NFL picks Week 15: Packers-Bears and every other game

Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the second half at Soldier Field. Green Bay Packers defeats the Chicago Bears 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the second half at Soldier Field. Green Bay Packers defeats the Chicago Bears 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

Aaron Rodgers still hasn’t lost at Lambeau in December since 2008, but he takes his MVP show on the road against the Chicago Bears.

The air suddenly feels different in Packers News. It’s cold, yet the Packers are heating up. It’s playoff season, and they know how to win this time of year.

Now the Packers travel to their oldest and dearest rivals. Can the Bears land a blow in Green Bay’s desperate playoff charge? Don’t sleep on Chicago, whose defense is keeping them in games while Matt Barkley continues to exceed expectations.

I went 11-5 in my NFL Week 14 picks, wrongly picking against the Packers. I won’t be doing that this time.

Green Bay (7-6) at Chicago (3-10)

This is a tougher matchup than you might think. Chicago can play defense, and their pass rush has impressed since they’ve gotten healthier. If Aaron Rodgers is limited within the pocket, this could be a close game. But despite Matt Barkley’s impressive performances, it’s hard to pick against the red-hot Packers.

Pick: Green Bay

PACKERS: Stock up, stock down following win over Seattle

PACKER PERSPECTIVE: McCarthy deserves credit for dramatic turnaround

Los Angeles (4-9) at Seattle (8-4-1)

A new head coach on a short week against an angry Seahawks? Throw in the fact the Rams are the road team on a Thursday night. This could get ugly.

Pick: Seattle

Miami (8-5) at NY Jets (4-9)

It would be easy to pick against a Dolphins team likely without Ryan Tannehill, but the Jets are starting Bryce Petty. This game won’t be much fun, and I’m picking the Dolphins to stay in the playoff hunt.

Pick: Miami

Cleveland (0-13) at Buffalo (6-7)

Give the ball to LeSean McCoy. That is all.

Pick: Buffalo

Detroit (9-4) at NY Giants (9-4)

These two teams are very similar. Both are kings of winning close games. Both are playing lights out defense right now, and both have difference makers on offense. Even though this game is in New Jersey, I like the Lions in this one. Matthew Stafford‘s finger injury isn’t as worrisome as it sounds.

Pick: Detroit

Philadelphia (5-8) at Baltimore (7-6)

After a 3-0 start, the Eagles have slipped to 2-8 from their past 10 games. Baltimore needs this one badly, and at home they get the W.

Pick: Baltimore

Pittsburgh (8-5) at Cincinnati (5-7-1)

Beware the Pittsburgh Steelers, riding into this game on the back of four straight victories. The Bengals always play them hard, but they are out of playoff contention. I ain’t picking against those Steelers.

Pick: Pittsburgh

Indianapolis (6-7) at Minnesota (7-6)

This is a really difficult game to predict. Don’t be fooled by the Vikings’ record. After a 5-0 start, they’ve gone 2-6 over their past eight. Sure, they edged past a two-win Jacksonville team last week and get an up-and-down Colts at home, but they’re on the brink of elimination. I don’t feel confident in this pick, but I’m taking the Colts.

Pick: Indianapolis

Tennessee (7-6) at Kansas City (10-3)

All Kansas City does is win football games. They’re 20-3 in their past 23 regular season games. They need to be taken seriously.

Pick: Kansas City

Jacksonville (2-11) at Houston (7-6)

Someone please explain to me how the Texans are going to win an eighth game this week. How? Seriously, how?

Pick: Houston

New Orleans (5-8) at Arizona (5-7-1)

What’s that sound? Oh, it’s the New Orleans Saints’ season in flames. Another shot for Drew Brees to win a title slips away, as unlikely as it may have been. He’s touchdown-less in his past two. That streak goes to three in a tricky road matchup.

Pick: Arizona

San Francisco 49ers (1-12) at Atlanta (8-5)

The team with eight wins and at home? The team that lost to the Jets? Hmm.

Pick: Atlanta

New England (11-2) at Denver (8-5)

There’s something about this that doesn’t feel right for the Patriots. Denver is getting close to do-or-die mode, and this defense has dominated Tom Brady before. I’m taking the upset.

Pick: Denver

Oakland (10-3) at San Diego (5-8)

The Chargers lost Keenan Allen to start the year, Danny Woodhead shortly after and just about the entire roster since. Now Melvin Gordon is hurt. At least they’ve got an easy matchup versus the Raiders. I mean, they’ve only won 10 of their 13 games. Right? It’s time for mock drafts in San Diego (or Los Angeles).

Pick: Oakland

Tampa Bay (8-5) at Dallas (11-2)

Watch out for those Buccaneers. They’ve taken the league by storm and it’s not because of Jameis Winston‘s arm, but down to their dominant defense. They have a real shot to take down Dallas here, but the Cowboys surely don’t lose two on the bounce.

Pick: Dallas

Carolina (5-8) at Washington (7-5-1)

At times the Panthers have looked like their 2015-selves, but they’re 1-5 on the road this year. Washington is making a charge for the playoffs.

Pick: Washington

Next: Packer Perspective: McCarthy deserves credit for turnaround

Last week: 11-5

Season: 131-76