Significant quarterback considerations affect every game involving NFC West teams in Week 15. That makes the picks tougher than usual.
Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. ET. The Bears should win home games in December against West Coast teams with losing records. Subtracting Jay Cutler and Matt Forte from the Bears' lineup dramatically improves the Seahawks' chances. But the Seahawks' reshuffled offensive line faces difficult matchups. Let's pick against the team with Caleb Hanie at quarterback. Sando's best guess: Seahawks 13, Bears 10.
St. Louis Rams vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET. The Bengals have lost four of five, but nothing about the Rams suggests they'll win another game this season. Sam Bradford's injury status -- and his stats -- keep getting worse. Sando's best guess: Bengals 17, Rams 10.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Cleveland Browns, 4:15 p.m. ET. The Browns have exceeded 14 points twice in their last 10 games. Having Seneca Wallace at quarterback probably helps, but the Cardinals are playing well enough on defense to control this game. The Cardinals, for all their struggles earlier in the season, lead the NFL in touchdowns covering at least 50 yards (nine). The Browns have given up only two. Sando's best guess: Cardinals 20, Browns 13.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:30 p.m. ET. This is the toughest NFC West outcome to predict. The Steelers are traveling across the country with an injured quarterback to face one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. But the 49ers' offense is struggling and, as Matt Williamson pointed out, the matchups favor Pittsburgh. The Steelers' last three opponents have combined for 19 points. The 49ers gave up 21 to Arizona. Sando's best guess: Steelers 17, 49ers 16
My record picking NFC West games stands at 28-15 after going 1-1 last week amid indecision over the 49ers-Cardinals game.
Where am I wrong this time?