Is it really possible that week fifteen of the NFL season is upon us? In a year where the improbable has become commonplace in the NFL, the playoff season is shaping up to be rather familiar on some fronts. The Giants, Steelers, Colts, and others are right in the thick of things. Still, there are some surprises. Who expected the Panthers to be fighting for the number one seed in the NFC? Who saw the Patriots fighting for their playoff lives with only three games left?
With many of the playoff races still being decided, week 15 of NFL picks and predictions becomes even more vital. Virtually every game has some type of playoff implications, for one team or the other. Here are my week 15 NFL picks and predictions:
New Orleans at Chicago – This game is a must win for both of these teams. The Bears are fighting to win the division and the Saints are just hoping to win out and get some help. If this game was in New Orleans, I would go Saints. In the windy city, however, the Bears will pull it out.
Result – Bears Win
Tampa Bay at Atlanta – Another key match up in the NFC South. Young Matt Ryan is trying to keep the Falcons alive in the playoff hunt, and Tampa is hoping that the Panthers will stumble. I expect this game to be a dogfight to the end, with the Falcons winning at the last minute at home.
Result- Falcons Win
Washington at Cincinnati – The Redskins have looked like a team that is cashing it in the last couple of weeks. The Bengals have been cashing it in all season. I give the edge to the Redskins.
Result – Redskins Win
Detroit at Indianapolis – Those poor Lions. The best chance to win a game all year went by the wayside against the Vikings last week. This week they will get buried under an avalanche of Manning bombs.
Result – Colts Win
San Diego at Kansas City – The Chargers actually showed up last week and looked great. This week they go against a vastly improved Chiefs squad that has the ability to beat the Chargers. The problem has been consistency with the Chargers but the put it together for two weeks in a row.
Result – Chargers win
Green Bay at Jacksonville – The Packers have looked like a team that is already looking at next season lately. The Jags have been an enigma all season long. They seem as though they should be so much better. The Jaguars will upset the Packers at home.
Result – Jaguars win
Seattle at St. Louis – This game has all the allure of watching paint dry.
Result – Rams win
San Francisco at Miami – The Niners are a resurgent team that not many people seem to take seriously. That is, until they sneak up and pop you in the mouth. The Dolphins seemed destined to get in the playoffs, however. They get a very important win at home.
Result – Dolphins win
Buffalo at NY Jets – The Bills are sinking faster than a cinder block in the Pacific. The Jets are fighting for the division. The Jets have alot more reasons to win.
Result – Jets win
Tennessee at Houston – The Titans could easily look past the talented young Texans in Houston, but I do not believe that Jeff Fisher will allow that. The Titans will win in a close one.
Result – Titans win
Minnesota at Arizona – The Cards have wrapped up the division title and now face a tough opponent at home. The Vikings have looked rather bland recently as well. This looks like a coming out party and celebration for the Cardinals, who will play loose and relaxed.
Result – Cardinals Win
Denver at Carolina – Let us see, here. The best rushing team in the NFL against one of the worst rush defenses? The Panthers are unbeaten at home all season? Easy call here.
Result – Panthers win
Pittsburgh at Baltimore – The Steelers and the Ravens is a marquee match up of defensive football. This should be like watching two bulls lock horns for a couple of inches. The Steelers will find a way.
Result – Steelers win
New England at Oakland – The Patriots simply can not lose this game.
Result – Patriots win
NY Giants at Dallas – The Giants are suddenly starting to look like they can lose, and the Cowboys are a wounded animal. I expect the Cowboys to show up big and rattle Eli all day long.
Result – Cowboys Win
Cleveland at Philadelphia – Philly dominates as they get closer to the playoffs yet again.
Score – Philly 28 Browns 12
Week fourteen record – 11-5
Season Record – 129-79