NFL Week 15 Picks

By Jared Albert
Dec. 13, 2017

As more and more teams get eliminated from playoff contention, and more teams clinch a spot, it becomes interesting to see who will get the last few. There are currently five teams with a legitimate chance to take the sixth spot in the NFC while the situations with the Chargers, Chiefs, Ravens, and Bills have made the AFC playoff chase just as exciting as the one in the NFC. As the final games go by, it is important to form opinions about them with mine expressed in this weeks edition of NFL Picks.

Denver Broncos (4-9) at Indianapolis Colts (3-10)


Woah, it's the Battle of the Teams that Had Payton Manning but Now Don't Have Him because He's Retired (that might have been a bit of a stretch), but why are these two teams playing on Thursday Night Football? These two team weren't expected to do too well, and there's no reason to have them here. BUt the Colts have had some close games while the Broncos just shut out the Jets. The Broncos have shown some signs of movement in the other direction, but they still won't make the playoffs.


Final Score: DEN 21 - IND 13

Chicago Bears (4-9) at Detroit Lions (7-6)


Okay, this will be my first major upset pick this season. The Bears will be fired up after a blowout against the Bengals and a chance to spiral a division rival away from playoff contention. Mitchell Trubisky has a chance to prove he can play against the contenders in this game, and I think he will do great.


Final Score: CHI 23 - DET 17


Los Angeles Chargers (7-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)


SATURDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL!!!! Wait, why is this a thing? Well, it's at least better than Thursday Night Football, but it's still stupid. This is a perfect game to put in this slot though. These two teams are fighting for the lead in the AFC West, and the winner will have a significant advantage to win the divsion and make the playoffs. The loser will have a tough time catching up with the Ravens and the Titans. The Chargers have turned up in the clutch this year and will do the same this Saturday.


Final Score: LAC 34 - KC 21


Arizona Cardinals (6-7) at Washington Redskins (5-8)


Alright, Skins, this is a dignity game. You win this, you can get all your dignity back. Okay, maybe not giving up a 15-point comeback with three minutes to go against an aging quarterback with no receivers. The Cardinals are somehow quietly sneaking their way back into the conversation, but this game ultimately doesn't matter. It will come down to home field advantage.


Final Score: ARI 23 - WAS 30

Miami Dolphins (6-7) at Buffalo Bills (7-6)


These two teams are the most "middle" any team can get, but the Bills have seemed "middle" nearly every game while the Dolphins have had both great and terrible games nearly every game. The Bills have made it back into the top 6, but the Dolphins just beat the Patriots. This will carry their momentum past the Bills and back into the playoff conversation.


Final Score: MIA 21 - BUF 17


Baltimore Ravens (7-6) at Cleveland Browns (0-13)


So close, Browns so close. You were up 21-7 on the Green Bay Packers going into the final 15 minutes, and you gave up two touchdowns. Then, in overtime, you through a lob pass that was intercepted, and Green Bay scored soon after. I can't pick the Browns after that performance, but the Ravens have lost to teams worse than them in the past. None of them were as bad as the Browns though.


Final Score: BAL 23 - CLE 7


Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) at Minnesota Vikings (10-3)


The Vikings finally lost, which many expected a blowout in their favor, but they won't let the Bengals claim a victory over them as well, especially after an absolute demolition by the Chicago Bears in which the Bengals must feel demoralized. Point is, the Bengals won't win another game.


Final Score: CIN 14 - MIN 27


New York Jets (5-8) at New Orleans Saints (9-4)


I actually legitimately thought about picking the Jets in an upset, but then I remembered their 23-0 loss to Denver last week. So... never mind, but I can't get the loss by New Orleans in Atlanta. It just seemed so unsuspecting to me, and it kind of makes me think the Saints aren't up for the task of the playoffs. Nevertheless, the Saints will win this game.


Final Score: NYJ 17 - NO 30

Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) at New York Giants (2-11)


I love two teams playing with opposite records, especially since the outcome of the game will always result in opposite records still, but the Giants are sitting at the cusp of one of the worst seasons in franchise history, and the Eagles are in prime position to keep the top seed in the NFC. They won't let the Giants upset them, and the Giants will continue to lose until the end of the season. Also, in honor of the opposite records, I'll make the scores opposite too.


Final Score: PHI 31 - NYG 13


Green Bay Packers (7-6) at Carolina Panthers (9-4)


The Packers are likely going to play Aaron Rodgers this week despite his collarbone injury. This decision would risk aggravating the injury even more, but the team is in desperate need of a miracle. Aaron Rodgers is that exact miracle, as shown by the NFC Divisional Round game between them and the Dallas Cowboys, particularly the final drive with less than a minute left to get a game-winning field goal. The Panthers have been an up-and-down team so far, and the Packers have nothing to lose coming into this game. They'll be ready to take down the Panthers.


Final Score: GB 27 - CAR 23


Houston Texans (4-9) at Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)


Two reverse records in one week? Wow. This is especially rare to happen this late in the season, but as I predicted in the last game, the better record will come away with the win. The Jaguars have been firing on all cylinders and are one of three teams with a chance at the top seed in the AFC. The Texans won't take down any good teams since the losses of J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson


Final Score: HOU 17 - JAX 27


Los Angeles Rams (9-4) at Seattle Seahawks (8-5)


Here it is. It's the showdown between the top two team in the AFC West. We've been waiting all season for this ever since the Rams started showing signs of potential, and the Seahawks need this win to get into the playoffs. Nevertheless, we've seen Seattle's play under pressure in Super Bowl XLIX. I don't wanna talk about that too much though.


Final Score: LAR 21 - SEA 14

New England Patriots (10-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)


The Patriots are coming off a bizarre loss to the Dolphins, and their top players seemed stuck the entire game, but don't think of the Steelers as a team that has done great recently. First, I will never give up that loss to the Bears. It was sad and pathetic. Second, the Steelers were forced to come back against the Bengals and Ravens, two teams they should have easily beaten. While this will be a good game, I don't see the Steelers getting the win.


Final Score: NE 34 - PIT 27


Tennessee Titans (8-5) at San Francisco 49ers (3-10)


Neither of these teams are relevant in the chase for the Super Bowl, but one is almost certainly going to make the playoffs, and the 49ers are 3-10. The Titans are the second-best team in a terrible division. While it is on the rise, it still sucks without Deshaun Watson. The 49ers are also in an easy division, but they haven't managed to get four wins by now. They can't win this game.


Final Score: TEN 24 - SF 13


Dallas Cowboys (7-6) at Oakland Raiders (6-7)


I'm betting they put this in the Monday Night Football spot because of the great seasons these two had last year, but they are not nearly as good this year. Now, I think Dallas has a better chance at winning this game, but I'm actually going to go with the Raiders on this one. They've kind of been silent this season, and I don't think the Cowboys will be expecting them as a threat.


Final Score: DAL 20 - OAK 24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9) at Atlanta Falcons (8-5)


I don't see how anyone can pick Tampa in this game. they just aren't as good as last year. They were kind of the only team in the NFC South that didn't meet or exceed expectations, and they aren't feeling good morally. The Falcons, on the other hand, are trending upward. They are coming off of a great win against New Orleans, and Matt Ryan will be able to take his team past the Buccaneers.


Final Score: TB 21 - ATL 34