Predicting the MVP for Each Week 15 NFL Game
Week 15 is when the men will be separated from the boys in the NFL. With tons of division matchups taking place, the playoff picture will start to look a lot more clear after Monday night.
The New York Jets are still in the playoff picture as are the St. Louis Rams. The AFC playoff race is starting to come to shape, but the NFC still has a lot of drama to be played out.
Here are the MVP selections for each game this week. The Cincinnati Bengals winning on Thursday Night Football kept their playoff hopes alive. These potential MVPs will look to keep their teams in the hunt.
New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons MVP: Giants QB Eli Manning
Eli Manning is playing some of the best football of his career, and the Falcons defense has shown weakness of late. The Falcons defense is ranked 20th in the NFL and gives up 7.4 yards per completion.
Manning is completing 61 percent of his passes on the season and has eight touchdown passes in the last three games. Manning makes stars out of all of his receivers and makes even the backups look like Pro Bowlers. Manning has a 4-1 record against the Falcons in his career.
Last year in the playoffs, Manning threw for three scores versus the Falcons. Look for those numbers again as the Giants win in Atlanta.
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears MVP: Packers RB Alex Green
The Bears defense looked pedestrian last week as it tried to stop Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Though Alex Green is not in that company yet, the Packers will follow that game plan and feed Green the football in the run game.
Green is coming off his best rushing performance of the season with 69 yards rushing versus the Detroit Lions. Green looks to be at full strength and ready to help the Packers in the playoff push.
Green will get 100 yards rushing and his first rushing touchdown of the year as the Packers go into Chicago and get the win.
Washington Redskins vs. Cleveland Browns MVP: Redskins RB Alfred Morris
Alfred Morris is one of the best rookies in the NFL. Most fans and pundits are giving credit of the Redskins' success to Robert Griffin III, but Morris may be more important to the offense than the quarterback. Morris gives the Redskins a weapon out of the backfield and keeps opposing defenses honest.
The Browns defense could not stop the Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles in Week 14. Look for Morris to have a huge day rushing the football. The rookie runner has rushed for 366 yards the past three games with two total scores.
Morris will top 100 yards rushing for the fourth straight week and score again as the Redskins improve their playoff chances.
Minnesota Vikings vs. St. Louis Rams MVP: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson not only could win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year, but he is making a case for league MVP. The Rams have a comeback of their own this season in terms of record, and the defense has played solid in spurts. The Rams are only giving up 4.0 yards a carry but have given up 15 rushing touchdowns.
Week 15 versus Peterson will be the Rams' biggest test. The former Oklahoma Sooner is the best running back in football and has rushed for 825 yards and six touchdowns in the last five games.
Peterson will rush for over 150 yards and score two touchdowns as the Vikings stay in the playoff picture.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins MVP: Dolphins DE Cameron Wake
The Jaguars offensive line has had its struggles this entire season and is a major reason Jacksonville has the 31st-ranked offense in the NFL. The Jaguars offense has given up 40 sacks on the season.
Starting left tackle Eugene Monroe will have his hands full with Cameron Wake coming off the edge. Wake has 5.5 sacks in the last four games and had three sacks in Week 14.
Wake will finish the day with more than one sack and will be involved in a turnover play to help the Dolphins win the game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints MVP: Bucs WR Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson has to be chomping at the bit to face the Saints again this year. In the first meeting, Jackson had a season-high 216 yards receiving and 30.9 yards per reception.
Quarterback Josh Freeman and Jackson have become one of the top QB-WR duos in the NFL. Jackson is seventh in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,145 yards and has eight touchdowns.
The lack of a pass rush by the Saints has forced the secondary to cover for too long this season. The Saints have only produced 25 sacks all year. With time in the pocket, Freeman will hit Jackson on a couple deep passes for major gains and at least two scores.
Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens MVP: Ravens RB Ray Rice
Look for the Ravens offense to get back to the basics versus a Broncos defense that is one of the best in the NFL. Ray Rice is the best offensive weapon for the Ravens and has proved that the past two weeks. Rice has averaged 6.3 yards a carry and scored two touchdowns the past two contests. Look for new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell to ride the hot hand.
The former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, Caldwell will feed Rice the football at least 25 times and utilize Rice as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. The Ravens offense works better when run through the former Rutgers star.
