2013 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 15 NFL Picks

Andy Lyons

I might have had my best week ever in Week 14, posting a record of 15-1, with my only loss being the Dolphins vs. Steelers game. That brings my my overall record to 131-76-1 (63%). My Week 15 NFL picks are below. Feel free to share your general thoughts on this week's games in the comments section.

Week 15 Games Explanation Pick
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Victories Remain Vital for Denver: The Broncos will not be sitting Peyton Manning over these next couple of weeks, because they are still fighting to claim the coveted No. 1 seed in the AFC. Even though the Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski, New England is still only a game behind Denver with a tiebreaker. I stand by my statement that the Chargers are the most dangerous No. 6 seed contender in the AFC, but their playoff chances will take a hit by virtue of facing the best team in the NFL for the second time in recent weeks. Broncos 28, Chargers 21

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Four in a Row? The Jaguars continued to play better football last week as they won their third straight game, defeating the Texans rather easily. All it has taken for Jacksonville is getting the ball to their players in space on offense, and not turning the ball over. I honestly don't know what to make of the Bills and their potential for the future: right now, they are just playing flat out awful, though. Will Jacksonville play themselves to a draft pick behind the Browns? Jaguars 20, Bills 17

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Winning Ugly as Issues Still Loom: Has there ever been a worse 8-5 team in the NFL? The crazy thing is that they were the first team in the NFL to clinch their division, which I guess goes to show you how bad the AFC South competition is in 2013. Even the Colts can't screw things up this week, though. The Texans have lost 11 straight games, and they've never won in Indianapolis. They are also coming off the firing of head coach Gary Kubiak. It might be an ugly win, but the Colts will come out on top this week. Colts 23, Texans 13

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Upset of the Week: I give in: I was wrong about the Miami Dolphins. I thought that the offensive line situation would be their undoing, but they've won three of their past four games, including their past two games on the road. They aren't a threat to the Patriots for the AFC East title, but right now, they should be the favorites based on their situation to be the No. 6 seed in the AFC. A win over the Gronk-less Patriots would make their playoff hopes even greater. New England's struggles have been evident defensively, and now Brady will be searching for weapons again as Miami pulls off the upset. Dolphins 24, Patriots 21

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Peterson's Injury to Assist Philly: The Vikings have now lost in the final minute of the game to the Bears, Browns, Cowboys, and Ravens. Their quarterback situation is a mess and their defense is awful, but they've been finding ways to stay competitive each week. With Adrian Peterson set to miss this week's game, though, it'll be a lot more difficult for them to stay competitive. Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, and the Eagles' offense have led the Eagles to a five-game winning streak and the NFC East division lead that they won't want to let go of. Eagles 31, Vikings 17

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The Fairy-Tale is Over Already: The Giants are officially eliminated from playoff contention, so the fantasy of them coming back after an 0-6 start is officially over. Just like the Broncos in the AFC, the Seahawks in the NFC need to keep winning to capture the No. 1 seed in the NFC, although technically, the Seahawks have more security since they crushed the Saints a couple of weeks ago. Seattle should be able to dismantle the Giants and re-expose some of the classic mistakes Coughlin's team make on gameday. Seahawks 34, Giants 14

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Defensive Battle of the Week: One of the teams that playoff contenders won't want to face in the NFC right now are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are playing red-hot right now, completely unlike the team that got off to an 0-8 start to the season. San Francisco is 0-2 against the NFC South this year, but they've won their past three games and are gearing up for postseason mode. The 49ers still haven't left a "wow" impression like they did last year, so an upset wouldn't surprise me here. I'll stick with the 49ers, though, in a defensive battle. 49ers 14, Buccaneers 10

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Something Had to be Done: Was it the right move to bench Robert Griffin III? Yes, technically, they are referring to it as "protecting his health," but Griffin has clearly regressed in a major way this season. Now, Kirk Cousins will receive an opportunity to show off and become the next Matt Schaub/Matt Flynn type of story. I expect Cousins to move the ball better in the Redskins' system, based on how he did against Cleveland last year at this year's starting point to boosting his stock. Redskins 24, Falcons 17

