The END Zone: NFL Week 15 Picks

December 15, 2016
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Christmas time is here! Lights are up, Holiday music is permeating every waking moment of our lives, and Santas can be seen driving through Cap Hill in their hybrid cars (no sleigh? Santa!) en route to the local malls. It's really the best. I love this time of the year, whether you call it Christmas, Chanukkah, Festivus, or simply "The Holidays." Celebrate how you want, let other people celebrate how they want, and by all means, feel free to send your favorite radio host a gift, thanking them for hitting you up with new music...and for cramming Twenty One Pilots in your ears 17.4 million times this year (statistically correct).

Then when you're done hooking up Gregr, maybe you could send something to me too. I mean, it's also my birthday. That's always a tricky thing, having a birthday the same time as Christmas.  Everyone thinks I got screwed as a kid with double gifts but my mom, Saint Mary Manley, always did an amazing job of making sure I had my own day. I remember one year when we were struggling a bit financially, she got all of us kids farm animals that were donated to villages in third world countries to be used for milk and food. To this day that dang goat is still my favorite present I've ever received....besides my Nintendo obviously. 

Onto the NFL picks this week:

LA Rams vs Seattle: Richard Sherman called Thursday Night Football games a "poopfest." This is an accurate statement. The only thing worse than TNF games are the uniforms they make the teams wear. Also, Jeff Fisher was fired this week. The same Jeff Fisher that got a contract extension a few weeks ago.  The Rams, man. The Rams.

Pick: Seattle

Tennessee vs Kansas City: I got a new pair of jeans last week and I accidentally ended up ordering the stretchy kind.  At first I was really upset, but I have to say they've been a revelation.  All the style of regular denim, with the stretch of a good pair of sweat pants. Cool AND comfortable, what a time to be alive!  <checks recap of 2016> <rescinds last comment>

Pick: Kansas City

Jacksonville vs Houston:  At the beginning of the year you would've guessed this would be a huge matchup of two up and coming teams fighting for a playoff spot.  Instead you have Jacksonville, who continues to be the most disappointing team in the NFL against a Texans team that will probably win their division by default.  Hot NFL action! 

Pick: Houston

Green Bay vs Chicago:  There's nothing worse than watching a team that has been struggling all year destroy a top tier team.  After the beating Green Bay gave Seattle last week, I once again have hope that the Packers can run the table, make the playoffs, then win the Super Bowl. That's the worst because it probably won't happen, and I will have my heart broken twice in one season. Watching football is so much easier when you have no expectations and can just enjoy the ride. Hope is a terrible thing, I wish I was a Rams fan.

Pick: Green Bay

Detroit vs NY Giants:  Matt Stafford has a torn ligament in his throwing hand! The Giants are coming off a 'uuuuuge win against the Dallas Cowboys and are starting to look like the Giants that sneak into the playoffs and then win the Super Bowl! All signs point to NY winning this one, which probably means they lay an egg here. I hate predicting games.

Pick: NY Giants

Indianapolis vs Minnesota: It's fitting that the Vikings wear purple, since they are the member berries of the NFL.  Member when they started 5-0 and everyone thought they would make the playoffs? Member when their defense was able to single handedly win ball games? Member when they should've went to at least 2 Super Bowls during the Randy Moss/Chris Carter era but couldn't because they always choked at the wrong time? YOU MEMBER!!!  Sorry, Minnesota fans. 

Pick: Minnesota

Philadelphia vs Baltimore: Every year I tell myself that come Christmas time I'm getting my hands on the famous egg nog from Sun Liquor, and every year I never do it.  I am the worst. Kind of like how every year Joe Flacco is supposed to make the jump from pretty good QB to elite, but never does.

Pick: Baltimore

Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati: I got to play with VR and fly drones earlier this week down at Virtual Sports, in preparation for GE2 this weekend. I LOVE videogames so it was the best time, but I do have a complaint. No one told me there was a Star Wars VR sim that I could've tried until after I was done and had to go home! Climbing a virtual mountain was cool, and defending my castle with a virtual bow and arrow was super fun, but I'd trade it all for a chance to walk around the dang Death Star or watch Han shoot (first) Greedo in the Mos Eisley Cantina!  Listen, I know no matter what I say, part of you will think it's because I have to since it's a station event...but...YOU GUYS, GE2 is going to be awesome!

