San Diego Charger at Denver Broncos (-10)
The Chargers are currently fighting for a shot at the playoffs, in 8th place in the AFC with 6 wins. They need this one as much as the Broncos, who are trying to hold on to the top seed in the AFC.
Last I heard, Keenan Allen was looking like he'd play in this one... if so that's big for San Diego. Last week he pulled in only three catches, but managed to have his usual impact, as two of those were touchdowns.
I'm waiting for someone to hand the Broncos a big helping of fist to the face, it doesn't look like it'll happen during the last few weeks of the regular season though.
The Pick: Broncos
Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons (-7½)
Cousins coming in to start for the Redskins is a wildcard here. I'd be more confident in a Falcons win if Robert Griffin were at quarterback, as Washington has proven they can effectively lose games with him.
As it is? I'm still looking at a probable Falcons win, just... with less conviction.
The Pick: Falcons
Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns (-2½)
Bears looked good against Dallas on Monday. Weapons are all over the field when they're on offense, and that backup quarterback they're using these days is pulling his weight.
Browns? I mean, yeah Josh Gordon is amazing. But doing things at the receiver position that have never been done before does not a win make. (For proof: See the last three weeks of the Browns existence)
The Pick: Bears
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-5½)
Colts clinched their division last week by virtue of a Titans loss to Denver.
I have this sneaking suspicion that it will be one of the final high points in their 2013 season. Since Reggie Wayne has been out Indy has gone from giving up 19 points a game to giving up 31 per... The reason? Time of possesion, and third down failures on offense. Should out to my boy Pat Kirwin for that tidbit.
Colts win, savor it Indy... you'll see few moving forward in 2013.
The Pick: Colts
(-1) Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars
I love the Bills. I have consistently picked them this year whenever I felt I had any reason to do so. Gus has those boys down in the bayou playing their tails off though.
This Jaguars team reminds me of Pete Carroll's first Seahawks team in 2010. That team has the talent of a 3-5 win team, but won 7 through sheer effort.
Jacksonville is arguably the least talented team in the league, but they seem to have finally got with the program down there, and will likely end up with a fifth win because of it.
The Pick: Jaguars
(-1) New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Patriots squeaked past a bad Browns team last week with a hail mary of an offsides kick. The Dolphins beat a Steelers team at home. I thank the Phins for beating the Steelers, but that was days ago and this is a what have you done for me lately type of picks column.
Did you know?
The Dolphins have not won a game for four days? I think they're due.
The Pick: Dolphins
(-4.5) Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings
Eagles roared back to beat the Lions in what was the coolest game I might have ever watched on television. The Vikings... wait the Vikings lost to the Ravens in what is likely ACTUALLY the coolest game I've ever watched on television.
Who else badly wants to see Cordarelle Patterson run around in the snow?
The Pick: Eagles
(-7½) Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants
I'd update the infographic I put together last week to show the Giants lack of success against above average quarterbacks, but I don't need to!
The graphic remains accurate. They lost, like I said they would, because they were facing an above average quarterback... They're facing another one this week. So the pick is easy.
The Pick: Seahawks
DOWN WITH THE NINERS. The Bucs are hot, they're at home, I hate the Niners.
Is my judgement clouded? I don't care.
The Pick: Bucs
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (-12½)
Panthers. Easy pick. Don't know how I feel about that spread, seems high. That's all.
The Pick: Panthers
(-4½) Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
I spent like five minutes trying to come up with a clever line that referenced a potential meeting of Native Americans and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I couldn't do it. If I could though, you'd have read why I believe the Chiefs will do well this weekend. You might've laughed too.
The Pick: Chiefs
(-5½) New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams
Ahhh it's time to talk about the New Orleans Saints voyage to face the St. Louis CK Rams.
The Rams have looked like a much better team since their near upset win over the Seahawks in late October, but two straight losses to contenders in the NFC make it hard to believe they'll pull off the third attempt.
The Pick: Saints
(-2½) Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
The Cardinals have won 8 games.
You have to read that sentence out loud to really drive home the point.
This game might end up being one of the most entertaining of the weekend. Could totally be a stinker too. Depends on which Titans team shows up, and which Cardinals team shows up.
I'm wagering the Cards make a fashionably late appearance, and finish the night as the clearest choice for "life of the party"
The Pick: Cards
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-8)
A loss in Chicago won't sway my confidence in this Cowboys team. A loss this week to the woeful Packers would though...
The Pick: Cowboys
(-2½) Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
DOWN WITH THE STEELERS.
"Oh those Seahawks fans need to get over the Steelers, that's so last decade..."
You know what b!+c#?! Football is good for three things: Enjoying food with friends, finding things to hate that aren't your coworkers, and celebrating your teams Superbowl championships.
I can't do that third thing, so I do a whole hell of a lot of the first two. Don't tell me how to live.
The Pick: Bengals
Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions (-7)
Like the Eagles and Vikings before them, both of these teams are coming off of two of the greatest games I've had the pleasure of watching in some time. I have little hope of this one being so entertaining however.
The Pick: Lions
Picks against the spread:
I love Tampa to cover (+5.5) against San Fran, the Chargers to cover (+10.5) against in Denver.
Arizona seems like a decent bet to win by a touchdown in Tennessee, if you're looking for more than two.
Questions on any other games? You can always find me on twitter.
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- Seahawks penalty count: Seattle may draw a lot of flags, but is that always a bad thing?
- NFL Playoffs picture, Draft order & rooting interest guide: The Watch, Week 15