NFL Week 15 open thread

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.