On the Record: Week 15 Game Picks

On the Record: Week 15 Game Picks

Week 14 was full of surprises! From the Miami Miracle to the Oakland Raiders upsetting the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Chiefs and Saints clinched playoff spots and many teams were eliminated for playoff contention. Welcome back for another segment of “On the Record” with Ian and Cameron! Our Game Changer Sports Network football experts Ian and Cameron against the top sports broadcasters in an NFL pick-ems competition.  Let’s see how the NFL experts from around the league did last week:

Dave Richard CBS: 11-5 ; 140-66-2
Mike Clay ESPN: 10-6 ; 137-69-2
Elliot Harrison NFL: 10-6 ; 138-68-2
Nathan Jahnke PFF:  9-7 ; 138-68-2
Ian Zimmerman GCSN: 11-5 ; 138-68-2
Cameron Riggs GCSN: 10-6 ; 127-79-2

As teams get eliminated from the playoffs some picks are getting easier, but it’s also upset season. Divisional rivals love to deliver low blows to teams heading to the playoffs. Last week Cameron got back on track picking up a game on Pro-Football-Focus expert Nathan Jahnke. Ian went 11-5 moving himself into a 3-way tie for 2nd place with the biggest names in sports! Since Ian picked up another game on Cameron we’ll hear from him first!  Let’s see what our GCSN Experts have to say during this week’s segment of “On the Record”:

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Thursday Night Football
Las Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
A divisional battle between two of the heavy-weights in the AFC. The Chargers and Chiefs are both top 5 in the league in points per game. Both teams have high powered offenses, but defense is a different story. The Chiefs have one of the worst defenses in the league allowing the 5th most points and the 3rd most yards per game. The Chargers on the other hand have one of the better defenses in the league allowing just 20 points per game and only 331 yards per game. The Chiefs have only beat 3 teams above .500 and struggled last week against the Ravens. This is going to be an exciting game!

My Prediction: I believe the Chargers have the most complete team in the AFC and a defense with the ability to slow this Chiefs offense. Phillip Rivers throws for 3 touchdowns and 300+ yards.

LAC 31 – KC 28

This game should definitely be an interesting one, as both of these teams are on fire this season. The Chiefs have been in tight games the last couple weeks, winning by only a touchdown against Oakland and going to OT against Baltimore. I think that the loss of Kareem Hunt is getting to them. Phillip Rivers has been having an amazing season, and his wide receivers have been a huge part of that. Keenan Allen is on pace to have the most receptions of his career. Melvin Gordon is questionable for this game but I don’t think he makes too much of a difference in this game.

My Prediction: Last week I told Ian that I think if the Chargers win this game, they’ll win the division. Tonight begins the Chargers push for the top. Neither QB throws an interception but the Chargers outwork the Chiefs on their way to a win.

LAC 34- KC 31

tex and hou

Saturday Games
Houston Texans @ New York Jets
The Texans had a slight hick-up last week but look to bounce back from that in New York. Last week the Jets picked up a big win in Buffalo! Big win in Buffalo? The fact that I have say that says everything you need to know about the Jets. The Texans are still first in their division and look to hold on to that this week.

My Prediction: Houston needs to win to get themselves back on track. The Texans defense will have 3 turnovers and Watson will throw for 3 touchdowns.

HOU 27 – NYJ 17

The Texans’ nine-game win streak came to an end last week against the Colts. However, the Colts are not the Jets. Deshaun Watson became good friends with the turf in NRG Stadium last week, so this week I look for him to throw a lot of shorter passes to his WRs and RBs. The Jets are coming off a come from behind win against Buffalo in which Sam Darnold threw for a mediocre 170 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. JJ Watt has returned with a vengeance this season with 12.5 sacks through 13 games (tied for third in the league).

My Prediction: The Texans get back on their winning ways behind 175 yards on the ground combined from Watson, Blue and Miller.

HOU 37- NYJ 20

 

Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos
Just when I was starting to think the Broncos were getting good they blew it against the 49ers. The Browns however surprised a lot of people with a win against Carolina. I was one of the few who chose to roll with the Browns and it paid off. Baker Mayfield is playing unbelievable, and this Cleveland defense has been strong all year. Case Keenum will need to start playing better if the Broncos want to have success. He is 28th in overall QBR and bottom 15 in yards and touchdowns. Denver is a tough place to go and play so we’ll see how Baker Mayfield does on the road.

