Alright, NFL, what can you do for an encore?
With guys like Jason Campbell and Josh McCown leading the charge, and snow flurries seemingly blanketing every other game, Week 14 produced the most points and touchdowns in league history, per FOX Sports' NFL Twitter feed:
More touchdowns - 104 of them - and more points - 859 - were scored this week than in any on other week in NFL HISTORY!— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 10, 2013
Thank you, Monte Kiffin. Thank you, Ravens and Vikings. Thank you, Peyton Manning.
The upcoming slate of games may not generate numbers of that stature again, but it's clear that the league is evolving and offenses are clicking.
Judging by the schedule, points will once again be abundant in Week 15. As such, along with my complete picks, we'll take a look at some teams that will win offensive shootouts.
|San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos||Broncos|
|San Francisco 49ers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||49ers|
|Washington Redskins||Atlanta Falcons||Redskins|
|Chicago Bears||Cleveland Browns||Browns|
|Houston Texans||Indianapolis Colts||Colts|
|New England Patriots||Miami Dolphins||Patriots|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Minnesota Vikings||Eagles|
|Seattle Seahawks||New York Giants||Seahawks|
|Buffalo Bills||Jacksonville Jaguars||Jaguars|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Oakland Raiders||Chiefs|
|New York Jets||Carolina Panthers||Panthers|
|Green Bay Packers||Dallas Cowboys||Cowboys|
|Arizona Cardinals||Tennessee Titans||Cardinals|
|New Orleans Saints||St. Louis Rams||Saints|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||Bengals|
|Baltimore Ravens||Detroit Lions||Lions|
Denver Broncos (vs. San Diego Chargers)
Thursday Night Football, which tends to be sloppy and injury-plagued, has given us such gems as "Jets 10, Patriots 13" and "Saints 17, Falcons 13," so it's hard to say with complete confidence that the offenses will be clicking.
But according to Football Outsiders' offensive efficiency rankings, the Broncos and Chargers feature the two best offenses in the NFL.
The regular stats don't exactly oppose that stance either, as Denver and San Diego come in first and third in yards per play, per TeamRankings.com.
Furthermore, you shouldn't expect much resistance. The Chargers are last in the NFL in yards per play allowed—and are even worse on the road—while the Broncos aren't that far ahead, tied for the 12th most allowed.
The Chargers have the firepower to keep up with Denver, and Wes Welker is out for the Broncos, but it would be silly to bet against Manning and his arsenal of weapons in what will turn into a battle of offenses.
Philadelphia Eagles (at Minnesota Vikings)
It hasn't really been the City of Brotherly Love for the hometown Eagles. Check our their home/away splits on the season:
|Record||Points Per Game||Yards Per Game||Yards Per Play|
Of course, the team has caught fire lately. Nick Foles is playing unbelievably, the always-dangerous LeSean McCoy somehow gets better in the snow and Chip Kelly's team has won five in a row—three of which have come in Philly.
Still, on the road against a Vikings defense that is giving up more than 30 points per contest and was just part of a game that featured five touchdowns over the last 125 seconds, the Eagles are going to run rampant.
Whether or not the Vikings can turn it into a shootout depends largely on the health of Adrian Peterson, but according to ESPN's Ben Goessling, Purple Jesus is "vowing" to play:
Frazier: Little more optimistic with Toby than Adrian, but said Peterson vowed he'd be ready. He's out of the boot, will be in the pool.— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) December 11, 2013
The Eagles have played better defense as of late, and will come away with the win, but there will be plenty of points on both sides of the ball in this one.
Washington Redskins (at Atlanta Falcons)
It's hard to trust either of these teams right now, but one thing is certain: Their defenses stink.
Per Football Outsiders' efficiency rankings, the Redskins are 26th in the NFL in defense, while Atlanta sits at 31st. Moreover, they both rank near the bottom of the league in points allowed per game (31st and 29th), yards allowed per game (22nd and 26th) and yards allowed per play (28th and 30th).
No matter how inconsistent these offenses have been, they will still be able to light up the scoreboard.
And for the winner, I'm going with the upset (Atlanta is favored by seven points, per Covers). As NFL.com's Jeff Darlington reported, Kirk Cousins is set to get the start under center for Washington:
Redskins players have been told Rex Grossman will backup Kirk Cousins on Sunday -- and Robert Griffin III will be inactive.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) December 11, 2013
Neither team has much motivation to win right now, but Cousins has a terrific opportunity to prove himself. Combine that with Washington's far superior run game, and the Redskins will have the offensive balance to win this contest.