NFL Week 15 open thread

posted at 10:30 am on December 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Today, the Pittsburgh Steelers face the last remaining threat on their schedule with the New York Jets.  The Jets have suddenly begun to stumble on both sides of the ball, losing badly to the New England Patriots on the road and then losing a dull, close defensive battle against the Miami Dolphins at home.  Still, their defense can play tough, and it’s been a while since Ben Roethlisberger’s offense scored a TD.  Pittsburgh’s D has outscored their O, but with Troy Polamalu out after an ankle sprain, their ability to hold back the Jets may be diminished.  Still, Pittsburgh is playing tough and winning close ones lately, while the Jets have started looking inept on offense.  I’ll go with the Steelers to win this one, 20-9.

Last week I went 5-1 for the second straight week, which makes me 54-31 for the season.  Can I make it a perfect sweep this week?  Let’s see:

  • Bears at Vikings – This has disaster written all over it for Minnesota.  They’ll play their first outdoor home game in almost 30 years, longer than most of their players have been alive, on a field that’s likely to be frozen solid, and with a quarterback who was their emergency QB for most of the year.  They picked up Patrick Ramsey as insurance, but they may as well have held walk-on tryouts this week since Ramsey hasn’t played in the NFL for most of two seasons.  The Bears got manhandled by the Patriots at home last week, but their defense will feast on Adrian Peterson without a credible Viking passing threat.  Bears over the Vikes from TCF Bank Stadium’s Big Chill, 28-13.
  • Eagles at Giants – This will be one of the marquee games this week, and the division championship rides on it.  Both teams have looked unbeatable at times this season, but the Giants have had times when they looked awful.  Vick seems to be slowing up a little towards the end of the season after getting hammered in a couple of games, and while the Eagles are good on the road, I think the Giants will find a way to edge them at home.  Giants over Eagles, 27-24.
  • Saints at Ravens – Baltimore barely escaped Houston after David Schaub ran their defense almost into collapse in the fourth quarter.  If Schaub can do that, Drew Brees can do it even better.  The Ravens offense isn’t good enough to keep Brees off the field, and if the Saints keep it close into the fourth quarter, they can beat Baltimore, 27-14.
  • Patriots at Packers – This might have been a good game if Aaron Rodgers hadn’t gotten a concussion last week, but even if he plays, the Pack doesn’t stand much of a chance.  The Patriots have hit a new level of play the last few weeks and have been undeniably the best team in the league.  The Packers … not so much.  This should be another rout for New England, 36-17.
  • Redskins at Cowboys – Which team is a bigger mess, Washington or Dallas?  With Mike Shanahan benching Donovan McNabb for Rex The Wonder Dog Grossman, whose last touch was a game-losing fumble, I’ll have to give that honor to the Redskins.  How bad is it?  McNabb dropped to #3 on the depth chart, as Shanahan wants to take a look at John Beck for next year, too.  The ‘Skins don’t seem terribly concerned about actually winning a game, while Jason Garrett and the Cowboys want a shot at respectability.  Washington players may just be hoping that Shanahan exits quickly.  The Cowboys should pick up their second home win of the season by a score of 31-13.

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liking skelton…should be a W for the cards today

cmsinaz on December 19, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Polamalu has really kept them in the game for the last few weeks. I’m just glad the game will be on TV, so I don’t have to watch it on my computer.

Scott P on December 19, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Go Steelers!

Philly on December 19, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Is it coincidence that Tebow emerges so close to Christmas? Hm…….

Fuquay Steve on December 19, 2010 at 10:49 AM

…while the Jets have started looking inept on offense.

I’ve been using a bit stronger of a word than “inept”, but this is a family site, and I’m biased anyway.

Ugh.

JetBoy on December 19, 2010 at 10:50 AM

The 3 black ex-players on the NFL network pregame show are claiming McNabb’s benching is a racial issue using Brett Farve’s handling in MN as an example. Any thoughts from the HA crew?

Fynxbell on December 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Fynxbell on December 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM

I myself, thinks it is Bush’s fault as well as racist.

Fuquay Steve on December 19, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Go Jints!!!!

Fuquay Steve on December 19, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Go NYG. Already have my game face on.

JammieWearingFool on December 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Go Giants!!!

Also, I normally like the Jets too, but this is hilarious: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703921204576005922365617378.html?mod=wsj_share_facebook A friendly note from the Giants :)

Yossarian on December 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Go Bronco’s… Do to the “Black Hole” what they did to us in Denver. (Hey, I can dream, can’t I?)

Fynxbell on December 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM

as unlikely as it sounds, the Jaguars can actually clinch the AFC South with a win today at the Colts. It’ll be tough, but not unthinkable. They’re going to get a *big* dose of Maurice Jones-Drew today. He’s playing at an MVP-level right now.

Nobody expected the Jags to be here this late, including me. This team has overachieved this season, so I won’t be too bummed if we lose today, but sweeping Peyton would be a beautiful thing. Go Jags!

mikefln on December 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM

GO STEELERS !!