My Prediction: This game boils down which offense will preform the best. Baker Mayfield throws for 250-yards and 2 touchdowns.

CLE 24 – DEN 20

The Broncos were looking like a threat to compete for a playoff spot until getting knocked off by San Francisco last week. Meanwhile, things are looking pretty promising in The Land right now behind a stellar group of young talent. Baker Mayfield has completed 64.3% of his passes this season, throwing for 2,877 yards, 19 TDs and 10 INTs. On the other side, Case Keenum is completing 61.8% of his passes for 3,139 yards, 15 TDs and 10 INTs. Both teams are anchored defensively by dominant pass rushing; Von Miller has 13.5 sacks on the year for Denver and Myles Garrett has 12.5 for Cleveland. Expect both QBs, although mobile, to be on the turf a lot this game at Mile High.

My Prediction: The altitude will be Cleveland’s downfall this week. There will be at least three FGs from 50 yards, but the Broncos take it at home.

DEN 24- CLE 20

mack rodgers

Sunday Noon Games
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
I was one of the two people who picked the Bears to win last week. The Packers won the first match-up between these two, but things have changed. The Bears have quickly emerged as one of the best in the NFC, and the Packers have fallen to 5-7-1 which is only a half game ahead of last place in their division. The Bears defense is one of the best in the league. They force more turnovers and score more than any other defense in the league. If the Bears win Sunday, they can clinch the division.

My Prediction: Sorry Packers fans but I think your season is over. Mitch Trubisky gets the Bears there first divisional championship since 2010.

CHI 27 – GB 21

These two teams are in the exact opposite positions of what everyone expected of them at the start of the year. This Bears defense is unbelievable. They’re 3rd in the NFL in yards against (309.9 per game), top 10 in rushing yards and passing yards allowed, only allow 19 points per game, have 40 sacks and 34 takeaways (6 more than any other team). The Packers are 1-0 under interim coach Joe Philbin and look to continue their winning ways in the windy city. Blake Martinez is second in the NFL in tackles right now with 118 and rookie Jaire Alexander is looking like he could be the next household name for CBs in the NFC. Divisional games are always fun, especially in the Black and Blue Division.

My Prediction: The Bears at home are too much for Green Bay, who won their first matchup on a last minute drive by Rodgers. Trubisky gets his revenge and throws for 250, runs for 75 and they get the W.

CHI 27- GB 20

 

Detroit Lions @ Buffalo Bills
Hmmm, this is an interesting game. Both teams have been perfectly mediocre this season. The Lions are 2-4 on the road and the Bills are 2-4 at home. Both offenses have struggled and are bottom 10 in the league in terms of points and yards per game. The defenses have been the main reason these teams are able to hang in these games. The Bills allow the fewest yards per game and have forced 20 turnovers. I am expecting a very low scoring game.

My Prediction: I’m rolling the dice on this one, I need to if I want to take over first place! Give me the LIONS!

DET 20 – BUF 16

The Lions are coming off a win against a win against the Cardinals in which Darius Slay had a pick-6. This week they play a bit different and more talented of a rookie QB in Josh Allen, who leads their team in rushing yards as the QB. Allen hasn’t had much success this season in the air, throwing for only 5 TDs and 9 INTs. Matt Stafford has gotten sacked roughly 150 times this year and this Bills D is underrated, only allowing 305 yards per game this season. Look for a ground heavy game in the cold of New York.

My Prediction: Detroit allows 100 on the ground to Josh Allen but they still get the win on the road. Stafford has 0 turnovers on their way to a W.

DET 20- BUF 17

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Baltimore Ravens
I am 1-3 in games with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. I have picked against him every game, but not this week. I have been very impressed with the young quarterback. He almost lead the Ravens to a win last week in Kansas City. The Buccaneers blew a nice lead last week at home, but Winston has been playing well. This should be a hard fought game.

My Prediction: Lamar Jackson continues his successful rookie campaign with another home win! Jackson throws for 220-yards and 2 touchdowns.

