No Sleep Till Football

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2011 NFL Football – Week 15 Best Games

Lotta games this week with meaning. Let’s dive right in!

ROAD ANALYSIS HOME
Is there a better story than Tom Brady v. Tim Tebow? Brady impregnates a woman only to leave her and the kid to marry a supermodel! Tebow is the poster boy for chastity! To me this is a statement game for Denver. Even with wins over teams like the Jets & Bears, it still doesn’t mean much unless Denver beats an elite AFC team which means the Patriots, Ravens or Steelers. Given New England’s defense, I’m not sure the Patriots are on Pittsburgh’s or Baltimore’s level, but it would be a good enough win for Denver. Don’t forget that the Patriots have something to play for as well. A loss could put them in the #3 seed which means they get the Wild Card game at home, but the next two would potentially be on the road. Can Tebowmania continue? If he wins today the hype will be out of this world! PATRIOTS (-7.5)
The Vegas line is wrong. The Steelers have plenty to play for and the 49ers are falling a part. Look at SF’s schedule. Who have they really beaten? They have a win over the Giants when they were losing every week and a win over the Lions who are turning out to be a decent, but not great NFL team in 2011. Maybe I’m overhyping the Steelers just a bit, but I don’t see how Pittsburgh doesn’t shut down the running game forcing Alex Smith to beat them. Even with the Niners playing at home, I don’t think Smith can beat a Super Bowl contending team like Pittsburgh. If Big Ben plays, the Steelers have too many weapons. Isaac Redman & Hines Ward are playing well. The depth offensively for Pittsburgh is nuts. If SF loses then they are in serious danger of missing out on that #2 seed which I think is crucial for them to make a playoff run. Gigantic game for both teams! 49ERS (-3)
Probably the best game of the week if not for Tim Tebow being everyone’s favorite story, PIT/SF being a combined 20-6 and the Chargers currently being 6-7! The Chargers started the season 4-1 then lost 6 straight. Now they’ve won 2 in a row. SD’s best case record is 11-2 so don’t be surprised if the Chargers come out and give Baltimore a fantastic game. It is very likely both Denver & Oakland lose this week. A Chargers win puts SD even with Oakland a game back of Denver. It sounds crazy, but San Diego could easily win the AFC West as the division is far from decided. Who knows with Baltimore. Sometimes they have games where they don’t show up, but they have a lot to play for. Remember that if Pittsburgh finishes with a better record, Baltimore will have 3 road games just to get to the Super Bowl. They need to win the division. RAVENS (-2.5)
Philly is coming off a pretty good win over the Dolphins & Michael Vick is back playing QB so things might be looking up for Philadelphia. They could make life tough in the NFC East and although it’s a very long shot for them to win the division, you can be sure the team is thinking about playing spoiler for a lot of teams. The Jets on the other hand are playing for their playoff life. It would seem that the Jets have a pretty good path for the #6 seed in the playoffs, but the Eagles could throw a wrench in there if they beat the Jets. Remember that the Titans, Raiders, Bengals, Chargers & Broncos could all be playing for that last wild card spot at the end of the season depending on how these last few games turn out. This isn’t an easy order for the Jets. Should be a solid matchup. EAGLES (-3)
In case you were wondering, the Giants started this week as 7.5 point favorites. Looks like the boys in Vegas betting the games like the Redskins a little too much at that price! Washington showed a lot of life last week against the Patriots especially with their rushing attack. If the Redskins can duplicate that success, but up a good defensive game & play some ball control football, they have as good a shot at beating the Giants as they did beating the Patriots last week. The Giants of course are coming off a huge win. They can’t afford to let momentum waver nor lose a game they should win. At 7-6, the Giants need that 8th win because their final two games are against the Jets & Cowboys. Like Philly, Washington can play spoiler, but if the Giants come out motivated, they should roll. GIANTS (-6)
Speaking of Vegas lines, this game actually opened up with Oakland as 1-point favorites! WOW! I guess Vegas temporarily forgot that Carson Palmer likes to throw at least 3-4 interceptions per game if he can! I don’t know if this is necessarily an easy game for Detroit, but their final two games are against San Diego & Green Bay so the last 3 games of the season for the Lions are truly make or break games. At 8-5, the Lions right now look like they might finish 9-7 & that’s assuming they win today on the road. Oakland has to be playing for its life at this point. Odds are good that Denver loses which would put Oakland back in a tie for first place if they win. Not only that, but San Diego has life all of a sudden which could be problematic for Oakland as well. Lots of playoff hope on the line in this one! LIONS (-1)
Are the Seahawks a legitimate playoff team? Seattle is 4-1 in their last 5 games with wins against Philadelphia & Baltimore! They go on the road to play a Bears team that might still be dazed at what happened to them in Denver a week ago. Marshawn Lynch has been playing great for Seattle lately but Chicago showed last week against Denver that they simply can’t be ran on. Tebow essentially beat Chicago in the 4th quarter with his arm so can Tarvaris Jackson do the same this week? The Bears are still in the playoff hunt. A win here combined with a Detroit loss makes the #6 seed a mess in the NFC. In some ways I’m rooting for Pete Carroll. The guy really did want to change his NFL legacy, and if the Seahawks get into the playoffs, he’ll have led Seattle to the postseason in each of his first two seasons. Imagine if he had a QB? BEARS (-3.5)
My guess is that Houston really rallies around a sick Wade Phillips and plays their hearts out for him today on defense. The defense is good enough without them needing a little extra motivation. While Cam Newton is an exciting new player, he is mistake prone to a giant degree and Houston should probably take advantage of that. Also, Carolina won’t be able to run & Houston’s offense should shred a fairly poor Carolina defense even with TJ Yates playing center. The game is still interesting because Houston needs the victory to keep  home playoff games in play. While I think Houston should win and should win handily, Carolina dominated Atlanta in the first half of their game last week & if Cam Newton gets on a roll, then who knows? Maybe Houston is off its game. TEXANS (-6)
This is Green Bay’s last road game of the season. Even taking the playoffs into consideration, Green Bay won’t have to leave Wisconsin after today again until February assuming the get to the Super Bowl. Even then the travel won’t be heavy as they’ll only have to go as south as Indianapolis to try & win their 2nd consecutive Super Bowl championship. The Chiefs plays Pittsburgh pretty well a couple of weeks ago, but I wouldn’t bet on Kansas City to end the winning streak. Every Packers game is interesting at this if only because we are witnessing history. Is there a scenario where this team actually loses? I don’t see it unless the Saints can upset them in the NFC Championship game! PACKERS (-13.5)
How crazy are Colts fans? All week long this week on sports talk radio here in Indianapolis, everyone is saying if the Colts are going to win one game, it’ll be this one? HOW ON EARTH ARE THEY GOING TO BEAT TENNESSEE? I suppose maybe it was because some thought Matt Hasselbeck might not be ready to go in this game forcing a Jake Locker/Dan Orlovsky showdown, but Hasselbeck appears ready to play which means the Colts probably should be even bigger dogs. Even with the loss to the Saints last week, this would be a terrible game for Tennessee to lose. They are still in the playoff hunt & Indy is 0-13! Then again, as a Colts fan, I can’t think of a team I’d rather end the streak against than the Titans. I hate them worse than I hate New England, and that’s saying something!! TITANS (-6.5)
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December 18, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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