NFL WEEK FIFTEEN PREVIEW

This week the Broncos stampede East to take on the Ravens

This week the Broncos stampede East to take on the Ravens

by Ryan Meehan and Coach Ryan Spickler
 
Coach: Just when you thought the 2012 season was starting to pan out, last week happened. To me the biggest story coming after Week 14 was just how weak the AFC North looks. The only team to come out with a win last week was the Browns against the lowly Chiefs. I’m starting to think that if Baltimore or Pittsburgh were in any other division they would be in major jeopardy of missing the playoffs all together, ok maybe not Baltimore because of their good start this year. This week brings us a lot of question marks in the injury department and for a lot of teams who have playoff aspirations like the Redskins and Bengals it is do or die time. With only three weeks left in the NFL season it’s become clear who is definitely in the post season but there are tons of question marks on teams who are trying to get into the Wild Card slots. Who is in? Who could be out? Let’s find out in this week’s NFL Preview!
 
Thursday Night Football:  Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-9)
 
Coach Ryan: After Philadelphia dropped a franchise worse EIGHT in a row they finally were able to put together a winning effort in a last minute win against the Buccaneers last week in Tampa. What do you know, all it took was benching Michael Vick. At this point the Philadelphia project is over and the Eagles are only a few weeks away from being imploded. To make matters worse they are going against a Cincinnati team that is at an absolute must win part of the season. At this point the Eagles are playing without their “franchise” quarterback and there really is no point in having LeSean McCoy play again this season, thanks for killing my fantasy team by the way. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles can finish on a high note as kind of a thank you to the obviously lame duck Coach Andy Reid. The spread on the game is 3.5 and the Eagles frustrating season is just going to get more agonizing this week as I’m picking the Bengals to cover on the road.
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick: Bengals 27, Eagles 13
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Bengals 22, Eagles 20
 
Minnesota Vikings (7-6) at St. Louis Rams (6-6)
 
Coach Ryan: It took until week 12 but the past three weeks the Rams have actually seemed like a decent football team. Even though beating the Bills may not seem like a huge win when you consider it was on the road and they didn’t go ahead until the final minute of play, you have to give the Rams credit. They also seem like the only team in the NFL who can figure out how to consistently compete with the Niners. This week they are welcoming a Vikings team that is coming up an improbable win against the Bears, then again it is the Bears and they are in trouble but we’ll get to that later. The key for the Vikings is going to be if Adrian Peterson can replicate his performance last week. St. Louis isn’t nearly the defense that Chicago is and I think Peterson will get over 100 yards and a score but I think the momentum of the Rams will carry them past the Vikings. I’m going to pick the Rams to cover the 3 point spread.

Coach Ryan’s Pick:  Vikings 23, Rams 21

Meehan’s Pick:  Vikings 23, Rams 14

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) at Miami Dolphins (5-8)
 
Coach Ryan: Jacksonville has once again cemented themselves along with the Chiefs as the bottom of the NFL by losing at home to the terrible Jets last week. How bad was their victory last week? The Jets won the game and out of the few Jets fans at the game several were wearing paper bags over their head, and that’s the winning team. Miami on the other hand continues their slide from playoff Wild Card team to bottom of the AFC East by losing five out of their last six after losing at San Francisco last week. Although don’t quit yet Dolphins fans you should be able to cover the 7 point spread at home for what more than likely will be your last victory of the year. Phins up!
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick: Dolphins 24, Jaguars 13
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Dolphins 32, Jaguars 6

Green Bay Packers (9-4) at Chicago Bears (8-5)

The problem here is the right side of this photo is crucial to the Bears's ability to force turnovers which they so desperately need

The problem here is the right side of this photo is crucial to the Bears’s ability to force turnovers which they so desperately need

Coach Ryan: Let’s go back in time for a second and look at both of these teams after they both had played their sixth game. The Bears were 5-1, losing only at Green Bay while the Pack were 3-3 and looking extremely mediocre. Fast forward to today and although there is only a game separating these rivals in the standings you can’t help but think that the Pack could be one of the premier NFC teams while the Bears give off the impression they could miss the playoffs all together. All of this is hard for me to admit after riding the Bears bandwagon all year but unfortunately they seem like another Lovie Smith team in the midst of another late season collapse. Some Bears fans may stick up for Smith and tell you how the loss of Urlacher is the main reason behind this collapse but if you look deeper this is a team that has a lot bigger problems then one linebacker during the twilight of his career. The Bears have repeatedly neglected their need for help on the offensive line and their overall philosophy just doesn’t hold up during today’s era of the NFL. They try to win games by relying on turnovers which although nobody will discount the importance of having a good defense who creates fumbles and interceptions you still have to rely on an offense to be your main source of scoring. This game is one that ultimately could decide which direction the Bears head as a franchise. If they win and make the playoffs they may continue to stay the path, lose this game and miss out the playoffs and it’s time to clean house. I for one am picking option two and have the Packers covering the 3 point spread in Chicago.
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick: Packers 27, Bears 17
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Packers 30, Bears 27

