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2014 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 15 Picks

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Week 15 of the NFL is here. Last week, I said I needed to average an 11-5 record to close out the season if I wanted to avoid going over 100 losses. I was 11-5 last week, so I'm part-way there, but my 5-8 record in picking Browns game is not the most desirable.

Week 15 Games Explanation Pick
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Shutout City: For the second week in a row, the Thursday night game is focused on the NFC, so I imagine not too many Browns fans will be tuning in since this doesn't affect the AFC playoff race. Nonetheless, it is a very compelling NFC matchup. The Rams have won two straight games, a stretch in which they have out-scored opponents 76-0! Despite them being the NFC's top seed, Arizona is still facing issues offensively. The Rams are winning creatively, and they'll continue to do so here. Rams 20, Cardinals 14

Note: this pick was made on Thursday, and was posted here for record-keeping purposes.

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Double the Meaning: Even if the Browns don't make the playoffs, one thing is for certain: we'll be rooting hard against Buffalo the rest of the season to improve our draft pick as much as we can. This game was going to be shown to about 60% of the country on FOX, but due to Johnny Manziel starting, now CIN-CLE is the primary game. Packers 28, Bills 13

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Slim Division Chance: If the Texans beat the Colts, they will be one game behind the division leaders. On the surface, that makes this seem like a huge game for the AFC South. In reality, though, the Texans would need to finish 3-0 and the Colts would need to finish 0-3 for the Texans to overtake them. This game is still important to Houston for wildcard purposes, but Indianapolis will clinch the AFC South as their offense explodes at home. Colts 35, Texans 21

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Can't Take the Foot Off the Gas: The Ravens face the Jaguars this week, and although they should be the heavy favorites, they can't afford to take their foot off the gas. A few weeks ago, they were tied 7-7 with a team like the Titans mid-way through a third quarter. Haloti Ngata's absence wasn't enough to cost them last week, and it won't matter this week either against an anemic offense. Ravens 21, Jaguars 13

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Fighting for a Wildcard: The Dolphins would need to go 3-0 and the Patriots would need to go 0-3 for Miami to win the AFC East. The Dolphins have been playing some good football, so it's a bit of a shame to see that their wildcard hopes will take a hit this week. They close out the year with three divisional games, but a loss here puts them at 7-7 and likely on the outside looking in. Patriots 31, Dolphins 17

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Season Sweep? As much as it would benefit the Browns to see the Raiders pull off a stunning season sweep of the Chiefs, I can't see it happening. Oakland has won two of their past three games, and in both wins, Derek Carr has played very well. I think the Chiefs evoke the emotional lift of their home crowd and bury the Raiders this week, though. Chiefs 27, Raiders 10

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Upset of the Week: The Steelers have lost two games to the NFC South. Although the Falcons' defense is full of awfulness, Pittsburgh's secondary can be picked apart and Matt Ryan is a hot hand in the NFL. Despite coming up big on the road last week against the Bengals, the Steelers will suffer a big blow to their playoff hopes while the Falcons try to keep pace in the dreadful NFC South. Falcons 28, Steelers 24

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2-0 for Derek Anderson: Yes, I see it happening: in the same season where Colt McCoy starts a handful of games for the Redskins and Brian Hoyer gets benched in Cleveland, Derek Anderson will improve to 2-0 as a starter for the Panthers. That record doesn't highlight the fact that both of his wins will have come against the Buccaneers. Let's hope Anderson can stick around for Carolina's matchup with Cleveland next week. Panthers 20, Buccaneers 17

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Lowlight of the Week, Part I: Robert Griffin III is back under center for the Redskins! How many tumbleweeds flew by after I said that? The Giants finally broke their losing streak last week against a bad Titans team. Washington is a mess, while the Giants can at least channel some competency in spurts. Giants 34, Redskins 6

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Game of the Week, Part I: The Broncos took it to the Chargers a couple of months ago, and now they've shifted their offensive strategy to focus more on their running game. The Chargers were in prime position for a wildcard spot at 8-4, but they lost to the Patriots in the start of their tough end-of-the-season stretch. Now, they'll lose to Denver and fall to 8-6...but a win would put them within striking distance of the Broncos for the division lead. Broncos 31, Chargers 24

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Lowlight of the Week, Part II: Flip a coin. The Titans have lost seven straight, while the Jets have at least managed to be in a couple of games until the final seconds. Jets 20, Titans 14

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Plenty of Motivation: The Lions have had their share of late-season collapses, but the consistency of a strong defense continues to be the difference this year. Despite being 9-4, they have very little margin for error. Between Dallas, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Seattle, one of those teams isn't going to make the playoffs despite all being 9-4 right now. The Lions close out the season with two road games (Chicago and Green Bay), and they'd like to finish the year 7-1 at home to hopefully still be in play for a division title by Week 17. Lions 27, Vikings 20

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Nothing Has Changed: The Seahawks absolutely owned the 49ers on Thanksgiving night, and nothing has changed in the one game since then. You'll be able to stick a fork in the 49ers after this game -- they'll be 7-7 and wondering what the heck to do for 2015. Seahawks 35, 49ers 3

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Game of the Week, Part II: I was stunned when the Eagles dominated the Cowboys 33-10 on Thanksgiving in Dallas. In Philadelphia can pull off a home win here, they are basically a lock to win the NFC East. If the Cowboys win, things get interesting...a loss for Dallas also means they could be out of the playoffs. What a disaster that would be after having their best season in years. Dallas should have more weapons on offense, and I still refuse to trust Mark Sanchez. Cowboys 31, Eagles 28

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...Who Does That? The Saints have clearly been off this year, but who does that (in reference to the Bears' offensive coordinator-Jay Cuter situation)? Chicago has no flow on offense, no flow on defense, and a lot of issues in the locker room. The same can be said about the Saints, except the locker room issues. I'll go with the Saints. Saints 24, Bears 13

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Johnny Football: It's Johnny Football time. Our full preview for the Browns vs. Bengals game can be found here.

TBA



Pokorny's Week 14 NFL Picks Record: 11-5
Pokorny's Record w/ Browns Games: 5-8
Pokorny's 2014 NFL Picks Record: 122-85-1

Survivor Pick: I am on a seven-game winning streak after the Lions beat the Buccaneers last week. The teams I've used are NE, CIN, SEA, SD, IND, MIA, and DET. This week, I'll go with the Giants over the Redskins.