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Chiefs Can Pretty Much Relax Now: If you want more evidence of why first-round running backs often aren't worth it, take a look at how many years the Raiders ended up wasting on Darren McFadden, when Rashad Jennings, a seventh-round pick in 2009, has been delivering with superior production. It was good to see the Chiefs get back on track last week, even though they are in the unique position of where they could basically rest any players they want over the next three weeks and still end up as the No. 5 seed in the AFC. They are locked in there (at a minimum), barring a meltdown, but still want the outside shot at the division title. Chiefs 28, Raiders 14

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Blowout of the Season: Geno Smith finally realized he was playing like a robot. Robot or not, though, he and the Jets are going to receive an ass-whooping of epic proportions against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, as Carolina will then gear up for their re-match the following week against the Saints. Panthers 42, Jets 0

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Down to the Wire: Although the Titans finish with a soft schedule, their playoff chances aren't looking good anymore, since they are currently two games behind. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are in a must-win situation as they continue to play well. Their 8-5 record would look awesome in the AFC, but it's not even good enough for a wildcard spot in the NFC. To finish the season, they face San Francisco and Seattle. Brutal. They need to win this week so that if they split those final two games, they have a shot at a wildcard spot over the 49ers. Cardinals 26, Titans 21

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Playoff Implications Paramount for Both Teams: I really thought the Packers were going to set us up with an Aaron Rodgers return this week, and while he hasn't been ruled out yet, it's not looking good for him. The Cowboys' defense was roughed up by the Bears last week, but without Rodgers, the Packers' offense isn't good enough to do the damage they need to do to combat Tony Romo on the road. Cowboys 27, Packers 20

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Hot-and-Cold: The Rams had a two-game hot stretch against the Colts and the Bears, but fell flat the past two weeks on the road against the 49ers and the Cardinals. The Saints will feel comfy in a dome as if they are at home, and I expect Drew Brees to pick up where he left off last week against the Panthers. A win for the Saints is important so they stay ahead of Carolina in the division race; they can all-but-forget about the No. 1 seed. Saints 34, Rams 17

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Crushing Finishes: I just re-watched the painful ending to the Dolphins vs. Steelers game, and I mean "painful" in a good way. It was joyful to think about Steelers fans believing they'd just pulled off the NFL's next "immaculate reception" or "music city miracle" type of play to win, only to find out that a sideline blunder cost them for the second week in a row. The Bengals seem to be finishing games better than they did earlier this season, so I'll go with them to win on the road. Bengals 20, Steelers 17

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Monday Night Extravaganza: The Ravens will know by Monday just how important this game might be. If the Bengals lose, the Ravens will control their own destiny when it comes to winning the AFC North. Granted, they would have to sweep their remaining three games, but you never know: Baltimore has shown a tendency to get hot around playoff time. The Lions have continued to disappoint me with their late-game collapses. Seriously, how does a team go from winning 14-0 half-way through the third quarter to giving up 34 points for the remainder of the game? I'll stay in their corner and hope they prevail this week, though. Lions 24, Ravens 20

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Cutler's Audition? I'm not going to sit here and become some major advocate for Jay Cutler-to-Cleveland, but I do think there's a slight chance the Browns could be interested in him this offseason in lieu of drafting a quarterback. With that in mind, this could be a chance for Rob Chudzinski and company to get an up-close-and-personal look at him. As for the Browns, will they be able to play with the same spirit they did most of the game last week vs. New England, despite the stunning finish? My full preview and prediction of the game will be posted this Saturday on DBN.

TBA

Pokorny's Week 14 NFL Picks Record: 15-1
Pokorny's Record w/ Browns Games: 6-7
Pokorny's 2013 NFL Picks Record: 131-76-1

Survivor Pick: I am 11-3, with a four-game winning streak that has seen me use up SEA, NO, NE, and DEN. This week, I'll go with the Panthers to take out the Jets.

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