Washington Redskins (7-6) at Cleveland Browns (5-8)
 
Coach Ryan: I don’t know if anyone who reads this blog can tell but I am a fan of the Cleveland Browns, who happen to be riding a three game winning streak. This week the red hot Browns are going to be welcoming the red hot Redskins in a game that people should pay attention to but won’t because it’s the Browns. Unfortunately instead of billing this game as two of the more exciting young teams squaring off the main focus is going to be whether or not RGIII is healthy enough to play. The Skins need to be smart about how they approach this game, on one side your playoff hopes may be riding on winning this game but at the same time you have one of the most electrifying quarterbacks in the NFL whose future you don’t want to risk. Personally if I was running the Skins I would give him the week to heal but the NFL always seems to have the “win now” mentality which you can’t help but wonder will come into play here. The one thing that I think will save RGIII from further injuring himself this week was the play of fellow rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins last week. Sure the former Spartan was only in for a few plays but his poise and smart play ended up being the difference in the game. The spread on the game is Off (0) so apparently I’m not the only one who is stuck on what to do so I’ll end up picking the Browns cause I haven’t picked them to win in a while (enter sarcasm). In all seriousness though a healthy RGIII and I would expect the Skins to win and even with him out I think this will be a really close game because the Browns are going to have to rely on college and preseason film to prepare for a very good backup in Cousins.  
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick: Browns 17, Skins 16 

Meehan’s Pick:  Redskins 24, Browns 23

Denver Broncos (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
 
Coach Ryan: This is a game that a few weeks ago had mega-matchup all over it and at this point the main story line seems to be whether or not the Ravens will continue their slide. Luckily for Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati have also been slipping as of late so their division lead is safe for the time being. Unfortunately for the Ravens, their luck may be running out because Peyton Manning is bringing his eight game winning streak into Baltimore. Earlier in the season this was a game that I had circled due to the fact that I thought it would be the Broncos last true test leading up to the playoffs but at this point I’m not sure how true of a test it will be. If Baltimore has anything going for them it’s that it is possible that these two could meet in the playoffs so it’s debatable just how much the more talented Broncos will be willing to show this week. Baltimore on the other hand is starting to worry this is a much more important game for them in the what is becoming tight AFC North the Ravens are going to be playing with playoff intensity. This game is going to be a somewhat test for Peyton Manning and the Broncos defense but when it comes to Peyton Manning this should just be another notch in his belt as I’m picking the Broncos to cover the 2.5 point spread without much trouble.
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick: Broncos 31, Ravens 21
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Broncos 31, Ravens 17
 
Indianapolis Colts (9-4) at Houston Texans (11-2)
 
Coach Ryan: To all Texans fans, you lost, bad but it’s not the end of the world. Sure a lot of the football world myself included watched last week’s Monday Night Fiasco with great anticipation and extreme disappointment however that didn’t eliminate you from the postseason. Granted I have my doubts about the Texans getting past the Division Round of the postseason but that doesn’t make it impossible. New England has been and still is one of the premier teams in the AFC and at this point I expect them to make the AFC Championship but there is time to make adjustments and get momentum back on your side. Now that we have moved past that the one thing that the Texans need to do to regain some confidence is beat the really good Colts. Both these teams have really bad losses to the Patriots and both of these teams are more than likely headed to the post season where I think there’s a good chance of them playing each other which is why this is my most intriguing matchup of Week 15 (along with the Niners at Pats). Andrew Luck has continued to grow and even last week where he didn’t play good the Colts were still able to find a way to come from behind to beat the Titans. The Titans are not the Texans or not even close but this is a team that believes in what they are doing and shouldn’t be underestimated. The spread on the game is a surprising 8.5 and although I think the Texans will win, one thing I’ve learned about the Colts it’s that they seem to be able to keep it close and I’m not putting a Colts upset outside the relm of possibility.
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick: Texans 31, Colts 27
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Texans 25, Colts 19

