NFL Week 15 open thread

posted at 11:01 am on December 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Last week I traveled to Pittsburgh to watch my first Steeler game at Heinz Field.  I even painted up the dome to cheer them on, only to watch the unheralded San Diego Chargers thoroughly beat the Steelers 34-24, in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated.  Today, the Steelers travel to Dallas for a must-win game for both teams.  The Cowboys just came off a come-from-behind victory over the Bengals, but the Steeler defense will be stronger today.  The big question will be whether Pittsburgh’s offense can move the ball.  I’ll bet on a big comeback after last week’s embarrassment and a 27-17 win for Pittsburgh on the road.

Last week I went 4-2 again and moved my record to 60-27.  Here are this week’s picks, which I hope improve my score:

  • Packers at Bears (1 pm ET, Fox) – This should be a great game.  It’s one of the best rivalries in the NFL, both teams are playing for the division title, and both teams have been inconsistent this year.  Da Bears are tough at home, but I think Green Bay is ready to make another late-season run.  Packers 31, Bears 24.
  • Vikings at Rams (1 pm, Fox) – St. Louis has quietly become a competitive football team over the last couple of seasons, no longer the doormat they once were.  The Vikings have an outside shot at a wild-card slot, but they are a poor road team.  Rams 28-20 over the Vikes, but Adrian Peterson gets another 100+ yards.
  • Broncos at Ravens (1 pm, CBS) – This should be a very good game, pitting one of the greatest QBs of all time against a tough defense.  Baltimore has only lost once at home, but Denver has a 5-2 record on the road, and a pretty good defense themselves.  I’ll go with Peyton in this one, 24-20.
  • 49ers at Patriots (8:20 pm, NBC) – San Francisco has a QB controversy.  New England doesn’t, and they’re at home in the winter.  Pats 35-24 over the 49ers.
  • Jets at Titans (MNF, 8:30 pm, ESPN) -  The Jets are a tough team to peg.  The only thing consistent about them is their inconsistency.  Still, they’ve won their last two games, and Tennessee has lost their last three.  Jets in a dull plodder, 17-13.

 

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How are Duh Bears going to get 24 without a field-goal kicker? Heck, how are Duh Bears going to score three times?

Go Pack Go!

Steve Eggleston on December 16, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Oh, and Jazz is not pleased with the MNF pick. Oh well, blame that one on AP :-)

Steve Eggleston on December 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Involvement and commitment have been described as a bacon and egg breakfast. The Chicken is involved in the breakfast as it provides the eggs, the pig is 100 percent committed to the breakfast as it is the Bacon. You are a Chicken desperately attempting to become a pig Ed… ;P

SWalker on December 16, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Da Bears!

thebrokenrattle on December 16, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Does this mean that you’re a “dye” hard fan, Ed?

Scott P on December 16, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Last week I traveled to Pittsburgh to watch my first Steeler game at Heinz Field.

Thanks for inviting me, it’s not like I’m the only certified Steelers fan in Minnesota.

Steelers 49 – Enemy 3

Bishop on December 16, 2012 at 11:12 AM

As a Lion’s fan the only thing I have left to cheer for is watching Calvin Johnson break Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards record. Barring injury the odds are excellent that he will.

NotCoach on December 16, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Man, I don’t get the Steelers. They showed great form for three weeks in a row and again two weeks ago when they beat the Ravens in Baltimore, and then completely mailed it in against San Diego, who had never beaten them in Pittsburgh before.

My last hope is that they somehow get that form and become this year’s version of last year’s Giants.

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Now that the Saints have been eliminated from the playoff hunt, King Goodell has graciously hinted that he might reinstate Coach before the end of the season.

F-

He’ll need an army to guard him during Super Bowl Week in New Orleans, I Garontee.

Del Dolemonte on December 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Dallas: I’ll bet on a big comeback after last week’s embarrassment and a 27-17 win for Pittsburgh on the road.

My porcine intuition tells me Romo’s going to pull something special out of the bag today.

Steelers win 34-18.

