PFT’s Week 15 picks

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The home stretch is here for the NFL’s playoff contenders. But there’s nothing really in contention here; MDS now has an 11-game lead with 48 games left to pick.

This week’s picks appear below.

Last week, I went 9-7; MDS went 10-6. For the year, MDS is now 137-71. I’m at 126-82.

For this week’s picks, keep on scrolling.

Jets at Ravens

MDS’s take: The Ravens are two wins away from clinching home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, and they’ll get the first of those two wins on Thursday night.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 30, Jets 17.

Florio’s take: The Ravens are too close to everything they want to crap out now.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Jets 14.


Eagles at Washington

MDS’s take: Both these teams stink, in a division that stinks, but the Eagles still have an opportunity to win that division, and they’ll play well enough to beat a bad team.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 20, Washington 17.

Florio’s take: Something clicked for the Eagles in the second half of Monday night’s game; if it continues, the Eagles will keep winning.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 23, Washington 16.


Texans at Titans

MDS’s take: The AFC South played out perfectly for big games down the stretch, as the Texans and Titans are tied for first place and play each other in both Week 15 and Week 17. Ryan Tannehill is on a roll, and I think the Titans will keep rolling.

MDS’s pick: Titans 24, Texans 17.

Florio’s take: The most dangerous team in the AFC is the Ravens. Not far behind are the Titans.

Florio’s pick: Titans 27, Texans 23.


Dolphins at Giants

MDS’s take: These are two of the worst teams in the NFL, but they’re both playing to win. The Giants will take it in a game that won’t be as bad as the records suggest.

MDS’s pick: Giants 24, Dolphins 23.

Florio’s take: The Eli Manning Farewell Tour continues. As does the Pat Shurmur Farewell Tour.

Florio’s pick: Giants 21, Dolphins 17.


Broncos at Chiefs

MDS’s take: Drew Lock has played very well for the Broncos, but it won’t be enough to overcome Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who are still fighting for a first-round playoff bye.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 30, Broncos 20.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs had better beat the Broncos while they can. By next year, it will be a much tougher outcome to achieve.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 30, Broncos 23.


Bears at Packers

MDS’s take: The Bears are trying to come on strong late in the season after a sluggish start, but the Packers will knock them out of the playoff race in Green Bay.

MDS’s pick: Packers 17, Bears 13.

Florio’s take: It’s a dangerous spot for the Packers, who have been winning in uninspired fashion lately. They’ll need to play a little better to beat a much improved Bears team.

Florio’s pick: Packers 23, Bears 20.


Buccaneers at Lions

MDS’s take: The Lions are reeling and the Buccaneers are still playing hard. Tampa Bay should put plenty of points on the board against a bad Lions defense.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 35, Lions 21.

Florio’s take: Jameis Winston’s status is up in the air, but even if he can’t play the Bucs are the better team right now.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 34, Lions 24.


Patriots at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Patriots won’t need to steal signals to blow out the Bengals.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 31, Bengals 10.

Florio’s take: Already destined to be a blowout, Cincinnati’s instigation of Spygate 2 will make it even worse for the home team.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 34, Bengals 13.


Seahawks at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Panthers showed some promise early in the season but no look to be in full-on rebuilding mode. I can’t see them beating a Seahawks team fighting for the first seed in the NFC.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Panthers 14.

Florio’s take: The Seahawks need this one to stay in the best possible position for the postseason, and the Panthers just need the season to be over.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 27, Panthers 20.


Vikings at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Chargers are a better team than their 5-8 record indicates, but the Vikings have too much on the line to go to Los Angeles and take an L.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 24, Chargers 21.

Florio’s take: This is a dangerous game for the Vikings, one with just enough playoff implications that Kirk Cousins could blow it.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 30, Chargers 24.


Jaguars at Raiders

MDS’s take: Both of these teams are out of playoff contention, but I sense that Jon Gruden has his Raiders playing a little harder, so Oakland will win this one.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 20, Jaguars 17.

Florio’s take: The last game at the Black Hole will leave a red mark on the road team for a few days.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 37, Jaguars 20.


Browns at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Cardinals are doing some exciting and innovative things on offense, but those things are not getting winning results. The Browns should take this one and cling to their slim playoff hopes.