The Broncos defense is one of seven NFL teams to allow less than 100 yards rushing per game. So Rice and the Ravens will be tested. But Rice will prevail and gain over 150 yards in total offense and a touchdown as the Ravens clinch the AFC North.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans MVP: Colts QB Andrew Luck
The Colts head to Houston with a chance to stay alive in the AFC South race. Andrew Luck has had struggles the past two games, even though the Colts have won. Luck will break out of his funk versus a Texans defense that has had trouble stopping any quarterback this season.
The Texans defense, though solid versus the run, has struggled versus the pass. The Colts offense will expose the Texans secondary this week after establishing the run early. Wide receivers Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton will benefit from Luck’s accurate passes.
The Colts will take advantage of the fact the Texans have allowed 47 passes of 20-plus yards and have given up 24 passing touchdowns. Look for Luck to pass for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns.
Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals MVP: Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and is stuck on one of the worst teams. In the past five seasons, Fitzgerald has had more than 1,000 yards receiving. This season, Fitzgerald is on pace for just over 800.
The Cardinals offense is facing a solid passing defense in the Lions. The Lions only give up 227.4 yards a game. But the Lions defense gives up 26.3 points a game.
In a game that will be a shootout, look for Fitzgerald to finally have a “Larry Fitzgerald” type of game with 100-plus yards receiving and a touchdown.
Carolina Panthers vs. San Diego Chargers MVP: Chargers WR Danario Alexander
Danario Alexander would be in the mix for Comeback Player of the Year if not for guys like Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles. Alexander has played through countless knee surgeries, yet has emerged as the best receiving threat on the Chargers.
The Panthers have a solid pass defense, but with nothing to lose, quarterback Philip Rivers often throws the football up to Alexander and expects the big receiver to come down it.
Alexander has had double-digit targets from Rivers in three out of the last four games and has produced four scores in that same time frame. Look for Alexander to help the Chargers win at home with a touchdown and more than 90 yards receiving.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Buffalo Bills MVP: Bills RB C.J. Spiller
The Seahawks struggle on the road, and C.J. Spiller will help play spoiler. Spiller is easily the best offensive weapon on the Bills, and the offense will run through him Week 15.
Seattle has one of the top rushing defenses in the NFL, but it has allowed 10 runs of more than 20-plus yards. Spiller has the game-breaking speed to expose that weakness in the Seahawks defense.
In an upset, the Bills will knock off the Seahawks and win a game for all the Canadians to enjoy.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Dallas Cowboys MVP: Cowboys QB Tony Romo
The Cowboys are peaking at the right time, and all of that success is due to Tony Romo. The Cowboys have won four out of five and will be looking to knock off the Steelers at home. In that five-game stretch, Romo has thrown 10 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
The Steelers defense is the best in the NFL against the pass. But Romo has been on fire of late and will take advantage of the Steelers this Sunday.
Look for Romo to get the offense rolling and for the quarterback to have one of the best games of his professional career. A 300-yard-plus game and multiple touchdown passes are not out of the question.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders MVP: Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles
Two of the worst teams in the NFL face off in a game that does not look very exciting on paper. Both teams are searching for an identity, and both may be looking at a top-five pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
The Raiders have given up 131.2 yards a game on the ground and allow 30.9 points a game. Jamaal Charles is the Chiefs offense and should find success running against the Raiders. Though Charles only had five carries for four yards in the loss to the Raiders earlier in the year, Charles is now a different player.
Charles has rushed for at least 100 yards in four of the last five games. Charles will make that five out of six after Week 15.
San Francisco 49ers vs. New England Patriots MVP: Patriots WR Wes Welker
The 49ers defense is one of the best in the game, but it has been exposed at times this season. Look for Brady and Welker to take advantage of the deficiencies of the 49ers pass defense for a huge game.
Welker only has four scores on the season, but will find the end zone versus the 49ers. Welker will also top the 100-yard mark in receiving yards for the sixth time in 2012.
New York Jets vs. Tennessee Titans MVP: Jets RB Shonn Greene
In a game that doesn't feature much firepower from either offense, Shonn Greene is the Jets best offensive weapon. Greene has had 20 or more carries in the last two games, and the Jets have won each contest.
The Titans have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, giving up 29.7 points a game. Tennessee allows 127 yards rushing a game.
In a low-scoring affair, Greene will be the difference in the Jets victory. With 20-plus carries, Greene will rush for more than 80 yards and the score that will decide the outcome.