Aaron Rodgers said the Green Bay Packers can run the table. Two wins later, the Seattle Seahawks come to town. Will the Packers make it three straight?
Want a mind-blowing stat? Aaron Rodgers hasn’t lost at Lambeau in the month of December since 2008. Since a 24-21 loss to the Texans on December 7, 2008, Rodgers is a perfect 14-0. The Packers have only lost once in December since that date, a 2013 defeat to Pittsburgh. Matt Flynn filled in for Rodgers, who was nursing a broken collarbone.
Rodgers’ incredible streak is under serious threat this week as the Seahawks come to town. It doesn’t get much bigger than a December showdown with Seattle.
I went an awful 7-8 with my NFL Week 13 picks, so the quicker we can move on from that the better.
Inside the NFC North, Minnesota travels to Jacksonville while division-leading Detroit hosts Chicago, a team they lost to earlier in the year.
Seattle (8-3-1) at Green Bay (6-6)
It’s December, the Packers need a win and they host the Seattle Seahawks with snow forecast at Lambeau. These are the games we anticipate during the slow summer days.
Despite entering the game on the back of two wins, it doesn’t get any tougher than this for the Pack. Seattle heats up in December and presents a number of tough matchups for the Packers. Losing Earl Thomas will make defending Aaron Rodgers that bit more difficult, but my worry is how Dom Capers’ depleted defense will slow down the ‘Hawks offense.
The road to the playoffs just got tougher.
Oakland (10-2) at Kansas City (9-3)
Game of the week. Kansas City still doesn’t get the respect it deserves, despite going 19-3 over their past 22 regular season games. The Chiefs dismantled the Raiders in their previous meeting, and at home I’m giving them the nod again. This should be a fascinating game.
Pick: Kansas City
Washington (6-5-1) at Philadelphia (5-7)
The wheels are off in Philly. It’s not Carson Wentz‘s fault, just look at the talent around him. Washington let one get away from them in the desert last week, but expect them to bounce back and push the Eagles’ season over the cliff.
Houston (6-6) at Indianapolis (6-6)
Houston’s bubble has burst. No team can sustain success with such poor quarterback play, and their defense is fighting through injuries to key pieces. The Colts are confident and grab the division lead.
Andy Dalton gave us a flashback to 2015 last week. A.J. Green‘s absence stings, but Tyler Eifert is a game-changer at tight end. The Browns need this season to end, fast.
Denver (8-4) at Tennessee (6-6)
Tennessee return from the bye well in the hunt for the AFC South title. A lack of consistency has held them back, and a tough afternoon with Denver awaits. Expect the Titans to keep it close, but the Broncos edge the road win.
Arizona (5-6-1) at Miami (7-5)
Miami blew a chance to take a huge step in the playoff race. This is another game they should win, but the desperate Cardinals earn a huge victory.
Chicago (3-9) at Detroit (8-4)
Matthew Stafford is playing the best football of his career. Matt Barkley has surprised many over the past two weeks, but given the number of injuries the Bears are dealing with, this is no contest.
Pittsburgh (7-5) at Buffalo (6-6)
The Steelers are heating up at the right time. They know how to win in December, and they push aside Rex Ryan’s stubborn Bills.
San Diego (5-7) at Carolina (4-8)
Carolina’s season continues to implode. Benching Cam Newton for a series in Seattle indicates deeper problems in the organization than simply a decision not to wear a tie. The Panthers have a lot to address in the offseason.
Pick: San Diego
Minnesota (6-6) at Jacksonville (2-10)
Ah, a Blake Bortles-shaped Christmas gift for the free-falling Vikings. What better way to save your season than to beat up on the two-win Jaguars?
NY Jets (3-9) at San Francisco (1-11)
This game features a combined four wins and 20 defeats. I couldn’t pick either the 49ers or Bears to win last week and went for a tie. Then the Niners made Matt Barkley look like Tom Brady. I’m taking the J-E-T-S.
Pick: New York
Atlanta (7-5) at Los Angeles (4-8)
All of a sudden the Falcons aren’t so safe atop the NFC South. A four-game win streak for the Bucs gives us a two-way tie. How important could the Falcons’ game-losing pick-two turn out to be? They bounce back against the Rams. Don’t get down, Los Angeles, at least you’ve locked up Jeff Fisher to a long-term deal.
New Orleans (5-7) at Tampa Bay (7-5)
Drew Brees failed to throw a touchdown in the Superdome for the first time in 60 games. That masked an improved performance by the New Orleans defense. Don’t count them out, but the rolling Bucs should edge it at home.
Pick: Tampa Bay
Dallas (11-1) at NY Giants (8-4)
The last time the Cowboys lost? That would be Week 1 against, you guessed it, the New York Giants. Call me crazy, but I’m picking the Giants to complete the season sweep. Did Minnesota set the blueprint on how to beat Dallas?
Pick: NY Giants
Baltimore (7-5) at New England (10-2)
Joe Flacco knows how to take down Tom Brady in his own back yard. The Ravens beat up on the Dolphins last week, but don’t expect them to back it up.