NFL WEEK 15 PREDICTIONS
The Chargers finally won another game but it was against Atlanta which played without WR Julio Jones. L.A. will take it though. It was just their fourth win of the season. The Raiders have won the last three in the series including the first game this season, 31-26 back on November 8. The Chargers four victories are over four of the worst teams in the NFL. The Raiders still have a chance to make the playoffs … LAS VEGAS 31, L.A. CHARGERS 28
The Bills picked up a huge win over Pittsburgh last Sunday night and have now won six of their last seven games. They also have not done all that well in their last four away games. Buffalo lost on a Hail Mary at Arizona, lost to Tennessee and only beat the Jets by eight. The other road game was a 10-point win over San Francisco. This is prime upset material… DENVER 20, BUFFALO 17
The Titans can’t afford to lose a game they shouldn’t. At 9-4, they own the tiebreaker over Indianapolis for the AFC South title. Tennessee can’t afford to look ahead to Green Bay next week either. The Lions, well, they’re the Lions. They have lost three of their last four and are in last place in the NFC North. Detroit likely will not be able to stop Titans RB Derrick Henry who leads the NFL with 1,532 yards and 14 touchdowns… TENNESSEE 30, DETROIT 20
This has been a tough year for the Texans, who lost to Indy 26-20 earlier this month. The Colts have won four of the last five in this series and they have won four of their past five games. Indy can’t afford a loss as they try to keep pace with Tennessee, which is also 9-4. The Colts face a must win as they take on Pittsburgh next week… INDIANAPOLIS 28, HOUSTON 21
In each of the past three seasons, the Dolphins and Patriots have split their season series. New England won the first meeting this year, 21-11, in Foxborough. Miami just lost to Kansas City last week to fall to 8-5, but they are still in good shape to capture a wild card. They need a win as they close the season with road games at Las Vegas and at AFC East leader Buffalo… MIAMI 23, NEW ENGLAND 17
Chicago has won four of the last five against NFC North rival Minnesota, but the Vikings won earlier this year at Soldier Field. Both teams are 6-7 and still have a shot at earning a playoff spot. The Bears finally won a game last week after losing six straight. The Vikings had won five of six before last week’s loss to Tampa Bay. The winner keeps the playoff dreams alive… MINNESOTA 19, CHICAGO 17
The Seahawks are right back in first place in the NFC West after winning their third game in the last four with a win over the Jets last week. Now, they will face the red-hot Washington Football Team winners of four straight. Washington’s defense has been outstanding giving up just 14 points a game in those four victories. Washington now owns a one-game lead on the Giants in the NFC East. This could be an upset, but it’s hard to bet against Russell Wilson… SEATTLE 28, WASHINGTON 24
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The Jags continue their losing streak with another to the Ravens. Baltimore is just too tough both on offense and defense. The Ravens running game will obliterate one of the NFL’s worst defenses. Jacksonville gives up 29.5 points per game (28th in the NFL). The Ravens need the win to keep their playoff hopes alive… BALTIMORE 38, JACKSONVILLE 21
The Jets (0-13) are simply awful. The Rams (9-4) are very good. It is highly likely the Jets go 0-16 this season with Cleveland and New England their final two opponents. New York can’t score – their 14.1 points per game is the NFL’s worst – and they can’t stop anyone (the Jets give up 30.2 points per game)… L.A. RAMS 40, N.Y. JETS 14
The Eagles pulled a huge upset last week in the first start for quarterback Jalen Hurts. Philly beat New Orleans, but now travel to Arizona to take on the 7-6 Cardinals. Arizona would like to make it a clean sweep of the NFC East as they have wins over Washington and the Giants just last week. Hurts gives the Eagles a better chance than Carson Wentz, but Philadelphia will have a hard time stopping Cards QB Kyler Murray… ARIZONA 28, PHILADELPHIA 24
This huge showdown, which could be a Super Bowl LV preview, lost some of its luster when the Saints lost last week. The Chiefs continue to get everyone’s best game and that will likely continue this week. The big question will be whether or not New Orleans plays Drew Brees at quarterback. The Saints defense gave up two 100-yard rushers last week breaking a 55-game streak of not allowing one. The Chiefs can expose that defense… KANSAS CITY 35, NEW ORLEANS 33