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) at New Orleans Saints (5-8) 
 
Coach Ryan: This past week finally brought the Bounty Gate scandal to a close as former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue actually went against current Commissioner Goodell and sided with the players which finally ended one of the stranger stories of the year in sports, kind of. There is still a lawsuit by Vilma and I’m sure something else will be thrown in there to make everyone do a double take again but for the first time all year the players on the Saints will be able to focus just on football. Unfortunately for the Saints it’s too late and head coach Sean Payton is still suspended for the roller coaster season that has been 2012. The last time these teams met the Saints pulled off the win and still had playoff aspirations. This time they will be trying to play spoiler as the Bucs are holding onto their playoff hopes by a thread. To get in Tampa would have to win out which would be really hard considering this game along with division rival Atlanta in Atlanta but you know that they are still going to pull out all the punches to get past their hated rivals. In the end I think the Saints are going to cover the 3.5 point spread at home in a game where they will be giving a big middle finger to Roger Goodell and the NFL, until next year when Coach Payton returns.

Coach Ryan’s Pick:  Saints 38, Bucs 17

Meehan’s Pick:  Saints 29, Buccaneers 21
 
New York Giants (8-5) at Atlanta Falcons (11-2)
 
Meehan:  In the past two weeks, both of these teams have lit up the New Orleans Saints, which is not nearly as much of a feat as it has been in recent years.  Also during that time, the Giants lost a heartbreaking one point contest to the Washington Redskins on RG3’s MNF debut and Atlanta got crushed by the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte.  In that game, the Falcons feel behind 23-0 early and showed many signs of the team we had thought they might be.  All year long, I have thought that Atlanta has played well but they have enough weaknesses to give them the same playoff result that they have been getting in recent seasons.  I have this sort of sneaking suspicion that the Falcons are nowhere near as good as their record would indicate, and I’m sure that I am no less than one of millions of other people who feel that way.  Hell, I felt that way before the Carolina game and so did most of those people I just mentioned.  As for the Giants, they are still committing a lot of stupid penalties but they did put up 52 points against the Saints and created several turnovers during that game.  Perhaps the brightest star was return man David Wilson who racked up a total of 327 all purpose yards en route to a 52-27 blowout at home.  It’s good to see some of their numbers are looking better, but it’s even better news to see that they are playing better as a unit and not missing nearly as many tackles as they did in the Washington game.  But the Giants need to really buy into the whole “one game at a time” cliché as after this they will play the Baltimore Ravens (who have historically always had their number) and they close the season against the Philadelphia Eagles. (who are always a problem and will be looking to ruin somebody’s final week)  However in this case, I believe they do just that and I am taking the Giants by two points because I smell BS on Atlanta’s end.  And Eli Manning will be considered a better clutch quarterback than Matt Ryan until further notice, or at least until I’ve seen something that will tell me otherwise. 
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Giants 28, Falcons 26
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick: Giants 27, Falcons 24

Detroit Lions (4-9) at Arizona Cardinals (4-9) 
 
