NFL Game Rankings: Week 15

12/12/13 in NFL   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Dec 8, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) leaps into the arms of center Ryan Wendell (62) after he threw the winning touchdown pass during the fourth quarter of New England's 27-26 win over the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY SportsOn paper, this looks to be a less than stellar week in the NFL. Only two games feature teams with winning records, so the rest look to be rather predictable. But, as we all know, always expect the unexpected in this league.

Let's take a look at the week's top five:

5. New York Jets (6-7) at Carolina Panthers (9-4) - 4:05 PM ET, CBS

How will the Panthers respond after losing their first game in two months? That's the big question heading into this one. Carolina is clearly the better team in this matchup, but you really never know what to expect with the Jets since they are wildly inconsistent at times. I could see this being closer than people expect due to the fact that the Panthers get their rematch with the Saints next week, so a letdown and a sloppy win is possible.

4. Green Bay Packers (6-6-1) at Dallas Cowboys (7-6) - 4:25 PM ET, FOX

Given how terrible the Cowboys looked on defense in their loss to the Bears, it's a good thing Aaron Rodgers isn't at full strength or this one would have the potential to get ugly. The Cowboy D will need a much better showing this week if Dallas wants to stay in the division and playoff race. I can't see that bad of a performance happening two weeks in a row -- especially considering that the Green Bay offense hasn't found much of a rhythm since Rodgers has been out.

3. Baltimore Ravens (7-6) at Detroit Lions (7-6) - 8:30 PM ET, ESPN (MNF)

These two teams played rather interesting games a week ago. While the Lions were busy playing in 68 feet of snow in Philly, the Ravens were taking part in one of the wildest two-minute stretches in NFL history. Unlike the Lions though, the Ravens found a way to win and stay on track for a playoff spot. The good news for Detroit is that they still lead the NFC North, and have a pretty favorable schedule the rest of the way. The same can't be said for Baltimore, as they face a brutal slate which starts with this game and ends with contests against New England and Cincinnati.

2. San Diego Chargers (6-7) at Denver Broncos (11-2) - 8:25 PM ET, NFL Network (Thurs.)

Well, when all else fails, go with the top two quarterbacks in the league in your top two games. We start with Peyton Manning and the Broncos hosting the Chargers in a Week 10 rematch. The Chargers have already proven they can win a big game on the road as they took care of business in Kansas City against the Chiefs a few weeks ago. This test will be much tougher though as Manning looks to be in a groove right now after the Denver passing attack decimated the Titans last week.

1. New England Patriots (10-3) at Miami Dolphins (7-6) - 1 PM ET, CBS

And now let's discuss the future for Tom Brady and Patriots after Rob Gronkowski's season-ending injury against the Browns. Honestly, it's a future that doesn't seem all that bright if we're talking about a deep post-season run. I think we'll see the start of that here against a Miami team that is playing good football after that miserable stretch of four straight losses in October. With the Dolphins playing for a wild card berth, they'll be ready to go in this spot. But, of course, the most intriguing storyline of this game will be how New England's offense evolves without Gronk in the lineup.

Which NFL games are you most looking forward to in Week 15? Let us know by commenting below! For more NFL talk, follow @FanIQ or myself on Twitter!
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