Kobe’s Week 15 Picks
My season record now stands at 29-27 going 2-2 in Week 14 and these are the things we have learned rolling up into the playoffs; 1) The Redskins are just not a good football team. 2) The Patriots are playing flawless football. 3) The Jets are in a bit of trouble. 4) Who are the Bears and Packers? 5) Who Dat is back.
This season has been outstanding and I look forward to the last few weeks to see who besides the Patriots will make the playoffs with all divisions still up in the air as to who will win. On to my Week 15 picks.
Game #1 – Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants:
The Eagles have been playing great Offense with Vick really doing a good job of protecting the ball. Many people now are starting to mention Vick’s name in the MVP conversations and he should be. Vick has passed for 17 TD’s and rushed for another 7 with 4 INT’s and 1 loss fumble.
Giants are at home and bring in a very good Defense ranking 2nd in total yards, couple that with a very good running game and December weather and it makes them very hard to beat. The glaring problem the Giants have is Manning throwing picks and a depleted receiving core. Eli has thrown 3 in the last three weeks that doesn’t seem like a lot but he has only thrown 1 TD and has averaged in both games 174 passing yards.
Usually in closely matched division games I pick splits but I am going out on a limb and going to take the Eagles. I think turnovers are going to decide this game giving the nod to the Eagles.
What if: If the Giants can win the turnover war they win this one.
Prediction: Eagles 24 Giants 21
Game #2 – Kansas City Chiefs @ St. Louis Rams:
The Battle for the Governor’s Cup in Missouri and what great story behind this game this season for two upstart teams, both having an opportunity to win their respective divisions.
Sam Bradford has really made a believer out of me; I didn’t care for him coming out of college because of his injuries. Sam got in the weight room and did what he needed to do to become more durable and at this point I would give him the Offensive Rookie for the Year award for his performance. Even more impressive, Sam has done it without Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton. Remember Clayton was brought in to help with the loss of Avery to a season ending injury and then shortly after Clayton went down too.
The Chiefs just flat out run the ball well and in case you missed it the Chiefs just signed Jamaal Charles to a 5 year contract extension, way to protect your assets Chiefs. Charles paired with Thomas Jones has together amassed 1288 yards on the ground and the #1 ground attack.
The big question for the Chiefs is Matt Cassell. Will Cassell be ready to play after setting out last week due to an appendectomy, if he does play how much practice time will he be able to get in to prepare?
What if: If the Chiefs can take away Steven Jackson and place the onus on winning the game on Bradford they can win this game with our without Cassell.
Prediction: Chiefs 23 Rams 24
Game #3 – New Orleans Saints @ Baltimore Ravens:
Based on the last two weeks performances the Ravens are struggling to close games out and the Defense has been a part of that. When the front 7 of the Ravens D isn’t putting pressure on opposing QB’s the Defensive Backs are struggling with coverage.
The Saints are rolling on 6 straight wins with the Offense looking unstoppable. They pose serious match-up issues for the Ravens considering the issues the Ravens had with the Texans Offense this past week.
Look for the Saints to roll into another victory this week but for the Ravens to keep it close because they are at home.
What if: The Ravens can get to Brees forcing him into bad decisions they can win.
Prediction: Saints 31 Ravens 27
Game #4 – New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers:
This game is a big game for both teams. The Steelers can clinch a playoff spot with a win while the Jets need to snap out of a 2 game skid that found them only scoring 9 points total for the two losses.
The Jets stand even with the Ravens for a Wild Card spot both 2 games up on the Chargers, Colts, and Dolphins. Every game is a must win from here on out and anything less than a Super Bowl will be considered a non-successful year for the Jets.
The Steelers set in the driver’s seat in their Division a game up on the Ravens and a better Divisional record but they want home field for the playoffs and right now that sets with the Patriots.
Both teams seem to be heading in different directions at this point I look to Quarterback play which in this game points to Big Ben being by far the better of the two and is playing like it.
What if: Sanchez can find the confidence he has lost, protect the ball and run the Offense like we know he can the Jets can win.
Prediction: Jets 17 Steelers 23