NFL Week 15: Five Things To Watch For

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IDecember 16, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 13:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's getting harder and harder to predict the future of the NFL, and it certainly doesn't stop at the playoff picture, or the fantasy realm.

For inquiries for your fantasy roster for Week 15, head over to our weekly Start/Sit column.

And, for the top five things to watch for in the NFL this week, look no further than this article.

The New Orleans Saints have vowed to chase perfection, while the Indianapolis Colts are reportedly prepared to rest their starters for the playoffs.

Regardless, is there a chance that one of these 13-0 teams finally finds a blemish on their 2009 record?


5. Can a Mark Sanchez Return Spark Playoff Talk in New York?

Atlanta Falcons @ New York Jets

Atlanta came close to sending the New Orleans Saints to their first defeat last week, while getting absolutely dismantled by the Philadelphia Eagles the week prior.

It's clear they just aren't an elite team without Matt Ryan and Michael Turner, both of which have a better chance of suiting up this week.

Regardless, the Jets are a game out of the division lead and boasting a strong and versatile running corps that should have a field day against a weak Falcons run defense.

If Mark Sanchez and Matt Ryan both play, this could be a passing of the rookie torch.

Jets 27, Falcons 24



4. Can the Titans Continue Their Unlikely Run?

Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans

Essentially a playoff game, the winner of this battle will likely be a strong candidate for one of the two AFC Wild Card spots, while a win for Miami puts them one Patriots' loss away from possibly stealing the AFC East division title.

Ricky Williams appears to be wearing down, and, even though he's playing at a high level, he should have some issues against the Titans' strong front line.

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If the game has to be put on Chad Henne's shoulders, as good as he's been, the Dolphins probably don't stand a chance.

Titans 30, Dolphins 20



3. Are the Packers For Real, and Are the Steelers Really This Bad?

Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers

This is the game that solidifies the Packers as a real threat to the Lombardi Trophy, or shows us that the Pittsburgh Steelers still have some pride.

Aaron Rodgers had been playing at a high level all season and is now basking in the glory of the up-rise of his new 3-4 defense.

The Steelers, the original 3-4 kings, are going in the complete opposite direction, as they have lost five straight, compared to Green Bay's five-straight wins.

Pittsburgh is at home, still has a gritty defense, and still has a shot at the playoffs.

With all of those things coming into play, it's hard to bet against a Mike Tomlin squad, regardless of their awful performance against the Browns last week.

Steelers 17, Packers 13



2. Can the Colts Fend Off a Division Rival and Remain Perfect?

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

The Colts were reportedly ready to start resting their high-profile players, until recent reports suggested that head coach Jim Caldwell isn't yet committed to that philosophy.

He'd be best advised to stick to his own guns.

In past years, the Colts have gotten off to hot starts or finished with a hot streak entering into the playoffs, only to sit their starters and watch them under perform in the first round.

The 2006 Colts were 13-0, just like this season, only to finish 14-2 and fail to reach the Super Bowl.

Last year's Colts won their final 11 regular-season games, only to lose their first playoff game to an 8-8 San Diego Chargers team.

While this is definitely something to think about, the Colts' perfect record still figures to remain intact for at least one more week, as the Jacksonville Jaguars don't figure to offer much of a fight.

Colts 31, Jaguars 17



1. Is the December Curse Really Happening Again?

Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints

As stated above, Sean Payton and co. have declared war on the remaining three teams on their schedule and are fighting for a perfect 16-0 regular season record, with a 19-0 finish in their sights.

However, with just a three-point victory over an Atlanta Falcons team that was without Matt Ryan and Michael Turner, we have seen once again that teams can keep pace with these Saints.

The Cowboys are knee-deep in another December meltdown, but with Tony Romo's stellar play the past three weeks, there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

If the Rams, Redskins, and Falcons can all push New Orleans to the limit, who is to say the Cowboys can't?

Cowboys 36, Saints 30