NFL Week 15 Blazing 5 Picks

We got some really good games this weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday.

  • LA Chargers at KC Chiefs (LAC -1)

The Chargers are by far one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now. The Chiefs on the other hand, have been up and down. Now when the Chiefs are on their A game, they are one of the best teams in the league. Earlier this Season the Chiefs beat the Chargers in LA by 2 touchdowns. But frankly, these teams are not the same as they were at the beginning. The Chargers are 7-3 since their loss to the Chiefs. These teams come into the games very similar on offense. Chargers ranking 5th in total offense while the Chiefs rank 6th. I would get a very tiny edge to the Chiefs offense in this game because 1. They are at home and 2. they have a much higher ceiling when they are on their A game. The Chiefs have so many good weapons. If you were to argue for the better QB in this game in Chargers' Phillip Rivers, I wouldn't fight with you. The Chargers rank 3rd in passing offense this year.

Now comparing each teams defense, its night and day. The Chiefs Defense is terrible ranking 28th, the Chargers good offense could light them up, especially in the passing game. The Chargers Defense has been above average ranking 10th. So depending on which Chiefs offense shows up, the Chargers defense can match em up fairly well. 

Despite the Chiefs potential offensive talent, they are inconsistent with QB Alex Smith and that defense is trash. And against a hot team against the Chargers in a division game, I doubt the Chiefs can pull this one out. KC keeps it competive at home. but Chargers take the win and the division lead.

  • Prediction: Chargers 30 - Chiefs 23

 

  • Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers (Car -3)

About an hour before i wrote this, news came out that Packers QB Aaron Rogers will be coming back and starting in this game. So expect the line to change these next few days. Rogers is one of those players that can really put a team over the edge and turn them into a great team. Dont get excited though yet Packers fans. They have a very tough match up heading into Carolina against a Panther team which surprised some people including myself beating the Vikings last week.

The key to the Panthers success this year is their running attack, Which ranks 5th this year. Their rushing success can be credited to QB Cam Newton and Running backs Jonathan Stewart and Christian Mccaffrey. Especially Stewart which really played his A game last week scoring 3 TDs and had over 100 rushing yards against a great Vikings Defense. If the Packers want a shot to win this game, they have to stop the run. Any team for that matter that faces this Panther team. If you play the Panthers, you need to put all eggs in the rushing defense basket. Load the box, force Cam to throw the ball. Why? Cause he is terrible at it. He has a 60% completion rating and a QB rating lower than Blake Bortles, Andy Dalton and Jacoby Brissett. Not to mention, overall the Panthers rank 28th in passing this year. I dont see Cam and the Panthers having to rely much on the pass though, going against a bad Green Bay defense

The question is, can Aaron Rogers be good enough to get his team the win. Lets get one thing clear. In his first game back, dont expect him to be the Aaron Rogers we all know and love. Sure he is good enough to possibly keep this thing competitive but he's probably not 100%. Rogers could be at risk at re breaking his collar bone. Just ask Tony Romo. Also this Packers team outside of Rogers is the worst in the division as a whole. Hell, they almost lost to the Cleveland Browns in overtime last week. They have a spotty running game in which it seems like they have a new starter at running back every few weeks. Not to mention, the Panthers are ranked 5th in Defense this year holding teams to an average of under 20 points. The Packers need this game. They need it. if they lose. They are done for the season and will have no shot of making the NFC playoffs. Although it would be a great story for Aaron Rogers to take them there but its not happening. Their chances end Sunday at Carolina. 

  • Prediction: Panthers 28 - Packers 17

 

  • New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (NE -3)

Thats right Steelers Fans. The Pats are favored by 3 at Pittsburgh. Surprised? I am. If I were to bet on this game. Definitely going with the Steelers. Usually I pick the winner at the end but this is an outrage. Tom Brady maybe the G.O.A.T. but the Patriots defense is garbage. How is Brady going to keep up? Did you know their defense ranks 29th this year? How are they favored against this Steelers Offense? The Patriots are coming off a terrible Monday night game against the Dolphins in which Jay Cutler outplayed Tom Brady and Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake destroyed the Pats defense and had almost 200 yards rushing. If the Pats can give up almost 200 yards to Kenyan Drake. What do you think Leveon Bell is going to do? Are they going to put 2 guys on him? Go ahead. Less guys to cover Steelers MVP candidate and best WR in the NFL, Antonio Brown. The Patriots defense is going to get destroyed.

