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Week 15 NFL Preview & BRB Pick 'Em League Update

Regardless of the impact, I know this fanbase can get up for at least one more game: Houston Texans versus Tennessee Titans.

Ultimately, it is meaningless as far as playoff order goes - especially if Jacksonville wins on Sunday to clinch the AFC South. However, this game also could be the determining factor in draft order and who plays Buffalo/Denver next season and who gets slotted for Miami/3rd place in the AFC West. I guess there is meaning, but the game's real meaning comes from the fact that it is a huge rivalry game and round two for Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan.

After 15 weeks, you know the order: Jump. NFL Preview. BRB Pick 'Em League Update.

San Francisco 49ers (5-8) @ San Diego Chargers (7-6) (Thursday 12/16 at 7:20 pm CST)
The 49ers are only one game back in the NFC West while San Diego is desperately trying to catch Kansas City. This is probably the hardest game to predict because San Francisco has the defense to cause Phillip Rivers problems, but the unknown is how will Alex Smith and Vernon Davis fare against the Chargers' defense. I'll go Chargers because it's not safe to bet on Smith. Chargers win 27-17.

Buffalo Bills (3-10) @ Miami Dolphins (7-6) (Sunday 12/12 at Noon CST)
Normally, I'd make fun of Buffalo and go with Miami. However, the Bills are 3-2 in their last 5 games and Miami has only won one game at home. Given how well Buffalo has played, I'll take a chance on them. Bills win 29-23.

Cleveland Browns (5-8) @ Cincinnati Bengals (2-11)
Ten straight losses for Cincinnati. The pass rush is non-existent, while Carson Palmer seems average and getting worse. Peyton Hillis should run all over Cincinnati. Browns win 23-17.

Detroit Lions (3-10) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)
The Bucs kept their clean record against losing teams intact last week. Josh Freeman is a lot of fun to watch and his mobility will be key in avoiding Ndamukong Suh. I take the young Bucs to keep beating "losing" teams. Buccaneers win 30-21.

Houston Texans (5-8) @ Tennessee Titans (5-8)
Get ready for a lot of fight puns! It's Andre Johnson vs. Cortland Finnegan II. Don't expect Andre to throw punches, but do expect him to have a monster of a game and send Tennessee to their seventh straight loss. Texans win 34-23.

Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) @ New York Giants (9-4)
For control of the NFC East as the season winds down, I can't help but side with Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, and LeSean McCoy. I think their speed is too much for almost any defense, and the Eagles can do enough on defense to challenge Eli Manning. Eagles win 30-20.

New Orleans Saints (10-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
The Saints have won six in a row and scored 30-plus in five straight. They're a bit lost in the whole "contender" talk, but I expect Drew Brees to revel in this opportunity to shine against a talented Baltimore team. Baltimore's secondary is suspect, and it's going to be a match-up problem for the deep Saints offense. Saints win 34-17.

Arizona Cardinals (4-9) @ Carolina Panthers (1-12)
What a craptacular game. Jeez. Wow. I'm not picking Carolina. Cardinals win 13-6.

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
Indianapolis will not be able to stop Maurice Jones-Drew or his back-ups, and Jacksonville will win the AFC South. Jaguars win 27-20.

Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) @ St. Louis Rams (6-7)
The Rams are 4-2 at home, and the Chiefs are 2-5 on the road. On top of those differences, chances are that Matt Cassel won't play in this game due to his emergency appendectomy. If there's no Cassel, then it's all Bradford. Rams win 23-16.

Washington Redskins (5-8) @ Dallas Cowboys (4-9)
Both teams keep scraping along. The Cowboys have played better under Jason Garrett, but they looked far less explosive without Dez Bryant. I think Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb will make their lone goal clear: Sweep Dallas, avoid the basement. Redskins win 23-20.

Atlanta Falcons (11-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (6-7) (Sunday 12/12 at 3:05 pm CST)
Both of Atlanta's losses have come on the road. Seattle's a much different team with the Qwest Rowdies behind them. I'm on record with not buying into Atlanta as a serious contender. I don't know what it is, but I'm not impressed. I want to pick Seattle, but they've allowed 34-plus points in 3 of their last 4, in part due to nine Matt Hasselbeck turnovers over that span. Falcons win 27-13.

Denver Broncos (3-10) @ Oakland Raiders (6-7) (Sunday 12/19 at 3:15 pm CST)
Last time these teams met, Oakland pounded Denver 59-14. The Broncos are coming off a tail-kicking to Arizona, so I don't think they stand any chance here - especially since they struggle defending the run. Raiders win 45-13.

New York Jets (9-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)
The Jets have lost two in a row and are heading to face a stringy, physical Pittsburgh team. I just don't think Mark Sanchez will be able to outperform takeaway machine Troy Polamalu. I think Sanchez will have a terrible game against this defense. Steelers win 24-10.

