by Ryan Meehan
Here are my predictions for week fifteen:
San Diego Chargers 37, San Francisco 49ers 17
Even though technically it’s the Chargers’ week to lose, I can’t pick Frisco because without Frank Gore they have absolutely no running game, and run defense is San Diego’s weakness.
Miami Dolphins 13, Buffalo Bills 10
The Dolphins are about as irrelevant as one team can possibly be. But will I laugh if they end up with the same record as the Jets? Absolutely.
Dallas Cowboys 29, Washington Redskins 7
The Cowboys lost a close one to Philly last week, and Washington is not nearly as good as Philadelphia is. Complicating matters, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is not saying whether or not he will start McNabb. That seems to be an awful lot of money to pay a guy to sit on the bench in lieu of Rex Grossman, but it’s probably the right decision.
Houston Texans 35, Tennessee Titans 3
The Texans are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Ravens on Monday night. This game should be a piece of cake for them, but they are still the Texans so it’s very possible that Sunday morning they might just decide they don’t like cake. But Tennessee is so fucked it won’t make one bit of difference.
This week’s battle of ineptitude:
Cleveland Browns 21, Cincinnati Bengals 16
I think it needs to be said that this rivalry has NEVER been any good. I can remember these games as a kid ending up 6-3, 9-3, 9-6, or some other lame score that makes you wonder why they even brought the cameras. For having Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson as their wideouts, the Bengals might be the sorriest NFL team. It’s no excuse to say that they keep games close, because I don’t know any franchise whose goal it is to get the score as close as possible then lose.
Philadelphia Eagles 27, New York Giants 25
Game of the week. The Giants suffered a huge blow Monday night, as wide receiver Steve Smith is now out for the year. The Eagles just keep rolling forward and don’t seem to be all that concerned with how it gets done.
Arizona Cardinals 24, Carolina Panthers 0
I honestly think that Carolina is one of the worst teams that I have ever seen play football. Even worse than when the Lions had that winless season a few years back. The Panthers do nothing correctly, have no discipline, and could give a shit less about their coach.
I knew losing Julius Peppers was going to be a setback, but I never could have imagined in a million years that it would have made this much of a difference. If Arizona benches one more quarterback, you might be the starter next week. One paragraph about this game is plenty.
New Orleans Saints 26, Baltimore Ravens 14
This is the game where we will find out whether or not the Saints winning the Super Bowl last year was a fluke. Finally they play a really good defense in a game that they should win. Baltimore has GOT to get some kind of an offensive gameplan going. I think Joe Flacco is kind of coming back down to earth this year. His 2010 season looks a lot like Matt Ryan’s 2009 season. And if that’s any indication of how he will do in the future, he should be a fucking killing machine next year.
Indianapolis Colts 28, Jacksonville Jaguars 27
I don’t believe that Jacksonville will win this one, but if they do I won’t be shocked either. Regardless, I expect it to be very close. The Colts can’t stop the run at all, so if you’re one of those fantasy dorks you’re going to want to start Maurice Jones-Drew.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29, Detroit Lions 9
I don’t think Detroit has the skill set to win two in a row just yet. Tampa is finding a way to get it done regardless of the fact that their ownership is cheap as hell and they have a guy at quarterback who is virtually unknown in Josh Freeman.
Kansas City Chiefs 28, St. Louis Rams 26
Keep in mind that these picks are what I THINK is going to happen, not what I would LIKE to happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see the Rams come out and just light the Chiefs up, but I wouldn’t put any money on that. Cassell will play and they’ll be an extremely motivated football team.
Atlanta Falcons 55, Seattle Seahawks 17
If you are thinking that pick is a little extreme, remember San Francisco scored 40 points on Seattle last week. The Falcons could put up 55 points on almost half the teams in the whole league right now. Expect this game to show you just how bad the NFC West actually is compared to a real division like the NFC South. If my picks are accurate, both NFC West division leaders could be 6-8 by Sunday Night.
Pittsburgh Steelers 24, New York Jets 22
I feel like this is the beginning of the end for the Jets. Which is fine with me, because I hear a lot of mouthy assholes on that team and this past two weeks they haven’t backed it up for shit. Ben Roethlisberger > Mark Sanchez. End of story.
Oakland Raiders 45, Denver Broncos 6
Quick recap of the Broncos season: Week two they had a guy kill himself, week thirteen their coach got fired, and week fourteen the Arizona Cardinals scored 43 points against them. Pile that together with the fact that their potential quarterbacks are Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow, and it’s very realistic that they could go 1-15 next year. Oakland is one of those week to week teams (other example: Miami) and this will be one of their good weeks.
New England Patriots 31, Green Bay Packers 6
The Packers are coming off a pretty rough loss to the Lions last week, and the Patriots are so hot it doesn’t really matter who they play. Aaron Rogers missed practice again on Wednesday, so it’s highly unlikely that he will start this game. Either way, they’re going to get clobbered pretty hard.
Chicago Bears 27, Minnesota Vikings 7
When I statred writing this column on Monday morning, I actually had the Vikings winning this game, because I really think last week’s loss to the Patriots was very demoralizing for Chicago. But after seeing Minnesota on Monday night, it would be hard for anybody to pick them to beat any team in the league save Carolina. Want to know how cheap the Vikings are? They are asking their fans to come to the stadium that the University of Minnesota plays in to help shovel snow off of the field so that it will be ready in time for the Vikings to use it on Monday Night. I guess that shouldn’t really surprise me coming from a club that spent millions of dollars to build a stadium, only to throw a goddamned bedsheet over it and call it a “dome”.
In conclusion, I’d like to once again mention how disappointed I was in ESPN’s coverage of the NFL on Monday Night with regards to them oversaturating the Sportscenter broadcast with Brett Favre’s postgame press conference. How silly was all of that? Only when Brett Favre is involved would you ever see a Monday where two 9-4 teams won their games and they led with fifteen minutes of talking from a guy that didn’t even play. Incredible. And extremely insulting to the New York, Baltimore, and Houston franchises who all played great games on that same night. I’m just still blown away about how unbelieveably weak that was.
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