Oakland Raiders

All-time Best Snow Bowls

There’s a certain perverse delight in watching NFL games played in inclement weather. We saw one of those games in Week 15, a bizarre 8-0 win by the Cleveland Browns over the visiting Buffalo Bills. Snow and wind gusts of up to 40 mph turned the Cleveland Browns Stadium into a winter wonderland.
At least the Bills are familiar with these conditions. The victims in the NFL’s two most famous Snow Bowls were warm-weather clubs. In 1985, the Green Bay Packers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-0 at Lambeau Field in the middle of a blizzard. Green Bay racked up 512 yards of offense; Tampa Bay (led by QB Steve Young) managed just 65.

And then there was the Tuck Rule. The New England Patriots dynasty might never have gotten off the ground without that 16-13 victory at Foxboro over the Oakland Raiders in the 2002 AFC Wild Card Game. Oakland fans call it “The Snow Job.”

NFL Football Week 15 Picks

So the New England Patriots are laying 24 points to the New York Jets. No problem. That makes a lot more sense than when the Pats were –24 against the Eagles, who nearly pulled off the upset in Week 12. Philadelphia has talent. The Jets don’t. They’re 3-10 SU, 4-8-1 ATS and the worst defensive team in the league in terms of efficiency. I’ll eat that chalk, and I’ll like it.

I’ll also take the big favorite in the Indianapolis ColtsOakland Raiders matchup. That, of course, would be the Colts at –11. The Raiders are playing at a worse level than the Jets despite their 4-9 record (5-8 ATS). That’s because they’ve gotten to play other teams in the awful AFC West so often. Indy is not far behind New England among the league’s elite. A line of anything under two touchdowns seems like a blessing compared to what New England has to cover this week.