Overall: 128-80
Last Week: 12-4

Cardinals @ Rams

I’ve made the comparison before, but the Arizona Cardinals being The Walking Dead is even more apt at this stage. In their last game against St. Louis, the Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (Gareth) and those vicious, roving lunatics incapacitated Carson Palmer (Bob) and ate his leg right in front of his eyes. Somehow Bruce Arians (Rick) has his gang focused and ready to attack in order to protect their own. Arizona can continue to try to do their best with Drew Stanton (Carl) lofting passes to Larry Fitzgerald (Michonne), but the offense is so limited that the Cardinals need their defense to carry them to the playoffs. Over the next few weeks, the biggest question in this comparison is whether or not the Cardinals have a Daryl. Arizona better win this game because Seattle’s swarming herd comes to town.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Steelers @ Falcons

Julio Jones won’t play today so Matt Ryan won’t have the mythical centaur to target. Pittsburgh dismantled the Cincinnati Bengals last week and the Atlanta Falcons are arguably a worse version of Cincinnati. Matt Ryan will post points even with Roddy White and Harry Douglas as his prime weapons, but Atlanta will struggle mightily to contain Le’Veon Bell. Whatever Rapistberger gives the Steelers moving the chains through the air will be whipped cream with a cherry on top. Expect Atlanta to try to mount a 4th Quarter comeback before ultimately falling short yet again.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Packers @ Bills

All the hype is building for a Super Bowl appearance for the Packers. Although Green Bay took care of business at home against New England, they’re peaking at the wrong moment. I would still take the Patriots over any team in the NFL because of their ability to run the ball with literally anyone combined with a great defense. In Green Bay, the Packers will struggle without Eddie Lacy and their defense is not up to elite standards. Buffalo has a legitimate shot at an upset if Kyle Orton doesn’t shit himself. But with enough momentum still in their favor, the Green Bay Packers should be able to outscore an Orton-led offense even if the game is on the road in Buffalo.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Bengals @ Browns

Finally, Cleveland has decided to give their offense over to John Manziel. It’s Johnny Clipboard no longer. The move is a week too late and it may very well cost Cleveland their chance at a playoff spot. I don’t know if Manziel is a better QB than Brian Hoyer. But I do know that Manziel’s dual threat ability makes the offense more dangerous by forcing defenses to account for that midget when a play breaks down. Indianapolis would have been a great opportunity to unleash Manziel because the Colts are vulnerable against the run. Similarly, Cincinnati does not do a good job containing opposing running attacks, which means Manziel could open up large running lanes for the Browns’ RBs as well as himself. There will be growing pains and expect at least one turnover, but it will take defenses a few weeks to gameplan against Manziel’s strengths. By that point, the Browns might be able to wrap up an elusive playoff spot.

Win: Cleveland Browns

Texans @ Colts

J.J. Watt’s MVP campaign will continue with end zone opportunities, but Houston’s best chance at a win resides with Arian Foster’s ability to shred Indianapolis on the ground. Likely without Andre Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be eyeing DeAndre Hopkins all game so the smart gameplan for the Colts is stuffing the box and bracketing coverage on Hopkins. Indianapolis’ defense is smoke and mirrors so there’s an opportunity for Houston to shock the Colts. However, Andrew Luck can look awful for an entire game before pulling a horseshoe out of his ass in the final moments.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Raiders @ Chiefs

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee (I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee) that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—can’t get fooled again.’” — George W. Bush

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Dolphins @ Patriots

While many thought the Arizona Cardinals were once again the 2014 version of the Arizona Cardinals, which is the best NFL team not to make the playoffs. But the 2015 example might very well be the Miami Dolphins. With a stout defense, Miami plays most teams competitively. However, the Dolphins are desperately missing an explosive element to their offense since Ryan Tannehill is busy doing his best Alex Smith impersonation. In this matchup against the league’s most dynamic offense, the Dolphins needs to use that desperation to score TDs instead of settling for FGs. Despite Miami’s strong secondary, Tom Brady will be blowing kisses to Giselle again after Gronk destroys 7 Dolphins defenders.

Win: New England Patriots

Redskins @ Giants

Coughlin's Red Skin

Remember when a Washington vs. New York division game garnered some attention? At this point, we’re just waiting for the final weeks of RG Knee in Washington. Since this is a December game in New York, Tom Coughlin will play his respects to the proud Redskins franchise with his weathered, bright red face prowling the Giants sideline with a scowl and those beady, Teddy bear eyes piercing the souls of his players. With Colt McCoy pretending to be a starting QB, expect New York to tee off by stuffing the line and daring McCoy’s BB-gun arm to hurt them downfield.

