Silver Chips Online

NFL - Week Fifteen predictions

By Andrew Kung, Online Sports Editor and Copy Editor, Nitin Sukumar, Online News Editor and Copy Editor and Anshul Sood, Online Sports Editor
December 13, 2007
Well, it appears that Michael Vick will be watching the next two years of football from the big house, earning a 23-month jail term for his canine shenanigans. Perhaps he could get a couple tips about a years-long layoff from Todd Collins, who is quite possibly the most intriguing story all year for our Redskins. Washington's playoff hopes dangle from a thread heading into a crucial divisional matchup in the Meadowlands.

As for us, Nitin is once again sitting pretty in first place, while Pia, Anshul and Andrew are staggered behind. Let's just hope our experts are better at picking outcomes than Pittsburgh's Anthony Smith...

Standings:

Last weekSeason total
Nitin 13-3128-80
Pia 11-5 126-82
Anshul14-2 125-83
Andrew 12-4 123-85


Thursday December 13, 2007

Denver Broncos (6-7) at Houston Texans (6-7)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Denver Denver Houston Houston

Andrew says: Despite having a decent showing a week ago, the Texans, touting a backfield consisting of Sage Rosenfels and Darius Walker, do not exactly inspire confidence. Denver is coming off a huge win, and should continue to ride the momentum with their running attack.

Nitin says: The Cutler to Marshall connection is starting to heat up and the Texans don't have the defense to stop it.

Pia says: Both of these teams are desperately trying to make the playoffs, so emotions will be high on either side of the field. Despite last week's good fortunes for both teams, a look at the big picture will reveal that Houston has won the last three of four home games while Denver has lost the last four of five road games. It's hard to argue with the numbers.

Anshul says: Both teams need wins to make a playoff run. Both teams are playing well, but Houston is starting to roll again more than Denver.


Saturday December 15, 2007

Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) at San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati

Andrew says: Despite their overall struggles this year, Cincy still has talent on offense. That's more than the Niners can say.

Nitin says: The only good sign for the 49ers is that rookie LB Patrick Willis is capable of stopping Adrian Peterson. That's pretty impressive really, but he can't do it all himself.

Pia says: Cincinnati's win last week comes too late to help them with the playoff picture, but proves that they have enough power to outplay weak San Fran.

Anshul says: The 49ers are having no luck whatsoever. They have to go to their third-string quarterback and it's likely their offense will get nowhere still. Cincinnati is out of the playoff picture, but a win here could at least them finish their season strong.


Sunday December 16, 2007

Washington Redskins (6-7) at New York Giants (9-4)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
New York Washington Washington Washington

Andrew says: Once again, the homer train has left the station after one okay-looking win. TC15, more than a decade removed from his last career start, ran a Al Saunders offense clinic last week against the Bears, but faces a taller task this week against the G-men.

Nitin says: The Giants defensive line is the only obstacle, albeit a huge one, for Redskins' replacement QB Todd Collins. After that it's a free trip home for Washington's playmakers.

Pia says: The Redskins practically handed the Giants a victory the first time they met this season, failing to score on three tries from the 1-yard line. With the playoffs at stake and the Redskins needing to win out, a repeat of that behavior isn't likely.

Anshul says: Last time these two teams met, the Giants escaped with a win to start their 6-game winning streak. But with Todd Collins ready to start for the Redskins and the Washington defense trying to get back to its normal self, it is going to be a long night for Eli Manning and the Giants.

Detroit Lions (6-7) at San Diego Chargers (8-5)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Detroit San Diego San Diego San Diego

Andrew says: The Chargers have indeed looked sharp the past few weeks. That said though, last I checked Norv Turner was still the head coach, meaning that their late-season collapse should commence shortly.

Nitin says: Next year perhaps Jon Kitna will start off with a guarantee of a .500 season and move up from there.

Pia says: After watching that heartwarming 60 Minutes interview with L.T., how could anyone pick against him?

Anshul says: The Lions are on a 5-game losing streak and have basically buried their playoff hopes themselves. Kitna failed to reach his 10-win mark, and the Chargers are ready to stop him from even having a winning season.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) at Dallas Cowboys (12-1)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Dallas Dallas Dallas Dallas

Andrew says: One win closer to home field advantage for the 'Boys.

Nitin says: Brian Westbrook could easily be an MVP candidate, but his teammates haven't delivered at all this season. The Cowboys won't rest until they clinch NFC leadership.

