Bryan Paul’s Puzzling NFL Predictions: Week 15



On Dec. 13, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the nominations of the 70th Golden Globe Awards, kicking off our entertainment culture’s annual film awards season that will culminate at the 85th Academy Awards on Feb. 24.  While it’s unclear whether Argo, Les Misérables or Lincoln will win the most honors, one thing is certain: Americans love to watch movies. According to the National Association of Theatre Owners, there were 39,580 movie screens in the United States as of 2011. Box Office Mojo reports films have collected $10,072.2 million at American theaters this year. Yahoo! says theaters receive 67 percent of revenue from ticket sales.

Sports often serve as a movie’s centerpiece. Pictures such as Remember the Titans, Friday Night Lights and North Dallas Forty have chronicled football on the big screen. Several football players have appeared in movies. Jim Brown starred alongside Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson in The Dirty Dozen. Alex Karras played Mongo in Blazing Saddles. Brett Favre had a cameo in the romantic slapstick comedy There’s Something About Mary.

In honor of the upcoming award ceremonies and the captivating, entertaining and compelling storytelling displayed year after year on the big screen, the Week 15 predictions theme is movies.


Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-9)-Dec. 13-8:20 p.m.-NFL Network


The Hollywood Foreign Press Association first awarded the Golden Globes in 1944.  Philadelphia went 7-2-1 in 1944.  Eagles fans wish their team was having the same success this season as they were 68 years ago.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Cincinnati

Pollock’s Pick: Philadelphia



New York Giants (8-5) at Atlanta Falcons (11-2)-Dec. 16-1 p.m.-Fox


Meryl Streep has earned 26 Golden Globe nominations in her career, more than any actress. She has won the award eight times. In years Streep has won a Golden Globe, the Giants have won seven games against NFC South teams. The Falcons have won eight games against NFC East teams. This year, Streep won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Atlanta

Pollock’s Pick: Atlanta



Green Bay Packers (9-4) at Chicago Bears (8-5)-Dec. 16-1 p.m.-Fox


Streep has won three Academy Awards in her career. Walter Brennan was the first actor to win three Oscars. In years he won an Academy Award, the Bears were 4-3 against the Packers. But Brennan won his last Oscar 72 years ago.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Green Bay

Pollock’s Pick: Green Bay



Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) at Miami Dolphins (5-8)-Dec. 16-1 p.m.-CBS


Brennan died in 1974, the year Paramount Pictures released The Godfather Part II. The movie won Best Picture at the 47th Academy Awards. The Dolphins miss the iconic and critically praised Francis Ford Coppola films. In years a Godfather film won Best Picture, Miami was 7-2 in December games.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Jacksonville

Pollock’s Pick: Miami

al pacino the godfather part II


Denver Broncos (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (9-4)-Dec. 16-1 p.m.-CBS


Paramount also released the Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles in 1974. In years a Mel Brooks film has come to theaters, Denver is 34-39-1 in road games. Luckily for the Broncos, the last Brooks-directed movie came out in 1995.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Denver

Pollock’s Pick: Baltimore



Indianapolis Colts (9-4) at Houston Texans (11-2)-Dec. 16-1 p.m.-CBS


Die Hard with a Vengeance topped the box office in 1995. In years Bruce Willis has fought terrorists as John McClane on the big screen, the Colts are 3-1 in Week 15 games. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, the next Die Hard picture, A Good Day to Die Hard, doesn’t come out until Feb. 7, 2013, four days after Super Bowl XLVII.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Houston

Pollock’s Pick: Houston

Die Hard With A Vengeance


Minnesota Vikings (7-6) at St. Louis Rams (6-6-1)-Dec. 16-1 p.m.-Fox


Alan Rickman appeared as the villain Hans Gruber in Die Hard. In years he has appeared in a theatrically released film, the Vikings are 209-180. The Rams are 162-219. This year, Rickman appeared in the independent Irish film Gambit.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Minnesota

Pollock’s Pick: St. Louis



Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) at New Orleans Saints (5-8)-Dec. 16-1 p.m.-Fox


