NFL Predictions Week 15: Picks for Every Game
Week 15 in the NFL is a good one. It features the first Saturday night game of the season and a good Monday Night Football game for the first time in a while.
The best game of the week is that Monday night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers.
Click through to see a prediction for who will win each game.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Atlanta Falcons
This is the Jaguars third time on primetime this season. It is hard to figure out what the NFL was thinking when they gave Jacksonville all of those games.
This is a tough match-up for the Jaguars. The only good thing they have going on offense is Maurice Jones-Drew, and the Falcons are fifth in the league against the run. That is a recipe for a low-scoring night for Jacksonville.
Atlanta will try and take advantage of a Jaguars defense that is 16th against the run and gives up 111.5 yards per game on the ground. That means it will be a big night for Michael Turner.
Falcons 24 Jaguars 14
Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The first Saturday night game of the year features a good matchup for the Cowboys. They are facing a Tampa defense that gives up 388.5 yards per game.
The Buccaneers are especially bad against the run. They give up 139.7 yards per game on the ground. Dallas will miss the services of DeMarco Murray in this one, but even Felix Jones can run on this defense.
Tampa Bay should summon anything they have left if they want Raheem Morris to be their coach next year. He needs a strong finish to save his job.
Cowboys 28 Buccaneers 20
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills
It has been a disappointing year for both of these teams. The Bills started out the season on fire, but have not won a game since October.
The Dolphins started off slow. They got hot, but after losing two of the last three, Tony Sparano was fired.
This could be a really good game. Miami will look to take advantage of the Buffalo rush defense that gives up 130.7 yards per game. The Bills will look to take advantage of the Dolphins defense that gives up 244.2 yards per game. That is the recipe for a shootout.
Bills 35 Dolphins 31
Seattle Seahawks vs. Chicago Bears
This is a game that features two teams going in opposite directions. The Seahawks have won four of their last five, while the Bears have lost three in a row.
Chicago has been surprisingly bad against the pass this year. They rank 28th in the league, giving up 256.5 yards per game through the air. Can Tarvaris Jackson take advantage of that?
In the end, this will be a low scoring game that is won in the fourth quarter.
Seahawks 13 Bears 9
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts cannot get to their Week 17 game with the Jaguars quickly enough because that is the only game they have a chance to win. They just continue to look forward with great anticipation to hearing their name attached to Andrew Luck in the 2012 draft.
This should be a good matchup for Chris Johnson because the Colts are terrible against the run. Look for him to have a big game.
Indianapolis really is not good at anything. That is why they will not win any games this season.
Titans 31 Colts 17
Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
This is the Week 15 "Name Your Number Game." The Chiefs are really bad on defense. That is not a good thing when facing a quarterback who is on pace to break just about every single-season record there is.
The only place the Packers are weak is against the pass, but Kansas City will not be able to do anything about it because they do not have a quarterback that can make any plays in the passing game.
Packers 42 Chiefs 13
Cincinnati Bengals vs. St. Louis Rams
The Bengals are playing for their playoff lives in this one. It probably only takes one more loss to knock them out of contention, so it is a good thing they are playing a team as bad as the Rams.
The Bengals have won a lot of games this season with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, but they will run their offense through Cedric Benson in this one because St. Louis is so bad against the run. They are giving up 156.8 yards per game.
The Rams offense runs through Steven Jackson. He will have trouble finding room to run against a tough Bengals defense.
Bengals 27 Rams 13
New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Saints have won five in a row since losing in St. Louis. You can expect that streak to extend to six this week because the Vikings will not be able to stay on the field with them in this one.
The only shot Minnesota has is to hope that Adrian Peterson is ready to go. He was close last week. If he can play, the Vikings might be able to play keep away against the Saints run defense that ranks 15th against the run.
Saints 38 Vikings 20
Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants
The Giants come into this one on a high after a big win against the Cowboys last week. They will also be looking to avenge their loss to the Redskins earlier in the season.
Washington has just completely fallen apart. They have lost eight of their last nine games. That is mostly because they cannot score points. That will be a problem for them here because the Giants can put points on the board in bunches.
Giants 31 Redskins 13
Carolina Panthers vs. Houston Texans
Apparently, the Houston Texans will never lose another game. It does not matter who they are playing or how many guys get hurt. They just keep winning.
This week should be no exception. Their No. 1-ranked defense will give Cam Newton problems from the minute he steps on the field. Look for him to have his worst performance of the year.
The Texans will just hand the ball to Arian Foster and Ben Tate on offense. Carolina will have no answer. They are giving up 128.9 yards per game on the ground.
Texans 23 Panthers 13
Detroit Lions vs. Oakland Raiders
This should be one of the better games of the weekend. Both of these teams are fighting for their playoff lives.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson should be able to make some big plays in Oakland. The Raiders rank 16th against the pass.
The Raiders will try their best to pound the ball with Michael Bush to keep the Detroit offense off the field. They should find some room to run against the league's 27th-ranked rush defense.
You also have to factor in here how hard it is going to be on Detroit to make the cross-country trip to Oakland. That gives the Raiders a slight edge.
Raiders 24 Lions 21
New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
This is the week the Tim Tebow magic runs out. The Broncos have been winning games on the strength of their defense shutting down relatively weak offenses. The offense they are facing this week is anything but weak.
Tebow has obviously played well when it mattered the most, but that depends on the game being close in the fourth quarter. This game is likely to be over well before the fourth quarter. The Denver defense has been pretty good against the pass, but they are just middle of the pack. Tom Brady tears up middle-of-the-pack defenses.
Patriots 27 Broncos 13
New York Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Jets are in a tough battle for the final wild card spot in the AFC. The Eagles are not playing for anything other than Andy Reid's job.
The Jets were struggling on defense early in the year, especially against the run, but they have gotten back on track over the last six weeks. They are sixth in the league in total defense now. The Eagles will need their full compliment of weapons playing well to score points in this one.
New York will just line up and hand the ball to Shonn Greene against a Philadelphia defense that is giving up 115.1 yards per game on the ground.
Jets 24 Eagles 20
Cleveland Browns vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are still alive in the NFC playoff hunt. That seemed impossible before they won five of their last six. They are a long shot to get in, but it is still possible.
They have a huge edge in this one when they give the ball to Beanie Wells. The Browns are giving up more than 150 yards per game on the ground.
Arizona is pretty bad against the run as well. They are 19th against the run. This game will move very quickly because there is going to be a lot of running.
Cardinals 20 Browns 17
Baltimore Ravens vs. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are playing for their playoff lives in this one. They will have their hands full trying to slow down Ray Rice, who has been on a tear lately. That will not be an easy task for the San Diego defense that gives up 128.9 yards per game on the ground.
Yards will be hard to find for Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense against the Baltimore defense that is ranked third overall in total yards allowed. This is a game where Rivers is going to have to play above and beyond to give the Chargers a chance.
Ravens 21 Chargers 17
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Francisco 49ers
Finally, there is a Monday Night Football game worth watching.
The 49ers have lost two of their last three after starting the season 9-1. They need a win in this one to stay in the hunt for a first-round bye in the playoffs.
The Steelers are really the better team here. They come into this game having won eight of their last nine games. They might be able to find a little bit of room to run against a tough 49ers run defense if Patrick Willis is forced to miss another game.
This is going to be a good old-fashioned football game with a lot of big hits. It will be won by a field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Steelers 24 49ers 23