The Browns are on track to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Cleveland does well against any team not named Baltimore or Pittsburgh. The Giants are one of the worst home teams in the NFL. Plus, they have a hard time scoring points ranking 30th in the league averaging just 18.3 points per game. That won’t cut it against the Browns… CLEVELAND 33, N.Y. GIANTS 20
The Steelers get a second consecutive prime time game in Week 15. Pittsburgh has now lost two straight and they’ve got two more tough games left after this one. This time around, it’s the 2-10-1 AFC North rival Bengals. Pittsburgh has won the last 11 meetings between the two teams. The Steelers haven’t lost in Cincinnati since 2013… PITTSBURGH 27, CINCINNATI 14
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New York Jets @ Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens proved they are the hottest team in the NFL right now holding off a Buffalo rally last week on the road for Baltimore’s ninth straight win. Baltimore clinched a playoff berth with the win and cannot simply overlook the ailing Jets. New York picked up its fifth win this season last week but only because they played the equally abysmal Miami Dolphins. At home, the Ravens continue to roll in an attempt to gain the AFC’s No. 1 seed… Baltimore 33, NY Jets 17
New England Patriots @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Chiefs ended New England’s 21-game home winning streak last week. The Bengals (1-12) are just plain bad. After an exciting over the Jets two weeks ago, Cincinnati is back to reality. The Patriots are playing for a first-round bye in the postseason. New England 34, Cincinnati 17
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Broncos have won two straight with rookie quarterback Drew Lock running the offense. The Chiefs (9-4) clinched a playoff berth with a win over the Patriots last week. Kansas City has won the last seven in a row against Denver. The Chiefs won the first game this season 30-6 in the game when QB Patrick Mahomes was injured. At Arrowhead Stadium late in the season, KC is hard to beat… Kansas City 44, Denver 28
Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants
They are two of the worst teams in the NFL. Both defenses are awful. The Giants had to play their $23 million backup QB - Eli Manning - last week. The Dolphins give up over 30 points per game. The Giants have a shot at the No. 1 draft pick next spring. Miami does have some fight in it and is playing well for head coach Brian Flores. Dolphins get a surprising road win… Miami 20, NY Giants 19
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins
Either Dallas or Philadelphia is going to win the NFC East. The Eagles can win the division by winning their final four games. That includes one against Dallas next week. The Redskins won two straight before losing to Green Bay last week. At 3-10, Washington has a shot at next year’s No. 1 draft pick. Philadelphia has won the last five straight in the series with the Redskins… Philadelphia 30, Washington 27
Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers
In a shocking movie, the Panthers fired head coach Ron Rivera over a week ago. It didn’t help as Carolina lost for the fifth straight losing to Atlanta last week. RB Christian McCaffrey is an MVP candidate, but the team doesn’t have much else. The Seahawks need to keep pace with San Francisco to keep control of the NFC West Division title… Seattle 27, Carolina 17
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Oakland Raiders
The Jags (4-9) have dropped five straight and are looking forward to the offseason. The Raiders thought they had something when they were 6-4 not long ago. Jon Gruden’s team promptly dropped their last three games and now stand at 6-7. Traveling across the country to play a Raiders team that is 5-2 at home doesn’t look good for Jacksonville… Oakland 28, Jacksonville 17
Cleveland Browns @ Arizona Cardinals
The Browns are still a lightly burning dumpster fire. They picked up win No. 6 last week but that’s only because they played a flaming garbage can also known as the Cincinnati Bengals. Arizona (3-9-1) continues to do some good things. Playing at home this week against a Cleveland team that could be without WR Odell Beckham Jr, the Cardinals get the win… Arizona 30, Cleveland 20
