Big Al’s NFL Picks – Week 15

The NFL is not easy to pick. However, the last two weeks has been amazing.

The Cowboys’ loss to the Giants shocked me, but hey – Any giving Sunday right?! Aaron Rodgers is balling and Green Bay is rolling. Even though they won last week the Jets are still a mess.  I feel embarrassed when I pick them. Atlanta loses at home one week and then Bullyfoots the Rams so bad they fire their coach. Not sure if I am back on the Aaron Rodgers train for good yet.

Still I am rocking a good record at 127-79-2.

(Home Team in CAPS)

BALTIMOREJoe Flacco over Philadelphia – Ravens have the opportunity to pull the plug on the Eagles’ season, I expect the Ravens defense to win this one by shutting down the Eagles offense. Ravens and Flacco need to win final three games for the AFC North title. If Flacco and the offense show up they will roll right through Philadelphia.

KANSAS CITY over Tennessee – Both of these squads need this win. KC should be on a high after upsetting the Raiders and Denver. The Chiefs are just a victory away from clinching a playoff spot, while the Titans need a victory to keep in the playoff race. Both are good teams but I like the home team in this one. Titans running game has been awesome, and should be an asset in bad weather but they will need more in KC. After an OK game last week, I am not confident Mariota will perform that well against Kansas City.

JETS over Miami – Ryan Tannehill is out and the game is at the Jets. This should be a defensive game, but with the Jets fighting for their coach’s job, I don’t see them quitting. Bryce Petty was barely OK in first chance as the starting quarterback. Beating the 49ers will not be as easy as the Dolphins if he still makes mistakes. Most of the time looked like a rookie. But Miami has a backup playing too.  The key will be how does the Dolphins respond to not having their QB. The Dolphins have been playing well, but the Jets should be able to outscore them at home. I think Bilal Powell and the young Jets defensive players – Williams, Lee, Jenkins to be the difference.

MINNESOTAimages over Indianapolis – Peterson should be back from a torn meniscus against the Colts.  Minnesota needs him back, as they have struggled to win the last two month after going 5-0.  They are not out the playoffs, but they have to run the table. The Minnesota defense has been stout all season and they will need another performance to slow down Luck and the Colts. Plus, Peterson might be rusty, even against the Colts defense, so the defense will have to ball to get this win.

Green Bay over CHICAGO – I have not done well picking the Packers this year. So, Packer fans…this is not a good sign. The Packers need their fourth win in a row to have any shot at the catching the Lions and staying in the playoff hunt. It should be a cold one In Chicago, but we saw them win in the cold last week.  They seem to be on a roll though. I thought Rodgers’ injuries this season would be a major factor, but…not so much. He has kept rolling. He is banged up again. Their offense should continue their roll against the Bears even without a strong running game.

New England over DENVER – The defending Super Bowl champs are fighting an uphill battle to make the playoffs and their remaining schedule is HARD! Next up is Brady and the Pats.  I expect the Pats to shut down Denver’s offense and Brady to win a close on the road.

SAN DIEGO over Oakland – Oakland Raiders are coming off a loss and Derek Carr has an injured throwing hand. San Diego Chargers is better than the record, as they loss a few really close games. Don’t be surprised if Melvin Gordon puts up good numbers this week. San Diego at home is hard to pass up on this one.

DALLASDak Prescott over Tampa Bay – The Bucs will be hard to beat as they still have a shot at winning the division title. If Dallas is going the clinch the NFC East and a playoff bye, they will have to right Sunday night at home. What is up with the Cowboys offense – has the rest of the league caught up?  Even with the NFL’s best offensive line, the Boys struggled to run the ball as well the last two weeks. The Vikings and Giants have shut them down.  They were terrible on third down last week and didn’t get Dez the rock.  The Buccaneers have been playing good. Their defense will be one of the better unites the Cowboys have faced this year.  In Sunday night’s game – I see Dallas getting back on track.

HOUSTON over Jacksonville – I am so disappointed with the Jags. I thought they were a playoff team. After eight losses in a row, I think their bags are packed for the offseason. The Texans beat a good Colt team last week, and I think this week is an opportunity for them to solidify their playoff run.  The Texans are a little banged up at Wide Receiver, so I think Miller should get a lot of carries.

GIANTS over Detroit —My gut is picking against the Giants.  Eli has been so-so, they are coming off an emotional victory and this could be a great letdown game. Plus, the Lion defense has been playing well the last two months. If Detroit can get some pressure on Eli this might be a close game.  They key is going to be Stafford.  If he was healthy, I might pick the Lions, but since he is not I give the edge to the Giants.

CINCINNATI over Pittsburgh – Rivalry game!  Throw the records out the window!  Both teams are playing better. Both teams though will have to play better to win because they are so familiar with each other. Le’Veon Bell looked really good last week and they will need him playing well to get in the postseason. More Bell and less Ben seems to be their recipe right now. I think the Bengals will force Ben to win this one though. The Bengals offense looked much better last week; plus, AJ Green is back! Should be one of the better games this weekend.  I’m going with the home team in this division battle.

WASHINGTONKirk Cousins over Carolina – For many this game is about the return of former Panthers cornerback Josh Norman. But that is just a distraction – the real focus should be on the QBs.  The Skins are fighting for a wild card so Cousins has too keep playing well.  While Cam Newton and Carolina’s defense have to play better to finish this disappointing season string. I am going with Skins as I think they have too many weapons for the Panthers defense.

ARIZONA over New Orleans – Arizona is one of the more disappointing teams this season. However, they still have enough juice left to take down the woeful Saints…especially in Arizona.

BUFFALO over Cleveland – Can Cleveland get its first… who am kidding?

ATLANTA over San Francisco – The ‘Niners are already in love for a top-3 draft pick and will be playing only for pride…or possibly Chip Kelly’s job. Either way, Atlanta is fighting for a division title and the right for a first round bye in the playoffs.

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