MDS’s pick: Browns 27, Cardinals 20.

Florio’s take: The last two Heisman winners get together. The one with the better team around him wins.

Florio’s pick: Browns 24, Cardinals 21.


Falcons at 49ers

MDS’s take: The 49ers showed they can win a shootout last week against the Saints, but this week I’m trusting their defense to hold the Falcons in check.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 23, Falcons 10.

Florio’s take: Kyle Shanahan gets another chance to kick the crap out of one of his former teams.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 28, Falcons 3.


Rams at Cowboys

MDS’s take: I still think the Cowboys are better than their 6-7 record suggests, and I like them to make a statement that they won’t be a pushover in the playoffs in the NFC East, while also putting an end to the Rams’ playoff run.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 23, Rams 20.

Florio’s take: Revenge is a dish best served cold. For Wade Phillips, the plate has cooled for more than nine years.

Florio’s pick: Rams 31, Cowboys 20.


Bills at Steelers

MDS’s take: I admire the way the Steelers have remained in playoff contention while starting a third-string undrafted rookie quarterback in Devlin Hodges. But I think Hodges is going to have a rough night against a good Bills defense.

MDS’s pick: Bills 14, Steelers 7.

Florio’s take: Once again, the Steelers aren’t the better team. Once again, the Steelers will play like they are.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 16, Bills 13.


Colts at Saints

MDS’s take: The Saints should cruise against a Colts team that’s running out of steam.

MDS’s pick: Saints 31, Colts 10.

Florio’s take: The Saints get back on track against a team that came off the tracks weeks ago.

Florio’s pick: Saints 34, Colts 24.

84 responses to “PFT’s Week 15 picks

  1. I hate picking against the Ravens this season. However, they are due for another loss. Some losses make no sense whatsoever each season. I’ll take the Jets to upset Baltimore tonight. If they don’t beat them, the Browns or Steelers will. This team is better off not entering the playoffs on a 12-game winning streak. It won’t end well.

  2. Dude, just pick different teams than him for spite. It’s the only way to make up the gap before the end of the season. You can do this!

  3. “The Chiefs had better beat the Broncos while they can. By next year, it will be a much tougher outcome to achieve.”

    So after pretty much stinking out loud most of the season, they get 2 promising performances from what they hope is their new franchise QB. 2 games.

    Think maybe we need to see a bigger body of work before anointing them as ready to contend for the AFC West next season.

  4. Lamar will have tonight’s game wrapped up by halftime.

    Ravens 30
    Jets 13

    Also, Florio deserves special props for going with the 28-3 score.

  5. Florio’s take: Already destined to be a blowout, Cincinnati’s instigation of Spygate 2 will make it even worse for the home team.

    Florio’s pick: Patriots 34, Bengals 13.
    ——
    Im not sure if their offense will score 34 for all 3 of their remaining games combined not just this game 😑

  6. Patriots 24 Bengals 13 the Pats definitely don’t look like themselves right now and I can see the Bengals even getting an early lead, but some turnovers from Dalton doom the Bengals. Lock of the week Ravens 31 Jets 13 Lamar might be hurt but Ingram will carry the load with the Jets defense hurt. Upset has to be Bolts over the Vikings since Rivers tends to do better in December.

  7. Buccaneers at Lions:

    “The Lions are reeling”

    Because 9 – 7 wasn’t good enough.

    It’s a clown show, and quite possibly the worst GM and coach combination in the history of the franchise.

  8. “Florio’s pick: 49ers 28, Falcons 3.”

    Poor Atlanta fans. It will take generations to live that Super Bowl down.

  9. “FootballSeasonRules says:
    December 12, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    I hate picking against the Ravens this season. However, they are due for another loss. Some losses make no sense whatsoever each season. I’ll take the Jets to upset Baltimore tonight”

    The Jets …. on a short week …. on the road? Good luck with that bet

  10. Florio’s take: Kyle Shanahan gets another chance to kick the crap out of one of his former teams.

    Florio’s pick: 49ers 28, Falcons 3.
    —-
    I see what Florio did there!

