Lingering comments, questions and concerns from week 15
-A weekend where two crazy things happened. The undefeated Packers lose their first game to a solid Chiefs team who crazy enough, have a chance to host a playoff game in the first round. The Packers were just completely out of sync offensively. I still think they’re the best team in league and they will bounce back nicely this week against a terrible Bears team.
-Now on to the surging Colts! Not only did they get their first win against the Titans but they made a crazy comeback last night against a solid Texans team. Don’t worry Colts fans, you can still secure Andrew Luck with a loss next Sunday. Losing is never a good thing. Ever. Even if it ensures the first pick for a potential franchise quarterback. I’m glad the Colts still have the drive to win in such a terrible season.
-Teams I was impressed with: Cowboys, Panthers, Chiefs, Patriots, Eagles, Chargers and 49ers
-Teams unimpressed with: Giants, Titans, Raiders, Jets and Ravens
-Don’t bet against Tebow on Christmas Eve. Just trust me on this one.
-I just noticed how many home favorites there are this week:
Texans (-7) AT Colts
Raiders AT Chiefs (-2.5)
Broncos (-3) AT Bills
Jaguars AT Titans (-7.5)
Cardinals AT Bengals (-4)
Dolphins AT Patriots (-9.5)
Browns AT Ravens (-12.5)
Giants AT Jets (-3)
Vikings AT Redskins (-6.5)
Buccaneers AT Panthers (-7.5)
Rams AT Steelers (-14)
Chargers AT Lions (-2.5)
49ers AT Seahawks (-2.5)
Eagles AT Cowboys (-1.5)
Bears AT Packers (-13)
Falcons AT Saints (-6.5)
Games /Close calls of the week
I’m changing this week’s structure because there is more than one great game this week. All the games are interesting matchups and they all have playoff implications riding on them. I’ll run through them quickly but I expect them all to be close and exciting.
-New York Giants at New York Jets-
Trash talking from both sides. Battling to control the city’s bragging rights for another four years. Jets trying to secure a playoff spot. Giants trying to take back the NFC East. Why wouldn’t you want to watch that?
-San Diego Chargers at Detroit Lions-
Two offensive juggernauts that are on fire. Lions are looking for their first playoff berth since ’99. Chargers are only one game out of the division lead in the AFC West. I expect tons of points and tons of big plays.
-Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys-
Eagles have a legitimate shot at winning the division. Cowboys are looking to lock up the NFC East and get revenge for the terrible loss back in October. Both offenses have been great as of late. It’s going to come down to which defense gives up less big plays.
-Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints-
The Saints are looking to clinch division and take the second seed in the conference. QB Drew Brees is likely to make history in this game, breaking the record for passing yards in a season. While the division title is out of reach, the Falcons are looking to secure the fifth seed. Both offenses shine on turf.
Upset pick of the week
-Arizona Cardinals over Cincinnati Bengals-
I wasn’t impressed by the Bengals last week despite winning on the road. If you can’t give the Rams a proper beat down, you’re not a true contender. Maybe it’s their rookie influence and their future is extremely bright but for now the Bengals will have to wait a bit. Arizona has been impressive for a while now. Discount the loss to the Niners and they haven’t lost since October. Caridnals are looking at an outside shot for the playoffs. They’ll need some help but I think it’s lingering enough to get this win.
STONE COLD Steve Austin LOCK of the week
-Green Bay Packers over Chicago Bears-
This was supposed to be the best game of the season. Who would’ve thought the Bears would lose QB Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte. Back up quarterback Heine has looked so terrible that the Bears have chosen to start Josh McCown. Good call but it’s going to be very difficult to go into Lambeau Field and beat a Packers team that just lost their bid for a perfect season. Listen, perfect regular seasons are overrated. Lock up home field throughout the playoffs and go on from there. Packers win big.