Thursday, January 14, 2016

NFL Picks 2015, Divisional - from Archer Avenue

Check out more from me, including movie reviews & movie trailers, at Archer Avenue (archeravenue.net).  Also, follow me on Twitter @OlieCoen for sports & movie talk.



Here are my NFL Divisional Picks
(3-1 for the postseason, 163-93 for the regular season)
Bye teams: none



nepatriotsKC @ NE – And the roll continues for the Chiefs, who have now won 11 straight games after starting the season 1-5.  It’s beyond incredible at this point, and it’s just lucky for the rest of the league that KC got off to a bad start, otherwise they’d be hosting these playoff games and most likely winning them.  They did win their first road test, at Houston, which wasn’t a surprise to anyone, given how the Texans used a weak division to get into the postseason in the first place.  But what was surprising was just how bad Hoyer played & how solidly the Chiefs dominated.  But one game does not a Super Bowl run make, and the streak should end right here.  The Patriots have been sitting back, sizing up potential opponents, working past injuries & kinks seemingly forever.  Belichick & Brady scheme and/or cheat better than anyone in the business, so giving them some time at the end of the season and then a bye to begin the postseason is just asking for them to beat everybody.  New England is not Houston, and the Chiefs will not have an easy time in Foxboro.

aricardinalsGB @ Ari – The Packers finally looked like the Packers, putting up their most points since Week 3 of this season.  Rodgers looked loose, the running game was humming, and after a slow start, Green Bay had their way with Washington.  I jumped off the bandwagon, picking the Pack to lose last week; I was tired of waiting for their talent to show up.  And I don’t regret not sticking with them, simply because I don’t believe everything is fixed.  How quick we were to forget that the only reason the Redskins were in the playoffs was because their division was horrible.  I mean, the Packers had the better record, but the Redskins had home field and a little momentum, something we thought would matter.  It didn’t, the better team emerged, and I think the exact same thing will happen here.  BUT, who’s the better team?  IMHO, the Cardinals, hands down.  All season Arizona has looked like a Super Bowl contender, scoring at will, playing solid defense, stringing together win streaks.  And, oh yeah, in Week 16 Arizona beat Green Bay 38-8.  That wasn’t very long ago, and Rodgers hasn’t fixed THAT much.

carpanthersSea @ Car – Every now & then you need a little luck, but the Seahawks might have just used up their share.  Down 9-0 at the start of the fourth quarter, Seattle had their biggest pass play of the game come after a botched snap that went over Russell Wilson’s head, got Adrian Peterson to fumble the ball, and then watched at Blair Walsh missed what amounted to an extra point.  I’m not mad at them for getting lucky, but I have to wonder; if they should have lost to the Vikings, how do they expect to beat the Panthers?  Honestly, I don’t think they can, and, actually, I think they’re about to get creamed.  Carolina is the best team in the league, at least record-wise, with only one loss on the season.  They were getting banged up toward the end of the year, but now have had a week off to fully recover, and look to get key guys back in the lineup.  They also haven’t lost at home this season, while the Seahawks are now 6-3 on the road, if you count the Wild Card game.  If Seattle wanted to keep being called the hottest team in the NFC, they should have played like it.  No one is scared now.

denbroncosPit @ Den – Talk about luck.  Similar failings by the other team helped the Steelers advance, and here they are to face my Broncos.  A late fumble, 30 yards in personal foul penalties; the Bengals bungled that game in patented fashion.  And I was rooting for Cinci too, since I didn’t really want to see Pittsburgh again, the Steelers having beat the Broncos Week 15 in Pittsburgh 34-27.  But that was with Brock while he was still trying to find his rhythm; this time the Steelers will face Peyton, and in Denver.  Manning came in to save the day the final week of the season, not that Osweiler was playing terribly.  The Broncos just needed a spark, he delivered it, they won, and Kubiak has decided to stick with Peyton the rest of the way.  Manning gets a bad rap for playoff losses, but this team is a better one than the squad he helped lead to the Super Bowl few years ago.  Clinching first place was huge for the Broncos, who will look to take care of the banged up Steelers at home, and then turn around to do the same to (potentially) the Patriots.  Rested & ready, Denver will get the job done.

Check out more from me, including movie reviews & movie trailers, at Archer Avenue (archeravenue.net).  Also, follow me on Twitter @OlieCoen for sports & movie talk.




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