NFL Week 15 Predictions: Settling the Score
Predicting Week 15 NFL Action
Week 14 in the NFL is over, but what did we learn from it? First off, it's pretty clear that the New England Patriots are the best team in the NFL. They destroyed the Houston Texans in prime time on Monday. Next, fans found out just how bad the Arizona Cardinals are right now. They got blown out by the Seattle Seahawks in historic fashion 58 to zero.
The NFL is a strange league though. How in the world do the Atlanta Falcons lose to the Carolina Panthers? QB Cam Newton mostly, but the Falcons are just not as good as their record shows. The Falcons are headed for a first round knock out and the rest of the league knows it.
Every week the offensive rookie of the year race gets a little tighter. Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III injured himself before the end of the game on Sunday, so the Redskins playoff chances are getting smaller and smaller. The Indianapolis Colts are happy with Andrew Luck as their football team gets better and better as a whole. The Seahawks are riding the Russell Wilson train until it stops. People are already saying he is the best quarterback in franchise history. I disagree, but people are allowed to have opinions.
Week 15 in the NFL is here. I am excited to watch every single game to see of the San Francisco 49ers can hold off the Seahawks for the NFC West title. Will Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos be able to beat the Baltimore Ravens? Who will have the biggest blow out? What will be the game of the week? And who will be my upset of the week? All of these questions I aim to answer in my week 15 NFL predictions.
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33
Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles surprised us this weekend with an upset win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cincinnati Bengals lost last weekend to the Dallas Cowboys. Eagles QB Nick Foles needs to play like he did last week. Almost 400 yards passing with no interceptions is a great game for a young QB. The Bengals need to run the ball well this week and try to limit the mistakes. If Andy Dalton throws more than one pick the Eagles could be in this game.
Prediction: Dalton does not throw more than one interception. Bengals 34, Eagles 20
New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons
The New York Giants are a team the Falcons need to fear. The Falcons do not have very many quality wins this year and that will hurt them heading into the playoffs. The Giants need Eli Manning to keep playing at a high level. He has two Super Bowl rings, but he really needs to play with a little more consistency. If he is not careful Griffin III is going to steal the division title. The Falcons will be relying on Matt Ryan and he has been a little shaky lately.
Prediction: The Giants put a hole in the hopes of the Redskins. Giants 31, Falcons 27
Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams
This is going to be a good game. The Minnesota Vikings have rode RB Adrian Peterson the entire year and they would be stupid to stop. The St. Louis Rams have a balanced attack and RB Steven Jackson has been on a bit of a tear lately and that has led to success for them. The Rams have won three games in a row and their record stands at 6-6-1. The quarterback play of each team will decide the outcome of this one.
Prediction: QB Christian Ponder has his best game of the year. Vikings 27, Rams 17
Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins
The Jacksonville Jaguars have won two games this season. The Miami Dolphins are a little hot and cold, but they should have the team to get the job done this weekend. The Dolphins have taken advantage of the quarterback play of Ryan Tannehill this season and I don't expect that to change. The Jaguars have had QB problems the entire season and I would not bet on Chad Henne being the answer to the problems in Jacksonville. To win the game he has to go nuts on the Dolphins secondary, but I don't think he can do it.
Prediction: Henne throws three picks and the Dolphins have the game locked up before halftime. Jaguars 10, Dolphins 31
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
This is my game of the week. The Chicago Bears are not doing so well as of late. Their defense is slowing down and their offense just can not keep up. The Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions and have won seven out of the past eight games. The Packers do not have a run game, so they will be relying on the skills of Aaron Rodgers. The Bears have a run game, but they have realized that Brandon Marshall is a pretty solid weapon and use him way to much. They need to get back to their run game or they will not have a chance moving forward.
Prediction: Packers get behind early, but lead a fourth quarter comeback. Packers 27, Bears 24
Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns
This is my upset of the week. The Cleveland Browns are a hot football team right now. However, the Redskins need a win right now to keep their playoff chances alive. It looks like Griffin III will play this weekend and that does not bode well for the Browns. Griffin III will be looking to show fellow rookie Brandon Weeden what a rookie of the year really looks like. The Browns need to put some pressure on the Redskins with the run game. RB Trent Richardson needs to explode out of the gate. This will open up more options so the Browns don't have to rely on Weeden the entire game.
