Let’s hope those on the slate this week live up to the expectations since it didn’t happen last week.
NFL WEEK 15
Week 15 schedule
Coaching, GM Tracker
2016 MVP projections
Breech’s Week 15 picks
Last week’s schedule looked to be loaded with big games matching good teams, but aside from a few of them we had a bunch of duds. There are a lot of good matchups in Week 15, including the Detroit Lions at the New York Giants, the New England Patriots at the Denver Broncos, the Tennessee Titans at the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Dallas Cowboys.
That’s four games with huge playoff implications. Let’s hope they live up to what we expect to see, which wasn’t the case last week.
My picks to win those four games are the Giants, Patriots, Chiefs and Cowboys. But I think they all will be close.
Green Bay at Chicago
The Packers have righted things the past three weeks and have a real shot to make the playoffs, but they have to win out. It starts here. This won’t be easy, but Aaron Rodgers is riding high now. It stays that way. Packers take it.
Pick: Packers 27, Bears 18
Tampa Bay at Dallas
This is an enormous game for both teams. For Tampa Bay, it’s a proving ground. For the Cowboys, it’s a chance for Dak Prescott to get back on track. I think the Cowboys win the game, but it won’t be easy.
New Orleans at Arizona
The Saints are playing consecutive road games and didn’t play well last week at Tampa Bay. Arizona hasn’t looked right all season, but they will show up on defense here and get the best of Drew Brees.
Pick: Cardinals 31, Saints 21
San Francisco at Atlanta
The 49ers competed last week, but this is a long trip against a team pushing for a division title. The Falcons looked good last week without Julio Jones. He is expected back. That matters. Falcons big.
Pick: Falcons 30, 49ers 14
New England at Denver
The Patriots, and especially Tom Brady, impressed against the top-ranked Baltimore defense Monday night. But this is a tough turnaround and the Patriots struggled here in the AFC Championship Game last January. They will fare better today. Brady stays hot — even against this talented defense.
Pick: Patriots 24, Broncos 17
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Oakland at San Diego
The Chargers have a lot of injuries, including to running back Melvin Gordon, which changes their team. Philip Rivers will compete, but he is shorthanded here. The Raiders will have been off for 10 days. They rebound from the loss to the Chiefs.
Pick: Raiders 28, Chargers 22
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
This once looked like it would be a big game for the division race, but the Bengals have no chance now. Even so, I expect them to show up against a team they hate. The Bengals will keep it close, but the Steelers will pull it out even playing consecutive road games.
Pick: Steelers 23, Bengals 17