CWforFreedom on December 19, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Ed-Did you forget that the Jaguars are playing the Colts today at 1:00?
If the Jags win they will be the division champions. The last time they played the Colts, Jags won it with a record 59 yard FG in the closing seconds of the game.

The Jags always play well against the Colts and I am hoping today is no exception. GO JAGS!!!! It’s an important game for Jacksonville……

Nelsa on December 19, 2010 at 11:06 AM

good grief, benching McNabb may be totally stupid but it is not racist. Has anyone noticed that the Washington Redskins have other black players? that start? that are Pro-Bowlers?

the Skins need to bench Snyder.

kelley in virginia on December 19, 2010 at 11:12 AM

GO SAINTS !!! Who Dat Is Back !

sharkman on December 19, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Patriots w00t!!!

Keef Overbite on December 19, 2010 at 11:13 AM

as unlikely as it sounds, the Jaguars can actually clinch the AFC South with a win today at the Colts. It’ll be tough, but not unthinkable. They’re going to get a *big* dose of Maurice Jones-Drew today. He’s playing at an MVP-level right now.

Nobody expected the Jags to be here this late, including me. This team has overachieved this season, so I won’t be too bummed if we lose today, but sweeping Peyton would be a beautiful thing. Go Jags!

mikefln on December 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Fingers crossed!

Keef Overbite on December 19, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Ed,
You almost made me chuckle with that Rex the Wonderdog reference – we used to call him “Wrecks” Grossman back when he played for Da Bears. He was the single biggest reason that we lost to the Colts in the Super Bowl 4 years back – i can remember that game like yesterday.

Don’t follow football as regularly as i used to now that i am back home in India.So let me get this straight – McNabb is now No#3 on the depth chart for the Skins while Michael Vick is playing like an MVP? Wow…just wow.

nagee76 on December 19, 2010 at 11:14 AM

GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ladyingray on December 19, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Will there be music?

Cindy Munford on December 19, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Baltimore barely escaped Houston after David Schaub ran their defense almost into collapse in the fourth quarter.

It’s Matt Schaub, Ed. He’s made the Jaguars look bad enough times for me to remember his name.

mikefln on December 19, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Go TCF Bank Stadium! Very proud of what my school did in one week to help the Vikings out. Sure would be nice if some of the players would stop bitching and realize it.

gophergirl on December 19, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Fynxbell on December 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM

McNabb needs to blame Rush. He had a great season after the last episode.

TugboatPhil on December 19, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Hi Ed-Rodgers will not play tonight against the Pats. This was announced yesterday.

I think the Ravens will play the Saints tougher than you think, especially since it’s at Baltimore.

Will there be music?

Cindy Munford on December 19, 2010 at 11:26 AM

How about this? From last year, “A Saints Christmas” by Kermit Ruffins. Today’s Kermit’s birthday, by the way!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqgS_CNRnXg

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM

The Giants will have to play like the “good” Giants to win this. Hopefully people are starting to get a handle on Vick. Otherwise I think the G men will lose.

P.S. I’m a perpetually cynical Giants fan. It’s about the time in the season for them to crush my dreams again.

jnelchef on December 19, 2010 at 11:51 AM

what about the Jaguars you insensitive clod?

tlynch001 on December 19, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Cowboys vs Redskins. Both pathetically out of the playoff race. It’s all about NFC Beast pride now. GO COWBOYS!

dddave on December 19, 2010 at 12:06 PM

After last weeks thumping, I will refrain from saying….

Go Bears.

Knucklehead on December 19, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Packer / Pats game is in New England, not Green Bay.

Ray Flicker on December 19, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Don’t follow football as regularly as i used to now that i am back home in India.So let me get this straight – McNabb is now No#3 on the depth chart for the Skins while Michael Vick is playing like an MVP? Wow…just wow.

nagee76 on December 19, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Because God Himself is wearing Silver and Midnight Green, hehe.

thebrokenrattle on December 19, 2010 at 1:01 PM

GO PATRIOTS

tim c on December 19, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Titans are looking good so far!

ladyingray on December 19, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Vince who?

ladyingray on December 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Why does Peyton Manning always come up big against the Jaguars?

technopeasant on December 19, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Ruh-Roh, looks like I was right about the Saints-they’re down 21-7 to Baltimore nearing the end of the first half.

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Why does Peyton Manning always come up big against the Jaguars?

technopeasant on December 19, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Maybe the Jags arent that good? I saw they have 1 win against teams better than .500, and that was one win was against the Colts.

TheVer on December 19, 2010 at 2:35 PM

technopeasant on December 19, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Because the Jags suck? Just sayin’…

ladyingray on December 19, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Saints down by 3 with 2:00 left in the game…

C’mon Saints…really need you to pull this one out.

pennjazz on December 19, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Overcoming adversity… MY COLTS PULLING IT OFF!!!! WOOT!

BrainofS on December 19, 2010 at 4:18 PM

& Might I just add that I HOPE the Jets stomp the Steelers… Jus’ sayin!

BrainofS on December 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Vince who?

ladyingray on December 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Huh? What are you talking about?

capitalist piglet on December 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM

What a comeback by the Eagles!!! WOW!