Prediction: Griffin III is a little slowed. Redskins 13, Browns 20
Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens
This is going to be a good game and there is not much anybody can do about it. The Broncos have won eight games in a row and the Ravens have lost two. Right now I give the advantage to the Broncos offensively and defensively, but the Ravens are a wild card. You never know which aspect of their game is going to show up and win. They have a slew of close wins and losses. Manning is always going to play well, so it's going to be up to Joe Flacco to play up to his level.
Prediction: It's impossible to play at Manning's level. Broncos 30, Ravens 24
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
The Colts are in it win it. They have won seven out of their past eight games and have the luxury of Andrew Luck. The Texans are struggling on defense to stop even the worst teams. J.J. Watt is realizing that he cannot do it himself. They got blown out by the Patriots, but I think they can bounce back. Unfortunately for the Texans, they are going to struggle to get out of the divisional round in the playoffs. They need to run Arian Foster down the Colts throat and keep their defense off the field.
Prediction: Foster goes nuts. Colts 27, Texans 30
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are not going to make the playoffs. The Buccaneers are not going to make the playoffs. The Saints will be throwing the ball all over the place and Tampa Bay will be running more of a balanced attack. QB Drew Brees can score points faster than just about anybody in the league, so the Buccaneers are not going to want to get in a shootout. If they do, they're going to lose.
Prediction: Josh Freeman tries to compete with Brees. Buccaneers 24, Saints 35
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
It is quite obvious that the Cardinals are a terrible football team. This is going to be their last chance to win this season because of their upcoming schedule. This could be a good game because the Lions are really good at finding new ways to lose. However, the Cardinals have not got to the end zone for quite some time now and that will definitely be a factor here. The Lions are not the Seahawks, but the Cardinals offense is about to make them look really good.
Prediction: This game is not going to be widely watched. Lions 24, Cardinals 9
Carolina Panthers at San Diego Chargers
The Panthers are not a great team, but Cam Newton has started playing complete games and that is always nice to see from your starting quarterback. The San Diego Chargers finally pulled one out on Sunday with a 34-24 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The San Diego defense will need to contain Newton or he is going to have another outstanding game. The Panthers defense is not that great, but neither is QB Philip Rivers, so I think they are going to be okay this week. The Chargers need to run the ball a lot to keep Newton off the field as long as they can.
Prediction: The Chargers are unable to run the ball. Panthers 38, Chargers 24
Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills
This is my blow out of the week. The Seahawks have played way to many close road games this season and lost five out of the seven. They are looking for a huge victory on the road to make sure people know that win in Chicago a couple weeks back was not a fluke. The Buffalo Bills will have no answers for the Seahawks' brutal defense. Marshawn Lynch will be running over defenders. The Bills have no shot in this one.
Prediction: The Bills are going to have a bad time. Seahawks 31, Bills 9
Pittsburgh Steelers at Dallas Cowboys
The Steelers lost last week to the Chargers and they are not happy about. The Cowboys still need to win all of their games to get into the playoffs and even then they still might not make it. Ben Roethlisberger needs to play a good game and the Steelers should have no problem beating the Cowboys. Pittsburgh has one of the best defenses and Tony Romo has a tendency to turn the ball over. The Cowboys need to run the ball hard and make a few important stops down the stretch.
Prediction: The Steelers stop DeMarco Murray. Steelers 21, Cowboys 14
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders have not won a game since week eight, but it just so happens that victory was against the Kansas City Chiefs. What will be the game plan for the Chiefs? Make the Raiders stop Jamaal Charles before they try anything else. The Raiders will be relying on a quarterback that just can't seem to win a game with the players the organization gave him.
Prediction: Carson Palmer doesn't let the losing streak get worse. Chiefs 14, Raiders 34
San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots
The Patriots are the best team in football right now. The 49ers need to win right now to shut down the Seahawks NFC West title hopes. If they lose, it will set up a prime time matchup on Sunday Night Football next week in Seattle. The Patriots have the best offense in football and the 49ers have one of the best defenses. The wild card here is Tom Brady. He is not going to let a young quarterback beat him in his own stadium. The 49ers will need the Colin Kaepernick to have the game of his life.
Prediction: Kaepernick does not have the game of his life. 49ers 17, Patriots 34
New York Jets at Tennessee Titans
This is another game that few people will tune into watch. The New York Jets are out of the playoffs and the Tennessee Titans are in the same position. The Titans are not getting the production from QB Jake Locker that they would like to see. Same goes for the Jets and Mark Sanchez. The Titans need to continue getting Chris Johnson as many touches as possible.
Prediction: The Jets cannot stop Johnson. Jets 13, Titans 24
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