Meehan:  Welcome to the battle of the underachievers.  The Lions made the playoffs last year and it looked as if their high scoring offense was going to be enough to make up for the many basic mistakes their defense continues to make.  Another example of such mistakes came on Sunday night, when they somehow let Aaron Rodgers escape a sure-fire sack and scramble 32 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.  Don’t get me wrong, Rodgers is a great player and has the ability to run much in the same way he showed in college, but there are very few excuses for letting a guy just run all over you like that.  And if there were, you’d have to use one of those excuses to explain how they let Andrew Luck do the same thing on fourth down the previous week before completing a short pass that ended up deciding the game.  The point here is the Lions don’t exactly have the same team mentality that they had last year for a lot of reasons – They’ve had to deal with the fact that the Minnesota Vikings went from being one of the worst teams in football to putting the Lions in a position that making the playoffs was pretty much impossible from week nine on, and had to finally accept the fact that they absolutely cannot get through a game without Matthew Stafford throwing the ball at least 45 times.  This is of course due to another problem – they can’t run the ball at all. (not just the fact that they can’t run the ball effectively, that they can’t do it period)  Pile that on top of a defense that opposing offensive linemen and tight ends will go out of their way to throw a few very deserving dirty hits on per game, and maybe the fact that Detroit could be facing another season with double digit losses doesn’t seem so shocking after all.  Arizona’s management has made it clear that they have no interest in making any coaching changes until the season is completed.  That may be the case, but I think no matter what happens until then Whisenhunt’s not going to have a job in a month.  Their quarterback situation is a total mess, and to add insult to injury (no pun intended) they got housed by the Seattle Seahawks last week.  Sure, they had no chance in hell at winning that game but you always expect even a bad team to put something up on the scoreboard, and the fact that they weren’t able to rack up a single field goal says a lot about who they are as a unit.  These guys already have their vacation plans ironed out, and when you do that your main focus becomes “don’t get hurt” and that’s the type of attitude that led them to being under so far .500 in the first place.  I can’t figure it out, the other night I watched the New England Patriots devour the Houston Texans, but then remembered that earlier on in the year the Cardinals had beat New England.  Even though Arizona has drastically fallen off since starting 4-0, you have to think that during that stretch they did show some streaks of brilliance and with the way they were playing defense at the time how is it that just two months later they lose by almost 60 points and haven’t won a game since?  It all goes back to not having a conrete plan at quarterback. It’s the same thing that happens when an NBA team loses its guard – the leader of the team simply doesn’t exist and to think that any of the guys who have started for the Arizona Cardinals this year can start at the NFL level is kind of insulting to the other 31 teams in the league.  So what we are stuck with here is a game where two teams who have nothing to gain may end up jockeying for a higher pick in the draft come late April.  Either way somebody has to win this game, and I think at this point the Detroit Lions have a better shot at not losing.  But by doing that, they may have lost another opportunity as well. 

Meehan’s Pick:  Lions 27, Cardinals 20

Coach Ryan’s Pick:  Lions 16, Cardinals 9

Carolina Panthers (4-9) at San Diego Chargers (5-8)
 
Meehan:  Both of these teams won matchups last week where they were hearty underdogs.  Carolina beat the Falcons bloody save a late resurgence that didn’t end up meaning much.  And the Chargers welcomed Ben Roethliseberger back by going into Pittsburgh and making Mike Tomlin even more upset than he has been in some of recent his postgame press conferences.  Believe it or not, I am more surprised by the Chargers’ win.  After the news leaked that head coach Norv Turner and GM AJ Smith would be let go at season’s end, I figured they would pack it in because that team is full of guys who approach the game in that manner.  But they proved me and countless other fans wrong as they stuck it to Team Steel.  Regardless, I still believe that with Kansas City expected to be so much better than they turned out and Oakland still going through some of the struggles that have plagued the Raiders this year that the Chargers blew a great opportunity to get into the postseason this year as a 5 or 6 seed.  But they had a porous mid-season, and now their window may be closing.  On the other hand, the Carolina Panthers beating Atlanta at home didn’t really blow me out of my seat.  Carolina has lost many close games this year where they couldn’t stay focused for all sixty minutes, and you have to love that 72 yard run Newton was able to whip out last week.  In the near future the Panthers are going to want to look at some free agents on defense, particularly in that secondary and maybe even get another big name wide receiver now that Steve Smith is getting up there in years.  This game very well could go in either direction, but I think that coming off of the win against the Steelers and playing this one at home the Chargers have a slight edge. 

Meehan’s Pick:  Chargers 20, Panthers 17
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick:  Panthers 17, Chargers 13

Seattle Seahawks (8-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-8)
 
Meehan:  As I’ve been saying, I think the Seattle Seahawks are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now.  While most teams would have curled up into a ball and died while looking up at San Francisco’s record and depth chart, the Seahawks have hung in there and played some great football, as evidenced last week by their 58-0 drenching of the Arizona Cardinals.  Say what you will about them stealing that game at the beginning of the year, Russell Wilson has completed a lot of crucial passes that should count since that dreaded Monday Night and that Arizona game was full of them.  Everything appears to be going great for them except the fact that the Packers and Vikings keep winning.  The Buffalo Bills bore the shit out of me to no end.  One of the funniest moments of the week came in the Rams-Bills game where one of their players scored the game’s only touchdown, attempted a Lambeau-style leap and then nobody thought to hold him up so he kind of sank into the stands.  I’m not sure that was due to their failure to pay attention, or their lack of dedication to the team, but it’s a pretty good “picture is worth a thousand words” moment that sums up Buffalo’s season.  Although I don’t believe this one will be as much of a smear campaign as last week’s Seahawks game, I am picking Seattle to double the Bills’ point total. 
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Seahawks 26, Bills 13
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick:  Seahawks 17, Bills 14
   
