Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott directs his team at the line during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

NFL Week 15: When In Doubt, Put Your Faith In Rodgers and Roethlisberger (And Whoever The Browns Play)

Well, after 14 weeks, I finally hit a perfect 5-0 – just in time to bring the overall record to 32-33-5 and almost .500. This week, we’ll ride the road teams again, especially the favorites – a plan that worked last week. Here are the five picks:

Green Bay Packers -5.5 over Chicago Bears – Aaron Rodgers may be hurt, but he finally has the Packers playing well and firing on all cylinders. Their one main flaw was the running game, but Ty Montgomery has started to get comfortable in the role. The Packers need a win, and while they’ll likely take a big lead into halftime only to step off the gas and make it close in the end, I like them by a touchdown at least.

Buffalo Bills -10 over Cleveland Browns – There aren’t a lot of constants this season when it comes to picking games, but here’s one: take the other side of the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are doing a great job working toward the #1 pick this season, and there’s no reason to think that changes. If the line was 25 I’d still take the Bills this week – really. Rex Ryan needs a statement win.

Pittsburgh Steelers -3 over Cincinnati Bengals – The Steelers and Bengals always play tough games, and expect a lot of penalties (especially of the personal foul variety). But the Steelers are the better team, despite looking very vulnerable on the road. They need a win to keep a one-game lead over the Ravens, and shouldn’t have a problem picking apart the Bengals decent but always-on-the-field defense.

Oakland Raiders -3 over San Diego Chargers – Whatever the over/under on this divisional battle is, take the over. Could we see a 40-30 type game? I’d expect a lot of scoring and not a lot of defense. With that said, the Raiders are better, and despite being the third road favorite I’m taking, the Chargers are barely a home team when playing in San Diego (considering they’ll likely be playing in Los Angeles as soon as next season). Derek Carr is coming off a couple off games, but should get right before the playoffs with this juicy match-up.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7 over Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys came off a shocking loss last Sunday night, and now have to play another tough one with the surging Bucs and Jameis Winston. While I picked the Cowboys to lose last week, I expect them to ultimately prevail in this match-up. But it’ll be close, and I could see the Bucs going with an onside kick down 4 or 5 points with under a minute to go. The Bucs should stop Zeke Elliott with their excellent run defense, but can Prescott get back on track? I don’t see it.

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Steve Krakauer

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