10 December 2014

2014 NFL Predictions: Week 15

With a relative off week for college football with no major action going down before the bowl games kick off, all eyes will be on the NFL this weekend. There are now only three weeks left in the season and keeping that in mind, here are my predictions for Week 15.

Last Week: 11-5
2014: 122-92
Locks: 9-5

Thursday, December 11th
Arizona Cardinals (10-3) vs. St. Louis Rams (6-7) - NFL Network, 8:25
This may just be more than a trap game for the Cardinals ahead of a huge home contest against the Seahawks. After all, the Rams have been looking very good as they have won five out of eight and their last two by a combined total of 76-0. Arizona stopped their slide at home against a Chiefs team that was sliding in their own right but I think they are prime for an upset here.
Rams 24 Cardinals 21

Sunday, December 14th
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) vs. Baltimore Ravens (8-5) - CBS, 1:00
The Ravens started out pretty slowly in Miami Gardens on Sunday before their defense came alive and pulled away late to get a big road victory. They will host a Jaguars team that showed some promise early against the Texans but ultimately failed to get the job done. At home, the Ravens are my Lock of the Week.
Ravens 23 Jaguars 6

Washington (3-10) vs. New York Giants (4-9) - Fox, 1:00
Remember when this was a legitimate contest in the NFC East? Ah, those were the days. Nowaways this is just a contest of teams with a combined 7-19 record. Neither team is worth much of anything but I like the Giants here. Washington looked so dreadful offensively against St. Louis so I have no confidence in them doing much of anything on that side of the ball.
Giants 20 Washington 10

Oakland Raiders (2-11) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (7-6) - CBS, 1:00
Hey, the Raiders have won two out of three! Of course, those two wins sandwich an excellent 52-0 destruction in St. Louis but alas, they have defeated two playoff contenders including the Chiefs. Speaking of Kansas City, their loss to Oakland started a three game losing streak. Can they snap at home? I say yes but this will be a close one and KC better not be sleepy here.
Chiefs 18 Raiders 14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-11) vs. Carolina Panthers (4-8-1) - Fox, 1:00
Just when the Panthers thought they were out, they pull themselves right back in by demolishing the Saints in stunning fashion on the road. It ended a two month winless streak and put them right back in the divisional mix. I don't think that that win was a sign that Carolina is going to tear the league up, and likely being without Cam Newton following his auto accident certainly does not help matters, but they will still get it done over Tampa Bay.
Panthers 17 Buccaneers 13

Houston Texans (7-6) vs. Indianapolis Colts (9-4) - CBS, 1:00
The Colts were just about dead to rights in Cleveland on Sunday but they put together an impressive rally late to win their third in a row and get a key victory in the race to win the AFC South. They should be able to take care of a decent Houston club that started out slowly in Jacksonville before pulling away in the second half. The Texans just do not have the offense to keep up with Andrew Luck.
Colts 30 Texans 20

Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1) vs. Cleveland Browns (7-6) - Fox, 1:00
It's time for John Football in Cleveland and considering how awful Brian Hoyer has been of late, nobody should be surprised by the timing of this move. With their playoff hopes slipping away after losing three out of four, they need this game to keep pace in the tight AFC North. I think Manziel will show some flashes but ultimately, I think the Bengals will get revenge for their dreadful performance the first time these two played.
Bengals 27 Browns 19

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) vs. Atlanta Falcons (5-8) - CBS, 1:00
I am not quite sure what to make of either team. The Falcons looked much more competitive than expected in Green Bay on Monday night and made it a game late before ultimately coming up short. Meanwhile the Steelers scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter in a huge AFC North victory over the Bengals, one week after a bizarre home loss to New Orleans. Atlanta is a solid home team but even then, I'm feeling what Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell are doing right now.
Steelers 35 Falcons 30

Green Bay Packers (10-3) vs. Buffalo Bills (7-6) - Fox, 1:00
Although the Packers did not look nearly as formidable in the second half against the Falcons on Monday night, they are still a force to be reckoned with at Lambeau. But they are only 3-3 away from the Frozen Tundra so could the Bills pull an upset here? I don't see it happening but a tough Buffalo defense will keep the score closer than the experts think.
Packers 31 Bills 26

Miami Dolphins (7-6) vs. New England Patriots (10-3) - CBS, 1:00
The Dolphins were poised to get a big win at home over the Ravens before allowing 21 unanswered to fall further back in the AFC playoff race. Now they have to go to Foxborough in what is basically a must-win now. Can Ryan Tannehill help resurrect the Miami offense that fell asleep in the second half last week? I don't think so and I've got the Pats.
Patriots 33 Dolphins 24

Denver Broncos (10-3) vs. San Diego Chargers (8-5) - CBS, 4:05
The defensive unit helped get the the Chargers to an early 14-3 lead on the Patriots but ultimately, it was the offensive corps that failed to much of anything afterwards as the Pats scored 20 unanswered to win. Now as they continue to fight to hold on to a playoff spot, they host their divisional rivals from Denver, who have won three in a row. I like them to get the upset as I think that Peyton Manning has not been looking sharp as of late and I think Philip Rivers will make some plays and push the action.
Chargers 34 Broncos 31

New York Jets (2-11) vs. Tennessee Titans (2-11) - CBS, 4:05
Talk about barn burners when you have got this exciting matchup in Nashville. The Titans have been a disaster as they have lost seven games in a row while the Jets have dropped only three in a row and have looked a little more competent but still not quite like a quality football football club. I do think the Jets showed some promise offensively in Minneapolis in their overtime loss to the Vikings and I think they will get the win
Jets 14 Titans 9

Minnesota Vikings (6-7) vs. Detroit Lions (9-4) - Fox, 4:25
You do have to give the Vikings credit where credit is due as they have been able to keep their slim playoff hopes alive by winning two in a row. However, their playoff hopes will be dashed this Sunday in Motown. The Lions cranked out a second straight 34-17 on Sunday, this time over the hapless Buccaneers, and I think their tough defensive line will force Teddy Bridgewater, who will have to continue to carry the offense with injuries to their backs, into some mistakes.
Lions 27 Vikings 14

San Francisco 49ers (7-6) vs. Seattle Seahawks (9-4) - Fox, 4:25
The 49ers are melting down, quite frankly. They looked feeble at home on Thanksgiving the first time these two played and they looked awful in an embarrassing loss across the Bay to the Raiders on Sunday. What should give anyone confidence that they can go into Seattle and take out a Seahawk team that is coming off an impressive victory on the road in Philadelphia?
Seahawks 31 49ers 13

Dallas Cowboys (9-4) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) - NBC, 8:30
I am not a big fan of divisional teams playing twice in three weeks but alas, that is what we have here. If the Cowboys want to win the NFC East they have got to win here, as well as to ensure a playoff spot. The Eagles did not look that sharp at home against Seattle on Sunday and I think that some weaknesses in their defensive corps were exposed. I think Tony Romo will have a big game and the Rod Marinelli defense will force Mark Sanchez into a key mistake or two to get the road victory.
Cowboys 31 Eagles 28

Monday, December 15th
New Orleans Saints (5-8) vs. Chicago Bears (5-8) - ESPN, 8:30
The most inexplicable result of Week 14 had to be the Saints, coming off a rare road win over Pittsburgh, returning to the Superdome being thoroughly dominated by a sinking Carolina squad and losing by 31. Honestly, I still don't get it. I have no idea what to expect from the team in Chicago against a mediocre Bears team so I like the Bears to get a rare win.
Bears 21 Saints 20

1 comment:

  1. As a Fins' fan it is depressing knowing their defence can't get the clutch plays and we are doomed once more to an 8-8 season.