Last week, I did better than expected and went 9-5. That put my overall record for this season of picking games at 128-78-1. All of the bye weeks are complete, so we will bask in the glow of a full slate of 16 games each week for the rest of the season. The picks will be tricky for this week and for the rest of the season due to players missing games due to injuries and due to specific quarantine protocols. However, I will not use that as an excuse. Here are my picks for Week 15.
Thursday, December 16th
Kansas City Chiefs (9-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (8-5). Back in September, the Chargers defeated the Chiefs 30-24 at Arrowhead. The winner of tonight's game will have the upper hand in winning the AFC West Division. For the Chiefs, DT Chris Jones will more than likely not play due to protocols. For the Chargers, LT Rashawn Slater will more than likely be out due to protocols. Since it is looking like Jones will not play, then the Chiefs defense will not be able to create defensive pressure up the middle. That means that the Chargers passing game will have a big advantage. Pick: Chargers.
Saturday, December 18th
Las Vegas Raiders (6-7) at Cleveland Browns (7-6). Although the Browns could be missing up to 14 players due to protocols, one of Cleveland's best games of the season was when they were decimated by injuries in their win against the Broncos. The Browns have proven to rise above adversity all season long. Pick: Browns.
New England Patriots (9-4) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6). The Patriots are on a seven-game winning streak. The Colts have won four of their last five games. Both teams are playing extremely well now, but I am not picking against the Patriots until further notice. Pick: Patriots.
Sunday, December 19th
Dallas Cowboys (9-4) at New York Giants (4-9). Giants QB Daniel Jones is out again for this Sunday due to a neck injury. Pick: Cowboys.
Houston Texans (2-11) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11). I was going to pick the Texans, but Jacksonville just fired Urban Meyer as the head coach. For Jacksonville finally doing the right thing, I have to reward the Jaguars with this pick. Pick: Jaguars.
Tennessee Titans (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1). Steelers LB TJ Watt was limited in practice on Wednesday after suffering an injury in their loss to the Vikings last Thursday. Pick: Titans.
New York Jets (3-10) at Miami Dolphins (6-7). Miami has turned their season around, and the team will be motivated to reach .500 after starting the season poorly. Pick: Dolphins.
Washington Football Team (6-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-7). Due to protocols, WFT have 11 players out for this game. Four defensive starters are on this list. Pick: Eagles.
Arizona Cardinals (10-3) at Detroit Lions (1-11-1). Cardinals QB Kyler Murray is not choking two games in a row. Pick: Cardinals.
Carolina Panthers (5-8) at Buffalo Bills (7-6). Buffalo should bounce back after losing two in a row. Pick: Bills.
Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) at Denver Broncos (7-6). The Broncos are on a mission right now. Pick: Broncos.
Atlanta Falcons (6-7) at San Francisco 49ers (7-6). Flying cross-country could affect this game. Pick: 49ers.
Seattle Seahawks (5-8) at Los Angeles Rams (9-4). The Rams are back on track after their win over the Cardinals on Monday night. Pick: Rams.
Green Bay Packers (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (8-5). Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is listed as day-to-day due to a sprained ankle. Pick: Packers.
New Orleans Saints (6-7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3). The Buccaneers will clinch the NFC South Division with a win. Pick: Tampa Bay.
Monday, December 19th
Minnesota Vikings (6-7) at Chicago Bears (4-9). I cannot pick for Matt Nagy. Pick: Vikings.
Have fun watching the games this week at home.