Minnesota Vikings @ Los Angeles Chargers
The Vikings continue to fight for the NFC North title. Currently, they trail Green Bay by a game. The problem for Minnesota is that they don’t do so well on the road. The Vikings are just 3-4 away from home. In their one trip to Left Coast this season, the Vikings lost to Seattle. The Chargers continue their Jekyll and Hyde season. They won last won week to break a three-game losing streak. Call it an upset… LA Chargers 30, Minnesota 27
Los Angeles Rams @ Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are fighting for their playoff lives. They couldn’t get it done last week in Chicago. Favored by three points, Dallas fell behind early and never recovered. Now, the Cowboys face three must-win games. The problem is their opponent this week, the Rams, are in the same boat. Los Angeles needs a win to keep its slim playoff hopes alive. It’s hard to see Dallas losing four in a row, but the Rams have won two straight including a huge win over Seattle last week. LA Rams 30, Dallas 28
Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers
The Falcons got a much-needed win over Carolina last week. At 4-9, beating San Francisco would be a monumental upset. The Niners recovered from their loss to the Ravens to outlast New Orleans last week 48-46. Don’t expect the Falcons to put up those kinds of numbers… San Francisco 33, Atlanta 27
Buffalo Bills @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin should be the NFL Coach of the Year. With a third-string quarterback, the Steelers have won seven of their last eight games and are now 8-5 and hold the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. This week’s game will be a tough one. Two of the best defenses in the NFL will duke it out. The Bills are coming off a tough loss to Baltimore. Heinz Field is a tough place to play… Pittsburgh 19, Buffalo 18
Indianapolis Colts @ New Orleans Saints
The Colts (6-7) playoff hopes continue to fade after giving up 542 yards to Tampa Bay last week. Indy has won just once in their last six games after starting the season 5-2. The Saints (10-3) took a rare loss last week to San Francisco in a 48-46 shootout. The New Orleans offense continues to shine. If Indy had trouble with Tampa Bay last week, the Saints will give them fits… New Orleans 38, Indianapolis 27
The AFC West title could come down to this Thursday night matchup in Kansas City. The Chiefs went to overtime last week. QB Patrick Mahomes has been absolutely outstanding. The Chiefs beat the Chargers in Week 1 38-28. Can they do it again? The Chiefs are 6-0 at home. Yes, they can… Kansas City 33, LA Chargers 30.
Houston’s nine-game win streak stalled last week as the offense sputtered and the defense allowed 399 yards passing. Still at 9-4, the Texans hold the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Jets? They ended a six-game losing streak last week, but they beat the Bills (4-9). The Texans haven’t lost consecutive games since September. Don’t expect it to happen again… Houston 22, NY Jets 17.
Don’t look now, but the Browns have won three of their last four games and aren’t the worst team in the AFC North. They face a tough task this week in playing at Denver. The Broncos let one get away last week in San Francisco. Denver is still clinging to the hopes of the playoffs. The Browns haven’t beaten the Broncos since 1990, so don’t be surprised… Cleveland 28, Denver 27.
The Cardinals just aren’t very good on offense. They average just 13.7 points per game. Atlanta, which has lost five straight, isn’t all that much better. While the Falcons can move the ball and score, the defense leaves much to be desired. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan has 4,076 yards passing and Julio Jones 1,429 yards receiving, but stats don’t win games. This game is Atlanta’s to lose… Atlanta 34, Arizona 17.
The Lions won for the first time in three weeks when they beat Arizona last week. The offense was awful as the Lions got a 67-yard interception return from Darius Slay. The Bills (4-9) aren’t very good on offense either. They average just 15.3 points a game. It’s probably not a good thing that Buffalo rookie quarterback Josh Allen (1,429 yards passing) is the team’s leading rusher with 490 yards. Playing at home might be an advantage… Buffalo 17, Detroit 16.
