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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

NFL Week 15 Picks and Previews

It was a tough week really as teams struggle to cope with the expectation and pressure of trying to reach the post-season.

We also saw some potential big injuries this week as Ben Roethlisberger looked like he had broken his ankle (and any chances Pittsburgh had of returning to the SuperBowl) while the Green Bay Packers will be missing Greg Jennings at least until the end of the regular season.

The best moment, for me at least, was seeing Tom Brady and Bill O'Brien going at it on the sidelines during New England's win over Washington just after Brady threw a pick in the EndZone that would have iced the game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33V0hSri6BM

Anyone else think O'Brien may have caught the - 7.5 point spread(?)


Week 14 Thoughts
1) New England will not win the AFC with that Defense: I am going to stick my balls on the line and say the Patriots will NOT win the AFC this season. New England are the short-priced favourites to do so, but that Defense stinks so much that I cannot see them beating Pittsburgh or Baltimore in their current shape.


I would have picked Houston to beat them too if Matt Schaub was still under Center, but I cannot believe the layers have the Patriots at the price they do. The only thing going for the Pats is if they can secure home-field advantage, but they have been beaten by the Jets and the Ravens in Foxboro in the last couple of seasons so even that won't be enough for them this year.


The Defense is horrible and cannot stop anybody, while they don't exactly create enough turnovers to cover these deficiencies up like the Green Bay Packers do. The Ravens and Steelers are both capable of controlling the clock against the Pats and both have Defenses that can slow down this Offense so I believe either of those teams would beat New England in January.


2) San Francisco's loss to Arizona could be huge for their future: San Francisco had the inside track to gaining the Number 2 seed in the NFC, achieving a bye and also hosting an opponent, most likely New Orleans, in the Divisional Round of the Play Offs.


However, it is all change for them now as they season comes to its conclusion as they now have a level record with New Orleans and 3 games to play but consider this: The 49ers host Pittsburgh and visit Seattle and St Louis, while the Saints visit Minnesota and then host Atlanta and Carolina.


I can see the 49ers losing at least 1 more of their remaining games, most likely in the next 2 weeks, while the Saints could run the table and steal the Number 2 seed.


San Francisco have been looking a little more vulnerable in recent weeks and I would not like their chances in the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome, a venue where the Saints are unbeaten. We all know the Saints are very impressive at home, but they have had a hard time on the road outdoors so the next 3 weeks is huge for both teams.


3) San Diego have left it too late this year: After starting 4-1, I really thought the Chargers were a lock to win the AFC West and return to the Play Offs after missing out last year... Then we saw a 6 game losing run that effectively ended their chances.


The last 2 weeks has seen the Chargers do what they do best- beat up teams in December with a late burst to make the Play Offs. It looked like they were going to be just 1 game behind the leaders in the West, but 'Tebow Time' came to play as Denver somehow beat Chicago when down by 10 and 3 minutes remaining and that means the Chargers are effectively out of the Play Offs again.


Norv Turner is unlikely to return as the team made too many mistakes in their 6 game losing run and we could see a few personnel changes in the off-season, particularly in Defense.


4) NFC Play Off picture has become a little blurry: A couple of weeks ago, it looked like teams like Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta had the Wild Card race locked up between each other, but injuries and bad defeats mean the Play Off picture has become a little blurry.


For a long time, I thought the NFC East winner would be the only representative in the Play Offs, but recent results mean it is possible that BOTH Dallas and the New York Giants could make it in.


New York and Dallas both have a 7-6 record, meaning they are both just 1 game behind the teams in the Wild Card spot, but Detroit have to travel to both Oakland and Green Bay in the last 3 weeks and have not looked like a solid team to win games. If they lose both, and the Giants and Dallas can win 2 of their last 3 games, both could go in at the expense of the Lions.


Every game is important now for these teams as things may look a little clearer after this weekends slate of games.