Pick: Pittsburgh

San Francisco vs Atlanta: I finally figured out how to adjust the temperature on my radiators in my apartment after 3 years of freezing one day and melting the next.  Now if I could figure out how to get the temp in my office (you've heard me complain about this daily on the radio) above freezing, I might be able to avoid hypothermia this year! 

Pick: Atlanta

New Orleans vs Arizona: How come whenever you have to enter a password for a website that you constantly frequent, you always get it wrong at least 2x?  Furthermore, how come it never keeps you signed in despite the fact that you click "Keep me signed in" literally every time? It's probably some sort of internet inside joke and I don't like it. 

Pick: Arizona

New England vs Denver: I wouldn't be surprised one bit if Tony Romo ended up being the starting QB for the Denver Broncos next year.  Think about it, he could come in and provide some leadership for the young Broncos QBs already on the roster. Plus he would probably lead them to the playoffs, only to throw a season ending int or fumble which would cause the fan base to turn on him and open the door for Lynch to take over. So perfect that it almost has to happen. Get Elway on the phone! 

Pick: New England

Oakland vs San Diego: What is more concerning for the Raiders playoff hopes, Derek Carr's finger injury or Marquette King's rumored affair with one of the Kardashian monsters?  Those broads destroy athletes and teams. Just ask Lamar Odom, Kris Humphries, Matt Kemp, Miles Austin, Reggie Bush, Rashad McCants, or Mark Sanchez. I could go on. "Dating a Kardashian" should appear on injury reports, so when King gets a punt blocked this week, you'll know why.

Pick: San Diego

Tampa Bay vs Dallas: As a fan of chaos, I am thoroughly enjoying all the hot "should Tony Romo get his job back?" takes all over TV and online. It's a bummer that page views and ratings points have become more important than actual journalism. 

Pick: Dallas

Carolina vs Washington: Cam Newton's post game wardrobe choices continue to be one of the most bizarre developments of the 2016 season. Look at this, he's wearing the same outfit my grandma does on cribbage night. 

Pick: Washington 

***

The Matt Saracen All-Star Team

Every week we will reward a player who channeled their inner QB1 and had the best fantasy football week. 

Week 14's All-Star is Le'Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers!  Homeboy almost had 300 yds of total offense AND 3 TD's. I said it last week, and I'll say it again, I would not want to play The Steelers in the playoffs. 

Week 1: AJ Green
Week 2: Cam Newton
Week 3: Marvin Jones
Week 4: Julio Jones
Week 5: Martellus Bennett
Week 6: Jay Ajayi
Week 7: Jay Ajayi
Week 8: Derek Carr
Week 9: Latavius Murray
Week 10: Marcus Mariota
Week 11: Kirk Cousins
Week 12: Kirk Cousins
Week 13: Jordan Howard
Week 14: Le'Veon Bell

Suicide Squad Pick of the Week

Knock-out/Suicide pools are becoming quite popular these days, so each week I'll share with you my pick for the week....that will inevitably lose on a last second FG EVERY TIME. 

Week 1: Seattle
Week 2: Carolina
Week 3: Dallas
Week 4:  Arizona - #RIP
Week 5: Indianapolis
Week 6: Pittsburgh - #RIP
Week 7: Cincinnati
Week 8: Patriots
Week 9:  New Orleans
Week 10: Baltimore
Week 11: NY Giants
Week 12: Miami
Week 13: Oakland
Week 14: Minnesota

Week 15: Normally I would just pick whoever Cleveland is playing, but their game against Buffalo is probably their last chance to get a win this year and I expect them to play that way.  Plus Buffalo is a dumpster fire right now and I can't trust them. PLUS Marcell Dereus guaranteed a Bills victory which is never a good idea, so let's go with Houston this week. 

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