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Dec. 19, 2004

NFL: Week Fifteen predictions

by Pratik Bhandari, Page Editor
At least, that's what Izzy has consistently proven. After breaking his jaw last year, the star wide receiver for the Blair Football at lunch team couldn't stay away from the game. Unfortunately, he's suffered an injury to his right wrist and the pain was too great for the poor guy to type up his comments. Let's hope he gets better soon. Until then here are my picks for week 15.

Nick 136-71-0
Izzy 134-73-0
Pratik 134-73-0
Mike 97-63-0

Saturday December 18, 2004

Pittsburgh at New York Giants – 1:30 p.m.
(Pittsburgh -10)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Pittsburgh - -

Pratik says: Ok, this game is about as lopsided as you can get in the NFL these days. If the Steelers don't win this game, then look outside your window. You may see some soon to be pork flying by.

Washington at San Francisco -5 p.m. (Washington -4)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Washington - -

Pratik says: Ha. This should result in a shutout for Washington's defense. Expect Ramsey to make up for his atrocious decision last week to throw the ball into the arms of Brian Dawkins by tearing it up. Actually, scratch that. What with Portis being able to gain just about five yards a pop, Ramsey's longest throw will probably be a three yard toss to Portis coming out of the backfield.

Carolina at Atlanta – 8:30 p.m. (Atlanta -3.5)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Carolina - -

Pratik says: This is going to be a great game; Carolina is on a five game winning streak and Atlanta is fresh off beating up on lowly Oakland. For Carolina to win this game, they must keep Michael Vick contained, shut down Alge Crumpler and be wary of T.J. Duckett who busted out last week for four touchdowns. For Atlanta to win, they must stop Mushin Muhammed, who has quietly put together a pro-bowl caliber season with the loss of Steve Smith, and Nick Goings, the surprising third-string back who has played very well after replacing DeShaun Foster and Stephen Davis. But most of all, Atlanta must be careful on offense as the Panthers defense is playing as well as it did last year during their improbable Super Bowl run. I have to go with Atlanta because I don't think that the Panthers can shut down Crumpler.

Sunday December 19, 2004

Buffalo at Cincinnati- 1 p.m. (Buffalo -1)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Buffalo - -

Pratik says: Cincinnati came close to beating the Patriots last week and they aren't that far away from becoming a good team. But the problem for them is that Buffalo is a good team now. If ever there was any doubt to the importance of a running back to a team, it has been clarified by the way the Bills have gone on a tear ever since Willis McGahee became the premiere back. Cincinnati is close, but they won't beat the Bills, especially not in Buffalo.

Dallas at Philadelphia - 1 p.m. (Philadelphia –12.5)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Philadelphia - -

Pratik says: Yeah…uh…Philly's going to crush Big D.

Denver at Kansas City - 1 p.m. (Even)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Denver - -

Pratik says: Kansas City had a great Monday Night game as they won 49-38 over Tennessee, but the Denver defense is better than the Titans. Also, if the Chiefs continue to play defense like they did versus the Titans, they might as well sit on the bench while Denver is on offense and just hope that their offense can keep them in the game. At least the Titans are excused because they had a lot of injuries to key players like Samari Rolle. But seriously, how do you win games with a defense as porous as the Chiefs have? Billy Volek is a good quarterback, but he's no Peyton Manning. You couldn't have told the difference Monday Night. Anyway, Jake "the Snake" Plummer is earning a new nickname in Denver: Jake "the Fake." Last week Plummer flashed an obscene hand gesture to the crowd during a win over the Dolphins and it seems as if both the fans and Plummer are unhappy with the situation. Anyway, this seems like the perfect setup for a Kansas City win, right? Well, no (see above). Beleaguered Denver wins by at least a touchdown.

Houston at Chicago - 1 p.m. (Chicago -1)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Houston - -

Pratik says: Chicago has a great defense, but that's about all they have. Houston has a pretty good offense to go along with their average defense so I believe that Houston will win this game.

