Week 15 Game Picks: Several teams can clinch, Victory important for many


Who Dat Dish NFL Pick’em has only a few weeks left with their regular season picks. My, how this time just flies by. Our top picker from last week was Simon, who went 13-3 on his picks last week. Overall, the staff had a very successful week, but we curse the Saints and 49ers in the end. Barry still manages to have a two game lead over second place John. Simon has now tied Andrew for third place. It’s still anyone’s game!

Let’s look at the standings after Week 14 action:

  1. Barry (@HarahanWhoDat), 143-64-1
  2. John (@JohnJHendrix), 141-66-1
  3. Andrew (@ShootsMcGavin), 139-68-1
  4. Simon (@Daugulis), 139-68-1
  5. Federico (@FedeFerrari10), 135-72-1
  6. MacGyver (@SaintsTailgate), 131-76-1
  7. Ryne (@RHancock19), 126-81-1
  8. Ian (@IDear_Sports), 125-82-1

Overall, Week 15 has some entertaining battles that have major playoff implications as we continue to wind down the regular season. Five teams can lock up playoffs spots this week: Denver, Indianapolis, New England, Green Bay, and Arizona. Denver, Indianapolis, and New England can also win their division this week. There’s also scenarios that exist where Denver and New England can clinch a first-round bye. Crazy!

Here’s how our Week Fifteen picks look:

Arizona (10-3) at St. Louis (6-7)

Adam Schefter said it best earlier when he tweeted that Arizona has lost 11 consecutive Thursday games dating back to 1950. I think that streak ends tonight. Yes, the Rams (of all teams) have outscored their opponents 76-0 in the past two games. Granted, that was the lowly Raiders, and the reeling Redskins. Arizona knows what’s at stake, as they could leave the door wide open for the Seahawks to take the division from them if they don’t win.

Pittsburgh (8-5) at Atlanta (5-8)

After shaking off a rare home loss to the Saints, the Steelers returned to form last week to pummel the Bengals. Le’Veon Bell continues to run wild, and should look for similiar success against a wretched Falcons defense. The Falcons have a glorious opportunity to distance themselves in the NFC South with a win. They showed signs of life after going down to the Packers 31-7 at the half last week. Can they turn the corner?

Jacksonville (2-11) at Baltimore (8-5)

No Denard Robinson. So, Blake Bortles is up against the Ravens to beat them with his arm and weaponry (or lack thereof)? It’s not happening.

Green Bay (10-3) at Buffalo (7-6)

The hottest team in football should not overlook the Bills. They were fortunate to escape with a win after Atlanta stormed back on them. I believe the Packers learn from last week’s mistake and take care of business against Buffalo.

Tampa Bay (3-10) at Carolina (4-8-1)

No Cam Newton headlines this matchup, as the Panthers will have to use Derek Anderson for at least this week. As much trouble as the Bucs have had this season, they aren’t necessarily playing horrible football. Call me crazy (and a bit biased), but I think the Bucs have it in them to play spoilers in this one.

Nov 30, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) lays on the ground after being tackled Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams (not pictured) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills won 26-10. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinatti (8-4-1) at Cleveland (7-6)

It’s the Johnny Manziel show. What more do you want me to say? Oh, how about talking about actual football? No matter what I say, or anyone for that matter, this game is completely about Manziel. We could see numerous headlines in the sports world, but it’s going to boil down to what Manziel does. Did he scratch his butt? HIGHLIGHT. Someone needs to invent a drinking game with this guy.

As for the real football aspect of this, both of these teams need this win, arguably the Bengals more. With the Steelers hot on their trail and playing the Falcons this week and the Ravens hosting the Jaguars, the Bengals must produce a victory. Last time they met on Thursday Night Football, they were embarrassed 24-3. I think that changes this go round.

Houston (7-6) at Indianapolis (9-4)

Of the potential Wild Card teams in the race, Houston holds tie breakers over Cleveland, Kansas City, and Miami. The story of this matchup goes with the Colts’ dominance over the Texans. They’re a perfect 12-0 at home against the Texans since they entered the league in 2002. I’m dead serious. The Texans have been outscored 365-190 in that timeframe. Andrew Luck, the pressure’s on you?

Oakland (2-11) at Kansas City (7-6)

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Raiders were getting their first victory of the season against the Chiefs. It was a bizarre way to end things, but they still pulled it off. Can anyone in Kansas City tell the Chiefs that wide receiver production is a good thing? Sorry, I had to. The Chiefs are in a real bad spot right now, as they sit 10th in the AFC Wild Card race. A victory this week should help vault them again, but they’re going to need help when it’s all said and done.

