THE WEEK 15 PICKS
I felt like Ron Burgundy when Baxter returned following the confirmation that Lee and the Phillies agreed on a 5 year contract. I lamented the Cliff Lee trade for most of the 2010 season. Perhaps I'm spoiled as a baseball fan since watching Roy Halladay throw gems every 5 days wasn't enough nor Hamels throwing gems. I decided to shut up about the Cliff Lee trade following the Oswalt deadline deal but the old lament re-surfaced during the ALCS when I watched Lee dominate the Yankees even more than he did during the 2009 World Series. I will enjoy watching the greatest rotation of all-time for 162 games.
But do not forget about the Flyers, friends and well-wishers. The Daily News has tried their hardest to forget about them. The Flyers can be found behind 7 Phillie articles and 4 Eagle articles.
Time for predictions:
San Diego over San Francisco
-The NFC West reminds me of the South Park little league episode in which no team wanted to win because winning meant playoffs. The 49ers were the least interested team in winning, evidenced by their 0-5 start but the rest of the division wouldn't let them off that easy. Now we have to endure more discussion about the 49ers in the playoffs, even dumb gamblers are talking themselves into the Cardinals running the table with Skleton. This is why we need relegation in American sports. As for the Chargers, they took advantage of their gift and won. The Chargers should use this game as revenge on the whole Bay Area after being swept by Oakland. Here's hoping Mike Tolbert scores thrice times.
Cleveland over Cincinnati
-The chance that Delhomme starts remains which would guarantee another non-perfect week of prognostication. McCoy's taken reps with the first-team this week, and Hillis should have a strong game following an awful performance against the Bills. The Bengals, as terrible as they are, have played decent enough in losses to beat an inconsistent Browns team. In other news, when will Versus cancel the TOcho show? Tell me the show's days are numbered someone. Desean was the latest guest and he talked about his contract situation. The last person Jackson should talk to about contract issues is Owens who destroyed the 2005 season.
Dallas over Washington
-Mike Shanahan won't reveal to the media who he plans to start on Sunday. What's the point? McNabb got a 5 year extension. Shanahan's probably going to quit at the end of the season too. Perhaps the media will remember how mediocre a job he did in Denver the last few seasons before he got fired. Dallas is playing much better than a 4-9 team and should blow out the Redskins.
Houston over Tennessee
-Just when everyone wanted to call out both of these teams for quitting on their coach, both teams fought until the very end in their last game (even though Fisher had no interest in playing for the win but a 2 point loss is a 2 point loss). Since both defenses don't care, I expect a lot of points. I wouldn't want to face Arian Foster this week in fantasy playoffs. Also, Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan meet again after their brawl three weeks ago. I doubt Round 2 occurs. However, Cortland Finnegan is idiotic enough to do it.
Indianapolis over Jacksonville
-The Jaguars pass-defense has been a problem all season. I can't envision a game that ends without a Colts victory. This is the type of game made for Peyton Manning. Unfortunately, I face Manning in the fantasy playoffs so, selfishly, I hope the Jaguars pass-defense plays out of their minds but it's a must-win game for the Colts, and he'll throw for 400 yards and 3 scores. The Jaguars displayed a ton of character winning against Oakland last week. Perhaps that win gave them enough confidence to sweep out the Colts and win the AFC South. We'll see.
St. Louis over Kansas City
-The Battle of Missouri. Unfortunately, no one cares about the Battle of Missouri. If only the two teams had pride in representing their state as winners. In soccer, leagues have derbys (rivalry games) between two teams from the same area and it matters to the managers, coaches, players and fans. Division rivalries only matter in the United States. This game SHOULD have more hype considering both teams need to win if they want to play beyond Week 17. It doesn't because both come from the West but these two teams are actually worth watching.
