Following an action-packed Thursday night contest, this upcoming week should be full of games to watch as the NFL prepares for its first full slate of games since Week 5.
Week 15 is going to be a crucial week for many teams across the league. As teams are fighting for playoff positioning as we make our way down the stretch. Due to games being postponed we will now have NFL games eight out of the next ten days. Let’s run through my picks across the league this week.
New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts
Saturday night football is back! This was originally supposed to be a doubleheader but the Raiders/Browns game has been moved to Monday night. This will be a matchup between one of the league’s hottest defenses (New England) and the hottest offenses (Indianapolis). The Patriots present one of the best defensive fronts. I think Mac Jones is better coached than Carson Wentz, but I like his experience to edge out the rookie in this one.
Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills
Carolina started off the season hot, their quarterback problems have held them back ever since. Cam Newton’s ability to run the ball presents a challenge for the Buffalo defense. I don’t see the Bills having any problem getting going against the Panthers’ defense. Assuming they’re not looking forward to next week’s matchup vs the Patriots.
Arizona Cardinals at Detriot Lions
The Cardinals have yet to lose outside of State Farm Stadium this season, they’re defeating their opponents by an average of 16 points per game. I don’t see the Lions putting up much of a fight in this matchup.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
Zach Wilson is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league this season, and it doesn’t help that Elijah Moore is on injured reserve. Getting back Michael Carter should help, but he won’t be able to carry the team to victory. The Dolphins are peaking at the right time too. They could make the AFC East race interesting down the stretch.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
Dak Prescott hasn’t been the same post-calf injury, causing some concerns about his immediate future. But the Cowboys defense has been one of the best units in the league. They’ve been able to win them games down the stretch and facing the Giants offense with Mike Glennon at the helm should be a potential blowup spot.
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
With the Tennessee offense struggling to find a spark right now, I can’t see either team scoring 3+ touchdowns. Pittsburgh has shown some bright spots with Najee Harris, but there’s not much light in this Steelers offense other than him. I think this will be a defensive battle that will come down to special teams.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
After Urban Meyer was fired this past week, there is now hope for the Jaguars. James Robinson needs to be featured heavily within this offense now. Tyrod Taylor and Mark Ingram II were the bright spots for the Texans the last time these two teams faced off. Unfortunately, neither one of them will be playing this time around.
Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos
At one point in the season, the Bengals were poised to win the AFC North, but they’re 2-4 in their last six games. Denver is the opposite, being 4-2 over their last six are as healthy as they’ve been in a while. This one could get interesting and I can see an argument being made for either side. Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon III could be a backfield to watch down the stretch if the Broncos want to make things interesting.
Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers
George Kittle has been on a tear since returning from injury, attempting to give Travis Kelce a run for his money for the title of the best tight end in the league. The 49ers are better than their 7-6 record shows for and they’re winning at the right time. Although the Falcons are still tied for the last playoff spot in the NFC. San Francisco is just too physical on both sides of the ball.
Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens
I’m not sure if they’re many teams throughout the league that I would pick to beat the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is going to make his last dance in Green Bay count if it is in fact his last season in green and white. Baltimore has too many injuries in their secondary to hang with the Packers’ receiving core. Lamar Jackson has proved he can embrace comeback opportunities, I think he comes up short in this one.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Once again Tom Brady has his squad in contention for the top overall seed in the conference, this time he’ll play his games down the stretch in nice Florida weather. The Saints have battled too many injuries this season to make a run at the division crown. But Brady hasn’t beaten New Orleans in the regular season.
Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns
Cleveland has double-digit players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including eight starters. The Raiders offense hasn’t been afraid to take shots down the field. But the Browns should still be able to apply pressure to Derek Carr and make his life hard. This is another one I could see going either way especially with Nick Mullens in line to start.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
If Khalil Mack didn’t suffer a season-ending injury, this could be a different Bears squad. But Justin Fields has been too inconsistent to give the Bears a real chance. This Vikings offense is one of the most underrated units in the league and their defense is what holds them back. I think they’ll come out fired up for this divisional matchup with their playoff hopes still alive.
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams
We now have two Tuesday night football games this week, the Rams will have had eight days off since their big win over the Cardinals. But the Rams are up to 21 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Russell Wilson looked comfortable against a struggling Texans squad on Sunday, but take that with a grain of salt. Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp should both suit up for Los Angeles against a shaky Seattle defense.
Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles
The Washington Football Team has come a long way since planning to let Ryan Fitzpatrick take over the reins of this offense in August, they’ll be down to their third starting quarterback this season. Jalen Hurts should come into this game with fresh legs. I think this one could get ugly early as they’re huge wild card implications in this one.