NFL Week 15: Previews and Predictions

So, week 14, what was that all about? We had a blizzard in Philadelphia, a wrongly awarded touchdown in Cincinatti, not to mention the Denver Broncos amassing over 50 points again. Though there were other teams that came close to that figure themselves. It was a high scoring week in the NFL, it was also a record-breaking week for NFL redzone which saw the most touchdowns of its existence. Now I don’t think that the blizzard had anything to do with the Eagles coming up with the win or the Green-Ellis touchdown being given letting the Bengals take away the W either. They were purely circumstantial. Besides, LeSean McCoy still terrorised the Detroit defence so you can’t argue with that. Plus the Bengals went on to score 42 points against Indianapolis, who didn’t look like they were up for the fight in the first place to be quite honest. As for the rest of the games, the Chiefs completely blew out the Redskins in another snowy game while the Patriots came from behind yet again to achieve victory over the Browns and the battle of the NFC South was settled in style as Drew Brees and company taught the Carolina Panthers a lesson of playing with the big boys. We head into week 15 and the playoffs are oh so near. There’s a number of interesting games this week but once again I will be delving into the select few games that I feel matter more than others as far as the playoff picture is concerned this week. Here we go…

Bye Week: No team on Bye


San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

Prediction: Chargers 24 – 38 Broncos


Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons

Prediction: Redskins 13 – 20 Falcons


San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Prediction: 49ers 27 – 10 Buccaneers


Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants

Prediction: Seahawks 28 – 17 Giants


Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

So this match-up is important as it more or less decides the fate of the NFC East, if the Eagles win then I can’t see the Cowboys catching up to them after losing to the Bears on Monday. The Eagles of course, won’t even let snow stop them from winning games and going after the division title. They put up 34 points against the Lions last week (28 of which in the 4th quarter mind you) and all things considered put in an impressive performance. Though Nick Foles did throw his first interception of the season (see he isn’t perfect after all) he did have a 50% completion percentage and 179 yards with a TD too. I’ve got to be honest, Chip Kelly’s offence will most likely destroy the Vikings who are ranked 31st on that side of the ball and have been allowing far too many yards and points against them. Not forgetting that Adrian Peterson got injured last Sunday and had to be carted off so that’s a huge blow for the Vikings. I can’t see this going any other way but Philadelphia’s, they’ve just got too much for Minnesota to handle.

Prediction: Eagles 31 – 14 Vikings


New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

The Patriots come into this game having lost their best target man in Rob Gronkowski, that’s gonna have a ripple effect for sure. His presence on the field gave Edelman a chance to get more open and made him more effective. Without that, the Patriots are looking at much tighter coverage across the board and the Dolphins will be liking their odds all the more. The Dolphins currently sit second in the AFC East with a 7-6 record, if they win this week they will have a firmer hold on the AFC wild card spot. Especially if the Ravens lose to the Lions on Monday Night Football. The Dolphins have the 16th ranked defence and a home crowd that will boost their efforts, they also have the emergence of Charles Clay. The veteran tight-end has been linking up well with QB Ryan Tannehill, putting up 97 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Steelers last Sunday. You know, it’s that sort of chemistry that the Gronk and Brady have, yeah that’s right, I went there. I honestly think it could continue, the Patriots have been shaky at best, I know they’ve been winning but they’ve been down so many times it’s been somewhat miracle-like for Brady to suddenly flip a switch and win them the game. But. And there’s always a but where the Pats are involved, I can’t bring myself to doubt them this week. They just always find a way to get the victory.

Prediction: Patriots 23 – 17 Dolphins


Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars

Prediction: Bills 14 – 17 Jaguars


Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts

Colts have clinched the division

Prediction: Texans 20 – 27 Colts


Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns

Well to be honest I thought that the Browns were going to do one over the New England Patriots last Sunday, they showed true grit and determination along with a good portion of quality too. Until the last 61 seconds anyway. Jason Campbell threw for 391 yards with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Now those are some impressive figures when you’re playing the Patriots. Josh Gordon was once again the star receiver, racking up 151 yards and a TD to boot. He’s becoming one of the best receivers in the league without a doubt. It’s this that the Chicago Bears are going to have to deal with on Sunday in order to attempt to take grasp of the division lead in the NFC North (providing the Lions lose of course) It’s going to be a tough one but the Bears proved they meant business on Monday as they scored on their first 8 consecutive possessions to beat the Cowboys. Josh McCown threw a career-high 4 TDs so this one might not be over before it starts. However, whether or not he’ll be able to do so against a tough defence like the Browns remains to be seen.

Prediction: Bears 24 – 27 Browns


Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders

Prediction: Chiefs 24 – Raiders 10


New York Jets at Carolina Panthers

Prediction: Jets 9 – 17 Panthers


Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

Prediction: Packers 24 – 27 Cowboys


Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans

Prediction: Cardinals 23 – 13 Titans


New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams

Prediction: Saints 31 – 10 Rams


Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

Prediction: Bengals 27 – 21 Steelers


Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions

The winner of this game more or less puts the other in a much worse position in the playoff hunt. Of course the Bengals would have to lose their next 2 games with the Ravens winning to possibly gain the division title meanwhile the Lions need to win this in order to assert authority over the Chicago Bears. The NFC North could be closer to being decided after this week. However, after the past few performances of the Detroit Lions and the amount of turnovers they’ve conceded I’m not sure they’ve got what it takes to win the division. There were 3 fumbles last week including one from Stafford who I thought I’d improved considerably this season. Not only that, but the Lions passing game will be hard-pushed to get past a Ravens defence that is only allowing a total  of 332.8 yards and 20.1 points on average which ranks them 8th  in the league. Moreover, the Ravens have been playing better offensively; they took on the Vikings last week and gave them one hell of a game. They never gave up, Flacco’s touchdown pass to rookie Marlon Brown won the game with 4 seconds left. It’s that kind of offence that I think could take this game.

Prediction: Ravens 24 – 21 Lions


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