It's Friday and The Stack is here to make some predictions for week 15 in the NFL. This is by far the toughest slate of games to pick from for the year, but off to a 1-0 start for the week following the Cincinnati Bengals 34-13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Andy Dalton wasn't particularly great, but the defense was and the Bengals now put all of the pressure on the Pittsburgh Steelers to beat the Dallas Cowboys Sunday to hang on to the 6th seed in the AFC playoffs...for now. Now though, let's get to some previews and make some predictions for Showdown Sunday, week 15 in the NFL in "the stack" for today, Friday, December 14:
New York Giants @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM ET FOX
Been flip-flopping on this game all week. The Falcons were embarrassed last week and now people are questioning just how good they really are and you know they want to prove the doubters wrong. The Giants though know how important this game is for them as they fend off the Cowboys and Redskins for the NFC East division title and gain momentum for the playoffs. Falcons want revenge in this game from last year's playoff debacle, but I don't think they get it.
Prediction: Giants 27 Falcons 23
Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM ET CBS
Didn't know until earlier this week that the Broncos have never won in Baltimore since the Ravens moved there. With a suspect defense and an offense that may still be trying to figure out what to do (running Ray Rice more would help), and with Peyton Manning on their side, I think the Broncos snap that streak.
Prediction: Broncos 27 Ravens 20
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears 1:00 PM ET FOX
The Bears have struggled the last five games (1-4) and their defense doesn't look the same without Brian Urlacher. The Packers are getting healthy at just the right time and they know that with a win, the win the NFC North.
Prediction: Packers 24 Bears 20
Washington Redskins @ Cleveland 1:00 PM ET FOX
As I write this post, we still don't know if RGIII will play for the Redskins Sunday. Signs are pointing toward yes he will, but nothing is set in stone. Regardless, the Browns will be ready for this game. Fun fact: this game is the only game of the weekend that features both teams with at least three game win streaks. Going to have a cop out answer here, but if RGIII plays, the Redskins win. If he doesn't, the Browns win.
Prediction: Redskins 20 Browns 17 (With RGIII) Browns 24 Redskins 17 (without RGIII)
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans 1:00 PM ET CBS
The comeback kids, the Indianapolis Colts, are putting pressure on the Houston Texans who need to rebound in this game following an embarrassing loss on national television against the Patriots. That loss may be the thing that gets the Texans re-energized and re-focused as they embark on their playoff run.
Prediction: Texans 27 Colts 24
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM ET CBS
Chad Henne squares off against his former team, but I don't think it will be a happy homecoming. At least the Jaguars don't have to travel far to lose.
Prediction: Dolphins 20 Jaguars 10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM ET FOX
The Saints, fresh off a win on the bounty gate case, look for win number two against a Bucs team that has started to slide. I think they get it.
Prediction: Saints 34 Bucs 20
Minnesota Vikings @ St. Louis Rams 1:00 PM ET FOX
Fair to say that maybe a handful of people thought this game would have playoff implications for both sides, but it does. Going to be tough for the Vikings to get much going on offense besides Adrian Peterson. His quest for 2,000 rushing yards is the major storyline. Been going back and forth on this one too. Right now, I think I'm leaning Vikings though that very well could change before Sunday.
Prediction: Vikings 23 Rams 16
Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals 4:05 PM ET FOX
I hear the Cardinals are going back to Ryan Lindley as their starting quarterback. If that's true, it doesn't matter how bad the Lions have been this season...they'll win this game.
Prediction: Lions 27 Cardinals 13
Seattle Seahawks @ Buffalo Bills 4:05 PM ET FOX
Won't guarantee a 58-0 shutout this week, but the Seahawks defense will play very good and the offense will do enough to get a victory and keep pressure on the 49ers for the NFC West crown.
Prediction: Seahawks 20 Bills 9
Carolina Panthers @ San Diego Chargers 4:05 PM ET FOX
Both teams are coming off of big upset wins last week, but the Panthers have been playing the better football as of late. Cam Newton is going to have another big game.
Prediction: Panthers 34 Chargers 17
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM ET CBS
Don't know what kind of performance that was last week from the Steelers, but I can bet you practice wasn't that pleasant this week. As mentioned at the beginning, the Bengals win puts added importance on this game for the Steelers. Cowboys have questions about Dez Bryant and his injured finger. He'll play, but just how effective will he be? Won't be surprised if either team wins this one.
Prediction: Steelers 23 Cowboys 17
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders 4:25 PM ET CBS
All that's really at stake in this game is positioning for the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Prediction: Raiders 26 Chiefs 20
San Francisco 49ers @ New England Patriots 8:20 PM ET NBC
The Patriots destroyed the Texans Monday night and I'm pretty sure they're getting tired of hearing how good Colin Kaepernick is for the 49ers. Don't think the 49ers are as good as their record indicates. This will be a physical, hard-fought close game.
Prediction: Patriots 23 49ers 20
Coming up Monday: Reaction from Week 15 plus preview of MNF