Week 15 is here!
On Thursday night, the Broncos traveled to Indianapolis and squared off against the Colts in a battle of two teams who are battling for draft position.
A couple of matchups are on the schedule for Saturday night when the Bears play the Lions and when the Chargers face the Chiefs.
Sunday night, Dallas and Oakland will battle it out and to end the week, Atlanta will travel to Florida to face the Buccaneers. It was a rough week for picks last week; let’s look to improve this week.
Chicago Bears (4-9) @ Detroit Lions (7-6) (Saturday, 4:30 PM ET)
Detroit needs to win this one in order to stay alive in the playoff race. Losing a game means losing a shot at the playoffs. Although Mitchell Trubisky has played some solid football over the past two weeks, he isn’t Matthew Stafford. It shouldn’t be much of a challenge for the Lions as they play in desperation.
The Pick: Lions 34, Bears 19
Los Angeles Chargers (7-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (7-6) (Saturday, 8:30 PM ET)
Good, old-fashioned AFC West rivalry. Kansas City is a very streaky team and LA is a team looking to take control of the division for the first time this season. KC has a slight edge in this one due to playing at home and previously defeating the Bolts this season. It’s going to be close and entertaining, but Alex Smith will out-duel Philip Rivers in the end.
The Pick: Chiefs 27, Chargers 23
Houston Texans (4-9) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Jacksonville is still fighting for a first-round bye in the playoffs. Houston isn’t fighting for anything if we’re being honest. Picking the spoiler would be fun in this situation, but I’m sticking with my guns. Blake Bortles has played some mistake-free football in the past few weeks and should continue to do so at home this Sunday.
The Pick: Jaguars 31, Texans 13
Baltimore Ravens (7-6) @ Cleveland Browns (0-13) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Baltimore is a good team. This pick is much like the Houston vs. Jacksonville one. Although it would be fun to pick the underdog in this late-season situation, I’m going with the logical pick. Joe Flacco and company are still clawing for a playoff spot and this is a perfect opportunity to let out some steam on a bad team.
The Pick: Ravens 30, Browns 14
Green Bay Packers (7-6) @ Carolina Panthers (9-4) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
This is going to be one of the best games of the week. Aaron Rodgers is returning from a broken collarbone and his team needs to win out in order to make the playoffs. Cam Newton’s bunch is going to make the playoffs regardless of the outcome Sunday. Rodgers will come back and make a statement: he’s ready for playoff football.
The Pick: Packers 34, Panthers 27
Miami Dolphins (6-7) @ Buffalo Bills (7-6) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
I’m rolling with Miami in this one. Neither one of these teams has any business in the playoffs, so Miami winning will crowd the AFC with what will be multiple 7-7 teams after week 15. Buffalo has a solid defense but after watching what Jay Cutler did to New England on Monday, I’m going to go way out on a limb and pick him to do something similar to the Bills.
The Pick: Dolphins 26, Bills 17
Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) @ Minnesota Vikings (10-3) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Minnesota is due for a big bounce back in this one. Cincinnati needs to be put out of its misery and the Vikings need to regain control over the two seed in the NFC. Case Keenum threw two interceptions last week and is not going to want to repeat that performance against a subpar opponent. Expect a lot of scoring – for one team.
The Pick: Vikings 40, Bengals 20
Arizona Cardinals (6-7) @ Washington Redskins (5-8) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Kirk Cousins is playing for his next big contract and needs to finish the season on a high note after some recent struggles. Arizona believes it is still in the playoff hunt but any logical thinker can conclude that isn’t the case. This is going to be a close game between two teams playing for next season. Washington has a clear edge on the offensive end, so I’m picking Kirk Cousins to squeak out the W against a very tough Cards’ D.
The Pick: Redskins 23, Cardinals 21
Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) @ New York Giants (2-11) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Easy pick, easy pick, easy pick. Without Carson Wentz, the Eagles are still one of the best teams in the NFL. Nick Foles has done it before, and he should be able to do it again. It’ll take a little more effort on the defensive end moving forward, but this one won’t be a test for Philly at all.
The Pick: Eagles 34, Giants 17
New York Jets (5-8) @ New Orleans Saints (9-4) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
New York is going to be without Josh McCown for the rest of the season, so it’s difficult to pick them to win any of its final three games. New Orleans is coming off a heartbreaking loss and will be looking to have a bounce back performance Sunday. That’s exactly what the Saints will do. Expect a big game from Alvin Kamara and an overall dominant performance when the Saints come marching in.
The Pick: Saints 40, Jets 13
Los Angeles Rams (9-4) @ Seattle Seahawks (8-5) (Sunday, 4:05 PM ET)
The Rams were a dropped touchdown away from beating the Seahawks earlier in the season. This time around, they should be able to pick up the W. Jared Goff is playing some very good football and after losing to the Eagles, this defense is going to do its fair share against Russell Wilson. It’ll be another close one but this time, the Rams will emerge victorious.
The Pick: Rams 28, Seahawks 27
Tennessee Titans (8-5) @ San Francisco 49ers (3-10) (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)
Upset special right here. I’m not sold on the Titans and I’m definitely not sold on Marcus Mariota. Jimmy Garoppolo is going to pick up his third straight win as the starter behind a solid game through the air and sound running game to support him. This game will be a wake up call for the Titans – one that shouldn’t hurt their playoff chances too bad.
The Pick: 49ers 24, Titans 20
New England Patriots (10-3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)
If Tom Brady wouldn’t have played such a bad game last week, I’d be compelled to pick the Steelers in this one. Because Tom Brady doesn’t have two bad games in a row, I’m rolling with New England. Expect a near-perfect game from Tom Terrific and a very good battle from the Steelers. In the end, it’s going to come down to quarterback play; an area in which the Pats have the best in the NFL.
The Pick: Patriots 31, Steelers 23
Dallas Cowboys (7-6) @ Oakland Raiders (6-7) (Sunday, 8:30 PM ET)
Dallas is a better team than Oakland. The winner of this game is going to keep their playoff hopes alive and the loser will have its season likely ended. Dak Prescott has to live just one more week without Ezekiel Elliot – and he’ll be able to take care of business on his own this week.
The Pick: Cowboys 24, Raiders 19
Atlanta Falcons (8-5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9) (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
Atlanta is finally starting to play like Atlanta and the scary thing is – it hasn’t yet reached its potential. Jameis Winston and company have had a disappointing season and are fighting for draft position at this point. Matt Ryan has followed up his MVP season with an average campaign, but still has time to make his year look better than it is. This is one of those chances.
The Pick: Falcons 27, Buccaneers 17
That’s it for the Week 15 edition of NFL Picks. Here’s to your team getting one step closer to securing a playoff spot this week!
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