There is very little that could be considered easy in the NFL, but there are a few teams that should cruise to victory at home in Week 15.
At this late stage of the season, there is a clear divide between the top teams and the rest of the pack. Meanwhile, there are a number of squads on the bottom that have seemingly mailed it in for the season.
This makes it much easier for those attempting to pick the games.
There will certainly be plenty of close, entertaining battles during the weekend, including the New England Patriots taking on the Miami Dolphins, as well as the Baltimore Ravens against the Detroit Lions. However, this next set of games should be blowouts in favor of the home team.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
Nothing seems to have gone right for the Texans this season. After coming into the year as possible Super Bowl contenders, they have lost 11 games in a row, which spurred this tweet from a parody account:
In honor of Friday the 13th, Texans walk under ladder, break mirror and adopt 8 black cats because things couldn’t possibly get worse.— The Fake ESPN (@TheFakeESPN) December 13, 2013
Of course, most are in agreement that lack of luck has been a problem for Houston in 2013:
RESULTS: With all their injuries, the Texans (23%) are the unluckiest team in the NFL. Packers, Falcons & Patriots follow. #UnluckestNFLTeam— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 13, 2013
Unfortunately, this is not likely to change anytime soon as the team now has to face the Colts on the road in Week 15. Indianapolis puts a lot more talent on the field at this point and have already beaten the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos at home this year.
The only question for Indianapolis is whether it can avoid another poor start. The squad has trailed by double digits in the first half in five of the last six games.
Still, the Texans have not proven the ability to finish off opponents, and the Colts should leave with a victory.
Carolina Panthers vs. New York Jets
After playing one of his better games of the season, Geno Smith appears to have figured out what was going wrong. According to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News, the Jets quarterback recently said:
I think I’d kind of gotten to this zone where I just tried to be way too perfect. That’s almost impossible to do at any level, especially as a rookie. There were times where I was so caught up in running the play and executing it to perfection, that I didn’t allow my natural ability to take over at times.
Sadly, his attempt at perfection has led to 20 interceptions in his first 13 NFL starts. While it is nice to see him plan on relaxing, he will not get that chance in Week 15.
The Carolina Panthers have the top scoring defense in the league, and they will be a rude awakening for Smith after facing the struggling Oakland Raiders. Their elite defensive line will put pressure on the rookie quarterback throughout the game, and he is likely to make a lot of mistakes.
Adding this to the Jets' 1-5 record on the road, and this game has the potential to get ugly in a hurry.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers
The biggest storyline following the Packers this season is the health of Aaron Rodgers. Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette provided the latest on the situation:
Without the former MVP, the team will once again turn to Matt Flynn, who is coming off his first win of the season over the Atlanta Falcons. While he has the chance to throw for a lot of yards against the Cowboys defense, he still will not lead the team to as many points as Rodgers would have.
As a result, this leaves the door open for Tony Romo to do what he has been doing all year: outscore his own defense.
While the embattled quarterback receives a lot of criticism, the Cowboys are tied with the Seahawks for the third-most points scored in the league. Even though they do not get a lot of yards, they avoid mistakes with an NFC-low 13 giveaways this year.
With some efficient play in the red zone, Dallas should get back on track and move to 6-1 at home.
|San Francisco 49ers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||49ers|
|Washington Redskins||Atlanta Falcons||Falcons|
|Chicago Bears||Cleveland Browns||Bears|
|Houston Texans||Indianapolis Colts||Colts|
|New England Patriots||Miami Dolphins||Dolphins|
|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||Titans|
|New Orleans Saints||St. Louis Rams||Saints|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||Bengals|
|Baltimore Ravens||Detroit Lions||Lions|
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