  11. Tokyosandblaster.. Packers 31 bears 19. Vikings 19 chargers 42… lmfao homer much.. just because clete blakeman couldn’t save you in LA.. you think chargers clip us by 23 points gtfo

  12. I sense Brady will win one more super bowl and then, he’ll retire. They’ll flip a switch at some point this season and play like a completely different team in the playoffs. I mean, he won the 2000 Orange Bowl in that same Hard Rock Stadium, which was known as Pro Player Stadium back in 2000. Their humiliation rituals over the last eight months are adding fuel to the fire.

  13. I had zero worry last week when the Vikes played the Lions, but with the Chargers now healthy, I am very worried about this game. Maybe the Cowboys will finally get their act together and knock off the only real threat to the Vikings in the wild card race and alleviate some of that worry.

  14. tokyosandblaster says:
    December 12, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Packers 31, Bears 19
    Bolts 42, Vikings 13
    Whoever the Lions are playing 21, Lions 10

    _________________________________________

    Can’t argue with that. 😉

  15. purpleguy says:

    December 12, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    I had zero worry last week when the Vikes played the Lions, but with the Chargers now healthy, I am very worried about this game. Maybe the Cowboys will finally get their act together and knock off the only real threat to the Vikings in the wild card race and alleviate some of that worry.

    The weakness of the purple on display. SKOLOL

  16. ezpkns34 says:
    December 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    “FootballSeasonRules says:
    December 12, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    I hate picking against the Ravens this season. However, they are due for another loss. Some losses make no sense whatsoever each season. I’ll take the Jets to upset Baltimore tonight”

    The Jets …. on a short week …. on the road? Good luck with that bet

    _______________________________________________________________

    We’ve seen some crazier things happen in this league. Remember when the Giants upset the undefeated Patriots, the Cowboys beat the Saints last season, the Falcons beat the Saints this season down in New Orleans, and the Jets upsetted the Cowboys? What the Jets need to do is just get their pass rush going on Jackson. At least Greg Williams is familiar by now with facing the Ravens.

  17. I’m a Raiders fan in Florida. How strange is it how great of a season Tannehill is having? I find it sort of hilarious but also tragically bizarre for the Miami fans.

  18. richmonddude says:
    December 12, 2019 at 12:33 pm
    Dude, just pick different teams than him for spite. It’s the only way to make up the gap before the end of the season. You can do this!

    —————-

    I’m guessing that they pick independently so as to be able to avoid such an advantage.

  19. I have been on the fire Tomlin bang wagon for a few years but even if we lose out, I have to give a ton of respect to the job he and the coaching staff have done. Now that AB is unleashed, I wonder what the hell this poor man was dealing with all these years. In a year that I thought 4-12 likely, to even be in the playoff discuss this late in the season is a tribute to the man’s coaching ability.

  20. Bears win easily against a porous Packer defense. Vikings will struggle in vs. SD, but ultimately come away with the win. Go Rams! and steal the 6th seed from the Pack who will lose the next two….

  21. I expect an upset by the Chargers. They are out of the playoff, so Rivers won’t feel the pressure. He will be relax, he will not screw the game, and the only choker left will be Cousins.

  22. Bucs over Lions – not that the Bucs have gotten better by the Lions that bad… Lions have a chance depending on how many turnover Cracked thumb JW throws..

    Seahawks over Panthers – Seahawks ard good enough to beat a struggling Panthers team.

    49ers over Falcons – any explanation really needed.

    Saints over Colts – saints rolling, colts feeling..

  23. I can see it now, 2020 Broncos mimic the 2019 Chargers – summertime favorites and wintertime disappointments.

  24. Bears at Packers. 200th meeting of two legacy clubs.

    Wish I had the same take as you two. As the cliche goes, throw the records out. I wouldn’t bet on the Bears not making my life miserable.

    This one is a toss up…and I hope I don’t end up tossing up. Go Pack.

  25. Speaking about the Detroit Lions, 26predator said, “It’s a clown show, and quite possibly the worst GM and coach combination in the history of the franchise.”

    Ever heard of Matt Millen and Marty Morninghweg? They make Quinn and Patricia look like the Green Bay Packers of the Lombardi era in comparison.

  26. steelcurtainn says:
    December 12, 2019 at 12:35 pm
    It’ll be a tough game but this win will almost lock up a playoff spot for the Steelers. Something no one thought could be done in Week 2 after their qb went down.