CorporatePiggy on December 16, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Most quarterback controversies happen when the starting quarterback falters. The 49ers have a quarterback controversy because both quarterbacks are playing WELL.

aunursa on December 16, 2012 at 11:20 AM

As a Lion’s fan the only thing I have left to cheer for is watching Calvin Johnson break Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yards record. Barring injury the odds are excellent that he will.

NotCoach on December 16, 2012 at 11:12 AM

…I think we might win one today Coach…all my co-workers and family and friends aren’t on me anymore for smoking crack…because, I mentioned before the pre-season that they would be lucky to get to .500.

KOOLAID2 on December 16, 2012 at 11:22 AM

He’ll need an army to guard him during Super Bowl Week in New Orleans, I Garontee.

Del Dolemonte on December 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM

In that case, maybe the NFL should relocate the Super Bowl to a city where the fans DON’T honor bounties for causing injuries.

aunursa on December 16, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Del Dolemonte on December 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM

…where the he11 have you been?…good to see you!

KOOLAID2 on December 16, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Enemy 3

Bishop on December 16, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Gee thanks…

Well, y’all need something to do to kep from freezing up there.

They will have the weather to contend with though. Mid 70′s and sunny.

cozmo on December 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Go Vikings!

gophergirl on December 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM

…I think we might win one today Coach…all my co-workers and family and friends aren’t on me anymore for smoking crack…because, I mentioned before the pre-season that they would be lucky to get to .500.

KOOLAID2 on December 16, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Very disappointing season. They blew a lot of games this year.

NotCoach on December 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Go Steelers !!!!

CW on December 16, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Come on possible cornball brother!!!!!

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Opps, not playing, today. Come on pasty white kid!

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Come on possible cornball brother!!!!!

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM

(:->)
…Cousins will do MSU and the State of Michigan proud today…unlike pi$$head pinhead penile Parker!

KOOLAID2 on December 16, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Ed: next time, think “toupee”… story photo refers…

Khun Joe on December 16, 2012 at 11:54 AM

KOOLAID2 on December 16, 2012 at 11:44 AM

He is impressive, very smart move by Washington coaches. I just wish I could watch the game……I should have left for Virginia yesterday.

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Texans clinch AFC South today!

cartooner on December 16, 2012 at 11:58 AM

He is impressive, very smart move by Washington coaches. I just wish I could watch the game……I should have left for Virginia yesterday.

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Did you mean Ohio…? The game’s in Cleveland.

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM

The Ravens offense could make this game interesting. We all know what Peyton brings to the table but now that Cam Cameron has finally been let go maybe we can see a more consistent (and attacking) offense that puts teams away rather than letting them hang around and relying on the defense to save the day.

ManWithNoName on December 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I am going to Virginia for Christmas, Washington is considered the home town team. Their games are always shown. I live in Florida with three state teams and Atlanta more likely to be shown than Washington. Unless, obviously, they are playing one of those teams, which, obviously, they are not.

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Ahhh…I see, so you can watch it on TV. Got it.

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:13 PM

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Oh, sorry, I am too poor to consider actually going to a game. Although Jacksonville’s prices are reasonable.

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 12:22 PM

BOYCOTT THIS THREAD!

Jazz Shaw on December 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Please, no apologies needed (unless I misunderstand, which I am prone to do).

I don’t have the budget at the moment to attend a game. Although someday I would like to do what Ed did. Although I probably will skip the dome-painting. :)

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM

BOYCOTT THIS THREAD!

Jazz Shaw on December 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

How are you, sir?

JetBoy corrected me a few weeks ago.
I said these were tough days for Jets fans.
He said it’s a tough life for Jets fans.
Yikes!

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Rogers throws three INTs under pressure……Bears beat the Packers 27-20

Rams can’t stop Adrian Peterson……………Vikings beat the Rams 33-26

Even with no Rice, Ravens beat Broncos in a close one ………..23-16

Jets at Titans? Who cares?