Miami (7-6) at New England (10-3)

The Dolphins are really backed into a corner here, and it doesn’t help that they have to play in New England this weekend. The Patriots can wrap up the AFC East this week with a victory. When was the last time the Patriots lost at home the Dolphins? 2008. They’re 11-2 at home against the Dolphins since 2001. Just remember that the Pats would like to rid the bad taste from their mouth, as they have actually lost two in a row to the Phins, but that was in Florida.

Washington (3-10) at New York Giants (4-9)

It was just a short time ago that so many were on the RGIII bandwagon, and that’s exactly what it has become, as Coach Jay Gruden has publicly expressed his opinion on Griffin, stating that ‘he doesn’t need to see anymore of him in action to know what he can or cannot do’. Both of these teams have had a very down year, but the Giants have a more promising future ahead of them. That being said, get your highlight reels ready for a heavy dose of Odell Beckham Jr.

Oct 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos mascot Miles is surfed up the crowd at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Denver (10-3) at San Diego (8-5)

After being of the league’s hottest teams at 5-1, things went downhill for the Chargers when they lost three straight to AFC opponents, then suddenly they won three straight. Despite a big loss to the Patriots last week, they still control the final playoff spot in the AFC playoff race. They now face the tallest of tasks as the Broncos come to town. The Chargers have not knocked off the Broncos at home since 2010, and have only won one out of the last five at home. If there ever was a time for some West Coast magic, it’s now. However, the Broncos have to be motivated by the fact that they can wrap up the division this week with a win over the Chargers, and potentially get a first-round bye should some other teams flake out. I like Peyton to toss for plenty of scores here, as he lost out on a chance to claim yet another record last week when he failed to pass a touchdown against the Bills.

New York Jets (2-11) at Tennessee (2-11)

Can’t you just feel the high-octane energy in this matchup? No? Oh yeah, that’s right. These are two of the league’s worst going at it. Honestly, who cares? I think the Jets prevail because of their better defense, assuming that Geno Smith doesn’t completely wreck things.

Minnesota (6-7) at Detroit (9-4)

Like most of the residents in Minnesota, I can’t help but think of where the Vikings would be had it not been for the whole Adrian Peterson thing. Two recent victories over the Panthers and Jets have established a little confidence, but the bigger thing is that the Vikes haven’t won a divisional game this year (0-4). The Lions are playing good football at home the past two weeks, and should keep it going. Fun fact: Did you know that since 2000, the Vikings are 22-6 against the Lions?

San Francisco (7-6) at Seattle (9-4)

The 49ers are just not a good team right now. There are too many distractions within the organization, and you really can pick any place and go from there. The Seahawks were able to come in on Thanksgiving and neutralize the 49ers in just about every facet of the game, as they preserved a 19-3 win just a couple of weeks ago. The bad news for the 49ers is that they’ve only won one out of the last six games in Seattle. The 49ers are likely to be swept by the Seahawks this season, which hasn’t happened since 2007.

Nov 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys players fight with Philadelphia Eagles players in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas (9-4) at Philadelphia (9-4)

I almost get a tingling sensation when I think about what’s at stake here in this game. I mean we have Dallas, who hasn’t seen the postseason since 2009, trying to shake off their December woes and march into hostile Philly to try to get a win to control their destiny in the NFC East. This is a game you’ll definitely want to tune in to. Believe it not, the Eagles have lost four of the last five games at home to the Cowboys.

New Orleans (5-8) at Chicago (5-8)

Prior to the season beginning, this is a matchup where many would have said, ‘it’s going to be a battle of powerhouses for playoff spots’. Sadly, that just isn’t the case for this Monday Night Football matchup. The Bears are all but out of the playoff discussion with the rest of the NFC performing so well, and the Saints are clinging to a hope that just doesn’t seem to exist. Still, this promises to be a game worth watching, and as I’ve stated previously, look for the storylines of the Saints not being able to win in cold weather. They haven’t defeated the Bears in the month of December under Sean Payton (2007, 2008), and lost the 2006 NFC Championship game in the month of January. What else are they going to talk about on Monday Night Countdown besides this and the fact that the NFC South is bad? Here’s to hoping get their act together and win. If not? Pack it up.

Agree or disagree with our picks? Who do you have as a ‘upset of the week’ candidate?

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