Dec 8, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) prepares to throw a touchdown pass on a fourth and goal to wide receiver Wes Welker (83) (not pictured) in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ramblin’ Fan’s NFL Picks and Predictions: Week 15


NFL Picks

Dec 8, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy (30) scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter under pressure from Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Dan Williams at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 30-10. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With week 14 in the books its time to review our NFL picks and look forward to week 15′s picks and predictions.  Week 14 was a mediocre week for our picks here at Ramblin’ Fan.  We went an unimpressive 9-7 with our NFL picks in week 14, so hopefully we can get back to a reasonable pace and hit double digits again in week 15.  This week all of the NFC West teams will be playing teams outside the division and all but the Rams will be on the road as they will host the Saints.  With 3 out of the 4 teams in the division still fighting for either a playoff spot or seeding there is plenty to look out for this weekend. Thanks for reading our weekly NFL picks article and as always Go Rams!!!

San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos (TNF). The AFC West will take center stage to kick off week 15 as the Chargers take on the division leading Broncos. The Broncos may be without Wes Welker in this one as he suffered his second concussion in a month, but should still have enough firepower to take down the Chargers. Philip Rivers has been playing some solid football this season and rookie WR Keenan Allen will get a chance to show why he is in the conversation for Rookie of the Year in front of a national audience. Peyton Manning showed last weekend that he can play in the cold weather and is still on pace to break nearly every meaningful single season passing record. Broncos win 38 – 24.

Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons. Two teams that fell from 2012 playoff teams to a race for a top 3 draft pick in 2014, largely due to injuries to key players. Rams fans everywhere will have a vested interest in this game as a Falcons win brings the Rams one step closer to a premium 2014 draft pick. There also happens to be an all-time great Ram who could have a nice day running the ball against a defense that gives up 115 yards per game at 4.1 yards per carry. The Redskins have also surrendered the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL this season at 19. Falcons win 28 – 13.

Chicago Bears @ Cleveland Browns. Josh McCown runs the Bears offense with incredible efficiency, he may not have the cannon of an arm that Jay Cutler possesses but he is well suited for Marc Trestman’s offense. The Cleveland Browns have a red-hot wide receiver that has to be licking his lips at the thought of playing the Bears ailing defense. If McCown avoids the costly mistake the Bears defense may be able to do just enough to pull off a close win on the road. Bears win 21 – 17.

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have certainly struggled since the loss of Reggie Wayne, but no team has struggled as much as the Houston Texans have since week 2 which happens to be the last time they won. If the Colts can protect Andrew Luck from JJ Watt they should be able to do enough to get a win at home. Colts win 28 – 14.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins. The Patriots will again be without Rob Gronkowski, something that seriously stymied their offensive productivity early in the season. The good news is for Patriots fans is that even before Gronkowski returned Brady had started to develop a rhythm with his current receiving corps, especially Julian Edelman. This should be a hard-fought game between AFC East rivals but it’s hard to bet against Brady and Belichick. Patriots win 23 – 20.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings may be without Adrian Peterson as he is recovering from a foot injury. The Eagles are one of the NFLs hotter teams with a young QB that is playing some impressive football. Lesean McCoy is also one of the best running backs in the NFL that seems very well suited for Chip Kelly’s offense. If Nick Foles can continue to avoid turnovers the Eagles should remain atop the NFC East. Eagles win 28 – 21.

Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants. The Seahawks are nowhere near as inept on the road as they used to be, posting a highly respectable 5-2 record on the road so far in 2013. The Giants are nowhere near as terrible as they were at the beginning of the season, but it is very difficult to see a scenario in which the Seahawks don’t win this by a comfortable margin. The Giants need to get to Wilson early and often and win the turnover margin if they hope to spring the upset. Seahawks win 24 – 14.

San Francisco 49ers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs have played much better in the second half of the season, but it likely wont be enough against a more physical and more talented 49ers team. The 49ers may be getting All-Pro (and former Idaho Vandal) guard Mike Iupati back from injury this week, something that should make Frank Gore very happy. The 49ers are getting healthy at the right time and could be primed for a deep run into the playoffs. 49ers win 24-17.

Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars. The Bills will hit the road to take on the surging Jaguars who are currently on a 3 game winning streak and have won 4 of their last 5 games. The Jaguars are starting to buy into Gus Bradley’s system and seem like a completely different team than the one that started the season 0-8 and was outscored 264-86 during that stretch. Jaguars win 28 – 13.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs absolutely demolished the Redskins last weekend as the offense seems to be finding a bit more of a stride late this season, even as the defense has struggled some with injuries.  The Raiders and Chiefs have a long and fierce rivalry, and in such rivalry games you can typically throw the records out the window.  However, the Chiefs were the NFL’s final remaining unbeaten team for a reason while the Raiders are still rebuilding in the post Al Davis era. Chiefs win 27 -17.

New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers. Despite being completely undressed by the Saints last weekend the Panthers are one of the better teams in the NFC. Their defense is vulnerable to the deep ball, something the Saints took advantage of. The Jets don’t have the type of quarterback or downfield threats that the Saints have (and who does really?) so the Panthers defense should dominate this game. Geno Smith has been a turnover machine, and the Panthers can put significant pressure on a QB. The Jets defense will probably come up with a creative way to contain Cam Newton, but it likely won’t be enough on the road. Panthers win 28 – 17.

Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys. I am not exactly sure what I saw last week against the Bears, but it certainly wasn’t defense.  The Cowboys defense has been absolutely terrible this season but if I am picking between Tony Romo and Matt Flynn I guess I have to go with Romo.  It still doesn’t appear that Aaron Rodgers will be ready to go in this game so that gives the Cowboys defense a chance to give the appearance of a professional football team.  This could turn into quite a shootout as the Cowboys have the weapons to score against nearly anyone coupled with a defense to allow nearly anyone to score.    Cowboys win 35 – 31.

New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams. The Saints haven’t been quite as good on the road this season, with all three of their losses being away from the Superdome including one to the New York Jets. Still the Saints can really get after the quarterback and Kellen Clemens isn’t likely to be able to keep up with Drew Brees and their high-flying offense. If the Rams are going to hang around in this game and spring the upset they need to be able to run the ball and play much better on defense than the past 2 weeks. The Saints do give up 4.7 yards per carry on the ground, so perhaps Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham can get going early in the Edward Jones Dome. Saints win 27 – 24.

Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans. The Cardinals have been finding their stride in the second half of the season, and as long as Carson Palmer can continue to avoid the costly mistake they should continue their winning ways. The Cardinals defense will be without Rookie safety Tyrran Mathieu as he suffered an ACL injury last weekend against the Rams, but they should be able to adjust well enough to slow down the Titans offense. Cardinals win 21 – 17.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers (SNF). The Steelers nearly pulled off the miracle last weekend against the Miami Dolphins, this weekend they get the opportunity to host the division leading Bengals in an attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive.  The Bengals defense has been stiff this season even after the loss of Geno Atkins on the defensive front.  This could be a very good game on Sunday Night football between AFC North rivals.   Bengals win 28 – 20.

Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions (MNF). The Ravens appear to be hitting their stride a bit as they come down the stretch while the Lions have been pretty hit or miss all season long.  It seems the Lions are much more dangerous when Reggie Bush is in the lineup, and from early reports it appears he will be available for this Monday Night showdown.  The Ravens probably don’t have an answer for Calvin Johnson and quite frankly who does?  Meanwhile the Lions fierce front 4 could make Joe Flacco uncomfortable in the pocket.  These are both teams in the playoff hunt with a lot riding on each of the final 3 games of the season.  There should be plenty of fireworks from all three phases of the game as well as plenty of “this guy” euphemisms from Jon Gruden.  Lions win 23 – 21.

 

 

NFL Week 15 Matchups

Pick

Chargers @ Broncos (TNF)

Broncos

Redskins @ Falcons

Falcons

Bears @ Browns

Bears

Texans @ Colts

Colts

Patriots @ Dolphins

Patriots

Eagles @ Vikings

Eagles

Seahawks @ Giants

Seahawks

49ers @ Bucs

49ers

Bills @ Jaguars

Jaguars

Chiefs @ Raiders

Chiefs

Jets @ Panthers

Panthers

Packers @ Cowboys

 Cowboys

Cardinals @ Titans

Cardinals

Saints @ Rams

Saints

Bengals @ Steelers (SNF)

Bengals

Ravens @ Lions (MNF)

 Lions

Last Week

9-7

Overall Record

121-86

 

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