2013 NFL Pick ‘Em: Week 15
Picking the NFL's Week 15 Action
In what seems like no time at all, Week 15 of the NFL season is upon us and the postseason is only a few short weeks away. Even though it seems like the season started a couple of weeks ago, there are now only three games left for each team to solidify their playoff positioning or send themselves on an early vacation.
As the end of the regular season inches closer, picking each week’s gridiron action grows increasingly difficult. If it was easy, we’d all do it, though.
Week 14 was a beautiful one for me, as I ended up with a 13-3 record following Monday night’s big blowout. That ups my record to 130-78-1 on the year, a whopping win percentage of 63. While it’s nothing to write home about, I’ll take it at this point.
So what can you look forward to in Week 15? Well, there are a number of intriguing matchups between teams jockeying for playoff positioning. Several teams will simply be looking to avoid falling into “mathematical elimination” territory. At this point, there could even be some prideful performances from teams just looking to avoid being embarrassed (again).
Either way, it’s sure to be an exciting week full of more unexpected upsets and blowout wins. We’ve seen plenty of both through the first 14 rounds of NFL action this season, so there’s no reason to expect anything different in Week 15.
With that in mind, here’s my take on what to expect from the 16 games that we’ll see in Week 15.
San Diego Chargers (6-7) at Denver Broncos (11-2)
Even with their playoff hopes on the line, the Chargers won't be able to keep the Broncos offense contained. Especially at home, Peyton Manning shouldn’t have any trouble tearing the San Diego secondary to shreds.
Washington Redskins (3-10) at Atlanta Falcons (3-10)
What an exciting matchup, right? Two teams near the bottom of the barrel this season, and it’s not going to be anything special. Fortunately for the Falcons, the Redskins are playing terrible football right now. Atlanta should ride Steven Jackson to their fourth win of the year.
San Francisco 49ers (9-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)
As impressive as the Buccaneers’ sudden outburst has been, they don’t stand much of a chance against the hot 49ers. Even if Tampa Bay does manage to put up some points on the San Francisco defense, they won’t be able to keep up with Michael Crabtree and the 49ers’ passing game.
Seattle Seahawks (11-2) at New York Giants (5-8)
Coming off a disappointing loss, the Seahawks will be looking to get back on track in the Meadowlands. Meanwhile, the Giants are just waiting for the season to be over. Look for Russell Wilson to put up big numbers and earn Seattle a big road win.
Philadelphia Eagles (8-5) at Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1)
Even though the Vikings continue to keep themselves in games this season, they won’t be able to overcome a fiery Eagles offense. With Nick Foles at the helm and LeSean McCoy creating sparks on a weekly basis, Minnesota won’t stand a chance in this one – especially without Adrian Peterson.
New England Patriots (10-3) at Miami Dolphins (7-6)
Last weekend, the Patriots narrowly avoided a huge upset at the hands of the Browns. This week, they won’t be as lucky. The Dolphins have been playing great as of late and will be looking to keep their playoff hopes alive. Ryan Tannehill will get the job done against this divisional rival.
Buffalo Bills (4-9) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9)
As bad as both teams have been recently, the Bills have been way worse. They’re coming off a horrid loss to the Buccaneers, and must now face a Jaguars team that has won four of their last five games. Assuming he’s healthy, expect Maurice Jones-Drew to run all over the Buffalo defense.
Houston Texans (2-11) at Indianapolis Colts (8-5)
The Texans are on an 11-game losing streak, and it’s about to become 12. They let Gary Kubiak go, and are determined to see what they have moving forward. In the other corner, the Colts are desperately looking for a win and found a perfect opportunity for a confidence boost. Andrew Luck will roll over the Houston defense.
Chicago Bears (7-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-9)
It’s sad how inconsistent the Bears can be. They’re coming off a big win against the Cowboys, but will fall short against a Browns team that’s better than its record shows. Look for Joe Haden to keep Alshon Jeffery in check while Jason Campbell does just enough to edge Chicago on the scoreboard.
Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) at Oakland Raiders (4-9)
Barring some unforeseen disaster, the Chiefs should have no trouble putting the Raiders away in this one. Despite their best efforts, Oakland continues to fall short against average competition and will flounder against one of the best teams in the AFC and Jamaal Charles, Kansas City's game-changer.
New York Jets (6-7) at Carolina Panthers (9-4)
Don’t be fooled by the fact that the Jets blew out the Raiders last weekend. The Panthers are feeling the pain after a tough Week 14 loss and will be looking to straighten the ship. Captain Munnerlyn and the Carolina secondary will force Geno Smith into another colossal collapse.
Green Bay Packers (6-6-1) at Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
If Aaron Rodgers is cleared to play, the Packers will win this one. Prior to his injury, Green Bay was on a role. With him out of the picture, though, they’ve flopped. The Cowboys have a pitiful defense, which won’t offer much of a challenge for a healthy Rodgers. If Rodgers doesn't play, though, Dallas wins this one.
Arizona Cardinals (8-5) at Tennessee Titans (5-8)
As we’ve seen in recent weeks, the Titans just don’t have the firepower to compete for 60 minutes. The Cardinals have fielded one of the best defenses in the NFL, so look for Karlos Dansby and Co. to keep whatever Tennessee throws at them in check.
New Orleans Saints (10-3) at St. Louis Rams (5-8)
The Rams have had a knack for big upsets this season, but it won’t happen this week. The Saints are flying high after a big divisional win, and will be looking to keep their momentum rolling. Even if the Rams stand strong, the Saints have too much firepower to slow down. Marques Colston could have another huge game.
Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8)
In what should be an exciting AFC South showdown, the Bengals will look to maintain their hold on the divisional crown as the Ravens close in. The Steelers, meanwhile, are holding out hope they can avoid elimination. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have the defense to contain Andy Dalton.
Baltimore Ravens (7-6) at Detroit Lions (7-6)
The Ravens are rolling right now, while the Lions are limping along as they attempt to stay in the race for the NFC North crown. Even at Ford Field, Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense should be able to exploit the Detroit secondary on their way to another big win.