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NFL Week 15 Recap and Week 16 Predictions

Alright, alright, ALRIGHT. I don’t want to hear it, don’t waste your time. I was able to see the same game you all saw this past week and was disgusted at the heinous portrayal that was there for all to see……..watching Johnny Manziel in his first game was more of a punishment than enjoyment (unless you have some general knowledge about Manziel and hate him already).

Let me put this in terms that Manziel may understand better – “Bro, you can’t put Cleveland and the NFL on blast and then have your spot blown up like that”. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think his career is over, or that the Browns made a mistake in drafting / starting him. He’s a Rookie. Manziel even self-admitted this week that “he hasn’t prepared as hard as he should have”. Despite that gigantic red flag, he gets a second chance in my book. Manziel now knows that his natural athletic talents aren’t good enough to scrape by in the NFL.

I have said before that I agree with the decision to go Manziel over Hoyer but when you think about it, Manziel’s first start was as close to a playoff game as it could be. Cleveland needed a win, turned to him and he didn’t come out with one. Manziel looked OK in the preseason because he was basically playing entire defenses made up players that can’t hack it in the league.

Coach Mike Pettine made the right call going to Manziel because despite how bad he was on Sunday, Hoyer is worse. In time, Manziel alone will be worth more wins more than Hoyer will be. On the other side of this it really is a shame that this circus caused by media and other personnel has really overshadowed how good this season has been for the Browns. Regardless of how Cleveland finishes their last 2 games, they will have their most wins since 2007 (when they won 10).

I didn’t take Mike Pettine and his staff seriously as the coaching carousel (and QB carousel) has been an absolute joke and very “Cleveland Brown-ish” but this team is one of the reasons why the AFC North will be even more competitive next season. The defense (although not very good this past Sunday) is a solid defense. I’m not the biggest fan of their rookie running back committee but they at least tried to sure that position up but failed with Ben Tate. I’m not going to pick Cleveland for the playoffs next year…..just yet.

Week 15 Picks:

Bold Prediction from Week 15: Bills over the Packers. –RIGHT – BOOM! Last week I wrote that I liked the sneaky good Bills defense to upset the Pack at home this week and low and behold, unlike Cincinnati who lets me down every week, the Bills pulled it out and keep their ever so slim playoff hopes alive.

Guaranteed Lock for Week 15: 49ers over the Seahawks. –WRONG – Give me a second here…let me redo what I wrote last week…..Does Colin Kaepernick’s apparent regression scare me? No Yes. Does the fact that Jim Harbaugh is guaranteed to not be in San Francisco next year scare me? No Yes. The game is in Seattle? Whatever Oh Crap. I still don’t believe in the 49ers to will make any some noise down the stretch and they will not go out quietly. There we go…that reads better now.

Week 16 Picks:

Bold Prediction for Week 16: Texans over the Ravens. The Ravens, Steelers and Bengals are all mirror images of one another. Although Cincinnati is clearly not as “big game” ready as the Steelers or Ravens, all 3 teams lose crucial games or lost to opponents they have no business losing too. This Sunday the Ravens are playing either rookie QB Tom Savage or Case Keenum. They should win this game….but they won’t.

Guaranteed Lock for Week 16: Colts over the Cowboys. I don’t buy Demarco Murray playing for one second (wrist surgery). If he does play, he is going to be useless in my opinion. I wrote a few weeks ago that this team’s final stretch is going to hinge on them running Murray into the ground. Dallas is dangerously close to finishing with 10 or 11 wins and missing the playoffs. I like Andrew Luck to run wild on the Cowboys Sunday.

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Tony Bitkowski

Contact Tony on Twitter @TonyBitkowski.

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