NFL Week 15 picks: Buccaneers will stun the Cowboys, Giants top the Lions
Wondering which teams will win in Week 15? You've come to the right place to find out
The Rams have been in Los Angeles for less than a year and they've already done the impossible: They're officially the most dysfunctional group in Southern California, which is saying a lot considering this is the same area that gave us the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."
I don't watch that show -- anymore -- but I don't need to because the Rams are way more entertaining. Pretty much every decision that the Rams' front office has made since arriving in Los Angeles has been completely baffling. The fact that the team made it from St. Louis to the West Coast is a minor miracle.
First, they traded up for Jared Goff and then refused to play him for half the season. I've never worked in an NFL front office, but I do know mortgaging your future for a guy who sits on the bench is generally a bad idea.
After that, they signed Jeff Fisher to an extension and then refused to tell anyone. If I learned one thing from my old roommate in college, it's that if you're trying to keep a relationship a secret, it's usually because you're not proud of it. I'm pretty sure the Rams are the only team in NFL history to sign their coach to an extension and then not tell anyone for six months.
Even Fisher's firing was weird. I'm not sure if the Rams looked at their schedule before letting Fisher go, but they have a game Thursday. Even that decision made NFL history.
Dear Rams front office, there's a reason you don't fire your coach on a short week, and if I have to explain it to you, then you probably shouldn't be running an NFL front office.
The Rams will now head to Seattle on Thursday with their special teams coordinator serving as interim coach, and I think I can pretty confidently say they're going to lose 76-0.
The only upside to firing Fisher this week is that there's a good chance that everyone in America will forget about it Thursday after their brains get fried from staring at the Seahawks' Color Rush jerseys for three hours.
If you own a black-and-white television, I suggest hooking it up before Thursday. If you don't own a black-and-white television, I suggest calling your optometrist to make sure it's safe for you to watch the game without damaging your retinas.
Something that definitely won't damage your retinas are my Week 15 picks. At least I don't think they will, I don't have any actual research to back up that claim.
Before we get to the picks, here's your weekly reminder to click over and check out the picks from every CBSSports.com NFL writer. This week you should click over because fantasy writer Jamey Eisenberg is coming off a 13-3 week.
Between Eisenberg and Dave Richard, our fantasy writers here at CBS Sports are almost better at picking games than they are at giving fantasy advice. My entire strategy next season might have to involve using only their picks. I mean, I already use their fantasy advice, so it's the logical next step.
Alright, let's get to the picks.
NFL Week 15 Picks
Detroit (9-4) at N.Y. Giants (9-4)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
If I learned one thing last week, it's that I should never pick a team to win if their quarterback is playing with an injured finger. I call this the "Derek Carr rule" and I'm invoking it for this pick because Matthew Stafford will be playing in this game with a torn ligament in the middle finger on his throwing hand. I tore a ligament in my finger once, and I couldn't even microwave my own food for two weeks, so I'm not sure how Stafford is going to fare against a Giants defense that shut down the Cowboys.
Not only does Stafford have to play with a messed up finger, but he's going to be playing outdoors in New Jersey. If you've ever been outside in New Jersey, you know that's not a good thing. Just kidding, everyone in New Jersey, I love your state, I once bought some batteries at a Best Buy there. But for real, being outdoors could be an issue for Stafford and his finger, and that's mainly because the Lions haven't PLAYED A SINGLE GAME OUTSIDE SINCE OCT. 2. And guess what happened in that game? They lost. To the Bears.
The Lions also lost an outdoor game to the Packers. The Lions are 0-2 in true outdoor games this year, which is a mind-blowing stat because it means the Lions have only played two outdoor games. The Lions just seem to look lost outdoors. It's like when you let an indoor cat outside for the first time ever and it comes back all beat up because it has no idea how to act in the wild, or it gets lost.
Lost my very indoor cat outside 😂😅 Don't worry he's since been found— Rachel (@rcollins27) November 27, 2016
The Lions offense is going to look lost Sunday.
