired in the Chiefs, who are surprisingly 27th against the run. I just assumed they were much better than that, and maybe they are ... Is it possible that Andy Reid and the Chiefs have doctored their stats to fool teams into running against them? As we all know teams keep their own stats and then submit them to various news outlets. That's how stats work, so yes, that's very possible. In fact, I'm certain that that's what's happened here. Classic Reid. Look for the stifling KC rush defense to stonewall an overconfident Titans offense.

Chiefs 19-14

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati
This will be the first time Vontaze Burfict has been on the field opposite the Steelers since his helmet to helmet hit on Antonio Brown became the catalyst for the Bengals' playoff meltdown last January. Burfict has made it known that he has since apologized to Brown in person, and it seems that he is seriously remorseful about the whole situation. And that's exactly what he wants us to think. Don't be surprised to see Burfict show up on the field Sunday with a reverse Mark Kelso helmet (extra padding on the inside, giant, hard outer shell) and bad intentions. Unfortunately for Vontaze the custom dome will be much heavier than he expected and cause serious balance issues that he'll be unable to acclimate to throughout the game. As Burfict stumbles and trips his way through middle of the field Pittsburgh will exploit the resulting holes and get the win.

Steelers 30-20

Detroit @ New York Giants
It's a match-up of 9-4 teams that has Possible Playoff Preview potential. The Lions have won five in a row and 8 of 9 to vault into the #2 spot in the NFC. On the surface it looks like they're sitting pretty. But that's just on the surface. A quick glance at their remaining schedule reveals this tough test followed by a trip to Dallas and a home game against Green Bay to close out the season. Taking that into account it seems more like they're sitting shitty. Meanwhile the Giants continue to be a peculiar team. They're currently 1-4 against winning teams not from Dallas. Of course, they've also handed the Cowboys their only two losses of the season. So what happens when two teams we're pretty sure are good clash? Probably a low scoring game that seems like high quality smash mouth football, but in retrospect may actually just be a poorly played, ugly game. In other words we'll get no answers from this one. But if you were looking for answers from the Lions and Giants perhaps it's time you took a look in the mirror and realized the answers you seek can only come from within.

Giants 17-13

Indianapolis @ Minnesota
These teams have both had flashes of near greatness this season, but on the whole they've been merely mediocre. At this point neither's playoff chances are trending upward, and it seems fairly likely that they'll both miss the postseason. That is, of course, unless they combine forces ... If you created a mega-team with players from both of these squads they'd surely be a contender.  We've seen struggling companies merge to avoid being decimated by the competition, so why can't two football teams do it? Oh right, the trade deadline, salary cap, roster restrictions, fan outrage ... Ok look, it wasn't the most well thought out idea. But if you're coming here for well thought out ideas then I've got sour news for ya pal, I ain't got none. Unless of course you want to hear about my reverse microwave the InstaChill 4000. I'll take your silence as a no.

Colts 20-17

Jacksonville @ Houston
The Texans shockingly won in Indianapolis last week to remain tied with Tennessee atop the AFC South. The result made me wonder: where was Trevor Finch and why did he not interfere on the Colts behalf? I looked further into it and found the answer: Finch had to go on the run because time cop and resident of future Houston Clem Zarkins 8 was hot on his trail. You see Clem Zarkins 8 used to be Clem Osweiler, a direct descendant of Texans' quarterback Brock Osweiler whose last name suddenly changed after Trevor Finch traveled back in time to sully the Osweiler name to the extent that Brock's future lineage would change it to Zarkins 8 to avoid the inherent embarrassment. Now CZ8 has traveled back in time to prevent Finch from derailing Houston's Super Bowl quest, and in turn, reclaim his family's good name. This is getting good folks! It's far more important than any real analysis regarding this game. If the Texans get the win this Sunday we'll know that Clem Zarkins 8 has succeeded in deterring Finch for at least one more week.

