I like what the Redskins have been doing lately. It seems as if it’s too late for Coach Zorn, but it shows what Jason Campbell might be able to do if you open up the offense for him and let him take chances down the field. I don’t know why it took so long, or why coaches insist on limiting struggling quarterbacks to fewer plays, less responsibility, and fewer options – because everybody should realize that if you go into the game knowing you can’t do certain things, either physically or mentally, you have likely already fallen too far behind to win at all. If you question that, check the film from earlier in the season. But just because I like the Redskins forward motion doesn’t mean I’m picking them here.
In fact, I’m taking the road favorite New York Football Giants to cover in Washington. Like the Redskins, I think the Giants are playing better football as well. Their offense has a rushing attack that is finally playing well after expectations were met earlier in the season. Their passing attack is getting back to the success they had earlier in the year.
The Redskins might be playing well, but sports are all about winning battles, and I don’t know where the Redskins are better than the Giants. I know New York has struggled in the secondary, but will Jason Campbell have enough time to take advantage? I’m saying no. I’ll take the Football Giants.
New York Giants (-3) @ Washington Redskins:
Minnesota Vikings vs Carolina Panthers Sunday Night Football Week 15 Pick: The Panthers aren’t very good, but even worse yet, they haven’t been coached very well this year. This team, no matter what the situation, how much time is left on the clock, likes to throw the ball when they are running with success. It baffles me. It pains me to see one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL go to Matt Moore when the game is on the line, when you have DeAngleo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, a good offensive line that has successfully created running room against just about every opponent they’ve played again, when you have a 2nd string quarterback that is amazingly worse than the turnover machine that started the first 10 games of the season. But the Panthers continue to do their due diligence, as they threw the ball more than they ran it last week, despite being down by a score or less for most of the entire game, and having Williams run for about 7 yards per carry, the Panthers did it again. Amazing.
So how can I put my money on this team? I can’t. The Viking have a very good rushing attack, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave the Panthers a little taste of the recipe Carolina should be using. Adrian Peterson looks like a good candidate to gain 150 yards this weekend. The Vikings are very tough up front, and could limit the only thing the Panthers do well.
So, not only is this a terrible match-up for the Panthers, but they haven’t shown any signs of figuring it out. Give me the Vikings and a mere touchdown. Thanks.
Minnesota Vikings (-7) @ Carolina Panthers:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Seattle Seahawks Week 15 Picks: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might have a worse record than the Seattle Seahawks, but it’s hard to say which team has managed a more terrible and disappointing season. While Tampa has managed just a single win, a flukey offensive performance against the Green Bay Packers what seems like ages ago, the Seahawks have consistently looked terrible against any team worth half a penny. In their healthiest game of the season since about Week 1, the Hawks got full throttled by the Houston Texans last week, giving up 7,322 yards in the first five minutes of the game. It looked like Houston was running a two-minute drill against 8th graders. But, despite all that mumbo jumbo, I’m going with the Hawks at home by 7. I don’t know why I’m doing it, but I’ll try to explain the best I can.
Seattle is 4-2 at home, and obviously they are so weak mentally that they think playing at home actually gives them an advantage. They are one of the worst teams in the league on road, second to only a couple teams, one of them being the Tampa Bay Bucs. The Buccos have yet to win a road game this season.
67% of the public bet is on Seattle, and I’ve always questioned taking a team that is 3 games under .500 yet favored by a touchdown – but I think Seattle can run early and often on the Bucs, and if Jim Mora can promptly remove his head from the suit of aces, and give the ball to his most explosive offensive player (Justin Forsett) then I think they’ll wing the game easily. Nothing like putting your chips on Jim Mora’s logic…
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Seattle Seahawks (-7)
Green Bay Packers vs Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Betting Picks: The Green Bay Packers are probably the better team, but just barely, and not by nearly as much as everyone would like you to think. The Steelers, even in their saddened state, are still a great even bet at home – it’s not like they have injuries up the kazoo, they still have plenty of studs and Super Bowl champs, and it’s not like Green Bay is above a loss to a struggling team. Remember, if it weren’t for the Packers, the Bucs might still be battling winless infamy. But Green Bay has played well, and Pittsburgh has dumped in their girdles, but isn’t that bound to turn around soon?
I know Pittsburgh is out of it, but this is still a team with a lot of pride, you can’t say anything else about a winning organization like this. Green Bay struggled against Chicago last week, and the Bears aren’t much. The Steelers are also very good at home, beating Minnesota, San Diego, and Tennessee there already.
The Packers are good, and there winning streak has been impressive, but I’m still not sold on their ability to pull away from a good team. And the Steelers can play this game. They can also win a close one late, and that might be what the deal ends up being here. I like Mike Tomlin and trust his ability to win a big game before the season is over – playing spoiler is something the Steel-show can do very well.
Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers (pk)
Cincinnati Bengals vs San Diego Chargers Pick & Preview: I don’t know why this line is the way it is. Giving the Bengals seven points in San Diego is basically saying the Chargers are 4 points better than Cincinnati – and that I can’t buy into. I may be a little bit cynical, but the amazing 8-win stretch that San Diego is currently rocking is just another reason for me to go with my gut and take the Bengals. Cincinnati is coming off their worst performance of the year (if you throw out that loss to the freaking Oakland Raiders) while the Chargers are coming off a game where they played so-so and beat the Cowboys. The Bengals won’t dump in their pants two weeks in a row, and the Chargers are bound to struggle a bit more really soon.
San Diego is 10-3, yes, but it’s not like the Bengals are chunky soup – they are 9-4 and have beaten up on some pretty good teams this season. They can run, pass, play damn good defense, and have a team full of emotion after the death of their teammate earlier in the week. I’m not playing the “emotional” card, I’m going with my original feeling about the game, but I definitely believe that the majority of athletes play better when they are trying to prove something, right a wrong, fight for something – and there’s a chance the current situation in Cincinnati helps the Bengals play better this week.
The bottom line is you don’t give a good team a touchdown, and that’s exactly what’s happening here. I know the Bengals played bad last week, but a team playing bad last week is a terrible reason to go against them. Upset city, folk, the 7 points are even that much nicer.
Cincinnati Bengals (+7) @ San Diego Chargers:
Oakland Raiders vs Denver Broncos NFL Week 15 Pick: I don’t know what it is about this bet that makes me feel so good, maybe the fact that Denver plugs bad teams, or maybe the idea that the Oakland Raiders will be starting a practice squad player that failed to make it with all the other teams that gave him a chance, or maybe the fact that Al Davis is using up all the team energy to power the breathing unit that keeps oxygen entering his life system. Shoot, I know a lot about this game has me liking the Broncos at -12.5 – I’d be happier at -10, because it’s not like this offensive unit is stellar in Denver, but I’ll do with 12.5.
The “practice squad player” isn’t a running back or a lineman or a kicker, the guy is going to get the nod at quarterback for the black and silver. And who is going to be second string? That’s still a toss up between J.P. Losman (signed six minutes ago) and JaMarcus Russell (infinitely one of the biggest number one busts of all time) or Al Davis himself. This is beginning to become a bad joke with so many punchlines that my eyes are swelling shut – either from the punches or the tears, or both.
Sure, the Raiders have surprised some teams, especially lately, and they have a decent rushing attack – but you can’t argue for one minute that this group of guys really stands a chances with the “front office people” (Al Davis and Al Davis) running the show. I feel terribly for Richard Seymour. That’s all. Denver, do it.
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos (-12.5):