SGN Editor Matt Loede’s NFL Picks for Week Fifteen

Last Week: 12-4
Season: 126-79

Thursday:

San Francisco at San Diego – A game that both teams need badly, but the Niners have more injury woes with both Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes having to wear casts. The Chargers got their swagger back last week with a 31-0 win over the Chiefs. They are the better team, and will be able to score enough points to top the 49ers at home. San Diego 27 San Francisco 17

Sunday:

Kansas City at St.Louis - This game comes down to if the Chiefs will have Matt Cassel back, and if he will be anywhere near 100 percent. Last week they had less than 70 yards of offense, and need Cassel if they are going to win this one. The Rams got an eduction in New Orleans, but seem ready to learn from it and bounce back. Huge game for both, but here’s thinking that Cassel is still a week from coming back and the Rams take advantage of it with a huge home win. St.Louis 24 Kansas City 13

Arizona at Carolina – The Cardinals slammed the Broncos at home last week, while the Panthers continued to limp to the finish line. The Panthers only win was at home, but they are looking more and more like locks for the first pick of the draft. The Cards should be able to expose the defense of the Panthers enough for a road win. Arizona 27 Carolina 13

Philadelphia at New York Giants – Huge game in the NFC East, and there’s a couple factors here in play. Can the Eagles slow down the Giants run game of Jacobs and Bradshaw? Can New York make enough plays to top Vick? The Giants have the emotion of the crowd on their side, and they need to run the ball to keep Vick off the field. Big plays will be few and far between, and here’s thinking the Giants have one more than Philly. New York Giants 27 Philadelphia 24

Detroit at Tampa Bay – The Lions last week pulled off the upset of the week topping the Packers 7-3, this after they knocked out Aaron Rodgers. Shaun Hill could be back for the Lions, giving them a boost on offense. As for the Bucs, they pulled off some comeback magic in Washington, and then got lucky when they couldn’t kick the extra point. They won’t need it this week, as their defense should stop Hill or Stanton and puts up enough with Freeman and co. to win. Tampa Bay 23 Detroit 14

Cleveland at Cincinnati – Colt McCoy is hopeful to be back for the Browns, as with Jake Delhomme, this team is pretty bad. They are 5-8, and have played their best with McCoy. As far as the Bengals go, they started fast last week vs the Steelers, but then folded like a deck of cards. They seemed to have given up, and are playing out the stretch with it probably being the last few games for Marvin Lewis. If the Browns can’t win this one, it might be the same for Eric Mangini. Cleveland 20 Cincinnati 16


Buffalo at Miami – The Fins are 1-5 at home, and 6-1 on the road. Weird. The Bills have been a scrappy bunch as of late, winning vs Cleveland a week ago at home. They will give the Dolphins all they can handle and more here, but the Dolphins will finally get it right against Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the defense should be able to hold down the Bills enough to get a win. Miami 21 Buffalo 10

Washington at Dallas – Again the Cowboys held their own last week vs the Eagles, but were not able to stop the Philly run game late, and fell by three. This week it gets easier with a Redskins team that seems to be playing out the stretch as well, and won’t be able to match the intensity of a Cowboys team playing hard. Look for Dallas to rebound as the Redskins continue to slump. Dallas 27 Washington 17

Jacksonville at Indianapolis – The game that should decide the AFC South. The Jags remain a game up, but the Colts won’t let the division go so easy. Peyton Manning will look to get some revenge for an earlier loss, and will eat up the Jags secondary. The Jags need to have success running, which they should, but won’t have enough in the big play department to keep up with Manning. Indianapolis 27 Jacksonville 14

New Orleans at Baltimore – The Ravens got away with one on Monday night, almost blowing a huge lead to the Texans, then getting an OT gift from Matt Schaub in a 34-28 win. This week they try to go toe to toe with the SB champs, and it won’t be easy. The Saints are starting to look like a team that is getting better, with an offense that is clicking, and a defense that is starting to play takeaway again. The Saints will pick apart the Ravens, and win it using a passing game that will pick apart the Ravens. New Orleans 31 Baltimore 17

Tennessee at Houston – The “who cares” bowl of the AFC South, two teams that had high hopes now are playing for nothing but pride and the first step towards a shot to be .500. Both coaches could have new coaches next year, but for now, the Texans are playing just a bit better, this despite giving a game away after clawing back on Monday night. The Texans will win it. Houston 27 Tennessee 23

Atlanta at Seattle – An interesting game as the Seahawks are a team that plays much better at home than on the road, and that could be the case again this week against the Falcons. Atlanta is a balanced bunch, and they showed it again last week in a win over the Panthers. They seem to have lulls in the middle of games, and had better not do that this week against a Hawks team that still has eyes on the NFC West title. Atlanta knows they need to hold off the Saints in getting ready for a huge game next Monday night at home against them. Atlanta 34 Seattle 20

New York Jets at Pittsburgh – Don’t look now, but the Jets are in the middle of a swoon that may just cost them a postseason birth. This one vs the Steelers won’t be easy, as Pittsburgh will look to pressure Mark Sanchez into some picks, and from there they like to make them pay by making them into touchdowns. The Steelers offense won’t be able to do much, but their defense will force some mistakes, and they should score enough to send NY to their third straight defeat. Pittsburgh 14 New York Jets 9

Denver at Oakland – When is Tim Tebow going to get a shot? Kyle Orton has been terrible the past two weeks, and the Broncos are going nowhere fast. For the Raiders, they had a great shot to improve their chance of challenging in the AFC West with a win in Jacksonville, but their defense let them down. Oakland’s run game should dominate, and when they need it, they will hit a pass play or two that will put the Broncos away. Oakland 30 Denver 13

Green Bay at New England – Normally this would be a great game, but without Aaron Rodgers it’s like leading the Packers into a slaughter house. The Pats will pound Matt Flynn, and the Packers defense, which held the Lions to a touchdown last week, won’t be so lucky this time as Tom Brady and company will hit some plays to give the Pats a lead by halftime and they won’t look back. The Pats are playing their best ball of the year right now. New England 34 Green Bay 17

Monday Night:

Chicago at Minnesota - This is a complete toss up from the standpoint of you don’t know just yet where the game will be, you don’t know who will play QB for the Vikings, and who knows if they will even show up for this game after being beat down by the Giants 21-3 a week ago in Detroit. The Bears are an angry bunch after a total beat down by the Pats, and will come out and get some revenge by beating a team that is limping towards the finish. Chicago 19 Minnesota 13


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