Thanks to finishing out last weekend with five straight winning picks, I salvaged what was looking like a miserable week 14 picking winners. My "Upset Special Pick of the Week" came in with the Minnesota Vikings upsetting the Chicago Bears but I would have gladly traded that for a Baltimore Ravens win. I'll take a 1-15 weekend if it meant a win this week over the Denver Broncos, but that game's pick will have to wait until tomorrow.
In the meantime, here's the rest of my picks & pans, starting with tonight's game:
Eagles over Bengals (Thursday Night Football): I'm starting off the weekend with an "Upset Special Pick of the Week," but wondering if this is as much a pick with my heart as much as my head. However, I like the way Philadelphia won last week and perhaps a loss at home will make a road trip for Cincinnati another tough loss.
Browns over Redskins: Don't get me wrong, this is not a bitter pick for the Ravens losing last week. Washington is still unsure if Robert Griffin III can play, much less be effective, while Cleveland has won three in a row and even the odds-makers see this as an even game right now.
Falcons over Giants: This could be a playoff preview and although Atlanta is reeling from a tough loss, they are much tougher at home and New York has had their road problems. Hopefully they will continue at least through next week when the Giants come to Baltimore.
Packers over Bears: Even with Jay Cutler, I'm not sold on Chicago to be a legitimate contender, but Green Bay always will be with Aaron Rodgers and with the chips on the line, I have to go with the better offense.
Texans over Colts: These two teams play twice over the last three weeks of the season and could go a long way to defining the playoff picture. Houston has to be embarrassed and angry over their national televised loss on MNF and should take it out of Indianapolis, wo is shaky on the road.
Saints over Buccaneers: Tampa Bay could be firmly in the playoff race, but they are so inconsistent, looking great one week then terrible the next. The same goes for New Orleans, but at least they have Drew Brees, even though he single-handedly knocked my fantasy team out of the running the past couple of week!
Rams over Vikings: I seriously thought about going with the "upset," but while Minnesota is 6-1 at home, they're a terrible 1-5 on the road and St. Louis is not that bad at 6-6-1 with a 4-3 home record, so while Adrian Peterson will always get his yards, it should not translate into enough points to win.
Bills over Seahawks: Another "Upset Special Pick of the Week," that might surprise a lot of people. Buffalo is fighting for respectability in a disappointing season but Seattle, while in the playoff hunt, is still only 2-5 on the road, which will not impress too many, even though their rookie QB, Russell Wilson, might be quietly having a better season than either Andrew Luck or RG3.
Chargers over Panthers: A great match-up of two extremely different QB styles. Once again, San Diego, with Philip Rivers, is flashing their potential in another season of too little, too late. Meanwhile Cam Newton is beginning to look like the guy who had a monster rookie season but seemed to slip into a sophomore slump earlier this season. I like the home team in a close one.
Cowboys over Steelers: Another questionable pick in that while Dallas could be making a late run for the post season, they are so inconsistent. Meanwhile, my heart is making me think that Pittsburgh is done and if both the Steelers and Bengals lose this weekend the Ravens would "back into" the playoffs regardless of their game. Surprisingly, this home game for the Cowboys still finds them the underdog and therefore, here's another "Upset Special Pick of the Week!"
Raiders over Chiefs: Sad to see how little this game means other than for draft order. Once a great, physical rivalry, now no one really cares about this game between two teams, each with over a -150 point differential this season. Ouch.
Patriots over 49ers (Sunday Night Football): Two teams in the thick of the race for the top seed in their conferences. However, the way New England is playing, if a one-loss Texans team got crushed there last week, how can a San Francisco team come cross-country and expect to beat them in their home crib? Simple, they can't. Welcome to finding out what a real tough game is, Colin Kaepernick! We might just get an Alex Smith sighting by the time this one is over. Ravens fans will still root for the "other" Harbaugh coach to win.
Titans over Jets (Monday Night Football): I bet the schedule-makers thought they would be getting a good one here when they made out the MNF lineup. Now what, ESPN? The good news is that other than the gamblers and fantasy football geeks, we'll all get to sleep a lot earlier with this one?
Last Week: 9-7
Season Record: 132-76-1