Pia says: After this matchup, it won't be Terrell Owens who will want to commit suicide...

Anshul says: The Cowboys have clinched the NFC East and the Eagles are at the bottom. McNabb is not playing well and Romo is. Dallas is at home. No contest.

Indianapolis Colts (11-2) at Oakland Raiders (4-9)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis

Andrew says: Who will we see first, JaMarcus Russell or Jim Sorgi? This game has blowout written all over it.

Nitin says: We'll see JaMarcus Russell again as coach Lane Kiffin feels the need to give a morale boost to disappointed fans. I'm thinking it won't be very effective to put the rookie in the spotlight against the NFL's stingiest pass defense.

Pia says: Does this even constitute as a game, or is it merely a free pass to a first-round bye for the Colts?

Anshul says: Another week and still no JaMarcus Russell. Meanwhile the Colts cemented their place in the AFC with a convincing win over the Ravens last week.

Baltimore Ravens (4-9) at Miami Dolphins (0-13)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Baltimore Baltimore Baltimore Baltimore

Andrew says: After giving up 44 last week to Indy, the Ravens are happy that Cleo Lemon and Dolphins aren't nearly as potent as the Manning-commandeered Colts.

Nitin says: Brian Billick will celebrate his apparent 2008 support from the Raven's owner with a dominating win over the drowning Dolphins.

Pia says: Both of these teams are awful. But sometimes in life you have to choose the lesser of two wrongs, and in this case, that would be the Ravens.

Anshul says: The Ravens looked terrible last week, but Troy Smith looked good. Even without him and Boller starting, it's the Miami Dolphins. Where better to end a 7-game losing streak?

Arizona Cardinals (6-7) at New Orleans Saints (6-7)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Arizona Arizona New Orleans New Orleans

Andrew says: Both of these teams need a win and a little help from their competition if they want to make the playoffs. Look for a bounce-back week from Edgerrin James, who has been quiet as of late (just in time for the fantasy playoffs).

Nitin says: Backup-backup RB Aaron Stecker's strong play won't last any longer. The Saints need Reggie Bush.

Pia says: Injuries will hurt both sides of this matchup but the Saints will better adapt to the loss of their running back and continue to eye the playoffs.

Anshul says: A huge game in the NFC playoff picture. The Saints, particularly Drew Brees, looked really good against the Falcons last week. Granted it was the Falcons, but Arizona has begun to slip as of lately. Injuries to the Cardinals should give the Saints the win and eliminate the Cardinals from the playoff push.

Atlanta Falcons (3-10) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Atlanta Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay

Andrew says: After getting spit in the face by Bobby Petrino, the Falcons will either come out guns blazing or completely implode.

Nitin says: Bob Petrino is a coward for leaving over night like that. His quick exit will kill the morale for the struggling Falcons.

Pia says: Good riddance to bad rubbish is what I say to Bobby Petrino. Unfortunately while it's good to get rid of a coach who doesn't truly care about the team, it's also good to actually have a coach. This latest drama isn't going to do the Falcons any good.

Anshul says: After 13 games, Bobby Petrino has resigned. And why not? He inherited a team where he wanted to use Michael Vick to develop the Falcons. But with Vick behind bars for 23 months now, the Falcons have become worse than the Raiders.

Green Bay Packers (11-2) at St. Louis Rams (3-10)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay

Andrew says: Brock Berlin has exactly 438 fewer career touchdown passes than Brett Favre (that's 438 minus 0 for those of you keeping score at home).

Nitin says: The Packers are still on the blazing path set by the Cowboys to the number one spot in the NFC. Without Marc Bulger, what chance do the Rams have?

Pia says: The Rams are chump change for a Packer team looking to clinch a first-round playoff bye.

Anshul says: Green Bay is trying to look strong entering the playoffs. Brett Favre started his 250th straight game and played amazingly. The Rams aren't going to stop him.

Buffalo Bills (7-6) at Cleveland Browns (8-5)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Cleveland Buffalo Cleveland Cleveland

Andrew says: It's pretty impressive how the Bills have managed a winning record in Week 15 despite their early-season turmoil. Kevin Everett is out of the hospital, but the Bills are not out of the woods, facing a tough test at the Dawg Pound against a Browns team thinking playoffs for the first time in recent memory.

