Dec. 19, 2016
"The Stack" 12-16-16
The Stack is back on this Friday and it is getting to be crunch time for many NFL teams as the playoffs are fast approaching. Three weeks to go. The Seattle Seahawks have clinched the NFC West thanks to a 24-3 win over the Jeff Fisher-less Los Angeles Rams last night. What else does week 15 have in store? Let’s find out in “the stack” for today, Friday, December 16th:
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets 8:25 PM ET NFL Network (Saturday)
It’s Matt Moore against Bryce Petty. Get excited folks, get excited. I’m not a firm believer in the Dolphins with Moore starting at quarterback, but Petty scares me more for the Jets. Yet for some reason, I think the Jets can give the Dolphins more than they can handle. The safer pick though is the Dolphins.
Prediction: Dolphins 20 Jets 17
Philadelphia Eagles @ Baltimore Ravens 1 PM ET FOX
Things have gone south in a hurry for the Eagles. They are traveling just a few miles south for this game against Ravens (see what I did there?) Boo!! Bad joke. What’s not a joke is that the Ravens will take out their frustration from Monday night’s loss at New England on the Eagles. This one is for the birds. Boo!! Ok, I’ll stop.
Prediction: Ravens 23 Eagles 14
Cleveland Browns @ Buffalo Bills 1 PM ET CBS
Bills defensive tackle Marcell Darius has guaranteed a Bills victory. You better not lose to the Browns or Rex Ryan will not survive past Monday morning. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor might not either.
Prediction: Bills 27 Browns 17
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears 1 PM ET FOX
Bad calf or not, I’d rather take Aaron Rodgers than Matt Barkley any day even though Barkley is playing much better than most people thought he would for the Bears. The Packers are playing really well though right now.
Prediction: Packers 31 Bears 20
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals 1 PM ET CBS
Antonio Brown versus Vontaze Burfict. Remember the playoffs last year when Burfict delivered the hit that ended Brown’s season? That is a massive subplot and headline for this game. Also, will A.J. Green be back? Probably not, but tune in Sunday to find out. The Steelers have more playoff aspirations than the Bengals do though and they will take down the Bengals.
Prediction: Steelers 27 Bengals 13
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans 1 PM ET CBS
Call me crazy, but I think the Jaguars can pull off the upset here. The Texans are not a great team and Brock Osweiler has played like anything but a $72 million quarterback. I still think they find a way to win this game though.
Prediction: Texans 24 Jaguars 17
Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs 1 PM ET CBS
Who would have ever thought that this game would have so much playoff ramification for both teams at the beginning of the season? Hands down. You are all liars. The Chiefs need to win to keep the AFC West lead. The Titans need to win to stay in a tie for first place in the AFC South. Expect a ground and pound style game.
Prediction: Chiefs 20 Titans 16
Indianapolis Colts @ Minnesota Vikings 1 PM ET CBS
A couple of players this week have come out and said that the Colts did not play with maximum effort last week. Expect that to change this week, but Andrew Luck tends to be a turnover machine. Playing against the Vikings defense, that is going to come back and haunt them.
Prediction: Vikings 24 Colts 20
Detroit Lions @ New York Giants 1 PM ET FOX
Matthew Stafford’s finger could very well decide this game. If he can’t throw effectively, the Lions are in big trouble. The Giants played some inspired defense Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys. That probably won’t happen this week, but they will still do enough to get the win.
Prediction: Giants 27 Lions 20
New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM ET FOX
Going to be tough for the Cardinals to bounce back after that loss second loss to Miami last week and the release of wide receiver Michael Floyd, but I think David Johnson has a big day and the Cardinals defense slows down Drew Brees and they pick up a win.
Prediction: Cardinals 27 Saints 17
San Francisco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons 4:05 PM ET FOX
If I’m the Falcons, I would sit Julio Jones another week. You won’t need him against a terrible 49eres team. Falcons roll.
Prediction: Falcons 38 49ers 13
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos 4:25 PM ET CBS
Denver has been a place of horrors for Tom Brady. He has won what, once or twice in Denver ever? I’ve been going back and forth on this one all week. The Broncos defense is going to make life difficult on Brady, but the Patriots offense is better than the Broncos and they will find a way to win this game late.
Prediction: Patriots 23 Broncos 20
Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers 4:25 PM ET CBS
No Melvin Gordon this week for the Chargers. That’s a big loss. Derek Carr and the Raiders offense will put up an abundance of points to give the Chargers a big loss on the scoreboard too.
Prediction: Raiders 34 Chargers 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys 8:30 PM ET NBC
I feel like plenty of people are waiting for that one game to really believe in the Bucs. Beat the Cowboys and everyone will believe. They are more than capable of getting this win, but the Cowboys want to restore confidence in themselves after the past couple of weeks and the rest of the NFL who thinks they can be beaten. Cowboys win a close one in a battle of two good young quarterbacks in Jameis Winston and Dak Prescott.
Prediction: Cowboys 31 Buccaneers 27
Coming up Monday: Week 15 NFL reaction plus MNF preview