Thursday, 15 December 2011

NFL Week 15 Predictions

Overall record = 65-27

Thursday Night Football

JAC Jaguars @ ATL Falcons
Normally this would be a relatively easy matchup to decide, but after last week’s blowout against Tampa, the Jags shouldn’t be taken lightly. Despite the Jags 4-9 record they still have a top 10 defence and Maurice Jones-Drew is currently leading the NFL in rushing yards.

At one stage it looked like Atlanta may fall to the Carolina Panthers, but Matt Ryan and the Falcons offence managed to find their groove to score 24 unanswered points to earn the victory. If Atlanta wants to hold onto the division title then they need to win all of their remaining games or hope the Saints suffer a major collapse.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Atlanta to win by 10.

6PM GMT Games

DAL Cowboys @ TB Buccaneers
Oh Dallas, why do you always do this? Up by two scores with less than 3.14 remaining in the game, the Cowboys had the opportunity to claim a two game lead in the NFC East, but Romo and the Cowboys do what they did best and went on to lose the game. The fifth time Dallas has lost a game after leading in the fourth quarter this year...

Somehow Tampa managed to find a way to get blown out against Jacksonville. It seems that the Bucs have finally hit rock bottom which could be a plus as from now on the only way can be up. If Tampa wants to get back to winning ways then Josh Freeman will have to find his form from the 2010 season.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Dallas to win by 12.
MIA Dolphins @ BUF Bills
After winning four of their last five games, Miami fell to the Philadelphia Eagles last week which ultimately cost their head coach his job. With the Bills coming to town,Miami’s interim head coach Todd Bowles gets the perfect opportunity to get his coaching record off to a good start.

Despite earning a new contract earlier this season, the Bills can still opt out of Ryan Fitzpatrick at any point if they wish. After looking like a franchise QB, Fitzpatrick has been turnover prone with 10 turnovers in the last six games and any turnovers in this game could see Tyler Thigpen get game time against one of his former teams.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Miami to win by 9.

SEA Seahawks @ CHI Bears
Want to go beast mode? Eat a pack of skittles! It seems to be working for Marshawn Lynch as he rushed for more than 100 yards for the fifth time in the last six games. Lynch now needs 31 more yards to top the 1,000 yards rushing mark for the third time in his career. With an outside chance of making the playoffs, the Seahawks seem to have found their form at the right time.

Unlike Seattle, Chicago seems to have lost all of their good form as they lost for the third straight time. After suffering the full effect of Tebow Magic last week, Marion Barber and the Bears need to try and earn some respect back this week after last week’s inexcusably collapse.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Seattle to win by 4.

CAR Panthers @ HOU Texans
Once again the Panthers found a way to lose despite Cam Newton and DeAngelo Williams trying their hardest to carry the team to the finishing post. Fortunately for the Panthers they’re no longer the basement team in the NFC South due to the collapse of Tampa Bay.

T.J. Yates! Who is he? Some kid out of the University of North Carolina, but after his last minute comeback victory, he’s now the kid who got the Texans to the playoffs for the first time in their history. With the AFC South now locked up, Houston can now turn their attention to the winning the rest of their games to secure the number one seed in the AFC.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Texans to win by 10.

TEN Titans @ IND Colts
Despite losing Matt Hasselbeck to an injury in the 2nd quarter, the Titans almost came away with the victory vs the Saints with Jake Locker under centre. With the loss to the Saints, Tennessee have missed out on the chance to win the AFC South but still have a chance of making the playoffs.

Indianapolis you suck! At least Peyton Manning starting throwing a football today.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Titans to win by 17.

GB Packers @ KC Chiefs
It seems that the Packers will try and go for perfection after last week’s hammering of the Oakland Raiders. The good news for the Packers is that they’re winning so easily that they can afford to pull their starters by HT (bad news for FF players).

Another team, another coach getting the boot. The shocking dismissal of Todd Haley just shows that the Chiefs are still a joke franchise who have had one good season and suddenly think they’re amazing. Looking at the stats, the Chiefs have lost five games by more than 27 points this season and haven’t scored more than 10 points since October...At least Kyle Orton is getting the start this week...YAY!

Dbl Coverage prediction: Packers to win by 15.

NO Saints @ MIN Vikings
Tracey Porter has good memories against the Vikings after his interception in the 2009 NFC Championship. After their 5 point victory over the Titans last week, the Saints have moved up to the number 2 seed in the NFC and are in prime position for a first round bye in the playoffs.

Despite their free fall this season, the Vikings still have a few bright sparks on their team. Jared Allen, Percy Harvin and Toby Gerhart(who’s doing well stepping in for the injured Adrian Peterson) are all playing at an elite level. The beat up Vikings D will struggle to slow down Drew Brees and the New Orleans passing offence.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Saints to win by 17.

WAS Redskins @ NY Giants
Despite facing off against the Patriots last week the Redskinsonly lost by 7 points. Maybe they should learn how to tackle tight ends...They  will be hoping to sweep the Giants with a victory this weekend.

