By IAN WUKITSCH
Week 15 starts with me being as happy as I’ve been all season. Two reasons: my Titans suck and are front runners to get Amari Cooper, giving the Titans a playmaking wideout they’ve lacked since Derrick Mason, and secondly, it’s Johnny Manziel time in Cleveland! JFF is taking the Browns to the Super Bowl, just watch. Now for the picks.
HOME team in CAPS
New York Jets (-3) over TENNESSEE TITANS
I’m sure Mr. Jet himself, JJ Conrad, is going to love this one. After yet another embarrassing loss last week against the Giants, the Titans look like a team tanking to get the first overall pick in next year’s draft. To add injury to insult,Tennessee lost their QB of the future, Zach Mettenberger, to injury for the remainder of the season. The Titans can’t run or throw, and can’t stop anyone either. This team is an absolute joke. What this game comes down to is the fact that the Jets have a better chance of scoring than the Titans do. With a backfield that averages close to 150 ypg on the ground, they will be sure to run all over the week Titans run defense, which allows 141 ypg. This game will be a sloppy shit show, and really won’t be worth watching. Take the Jets in what could go down as the worst game ever played.
Green Bay Packers (-4.5) over BUFFALO BILLS
I am actually shocked to see this spread being so low. The Packers have looked like an easy choice to cruise to the Super Bowl. Offensively, this team is nothing short of a juggernaut, led by the man himself Aaron Rodgers. Don’t think that the only thing the Pack can do is throw the ball, because their running game is pretty damn impressive as well. Behind the solid season by Eddie Lacy, 850 yards thus far, this team is averaging 115 ypg on the ground, in addition to the 275 ypg they put up through the air. The Bills only hope in this one is their defense, which is currently ranked 5th in the NFL in total team defense at 19 ppg allowed. However, I really don’t see them being able to stop the 4-headed monster the Packers have on offense in Rodgers, Lacy, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb. This team has too much firepower to be stopped, and there’s no way Kyle Orton and the rest of the Bills mediocre offense will be able to keep pace in a shootout. I’m taking the Packers in a rout.
Not So Fast My Friend
The following games are ones I’d try and stay away from this weekend — unless you’re a complete degenerate gambler and are feeling lucky. In that case, good luck.
Oakland Raiders (+10) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The Chiefs enter this game at 7-6, while the Raiders are a dismal 2-1. Easy to pick the Chiefs, right? Not so fast my friend. Let’s all recall what happened the last time these two teams met. The winless Raiders won a close one, 24-20, at home, against the then 7-3 Chiefs. That was the beginning of what is now a three game skid for KC. On the black and silver side of things, the Raiders have showed late season life and have won two of three. One team is hot, and the other isn’t. Derek Carr has looked pretty good this year, and enters the game with more yards and TDs than savvy veteran Alex Smith. This game is going to come down to the rookie Carr, and if he limits turnovers I see Oakland victorious again. This game is going to be about which team has more heart. I see lots of heart in this embattled Raiders team, and a defeated Chiefs squad that appears to have all but given up on a once-promising season. Don’t sleep on Oakland. Even if they don’t win, expect the Raiders to cover the spread.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2) at ATLANTA FALCONS
I would not want to play this Atlanta Falcons team right now. At only 5-8, they are in first place in the lowly NFC South, fresh off a heartbreaker against Green Bay where Matty Ice and Co. put up 37 points in a losing effort. The Steelers are still putting up massive amounts of yards (427 per game) and points (nearly 28 per game). Atlanta has a high powered offense themselves, and Matt Ryan and Julio Jones look like the combo of old, as the team is averaging 25 points per game and over 280 passing yards per game. With all these offensive numbers, it makes predicting this game very difficult – because neither of these defenses are capable of getting key stops. I can’t predict who is going to win this one, but you can be damn sure there will be a lot of points and big numbers from both Big Ben and Matty Ice. Too tough to call because of unreliable defenses and high scoring offenses. Take the over of 54.5 though, that’ll hit for sure.
Miami Dolphins (+7.5) over NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The last time these two teams met was week one in Miami, where the Dolphins came out and stunned the Pats 33-20. A lot has changed since then, with the Pats currently at 10-3 and the Dolphins sitting at 7-6. The Dolphins have historically performed well against the Patriots, with Miami owning the historical matchup with a record of 52-46. This game pits two good defenses, both allowing 20.5 ppg, and Miami enters with a formidable secondary that allows a little over 200 ypg through the air. I’d look for this defense to give Mr. Uggs himself – Tom Brady – some fits in the passing game, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Patriots turn to the ground game early in this one. If Miami can limit Brady, and force New England to use their running back by committee, I see Miami winning this contest. This Dolphins team won’t wow you on offense, but they will protect the football (+4 turnover differential) and play a smart, low penalty game (2nd fewest penalties committed in NFL). Look for Ryan Tannehill to make smart decisions with the football and for Lamar Miller to continue his quality season. If history repeats itself, the Dolphins will upset the Pats once again.
Another week in the books, football fans. As the 2014 season comes to a close, just remember there will be a lot of “trap” games as teams decide to start sitting stars to rest them for the playoffs. Remember; if it looks too good to be true, chances are it is indeed a trap.