It's Friday the 13th and week 15 in the NFL has officially begun. There is plenty on the line not just for the NFL teams, but for many across the nation as well as fantasy playoffs have begun in many leagues if they haven't already. What a wild one we saw in Denver last night where the San Diego Chargers used essentially the same gameplan they used to beat the Indianapolis Colts (running the ball...alot) and beat the Broncos 27-20. Rather stunning, but based on what the Chargers did last night and given the fact that they have two home games to end the year, they look like a team that will be in the playoffs. Questions abound for the Broncos. Now let's get right to it and preview week 15 in the NFL in "the stack" for today, Friday, December 13:
Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM ET FOX
Forget the dysfunction in DC, this game has major impact on the draft order as each team is 3-10. Kirk Cousins will try his best to win the game for the Washington, but will the rest of his team? The team looks like it has quit trying to win. Atlanta will take advantage of a porous Washington defense and get the win (I really want Washington to win though).
Prediction: Falcons 27 Redskins 17
Chicago Bears @ Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM ET FOX
CB vs CB. Josh McCown is rolling right now at QB for the Bears, but Jay Cutler is getting the start. With the way the Bears offense is clicking right now, that doesn't sound like the best idea. Cleveland lost a heartbreaker last week at New England, a game they never should have lost. How will they bounce back? Jason Campbell is playing really good football right now. Josh Gordon is unbelievable. Their defense will do enough to slow the Bears down and I'll go with the Browns in what seems like an upset yet the Browns are favored. What??
Prediction: Browns 31 Bears 27
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM ET CBS
Houston has never won in Indianapolis. Given the freefall that Indy is going through right now, this seems like the Texans' year to do it, but how will the players respond to the firing of Gary Kubiak? We'll find out at 4 PM ET. Won't be shocked if the Texans win, but they've lost eleven straight games for a reason.
Prediction: Colts 23 Texans 16
Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM ET CBS
One alliterative team versus another. The Bills are fading while the Jaguars are rising (perhaps much to their fans' dismay) by winning four of five. In fact, their three game win streak is the second longest win streak in the NFL only to Philadelphia.
Prediction: Jaguars 24 Bills 17
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM ET CBS
The Dolphins were a sideline foot away from losing in devesating fashion last week. Had they lost to the Steelers, their playoff hopes would be almost gone. However, they are alive and well and they are ready for the Patriots who will be without Rob Gronkowski. Don't know why I think New England will win. Maybe it's Bill Belichick and Tom Brady's track record. I truly think Miami can win this game, but I just don't have enough confidence in them yet.
Prediction: Patriots 27 Dolphins 24
Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM ET FOX
If Adrian Peterson doesn't play, and right now it looks like he won't, the Vikings will get beat pretty easily. If Toby Gerhart doesn't play, they will be destroyed. LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles both will have monster games in this one.
Prediction: Eagles 41 Vikings 20
Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants 1:00 PM ET FOX
The Seahawks haven't played great on the road and they are looking to get rid of the taste in their mouths of that loss to the 49ers last week. Good thing they are playing a Giants team that looked uninterested last week against San Diego and against turnover happy Eli Manning. Seattle should get familiar with MetLife Stadium. They're probably going to be back in February.
Prediction: Seahawks 34 Giants 14
San Francisco 49ers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM ET FOX
The 49ers are on a roll right now. Tampa Bay has been playing better as of late, but they aren't playing for the playoffs. The 49ers are fighting to hang on to the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs. If last week was a "statement game", this week should be viewed as a "trap game" and a trap that the 49ers can't fall into.
Prediction: 49ers 23 Bucs 13
New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers 4:05 PM ET CBS
The Jets offense looked good again last week...against the Oakland Raiders. They won't look nearly as good against the Panthers defense eager to dominate after getting dominated by New Orleans last week.
Prediction: Panthers 27 Jets 10
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 PM ET CBS
The Chiefs beat a lifeless Washington team last week. The Raiders will give them a little more resistance, but not much. Jamaal Charles will have a big game.
Prediction: Chiefs 34 Raiders 16
Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM ET FOX
Must win for both teams. The Packers got a big come-from-behind win last week versus Atlanta. The Cowboys sit a game behind the Philadelphia Eagles and need to win to keep pace. Fortunately for Dallas, they will not face Aaron Rodgers barring an unexpected miracle. That's great news for the worst defense in the league. They better stack the box to stop Eddie Lacy and force Matt Flynn to beat them. If I were Dallas, I would run DeMarco Murray a lot. If Rodgers were playing, the Packers would win easily. He's not though so...
Prediction: Cowboys 30 Packers 20
New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams 4:25 PM ET FOX
The Saints are great at home thanks to that fast turf. On the road, they aren't quite as good, but fortunately they are playing on turf at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defense needs to slow down Drew Brees and Zac Stacy needs to have a big day running the football to even have a chance in this one.
Prediction: Saints 27 Rams 16
Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans 4:25 PM ET FOX
The late kickoff helps the Cardinals. They also have hopes of making the playoffs. The Titans really don't. Arizona's defense will show up and they'll do enough on offense to get the win.
Prediction: Cardinals 24 Titans 13
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers 8:30 PM ET NBC
Because the Baltimore Ravens keep winning, the Bengals have to as well to win the AFC North. They have a better defense and they have more to play for than the Steelers. Pittsburgh will give them a game and it won't surprise me if they win, but if the Bengals get the ball in the hands of rookie running back Giovani Bernard early and often, they'll win this game.
Prediction: Bengals 24 Steelers 20
Coming up Monday: NFL week 15 reaction plus MNF preview