NFL: Gazing Into the Week 15 Predictions

Week 15 in the NFL is now upon us. Let us look into the crystal ball and try to predict the week slate.

Thursday, December 17th

(4-9)Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders(7-6) at 8:20 PM ET on FOX

The Raiders get back on track after getting gouged by Jonathan Taylor and the Colts, needing this to stay one game out of the seventh playoff seed in the American Football Conference. The Chargers will provide for another close game, but like the first meeting, Vegas gets their eighth victory of the year 28-24. 

Saturday, December 19th

(10-3)Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos(5-8) at 4:30 PM ET on NFL Network

It would be easy to think after a big win against the Steelers, perhaps Buffalo may have a letdown. It may take until the second half, but the Bills pull away in Colorado. The final score reads 34-17.

(4-9)Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers(10-3) at 8:15 PM ET on NFL Network

Green Bay knows how big having a bye week in this year’s NFL playoff format can be. I see the defense creating takeaways and holding Carolina out of the end zone. The Packers win comfortably 31-9.

Sunday, December 20th

(9-4)Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team(6-7) at 1:00 PM ET on FOX

This looks like a good NFL matchup on paper with Chase Young and this stingy Washington defensive unit against D.K. Metcalf and an efficient Seattle attack. I think the D.C. side will be able to replicate the formula the Giants were able to utilize two weeks ago and make Russell Wilson uncomfortable while the receivers are tightly covered. Washington 24 Seattle 17.

(6-7)Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings(6-7) at 1:00 PM ET on FOX

The Bears looked like the team that started strong last week versus Houston, and they are able to stay in playoff contention. Minnesota, like Chicago, has had plenty of peaks and valleys. I look at the two teams, and it feels like the Bears are the more confident team with the NFL season winding down. Chicago 30 Minnesota 23 in Minneapolis.

(8-5)Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons(4-9) at 1:00 PM ET on FOX

Tampa Bay looked like an NFL playoff team against Minnesota. They will be a tough out, but it will be a big ask to get out of the NFC especially with New Orleans still in front in the South division. As for this game, the Buccaneers will feast against teams they should beat as they will against the Falcons, 38-21.

(6-7)New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins(8-5) at 1:00 PM ET on CBS

The Dolphins showed that they were not afraid of the Chiefs. They were excellent in the takeaway department, but could only stop Kansas City for so long. I do not think that New England will provide the same threat, but at home, Miami needs this one to stay on the inside track of holding one of the last NFL wild card positions. The Patriots’ offense is too predictable, so the Dolphins get a 27-13 result. 

(1-12)Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens(8-5) at 1:00 PM ET on CBS

After winning a classic game Monday, the Ravens continue their ascent as the type of team that no one in the AFC wants to see should they enter the playoffs. The Jaguars may stop the run early, but they will be on the field too much and wear down. Marquise Brown shines in this one for two touchdowns. The score reads this way: Baltimore 35 Jacksonville 13.

(5-8)Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans(9-4) at 1:00 PM ET on CBS

I think the Titans bounced back well after Cleveland torched them back on December 6th. Tennessee gets their second straight victory to keep pace with the Indianapolis Colts. Titans 28 Lions 16 around three o’clock Nashville time when the game clock reads all zeroes and there are post-game handshakes.

(4-9)Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts(9-4) at 1:00 PM ET on CBS

These two teams go back at it again after the Texans missed a chance to beat their rivals in the first match-up. Meanwhile, the Colts have to keep getting results knowing that Tennessee is not going anywhere if they want a home playoff game in January. I think the Indianapolis defense makes plays, and T.Y. Hilton factors in the team’s 31-28 overtime win thanks to Rodrigo Blankenship’s foot. 

(5-8)San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys(4-9) at 1:00 PM ET on CBS

I was impressed with Dallas’s defense Sunday as Aldon Smith had a fumble return for a touchdown in Cincinnati. The NFC East will not happen this year, but CeeDee Lamb will find the end zone for one of three Cowboys touchdowns. The defenses will give up a lot of plays in this one. San Francisco has had too many obstacles to overcome, so I will go with Dallas 32 San Francisco 29. 

(4-8-1)Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals(7-6) at 4:05 PM ET on FOX

Jalen Hurts played well last week, but I have a feeling Arizona will make things challenging for him. The Cardinals will not totally shut him down, but do enough defensively to consolidate what the offense does. Kenyan Drake will step up, even if DeAndre Hopkins is covered. Arizona beats Philadelphia 31-23.

(0-13)New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams(9-4) at 4:05 PM ET on FOX

The Rams have had ten days to prepare. The defense will score another touchdown in this game. It will not be Aaron Donald since he gets double-teamed. Los Angeles stays in pole position in the NFC West, 34-15 as the New York Jets stay on the inside track to possibly land Trevor Lawrence in few months as the first pick in next year’s NFL Draft.

(12-1)Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints(10-3) at 4:25 PM ET on CBS

This will be low-scoring. I think the players on defense will be sick and tired of hearing how both of these teams get down the field with ease. They won’t stop each other but will slow things down and create a few negative plays. The Saints get a late stop to win 31-24 to stay in the conversation for the one seed in the National Football Conference. 

(9-4)Cleveland Browns at New York Giants(5-8) at 8:20 PM ET on NBC

Though Cleveland’s defensive personnel, particularly the back end, is not at full strength this year, will need to iron things out if they want to prolong the 2020 campaign. Daniel Jones will get some first downs with his legs. Still, the Cleveland defensive front makes timely plays, holding the Giants to field goals, while Jarvis Landry catches two touchdowns in a 27-19 decision going the way of the Browns. 

Monday, December 21st

(11-2)Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals(2-10-1) at 8:15 PM ET on ESPN

Pittsburgh has been hobbling of late, but they are still on their way to winning the division. The Bengals do not like a team that will offer much resistance, so this game will provide them the opportunity to get themselves back on track. Steelers 31 Bengals 17 will be the final tally. 

What are your predictions for Week 15 in the NFL? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Michael on Twitter @MJBolesta2.

Works cited: The Dan Patrick Show, and the forum, NFL app, FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN, Twitter

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