It is week 15 of the NFL season and if you’re a fan of a mediocre team this year, make sure to savor these last few weeks because September is pretty far away. Luckily for me, my team decided to be good this year and have already clinched a playoff spot, so I have at least four weeks left, although Cowboys fans obviously have our fingers crossed for more. I’m doing something different today; instead of picking winners and losers of every tired game in the league today I’ve looked at the schedule and picked six that I think hold the most entertainment potential, and will then pick the winner of those respectively. So, without further ado, I bring to you the inaugural Pick Six.
6. New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (3:25 pm)
This game is interesting to me because right now the Broncos are fighting for their life, in the best division in professional football right now. Technically they are in the hunt, but despite what people in Denver might believe, I’m not buying into all that. If it were a different year and the Chiefs and Raiders were the Chiefs and Raiders I grew up watching, then Denver wouldn’t have anything to worry about, but unfortunately for them, that’s just not the case. Sitting at 8-5 they are the heir apparent to the second wild card spot, should Miami fall off in the final weeks of the season, and while I think this absolutely could happen, I don’t think Denver will be in the position to stake their claim in the playoffs. They will finish the season 0-3, starting with a loss at home to New England today.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (12:00 pm)
As it stands right now, Pittsburgh leads their division, but they are by no means out of reach in the scrappy AFC North. They travel to Cincy today to take on a Bengals team that is a far cry from what their fans have come to expect over the past few years, mediocrity winning the battle so far, but somehow they are still in the playoff hunt and while I don’t think they make the playoffs and their coach doesn’t make it to next season, they would love nothing more than to beat their divisional rivals today. The Steelers have managed to right their ship, at least for the time being, but I think they lose on the road today in a close game.
4. Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings (12:00 pm)
My whole mom’s side of the family; brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother, all made the long drive from Arkansas to Minnesota yesterday and are going to this game today, but besides the fact that I might see them on TV there is another reason I believe this game will be a really good one, the home team will get upset. The Vikings are a five point favorite and their MVP running back, Adrian Peterson returns to the field today, so what could go wrong? I think Andrew Luck, desperate to turn the season around is going to go into Minneapolis and have the game of his career today, plus despite having a pretty bad year, the Colts haven’t lost two in a row this season, and I don’t think they start today.
3. Detroit Lions at New York Giants (12:00 pm)
Right now with both teams sitting at an impressive 9-4 record, only one of these teams is atop their division, the Detroit Lions. I’ve always been a fan of Matt Stafford but I’m actually pretty shocked out how well the Lions are doing this year, and I’m sure that I’m not alone. This is a huge test for Detroit, playing a Giants team who found a way to beat Dallas for the second time, last week on national TV. It’s a home game for the Giants and their fans are desperately hoping for a playoff spot, which they do have, for now, as a wildcard, but don’t expect them to take their foot off the gas pedal anytime soon. I’m taking the Giants to win at home.
2. Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (12:00 pm)
From what I’ve seen so far this year, I think the Titans may be a team that can go from anonymity to serious contender within the course of a couple years, and while I don’t think this is their year with the AFC as stacked as it is, they are certainly on the right track. That being said, I think their matchup against the Chiefs will be an interesting one to watch, to see how Mariota and the Titans handle playing with the big boys of the conference. I think it will be a good game, one that Kansas City will ultimately win, but don’t expect the Titans to just roll over.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (7:30 pm)
What have I done to deserve such great fortune? The Cowboys playing on national TV for the second week in a row is an amazing gift, one that sets the expectations high for the rest of the christmas season. Dallas lost last week in what was the worst game I’ve seen their rookie quarterback play this season, and it wasn’t just about the interceptions, but more about the fact that he was unable to complete a pass downfield with the exception of their only touchdown, which is not a good sign as we approach the playoffs. I’m interested to see how the kid bounces back tonight (that’s right I can call him kid because I’m older), and handles a tough Tampa Bay defense that has found its rhythm at the right time. I think the Buccaneers are a good team and could make it a close game, but I’m standing behind my team this week and picking the Cowboys to get the home win.