Kansas City Chiefs (2-11) at Oakland Raiders (3-10)
 
Meehan:  It’s hard to expect a lot of anything about this game because we haven’t seen a lot out of either of these teams.  To give you an idea of just how little we have seen out of them, if you combine their wins you get the same about of Ws the Miami Dolphins have at the moment.  The Chiefs still probably don’t have their minds completely focused on football after the tragedy a couple weeks back, sometimes you just have to throw in the towel.  That would be the case if this wasn’t a divisional rivalry.  Whenever I see these two teams playing, I can’t help but think about how strange it was Marcus Allen got shipped to the Chiefs later on in his career.  Speaking of an outbox, the Raiders will be looking to unload plenty of guys New Year’s Day, but whether or not they’ll end up somewhere other than playing for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is doubtful.  Both of these teams could be in “Suck for Luck” mode at this point, only this year the draft class will not be as tasty.  But at this point, both will be pretty much starting from scratch so anything is better than nothing. 
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Raiders 16, Chiefs 11
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick: Raiders 23, Chiefs 17

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) at Dallas Cowboys (7-6)

Meehan:  Just when it appeared that things couldn’t get any worse for the Pittsburgh Steelers after throwing away a give me game to San Diego at home, they suspended Rashard Mendenhall for missing that game and he will not be playing against the Cowboys.  Seems like an awful time for them to lay down the law, but if you know anything about Tomlin rules are rules.  It’s just a shame for their fans that they’re going to need to lay that law down when they are falling fast and are up against Dallas, who is headed in the other direction.  It’s not like Dallas is on a roll, but compared to the Steelers (who have lost three out of their last four) I have to take the Cowboys in what is a home game for them.  Not that it provides a huge advantage for the ‘Boys, as they are still 3-3 at home this year and have a point differential of -14 but still have a winning record.  The only other team with a winning record that has a stat it more puzzling would be the Colts who have a differential of -34 and are 5 games over .500.  (?)  Back to the game, this is one of the better interleague rivalries because of the Super Bowl matchups in the seventies.  But what’s important to remember here is that these teams are structured nothing like those teams were especially when it comes to defensive prowess and any sort of a running game.  Even if Rashard Mendenhall was active, if you think he’s in Franco Harris’ wheelhouse I’m cool if you never read these columns again.  It’s a very different NFL now, one that protects the quarterback to no end and that’s what this game will end up coming down to.  I can see Romo capitalizing off of a late turnover and taking this game. 
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Cowboys 23, Steelers 19
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick: Cowboys 28, Steelers 27
 
Sunday Night Football:  San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1) at New England Patriots (10-3)
 
Meehan:  Hopefully in this game we’ll get some of the excitement that we had hoped to see when the Texans came to New England on Monday Night.  That game was a bit of a disappointment to say the least, and in this case maybe we’ll at least see some closer action in this one.  The 49ers are still in the middle of this big quarterback debate and will be facing a very improved Patriots defense.  Their defense is highly skilled, but so was Houston and look what happened to them in Foxboro last week.  The only real way that I can see San Francisco winning this matchup is if they can get inside Brady’s head early and force turnovers.  But even then, we’ve seen the Patriots work from behind so this is going to be a difficult game for the Niners.  Back to that defense of New England, it’s funny how simply going back to basics can do wonders for your defensive fronts.  I saw a very different Pats team Monday night, one that isn’t making silly mistakes and most importantly isn’t blowing tackles.  One of the many great things about having a first ballot Hall of Famer on your team is that if you can get off of the field easily, he can manage the game to the point where you can get time of possession to 38/22 (or even higher) without putting a huge strain on the rest of his season. 
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Patriots 31, 49ers 24
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick:  Patriots 31, Niners 24
 
Monday Night Football:  New York Jets (6-7) at Tennessee Titans (4-9)
 
