- The Chicago Bears travel to Green Bay trying to keep their slim playoff hopes alive
- The Washington Redskins host the Eagles as Dwayne Haskins tries to keep his starting job for next season
- We won 2 units last week, and were a late Sam Ficken field goal shy of going 2-0
I wanted to join Brian Flores in screaming at the officials in New York, after they cost us a perfect week. But we’ll have to accept: terrible reffing is just part of the game now. And when you look at the odds in Week 15 of the NFL, there’s a lot of important matchups that will likely turn on bad calls or non-calls.
For our Week 15 upset picks, we’re picking a pair of division rivalries that will impact the playoff race, albeit in a smaller way.
Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers Odds
|Green Bay Packers||-4||-210|
*Odds taken Dec. 13
The Packers have a chance of knocking their rivals out of the playoff race in Week 15, which would be fitting revenge since the Bears did the exact same thing to Green Bay a year ago.
But despite currently sitting as the two-seed in the NFC, the Pack have played some pretty uninspired football over the last month. Green Bay let a pair of lowly NFC East teams hang around in games they had no business winning, and the last time they faced a good team, the 49ers completely embarrassed them.
Expecting the Packers offense to substantially improve in the next month probably isn’t realistic. They are who they are. Aaron Jones is a star and a difference-maker but if he’s taken away, this is a pedestrian group that’s going to struggle against good teams.
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) December 9, 2019
Chicago hasn’t blown out their last few opponents either, but Mitch Trubisky has finally shown the form that enticed some folks to back him for MVP this season. Finally using his legs again, he carved up the Cowboys for 68 yards on the ground and combined for four TDs. It’s no coincidence the Bears’ best offensive game of the year coincided with Trubisky’s best rushing effort of 2019.
“Mitch Trubisky is 5-0 in December. He’s like the Lexus commercial with the bow on it. He only comes alive in December, you don’t see it any other time of year.”@TheCousinSal explains why 4 points might be too many points for the Packers against the Bears pic.twitter.com/TpTM9xhKPE
— Lock It In (@LockItInonFS1) December 12, 2019
However, the big reason to like the Bears this week is the return of Akiem Hicks to the defense. With him, Chicago’s front four is so much more effective, as doubling Khalil Mack now leaves this monster with one-on-ones.
?: Pro Bowl | Sunday 3pm ET on ESPN + ABC + Disney XD pic.twitter.com/fq7Vicjkpz
— NFL (@NFL) January 25, 2019
The Bears had 17 sacks through four weeks with a healthy Hicks. Since he went down early in Week 5, Chicago has mustered just 13. Yet their D that still ranks 7th in defensive DVOA.
The only game that matters to Green Bay is the one against Minnesota next week that will decide the division, while Chicago absolutely has to have this one to keep their hopes alive. Side with the desperate squad here.
Pick: 1.5 units on the Bears moneyline (+180)
Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Redskins Odds
*Odds taken Dec. 13
The Philadelphia Eagles barely pulled one out over the Giants at home on Monday night and their depleted squad now has to prep for another divisional showdown. Though they need to win out to guarantee a playoff spot, it’s hard to view this injury- riddled Eagles squad as anything more than a speed bump for whatever wildcard opponent they would draw in round one.
Hell, things are so bad for Carson Wentz at receiver, Philly was prepping to put his backup out there to catch passes.
Doug Pederson confirms that Josh McCown did switch his helmet and was available as a fourth receiver: “Why can’t he? He’s active, he’s dressed! He has actually done that in his career before.” ? #Eagles | #On94WIP?️
— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) December 10, 2019
Washington has some talent on the defensive side of the ball; they rank seventh in the NFL with 40 sacks. On average, they’re allowing under 20 points over their last eight game. So Philly is not poised for another second half explosion like their Week 1 meeting.
On offense, Terry McLaurin is still poised to carve up Philly’s secondary, if his rookie QB can get the ball to him. Dwayne Haskins has led Washington to two wins in their last three games, but has hardly looked strong doing so. He’s completing just 55.5% of his passes and his 4.5 adjusted yards per attempt is worst in the league.
I’m not sure it’s fair to consider moving on from Dwayne after half a season’s worth of starts. But I do know the NFL isn’t fair, and with a new head coach likely coming, Haskins needs to show something soon https://t.co/z5684yDmaV
— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) December 9, 2019
Haskins arguably has more to play for in this one than Philly. Plus, the NFC East is living in the dumbest timeline right now and the Eagles losing this after they just “seized control of their destiny” would be peak ridiculousness.
So it’s going to happen.
Pick: 1 unit on the Washington moneyline (+215)