    —-

    fair comment, however there are a lot of us that didn’t think they’d make a playoff spot before the QB went down.

  27. Pack who will lose the next two….
    ——
    I remember two months ago when you said the Pack wouldn’t win another game. How’d that go for you?

  28. How do they expect the Pats to put up 30 points

    Two defensive scores, one special teams, one safety, Bolden lateral back to Brady for a one yard touchdown.

  29. The Bills win beat Pittsburg. No way in the world that the Giants beat the Fins…Fear The Beard!!….A Bills fan….

  30. Florio’s take: This is a dangerous game for the Vikings, one with just enough playoff implications that Kirk Cousins could blow it.

    ________________________

    Things like this are how I know Florio is a real Vikings fan.
    My fellow Vikings fans will understand…. SKOL

  31. Florio’s take: This is a dangerous game for the Vikings, one with just enough playoff implications that Kirk Cousins could blow it.

    Pressure is the key notion here. Cousins could, and will to some extent. While Rivers could, and will not, because there is no playoff implications on his shoulders.

  32. I would really like to see the Bengals stick it to the Pats over this taping incident. I know it won’t happen but one can dream.
    –Browns fan

  33. The Analytical Kid says:
    December 12, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    richmonddude says:
    December 12, 2019 at 12:33 pm
    Dude, just pick different teams than him for spite. It’s the only way to make up the gap before the end of the season. You can do this!

    —————-

    I’m guessing that they pick independently so as to be able to avoid such an advantage.
    ———–

    Sure but we all know 90% of the picks before we read them. Each will throw in an upset or two and that’s the only difference in their records. Would be very easy to pick the opposite team, not smart, but easy.

  34. Florio’s take: Revenge is a dish best served cold. For Wade Phillips, the plate has cooled for more than nine years.

    Florio’s pick: Rams 31, Cowboys 20.

    Ok , so Florio just outed himself as a Trekkie. (Star Trek is not bad, but Star Wars is better…lol)

    Anyways, so then what was the Rams game in the divisional round last year, when Gurley & Anderson ran all over us? What other “revenge” does Wade need? How quickly we forget…

    Come up with something else, because with that statement; you are a day late and a dollar short.

    I will be shocked if this actually gets posted, as the “master” does not like reading and/or posting criticisms of himself.

  35. Poor Atlanta fans. It will take generations to live that Super Bowl down.

    Hey fan boy it will take far longer for Pats to live down their Cheaters Label than for Falcon fans to forget a bad game…. To think otherwise is just plain dumb.

  36. cflentje says:
    Maybe next year you guys will “man up” and pick against the spread?
    ==

    They’re here to pick which teams they think will win. Spreads are for gamblers, and since it’s highly unlikely Messrs. Florio or Smith are actually betting on these games, picking against the spread would be pointless.
    Still, how about you “man up” and give us all 16 of your picks using the spread. It’ll be fun to hear what you have to say next week, if only for laughs.

  37. The winners:

    Ravens, Eagles, Titans, Giants, Chiefs, Pack, Bucs, Bengals, ‘Hawks, Vikes, Raiders, Browns, 49ers, Cowboys, Bills, and Saints.

  38. The rip on Cousins “blowing it” in big games has gotten old.

    The biggest concern the Vikings have this weekend is which defense is going to show up. Will it be the defense that shuts down the run and forces Rivers into passing situations and mistakes, or will it be the defense we saw in Seattle that got gashed for over 200 yards rushing? If it is the latter, the chances of the Vikings losing another 37-30 style game increases greatly, as do the chances that Kirk Cousins gets blamed for the loss.

  39. Florio’s take: The Chiefs had better beat the Broncos while they can. By next year, it will be a much tougher outcome to achieve.

    Florio’s pick: Chiefs 30, Broncos 23.
    ————–
    Pump the brakes Florio, he’s won 2 games. They beat a 4 win Jags team, and a woefully bad Texans defense that doesn’t have Clowney anymore or JJ Watt. How many Bronco QB’s have we heard “he’s the next big thing at QB for this team”? Nothing has changed they will still be a .500 team next year at best.