5) Bonehead play of the week: Marion Barber running out of bounds with under 2 minutes left in the Chicago game at Denver... That gave the Broncos an additional 40 secs to move the ball up the field and score the tying FG that eventually led to an Overtime win.


While Barber has been rightly criticised, what were the Bears thinking in calling an outside run at that time? Surely the call should have been an inside handoff and just ram it up the gut- that way there is no chance the Broncos can see Barber run out of bounds and there is always that chance of breaking a tackle and getting the game winning 1st Down.


That was a terrible decision for San Diego and Oakland in the AFC West, while it gives Chicago a mountain to climb in trying to get into the Play Offs in the NFC... Dumb, dumb, dumb play.



Power Rankings Top 10
1) Green Bay Packers (13-0)
2) New Orleans (10-3): Only team that can hang with the Packers in my opinion.
3) Baltimore Ravens (10-3): Will have to beat the Steelers again if they want to reach the SuperBowl
4) Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)
5) New England Patriots (10-3): Not going to go too far with that Defense
6) San Francisco 49ers (10-3): Could be going through a bit of a wobble at the wrong time.
7) Houston Texans (10-3): If they were at full health, they could be the team to beat in the AFC
8) Denver Broncos (8-5): Tebow has inspired this team
9) New York Jets (8-5): Don't look now, but Rex's team is in command of one of the Wild Card berths
10) Atlanta Falcons (8-5)




My Top 5 and Bottom 5
1) Green Bay Packers                          32) Indianapolis Colts
2) New Orleans Saints                          31) St Louis Rams
3) Pittsburgh Steelers                           30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4) Baltimore Ravens                             29) Minnesota Vikings
5) Houston Texans                               28) Cleveland Browns




Week 15 Pick and Previews
As always, I will post my picks in the upcoming days and will update Twitter whenever I have some more picks.


Also, remember we have a staggered schedule this week with a game on Thursday, Saturday and Monday nights and the rest playing on Sunday.


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Atlanta Falcons Pick and Preview ( http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12661-Jacksonville-Jaguars-at-Atlanta-Falcons.htm)

Washington Redskins @ New York Giants Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12697-Washington-Redskins-at-New-York-Giants.htm)

Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12702-Green-Bay-Packers-at-Kansas-City-Chiefs.htm)

New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12703-New-Orleans-Saints-at-Minnesota-Vikings.htm)

Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12705-Seattle-Seahawks-at-Chicago-Bears.htm)

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12706-Tennessee-Titans-at-Indianapolis-Colts.htm)

Detroit Lions @ Oakland Raiders Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12708-Detroit-Lions-at-Oakland-Raiders.htm)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Francisco 49ers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12715-Pittsburgh-Steelers-at-San-Francisco-49ers.htm)




MY PICKS: Atlanta Falcons - 11 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
New York Giants - 6.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Green Bay Packers - 13.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
New Orleans Saints - 7 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Seattle Seahawks + 3.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Tennessee Titans - 6.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Oakland Raiders @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Carolina Panthers + 6 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Denver Broncos + 7.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
New York Jets + 3 Points @ 1.83 BetFred (1 Unit)
San Diego Chargers + 2.5 Points @ 2.00 BetFred (1 Unit)
Arizona Cardinals - 6.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Pittsburgh Steelers + 3 Points @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)





WEEK 14: 5-6, - 1.09 Units
WEEK 136-3, + 5.54 Units
WEEK 125-3, + 2.87 Units
WEEK 113-7, - 8.26 Units
WEEK 104-6, - 3.74 Units
WEEK 96-2, + 7.04 Units
WEEK 83-5, - 6.44 Units
WEEK 75-4, - 2.61 Units
WEEK 64-4-1, - 2.24 Units
WEEK 55-3, + 3.15 Units
WEEK 4: 4-7, - 6.66 Units
WEEK 3: 4-3-1, + 2.77 Units
WEEK 2: 3-5, - 5.03 Units
WEEK 1: 4-2, + 2.53 Units


SEASON UPDATE61-60-2, - 12.17 Units

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