Meehan:  Believe it or not, the Jets are still alive in the eight spot.  And they have a new wide receiver, as it was just announced a few minutes ago that they have claimed Braylon Edwards off waivers.  It figures.  The only way for Rex Ryan to cover up the fact that he has an underachieving failure of a quarterback is to get somebody like Edwards to catch a few passes towards the end of the season to make it look like he went with the right quarterback to begin with.  Well, he didn’t but in his defense “the right quarterback” may not have been available…speaking of which – The Tennessee Titans have disappointed me quite a bit, but when you look at their schedule those four wins were all against some pretty sorry teams.  Even that victory against the Steelers on a that Thursday night was a little sketchy when you consider what’s happened to them as of late.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see them knock the Jets completely out of the playoff picture altogether, I just don’t see it happening.  I look at their QB situation the same way I look at Arizona’s and even with all of that shortage of brainpower shoved under a couple different helmets, I don’t even think they’ll be able to outsmart the Jets on MNF.  The only real question here is:  Who from this game will do the Gruden interview?  I can’t think of a single participant that they would want to even talk to.  Jets by a TD.
 
Meehan’s Pick:  Jets 20, Titans 13
 
Coach Ryan’s Pick: Jets 19, Titans 17
 
Playoff Seeding headed in to Week Fifteen:   

AFC:

1.  Houston Texans 11-2 

2.  New England Patriots 10-3

3.  Denver Broncos 10-3

4.  Baltimore Ravens 10-4

5.  Indianapolis Colts 9-4

6.  Pittsburgh Steelers 7-6

On The Bubble:

7.  Cincinnati Bengals 7-6

8.  New York Jets 6-7

Summary:  It’s pretty crazy to think that the Pittsburgh Steelers are the sixth seed right now, I don’t see them staying in that place.  Really the AFC playoffs are going to be set aside for the seeding, so it really just comes down to who will be able to get that first week off.  I do look for the Bengals to rebound from that loss to the Cowboys against the Eagles and possibly take over that last spot from Pittsburgh.  They’ll need some help, as of right now they lose the tiebreaker against PIT due to head to head win percentage.  I don’t expect a whole lot to change in the top four spots, but wouldn’t it be hilarious if Indianapolis beat the Texans and for some reason the Ravens and Patriots lost?  I would laugh.  I don’t think that’ll happen but it would be funny.  (Bonus note:  Baltimore would win tie-breaker if they finish with the same record as Indy because they won their division)

NFC:

1.  Atlanta Falcons 11-2

2.  San Francisco 49ers 9-3-1

3.  Green Bay Packers 9-4

4.  NY Giants 8-5

5.  Seattle Seahawks 8-5

6.  Chicago Bears 8-5

On the Bubble:

7.  Washington Redskins 7-6

8.  Dallas Cowboys 7-6

9.  Minnesota Vikings 7-6

10.  St. Louis Rams 6-6-1 

Summary:  Dallas wins tie break over Minnesota based on best win percentage in common games.  The way that the Chicago Bears seem to be playing at the moment I could easily see them sliding out of the whole playoff mix altogether.  There is always the possibility that the Giants could be poised for one of their late season slides, and I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point that the fifth seeded Seahawks are the least likely to drop out of the race and look to have the most promising remainder of December.  I love RGIII to death, but the Redskins may not be ready to take the next step yet.  As for the top of the list, a lot will depend on whether or not the Niners are going to be able to top the Patriots this week, and whether or not the Falcons are able to prove themselves as legitimate against the Giants who are probably going to give them hell.  Don’t be shocked if the Green Bay Packers could somehow slide into one of the top spots if the cards fall in their favor.  The last two weeks of the NFC race is going to be awesome to watch. 

Bonus Comment:  This week, the NFL vacated certain penalties for players involved in the Saints bounty scandal.  This is usually where I would go off on some massive rant about how this was mishandled by Kommissar Goddell and his merry band of dillweeds, but to be brutally honest with you I’m not really sure what all of it really means to the Saints.  All of the suspensions have been served, so I guess what I don’t understand is why they applied the suspensions before Taglibue looked over the final appeal.  This whole appeal process is a mess, and if there is any good that can come out of this I would hope we have at least learned how incredibly sloppy this was taken care of.  (Or not taken care of)  In the meantime, it sucks for the Saints because it definitely cost them the momentum that could have led them to a playoff berth.  Now, they’re basically toast. 

Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.
 
Meehan and Coach Ryan

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4 thoughts on “NFL WEEK FIFTEEN PREVIEW

  1. Since I have been doing the Blog (Week 5) I am 63-65 picking with the spread. I didn’t do the blog last week so that’s based off of Weeks 5-14. Play your bets right and you’re coming out on top and that is with picking the Browns every week.

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