The Falcons will beat the Giants because they’re unbeaten at home….34-20

AND, the 49ERS will defeat the Patriots tonight……………….27-19

Rovin on December 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM

maybe the NFL should relocate the Super Bowl to a city where the fans DON’T honor bounties for causing injuries.

aunursa on December 16, 2012 at 11:23 AM

?

You will have to give me some credible examples of Saints fans “honoring” the team for causing injuries, because I have absolutely no idea what you are babbling about. Did the fans throw the team a parade or something?

And as I recall, New Orleans was awarded this year’s Super Bowl long before Bountygate even took place.

Del Dolemonte on December 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Del Dolemonte on December 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM

…where the he11 have you been?…good to see you!

KOOLAID2 on December 16, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I’ve been here-spent much of yesterday in a headlines thread helping the others drop-kick sesquipedalian’s getalife into low Earth orbit.

Del Dolemonte on December 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I’ve seen Washington live a couple of times, in the olden days, RFK stadium. Soooo much fun.

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

BOYCOTT THIS THREAD!

Jazz Shaw on December 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Quick, somebody ge3t Jazz two beers and a shot of Jack, STAT, I think he’s going into defib… o_O

SWalker on December 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Even with no Rice, Ravens beat Broncos in a close one ………..23-16

Correction: Even with no Lewis…..

P.S. How about those killer defenses in the Nevada/Arizona game?

Rovin on December 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Quick, somebody ge3t Jazz two beers and a shot of Jack, STAT, I think he’s going into defib… o_O

SWalker on December 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Heh!

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM

The NFL games will observe a moment of silence to remember the victims in CT.

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Cool!
I went to see a DC United game for the first time in a while at RFK – it still has a lot of the famous Redskins’ names and numbers all over the place.

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Quick, somebody ge3t Jazz two beers and a shot of Jack, STAT, I think he’s going into defib… o_O

SWalker on December 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Heh!

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM

ROTFLMAO… As a San Diego Chargers fan, I am painful well acquainted with the symptoms… ;p

SWalker on December 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

what’d the $teelers give you for decorating your dome with their ad, Ed??/

ted c on December 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

The NFL games will observe a moment of silence to remember the victims in CT.

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

And FOX networks, have decided to postpone a couple of their animated series tonight due to content. But then they use Jamie Foxx as the spokesman in their bumper for their pregame show. Yeah. Jamie Foxx. The guy who a couple days ago said it was “fun” killing all the white people in his new movie.

But then again, these are the same networks that gave us “Temptation Island.”

Mitoch55 on December 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Mitoch55 on December 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Yeah, I was disappointed to see that intro. Oh well.

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 1:19 PM

22044 on December 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

My son has gone to see some soccer games up there also and he’s seen Washington at FedEx. That man would watch competitive ping pong.

Cindy Munford on December 16, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Colts are coming back this half. It will be pure Luck.

tommyboy on December 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Ed, I’m shocked that you missed this:

Forty years ago this week, steel mills in Pittsburgh were closing, the city was in a funk, & all they had were their Steelers…a team that was incredibly bad for almost all of their forty years up to that point.
But they were finally in the playoffs.
BUT they were losing 7-6, with 22 seconds left, on 4th down & 10.
QB Bradshaw (related to Jazz Shaw?) was almost sacked twice on this play…
BUT when he finally was able to throw the ball, well…
Some say it was the greatest play ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8IS7G7sT6w

itsnotaboutme on December 16, 2012 at 3:23 PM

ted c on December 16, 2012 at 1:07 PM

His money back? LOL!!

abobo on December 16, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Two observations: The Bears wouldn’t even be close in this game if not for some bone-head plays by the Packers. The Bears defense is really holding their own, but the their offense is totally inept.

And, I’ve totally misjudged the Ravens—-Flacco and his offense look just pathetic today.