BAL 27 – TB 24

The Ravens are my least favorite team in the NFL right now because they currently hold the 6 seed in the AFC playoff picture and I’m a big Colts fan so this is tough. They have a scary defense- they have only allowed 18.5 points per game and allow 314 yards per game. Tampa Bay is putting up 25.5 points per game this season with a very pass-heavy offense, throwing for close to 350 yards per game. The Ravens are giving the nod to Lamar Jackson for this one, and it’ll be Joe Flacco’s first game of his NFL career coming off the bench.

My Prediction: The Ravens are too good to pick against but if I end up losing this pick but the Bucs win, I’ll be perfectly content with it. The Ravens pick off Jameis Winston 3 times on their way to a W.

BAL 30- TB 24

 

Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons
Dear Josh Rosen, we are still waiting for you to prove us all wrong. Until the Cardinals rookie QB starts playing better they’re in trouble. Rosen has thrown 12 interceptions and only 10 touchdowns. Atlanta is looking to make this season a little less embarrassing.

My Prediction: If the Falcons blow this game someone will need to be fired. I’m thinking a defensive coordinator. Matt Ryan is a good QB but you can’t win games without defense.

ATL 28 – ARI 23

The Cardinals just might be worse than the Raiders… and that’s saying something. I was a huge advocate for Sam Bradford to keep the starting job because Josh Rosen in my opinion is awful and won’t last for more than 4 years. The Falcons are 0-5 in their last 5 but have been somewhat competitive in a few of those. This game is my pick for Toilet Bowl of the Week.

My Prediction: Atlanta picks up a win behind 150 yards from Julio Jones.

ATL 26- ARI 10

 

Oakland Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Raiders have shown bits of solid play these last few weeks and the Bengals have lost five games in a row. Without Dalton and Green I have to give Oakland the edge.

My Prediction: I am very uncomfortable with this pick. The Raiders have a tendency to screw me. Derek Carr continues to play well without throwing any interceptions.

OAK 24 – CIN 17

I never thought I’d do it this year… but I’ve given Oakland consideration in this game. The Bengals aren’t a bad team but without Andy Dalton and AJ Green, they’re a weak opponent. I did say I’ll always keep the Raiders talk short…. And I think they get a W this week.

My Prediction: I don’t know why I’m picking Oakland, but I have a gut feeling on this one. Their defense gets 4 sacks on their way to a W.

OAK 20- CIN 10

 

Tennessee Titans @ New York Giants
This is going to be an interesting matchup. The Titans are still in contention for a playoff spot, and the Giants have started to heat up. The Titans offense has been struggling to score touchdowns this year but last week they manhandled the Jaguars. Derek Henry went off and got the Titans moving back in the right direction. The Giants have rookie RB Saquon Barkely to thank for most of their success. This game is going to boil down to which offensive line plays better.

My Prediction: I don’t think the Titans offense has the fire power to keep up with the Giants. Saquon Barkely scores 2 TD’s and has 150 yards from scrimmage.

NYG 26 – TEN 20

The Giants offense has been booming lately as they’ve won 4 of their last 5 games. Tennessee has won their last two as well to help keep their playoff hopes alive. The difference for me in this game is the RB abilities. Derrick Henry just had one of the best RB performances this decade, but Saquon Barkley is arguably the best RB in the league right now. If teams can’t shut him down, they’re doomed against this Giants team that has finally found their rhythm. They will, however, be without OBJ for the second week in a row.

My Prediction: The Giants continue their winning ways behind 200 yards from scrimmage from Barkley.

NYG 30- TEN 24

 

Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins is the most overrated and overpaid player in the league. I said it at the beginning of the year when the Vikings fans were running around yelling “Super Bowl Bound!” Captain Kirk is good but his inability to win the tough games is detrimental. The Vikings fired John DeFilippo after only 13-games with the team. Instead of putting any blame on Mike Zimmer the Vikings continue to deflect the blame elsewhere. I’m disappointed in them. The Dolphins are 7-6 with their eyes on a wildcard spot. After a huge win in Miami last week the Dolphins look to keep the ball rolling in Minnesota.

My Prediction: I’m not happy with the Vikings upper management but the Dolphins have only won 1 game on the road this year.

MIN 27 – MIA 23

This game is a must-win for both teams involved. Playoff hopes are at stake for both franchises. The Dolphins are coming off a huuuuge win against New England, and Minnesota is coming off an embarrassing loss to Seattle that resulted in the firing of now former OC John Defilippo. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are both in the top 6 in the NFL for targets. My personal opinion is that Kirk Cousins isn’t getting nearly enough heat for the Vikings struggles.

My Prediction: Minnesota at home gets a win behind an increased running attack. Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray combine for 130 and 2 TDs.

MIN 27- MIA 23

 

Dallas Cowboys @ Indianapolis Colts
Last week the Cowboys should have lost to the Eagles. The officiating in the NFL is at an all-time low. This week in Indianapolis they won’t be so lucky. The Colts knocked off the Texans last week and look to end another win streak this week.

My Prediction: Someone needs to slow down these Cowboys and I believe the Colts have what it takes. Andrew Luck has another big game throwing for 250+ yards and 2 TDs.

IND 27 – DAL 23

This game is the most important one of the season for Indy. If they win, they have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs, just one season after having an embarrassing season in which their only wins came against the 0-16 Browns, the 49ers in their pre-Jimmy G era, and two wins against Houston, both without JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson. Their 2018 draft class is arguably the best in the NFL, lead by soon to be Pro Bowlers G Quentin Nelson and LB Darius Leonard. The Cowboys have been white hot lately, 5-0 in their last 5.

My Prediction: The Colts are going to focus in stopping Zeke as they win their 7th game in their last 8 games. Dak Prescott becomes real close friends with the turf behind sacks from 4 different Colts.

IND 30- DAL 20

 

Washington Redskins @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Injuries at the quarterback position have destroyed the Redskins chances at a playoff spot. Whether it be Mark Sanchez or Josh Johnson at the helm, it doesn’t matter this Jaguars secondary is outstanding.

My Prediction: The Redskins will have more turnovers than the Jaguars will have touchdowns.

JAX 27 – WAS 17

The Redskins are without a competitive quarterback and the Jags D has been hit or miss this season. They’re allowing over 120 yards per game on the ground this season and AP has had a good year so far, closing in on 1,000 yards (872 currently) with 7 TDs. The Jaguars rushing attack hasn’t been anything like it was last season, due in part to injury and suspension to Leonard Fournette. I chose the Falcons-Cardinals game for Toilet Bowl of the week but this was a close 2nd.

My Prediction: The Jags dominate on defense and bully around the depleted Redskins offense. They get 6 sacks.

JAX 28- WSH 10

 

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Sunday 3:00 Games
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
The Seahawks were so close to shutting out the Vikings last week. Their defense has played surprisingly well despite the injuries. The Seattle run-game continues to be the best in the league led by 2nd year runningback Chris Carson. Nick Mullens has been a very good replacement for the injured Jimmy G. Seattle is on a 4-game win streak with a firm grip on a wildcard spot. This week they can set themselves further apart from the others with a win.

My Prediction: The Seattle defense puts pressure on Nick Mullens and forces 2 turnovers.

SEA 23 – SF 17

The Seahawks are a scary team this season. They allow a lot of yards (over 375 per contest) but they make up for it with an aggressive front 7 and few points allowed (20.5) per game. Russell Wilson has been very efficient this year (29 TDs and 6 INTs). Nick Mullens has slowed since his first game dominance against Oakland, but has thrown for almost 1,500 yards, 9 TDs and 6 INTs. George Kittle has 69 receptions for 1,103 yards and 4 TDs. Expect him to be in the Pro Bowl.

My Prediction: The Seahawks continue rolling and they run for 150 and two scores.

SEA 30- SF 14

 

New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Patriots looked like they had the game wrapped up in Miami, then they put Gronk in on defense. The Miami Miracle will haunt the dreams of Patriots fans for a long time. The Steelers have now dropped 3-games in a row and are on the verge of dropping to second in the division. Pittsburgh with also be without star runningback James Conner again this week. The Patriots currently hold onto the 2nd seed and would love to have a first round bye.

My Prediction: This game could go either way. Without Conner the Steelers will rely heavily on Big Ben and his play recently has been suspect. Tom Brady takes control of this game and throws 3 TD’s.