SouthernGent on December 19, 2010 at 4:24 PM

E-A-G-L-E-S… Eagles!

Desean!!

Giants looked like the Dems in 2008 at the start of game and like the Dems in 2010 in the 4Q.

mankai on December 19, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Is it coincidence that Tebow emerges so close to Christmas? Hm…….

Fuquay Steve on December 19, 2010 at 10:49 AM

The fans were revolting. Women really like him there. Fingers crossed today.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on December 19, 2010 at 4:45 PM

The 3 black ex-players on the NFL network pregame show are claiming McNabb’s benching is a racial issue using Brett Farve’s handling in MN as an example. Any thoughts from the HA crew?

Fynxbell on December 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Don’t worry, they were equally upset when the Eagles benched Kevin Kolb in favor of Mike Vick.

/

mankai on December 19, 2010 at 4:47 PM

The 3 black ex-players on the NFL network pregame show are claiming McNabb’s benching is a racial issue using Brett Farve’s handling in MN as an example. Any thoughts from the HA crew?

Fynxbell on December 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Rush Limbaugh could not be reached for comment.

I was right-the Saints lost to end a 6 game winning streak. Only way to spin this loss is that it was to an AFC team. But 2 of their 4 losses this season have been to the AFC North (to Cleveland and now Baltimore). The only team in that division they have beaten by more than 4 points has been the Steelers.

Speaking of the AFC North, Cincy beat the Brownies 19-17 to win this year’s Pete Franklin Bowl Trophy! What an epic contest…

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2010 at 5:38 PM

My poor beloved Packers….
Who is Matt Flynn? I fear we will loose by forfeit…
Since we only have two QB’s.
My poor beloved Packers…
I think we will need three….
Super Bowl bound is not to be….

JimmyGee on December 19, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!

Eagles fans will be watching the highlight reel from today’s game with their pants at ankles’ length for the next few years. I was in total awe as to how Vick, Jackson, and the rest of the team just came from a seemingly insurmountable deficit and took it back from the Giants.

Ms. Sarah Louise, please take note. ;-)

itzWicks on December 19, 2010 at 7:13 PM

Jets beat Steelers! YES!

SouthernGent on December 19, 2010 at 7:13 PM

J-E-T-S!!!

BKeyser on December 19, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Southern….now tell me how the NFL wants the Steelers to win. How many interference non calls to the Jets get? How about a block in the back on the initial kickoff that was waived off. This truly is tiring. The only thing more annoying is the Steelers play calling.

CWforFreedom on December 19, 2010 at 7:16 PM

BKeyser enjoy your gift….feel better?

CWforFreedom on December 19, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Jets beat Steelers! YES!

SouthernGent on December 19, 2010 at 7:13 PM

All Bill Belichick’s fault!

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2010 at 7:26 PM

CWforFreedom on December 19, 2010 at 7:16 PM

According to the box score the penalties were pretty much equal for both teams-Jets had 3 for 19 yards, Steelers had 3 for 35 yards. One of the Jets penalties resulted in a Steelers first down.

One key to the game was that the Steelers’ QB was sacked 3 times for a total loss of 33 yards. On the other hand, Sanchez was only sacked once, for no loss.

No interceptions in the entire game, which is amazing.

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2010 at 7:33 PM

Good job, Jets. Congrats to the Ravens on a good game, too. And beat the Falcs in their house next week, NO!

Christien on December 19, 2010 at 7:34 PM

So who won that Eagles/Giants game?

Akzed on December 19, 2010 at 7:47 PM

Facing the starke jagged edge of reality that the Cowboys SUCKED this year, I have at least the face saving knowledge that they beat the Redskins. Not by much, but I’ll take that “W” anyway.

44Magnum on December 19, 2010 at 7:54 PM

So who won that Eagles/Giants game?

Akzed on December 19, 2010 at 7:47 PM

I heard the Giants lost on the last play of the game

ladyingray on December 19, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Dan Connolly!

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2010 at 9:58 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyMBPDch9As

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2010 at 11:52 PM

Eight minutes that shattered the Giants, had commentators speechless and the Meadowlands on its feet in disbelief.

Fly Eagles Fly :)
.

philly_PA on December 20, 2010 at 7:33 AM

Overcoming adversity… MY COLTS PULLING IT OFF!!!! WOOT!

BrainofS on December 19, 2010 at 4:18 PM

I can’t believe, on his first day back and after catching two touchdown passes, Collie sustains another freakin concussion. That boy is cursed. Oh well…next.

Extrafishy on December 20, 2010 at 8:39 AM

Yesterday i left post saying that i was surprised Michael Vick is playing like a MVP… and he goes on to lead the team to a 4th quarter comeback….. when they are down by 3 touchdowns ….with less than 8 minutes left….. on the road nonetheless..

I think that Tom Brady will finally win the MVP but Michael Vick is having one heck of a season…

Cant wait for the Sports Guy to come up with the “Manning Face” wisecracks.

nagee76 on December 20, 2010 at 11:56 AM