NFL – Week Fifteen Predictions

15 Dec

Last week’s selections produced 11 correct picks out of the 16 games, pushing the season record to 131 correct picks and 77 incorrect. Here are my week 15 choices:

Jacksonville at Atlanta – this is an obvious mismatch pitting a down-and-out team that has already fired their coach against a team fighting for a playoff spot, played in the hungry team’s home stadium. This should be a lop-sided Falcon win.

Dallas at Tampa Bay – the Buccaneers have been a major disappointment this year, but you would hope they could muster up a good performance at home and play spoiler against a Cowboy team that has struggled to finish games. They haven’t shown the ability to muster up much of anything, so I say Dallas wins a game they absolutely need to win.

Miami at Buffalo – the Fish come to town having just fired their head coach, which means they’ll either be more motivated, or more disorganized. They beat the Bills soundly in Miami, but I believe Buffalo is not the type of team to mail in the rest of the season. They’ll rise up at home and break their 6 game losing streak by beating Miami.

Seattle at Chicago – this should be a low scoring game, and Seattle is on a roll, while the Bears have lost all their offensive weapons. The Seahawks win.

Carolina at Houston – the Texans wrapped up the first division title in their history last week, and I see this as a trap game for them. They’ll take the Panthers lightly and Cam Newton will lead a surprise upset win for Carolina.

Tennessee at Indianapolis – next season, and the expected return of Peyton Manning, can’t come soon enough for the Colts. They’ll stay winless as the Titans win to stay in the playoff race.

Green Bay at Kansas City – you have to wonder how the Packers can stay motivated for games like this, other than trying to stay unbeaten. It won’t be a total blowout, but the Pack wins again.

New Orleans at Minnesota – the Saints can only lose this game if they beat themselves, and they won’t. Drew Brees carves up a weak Viking defense and leads a New Orleans win.

Washington at New York Giants – the Redskins played New England tough last week, and division games are always struggles, but I have to believe the Giants, now in the driver’s seat in the NFC East race, will pull out a win here.

Cincinnati at St. Louis – the Bengals still have playoff hopes, even though they’ve lost ground playing a brutal schedule recently. They will ride a great effort by their defense to a hard-fought road win over the Rams.

Detroit at Oakland – the loser of this game takes a big hit to their playoff hopes. I’ll say that the proud Raiders rebound from being embarrassed in Green Bay last week and beat the Lions at home.

Cleveland at Arizona – the Browns have no chance of winning in the tough environment in Arizona. The Cardinals continue the roll they’re on with a big win.

New England at Denver – the Broncos are at home and have a much better defense than the Patriots, but this game boils down to Tom Brady vs. Tim Tebow. The magic ends here as there’s no way New England allows themselves to become the latest Tebow victim. The Pats rise to the occasion on defense and win.

New York Jets at Philadelphia – Michael Vick is back in the lineup and that makes the Eagles a different team. Although they’re out of the playoffs, the Eagles, under Andy Reid, will be prepared to play hard, especially at home in front of their critical fans. I’ll take Philly to win and throw a wrench into the Jets’ playoff hopes.

Baltimore at San Diego – the Ravens have had some major hiccups against bad teams this year, but still control their own fate in the AFC North race. Baltimore wins here to knock the Chargers out of playoff contention.

Pittsburgh at San Francisco – the defenses will control this game. Because they have much more experience under the Monday Night spotlight, I’ll take the Steelers to outlast the young 49ers.

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