NE 30 – PIT 26

Both of these AFC teams are currently in the playoff picture but the Steelers are slipping, losing three in a row, one to Oakland. The Patriots lost their last game to Miami on a last second lateral to Kenyan Drake. Both teams score around 28 points per game and average over 400 yards per game on offense. JuJu Smith-Schuster currently has 91 receptions for 1,234 yards and 6 TDs and AB has 12 TDs on 86 receptions for 1,063 yards.

My Prediction: The Pats continue their push for a bye week in the playoffs by beating Pittsburgh. Their special teams is what wins this game for them.

NE 30- PIT 24

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Sunday Night Football
Philadelphia Eagles @ Las Angeles Rams
“Here lies Squidwards hopes and dreams.” Well Squidward save a space for mine because this year is a wrap. Now that the Eagles are pretty much done, I don’t feel bad picking against them. Who knows where I could be if I hadn’t been so loyal to them. First place maybe? Now that I’m within reach of the #1 spot there is no room for error. With Carson Wentz out and all of the other injuries to the team its very unlikely they win in LA.

My Prediction: 0% of the experts are picking the Eagles. I think that’s a sign. Rams.

LAR 34 – PHI 20

Philly’s playoff hopes are all but gone; they need to win out and need a lot of help, but now star QB Carson Wentz looks to be out for the season with a broken vertebra. The Rams are coming off a tough loss to Chicago at Soldier Field but now they’re back at home with Sean McVay scheming to defeat the always tough Eagles. Todd Gurley has had an exceptional season thus far with 1,203 yards, 15 rushing TDs and 4 receiving TDs. For the Eagles RBs, Corey Clement was placed on the IR, leaving the workload on Josh Adams, who is averaging 5 yards per carry.

My Prediction: The Rams get back on the winning track and take it to Philly, officially ending their playoff hopes. Goff throws for 400 and 3 TDs.

LAR 35- PHI 24

saints pathers

Monday Night Football
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
The Saints fell into a bit of a slump these last weeks, but it is nothing like the slump the Panthers have had. After starting 6-2 the Panthers have lost 5 in a row and are on the verge of missing the playoffs. The Saints are still in contention for home field advantage and finally started to get back into their grove at the end of the Tampa Bay game. The Panthers would love to play spoiler but I don’t know if they have it in them.

My Prediction: The Saints Offense goes for 350-yards and 4 touchdowns in an effort to claim home field advantage through the playoffs.

NO 34 – CAR 27

New Orleans is coming off a big come from behind win against Tampa Bay, and Carolina has lost their last 5 in a row. Their loss to Pittsburgh exposed all of their flaws and teams have jumped all over it. Both defenses allow fewer than 100 yards per game on the ground and both rushing attacks gain over 125 yards on offense. The Saints score 34.4 points per game, and the Panthers allow 25.5 points per game, so I expect the Saints to put up big points in this one.

My Prediction: Michael Thomas catches 12 for 130, Kamara rushes for 2 TDs and the Saints get a big win.

NO 38- CAR 20

We have the right to update the article up until the start of each game!

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https://nflpickwatch.com/

 

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=2&offensiveStatisticCategory=GAME_STATS&conference=ALL&role=TM&season=2018&seasonType=REG&d-447263-s=TOTAL_YARDS_GAME_AVG&d-447263-o=2&d-447263-n=1

 

https://www.nfl.com/standings

http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/nfl-kansas-city-chiefs-qb-patrick-mahomes-next-philip-rivers-los-angeles-chargers-2018-preview-stats-analysis/14qinvf6mwteg13v4z29q9rc5d

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap3000000588430/Inside-the-NFL-Jets-vs-Texans-highlights

https://wgntv.com/2018/09/09/packers-aaron-rodgers-injured-leaves-games-on-cart/

https://steelerswire.usatoday.com/2017/12/13/steelers-vs-patriots-time-tv-schedule-and-game-information/

https://www.turfshowtimes.com/2017/12/10/16759850/los-angeles-rams-35-philadelphia-eagles-37-welcome

https://nypost.com/2018/01/06/count-on-young-talent-to-lift-saints-over-panthers/

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