Green Bay Packers (8-5) @ New England Patriots (11-2) (Sunday 12/19 at 7:20 pm CST)
Tom Brady and the Patriots have flexed their muscle against potential playoff foes. They have wins over the Jets, Steelers, Colts, Bears, Chargers, and the Ravens. The past two weeks have seen them win by a combined 71 points. With or without Aaron Rodgers, I see New England making another statement on national television. Patriots win 38-10.

Chicago Bears (9-4) @ Minnesota Vikings (5-8) (Monday 12/20 at 7:30 pm CST)
The Vikings looked pretty awful with Tarvaris Jackson and Joe Webb. The Bears should have the defense to make it look that way for the second straight week. Bears win 20-6.

BRB Pick 'Em League Update

This Pick 'Em League is getting tighter. The top spot is only separated by eight points and two games while nine people are crammed in the top-five record wise. Confidence-wise, eight people are separated by less than 100 points as we enter the homestretch. Wins are the fast way to gain ground and the BRB Pick 'Em League sees a rare repeat winner in the Week 14 winner of the Andre Johnson Award for Ass-Kicking and Excellence - Rip Jersey.

With his 13-3 record and 118 points, Rip Jersey became the second BRB picker to win a second week. I guess you could say Rip Jersey technically only missed two picks since he didn't submit a Thursday night pick, but that is neither here nor there. Until now, Rip Jersey had held the distinction of being the lowest-scoring week winner, but he erased any talk of fluke win with his second Andre.

Let's all congratulate and raise an ice cold beer to the Week 14 BRB Pick 'Em Winner of the Andre Johnson Award for Ass-Kicking and Excellence - Rip Jersey.

"Should've Put Money On It" Game of the Week: 42 out of 42 pickers chose Pittsburgh over Cincinnati - smart people.

"We Know Nothing" Game of the Week: 39 out of 42 pickers did not foresee Aaron Rodgers getting a concussion to let Detroit beat Green Bay. Congrats to .Bonzo, texanmaniac, and NWestTexan for getting it right.

Sippin' on Battle Red Drank: Distant_Texans_Fan, txknight, cubic, texanmaniac, DilloTex, Shake, papabear, Taco Joe, RED56, and chrisd21 all kept the faith.

Hidin' Out In the Back of the Meeting Hall:  BigTexBD, xmant2000, bigfatdrunk, SATexan, BrownCrayon, riversmccown, peytonsurdaddy, Rip Jersey, TexanKevin, do, oiler-texan diehard, trex76, Diehard Chris, USMC_Texas, AllenOU, Fuzion, Oiler-Texan Diehard, Jahon and TexansDC all thought heartbreak was inevitable.

The Rex Grossman "F**k It, I'm Goin' Deep" Award: It's a three-way with Rexy this week with two 5.5-point underdogs winning (Miami and Arizona). Diehard Chris threw down 13 points on Arizona, while chrisd21 (7th in 11 weeks) and txknight threw 15 points down on Miami. All 3 went big on equal underdogs, and there's enough Rexy to go around for the three of 'em.

The David Carr Misguided Faith Award: And for the third time, chrisd21 takes home the Davey and Rexy in the same week. He was the only person to pick 9-point underdog St. Louis. Chris is just slingin' it Farve style. Yes, I said Favre.

The Charley Casserly Decision Making Award: .Bonzo's underdog theory lands him at a Charley-like 3-13 for the week. He's either going to hit big or land here.  Either way...his name gets mentioned in a post.

BRBer with the best weekly record: Rip Jersey (AJ for DWTS) 13-3.
BRBer with the most weekly points: Rip Jersey (AJ for DWTS) 118 points.
Overall best record: SATexan (Cake) 138-70 leads by 2 games over riversmccown (Glover Quin Never Allows TD's).
Overall points leader: SATexan (Cake) 1189 points leads by 8 points over riversmccown (Glover Quin Never Allows TD's).

Top-Five BRB Pick 'Em League (by record)
1. SATexan (Cake) 138-70; 1189 points (1st).
2. riversmccown (Glover Quin Never Allows TD's) 136-72; 1181 points (2nd).
t-3. oiler-texan diehard (oiler-texan diehard) 131-77; 1128 points (3rd).
t-3. CowboyH8ter (AJ Open Downfield) 131-77; 1107 points (6th).
t-5. bigfatdrunk (Feces Flinger) 130-78; 1109 points (5th).
t-5. xmant2000 (Houston Oilers) 130-78; 1091 points (7th).
t-5. Diehard Chris (Ladies Love Leinart) 130-78; 1088 points (9th).
t-5. do (do) 130-78; 1075 points (12th).
t-5. USMC_Texas (USMC) 130-78; 1014 (21st).

Don't forget to submit your picks for Thursday's game and the rest by Sunday, BRB Pickers. Congrats once again to Rip Jersey! Enjoy this weekend's slate of football and GO TEXANS!