Before the Bears took control of the NFC North, they lost in Week 1 to Green Bay. The Packers, now 5-7-1 after a win over Atlanta last week under interim head coach Joe Philbin, look to put another chink in the Bears’ armor. Don’t expect Chicago to go down easily. They are 5-1 at home and prior to an upset loss to the Giants, the Bears had won five straight… Chicago 28, Green Bay 27.
Remember when the Bengals were 4-1? Yeah, no one else does either. The Bengals have put together an epic collapse losing their last five straight. Now, they entertain the 3-10 Raiders who beat Pittsburgh last week. Can they pull an upset again? Likely not. Cincinnati has won the last two games in the series, including the last game played in Cincinnati (2012). The Bengals get the edge in the cold… Cincinnati 23, Oakland 20.
The Cowboys have won five straight and are now one game away from clinching the NFC East. A win in any of their final three games or a Philadelphia loss gives the Cowboys what was once unthinkable. The Colts are no slouches. They have won six of their last seven games including a very impressive 24-21 win over AFC South leader Houston last week. Colts are 4-2 at home. Cowboys 2-4 on the road. Call it an upset if you like… Indianapolis 28, Dallas 24.
The Dolphins beat the Patriots at home again last week. Is there any chance Miami can establish some consistency and make the postseason? It’s unlikely this week since head coach Adam Gase and company travel to Minnesota. The Vikings are a formidable opponent but, more importantly, the Dolphins don’t do well away from home. Miami is just 1-5 on the road this year… Minnesota 23, Miami 20.
For those not paying attention, the New York Giants have won four of their last five games. They have done so by making rookie RB Saquon Barkley the centerpiece of their offense. Barkley now has 1,124 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. The Titans have one of the better defenses in the league giving up just 19.5 points a game. Tennessee has won two straight and at 7-6 still has a shot at the playoffs. The Titans are only 2-5 on the road. Tennessee has won five of the last six against the Giants though… Tennessee 21, NY Giants 17.
Injuries have proven too much for the Redskins who once were in control of the NFC East. Four straight losses leave Washington at 6-7 and likely headed home for the playoffs. A year after playing in the AFC championship, Jacksonville has just one win in its previous nine games. Neither team is playing very well and both will likely start backup quarterbacks again. Someone has to win, right? Jacksonville 13, Washington 10.
The Ravens came oh so close to pulling the upset over Kansas City last week. QB Lamar Jackson continues to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. Jackson only passed for 147 yards last week but threw two touchdowns. He also rushed for 71 yards. Tampa Bay is just not good on defense. The Bucs give up nearly 30 points a game and are just 1-5 on the road in 2018. Baltimore can still make the playoffs… Baltimore 34, Tampa Bay 28.
The Seahawks control their own playoff destiny. They beat the 49ers just two weeks ago, 43-16. This time, they must travel to San Francisco where the Niners beat Denver last week. Tight end George Kittle had a monumental day with 210 yards receiving. San Francisco is just 3-10 and Seattle is on its way to the postseason… Seattle 29, San Francisco 22.
Pittsburgh has lost three straight. New England lost to the Dolphins last week on the ‘Miami Miracle.’ The Patriots have beaten the Steelers five times in a row including last year’s win at Heinz Field. All four of New England’s losses have come on the road. If Steelers RB James Conner doesn’t play, Pittsburgh is in trouble… New England 34, Pittsburgh 31.
The Eagles chances at defending their Super Bowl championship from last year are all but over. A loss by Philadelphia or a win by Dallas gives the Cowboys the NFC East title. At 6-7, Philadelphia needs a miracle to make the postseason and that starts with a win over the 11-2 Rams. Not going to happen… LA Rams 38, Philadelphia 28.
The Saints have already clinched the NFC South. They take on the Panthers in the first of two meeting this season over the next three weeks. New Orleans beat Carolina twice last year scoring 31 points in each victory. Carolina has lost five in a row since starting the season 6-2. The Panthers defense over the last five weeks has been awful. Now, they have to face Drew Brees and one of the most potent offenses in the NFL… New Orleans 31, Carolina 28.