Like Doug Jones, MDS has an insurmountable lead (seven games) with three weeks left. Like Roy Moore, I’m not conceding.
Although it’s going to require plenty of skill and luck. This week, we disagree on only three games. Which means I need a sweep in order to even have a remote chance to catch him.
For all of the Week 15 picks, do the mouse/finger thing.
Broncos at Colts
MDS’s take: The season’s last Thursday night game is not a good one. But the Broncos showed enough signs of life last week that I’ll pick them to win on the road.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 16, Colts 13.
Florio’s take: John Elway stuck it to the Colts decades ago, when he told them not to draft him. He’ll stick it to them again tonight.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 27, Colts 20.
Bears at Lions
MDS’s take: Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been playing better football of late, and that makes me tempted to pick an upset. But with Jim Caldwell coaching for his job, I think the Lions will do just enough to win.
MDS’s pick: Lions 24, Bears 23.
Florio’s take: A team that had won three games in 13 weeks isn’t going to be winning twice in six days. #analysis.
Florio’s pick: Lions 30, Bears 14.
Chargers at Chiefs
MDS’s take: This is a huge game that may determine the winner of the AFC West, and I think the Chargers’ late-season surge is going to continue and push them toward a playoff game in their tiny stadium.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 34, Chiefs 31.
Florio’s take: One of the hottest teams in football gets a chance to show the Chiefs (and everyone else) how far they’ve come.
Florio’s pick: Chargers 31, Chiefs 21.
Texans at Jaguars
MDS’s take: The Jaguars’ pass defense is going to make life miserable for T.J. Yates.
MDS’s pick: Jaguars 20, Texans 3.
Florio’s take: If the Jaguars truly have matured, they’ll avoid stepping into a pothole against an overmatched Texans team.
Florio’s pick: Jaguars 30, Texans 13.
Ravens at Browns
MDS’s take: The Browns may have missed their best opportunity to eat a W on Sunday against the Packers. I can’t see them beating a Ravens team that is hungry to earn a wild card spot.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 28, Browns 13.
Florio’s take: Nearly 10 years to the day after the Ravens “helped” the Dolphins avoid an 0-16 season, the team that used to be the Browns gets a chance to assist the current Browns in the avoidance of the ultimate embarrassment. Don’t count on it happening; after blowing a 14-point lead against the Packers and bungling a chance to salvage victory in overtime, the Browns seem to be ready to accept their fate.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Browns 10.
Packers at Panthers
MDS’s take: The return of Aaron Rodgers will be spoiled by a good Panthers defense that will hold a rusty Rodgers in check and pretty much end the Packers’ playoff hopes.
MDS’s pick: Panthers 20, Packers 17.
Florio’s take: If the Packers make the playoffs, they’ll make it to the Super Bowl. But if they lose to the Panthers, the Packers won’t make it to the playoffs. Ipso facto, don’t make reservations for Minnesota in late January, Cheeseheads.
Florio’s pick: Panthers 27, Packers 23.
Dolphins at Bills
MDS’s take: The Dolphins surprised me on Monday night, but I think the Jay Cutler-led offense is going to struggle on a cold day in Buffalo.
MDS’s pick: Bills 13, Dolphins 10.
Florio’s take: The Dolphins finally found the gas pedal. Is it too late?
Florio’s pick: Dolphins 24, Bills 21.
Bengals at Vikings
MDS’s take: The Vikings have a good shot at earning home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, and they’re not throwing away their shot against the Bengals.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 28, Bengals 10.
Florio’s take: Old friends Mike Zimmer and Marvin Lewis meet, with Marvin on the hot seat. If Zimmer blows this one, he should be, too.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 31, Bengals 17.
Cardinals at Washington
MDS’s take: Two teams that thought they were playoff contenders but now find themselves playing out the string. Kirk Cousins still has something to play for, and I think he’ll have a big game.
MDS’s pick: Washington 31, Cardinals 17.
Florio’s take: A pair of former NFC East rivals get together. And that’s the only thing interesting about this game.
Florio’s pick: Washington 23, Cardinals 20.
Eagles at Giants
MDS’s take: Nick Foles gets an easy opponent in his first start, and he’ll play well as the Eagles cruise to another win.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 24, Giants 14.
Florio’s take: It’s easy to exude confidence to the point of delusion about succeeding without Carson Wentz . . . before actually playing a game without Carson Wentz.
Florio’s pick: Giants 21, Eagles 20.
Jets at Saints
MDS’s take: Josh McCown played well this year, but now that he’s done the Jets are going to look like the team everyone thought they’d be back in September. The Saints will win this one easily.
MDS’s pick: Saints 30, Jets 7.
Florio’s take: Extra time to prepare plus a sense of urgency to get a win minus Josh McCown for the Jets equals an easy 10th win for the home team.
Florio’s pick: Saints 30, Jets 17.
Rams at Seahawks
MDS’s take: In a huge game for the NFC West race, I like the Seahawks to do just enough on defense to slow down the Rams’ high-scoring offense, and Russell Wilson to make a couple of big plays late to win a close game.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Rams 27.
Florio’s take: The Rams got their nine wins, but they may not get their playoff berth.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 27, Rams 24.
Titans at 49ers
MDS’s take: The 49ers are 2-0 since switching to Jimmy Garoppolo. Make it 3-0.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 28, Titans 21.
Florio’s take: The Titans could be in the process of squandering what once seemed like a sure-fire playoff berth. If they don’t get it right now, it could be over.
Florio’s pick: Titans 23, 49ers 16.
Patriots at Steelers
MDS’s take: The Patriots will bounce back from an ugly Monday night loss to win what is the biggest game of the regular season so far.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 27, Steelers 24.
Florio’s take: The Patriots lose so rarely that whenever they do some assume they’ll never win again. Ass. U. Me.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 30, Steelers 27.
Cowboys at Raiders
MDS’s take: Derek Carr has been a disappointment this season, and the Cowboys’ defense is going to have a good game against him on Sunday night.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 24, Raiders 16.
Florio’s take: Derek Carr was wise to take the $25 million per year; if he hadn’t, he’d be lucky to get half that now.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 23, Raiders 14.
Falcons at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: The Falcons are still fighting for a playoff berth, and they’re doing it against the Buccaneers, who may be this year’s most disappointing team. Atlanta should get an important win on the road.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 21, Buccaneers 20.
Florio’s take: Jon Gruden will be joining the Ring of Honor. Dirk Koetter may soon be performing the walk of shame.
Florio’s pick: Falcons 34, Buccaneers 20.