Rickman portrayed Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series. The first Harry Potter picture, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the first Shrek film were both released in 2001. In years a Shrek and Harry Potter picture were released in the same year, Tampa Bay is 5-2 against New Orleans. This year, a movie from neither series has been in theaters.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: New Orleans

Pollock’s Pick: New Orleans



Washington Redskins (7-6) at Cleveland Browns (5-8)-Dec. 16-1 p.m.-Fox


Denzel Washington won the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in the 2001 film Training Day. When Washington has been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, the Redskins are 7-6 against AFC teams. The Browns are 5-6 against NFC teams. Washington wasn’t nominated for the award this year.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Cleveland

Pollock’s Pick: Washington



Seattle Seahawks (8-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-8) (in Toronto)-Dec. 16-4:05 p.m.-Fox


In 1964, Sidney Poitier became first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Lilies of the Field. In years an African-American has won the Best Actor Oscar, the Bills are 5-3 in December home games. But since this game will take place in Toronto, it really isn’t a Bills home game.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Seattle

Pollock’s Pick: Seattle

Sidney Poitier Lilies of the Field


Detroit Lions (4-9) at Arizona Cardinals (4-9)-Dec. 16-4:05 p.m.-Fox


In 1940, Hattie McDaniel won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for her performance in Gone with the Wind, becoming the first African American to win an Academy Award. 1940 was a better year for Detroit. The Lions were 5-5-1 in 1940. The Cardinals were 2-7-2.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Detroit

Pollock’s Pick: Detroit



Carolina Panthers (4-9) at San Diego Chargers (5-8)-Dec. 16-4:05 p.m.-Fox


The story of Gone with the Wind takes place in Georgia. Director Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Ga. In years Lee has released a movie and Carolina plays a California-based team, they are 11-8. This year, Lee’s Red Hook Summer was distributed to a limited number of theaters.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Carolina

Pollock’s Pick: San Diego



Kansas City Chiefs (2-11) at Oakland Raiders (3-10)-Dec. 16-4:25 p.m.-CBS


Lee last earned an Oscar nomination 1998. Titanic won 11 Oscars in 1998, one of three pictures to achieve that milestone. In years a film has won 11 Oscars, Oakland is 0-3 at home against Kansas City. The movies that won the most Academy Awards this year, The Artist and Hugo, each won only five Oscars.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Oakland

Pollock’s Pick: Oakland



Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) at Dallas Cowboys (7-6)-Dec. 16-4:25 p.m.-CBS


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won 11 Oscars in 2004. In years the three Lord of the Rings movie played in theaters, the Cowboys were 5-8 in December games. Pittsburgh was 10-4. On Dec. 14, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures will release The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first film in a prequel series to The Lord of the Rings.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Pittsburgh

Pollock’s Pick: Dallas



San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1) at New England Patriots (10-3)-Dec. 16-8:20 p.m.-NBC


Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, directed King Kong, a remake of the original 1933 movie. Since 1960 in years a studio has released a King Kong film, the 49ers are 34-39-1. The Patriots are 50-29-2. No picture based on King Kong has come out this year.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: San Francisco

Pollock’s Pick: New England



New York Jets (6-7) at Tennessee Titans (4-9)-Dec. 17-8:30 p.m.-ESPN


Jackson released his King Kong picture in 2005. Warner Bros. Pictures released the first installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Batman Begins, in 2005. In years a film from Nolan’s Batman series has come to theaters, Jets are 0-4 on Monday Night Football. The Dark Knight Rises concluded the trilogy this year.

Bryan Paul’s Pick: Tennessee

Pollock’s Pick: Tennessee  



Bryan Paul’s Week 14 record: 7-9

Bryan Paul’s season record: 121-86-1

Pollock’s Week 14 record: 11-5

Pollock’s season record 139-68-1

Head-to-head matchups in Week 14: Pollock, 7-3

Head-to-head matchups this season: Pollock, 52-34

Week 16 theme: Christmas


Photo credits:


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