Win: New York Giants

Buccaneers @ Panthers

Cam Newton almost killed himself when his truck turned over, but people still expected him to have an opportunity to play this week. I don’t know if that’s just media ignorance or if Carolina even entertained the idea. Derek Anderson did a respectable job leading the Panthers to a win over Tampa Bay earlier this year in relief duty, but these aren’t the same teams at this stage. Without Cam Newton’s dual threat ability to dismantle opposing defenses, I can’t expect the same large gains available for Jonathan Stewart. In the crazy NFC South, it seems about time for Tampa Bay to step up and ruin someone else’s season for a change. Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if Josh McCown could also be torn in half at the torso, but I have a feeling that Mike Evans could almost single-handedly win this game.

Win: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jaguars @ Ravens

What’s the over/under on when Jacksonville officially give up on the season? Week 3 or 4? I can’t even pretend to conjure up a single reason as to why you should watch this abysmal matchup.

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Jets @ Titans

Jacksonville vs. Baltimore should be a shitty one-sided game. But Geno Smith against Jake Locker will be a showcase of inept QB play where the sole highlight on SportsCenter will be a game-winning FG in the final moments. This is easily the worst game on the Week 15 slate.

Win: New York Jets

Broncos @ Chargers

Peyton Manning’s streak of consecutive games with a TD pass came to an end last week. But the easiest bet in NFL history is on Manning to start a new streak against San Diego. I’m not convinced Denver will move away from the ball-control offensive approach, which is a wise strategy to save the bullets in Manning’s gun while also conditioning the team to win games on the strength of their defense. Denver’s defense still isn’t elite and I wouldn’t put them in the same category as New England because they don’t have a secondary that completely dominates and shuts down the opposition. As much as I will yell at my TV screen, Philip Rivers will make plays on 3rd Down and have a fair share of connections downfield with the likes of Antonio Gates. While this be a more competitive opponent than Buffalo, the Broncos need to take care of business on the road with a workman-like approach.

Win: Denver Broncos

Vikings @ Lions

So Teddy Bridgewater probably isn’t the best QB from last year’s draft class. But the tools are there to be a competent QB for several years. At the worst, Bridgewater is a slightly better version of Christian Ponder. While Minnesota fans may never Adrian Peterson in a Vikings uniform ever again, Bridgewater brings a new face of the franchise. Unfortunately, the supporting cast isn’t in place yet for Minnesota to surprise a playoff contender like the Detroit Lions. Matt Stafford seems to have righted the struggling Lions ship with Detroit posting 30+ points in consecutive weeks. As long as Detroit plays their brand of defense, Stafford should be able to get away with a win even if the offense takes a step back.

Win: Detroit Lions

49ers @ Seahawks

It would be such sweet revenge for San Francisco and Jim Harbaugh if the 49ers shoved a stick in the spokes of Seattle’s season with a surprise upset. Unfortunately, Colin Kaepernick has regressed into a shaky scarecrow in the pocket. With the train back on the tracks for Seattle, expect the Seahawks to force Kaepernick to be successful from the pocket. If Daddy Long Legs can rewind the clock and be an elusive running threat again, then San Francisco has a chance in this defensive battle. But I hate Russell Wilson and I cannot be allowed to enjoy things so we’ll Seattle in the playoffs yet again.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Cowboys @ Eagles

Could Dallas truly implode and ruin their odds of making the playoffs? The increasing probability of the Cowboys sitting at home watching the playoffs instead of participating in them is so tantalizing. My mouth is watering at the thought? Would Jon Gruden finally return to the sidelines if that collapse happens? As interesting as a Jon Gruden-Jerry Jones marriage could be in Dallas, I think the Cowboys will run the ball more effectively with DeMarco Murray in this rematch against Philadelphia. Chip Kelly needs to bring the kitchen sink, and I surely have more faith in his coaching ability than Jason Garrett. But can I really take Mark Sanchez in an important game over Tony Romo?

Win: Dallas Cowboys

Saints @ Bears

Dysfunction in Chicago has reached a cataclysmic level. The radioactive poison in the locker room will cost Marc Trestman his job as head coach, but it’s yet to be determined if the Bears will continue to swing favor in Jay Cutler’s corner. At this point, Cutler is the type of QB he will always be—Smokin’ Jay isn’t changing. Despite New Orleans’ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine, the Saints are too strong on offense to fuck up this opportunity to squeak back into the playoff hunt with an upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons. Chicago rallying to win this one at home might be the shock of the season.

Win: New Orleans Saints

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