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2014 NFL Week 15 Picks and Predictions

2014 NFL Week 15 Picks and Predictions

The Seattle Seahawks flashed their championship credentials Sunday with an impressive 10-point road victory over the Philadelphia Eagles to stretch their winning run to three games. They will look to extend their streak to four games and take a stab at the NFC West lead when they face rivals San Francisco in a pivotal division clash.

This highly-anticipated showdown is part of a packed 16-game schedule which includes a key AFC North matchup between Cleveland and Cincinnati and a marquee clash between NFC East rivals Dallas and Philadelphia. Read on below for our complete Week 15 predictions as we gear up for another blockbuster finish to the 2014 NFL season.

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Complete NFL Week 15 Picks

Thursday, December 11

Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams (8:30 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Rams -4.5

[sc:NFL240banner ]The Arizona Cardinals got their season back on track with a narrow 17-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs to help preserve their one-game lead at the top of the NFC West. The Cardinals got an early Christmas surprise in Kerwynn Williams who stepped up big time in the absence of Andre Ellington, rushing for 100 yards on 19 carries, just two days after being called up from the practice squad.

Williams will have his work cut out for him, though, against a Rams side that is impenetrable on the defensive end right now. The Rams held the Redskins scoreless in a 24-0 win Sunday to record back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 1945. St. Louis is rolling right now, having won three of their last four games.

You can read a complete preview of this game here.

Sunday, December 14

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Steelers (pk)

The Steelers’ playoff hopes roared back to life on Sunday with a huge 42-21 win over division rivals Cincinnati to leave the AFC North race wide open with three games remaining in the schedule. Ben Roethlisberger had his best outing since his six-touchdown performance against Baltimore, completing 25 of 39 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns without any interceptions to go within half a game behind the Bengals for the AFC North lead.

They will next face an Atlanta Falcons side whose comeback bid fell just short in their 43-37 defeat to NFC North leaders Green Bay Monday night. Their dreams of reaching the postseason are still very much alive though as they are still on top of the AFC South even with an atrocious 5-8 slate.

Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Giants -7

The Giants’ losing woes are finally over after they thumped fellow strugglers Tennessee 36-7 Sunday to snap their seven-game losing streak. The Giants leaned on their rookies to get them over the hump as Odell Beckham grabbed 11 passes for 130 yards for his team-record fourth 100-yard outing while Andre Williams ran for a season-high 131 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown.

They will fancy their chances of wreaking havoc against a Washington side that is eighth-worst in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 26.6 points per game. During their current five-game losing rut, they have allowed their opponents to score an average of 29.2 points per outing.

Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Patriots -8

What would the Patriots do without Tom Brady? New England leaned on their star quarterback once again as they defeated the San Diego Chargers, 23-14, to clinch their 12th straight 10-win season, the second-longest such streak in NFL history.

Brady completed 28 of 44 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in the win to help the Pats keep in pace with the Broncos at the top of the AFC standings. New England will have a fight in their hands, though, when they face Miami this coming Sunday in a pivotal AFC East showdown. The Dolphins have won their last two meetings with the Patriots dating back to December of last year.

Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Chiefs -10.5

There’s plenty to be cheerful about if you’re a Raiders fan after Oakland recorded their second consecutive home victory with a stunning 24-13 upset of crosstown rivals San Francisco 49ers. Derek Carr was the star of the show for Oakland, completing 22 of 28 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns with no picks in his best performance in a Raiders uniform thus far this season.

He will look to give Oakland their first back-to-back wins of the season when they face the reeling Kansas City Chiefs whose playoff hopes are slipping away fast after their 17-14 loss to the injury-plagued Arizona Cardinals Sunday night condemned them to their third consecutive defeat. The Chiefs will be desperate for some payback against the Raiders, the team that triggered this three-game tailspin and put their playoff dreams in jeopardy.

Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Colts -7

Andrew Luck showed his magic touch once again as he led the Indianapolis Colts to a thrilling come-from-behind 25-24 win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday. Struggling for the first 57 minutes, Luck was clutch when the Colts needed him the most as he found T.Y. Hilton with a one-yard touchdown pass with 32 seconds remaining to give Indianapolis the all-important win and complete the 12th game-winning drive of his career.

He will fancy his chances of having a much better performance against the Houston Texans which has the fifth-worst passing defense in the league today, allowing an average of 264.0 yards per game. The Texans, however, are playing some excellent football as of late, having won three of their last four games to remain two games behind the Colts in the AFC South race. They have struggled in their last five visits to Indianapolis, though, losing all of them by an average of 10.6 points.

You can check out a complete preview of this matchup here.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Baltimore Ravens (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Ravens -14

Baltimore’s playoff dreams are still intact after a 28-13 win over Miami Sunday helped them climb to within half a game of Cincinnati in the ever-tightening AFC North race. Joe Flacco engineered Baltimore’s stirring comeback from 10-0 down, completing 25 of 33 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns with one interception to improve his record against Miami with coach John Harbaugh at the helm to 5-0.

Speaking of 5-0, that’s the same record the Ravens have against the Jaguars in their last five meetings at Baltimore dating back to September 2000. Curiously enough, the Jaguars are still winless in six away games this season.

Green Bay Packers vs. Buffalo Bills (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Packers -5

The Packers survived a furious fight-back by the Atlanta Falcons Monday night to stay on top by just a game over the Detroit Lions in the fascinating NFC North race. They will look to extend their winning streak to six games when they face the Buffalo Bills whose playoff hopes are hanging in the balance after a stinging 24-17 defeat to the Denver Broncos.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Panthers (pk)

There’s still some life yet in the Carolina Panthers after they recorded a stunning 41-10 win over the New Orleans Saints right at their arch-rival’s own home field. Cam Newton was back to his dual-threat best as he passed for 226 yards and three touchdowns in addition to his 83 rushing yards and a score to help the Panthers snap its six-game losing skid.

Carolina will look to build on the momentum from that huge win when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are mired in another three-game losing streak following their 34-17 defeat to the Detroit Lions. The Bucs, however, have performed admirably well in their travels this season, going 4-3 ATS in their road assignments this campaign so a close game might be in the cards at Bank of America Stadium this coming Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns (1:00 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Browns (pk)

Cincinnati’s lead at the top of the AFC North standings is reduced to just half a game after they were bludgeoned by the Pittsburgh Steelers 42-21 to leave the division race wide open. The Bengals had no answer for Pittsburgh’s offensive onslaught in the fourth quarter as they were outscored 25-0 in the payoff period.

They will look to pick up the pieces against a Cleveland team that is still right in the playoff mix even after they suffered their second consecutive setback Sunday against the Colts. The Browns were just a stop away from joining the Bengals, Browns and Ravens at eight wins apiece but were unable to deny Andrew Luck who connected with his fourth career touchdown pass in the final minute of regulation or overtime to secure the victory for the Colts.

The more pressing concern for the Browns, however, is the ongoing offensive struggles of their quarterback Brian Hoyer. He completed just 14 of 31 passes for 140 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions in the game against the Colts as the calls to replace him with Johnny Manziel continue to grow louder.

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New York Jets vs. Tennessee Titans (4:05 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Jets -2

If losing is an art form, then Jets head coach Rex Ryan will surely be a master. He proved that on Sunday when his all-out blitz back-fired big time in overtime to send the Jets crashing to a 30-24 defeat to the Minnesota Vikings, their 11th loss of the season. To make matters worse for the Jets, their main receiver Percy Harvin (124 yards, 1 touchdown) left the game on crutches after taking a hard hit late in the fourth quarter.

The Jets, however, will still fancy their chances of grabbing their third win of the season against Tennessee this coming Sunday because of their running game. The Jets are second in the league in rushing offense with a 149.7 yards-per-game clip. That’s bad news for the Titans who own the worst rushing defense in the league today, allowing 141.5 yards per game on the ground this season.

Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers (4:05 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Broncos -4.5

The Denver Broncos extended their lead at the top of the AFC West standings to two games with a tough 24-17 win Sunday over the Buffalo Bills. It is the third consecutive win for the Broncos since changing its offense into a run-heavy approach from a pass-oriented attack. The Broncos bucked a sub-par performance from Peyton Manning who completed just 14 of 20 passes for 173 yards with two interceptions. It was the first time in 52 games that Manning has failed to complete a touchdown pass.

The Broncos have a fantastic opportunity to stretch their advantage even further when they face the San Diego Chargers in a top-of-the-table division clash this coming Sunday. The Chargers stumbled in their attempt to keep pace with the Broncos Sunday night as they lost to the New England Patriots 23-14. They had no answer for the Pats’ passing game which torched them for 310 yards. The Chargers’ secondary will need to do a much better job against the Broncos’ pass attack which is first in the NFL in completed touchdowns with 36.

You can read here the complete preview of this game.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks (4:05 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Seahawks -9.5

San Francisco’s playoff bid is in complete tatters after they suffered a shock 24-13 defeat Sunday to the Oakland Raiders. Colin Kaepernick had another miserable outing as he connected on just 18 of 33 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions against an Oakland side that sacked him five times.

It won’t get any easier for him this coming Sunday as he faces his bogey team, the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have the look of a team that is peaking at exactly the right time after they trounced NFC East leaders Philadelphia 24-14 to grab their third victory in a row and remain a game behind Arizona for the NFC West lead. Once again, it was their defense that was the catalyst for their win as they limited the Eagles to a measly 139 total yards, the lowest in Chip Kelly’s tenure with Philadelphia.

You can read a complete preview of this game here.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions (4:25 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Lions -8

The Detroit Lions continued to pile pressure on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North race with a comprehensive 34-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to slash their rivals’ lead at the top of the team standings to just half a game. Detroit’s passing game was at the forefront of their victory Sunday as they bombarded the Bucs with a total of 294 passing yards. Majority of those were provided for by Calvin Johnson who caught eight passes for 158 yards and a touchdown in another virtuoso performance.

He will have his work cut out for him, though, this coming Sunday when he squares off with the Minnesota secondary. The Vikings’ passing defense is the sixth-best in the league today, allowing an average of 220.8 yards per game via the aerial route this season.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles (8:30 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Cowboys +3.5

NFC East supremacy is on the line once again this coming Sunday as the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles square off in a rematch of their Thanksgiving showdown more than a week ago. It was Philadelphia who came out on top in that encounter as they crushed Dallas 33-10 to go one game clear of the Cowboys in the hotly-contested division.

That advantage was short-lived though, as a Cowboys victory over the Bears coupled with a Seahawks romp over the Eagles brought their season-long battle back to square one once again. With just three games remaining in their respective schedules, the stakes on this game can never be higher for both sides. The Eagles, though, will have the added benefit of having home field advantage on their side in this game. The Eagles have been spectacular at Lincoln Financial Field this season, going 6-1 in their seven games there.

Monday, December 15

New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears (8:30 PM ET)

Writer’s Pick: Saints -3

New Orleans’ nightmarish season just keeps getting worse as they suffered a 41-10 humiliation Sunday at the hands of the Carolina Panthers.The loss tied the Saints’ worst defeat in the Payton-Brees era which occurred back in 2007 with the same scoreline. It was also the first time since 1999 that the Saints have lost four straight games at home.

Miraculously, though, even with a horrible 5-8 slate, the Saints are just half a game behind the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC South lead. They will look to get their season back on track this coming Sunday against the Chicago Bears, another side that has severely underperformed this season. The Bears crashed to their eight defeat of the season Thursday as they succumbed to the Dallas Cowboys 41-28.

The Bears had no answer for the Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray who punctured Chicago’s defense with a total of 179 rushing yards and a touchdown. It won’t get any easier for the Bears’ defensive line this coming weekend as they’ll face a Saints running attack which is ninth in the NFL in rushing offense with an average of 123.7 YPG.

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Written by Joel

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