Wow, what a bad Week 15 for the staff at The Quarterback Blog who combined to go 34-30 en route to one of the worst weeks in picks history. At the other end of the spectrum, we have Houston (STILL!) holding on tight to the #1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. What will happen? Nobody knows.
John Spiggle went 8-8 in Week 15, but Chris Van Horn did as well leaving the door open for anything to happen in the final two weeks. Dan, along with Cody went 9-7 as they gained 1 game on the pack. Unanimous picks in Week 15 went 7-6. The good news is, all 4 staffers solidified winning seasons with their picks.
Here are the updated standings through Week 15:
Chris Van Horn
NFL WEEK 16 STAFF PICKS
SUNDAY 12/22, 1:00PM, FOX: MINNESOTA VIKINGS at CINCINNATI BENGALS
CODY CLEMENT: The Bengals really failed to make a statement last weekend against Pittsburgh and this week play their second straight primetime game against a Vikings team that is ravaged with injuries. The Bengals win this game because they are solid at home.
DAN PLUTA: The Bengals failed to capitalize last week against a division opponent in Pittsburgh. If the Bengals want to win the AFC North, they’ll need to win this game to get to 10-wins. It’s home, and the Vikings allow a lot of points. Cincinnati Bengals win.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Ravens are getting hot and they are right on the tail of the Bengals in the AFC North race. If Cincinnati slips in this game it could spell doom. Fortunately, they are home and the Vikings are very beatable. I don’t expect Minnesota to roll over easy and die, especially in the wake of their big win last week. However, I do think the Bengals win without too much trouble.
CHRIS VAN HORN: It’s time for Cincinnati to put the AFC North race to bed. Beating the Vikings would certainly help. They’re at home, they’re the better team. I say the Bengals win this one.
SUNDAY 12/22, 1:00PM, FOX: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at ST. LOUIS RAMS
CODY CLEMENT: This game bores me… Rams.
DAN PLUTA: Tampa didn’t look so hot against the 49ers last week. The Rams looked great against the Saints. I like the St. Louis Rams to continue that trend and keep the Bucs at bay, haha get it?
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Buccaneers have done enough in the second half of this season to salvage the year, and they deserve credit for doing so. Unfortunately, I think the fun is over. They play the Rams coming off of a huge win last week against the Saints, and then they play the Saints next week to finish the season. I see them losing both. I’ll take St. Louis in this one.
CHRIS VAN HORN: St. Louis surprised many with their win over New Orleans last week. I’ll give the Rams credit, they’ve done anything but fold since Sam Bradford went down for the season. They have beaten the Colts, Bears and Saints for their three wins since Bradford’s injury. I’ll take St. Louis to pick up win number seven this week.
SUNDAY 12/22, 1:00PM, FOX: DALLAS COWBOYS at WASHINGTON REDSKINS
CODY CLEMENT: Wow. Dallas last week got absolutely Romo’d and everybody saw it coming. However, Washington is bad enough that not even Tony Romo can blow this game for the Cowboys.
DAN PLUTA: No one should be punished by having to watch this game. Dallas Cowboys?
JOHN SPIGGLE: Man oh man does this game have the making of yet another big letdown for Dallas! Can you just imagine them losing? I know I can. It could very well happen, but it’s safer to bet otherwise. For that reason, and that reason alone, I am going with the Cowboys.
CHRIS VAN HORN: I hate every team in the NFC East. Seriously, this division is terrible. Its two best teams (Philadelphia and Dallas) are incapable of winning games they should win (see the Eagles loss to the Vikings and Dallas choking against Green Bay). I have no faith in Dallas to come out on top in a must-win game, but then again I have no faith in Washington AT ALL. I’ll begrudgingly take the Cowboys.
SUNDAY 12/22, 1:00PM, FOX: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at CAROLINA PANTHERS
CODY CLEMENT: The Saints have lost all four of their games on the road this season and this game is in Charlotte. However, I think that New Orleans is going to come out with some intensity after the way they got beaten by the Rams last week. I’m taking the Saints to win.
