Week 15 Predictions

Week 15 already, where has the season gone? Terrible week, 7-9 (118-89-1, 56.73%), and that 60% hope has taken a big hit. But last week was one of the more entertaining weeks that I can remember. With five scores in roughly the last two minutes of the Vikings/Ravens game, a near-miracle in the Dolphins/Steelers game, the Patriots scoring twice in a minute to beat the Browns, snow-games all over the country, 104 total touchdowns (the most in any single week EVER) and the Jets keeping their slim playoff hopes alive. Hopefully the last three weeks can be as entertaining, but those are large shoes to fill. 

TNF:

Chargers @ Broncos

I guess I'm kind of obligated to write more here than "PFM, [score]." since it's a Thursday night game, so let's see...Peyton could possibly pass Tom Brady's passing TD record for a single season if he throws 6+ TDs tonight. So there's that. Not that this won't be an exciting game, but there's really no reason that the Broncos lose this game. They need to win to keep the Patriots one game off the pace, because going to NE for the AFC Championship Game could spell doom for PFM. PFM, 34-24.

Confidence Level: 8

Early Games:

Redskins @ Falcons

The second biggest disappointment of the year vs. the biggest mess of the year. It's entirely possible that Kirk Cousins is an upgrade from the way RGII has played this year, but I don't feel comfortable enough in that to pick the Redskins. I expect Matt Ryan to play better in the comfort of indoors than last week in the snow of Green Bay, and whoop up on this poor excuse of a defense. Falcons, 38-24.

Confidence Level: 6

Bears @ Browns

I am simply infatuated with Josh Gordon. How much? This much. But after that (and Jordan Cameron) the infatuation drops off, quickly. Now, they probably should've beaten the Patriots last week. Giving up an onside kick, getting shafted on one of the softest DPI's I've ever seen, and just generally executing an awful prevent defense. But a loss is a loss. The Bears on the other hand are coming off of absolute domination of the Cowboys on Monday night. The Browns defense is much better than the Cowboys', but unless the Browns take my advice and just bomb it down field to JGXII all game, they won't be able to keep up with what the Bears have been doing recently. Bears, 30-24.

Confidence Level: 6

Texans @ Colts

In my opinion, the Colts don't really have any reason to try very hard for the remainder of the regular season. They have the division locked up, and they're a game behind the Bengals who own the tiebreaker against them. So there's almost no way they finish in any position other than the #4 seed. That said, the Texans have fired Gary Kubiak and should tank for the #1 pick in next year's draft. It might be beyond the pride of JJ Watt and Andre Johnson to do that, but it's what's best for the franchise. Colts, 24-17.

Confidence Level: 4

Patriots @ Dolphins

Losing Gronk is a bigger loss than most people seem to think. Maybe it won't show this week, but it appears as if most people forgot what the Patriots offense looked like before Gronk came back. This will be the first game this season where the Patriots will be playing without the mentality of either "we have Gronk" or "he'll be back soon", and for the purposes of competing for the Super Bowl, I think it's devastating. Miami isn't a great team, but this is a divisional game, and it's incredibly important that they win this to keep pressure on everyone else in the AFC wild card race. As a Jets fan, I will be rooting for the Patriots harder than any Patriots fan will be, because if they lose, watching the Jets/Panthers game won't be worth the suffering. Patriots, 24-21.

Confidence Level: 3

Eagles @ Vikings

Nothing interesting here. No AP, no problem...for the Eagles. Toby Gerhart might not even play. This should be a slaughter. Eagles, 31-14.

Confidence Level: 9

Seahawks @ Giants

As a Jets fan with mild playoffs hopes, I almost envy the Giants. Closure is nice. Now that they're officially eliminated, they should probably get a few starts out of rookie QB Ryan Nassib. Now, maybe having your first start against the Seahawks isn't the best way to start your career, but it would be foolish to finish the season without seeing what you have in the kid. In any case, the Seahawks will be trying to win this game, and no matter who the Giants put out there, it will only be as close as Seattle lets it be. Seahawks, 30-17.

