NFL Picks: New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons and the Winners Of Week 15
We are now in Week 15 of the 2010-11 NFL season, with the playoffs just around the corner. With teams desperately fighting for a postseason berth, this week will be one of the most thrilling yet.
At this point in the season, teams realize that every game is absolutely crucial to their hopes of a playoff appearance. So the following questions arise:
Will the New York Jets snap their losing streak against the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Can the Jacksonville Jaguars defeat the Indianapolis Colts and begin to pull away with the AFC South?
Will the New York Giants beat Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, reclaiming first in the NFC East?
The following slides preview and predict the NFL games of Week 15 .
Take a look, and enjoy the games this weekend...
Cleveland Browns (5-8) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (2-11)
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The Cincinnati Bengals have lost 10 consecutive games, but in Week 15 they'll get their third win of the season against the Cleveland Browns.
The Bengals rushing attack has been fairly weak this entire season, but Cedric Benson will have a big game this week against the 23rd overall rushing defense of the Browns.
Cleveland's Head Coach Eric Mangini has named Colt McCoy his starting quarterback for the rest of the season as he returns from injury this week. McCoy has showed some promise for the future, but will not be enough for the Cincinnati Bengals, who are seriously overdue for a win.
Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati Bengals 27 - Cleveland Browns 23
Washington Redskins (5-8) vs. Dallas Cowboys (4-9)
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In what has been a disappointing season for the Dallas Cowboys, they have seen a lot of production from the quarterback position. The Cowboys have the fourth overall passing offense in the NFL this season, earning 263.8 YPG. Against one of the worst overall defenses in the entire NFL, in the Washington Redskins, expect Jon Kitna to record his fourth 300+ yard game of the season.
Predicted Outcome: Dallas Cowboys 23 - Washington Redskins 17
Houston Texans (5-8) vs. Tennessee Titans (5-8)
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After losing six of the last seven games, the Houston Texans have virtually played themselves out of the playoff race for this season. But the Texans are an extremely competitive team that have the seventh overall passing offense, seventh overall rushing offense, and sixth overall rushing defense in the NFL.
The Texans have already defeated the Tennessee Titans earlier this season, by a score of 20-0. Matt Schaub has played exceptionally well of late throwing for a total of 10 touchdowns and three interceptions in his last five games.
Predicted Outcome: Houston Texans 31 - Tennessee Titans 17
Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) vs. Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
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The Jacksonville Jaguars have been on a streak of late, winning five of their last six outings. But, in order for them to remain on top of the AFC South, the Jaguars will have to defeat Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts one more time.
The last time these two teams faced the Jaguars beat the Colts in Jacksonville by a score of 31-28, but will not be so lucky the second time around.
Predicted Outcome: Indianapolis Colts 24 - Jacksonville Jaguars 20
Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) vs. St. Louis Rams (6-7)
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Both the Kansas City Chiefs and the St. Louis Rams are in a tight divisional race. A loss this week could potentially kick one of these teams out of the playoff hunt this season.
With the best overall rushing attack in the NFL, led by Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, the Chiefs should have no problem beating out the Rams remaining atop the AFC West.
Predicted Outcome: Kansas City Chiefs 34 - St. Louis Rams 23
Buffalo Bills (3-10) vs. Miami Dolphins (7-6)
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After a huge road win against the New York Jets last week, the Miami Dolphins are still in search of the postseason. With the sixth overall passing defense and the seventh overall rushing defense, the Dolphins should come away with this one.
The Buffalo Bills have the worst overall rushing defense in the entire NFL, so expect Ronnie Brown to have one of his best games of the season.
Predicted Outcome: Miami Dolphins 24 - Buffalo Bills 17
Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) vs. New York Giants (9-4)
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In what is guaranteed to be a playoff atmosphere, the winner of this game will take over first place in the NFC East.
In their first meeting, the Philadelphia Eagles beat out the Giants 27-17 at home. This week, Michael Vick and the Eagles will travel to New York in the attempt to get one step closer to a playoff birth.
The Vick-led Eagles offense will have its hands full in Week 15 going up against the second overall passing defense and fifth overall rushing defense of the New York Giants.
Bradshaw and Jacobs will continue to form the deadly combo they've been exhibiting of late, leading the Giants much-needed win.
