Week 15 NFL Predictions: 5 Shocking Predictions for Sunday's Action
If there's one thing that we've learned about the National Football League it's that you have to expect the unexpected, as nothing can be taken for granted and every week contains as many surprises as it does predictable outcomes.
This was demonstrated very well last week, when a San Diego Chargers team that looked to have given up on the season rolled into Pittsburgh and manhandled a Pittsburgh Steelers squad coming off one of its biggest wins of the year.
Trying to forecast the unpredictable can be predictably (pardon the pun) maddening, but that won't stop me from trying, so here's a look at a handful of predictions for Week 15 that will leave football fans slack-jawed on Sunday.
The New York Giants Will Get Pounded by the Atlanta Falcons
Nick Laham/Getty Images
The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants are one of the hardest teams in the National Football League to figure out this season.
The Giants looked great in throttling the Green Bay Packers in Week 12, then fell flat against the Washington Redskins in Week 13 before once again looking very strong in blowing out the New Orleans Saints last Sunday.
This Jekyll and Hyde act must be very stressful for supporters of the team, and that stress level is going to ratchet up a couple of notches this week after the Giants lose by double digits to an 11-2 Atlanta Falcons team smarting from last week's loss and looking to avenge last year's playoff defeat at the hands of the G-Men.
The Washington Redskins Will Win Without RG3
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
At 7-6 the Washington Redskins are in the thick of the NFC playoff race, but the team and its fans got a huge scare when rookie sensation Robert Griffin III was forced from last week's win over the Baltimore Ravens with a knee injury.
Luckily for the team that knee injury has been diagnosed as only a minor strain, but soreness in that knee will lead the Redskins to play it safe and rest the future of their franchise this week.
However, Griffin isn't the only first-year pro having a big year in the nation's capital.
Running back Alfred Morris has topped 1,000 yards for the Redskins this season, and against the NFL's 18th-ranked run defense, Washington will lean heavily on Morris and eke out a three-point win over the Cleveland Browns.
The Indianapolis Colts Will Stun the Houston Texans
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The Houston Texans had a big test against the New England Patriots on Monday night, and unfortunately for the team, to say that it failed that test is a massive understatement.
The Texans were destroyed by the Patriots 42-14, due in large part to a leaky secondary that has allowed almost 350 passing yards a game over the past four weeks.
That secondary is going to become an issue once again in Week 15, as an Indianapolis Colts team riding a three-game winning streak will hit the 350-yard benchmark en route to a win over the Texans that will add some intrigue to the race in the AFC South.
The Arizona Cardinals Will Be Shut Out...Again
Kevin Casey/Getty Images
Since winning four straight games, the Arizona Cardinals have begun a free fall that would give Felix Baumgartner vertigo.
The reeling Cardinals have now dropped nine straight games, and it appeared that the team hit rock bottom with a 58-0 whitewashing at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks last week.
But wait, there's more!
The Cardinals have established an entire new level on the pathetic quarterback play scale, and the team will continue to redefine the word futility when for the third straight game it fails to score a touchdown and for the second straight game it fails to score a single point this week against the Detroit Lions.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Stumble Will Continue
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Although they don't even play in the same conference, the rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys is one of the most storied in the National Football League, as the two teams have met three times in the Super Bowl.
There's not quite that much on the line in this meeting but it's still a big game, as at 7-6 both teams are grimly clinging to their playoff chances and can't afford another loss.
These are both squads with their share of problems, but with the Cowboys coming off a big win over the Cincinnati Bengals while the Steelers are trying to regroup from that stunning loss to the Chargers, the home team will emerge with a hard-fought win that drops the Steelers to .500.