NFL Picks Week 15: Breaking Down Primetime Matchups

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 11, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 10: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts to the cheers of fans before a game with Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on December 10, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Week 15 of the 2012-2013 campaign features a plethora of clashes with playoff implications as the regular season winds down.

The week's primetime showdowns also sport some teams gunning for position in the playoffs, whether it be two powerhouses or a team on the cusp of a wild-card spot.

Here's a look at Week 15's primetime clashes, complete with predictions.


Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-9)

Philadelphia's best chance to win this game is to run the ball effectively, given Cincinnati's pass defense and a rookie being under center in Nick Foles.

The problem is, the Eagles have been inconsistent running the football and they don't appear to be that concerned with running it anyway. 

Andy Reid's reliance on the pass, no matter who is in the backfield or who is under center, will doom Philadelphia in Week 15.

Prediction: Cincinnati 23, Philadelphia 17


San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1) at New England Patriots (10-3)

The 49ers have one of the best defenses in the NFL this season, there's no doubt about that.

But after Tom Brady and the Patriots thrashed the Houston Texans in Week 14, I find it hard to believe the Patriots won't find ways to score points in this matchup.

I think San Francisco's chances ultimately lie in Colin Kaepernick's hands. While I can see him doing some damage against New England's beatable pass defense, I don't think he'll do enough to outscore the Patriots, especially in Foxboro.

Prediction: New England 27, San Francisco 21


New York Jets (6-7) at Tennessee Titans (4-9)

The Jets have been bad this season, but the Titans have been worse.

Tennessee would have the best shot of winning this game with its rushing attack, but Chris Johnson hasn't had a good performance since Week 10 against the Miami Dolphins.

New York's run defense can be beat, but it's hard to trust that the Titans will expose the Jets at this juncture. If the running game stalls, leaving it up to Jake Locker against New York's pass defense is asking for trouble.

Prediction: New York 24, Tennessee 17


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