Week 15 Matchup Predictions
Bengals (7-6) @ Eagles (4-9): Sure, the Bengals are coming off of a tough loss while the Eagles recently executed a come from behind victory, but I wouldn't get too caught up in one week of football. The Eagles hadn't won a game in over two months before Sunday's win, while the Bengals had won four straight before their recent loss. The Eagles turn the ball over way too much, and don't force nearly enough turnovers, while the Bengals are slightly above average in both giveaways and takeaways - that will be the big difference on Thursday night.
Bengals win 24-17.
Giants (8-5) @ Falcons (11-2): Remember what happened when these two teams last played? The Falcons came into the Meadowlands ready to make a long-awaited deep playoff push, and the Giants spanked the snot out of them 24-2. This game will be on the Falcons' home turf, but they're coming off a game in which they looked the worst they have all season, while the Giants are in must-win mode - a mode that typically suits them well. The Falcons can't run the football (have topped 79 yards once in the past five weeks), so they'll be forced to move the ball against a Giants secondary that has 20 interceptions on the season. Eli and company have dropped 38+ points in two of the three games since their bye, and I expect to see more of that high-scoring output.
Giants win 35-31.
Packers (9-4) @ Bears (8-5): When these teams first played this year, it was early in the season when the Packers were struggling - and they still won. They've now won seven of their last eight games and are one of the hottest teams in the league. The Bears, on the other hand, have lost four of their past five, and are dealing with a plethora of injuries - they'll be short two starting offensive linemen, they've placed their kicker on injured reserve, and defensive starters Brian Urlacher and Tim Jennings are both very questionable. I expect the hot team to stay hot.
Packers win 28-20.
Redskins (7-6) @ Browns (5-8): I think we're probably all in agreement here: if Robert Griffin III is healthy enough to play at an RG3-type level, the Redskins shouldn't have much of a problem getting this win, but if he's sidelined, this will end up being a sloppy, gritty game. Even if backup Kirk Cousins does end up starting at quarterback, the Redskins' stout run defense will force the Browns to beat them through the air. Is Brandon Weeden up to that challenge? With a supplemental draft pick rookie as his leading receiver, I don't think so.
Redskins win 21-14.
Vikings (7-6) @ Rams (6-6-1): You know what's pretty strange? The two leading candidates for Comeback Player of the Year are also two of the leading candidates for MVP - that doesn't happen too often. Adrian Peterson hasn't just gotten back to 100% after knee surgery, he's gotten to about 120%. Peterson plays for an offense ranked dead last in passing, but is dominating the battle for the rushing title. The Rams can focus all of their attention on AP, but no one can stop this man - he ripped off over eight yards a carry against the Buccaneers' top ranked run defense. The Vikings will control the ball and put up points with Peterson, while the Rams' offense won't be quite good enough to keep up.
Vikings win 24-19.