Nitin says: Buffalo's playoff chances rest on this game; winning will open up that final Wild Card position. Expect Lee Evans and Marshawn Lynch to take off against the ever-questionable Cleveland D.

Pia says: The Bills need this win to stay in the playoff picture, but unfortunately for Buffalo fans, their chances are slim. While it may shock most everyone, the Browns' offense is strong and their points-per-game average ranks fifth in the league.

Anshul says: Both teams are pushing for a spot in the playoffs. A Bills win puts them level with the Browns, but the Browns are going to win this game. Jamal Lewis is running like a beast and Derek Anderson is still playing really well. The Browns have probably forgotten that they have Brady Quinn on their roster.

Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (9-4)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Jacksonville Jacksonville Pittsburgh Pittsburgh

Andrew says: Anthony Smith was embarrassed on Sunday. More importantly though, Aaron Smith was injured, as was Big Ben.

Nitin says: Clearly the game will turn into a defensive struggle. With Troy Polamalu's reaggravated knee injury, it looks like David Garrard will be able to pass with amazing efficiency again.

Pia says: Last week's performance aside, the Steelers are a solid football team, especially at home. They will squeak by the Jaguars to finish a perfect 8-0 at Heinz Field.

Anshul says: This is a really tough match-up and these two teams may meet up again later in the playoffs. With the home crowd behind them and the Jaguars' defensive tackle Marcus Stroud on IR, the Steelers should be able to win this. But that's not a guarantee.

New York Jets (3-10) at New England Patriots (13-0)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
New England New England New England New England

Andrew says: The Jets will need cameras in both endzones and both sidelines, an extra player at all times and a broken leg from Tom Brady to even stand a chance in Foxboro.

Nitin says: Apparently Bill Belichick says this game isn't personal and he isn't aiming to absolutely destroy the Jets. Good one coach.

Pia says: I put all my money on the Steelers last week, and look where it got me. I'm losing to Nitin! Once burned, twice shy; the Patriots it is.

Anshul says: The Jets are to blame for the Patriots' perfect season so far because they angered them in Week 1. So maybe it could be the Jets who stop the run? Nah, let's not get crazy.

Tennessee Titans (7-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-9)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee

Andrew says: The Titans have dropped four of their last five, but should rebound against a Chiefs team that looked atrocious on the receiving end of a 34-point whipping.

Nitin says: This is a game that the Titans won't need to expect much more than the garbage Vince Young has had to offer this year in order to win.

Pia says: After receiving such a pummeling last week from Denver, I'm not sure Kansas City has any morale left to show up to Sunday's game against the Titans.

Anshul says: Vince Young is not the Vince Young from last season. But Kansas City seems like the perfect place for him to get back on track and get his team into the playoffs.

Seattle Seahawks (9-4) at Carolina Panthers (5-8)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Seattle Seatte Seattle Seattle

Andrew says: This would have been a good game a few years ago, back when both Seattle and Carolina were perennial NFC contenders. Jump back to 2007, and we have what promises to be one ugly football game.

Nitin says: Any team that lost to the Delhomme-less Panthers deserves to have draft picks taken away. Carolina has no offensive outs with Vinny under center.

Pia says: A five-game win streak has placed Seattle high in the NFC rankings. Carolina wants to forget this season as soon as possible. It's no contest here.

Anshul says: Seattle is not running the ball well at all, but that doesn't matter. Matt Hasselbeck is playing really well and their defense is only allowing 17.5 points per game and forcing turnovers all over the place.


Monday December 17, 2007

Chicago Bears (5-8) at Minnesota Vikings (7-6)
Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota

Andrew says: Minnesota has quietly put together a very solid football team, led an overpowering offensive line and two capable backs, and have the inside track to the last wild card spot. Redskins fans are praying for the upset, but with Kyle Orton under center for the Bears, it's not looking good.

Nitin says: Something tells me Kyle Orton won't be able to find Bernard Berrian for the deep pass and Adrian Peterson won't be held to three measly ground yards again.

Pia says: The Vikings are sailing forward thanks to their run game, and with Chicago's D clocking in at 24th in the league against the run, Minnesota will be able to enjoy being above .500 for two weeks in a row for the first time this season.

Anshul says: When Adrian Peterson fails, Chester Taylor is there. The Vikings have the best running attack at over 170 yards per game and are only giving up 70 rush yards per game with the best run defense. Forcing the Bears to rely on their passing game, or lack of a passing game, should result in an easy win.

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