The pick: Giants 24-23 over Lions
Note: The Lions did win a game with the retractable roof open in Week 1 against Indy, but that doesn't count as an outdoor game because if you have the sun roof open in your car, you're still inside.
Tennessee (7-6) at Kansas City (10-3)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
After watching the Chiefs play for the past five weeks, I'm pretty much in shock that this team is 10-3 and not 7-6. Every time I think the Chiefs are going to lose, they find some impossible way to win late in the fourth quarter. In Week 10, they were trailing 17-0 with 30 seconds left in the third quarter and then came back to beat Carolina 20-17. In Week 12, they had that crazy 30-27 overtime win over the Broncos that ended when Kansas City's kicker decided he wanted to hit every goal post on the winning kick. Then, in Week 13, they won because Eric Berry got a pick-six and an "INTwo" -- that's an interception return for two points --- in a 29-28 win over the Falcons.
Basically, they have to run out of luck some time, and fortunately for Tennessee, I think it's going to happen this week. As one of about two people in the world who picked the Titans to win the AFC South this year, I'm morally obligated to pick them now that they're in first place in December for the first time in forever. Also, I like the fact that the Titans beat the Broncos in Week 13, despite the fact that Marcus Mariota played the worst game of his career (6 of 20, 88 yards). I think Mariota plays slightly better this week, not that he has to though, because I fully expect the Titans to call about 70 run plays in the 17-degree weather that's expected in Kansas City on Sunday.
The pick: Titans 23-20 over Chiefs
New England (11-2) at Denver (8-5)
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
This is the second year in a row that the NFL has made the Patriots fly more than halfway across the country to face the Broncos in Denver the week after New England played in a Monday night game, which I guess pretty much proves the Patriots fan theory that the NFL hates the Patriots.
The conspiracy theory that the NFL hates the Patriots is up there with the fake moon landing and the second JFK shooter in terms of my favorite conspiracy theories of all-time. As a matter of fact, when I'm done at CBS Sports, there's a 98 percent chance that my next job is going to be running a fake news site that's only devoted to one thing: Proving NFL conspiracy theories.
If you've ever tweeted that the NFL hates the Patriots, then you can work for my new site.
the nfl hates the patriots— Danica Davis (@danica_davis) December 13, 2016
The NFL hates the patriots so much haha— Dan Johnson (@danj813) December 13, 2016
The NFL really hates the Patriots— Brandon Siner (@studd_mufin) December 13, 2016
All three of you are hired. However, since I'll probably be working at CBS Sports for at least 25 more years, don't look for my website to get off the ground anytime soon.
Anyway, the Broncos offense has been so bad lately, I'm not even sure they could score on the Browns right now. The problem for the Broncos is that they don't really have a run game, their offensive line has been struggling and unless their defense scores two touchdowns against the Patriots, I don't see them winning. If the Broncos do pull off the upset, it's because the NFL hates the Patriots. I'm mildly surprised Tom Brady wasn't thrown out of the league after the Giants' Deflategate II allegations against the Steelers over the weekend.
The pick: Patriots 23-20 over Broncos
Tampa Bay (8-5) at Dallas (11-2)
8:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Before I get to the pick here, we need to have a short discussion about whether it's time for the Cowboys to start Tony Romo because Turtle from Entourage says it's time to have that conversation, and if Turtle says it's time, then it's time.
And let's cue the Tony Romo should start talks.— Jerry Ferrara (@jerryferrara) December 12, 2016
I say no, don't start Romo, but I definitely want everyone to hold their thoughts for next week because I think we'll be having the same discussion after Dak Prescott goes down in flames against the Buccaneers defense.
If you haven't been following the Bucs over the past five weeks -- which is probably the case because their fan base consists of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and six other people -- then you may not have noticed how dominant Tampa has been.
Since Week 10, the Bucs have only allowed 12.8 points per game, they've forced 14 turnovers and opposing quarterbacks are averaging just a 62.5 QB rating against them. I listed those stats specifically because the Bucs are No. 1 in the NFL in all three of those categories over the past five weeks.