DAN PLUTA: The Rams just beat the Saints and held them to 16-points in a game where Drew Brees aired it for 393 yards. I think the New Orleans Saints recoup and go into Carolina and feed the Panthers another loss while locking up the NFC South.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Saints looked bad again last week on the road. It’s something they’ve made a habit of this year. That doesn’t bode well for their future in the playoffs. If they lose this game, and thus probably the division, they will be on the road throughout the playoffs. Not good news for New Orleans. The worse news is that they are playing a division foe in the Panthers this week… on the road. I just don’t trust the Saints this year. I’m taking Carolina at home to get the huge win and essentially lockup the division.
CHRIS VAN HORN: I’ll repeat what I have said numerous times this season, and really it’s no secret: The Saints are not the same team on the road that they are at home. All four of their losses have come on the road this season. I like Carolina to win this game and control their own destiny to winning the NFC South.
SUNDAY 12/22, 1:00PM, CBS: MIAMI DOLPHINS at BUFFALO BILLS
CODY CLEMENT: Miami needs this game to stay neck and neck with Baltimore, EJ Manuel is not starting for the Bills, and this game is not sold out. All three of those statements make me lean towards the Dolphins as winners.
DAN PLUTA: Buffalo Bills, it’ll be wet and cold, but not snowy – at least that’s the forecast right now.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Dolphins are playing for a chance at the playoffs. The Bills are playing for, well, paychecks. EJ Manuel is out yet again, so the adequate Thad Lewis will get the nod. It could be worse for the Bills, but it could definitely be a whole lot better. I’ll go with Miami.
CHRIS VAN HORN: The Dolphins can put a little pressure on the Ravens if they can beat Buffalo on the road. Miami is one of the more surprising teams this season, especially with how they have played since the whole Incognito/Martin nonsense. Buffalo has a chance to play spoiler, but I don’t see it happening. Dolphins win.
SUNDAY 12/22, 1:00PM, CBS: INDIANAPOLIS COLTS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
CODY CLEMENT: The Colts are a confusing team this year. One minute they look awful and the next they are pulling out a victory. I think that the Chiefs have way too much offensive firepower to allow the Cots to win this game. Chiefs all the way.
DAN PLUTA: I don’t know. The Chiefs have come alive on offense. The Colts seemingly have not. It’s in KC, so Kansas City Chiefs probably won’t lose.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Colts have the division wrapped up, so I expect them to rest on their laurels a bit even if they don’t admit to doing so. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are in prime position to snap the AFC West crown from the Broncos. To do so they’ll need to win their remaining two games. It starts with this one. Chiefs win.
CHRIS VAN HORN: The Colts already have the AFC South locked up while the Chiefs are still holding on to a chance of taking the West. Arrowhead will be rocking on Sunday for this one and with the way the Chiefs offense has been playing (42 ppg last four games) I think they’ll take care of Indianapolis on Sunday. Kansas City wins.
SUNDAY 12/22, 1:00PM, CBS: CLEVELAND BROWNS at NEW YORK JETS
CODY CLEMENT: I think that Jason Campbell is better than Geno Smith… Browns.
DAN PLUTA: Let’s see – the Browns and Jets. Coin toss winner – New York Jets.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Jets by one point.
CHRIS VAN HORN: The game that the Spiggle and VanHorn households have been looking forward to for weeks (not really, we just have to get excited about something since our teams are no longer “in the hunt”). The Toilet Bowl. I know John is going to take the Jets by a point, because he has all season. I will turn the tables and take the Browns…by a point.
SUNDAY 12/22, 1:00PM, CBS: TENNESSEE TITANS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
CODY CLEMENT: Titans because why not.
