NFL Pick 6: Week 15 Edition
We missed the weekly review for week 14 thanks to exams for Canadian university students, but we’re back for the weekly pick 6. Rejoice! Last week we had an okay 3-2-1 record with our one big miss being on the Jags, wow. I’m pretty confident no one on the Jags wants to play for Doug Marrone currently, who’ll probably be fired by the end of the season at the latest. The Packers was a mistake as we already knew the M.O on them, however, I missed that the Redskins actually have a decent front 7 and were something like 7th in team sacks, something that has proven to give the Packers problems, especially if they needed to cover 12.5 points. Let’s take our lessons and move on to a new week.
Against The Spread
PICK: Vikings -1.5 @ Chargers, Confidence - 3 / 5.
This line has been influenced by the Chargers' recent blowout way too much. Let me come in with the apparent hot take of the week, the Chargers are still bad despite beating the Jags by 35. Philip Rivers is still the turnover leader in all of the NFL. The Chargers' last game was one of just 6 games all year where the Chargers didn’t turn the ball over at least twice on offense. Surprisingly, the Vikings secondary has actually struggled somewhat this year in comparison to previous years, so they are exposable. However, Rivers obviously knows this as well, which will lead to this likely becoming the focus of the game-plan for the Chargers, which spells trouble. The Chargers are 28th in turnover differential, largely because of Rivers as mentioned previously, which means they’re likely going to game-plan for the most turnover-prone quarterback in the NFL, even behind Jameis Winston, to throw them to victory. I also think Rivers is almost playing this game as a try-out for teams next year, which could lead to him taking more risks, and making more mistakes than usual. You can’t give the Vikings offense more opportunities on offense to score, as they already rank 7th in points for. They’ll also likely get Adam Thielen back for this game. As for what capacity Thielen plays, who knows, but I don’t think it matters here. Vikings by around 6 points.
PICK: Buccaneers -4 vs. Lions, Confidence - 3 / 5.
While the Bucs lost Mike Evans for the year, I don’t think losing their #1 receiver negatively affects them as much as it would for most teams. Chris Godwin is probably a #1 on half the NFL teams, if not more, as he’s currently second in receiving yards behind Michael Thomas and just in front of Mike Evans. After starting 2-0-1, the Lions are since just 1-9, which would be good for last in the NFL in that span. This feels like a similar scenario to the Panthers last week where the players and the front office/owners have a clear disconnect. Matt Patricia, a previous defensive coordinator, and defensive-minded coach holds the 24th ranked defense in points allowed, along with the 30th and 23rd ranked passing and rushing defenses. The players are out on Patricia, and their offense won’t be in good shape either, as David Blough will start again with zero help as he just lost Marvin Jones for the year, and now will have a limited offense as the Bucs still have the best rushing defense in the NFL. The Bucs will have an easier time on offense than I think most are expecting, due to the loss of Evans, and they’ll take this one by a TD.
PICK: Seahawks -6 @ Panthers, Confidence - 3 / 5.
I’m going to pick on the Panthers again because this is just wild to me. How is this spread only 6 points? Let’s take a look at their recent schedule. Since their bye in week 7 when they held a 4-2 record and Kyle Allen was playing competently, the Panthers are 1-6 in that time with a combined score of 227-134 and a turnover differential of -12. If it isn’t clear to you that this team has quit on the coaching staff and management then I’m not sure what to tell you. While the Panthers are clearly playing for nothing, the Seahawks are still fighting the 49ers for the division crown, as well as a first-round bye. Urgency will be high for a Seahawks team that was just beat bad by the Rams. Every win counts for the Seahawks, as they’ll get a potential division title showdown in week 17 at home against the 49ers. I expect the Seahawks to run the ball with ease as they rank 3rd in rushing yards while the Panthers rank 29th in rushing yards allowed.
PICK: 49ers -10 vs. Falcons, Confidence - 3 / 5.
As mentioned in the previous pick, the 49ers and Seahawks still have many meaningful games ahead. Currently, the 49ers control their own fate when it comes to playoff seeding, which is this won’t be much of a game. The 49ers will be without Sherman for this game, which isn’t as much of a concern than it might be made out to seem, as 1 corner doesn’t make this the best passing defense in the NFL. The largest contributor to that factor might be the 49ers pass rush. The Falcons just lost Calvin Ridley to the IR, and this is a big loss for the offense as he would often crucially take advantage of double coverage on Julio Jones. The 49ers proved last week that they can score points in whatever method necessary, and against a bottom tier Falcons defense, they’ll be able to score however they’d like. The 49ers have a tough 2 games after this as they’ll get the Rams at home, then have to travel to Seattle, a team they lost to at home, for the division title. Point is, the 49ers aren’t taking this game lightly, so the extra motivation won’t play nice for the Falcons.
PICK: Eagles -5.5 @ Redskins, Confidence - 3 / 5.
This one is interesting just because of how bad this division is. At 6-7 the Eagles still have a chance at not only a playoff spot, but a first-round home game against a much better team than them. The Eagles just squeaked one out against the Giants in Eli’s return, but that game was more promising than it seemed. This game means virtually nothing for the Redskins, in fact, they’d probably rather lose for a better selection in the upcoming draft. This game favours the Eagles by a lot, in a matchup sense. The Eagles hold the 3rd best rushing defense, while the Redskins are just 20th in rushing yards. Their one weakness is also the one weakness of the Redskins offense, that being their passing defense. Again, the Redskins have a bad rushing defense, while the Eagles have found success on the ground in recent weeks. The Eagles have everything to play for, in a game where their strengths are their opponent's weakness. The Eagles take this one by around 10.
PICK: Bills +1.5 @ Steelers, Confidence - 4 / 5.
Yeah, I’m not sold on this line at all. Buffalo is the better team in literally all 3 phases of the game, though both teams are quite similar. The one major difference is that the Bills offense doesn’t completely suck. The Steelers defense has been able to win them games all year long, as they have topped 300 total yards on offense just 5 times out of all 13 games this year while their defense has gotten two turnovers in every game this year except two, one of which being in week 1 at Foxborough. Unfortunately for them, the Bills don’t turn the ball over often, as they’ve had just 3 in 8 weeks. This will likely be a very low scoring game, as the Bills games have hit the over just 3 times all year, and one where the better offense will win, and it’s tough to convince me that the Steelers have a better offense in their current situations.