Rovin on December 16, 2012 at 3:47 PM

What’s with the NFL refs in the Packers-Bears game? All season long neither the replacements nor the regulars seemed to comprehend what offensive pass interference is, you hardly see it called once or twiced all season, they missed one earlier in the half calling defensive pass interference instead and then they call it 3 times on the same Bears player in the same half. Not that I’m complaining cuz it sure has helped the Packers today and if if honks Bears fans it makes me happy. Now if only Mason Crosby could hit a field goal …

stukinIL4now on December 16, 2012 at 3:58 PM

All right Packers–NFC North Champs. Does this put the Bears one loss closer to bye-bye Lovie? He’s one of he most over-rated NFL coaches ever.

stukinIL4now on December 16, 2012 at 4:03 PM

YAY Packers !!!

Man those Falcons tore up the Giants … good gravy ….

conservative tarheel on December 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Rovin on December 16, 2012 at 3:47 PM

New Offensive Co Ord? Ravens about to become the Raiders East

A long view explains the Ravens at this point. The talented defense that brought one SB to Charm City was soon understood and the best teams soon learned how to keep the black birds down. They now have aged stars and have realized that they should have had better coach, offense, colors, etc. as time is running out. It has taken longer for their fall than I thought as Flacco is not as bad as he first looked and the durable nature of the D is amazing.

The rest of the season will turn on the production of QBs in almost every division. The Redskins, after a few decades of personnel stupidity, now have TWO sterling QBs and the best one may be a second string nobody who could win a SB!

Those TEXANS look real good.

IlikedAUH2O on December 16, 2012 at 4:17 PM

stukinIL4now on December 16, 2012 at 3:58 PM

It seems that the NFL hates the Bears at times. Actually, the coaches seem to go out every week thinking that films of DBs and refs are not important and that neither have tendencies or etc. The game ends predictably.

The good news is that the Slackers benefit and it helps them with their occasional failure to bring a defense along to the games.

There is also the fact that many football nuts profit since the Bears have cool looking sweaters and there are usually a cheap few on Ebay by Christmas, even some for kids who want to pretend to be Mike Ditka.

I don’t know who would want Packer stuff unless they worked on a state highway system or were color blind.

IlikedAUH2O on December 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Liked the Packers(-3), Vikings(+3), Broncos(-3), Niners(+5 1/2), and Titans(-1 1/2) this week. Niners have the advantage of having seen the Texans destroyed in New England last week – this game could be closer.

TouchdownBuddha on December 16, 2012 at 4:27 PM

unless something WAY WAY WAY BEYOND STUPID happens in the late games, Packers win that award this week (maybe even for the season). But a win is a win…

teejk on December 16, 2012 at 4:45 PM

IlikedAUH2O on December 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM
I just finshed talking to my daughter(skype). She was decked out in packers gear, from head to toe. How she wears that cheesehead on her little head is beyond me.(GO PACK)

flackcatcher on December 16, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I don’t know who would want Packer stuff unless they worked on a state highway system or were color blind.

IlikedAUH2O on December 16, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Those who like winners, I guess.

chewmeister on December 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Whoopee! The only televised game up here in NorCal this afternoon,

Chiefs vs Raiders

If it wasn’t raining I’d go out and watch some paint dry.

Rovin on December 16, 2012 at 5:23 PM

…I think we might win one today Coach…all my co-workers and family and friends aren’t on me anymore for smoking crack…because, I mentioned before the pre-season that they would be lucky to get to .500.

KOOLAID2 on December 16, 2012 at 11:22 AM

…ok! I take that back…11 minutes to go…Lions are down to St. Louis 24-10…we… r e a l l y…suck !

KOOLAID2 on December 16, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Hi Ed,

I empathize with superfans of any team.

So, how did you become a fan of the Steelers? I’d sincerely love to know.

Maybe you could write about it sometime.

Thanks

Hot Gas on December 16, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Dang Cowboys

cozmo on December 16, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Steelers go for the sweep of the Beast, come up short. The Boyz need 2 more wins to complete an utterly wacked out year.

Garym on December 16, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Hot Gas on December 16, 2012 at 7:13 PM

You become a fan of the Steelers by being born in Western Pennsylvania.

You read the book, A few bricks short then the seven or eight other books written after that.

Or you just like a team with the biggest collection of Lombardi Trophies and SB Films.

