• Pigskin Pundit’s Picks, Week 15

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    Surge Summary: With complicated possible playoff situations still percolating, Pigskin Pundit offeres his predictions for NFL week fifteen.

    by Pigskin Pundit  

    Four teams have clinched playoff berths, and two have added divisional clinches as well, as we head into lockdown weekend.  Predictably, the Chiefs and Packers have punched their divisional tickets by punching their rivals out.  The permutations on who can still make the playoffs is enough to give Einstein brainlock, so I won’t rise to that bait.  After Monday Night’s barn burner (did ANYONE bet the OVER?), I finished the week at 11-5, and stand at 136-73 for the season (steady at 65%).  Here are the picks.

    Chargers at Raiders – It’s nice to have Ekeler back toting the rock and providing an outlet pass option for Justin Herbert…but what happens in Vegas favors the Raiders, who dumped their defensive coordinator this week after the Colts debacle.  Jon Gruden has a shot at the playoffs, and his team knows they have to take it up a notch.  Expect them to outscore the Bolts through the air, as Carr drives them downfield repeatedly.  Raiders are greater than the SoCal invaders.

    Bills at Broncos – Let me say this about Denver…they are an improving team that has surprised some better teams along the way.  I will never believe that Drew will Lock down the starting job long-term (another miss for GM Elway), but Denver never stays down long, either.  That said, they are not going to stop the cross-country express train that is McDermott’s Bills.  Josh Allen is stoking that fire with Wyoming coal, and his team will Buffalo you first, and Bill you later.  Bills have a whiff of something they haven’t smelled since Jim Kelley was firing bombs to Andre Reed…a division title.  Broncs get busted by Buffalo Bills wild west show.

    Panthers at Packers – The only thing these two teams have in common is they start with P and end with RS.  Green Bay looks like you expect a Packers team to look this time of year – focused, tough and sharp.  The Panthers look…bruised, confused and abused.  Matt Lafleur could sit his starters and beat Carolina this week….and he just might.  Black Cats are only bad luck to themselves in Curly Lambeau’s sand lot.  Say Cheese!

    Niners at Cowboys – Dallas found a little more football last week as they downed the floundering Bengals.  Their run D is still non-existent though, and the Niners can pound it with Mostert back.  Mullens is no Andy Dalton, but SF is no Cincy either.  The Cowboys’ star falls at home, while Frisco’s D is haltin’ Dalton.

    Seahawks at WFT – Trap game.  Seattle is better, but stalwart defenses like FT’s cause them BIG problems (See NYG).  If Alex Smith can find his way back to the field this week, DC will be a tough nut to crack.  If Haskins is taking snaps, expect Seattle’s pass rush to render the rook ineffectual.  In this tale of two Washingtons, the west is best.  Squawks rock.

    Bears at Vikings – Chicago showed some life last week stifling the hapless Texans, while Minnesota got pillaged by the Pirates in the Palm state.  Chicago’s D is good, but Dalvin Cook went over 100 yards against the league’s best run D last week, and JJ Jefferson, Thiel & Rudolf the Rednose TE will be snagging airballs left and right, so DaBears will have their paws full.  This game hadn’t better come down to kicking, because Dan Failey is a bust.  Give the narrow edge to the Purple Perplexers.

    Patriots at Dolphins – The Pats are escaping the big Noreaster clobbering us right now by flying to South Beach.  The warm weather will be nice, but the hot reception they will get from Flores’ Flippers is likely to feel more like sunburn.  Belichick dismantles opposing rookie QBs historically, but Miami is the league’s 4th-best defense, and you can’t win if you can’t score.  Miami mauls the Massachusetts Minutemen.

    Jaguars at Ravens – Harbaugh gets a chance to improve his playoff standings, as everyone’s favorite opponent Smacksonville comes to take another beating.  Action Jackson whacks his namesake as Ravens rave on.

    Buccaneers at Falcons – Okay, I’m out on Atlanta.  These Falcons can’t fly, period.  The depths of their problems are still unknown, but Tampa will exploit them this week.  Too late in the season to be stumbling over weak teams, Brady’s Bunch should have the punch to eat Atlanta’s lunch.  Munch.

    Lions at Titans – Detroit won’t slow down King Henry on the ground nor O Tannehill through the air Christmas week, as the Titans keep up their full-court press on Indy for the division title.  As Burl Ives festively sang, ‘Silver and Blue, Silver and Blue, they’re the team nobody fears, ‘cuz Silver and Blue has been dreadful, for oh so many years.’

    Texans at Colts – The Bullseyes are going to find themselves IN the bulls-eye this week, with Indy’s ‘Zero’ defense giving Deshaun Watson zero to throw at, and not much Open Range to run to.  Watson is a magician, but he can’t make something out of nothing, which is what the Colts are offering.  Colts lock down and knock down Watson for the win.

    Eagles at Cardinals – This looks like a pick ‘em, with two highly mobile QBs pushing the action.  Both teams can get after the QB, so long pass plays will probably be scarce.  Murray in a Hurry has better weapons and more experience, so the Cardinal rule is to bet the home team here.  Phoenix puts the nix on Philly phootball.

    Jets at Rams – Rams continue their relentless pursuit of the West division with a Christmas gift from the good folks in New York…a free win!  At home!  Happy Festivus from LA.  Pass the gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-based, free range no-MSG roasted organic bean curd kabobs!  With a glass of chilled kale nog.  Yum!

    Chiefs at Saints – This is a real football game.  Maybe the preview of the BIG ONE come February, sans Brees.  That’s a HUGE absence, since we don’t know what Taysom Hill is yet and we DO know what Jameis Winston is.  Whodat Nation has great defense, and we know where that gets you when you have 60 minutes of Chiefs offense coming at you…an L.  I don’t think either QB option for Nawlins gets them enough points to outpace KC.  Saints come to grief at the hands of the Chiefs.

    Browns at Giants – After that insane donnybrook with Baltimore on Monday Night, Cleveland still has something to prove.  The Giants are a good team to recover against, because they will test your mettle, but not likely outplay you when you are as good as the Browns are.  Let Li’l Nicky lug and chug, and toss when you need to, and the Orange Rush should make NY sirloin strip out of the Giants.  Well done, please.

    Steelers at Bengals – This is a ‘Whew’ game for Mike Tomlin, as he tries to get his ship righted again.  No Burrow, no sorrow.  Simple math, as Pittsburgh lurches on towards the playoffs.

    Merry Christmas, and enjoy the games!

    -PP (Nate Clark)

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Image: CC0 Public Domain; https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1255837

    Nathan Clark is a conservative commentator who resides with his wife in New Hampshire. He is passionate about preserving the vision of our nation’s Founders and advancing those tried and true principles deep into America’s future. His interests range broadly from flyfishing, cooking and shooting to pro sports, gardening, live music and fine-scale modeling.

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