Tom Brady is going against a Steelers Defense which ranks 5th this year. Granted, Steelers LB Ryan Shazier had a big impact on this defense and with him out, this defense isnt the same. Dont get me wrong. Its not a big drop off. Tom Brady is coming off his worse game in a long time. throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, and failed to convert one 3rd down. First time this has happened to the Patriots since 1991. Despite the terrible game. The Patriots are still a top 3 offense and with TE Rob Gronkowski coming back, look for Tom and this offense to look a lot better. I want to add something and criticize the sports media. Their excuse for the Patriots woes on Monday night was because Gronk was out. Last time I checked, the Patriots went through last years playoffs and won the SuperBowl without Gronk. But thats neither here nor there. I do expect the Patriots and Tom Brady to preform much better this Sunday. With playoff seeding on the line, I don't expect this team to go down without a fight.

  • Prediction: Steelers 34 - Patriots 27

 

  • Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (Sea -2.5)

Both teams are coming off tough losses to championship caliber teams. This game is very important. the Seahawks are 1 game back in the NFC west to the Rams and this game could very well determine the division champ at the end of the season. For the first time in my blazing 5 picks I am going to take weather as a factor. This game is in Seattle with typical Seattle Weather. According to Accuweather, its predicted to be below 50 degrees, cold and rainy. Although the Rams wont have to travel that far from from LA, there is a big difference in weather. If you know a little bit about LA, you know its sunny almost all year round with little to no rain. Not only is Seattle one of the best home field advantages in the league due to the noise, the weather will add a bit of a factor in this game.

Going into this game, the Seahawks will be still without key defensive players in Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. Even with them, the Seahawks defense hasnt been the same the same "Legion of Boom" Defense we know. They currently rank 13th in total defense, 8th in rushing defense and 16th in passing defense. So what part of this defense can be exploited the most by the Rams? The passing. Jared Goff and the Rams come into this game ranking 8th in passing. So pretty good. Not to mention the Rams top WR Robert Woods is coming back this Sunday. But how good will they be against the Weather in Seattle? You can bet the noise and weather will be the factor. Jared goff and this offense could very well struggle in this game. The Rams will need RB Todd Gurley to carry them this game. But weather or no weather, Seattle or no Seattle. The Seahawks are good enough to matchup well against Todd Gurley. I expect the Rams to struggle on offense to get anything going.

Now how does the Seahawks offense match up with the Rams defense? The Seahawks do not have a running game. And have an average receiving core and offensive line. Russel Wilson has carried this team all year, dont expect the Wilson game plan to deter. Wilson has been a huge factor for the offense all year, better yet he is the only factor for this offense. The Rams defense currently ranks 18th in total defense so Wilson could easily carry this team again. Last time these two teams played eachother, The Seahawks took the win but the Rams out gained them in yards. but turned the ball over 5 times. 

This game will be competitive but I give the edge to Seattle due to home field advantage, and the Seahawks beat the Eagles 2 weeks ago just before the Eagles went to LA and beat the Rams.

  • Prediction: Seahawks 24 - Rams 16

 

  • Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders (Dal -3)

You could say both these teams have been disappointing all year. I actually picked these two teams to make there respective Conference championship before this season started. I have no reason why the Raiders suddenly fell off this year but the Cowboys have excuses, 1. RB Ezekiel Elliot has been out, and 2. injuries that keep deterring this Cowboys team from success. The Cowboys have won the last 2 games while the Raiders are coming off a bad loss to the Chiefs in which they were shut out in the first 3 quarters.  For the first time in a few weeks, The Cowboys will be healthy coming into the game. They are still without Elliot but the backup running backs have stepped up these last 2 weeks. 

The Raiders are coming in this game ranking 22nd in total defense this year, not very good. but don't expect the Cowboys to have an easy game against this defense without Zeke. The Cowboys have been average on offense this year ranking 15th. But have come on hot the last 2 weeks with the team rushing for over 150 yards and QB Dak Prescott had over a 137 passer rating last week. Pretty Damn good. But Dak Presott's success relies on his running game. With no running game, he could struggle. The Raiders are average at stopping the run this year ranking 16th but gave up over 100 yards to Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt last week. Because of the Cowboys great offensive line , I expect the Cowboys to be able to run the ball which in turn helps Dak throw the ball well.

The Raiders offense is what is mind boggling. Last season QB Derek Carr and his elite receiver talent really came on and showed out. This year, its the complete opposite. The Raiders receivers rank 2nd in dropped passes this year, while the offense rank 15th in passing offense. The Rushing attack is a lot worse. They currently rank 26th in rushing this year. Their offensive line is below average and will be going against a pretty good Dallas pass rush which has the number 1 player in sacks this year: Demarcus Lawrence.

As a whole Dallas is a better team but in Oakland in a sunday night game where all the eyes are watching, Oakland can show up and possibly mirror the same Raider team from last year.

  • Prediction Cowboys 28 -  Raiders 27