NFL Office Pool Picks Week 15
Last week had some odd results - to say the least. You would have to have a better imagination than I do to imagine the Patriots, Steelers, Texans and Rams all losing. Heck, your imagination is pretty twisted if you could have just imagined New England losing on the final play because Gronk sucks at defense. It's a weird league sometimes. Here's hoping that this week is a little less weird and that we have a strong week in our NFL office pool plays. We deserve it after the last few weeks. Here's how I see the Week 15 games playing out straight up:
L.A. Chargers at Kansas City: Both of these teams are playing well right now. The perception is probably widely that Kansas City is the better team, but if the Chargers win this one the two teams would be tied atop the division - and the AFC, for that matter. I don't think that they will, though. Patrick Mahomes is playing like an MVP, and the Chiefs have been very good at home. Take the Chiefs.
Houston at New York Jets: Houston has to come back from a frustrating loss last week, and the Jets got a surprising win with Sam Darnold back. Neither is particularly relevant here. The Jets are a mess defensively, and Houston is more than good enough to exploit that. Take the Texans.
Cleveland at Denver: Denver has the better record but sure doesn't feel like the better team right now. Cleveland is 3-2 in their last five and is playing like a whole new team under Gregg Williams. And they have more talent across the board than the Broncos. Take the Browns - though this is a tight one.
Tampa Bay at Baltimore: Baltimore took the Chiefs to overtime last week, and their defense is very much legitimate. Tampa Bay isn't legitimately good at anything right now. This one won't be close. Take the Ravens.
Oakland at Cincinnati: This is literally the worst possible game I can imagine right now. The Raiders are a complete joke right now and are just a mess in every way - and their win last week doesn't change any of that. And the Bengals are just run by an impossibly incompetent coach and are getting exactly what they deserve as a result. So awful. Take the Bengals. I guess.
Detroit at Buffalo: Buffalo's attack seems to be to not give Josh Allen any hope so that he has to scramble. And it's working reasonably well - he has been productive at record levels lately. But that's probably not enough. Detroit is a long way from good, and Matt Patricia is not the coach they dreamt of, but they should be the better team here. Take the Lions.
Dallas at Indianapolis: Both of these teams are in position to make the playoffs, and that is a bit of a mystery to me in both cases. Dallas has the better record, but the Colts are coming off a surprising win in Houston, and now they are at home. Take the Colts.
Tennessee at New York Giants: The Giants have won two in a row, but the schedule gets most of the credit for that. They have all sorts of problems and have been able to plaster over them with a good running back and a little luck. But Tennessee is a better team, and it doesn't really feel close. Take the Titans.
Miami at Minnesota: Minnesota was so embarrassed by their offensive performances the last two weeks that they fired their offensive coordinator. They may or may not get a boost from that, but the difference between these two teams in terms of talent is significant - even if that isn't always evident on the field. Take the Vikings.
Arizona at Atlanta: If it weren't for the fact that Oakland vs. Cincinnati is already the worst game I could possibly imagine, this game would be in the running for that honor. Atlanta is a mentally broken team, and nothing short of a serious offseason overhaul will address it. Actually, nothing short of a new quarterback will likely get them close to their full potential, but that's not happening. And Arizona is rebuilding - very, very, very slowly. So ugly. Take the Falcons. I guess.
Green Bay at Chicago: Chicago just beat up on the Rams, and they have a very strong defense - obviously. There would be a good chance for a letdown after a showing like that when the next opponent is as weak as the Packers are right now. But the rivalry factor and the ability to wrap up the division should have Chicago playing sharp. Take the Bears.
Washington at Jacksonville: If I hadn't already picked the Oakland and Atlanta games as the bottom of the barrel, I would place this game there. So ugly. Do you want to pick the team that consciously chooses not to play an NFL QB? Or the team that forgot how to play defense and has given up completely? Ugh. Take the Jaguars. Or the Redskins. It doesn't really matter - there is no way to apply any skill in making a pick like this. I'll take Jacksonville - and I'm just too excited for words about it.
Seattle at San Francisco: Seattle has all sorts of issues, but they are playing as well as they can right now, and they have a really strong chance of making the playoffs. San Francisco got a surprising win last week, but they are clearly second best here. Take the Seahawks.
New England at Pittsburgh: New England should be playing angry here after a humiliating loss last week. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is falling apart in front of our eyes and just isn't in a good place right now. The issues appear to be mental as much as anything, and those are the hardest to fix. Take the Patriots.
Philadelphia at L.A. Rams: The Rams also should be playing angry after a frustrating loss last week. They haven't been at their sharpest since the win over the Chiefs, but they are a high-quality team, and this is their chance to get back on track. Philadelphia just isn't very good right now. It's tough to watch after last year. Take the Rams.
New Orleans at Carolina: I really had a lot of faith in the Panthers early in the season, but their last five wins - each more painful than the one before it - has beaten every shred of optimism out of me. New Orleans got back on track last week and should keep rolling here. Take the Saints.
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