Is Jason Pierre-Paul the next Michael Strahan? Now in his sophomore season Pierre-Paul is starting to dominate most opposition’s offensive lines with his latest victims being the Dallas Cowboys (2 sacks, a forced fumble and blocked field goal). The Giants will be hoping to win in December to claim the NFC East crown instead of faltering down the stretch like they have done in previous years.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Giants to win by 8.

CIN Bengals @ STL Rams
A few weeks ago the Bengals had a real shot of making the playoffs behind the arm of the Ginger Gunslinger rookie Andy Dalton. After the loss of key defensive players and sloppy performances, the Bengals now find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff race. A win this week could restore the their hopes.

The Rams now find themselves sitting at 2-11 a year after going 7-9. Once again Steven Jackson is the bright spot on the Rams offence and is now only 105 yards from reaching the 1,000 mark for the eight straight season. With a top 5 pick in the NFL draft, the Rams could cash in and trade away the high pick for numerous picks from a team in need of a franchise QB.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Bengals to win by 15.

9PM GMT Games

DET Lions @ OAK Raiders
This matchup pits the two most flagged teams in the NFL against each other, so a quick message to fans of both teams – you may be in for a long game. No doubt the commish will be watching this game licking his lips thinking of all the money the league can gain from fining a majority of the players of the pitch.

You know who returns to the Detroit Lions line up after serving a two game suspension for stamping on a Packers lineman and with the Bears starting to collapse and with a victory last week, the Lions now have a real shot of making the playoffs for the first time since the early 90’s.

Two weeks ago the Raiders led the AFC West by one game, now they find themselves one game back of the Denver Broncos. Despite Michael Bush finding some form, the Raiders are still struggling since the loss of Darren McFadden.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Detroit to win by 6.

CLE Browns @ ARI Cardinals
Cleveland, Cleveland, it any reason some of their players want to leave their respective teams (LeBron and eventually Hillis) after the way they treat their players. Not only did the Browns let Colt McCoy return to the game with concussion like symptoms, Mike Holmgren is now saying that the medical staff didn’t even check for concussion. Expect a fine sometime soon Cleveland.

Somehow the Cardinals only manage to win when their QB gets replaced. The latest being a victory over the divisional leaders San Francisco. Larry Fitzgerald once again passes 1,000 receiving yards with 149 yards against the 49ers. This week’s match up against Joe Haden will be an interesting battle.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Cardinals to win by 3.

NE Patriots @ DEN Broncos
As a Patriots fan I really hope they are winning by more than 14 when it comes to the final 5 minutes of the game, otherwise they might fall victim to the Tebow effect. Despite posting 34 points against the Redskins, the Pats still conceded 27 and almost lost the game. Fortunately New England has Gronkowski carrying the passing attack (and would-be tacklers) towards another win.

Over the years numerous people have knocked on my front door or stopped me in the street to talk about God or a higher being and I never believed them. Then along comes Tim Tebow and his 2011 Denver team and BAM! I’m starting to think they may be on to something...It’s either that or Tebow lures the opposition into a false sense of security then goes and wins the game in the final few minutes. Either way the Broncos are nonstop entertainment and could win a Superbowl(Ed: Disclaimer, the writer wasn’t on crack…)!

Dbl Coverage prediction: Broncos to win by 7.

NY Jets @ PHI Eagles
The Jets are quietly putting together a good run of form and may carry it into the post season causing a few upsets to some of the more dominating teams in the AFC. With a trip to the city of brotherly love, the Jets will be hoping that Mark Sanchez continues his good form against a less than impressive Eagles defence.

The Eagles found some form against the Dolphins, but is it enough to return to the playoffs? I’m not so sure, a loss this week would end any playoff hopes for this season. With the return of Vick the Eagles offence now face the challenge of the Jets defence. Vick vs the Jetsdbs will be an exciting matchup.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Jets to win by 6.

1.20AM GMT Game

BAL Ravens @ SD Chargers
Rumour has it that Ray Lewis will be returning to the Ravens line up after missing four straight games. Despite the loss of Lewis, Terrell Suggs has continued to lead the Ravens D and has now made a solid case for D player of the year. A win this week could see the Ravens claim the number one spot in the AFC.

San Diego are doing what they do best and winning in December. Unfortunately for the Chargers, there’s another team who’s winning in their division so their playoff hopes are very minimal for the time being. Hopefully Phillip Rivers will remember to throw the ball towards the other teams endzone this week, not his own.

Dbl Coverage prediction: Ravens to win by 7.

Monday Night Football

PIT Steelers @ SF 49ers
Before the season began who honestly thought this would be a potential Superbowl matchup? Well it is as the 10-3 Steelers face off against the 10-3 49ers. Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison will be suspended for this game after his hit on Colt McCoy in this matchup of two of the best defences in the NFL.

With longer rest for this game, the Steelers will be hoping Big Ben has had enough time to recover from his high ankle sprain, as Pittsburgh will be relying on him to carry the Steeler offence once again.

The 49ers will still be reeling from their 2 point loss against the Cardinals. Now facing off against the Steelers, the 49ers task of earning a bye in the first round of the playoffs doesn’t get any easier. Alex Smith will finally be able to show if he is a reliable QB when he goes against the Dick LeBeau defence.

Dbl Coverage prediction: 49ers to win by 3.

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