You then look up why Greta on FOX has this weird idea of dividing everyone into people who say Lambeau Field versus Lambert Field when talking about the venue Wisconsin. I never met anyone who said Lambert Field outside of her guests. I fear that people who like to mess with the heads of female attorneys are in a conspiracy about it with her as the target. You know, like the OJ jury couldn’t resist messing with Ms. Marcia Clark.

Those who like winners, I guess.

chewmeister on December 16, 2012 at 5:19 PM

Well, any fan of the US and capitalism would suspect what most most NFL dilettantes, don’t know. That is the Greatest Champs allow Chaos and Individualism.

The 72 Dolphins had no tight, standard uniform!

They won a few games in a decent season.

IlikedAUH2O on December 16, 2012 at 8:20 PM

I can’t believe they are cutting away from the Sunday night game between New England and San Francisco to play watch the reverend Obama to give a political sermon.

Dollayo on December 16, 2012 at 8:46 PM

GAME BALL, (SO FAR), 49ERS OFFENSIVE LINE

Rovin on December 16, 2012 at 9:41 PM

@IlikedAUH2O

IIRC, Kerry called it “Lambert Field” in his campaign appearance there in 2004, and was pilloried for it. Was in the same vein as his “Is this where I can get me a hunting license?”

ugottabekiddingme on December 16, 2012 at 9:45 PM

The guy in that picture needs to reevaluate his life. He looks utterly ridiculous.

echosyst on December 16, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Go 49ers!!(phew)

lexhamfox on December 17, 2012 at 12:13 AM

AND, the 49ERS will defeat the Patriots tonight……………….27-19
Rovin on December 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM

OK, so my score was off a bit, but WHAT A WIN!

Rovin on December 17, 2012 at 12:13 AM

After all these years, Chris Collinsworth’s voice is really starting to grate upon my nerves…why in this day and age do we not have a selective mute option?

WTG, 49ers! Maybe at some point in time defenses will learn that if they get in Brady’s face, he’ll buckle. Said that for years about Danny boy Marino.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 17, 2012 at 12:27 AM

…San Fran…New England…what a game!

KOOLAID2 on December 17, 2012 at 3:50 AM

Official Errors:

Two critical plays that were both terrible calls by the officials—-the pass interference call, (Brady to Brandon Lloyd), where it was obvious that Lloyd tripped over Terrell Brown’s feet in the end zone—should have been a “no-call”.

And the “Unnecessary Roughness” call against Deshon Goldson on a deep pass by Brady at 10:38 in the third quarter. Goldson’s perfectly clean hit on Hernandez resulted in the ball getting jarred loose and a Forty Niner picking the ball up in what should have been a catch, fumble, and Niner recovery. Replays show this play was a gross error on the official’s part.

That said, Harbaugh and the Niners went into a “prevent defense” way too early, (basically the whole second half), against the best QB in the game. The “come-back”—LaMichael James 62 yard kickoff return and the 38 yard TD pass to Crabtree, showed how much poise Kaepernick has in his arsenal when a game’s on the line. The Forty Niners could have easily lost their composure and folded at the end of the game when it appeared that New England could not be stopped. The back to back sacks by Ray McDonald and Justin Smith replacement Ricky Francois were huge as the Niner defense FINALLY put the brakes on what might have been a disastrous meltdown/loss.

Bottom line: Big win by the Niners in Foxboro where the Pats haven’t lost in December since the early 2000′s. Hopefully, the Niner defense will play all four quarters against the Seahawks next Sunday night.

Rovin on December 17, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 17, 2012 at 12:27 AM

Doc,

Marino had two three things going for him during most of his career—a fairly good offensive line, good receivers, and his patented quick release. After Montana and the Niners defeated the Dolphins, (in 1985 38-16), I really thought we’d see Marino in more Superbowls—as did many others. I think the Miami defenses thru most of his career were terrible when Marino could put 30 points up on a regular basis and still lose by ten.

Rovin on December 17, 2012 at 10:38 AM