The Bucs haven't been playing bad teams, either: Two of their five wins during their streak came against the Seahawks and Chiefs.
If I were Prescott, Tampa's defense is the opposite of what I would want to play against this Sunday. By the way, if Tampa does pull off the upset, don't plan on joining Nick Carter or the team's six other fans on the Bucs' bandwagon because haters aren't allowed.
That's a good rule, Nick. Now I don't feel so lame for keeping all my Backstreet Boys albums.
The pick: Buccaneers 20-17 over Cowboys
Note: My friend, who loves the Buccaneers, says the team actually has more than six fans and he's not mad at me for saying that because I picked them to win.
Sad Browns fan of the week/Browns pick
Things have gotten so desperate in Cleveland that Browns fans are now wasting their Christmas wishes.
She might as well wish for a talking cat because she has the same odds of getting it.
That lady could have also asked for a new team to cheer for, but no, she's so faithful that she's sticking with the Browns and hoping for a Christmas miracle.
Unfortunately for that lady, and everyone in Cleveland, I have some terrible news: It turns out that Santa is actually a Bills fan, so I don't think that Browns win is coming.
Of course, the true Christmas miracle this year will be if Rex Ryan can hold onto his job past Dec. 25. Ryan is on the hot seat, and if he loses to the Browns on Sunday, that seat is going to be the same temperature as an active volcano.
The upside of a possible Bills loss is that two Christmas wishes could come true: The Browns fan with the Christmas sign and the Bills fan below would likely both go home happy.
all I want for Christmas is for Rex Ryan to be fired and please take your idiot brother with you— Taylor Cotter (@TayCotter) December 11, 2016
I hate ruining Christmas for everyone, but I don't think the Browns are going to win. If Rudolph led the sleigh like RG3 leads the Browns' offense, Christmas wouldn't be any fun because Santa would crash before he even got to the first house every year.
The pick: Bills 20-13 over Browns
NFL Week 15 picks: All the rest
Seahawks 30-13 over Rams
Packers 27-17 over Bears
Steelers 27-20 over Bengals
Falcons 34-20 over 49ers
Best pick: Last week, I predicted that the Bills would score 20 points and lose to the Steelers and then the Bills went out and scored 20 points and lost to the Steelers. The crazy thing about this game is that if you were watching it at home, you had more total yards than the Bills did in the first quarter.
Bills had -1 total yards in the 1st quarter vs @steelers— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) December 11, 2016
It's the first time this season a team has had negative yardage in the 1st quarter
I actually outgained the Bills by a lot because I picked up a few yards when I ran a slant route to my refrigerator during the first quarter.
On a somewhat related note, I feel sorry for Bills fans because not only do they have to watch a bad Bills team play this season, but they have to do it while sitting in Arctic weather. At least Jaguars fans have a pool to drown their sorrows in.
The NFL: a study in contrasts pic.twitter.com/Ujp3Ag5ZB0— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) December 11, 2016
I hope you enjoy that pool photo, because, in what might be the most depressing news of the season, the Jaguars only have one home game left, which means only one more picture of the Jaguars pool will be coming this year.
Worst pick: Last week, I spent roughly three paragraphs talking about how there was no way a team from California was going to go on the road and win a night game being played in 20-degree weather, and then I chose to ignore my own advice: I went with the Raiders over the Chiefs.
People have been ignoring my advice for most of my adult life, and I don't blame them, but ignoring my own advice is definitely a new low for me, and the sad thing is, I actually did it twice last week. For my Seahawks-Packers pick, I spent three paragraphs explaining how Aaron Rodgers is 14-o in December home games and then I picked against him.
Basically, I made as many bad decisions last week as Jeff Fisher did. Maybe it's time to fire myself.
Straight up in Week 14: 8-8
SU overall: 117-89-2
Against the spread in Week 14: 8-7-1
ATS overall: 97-101-10
You can find John Breech on Facebook or Twitter and if he's not doing one of those things, he's probably having the Seahawks' Color Rush jerseys tested to make sure they're not radioactive because he's pretty sure they're radioactive.
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