Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week 15:
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16
San Francisco 5-8 at San Diego 7-6 8:20 PM [Line: San Diego by 9]
Both teams are just one game out of first place in their divisions. Yep, 5-8 San Francisco is in the playoff hunt.
RJ’s Pick: San Diego by 14
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19
Cleveland 5-8 at Cincinnati 2-11 1:00 PM [Line: Cincinnati by 1.5]
The Bengals have lost 10 straight games, the longest streak in the NFL. The Battle of Ohio is more of a skirmish this year.
RJ’s Pick: Cleveland by 3
Washington 5-8 at Dallas 4-9 1:00 PM [Line: Dallas by 6]
Tashard Choice asked for Michael Vick’s autograph immediately after last week’s loss. In related news, Choice is asking for some self respect for Christmas.
RJ’s Pick: Dallas by 11
Houston 5-8 at Tennessee 5-8 1:00 PM [Line: Tennessee by 1]
The Titans have dropped six straight. The loser of this game will be in sole possession of last place in the AFC South.
RJ’s Pick: Houston by 4
Jacksonville 8-5 at Indianapolis 7-6 1:00 PM [Line: Indianapolis by 5]
A loss would knock the Colts out of playoff contention. The last year the Colts missed the playoffs: 2001.
RJ’s Pick: Indianapolis by 10
Kansas City 8-5 at St. Louis 6-7 1:00 PM [Line: St. Louis by 3]
If Matt Cassel can play, the Chiefs will win. If he can’t, the Rams will win. I don’t think he’ll be able to play.
RJ’s Pick: St. Louis by 7
Buffalo 3-10 at Miami 7-6 1:00 PM [Line: Miami by 6]
The Dolphins are 1-5 at home this season.
RJ’s Pick: Buffalo by 2
Detroit 3-10 at Tampa Bay 8-5 1:00 PM [Line: Tampa Bay by 5.5]
The last time the Lions won a road game was October 28, 2007.
RJ’s Pick: Detroit by 1
Arizona 4-9 at Carolina 1-12 1:00 PM [Line: Carolina by 2.5]
This is one of the ugliest matchups of the year.
RJ’s Pick: Arizona by 5
New Orleans 10-3 at Baltimore 9-4 1:00 PM [Line: Baltimore by 1.5]
Both teams are likely to make the postseason as Wild Cards, no matter the outcome here.
RJ’s Pick: New Orleans by 4
Philadelphia 9-4 at New York Giants 9-4 1:00 PM [Line: New York Giants by 3]
If the Eagles win this one, they will have swept the Giants this season and therefore will very likely win the NFC East.
RJ’s Pick: New York Giants by 8
Atlanta 11-2 at Seattle 6-7 4:05 PM [Line: Atlanta by 6.5]
The Falcons have won seven in a row, making them the hottest team in the league.
RJ’s Pick: Atlanta by 2
New York Jets 9-4 at Pittsburgh 10-3 4:15 PM [Line: Pittsburgh by 6.5]
The Jets have lost two straight, and another loss this week will have some worrying that they could end up missing the playoffs.
RJ’s Pick: Pittsburgh by 1
Denver 3-10 at Oakland 6-7 4:15 PM [Line: Oakland by 6.5]
The Raiders are 4-2 at home. The Broncos have lost four in a row.
RJ’s Pick: Oakland by 13
Green Bay 8-5 at New England 11-2 8:20 PM [Line: New England by 9]
If Aaron Rodgers can’t play, this one won’t be close. I believe he will play, but the Patriots should win anyway. A Packers loss this week probably means they don’t make the playoffs.
RJ’s Pick: New England by 15
MONDAY, DECEMBER 20
Chicago 9-4 at Minnesota 5-8 8:30 PM [Line: Minnesota by 1.5]
Due to the damage to the Metrodome, this one will be played at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, which has no roof. The weather is expected to be below freezing, so the advantage goes to the Bears, who are used to playing in such conditions at Soldier Field.
RJ’s Pick: Chicago by 6