Confidence Level: 8

49ers @ Bucs

Ha. 49ers, 27-17.

Confidence Level: 9

Bills @ Jags

The Jags are en fuego right now, and I expect them to continue their journey towards the playoffs with a win vs. the hapless Bills. For the first time this year, Jags, 24-21.

Confidence Level: 3

Late Afternoon Games:

Jets @ Panthers

This is it. If the Jets win out (against the Panthers, Browns and Dolphins), this is what they need to happen:

Dolphins must lose to either the Patriots or Bills.
AND
Chargers must lose to either the Broncos, Raiders or Chiefs.
AND
Ravens must lose two games out of the Lions, Patriots and Bengals.

Pretty reasonable. Unfortunately, the beating the Panthers is by far the most unlikely part of the equation, and I just don't think that they are going to pull it off. They've just been too terrible on the road, and the Panthers need this win to stay in the NFC wild card race. Is it possible? Sure, nobody expected this team to beat the Patriots or Saints, but those games were at home. If the Dolphins lose to the Patriots, the Jets won't quite be eliminated even with a loss to the Panthers, but they'd be on the brink. Regretfully, Panthers, 23-16.

Confidence Level: 5

Chiefs @ Raiders

Did you see what the Chiefs D did to Washington? DID YOU SEE? Also, did you see what the Jets did to the Raiders? DID YOU SEE? Chiefs, 31-14.

Confidence Level: 8

Packers @ Cowboys

If Aaron Rodgers plays, This game will be much more interesting, but as it stands now, Matt Flynn will be the starter, and I think the Cowboys bounce back from last week's systematic demolition at the hand of Da Bears, especially in the comfort of Dallas. Cowboys, 30-21.

Confidence Level: 6

Cardinals @ Titans

Not a gimme, but the Cardinals have been much better this year than most people could have expected. I don't think the Titans will put up much of a fight, especially with rumors out there that Chris Johnson will be traded after this season. Cardinals, 21-17.

Confidence Level: 5

Saints @ Rams

There's just no way...no way. Saints, 35-21.

Confidence Level: 9

Sunday Night Game:

Bengals @ Steelers

The Steelers were a half of a pinky-toe from being in the AFC wild card race, but unfortunately, they're essentially done. This game means far mroe for the Bengals, as they're one game behind the Patriots for the #2 seed and a first round bye, and they own the tiebreaker. Big game from AJ Green coming up, who hasn't had one of those monster games in a while. Bengals, 27-21.

Confidence Level: 6

MNF:

Ravens @ Lions

This is a gigantic game for both teams. The Ravens are trying to stay in the #6 spot in the AFC, while the Lions are trying to hold onto the NFC North lead. Both teams played in not-so-ideal weather conditions last week, but will be indoors this time. Matt Elam should probably keep his mouth shut, however. I don't think he was "calling out" Don Mega, but saying that he's "pretty old" can certainly be used as bulletin material. Lions, 31-23.

Confidence Level: 7


Patriots: 7-3
Dolphins: 0-2
Jets: 1-4
Bills: 1-1
Overall: 9-10

Colts: 5-4
Titans: 2-1
Jaguars: 0-0
Texans: 2-6
Overall: 9-11

Broncos: 11-2
Chiefs: 8-1
Chargers: 2-5
Raiders: 1-2
Overall: 22-10

Bengals: 5-4
Ravens: 4-3
Steelers: 2-5
Browns: 1-2
Overall: 12-14

Cowboys: 6-1
Eagles: 3-3
Giants: 4-3
Redskins: 1-3
Overall: 14-11

Saints: 8-2
Panthers: 5-2
Bucs: 0-1
Falcons: 3-7
Overall: 16-12

Seahawks: 10-1
49ers: 8-2
Cardinals: 3-0
Rams: 2-1
Overall: 23-5

Lions: 5-5
Bears: 3-4
Packers: 5-2-1
Vikings: 0-4
Overall: 13-15-1


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