Minnesota at Detroit– 1:00 p.m. (Minnesota -3)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Minnesota - -

Pratik says: This is shaping up to be a battle between Moss and Roy Williams what with Moss generally hailed as the best receiver in the league and Williams battling to earn that spot for himself. The deciding factor in this game will be the running game as both of these teams have sieve-like defenses to go along with great passing attacks. In this, the Vikings have the clear advantage as they have approximately 38 NFL-caliber running backs on their roster. I swear, the Vikings could go into a five back set and hand it off to any one of their running backs. Or Culpepper could just keep it and run it himself. Anyway, since Minnesota has the more reliable and more explosive running game, expect them to win at Ford Field.

San Diego at Cleveland – 1:00 p.m. (San Diego -10)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- San Diego - -

Pratik says: San Diego. By a lot.

Seattle at New York Jets – 1:00 p.m. (Jets -6)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- New York Jets - -

Pratik says: Seattle proved yesterday that it was no pushover by…wait…they just beat the Vikings whereas the Jets lost to the Steelers by 11. The problem with Seattle all along has always been their inconsistency as well as their mediocre defense. The Jets, on the other hand, are about as consistent a team as you get. They don't do anything flashy; all they do is run with Curtis Martin and use a precision passing game led by Chad Pennington that picks up maybe seven yards a pop. That gameplan, however, has worked for nine games and there's no reason to think that it won't work now.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay - 4:05 p.m. (Tampa Bay -7.5 )

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Tampa Bay - -

Pratik says: New Orleans is like Seattle lite. They play just like the Seahawks, but do everything worse than their western counterparts. Tampa Bay is doing pretty bad and this game just seems meaningless to me at this point. I know, I know…the Washington / San Francisco could be considered meaningless as well, but really, who wants to watch the Saints and the Buccaneers? Ugh… I guess I'll go with Tampa Bay here.

St. Louis at Arizona - 4:05 p.m. (St. Louis –1.5)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Arizona - -

Pratik says: St. Louis is playing with Chris Chandler, Arizona is not. Need I say more? (For those of you who didn't get that, Arizona should win.)

Jacksonville at Green Bay - 4:15 p.m. (Green Bay -3.5)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Jacksonville - -

Pratik says: Green Bay hasn't looked good the past couple of weeks and I think that's really troubling. In one sense, you could argue that the Redskins are actually doing better than the Packers are because they are getting steadily better with Ramsey at the helm, whereas the Packers are slowly falling from their elite status, as they were considered as recently as four years ago, into the conglomeration of average teams that is the NFC at the moment. Jacksonville looked very commanding in their 22-3 win over Chicago and they are also getting better week by week with Byron Leftwich leading the charge. So…I hate to bet against Favre, but I just don't think he can will his way to a win in this one.

Tennessee at Oakland - 4:15 p.m. (Oakland -2)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Tennessee - -

Pratik says: Oakland is to the AFC West this year what the Chargers were to the division last year. And that is why Tennessee will win this game hands down.

Baltimore at Indianapolis – 8:30 p.m. (Indianapolis -8)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Indianapolis - -

Pratik says: Sorry Ravens fans, but your team will forever be remembered as the team against whom Peyton Manning broke the single season touchdown record. I also see no way for the Ravens to win this game, although I may be wrong. If I were Billick, my gameplan would be to simply run the ball as much as I could to make sure that Manning couldn't get on the field. The fact is that the Ravens defense may be the best suited to handle the Colts offense, but the problem is Manning. He is on such a ridiculous high right now that the best a team can do is to contain him like Houston did last week. And the other troubling thing for the Colts opponents is that the defense, led by defensive end Dwight Freeney, has suddenly turned it up a notch, limiting a good Houston offense to only 14 points. Expect the Colts to win by at least a touchdown and for Manning to break the single season touchdown record.

Monday December 20, 2004

New England at Miami - 9 p.m.
(New England -9.5)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- New England - -

Pratik says: This is the same as the Pittsburgh/Giants matchup all the way up top…

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  • AngelEyes on December 19, 2004 at 1:36 PM
  • shay on December 19, 2004 at 4:27 PM
    portis doesn't get "about 5 yards a pop" u fool, he averages 3.9 yards per carry
  • what? on December 20, 2004 at 12:33 AM
    huh? izzy star wide reciever? yeah sure on the seahawks.
  • izzy football star? on December 23, 2004 at 8:26 AM
    maybe compared to you pratik.
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