The playoff race is reaching a fever pitch and several NFL teams are hoping to make that final lunge count. How will the games play out?
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
This is not a slam dunk game but Peyton Manning has owned the San Diego Chargers since joining the Denver Broncos, and their defense is unlikely to stop him with or without Wes Welker.
Result: SD 23, DEN 35
Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons
Kirk Cousins has seen the defense of the Atlanta Falcons before and played well against them. There is no pressure for him to perform like last season, so he should be relaxed and confident. Bad news for a Falcons team that is clearly lost.
Result: WAS 24, ATL 20
Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns
Two teams that are remarkably inconsistent. The Chicago Bears come in with lots of momentum from beating down Dallas while the Cleveland Browns are still smarting from their collapse against the Patriots. Expect that to be the difference.
Result: CHI 26, CLE 23
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
Quarterbacks drive the ship for a team. The Houston Texans have no stability at the position and haven’t won a game in months. The Indianapolis Colts are looking to gain maximum playoff positioning, and have Andrew Luck.
Result: HOU 17, IND 27
Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars
This game is hard to gauge. Neither team is by any means predictable. The Jacksonville Jaguars are on a winning streak but from a talent standpoint the Buffalo Bills should have the edge. Much will come down to how efficient E.J. Manuel is.
Result: BUF 21, JAX 24
The Miami Dolphins know they let one slip away the last time they played the New England Patriots. Ryan Tannehill is playing good football of late and Tom Brady just lost Rob Gronkowski. Can the Fins finish the job this time?
Result: NE 25, MIA 24
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson is a long shot for Sunday and without him the Minnesota Vikings have little hope against a Philadelphia Eagles team that has found their identity and are riding it to the NFC East title.
Result: PHI 37, MIN 24
Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants
Could this be a nice practice round for the Seattle Seahawks in MetLife Stadium in preparation for a return in February? Maybe. They should not overlook the New York Giants but this game is a bad matchup for the home team.
Result: SEA 38, NYG 17
San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fresh off their big win against Seattle, the San Francisco 49ers face a possible trap situation with the underachieving Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mike Glennon is efficient and the Bucs can run the ball. The 49ers can’t afford a letdown.
Result: SF 28, TB 10
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers
Geno Smith had his way with the Raiders but he won’t find any gift wrapped opportunities visiting the Carolina Panthers, likely ornery from their humbling loss in New Orleans. This contest could get ugly fast.
Result: NYJ 6, CAR 35
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
Rivalry games can become hard to predict but it’s best to look at the talent levels when making it. The Kansas City Chiefs are off the snide and seeking to wrap up a playoff spot. The Oakland Raiders can only play spoiler, which isn’t much to hope for.
Result: KC 23, OAK 14
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
There is no doubt after watching Monday Night Football that the Green Bay Packers wish the Dallas Cowboys were visiting Lambeau Field. Instead they must head to Big D, without Aaron Rodgers.
Result: GB 21, DAL 30
New Orleans Saints at St. Louis Rams
Drew Brees has shown he’s not above making mistakes when he gets pressured. The St. Louis Rams have one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. If they can get help from their offense, they might make week 15 a miserable one for the New Orleans Saints.
Result: NO 33, STL 19
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
Losing Tyrann Mathieu was tough for the Arizona Cardinals defense, but they have no reason to fear an inconsistent Tennessee Titans team. Carson Palmer should take care of business once the initial adrenaline charge wears off for the Titans defense.
Result: ARI 29, TEN 17
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
It has not been the ideal season for the Pittsburgh Steelers but they can at least take solace in making the divisional title clinching more difficult for the Cincinnati Bengals, who often struggle on the road.
Result: CIN 20, PIT 21
Baltimore Ravens at Detroit Lions
Two teams that are remarkably similar in one key aspect: neither loses much at home. The Detroit Lions know they can’t afford to let the Baltimore Ravens steal a win when the NFC North is slipping from their grasp. Expect their defensive line to take charge.
Result: BAL 17, DET 30
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