Here are my Week 15 NFL picks.
49ers vs. Steelers: 49ers 9-6. The Steelers should struggle to score points. They won’t be able to run the ball – not against this front seven. So they’re going to pass, their offensive line is mediocre at best, and one of their best linemen, center Maurkice Pouncey, has a high ankle sprain and he’s questionable for Monday night. Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Ray McDonald and Ahmad Brooks should be able to sack Ben Roethlisberger, who also has a high ankle sprain and will not be able to move much in the pocket. The Niners defense should be able to shut down the Steelers offense this Monday. Now, the Niners offense will struggle to score points, too, but they still have Frank Gore, and if he’s healthy like the team says he is he should be fresh and ready to dominate in this game, considering he barely played at all last week. Still, the Niners will struggle in the red zone if they get there and the game will come down to David Akers field goals once again. This week he’ll come through.
Saints @ Vikings: Saints. Adrian Peterson is coming off a high ankle sprain and he will play, but it’s hard to imagine that he’s 100 percent healthy. On the other side of the ball, the Vikings are the 26th ranked pass defense, so they’ll lose to the Saints and their No. 1 ranked pass offense.
Redskins @ Giants: Giants. The Redskins have nothing to play for and they’ve lost eight of their last nine games. The Giants are fighting for a playoff spot, and they won’t blow their chances by losing to Washington at home.
Packers @ Chiefs: Packers. Tamba Hali would need to sack Aaron Rodgers nine times for the Chiefs to have a chance to win this one.
Cowboys @ Buccaneers: Cowboys. Blowout city. The Bucs have lost seven games in a row. The Cowboys have a weak secondary, but the Bucs pass game won’t be able to take advantage. Plus, the Bucs have one of the worst defenses in the league, and the Cowboys will score 40 on them.
Seahawks @ Bears: Seahawks. This will be a low scoring game, but the Bears have lost three in a row and the Seahawks are hot, so I’m picking the road team to win.
Titans @ Colts: Titans. Jake Locker looked terrific last week. If the Titans know what’s good for them they’ll start him over Matt Hasselbeck this week. Actually, let’s be honest, either quarterback could lead to Titans to a win over the terrible Colts on Sunday.
Bengals @ Rams: Bengals. The Rams got their little two wins (how?) and they will get no more.
Panthers @ Texans: Texans. The Panthers defense is so bad they’ll make T.J. Yates look like Matt Schaub, and the Texans will win easily.
Lions @ Raiders: Raiders. The Lions want to just pass the ball on offense, and that plays right into the Raiders defense’s hand because they can’t stop the run but they can pressure the quarterback. On the other side of the ball, Michael Bush will have a big bounce-back week and Carson Palmer will hit Denarius Moore on a couple deep play-action passes.
Patriots @ Broncos: Broncos. The Patriots have scored 31 points in five straight games, but the Broncos will pressure Tom Brady with Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller and they’ll keep the game close. And then you already know what’s going to happen in the fourth quarter.
Jets @ Eagles: Jets. The Jets are better and they’re playing for a playoff spot.
Browns @ Cardinals: Cardinals. The Browns are good against the pass, but they can’t stop the run or score points on offense. Beanie Wells will have a big day on the ground and the Cardinals will win.
Ravens @ Chargers: Ravens. Just because the Chargers have won big the last two weeks over bad teams doesn’t mean they’re good all of a sudden. They aren’t. The left side of their offensive line is terrible, so how are they going to block Terrell Suggs? They won’t. Rivers will get hit and then he’ll start throwing inexplicable interceptions to seal the loss.