Buffalo over Miami
-The Dolphins only beat the Bills by 5 in their previous meeting. Henne, since being declared good by me, has been horrific. How exactly DID the Dolphins score 10 points against the Jets? Harvard Fitzpatrick continues to play good football. He also has an underrated beard. Might Harvard begin the 2011 season as the starter if the league doesn't lock out? That would be Harvard's luck though. He plays well enough to start then the 2011 season gets cancelled. Such is life as a Bill.
Philadelphia over New York Giants
-If someone told me the starting linebackers for a week 15 game against the Giants, with the division lead on the line, would be Ernie Sims, Jamar Chaney and Moise Fokou then I imagine I would've laughed thinking the idea impossible. But those three will start. Fokou and Sims have been decent but not great. Chaney inherits a ton of responsibility but if the coaches have confidence in him then very well. I just hope the Giants don't try to murder Vick since the refs have no interest in protecting him. Actually, I hope the Eagles defense can play solid, mistake-free football. The offense isn't a question mark. The defense is. Only 2 years ago the defense played some of the best football of the Jim Johnson era. McDermott's unit needs Asante back. Anyone who wanted both Asante and Danny Briere gone from Philly can now commence eating crow. You were all fools.
Tampa Bay over Detroit
-I should just accept the fact that football people will continue to talk up the Lions regardless of their record. Arguments have been made that the Lions would've beaten the Packers even if Rodgers never got concussed. The week-to-week praise of the Lions heart and is insanity. To quote Simon Tam, hearing that must be what going insane feels like. The Bucs aren't a lock to win of course. The offense seems to move at a snail's pace sometimes, like it belongs in college football rather than the NFL. If Raheem Morris wants to continue talking up his team, they have to beat Detroit. Playoffs remain an option.
Carolina over Arizona
-This is awful. This is an absolutely dreadful matchup. Skleton vs. Clausen or possibly Pike. I wonder if the highlight package for this game on the NFL Network will break 50 seconds. I'm picking Carolina in hopes the Cardinals can't handle the early start for a west coast team.
New Orleans over Baltimore
-So many 1PM games. I digress. If Baltimore didn't struggle to put the Texans away with a 2 score lead on Monday, the pick would've been harder to make. The Saints have that Super Bowl quality of play back. Brees is making outstanding throws into double and triple coverages. Chris Ivory's stolen the show in the running department. The Ravens vaunted defense is no longer vaunted. They have weeks when they shut teams down but, lately, the cracks in the armor have appeared. I expect a fairly high scoring game unless the weather sucks (which it might).
Atlanta over Seattle
-I wonder, does Pete Carroll miss violating NCAA rules and then playing dumb when the truth is found out? I've retired from talking myself into the Qwest Field effect. The Seahawks are too mediocre and banged up to beat the Falcons. Yet the team is in first place. Go figure. I repeat: relegation in America. The Falcons are rolling. A little rain and Qwest Field won't hurt them at all.
Oakland over Denver
-The Broncos got worse following McDaniels' firing. Meanwhile, Oakland's basically out of the playoff race even though the graphics haven't taken them out because of that silly thing known as math. In all honesty, I don't care about this game.
Pittsburgh over New York Jets
-Well, it doesn't get easier for Sanchez and the Jets.
New England over Green Bay
-The Patriots won't score at will on the Green Bay defense. The Packers won't win if Matt Flynn starts though. The Packers need to cause some turnovers and have the defense score on those turnovers. Brady's nearly perfect though and the team barely loses at home. This game is the football equivalent of Sisyphus and that damn rock for the Packers. They might be down only 6 with 5 minutes to go but they won't score. I watched how Matt Flynn made the Lions look like a formidable defense. And, yes, the Patriots are back to dominance.
Chicago over Minnesota
-I hope the Vikings play the game at the University of Minnesota. I hate domes. Football in the winter in Minnesota should not be played in a dome. Soccer has no domes. Today, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Atletico Madrid and Leverkusen played as snow kept coming down at a fast speed like MEN. Leave the Metrodome behind forever for the place where the Gophers lose and sometimes win.
Last Week: 11-5
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK