Pick 6 week 15

Apr 23, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers fan Dan Jauregui aka Boltman poses with Charger fans during rally to gather signatures for citizen's initiative for downtown stadium and convention center expansion. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The weather outside might make you want to pull out your Eskimo gear, but the race to the playoffs is warmer than a nice cup of hot chocolate. This season has been full of twists, turns, surprises, and a list of other unimaginable circumstances. I’m sure legend Eric Dickerson is smiling up a storm for the holidays because he received his Christmas wish when the Rams decided to fire Jeff Fisher this week. What was the point of reporting the extension this off season then? Thus the reason why the Rams have been terrible since 2000. Aaron Rodgers could be the next prophet. He proclaimed that the Pack could run the table following a 4-6 record through week 11. The team is now over .500 following a shocking demolition of the Seattle Seahawks. Could Green Bay be the dark horse team heading down the stretch? Lions beware. How about those Tampa Bay Buccaneers? The young Bucs have flown under the radar all season, but now we do need to show them some love. The Falcons have secured the NFC South for much of the year, but Tampa could shock the world and win the division thanks to the play of Jameis Winston. There might be cause for concern if you’re a fan of the defending champs. The Broncos were exposed by the rushing attack of the Titans on Sunday. A championship level defense can’t surrender 180 yards on the ground. The Titans punched Denver in the mouth. If the Broncos are going to make it back to the Big One, the 24th ranked rushing defense is going to need to improve. The major news that has come out this week is that it appears more and more likely that the Chargers are moving to LA. There is a tentative agreement that the Chargers and Rams will share the lease in LA for the next few years. This is so disheartening it leads me into this week’s Extra Point.

As a loyal fan of the San Diego Chargers, the news of the team potentially moving to the City of Angels is a kick to the gut. There is nothing like the Powder Blue jerseys and Chris Berman’s commentary of “The San Diego Super Chargers”. What can top that? The Chargers have called San Diego home since 1961. The city of San Diego has embraced this team from its conception. Can the city put together the funds to keep the team? The reports are the city and the team are a good $400 million apart when it comes to renewing the lease and building a new stadium downtown. Here’s my take on things; the Chargers need to stay in San Diego. The city needs the influx of revenue that comes from the Chargers and the Padres. The city would suffer considerably without the help of two sports franchises. Why does Los Angeles need another sports franchise when there is already the Dodgers, Clippers, Lakers, Angels, LA Kings, Rams and the LA Galaxy? The city has enough going on when it comes to sports teams. I understand that LA is the biggest sports market in the world other than New York. However, every team doesn’t need to take the magical trip to LA so that the NFL and the owners can make more money. Yes business is all about the almighty dollar, but some things are better left alone and I truly feel like it would be in the best interest to keep the Bolts in San Diego. The city needs the team and the Chargers in San Diego is what is best for business. This is my Extra Point.

The dust has settled but there is always room for laughter. Here we come and here we go with another week of Mr. T’s Fools of the Week. We go to the Link as the Eagles and Redskins battled it out in the NFC East. Inside the 3rd quarter and Washington is down by 3, Cousins drops back, surveys the field, and throws the deep ball to DeSean Jackson who burns the defense making his way to pay dirt. It’s always sweet coming back home and showing the fans I still got it. D-Jax worked over Leodis McKelvin leaving him looking up at his cleats instead of making the tackle. McKelvin deserves number three on this week’s Fools of the Week. For number two, we head down to Carolina as the Panthers hosted the visiting Chargers. Let’s go inside the 2nd quarter as Johnathan Stewart takes the carry up the right side breaks a tackle, then it appears corner Jahleel Addae has made the tackle. However, Stewart rolls, somersaults over his leg without hitting the ground, and picks up ten more yards on the carry. Amazing show of athleticism which I’m sure left Addae frozen in awe or froze with embarrassment because you my friend just got number two on this week’s Fools of the Week. Finally for number one, we head to the Meadowlands for Giants and Cowboys. Could the G-Men shut down the Boys again? As the 3rd quarter winds down, Eli drops back to pass and finds OBJ with the quick slant, he goes into star mode in Super Mario World, and runs into the end zone while adding a little Michael Jackson kick and moonwalk to show Brandon Carr why he will never be Dancing with the Stars. I know what he will be on. Brandon Carr plays the fool and I mean the number one fool on this week’s Fools of the Week.

It’s always good to receive and it’s always great to share. As the drum roll begins for another edition of the Stop playin awards. And the winner for the Stop playin awards goes to… Michael Floyd formerly of the Arizona Cardinals. Mr. Floyd you seriously need to stop playin. You had this planned out all along in my book. If you didn’t hear the story, let me recap. The Arizona Cardinals released the wide out from Notre Dame on Wednesday following a Monday morning arrest for DUI. He truly was underachieving this season in the desert. He was looked at the heir apparent to Larry Fitzgerald when he did decide to hang up the cleats. Now Floyd gets a shot of redemption in what I like to call “The Land of Opportunity”. That place is Boston and that team is the New England Patriots who claim him off waivers on Thursday. I smell a set up. I believe that Floyd set this up to play side by side with his summer workout partner and Patriots corner Logan Ryan. I could be wrong, but that’s what it is smelling like in my nostrils. Floyd and his agent planned this because he didn’t want to play on a losing team and wanted to see if he could make the playoffs now instead of wait for next season with Arizona’s playoff chances at slim to none. You can’t convince me otherwise. You’re not pulling the wool over my eyes sir, but you do need to stop playin! All that being said, Michael Floyd congrats on being another award winner of the Stop playin awards of the week.

This past weekend, it shocked me to be honest. Some of the games that I picked, I didn’t think they would play out that way. Just got to dust off the disappointment of another 3-4 week which brings the overall record for the season to 43-51-1. This is ugly. It’s really time to push it up the next gear. I’m ready and here are the week 15 picks.

Los Angeles vs Seattle
It’s still an adjustment with the Rams back in the Golden State and the team will need to adjust quickly as the organization decided to part ways with Jeff Fisher after a laughable display of effort on Sunday against the Falcons. I know Eric Dickerson is smiling from ear to ear upon hearing the news of Fisher’s dismal. Maybe he might find a way to become the coach of the team since he has found his way into the headlines of the team a number of times over the past few weeks. The Rams offense desperately needs to be resuscitated because it has been a horrible sight to behold all season long. The Rams have the worst offense in the NFL. I’m sure the offensive coordinator is going to be fired at the end of the season. The Rams defense is the lone bright spot in a return back to Cali that has been more of a nightmare than a celebration. The Seahawks will look to rebound after a shocking and uncharacteristic performance in Green Bay. Russell Wilson had his worst game as a pro with 5 interceptions. Yes I said 5 interceptions! He came into the game with 5 all season. The defense couldn’t stop a revived Pack Attack with Jordy Nelson looking and playing like Jordy Nelson again. The Rams offense isn’t Green Bay and won’t be able to put up much of a fight. Seahawks soar above the rush of the Rams.

Seahawks 27 Rams 10

Miami vs New York Jets
The Fins are in the hunt for the AFC wildcard, but they are going to need a lot of help if they are going to find a way in. The chances are grim after the team released news that quarterback Ryan Tannehill sprained his ACL and MCL after a win against the Arizona Cardinals. Some may feel like Tannehill hasn’t earned his contract extension from this past off season, but the quarterback from Texas A&M has rocked steady for Miami. Tannehill post numbers of 19 touchdowns, 12 interceptions while passing for 2,995 yards plus a completion percentage of 67.1 which is a career-best. The emergence of running back Jay Ajayi has added an extra dimension to an offense in need of some punch following years of an unbalanced attack. The Jets will look revitalize after coming back to defeat the hapless 49ers in overtime. As unimpressive as that sounds, this team needed some type of positivity after looking like a Pop Warner squad against the Colts. This game is going to be ugly with two backup quarterbacks leading the charge in Bryce Petty and career back up Matt Moore likely to get his first start since 2011. That is a long time holding the clipboard. Expect a heavy dose of running the rock from both teams and expect a lot of yards on the ground as both defenses are lousy at best. Petty will give the Jets a shot, but Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh will wreak havoc especially a week after the rookie allowed some unnecessary sacks against the 49ers. Fins just keep swimming for a close win in New Jersey on Saturday night.
Fins 21 Jets 17

Detroit vs New York Giants
This isn’t usual that I pick both teams that claim to rep the Empire State, but share a stadium in New Jersey. I digress, this game matches two quarterbacks who have shared a lot of criticism over the years. Eli and Matt Stafford are prone to turn the ball over. This we all know, but both quarterbacks have found a way to win games this season in late game situations. Stafford wouldn’t be denied last Sunday against the Bears running in for the game-winning score. Eli threads the needle to OBJ on the slant for ultimately the game winning TD. Matt Stafford comes into the contest a bit banged up after dislocating his middle finger. The chess match between Darius Slay and Odell Beckham will be entertaining throughout the game. Slay hasn’t really produced the interceptions you would like from a corner, but he is beautiful in coverage. Beckham will look to exploit the young corner and make a mockery of yet another corner thinking that they can check him. The Giants defense was able to stifle the Dallas offensive attack that is predicated on running opposing teams into submission. Both teams struggle to run the ball and with rain in the forecast, whoever can run the rock more effectively has the best shot. I’ll take the Giants defense over the Lions. Big Blue leaves the Lions feeling black and blue for the win.

Giants 23 Lions 20

New England vs Denver
Oh me and oh my! The cream of the crop depending on who you speak to in the AFC get it on again in the Mile High as the Broncos and Patriots lock horns. Here is an interesting stat for this game. Tom Brady has the worst win-loss record in his career against the Broncos. He is 6-9 overall and 2-7 in Denver. Broncos are the only team that seems to have the kryptonite to Brady being the Superman of the NFL. Different set of circumstances as the Patriots will lock up the AFC East again, but for Denver this game means more following a loss in Tennessee where the Titans rushing attack was the x factor in the defeat. The Broncos rushing defense is 24th in the league surrendering 127 yards/game. This has to make LeGarrette Blount smile even if it’s a little one. He has been torturing opposing defensive lines all season long with a career high 14 rushing touchdowns. The key to this game is if Blount gets off, it fairs well for New England because it can neutralize the dominating pass rush of the Broncos. Just ask Marcus Mariota. The Patriots have more weapons than the Titans, but I feel like Denver is going to play with a higher sense of urgency. I like a desperate champ to take down Brady once again.
Broncos 24 Patriots 20

Tampa Bay vs Dallas
Okay so now we know that the Cowboys are indeed vulnerable. The Giants have the Cowboys kryptonite and if the Bucs are smart, they should use the same game plan heading into Jerry World. The Tampa defense has been stellar over the last month. This young team has secured wins over Kansas City, Seattle, and New Orleans. By the way, the Saints have the best offense in the NFL. Since Week 10, the Bucs D has allowed the fewest points (13.3), has the most takeaways (11), 2nd in 3rd down percentage (28.9), and 5th in sacks (12). Jameis Winston has really stepped into his own in his sophomore campaign. Winston has been dialed in over the Bucs 5 game win streak with 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. His connection with Mike Evans who will be a large component of the offense all season. How will the Dallas secondary defend this monster when Richard Sherman couldn’t even stop this man? Dallas should look to try to get Zeke going against the Bucs rejuvenated defensive line. If Dallas can get Zeke going along with making sure Dez gets some touches to get him back into a rhythm on offense, Dallas has a shot. However, Tampa just shut down the New Orleans defense which is a lot more explosive than the Dallas offense. I’m feeling this Bucs team and I like Jameis to be famous deep in the heart of Texas. Tampa maroons the Boys.

Buccaneers 26 Dallas 24

Carolina vs Washington
Monday night in the Nation’s Capital a week before Christmas sounds like the best gift you could give a family member. This game will be a bit personal as Josh Norman welcomes in his old boys from Carolina as the Redskins are looking to keep pace in the NFC wildcard picture. Carolina has had an extreme fall from grace. I think the Cardinals and Panthers might have had a little bit of last season hangover heading into this season. The offensive line for Carolina has been atrocious. Cam is completing a career-worst 53.5% of his passes which tells me that he doesn’t feel comfortable in the pocket. Washington’s offense has been truly been the highlight of their year. Kirk Cousins has been wheeling and dealing to earn his keep as the franchise quarterback he always believed he was. If you don’t think so, well I think a number of sound bites could tell you all you need to know about his confidence. The Carolina secondary is young, but they are steadily improving but how do you look to contain all the playmakers the Skins have? I mean Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder, Desean Jackson, and Pierre Garcon all can and will eat opposing defenses alive. I feel the same will happen on Monday Night. Hail to the Redskins!
Skins 31 Panthers 20

Red alert! Red alert! It’s time for the Go Big or Go Home Pick of the Week.

Cleveland vs Buffalo
I understand that this might come as a surprise, but I feel differently when it comes to this game. I know that the Browns are winless heading to Buffalo this weekend, but if there is a team they can possibly beat, it’s the Bills. The Bills offense is hit and miss even though that is better than being a Browns offense that barely puts up 15 points/game. The Browns are terrible and the brown paper bags should be out and about for this game, but this smells like a trap game. Snow is in the forecast so look for a lot Shady for Buffalo and Isaiah Crowell to run the rock. This comes down to which quarterback you trust for Cleveland. Remember Cleveland was up on Baltimore back in Week 2 which seems so long ago. These defenses are vulnerable to big plays and chunk yardage on the ground which again points to Cleveland having a shot. I have never been a huge advocate for Rex Ryan as a coach and if the team loses on Sunday, it truly could be his last game as a coach for Buffalo in my opinion. I think he goes down and the Browns get on the board because seriously can they go winless. Browns pull off the miracle before Christmas.

Browns 21 Bills 20

This concludes another wonderful week of picks. For any comments, please feel free to leave them at www.hsrn.com and while you’re at it please download the HSRN app for your Apple or Android device. You should to keep in touch with all the action around college basketball from the Patriot League, MEAC, CIAA and more right on the Voice of Choice. Don’t forget the true reason for the season. Keep that in your heart and minds. Tis the season to be jolly for the stretch run of NFL football.