Every game in the NFL counts, especially ones at this point in the
season. So it really surprised me how many teams totally stank up the
joint last week in games that they really needed to win. The New York
Giants were the biggest example, as they needed to win to keep alive in
the NFC East. They got absolutely smoked by a very mediocre Redskin
team, and now are on the outside looking in for the post season. Then
Tennessee loses to the winless Colts in a must win game. The Ravens,
though already in the postseason, got blown out in San Diego. The loss
was potentially devastating to Baltimore, who were looking for a first
round bye. Houston, also looking for a first round bye, looked awful in
losing to Carolina. However, the loss really isn't that big of a deal
because the Texans likely would have ended up with the third seed no
matter what happened the rest of the way. As has been said many times,
any team can win at any time in the NFL. Last week was a perfect
Speaking of perfect examples, I showed last week a perfect
example on how NOT to pick games. I was an awful 6-10 against the
numbers, and I actually had the same results straight up. I need to
have two real good weeks in a row to finish at .500 or better. Also
note that most NFL games are on Saturday this weekend due to the
Christmas holiday. And speaking of the holiday, I want to wish everyone
a very Merry Christmas. Please enjoy the games and the holiday
As always, home team in CAPS.
Houston 6 INDIANAPOLIS
The Texans are heading for the post season, and since their position
really isn't affected they should rest everybody. The Colts finally won
last week but I can't believe they play hard here. This should be a
good warm up for the Texans on their way to the Super Bowl.
DALLAS 2 1/2 Philadelphia
The Cowboys now have their destiny in their hands after last week's
Giants' loss. The Eagles have actually been better lately, but who
cares at this point. Philadelphia would love to be a spoiler but I
think the Cowboys need this game too badly. I like them here.
San Francisco 1 1/2 SEATTLE
The 49ers actually have a lot on the line here, as they are fighting
for a bye week in the playoffs. The Seahawks have actually been decent
this year, and have a real outside shot at the post season. The 49ers
need this game more though. I like them here.
DETROIT 2 1/2 San Diego
This is actually a huge game for both teams, as the Lions need a win to
keep their post season hopes alive. The Chargers are surging, and might
end up winning the AFC West. As usual, though, they won't go anywhere.
The Lions really need to win this game. So does San Diego. I like
Detroit at home though.
PITTSBURGH 8 1/2 St. Louis
Ben Roethlisberger is really hurting, and his status is up in the air,
but it won't matter. Big Ben should take a breather against the lousy
Rams, who likely will provide little competition. With or without Big
Ben, this should be an easy one for the Steelers.
CAROLINA 7 1/2 Tampa Bay
The only thing worth seeing here is if Cam Newton can pad his
impressive rookie stats.
BALTIMORE 13 Cleveland
The Ravens looked awful last week, and they need a win to get their
momentum back. They will be very tough to beat in the playoffs if they
are at the top of their game. The Browns are just finishing out the
season, waiting for it to end. This game won't end soon enough for them.
NEW ENGLAND 9 1/2 Miami
I have a feeling the Patriots might look past the Dolphins, who have
been pretty good lately. They need to win to keep the number one seed
in the AFC. I think they win, but something tells me the Dolphins will
keep it pretty close. Just a feeling.
CINCINNATI 4 Arizona
The Bengals really need to win, and somehow, some way, the Cardinals
are still mathematically alive for the post season. Incredible. They
won't be after this week. I don't see any problems for the Bengals at
TENNESSEE 7 1/2 Jacksonville
The Titans had an inexcusable loss last week, and now have to win their
last two to possibly make the post season. I don't see Jacksonville
doing much, so expect the Titans to pounce.
Denver 3 BUFFALO
The Tim Tebow craze slowed down last week, but it hasn't gone away. It
will likely pick up again this week because the Broncos can still win
the AFC West. The Bills are on an absolute free fall. I expect it to
KANSAS CITY 1 Oakland
The Chiefs had a huge win last week, but truth be told they have a lot
of problems. So does Oakland, but they can still win the AFC West. The
Raiders need the win more than the Chiefs, so I will take them here.
GREEN BAY 10 1/2 Chicago
The Packers suffered a stunning loss last week, but I think it might
actually have helped them. The Bears are going nowhere fast, and they
could be in for a long day facing Green Bay on the road. I think the
Packers will take out their frustrations on the Bears.
NEW ORLEANS 6 1/2 Atlanta
The Saints might actually be playing the best football right now, but
nobody is talking about them because of the Packers. They will be soon.
The Falcons are likely headed to the playoffs, but a loss here will
hurt them. Too bad for them it is going to happen.
Game of the Week
NEW YORK JETS 3 New York Giants
The Jets are the "home" team here, and both teams are absolutely
desperate to win. They both looked awful last week. I think the Jets
are actually better, and I still believe they sneak into the playoffs
as the sixth AFC seed. I thought they Giants were headed to the post
season too, but last week's loss was crushing. I don't think they will
Stinker of the Week
WASHINGTON 6 Minnesota
Oh yeah, this is a Stinker alright.
Record For Week 15: 6-10 ( 6-10 without the spread )
Record Through Week 15: 104-112-8 ( 139-85 without
the spread )
Game of Week record: 9-5-1
Stinker of Week Record: 4-11
Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots Insider with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him here:
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