  40. cflentje says:
    December 12, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Maybe next year you guys will “man up” and pick against the spread?

    =====================================================================
    One question: If teams don’t care about the margin of victory when their playing the game, why in the name of Sam Hill would anyone bet money on the margin of victory?

    If I pick a team which was favored by six points, but is ahead by four points late in the game, and has the ball with two minutes left and no timeouts for the other team, do I really expect that team I picked to risk losing the game by trying to score again? Using any other criteria than that which NFL teams care about to pick or bet on games is incoherent.

  41. Alan Light says:
    December 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm
    Bears win easily against a porous Packer defense. Vikings will struggle in vs. SD, but ultimately come away with the win. Go Rams! and steal the 6th seed from the Pack who will lose the next two….
    ——————————–
    Not only are your predictions incorrect, but the Chargers haven’t been in San Diego in 2 years.

  42. So when is taking an objective view of a potentially tough opponent a weakness gopackgo? If Vikings fans cheer for their team, they are delusional Barneys, yet and if they express skepticism cheesers call them weak. Try and pick a take would you? Not all fans look through their world with myopic green and gold glasses, declaring their team is the best in the world, like a bunch of clueless sheep.

  43. “I still think the Cowboys are better than their 6-7 record suggests,”

    =======================================================

    Teams they’ve beaten are 17-47 and only Philly has more than 3 wins. They haven’t beaten a team with a winning record while also losing to the Jets.

  44. Texans will spank the Titans this weekend, lay another egg against the Bucs and then whip the Titans one more time for the division. It’s their MO.

  45. Dallas has the talent on the roster to be better than 6-7, but they don’t have the coaching staff. So when the Rams, defending conference champions, come to play the Cowboys, on a second three-game losing streak this season, it’s going to be a game. LA is peaking, and the Rams are not coming to Dallas to lose. A Cowboys loss will set up a monumental game when Dallas has to travel to Philadelphia next week.

  46. At an Iowa casino yesterday, I put down money that the Bears will beat the Packers, that’s how sure I am that the Bear’s’ pass rush w a revved up Hicks will be way too much for Rodgers.

  47. I hate picking against the Ravens this season. However, they are due for another loss. Some losses make no sense whatsoever each season. I’ll take the Jets to upset Baltimore tonight”

    The Jets won’t beat the Ravens. Come on. The following week, however, they play the Browns who still have a surprisingly likely chance to get into the playoffs. (they need to win out, Titans have to sweep Texans, Bills and Ravens have to beat Steelers) It will be a must win for the Browns and take some of the pressure off of the Ravens going into the postseason as the 1 seed.

  48. Straight up, no spread here:

    Jets at Ravens – Ravens
    Eagles at Redskins – Redskins
    Texans at Titans – Titans
    Dolphins at Giants – Dolphins
    Broncos at Chiefs – Chiefs
    Bears at Packers – Packers
    Buccaneers at Lions – Buccaneers
    Patriots at Bengals – Patriots
    Seahawks at Panthers – Panthers
    Vikings at Chargers – Chargers
    Jaguars at Raiders – Raiders
    Browns at Cardinals – Cardinals
    Falcons at 49ers – 49ers
    Rams at Cowboys – Rams
    Bills at Steelers – Bills
    Colts at Saints – Saints

    Various reasons for my picks, so no explanations given. Just want to see how well I can do against these so-called “experts”.

  49. “FootballSeasonRules says:
    December 12, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    I hate picking against the Ravens this season. However, they are due for another loss. Some losses make no sense whatsoever each season. I’ll take the Jets to upset Baltimore tonight. If they don’t beat them, the Browns or Steelers will. This team is better off not entering the playoffs on a 12-game winning streak. It won’t end well.”

    Better luck next week with your “Outcomes are completely random” theory of predictions

  50. Packer fans are looking passed the Bears to the Vikings game. Big mistake. Hicks return means you can’t quadruple team Khalil Mack. Can’t wait for the strip sack(s) of Rodgers. Packers are the Patriots of NFC. Padding record against dreadful teams. Maybe even Trubisky will shock us and have a 3rd good game in a row. Either way, Bears slim playoff hopes stay alive with a satisfying win in Lambeau.

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