NFL Office Pool Picks Week 16
by Trevor Whenham - 12/16/2014
From the office pool perspective, last week was a good week - one in which things mostly made sense, and the surprises were few and far between. Now that we are into the dying days of the NFL season, surprises should be harder to find. Motivations are easier to deduce, and the sample size is large enough that we know how good most teams are. Or at least that's the theory we are going to go with. Here's our weekly look at the predicted straight up winners in each NFL game to help you dominate your NFL office pool:
Tennessee at Jacksonville: Both teams have been hit hard by injuries - and neither was very good at full strength. If ever there was an argument for the NFL to selectively cancel unnecessary games, this is it. Totally unwatchable. Take the Jaguars at home. I guess.
Philadelphia at Washington: Philadelphia lost a crucial game at home to the Cowboys and could be reeling. Washington is a perfect remedy for that. They are a mess, and the amount of dysfunction around the team certainly hasn't subsided this week. Take the Eagles.
San Diego at San Francisco: San Francisco is eliminated from the postseason, crushed by injuries, and facing an inevitable coaching change. It would be very hard to trust them against anyone right now - especially not against a pretty good team with their postseason life on the line. Take the Chargers.
Minnesota at Miami: Miami is another team likely facing a coaching change, and they have to be very frustrated by the way they have played their way out of the playoffs the last two weeks. Minnesota is not good, but they never quit. Good spot to pick an upset, Take the Vikings.
Baltimore at Houston: Houston is reduced to playing either a fourth- or fifth-string quarterback in this one. Baltimore is in a playoff position, and winning will keep them there. If the Ravens are who they want us to believe they are then this shouldn't be close. Take the Ravens.
Detroit at Chicago: There is probably not a team I would pick the Bears to beat right now. Just a horrible mess. I was confident that Marc Trestman was going to have a strong season this year. Now I just hope he can find another job. Detroit has won three straight, and thanks to a stumble by the Packers they have hopes of winning their division. Take the Lions.
Cleveland at Carolina: I don't know who will be playing at QB for the Panthers, but the good news for them is that any option they have is better than what the reeling Browns have. Johnny Football was an unbelievable disaster last week, and it was perhaps the final blow for the psyche of a team that has been through a lot this year. Take the Panthers.
Atlanta at New Orleans: New Orleans is a mess of a team, but they lead the division. Atlanta is just terrible, and they need to go away. This loss would be the end of them, and for that reason alone I am enthusiastically taking the Saints.
Green Bay at Tampa Bay: Do I really need to explain this one? Green Bay faltered, but Tampa Bay is not a tenth of the team that Buffalo is. This one will be ugly. Take the Packers.
Kansas City at Pittsburgh: This is a virtual playoff game because the loser is going to be in rough shape heading into the final week of the season. Things once looked so promising for the Chiefs, but they haven't been as sharp lately - and aren't great on the road. Take the Steelers.
New England at New York Jets: It's the Jets. And New England is playing for home-field advantage. This one isn't fair. Take the Patriots.
New York Giants at St. Louis: St. Louis has put on a defensive clinic over the last three weeks. New York is absolutely vulnerable to strong defensive play. Take the Rams.
Buffalo at Oakland: There is a real concern here that this will be a letdown game for the Bills after their massive effort last week. They still have playoff hopes, though, and they know that this game is a gift in that pursuit. I'll trust them - and I certainly don't trust the Raiders. Take the Bills.
Indianapolis at Dallas: Both of these teams are likely going to win their division - Indianapolis already has - but they both need a win here to keep their chances of a first-round bye alive. The stakes are high. There are things I really like about both teams, and things I don't. In the end, though, I'd take Luck over Romo every day. Take the Colts.
Seattle at Arizona: I so badly wish I could pick the Cardinals. Great story, and so much more likeable in my eyes than Seattle is. They are tough at home, too. Unfortunately, this Seattle defense is exactly the worst thing that could happen to a third- or fourth-string QB thrust into action. Take the Seahawks. Reluctantly.
Denver at Cincinnati: Denver has won four straight and is playing to secure a bye - and home-field advantage - but I can't take them. Peyton Manning just isn't right, and that is going to catch up to him here against a solid and hungry Cincinnati team. Take the Bengals.
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