Texans 27-13 

Sunday Afternoon

New Orleans @ Arizona
When discussing the weather conditions during his team's loss last Sunday in Miami Bruce Arians pointed out that it consistently rained harder when the Cardinals had he ball and described it as "kind of odd." I wouldn't call it irresponsible to infer from Arians' statement that he thnks that some nefarious machinations were behind the drastic weather fluctuations. I agree with Bruce, and I think the answer is very simple, God hates him. And it's because he has the hubris to constantly wear a Kangol cap. He's thumbing his nose at his creator, and He is (literally) showering Arians with his wrath. Now the Cardinals return to their domed stadium where even God can't affect the result. Because of this I'm taking Arizona.

Cardinals 26-23

San Francisco @ Atlanta
This feels like a game that doesn't need to be played. The Falcons need a win to keep their playoff chances high, and the Niners are clearly not interested in winning again this season as evidenced by their collapse in last week's 23-17 home loss to the Jets. It's simple logic, both teams benefit from an Atlanta win. Of course, the old adage is, "that's why they play the games." But no, not this time, just cancel it, make up stats for fantasy owners and we'll all move on. Since that probably won't happen here's my prediction: Niners win in an upset! Hey, that's why they play the games baby! Oh, whoops did I type "Niners win"? Oh ok, sorry, I meant to type "Falcons win." And when I said "upset" I really meant "boring no brainer blowout." Jeez I should really go back and just edit that, it wouldn't be hard. But then again, that would take longer.

Falcons 38-14

Oakland @ San Diego
The Raiders' 6 game win streak was snapped last week in Kansas City and with only their third loss of the season Oakland plummeted from the top 2 in the AFC to a wild card spot. It was a jarring fall for Raider Nation, but for the rest of us it now feels natural. Don't the Raiders make more since as a wild card? The ethos of that organization is based on being wild cards. They're Raiders, an unpredictable, swashbuckling motley crew that will pillage and plunder and fall just short of a division championship. A lower seed makes even more sense for this year's team in particular given that they were undefeated on the road up until last week. Perhaps a path to the Super Bowl that doesn't go through Oakland would provide them a greater opportunity at reaching the big game (It wouldn't, because it requires them to play an extra game, but you get the idea).

Raiders 34-24

New England @ Denver
The Broncos are clinging to the last wild card spot in the AFC but they have an arduous three week journey ahead of them as they attempt to hold on to it. Their sojourn this week against New England, they then go to Kansas City before returning home to finish the season against Oakland. The combined record of those teams is 31-8. Gulp and yikes! In other words, if Denver wants to defend their title into the postseason they're going to have to earn their way in. It will be a rite of passage for young quarterback Trevor Siemian, and one that he's taking very seriously. Actually, if I'm being honest, he's taking the "rite of passage" narrative too seriously. He's given himself tribal tattoos and has been practicing shirtless all week in the frigid Denver weather. Team doctors say he definitely has hypothermia, but he's convinced that it's just the "Winterman's chokehold" and that he'll be able to free himself from it by game time. So I guess he's insane now. I'll take New England in a close one.

Patriots 20-17

Sunday Night

Tampa Bay @ Dallas
The Cowboys are coming off only their second loss of the season and face another tough test on Sunday Night Football. One man who was there last week and will be again on Sunday is Cris Collinsworth. We turn to him now for his thoughts on this one:
Wow. He's fully off the deep end now folks. I just hope there's a way back for him. That being said, I'll trust his judgment on this game.

Buccaneers 24-21 

Monday Night

Carolina @ Washington
It's clear that Ron Rivera's disciplinary wardrobe-based suspension of Cam Newton has fallen on deaf ears. Just look at what the Panther quarterback wore to his postgame press conference on Sunday. He's slowly turning into a grandma, and the fact that this is a night game may be detrimental to the suddenly elderly Newton. Once 9pm local time rolls around before the end of the first quarter Cam will get very fussy and demand that the 'Skins crowd quit making so much noise so he can get some sleep. He'll spend the rest of the game tossing and turning on the Carolina bench. Afterwards he'll probably show up at the press conference in a wheelchair with a shawl, bifocals, and a pocketful of Werther's Originals.

Redskins 31-24

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