DAN PLUTA: The Bills just walked in and beat the Jags, can Tennessee? Fitzpatrick just threw for more than 400-yards, in one game! I think the Titans can be sneaky on D, I like the Tennessee Titans here.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Titans lost to the Jaguars the first time these two sad teams met. I can’t see them losing to them twice. That would be really bad. Really. Tennessee.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Ryan Fitzpatrick! Chad Henne! It’s the NFL on CBS! But seriously, I have no idea who to take here. I’ll go with Tennessee because Jacksonville just lost their best (remaining) wide receiver–Cecil Shorts–for the rest of the season.
SUNDAY 12/22, 1:00PM, CBS: DENVER BRONCOS at HOUSTON TEXANS
CODY CLEMENT: Seriously?!?!?! Broncos.
DAN PLUTA: Over the summer we would have thought this would be the game to decide the top spot in the AFC. Now it’s to decide if Denver will have the top spot and Houston will have the 1st pick in the draft. Pathetic. I think the Denver Broncos destroy Houston, it’s a long week and they just lost – Peyton wants J.J. Watt, I mean blood.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Broncos stumbled badly last week when they let the Chargers beat them at Mile High. It’s a real shame that Peyton Manning can’t play in the cold or something. The good news is that it’s not supposed to be cold in Houston this Sunday! Broncos.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Ok Peyton, quit messing around and lock up the top seed already. Houston has lost 12 in a row. There is no reason Denver should lose this game, and I don’t think they will. Denver by double digits.
SUNDAY 12/22, 4:05PM, FOX: NEW YORK GIANTS at DETROIT LIONS
CODY CLEMENT: Here’s hoping that Eli can throw a few more picks in this game because nothing makes me happier than watching him walk to the sideline after throwing an interception. Lions.
DAN PLUTA: The Giants threw up a goose egg against Seattle. They’ll score in this one, but the Detroit Lions will win.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Lions may have more interceptions in this game than the Giants have points. That may be a sensationalized prediction, but Detroit will win nonetheless.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Hey Eli, nice game last week! No, really. Five picks is really good, if you don’t care about winning a football game. Meanwhile the Lions had their playoff destiny in their own hands and lost on six field goals from Justin Tucker. Ouch. They need wins and help the last two weeks to reach the post season. I think they will do their part on Sunday and beat this lousy Giants team. Detroit wins.
SUNDAY 12/22, 4:05PM, FOX: ARIZONA CARDINALS at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
CODY CLEMENT: Seattle at home. Have to take the Seahawks.
DAN PLUTA: I can see Arizona winning this one. But until they show they’re capable of losing at home, I’m taking the Seattle Seahawks.
JOHN SPIGGLE: I’m sure the Cardinals will give them hell, but the Seahawks haven’t lost a regular season game in Seattle since November of 2011. Oh and Russell Wilson still doesn’t even know what losing at home feels like. I believe that they will get the opportunity to lose at home in the playoffs, but it won’t happened before that. Seahawks win.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Seattle can lock up the top seed in the NFC with a win at home this week. The Seahawks look really good…like built-for-a-Super-Bowl-run good. They’ll clinch in front of the 12th man with a convincing win over the Cardinals. Seattle takes this one.
SUNDAY 12/22, 4:25PM, CBS: PITTSBURGH STEELERS at GREEN BAY PACKERS
CODY CLEMENT: Oh goody. In August this game looked like it could have meant something to both teams, now Pittsburgh is desperately trying to finish at .500 and the Packers are clawing for a playoff spot. I’m taking the Steelers because even if Rodgers plays he is bound to be rusty.
DAN PLUTA: Is Rodgers back? The Pack pulled off the win last week, keeping their playoff hopes alive, albeit they need Chicago to lose in order to keep that hope. Eddie Lacy is running well too. If Rodger’s plays, the Green Bay Packers will win.