Predicted Outcome: New York Giants 30 - Philadelphia Eagles 24
Detroit Lions (3-10) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)
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Josh Freeman has had one hell of a season this year, scoring 17 touchdowns and only throwing six interceptions. Over the last five games Freeman has thrown a total of seven touchdowns and one interception.
Expect Freeman to have his first three-touchdown game of the season, and only second of his career, against the Detroit Lion defense who have given up an average of 220.2 yards per game this season.
Predicted Outcome: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30 - Detroit Lions 20
Arizona Cardinals (4-9) vs. Carolina Panthers (1-12)
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The Carolina Panthers have continually struggled this season, only winning one game by three against the 5-9 San Francisco 49ers.
The Arizona Cardinals are statistically one of the worst overall teams in the NFL. After going 1-7 in their last eight games the Cardinals will lose yet again in Week 15 against Jimmy Clausen and the Panthers.
Predicted Outcome: Carolina Panthers 27 - Arizona Cardinals 20
New Orleans Saints (10-3) vs. Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
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In a battle between two of the NFL's best teams, the Baltimore Ravens will come out of this game as the victors.
Joe Flacco has been developing into one of the more dominant quarterbacks in the league, making this Ravens organization a complete team. They've always had that dangerous defense, but have often struggled getting the ball into the endzone on the offensive side.
In his last eight performances, Joe Flacco has recorded 16 touchdowns and only two interceptions, while earning over a 100.0 QB rating in six of those games.
Predicted Outcome: Baltimore Ravens 21 - New Orleans Saints 20
Atlanta Falcons (11-2) vs. Seattle Seahawks (6-7)
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With a 6-7 record, the Seattle Seahawks are surprisingly still in the playoff race, tied for first in the NFC West standings.
But, unfortunately for the Seahawks, their Week 15 opponent is the Atlanta Falcons.
Falcons running back Michael Turner has been quite explosive of late, rushing for over 100 yards in three of his last four performances. When the Falcons receive this caliber of contribution from Turner, there are only a few teams that can even attempt to keep up with them.
Seattle is not one of those teams.
Predicted Outcome: Atlanta Falcons 34 - Seattle Seahawks 17
Denver Broncos (3-10) vs. Oakland Raiders (6-7)
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If the Oakland Raiders want to keep their postseason hopes alive they will have to take down inner-divisonal rival in the Denver Broncos.
The third overall ranked rushing offense of the Oakland Raiders, led by Darren McFadden, should have no problem penetrating the 31st overall ranked rushing defense of the Broncos.
With their fifth consecutive loss, the Broncos will likely have no other choice but to give the fans what they want and start Tim Tebow in Week 16.
Predicted Outcome: Oakland Raiders 24 - Denver Broncos 17
New York Jets (9-4) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)
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The New York Jets have lost consecutive games for the first time this season and look to bounce back against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense just can't seem to get anything going lately, and have been the primary reason for the team's poor results. Sanchez may be able to recuperate himself against Pittsburgh's 23rd overall ranked passing defense. Although, LaDainian Tomlinson and the Jets rushing attack will have their work cut out for them, against the first overall rushing defense, which only gives up an average of 60.1 yards per game.
Predicted Outcome: New York Jets 27 - Pittsburgh Steelers 24
Green Bay Packers (8-5) vs. New England Patriots (11-2)
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No other team in the NFL has been playing at the same level as the New England Patriots. In the last five games, New England has beaten four of the best teams in the NFL in the New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers.
But with Green Bay currently trailing the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears by two games, the Packers will not go down in Week 15 without one hell of a fight.
In what will be a very close game, I'm expecting the Packers to pull away with this one in the final seconds.
Predicted Outcome: Green Bay Packers 27 - New England Patriots 26
Chicago Bears (9-4) vs. Minnesota Vikings (5-8)
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After suffering a disappointing loss to the New England Patriots in Week 14, Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears will travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in a Monday night showdown.
It looks like Favre will be sidelined once again this week, after not participating in practice on Thursday or Friday. An exam has shown no structural damage, but Favre said that his injury has not improved and there was still numbness in his right hand.
With Favre, the Vikings didn't look too impressive, but without him their offense looked 10 times worse.
If Favre doesn't start in Week 15 then the Chicago Bears will easily win this game, and move one step closer to winning the NFC North.
Predicted Outcome: Chicago Bears 27 - Minnesota Vikings 17