JOHN SPIGGLE: I’m going to take Green Bay because I believe the football gods are yet again doing what it takes to get Matt Flynn another gigantic contract somewhere other than Green Bay next year. If he can follow up last week’s improbable comeback with another solid win against the Steelers some team will surely get suckered into paying him big bucks next year. Maybe the Jets! Packers win.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Aaron Rodgers needs to come back….now. The Packers playoff hopes are very slim, but they have to start by beating Pittsburgh at Lambeau. Even after the emotional comeback win over Dallas last week, I’m taking the Steelers because we know that their star QB will be playing and even if Rodgers does play, I don’t know how effective he will be.
SUNDAY 12/22, 4:25PM, CBS: OAKLAND RAIDERS at SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
CODY CLEMENT: Chargers because Oakland stinks.
DAN PLUTA: San Diego Chargers. Long week against a bad Oakland team and they’re at home, easy pick.
JOHN SPIGGLE: This is exactly the kind of game the Chargers lose, but they should win so I should pick them. I will. Chargers.
CHRIS VAN HORN: San Diego is another team whose playoff hopes are on life support. They also need a win an some help the next two weeks. With the winnable game against Oakland, I’ll take the Chargers to win their third straight.
SUNDAY 12/22, 4:25PM, CBS: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS at BALTIMORE RAVENS
CODY CLEMENT: Please for the love of god can the Ravens lose this game. They are slowly marching their way towards the playoffs where they will inevitably go on a run to the Super Bowl simply to make my life miserable. I think that this is the week that the roll stops wen Mr. Brady and Company come into town and the Patriots win (100% picking with my heart, Baltimore probably wins).
DAN PLUTA: The rematch of the 2012 AFC Championship. It’s a shortened week for Baltimore though. I
like hate the New England Patriots.
JOHN SPIGGLE: I’m going to take New England, but I don’t want to talk about it.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Game of the week. Baltimore is peaking at the right time…just like last year. Does anyone want to play them in the playoffs at this point? One team that might be up to the challenge is New England, who has battled through injuries (and one murder charge) to get themselves in position to earn a first round bye. I’ll say the Ravens have Brady’s number this week and win their fifth straight.
SUNDAY 12/22, 8:30PM, NBC: CHICAGO BEARS at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
CODY CLEMENT: The Bears cannot stop the run and the Eagles cannot stop Minnesota’s third string running back last week so be prepared to bet the over in this one, points galore! As for the game itself I am going to take the Bears because their wide receivers should have a field day in Philly.
DAN PLUTA: Playoffs on the line for both teams. Both teams have a strong offense with a weak defense. Chicago is used to the cold, so no advantage there. I like experience over youth here, Chicago Bears win.
JOHN SPIGGLE: This should be a great game to watch. Both teams need to win in order to stay one game ahead in their respective divisions. It’ll be close, but I’m going with Philly simply because they are at home. I’m not confident.
CHRIS VAN HORN: Not a bad way to end the weekend with two 8-6 teams who control their own fate. Jay Cutler came out slow against the Browns before finding his rhythm in a road win. Philly got blown out by Minnesota, which confused me considering Minnesota didn’t have its top two running backs. I’ll take Philadelphia because the Eagles have a dynamic back in Shady McCoy and the Bears have struggled all season to stop the run.
MONDAY 12/23, 8:30PM, ESPN: ATLANTA FALCONS at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
CODY CLEMENT: Well the Falcons certainly regressed! If it weren’t for the Texans dumpster fire of a season the Atlanta Falcons would be a much bigger story. 49ers win (see the previous two sentences).
DAN PLUTA: The San Francisco 49ers win.
JOHN SPIGGLE: The Falcons should have taken the year off. 49ers get the win to stay one game ahead of the Cardinals in the Wild Card race.
CHRIS VAN HORN: The end of the season can’t come soon enough for the Falcons, who are 3-6 in games decided by seven points or less this season. Not enough breaks for them in 2013. Like the Ravens, the 49ers are getting hot at the right time and have won four straight. I’ll take San Francisco.