Week 15 Matchup Predictions
Dolphins win 20-13.
Buccaneers (6-7) @ Saints (5-8): The Saints almost did it - they almost got back on track and made a playoff push. Unfortunately, as soon as the reached a .500 record, they hit a brutal stretch of their schedule, having to play the 49ers, Falcons, and Giants in consecutive weeks. Now, however, they'll return home, where they're always at their best, to face a team that they already beat on the road this year. The Bucs bottle up the run better than anyone, but they get gashed through the air worse than anyone - that's not a good combination when you're facing Drew Brees and the Saints.
Saints win 38-34.
Broncos (10-3) @ Ravens (9-4): Over the past few weeks, the Ravens have shown us a little more of what they really are - not that great. They've won so many close games over teams that just aren't that good, and those first two losses (to the Eagles and Texans) aren't as forgivable as they once seemed. Peyton Manning and the Broncos, on the other hand, have officially clicked. They've ripped off eight straight wins and haven't tasted defeat in over two months. Peyton is playing like a legitimate MVP candidate and shouldn't be slowed down by the Ravens' 23rd ranked pass defense. In addition, the Broncos' defense is quietly dominating, ranking 4th in both yards and points. The Ravens once seemed invincible at home, but recently loss to the Roethlisberger-less Steelers.
Broncos win 31-24.
Colts (9-4) @ Texans (11-2): Watching Andrew Luck play sure is fun, isn't it? He may not be quite as electrifying as RG3, but Luck commands the offense as well as any rookie I've ever seen, and is never shy to cock it back and take a deep shot downfield. Unfortunately, that disregard for defensive backs when slinging the football is what will cause his team to fall this week. The Colts are 26th in giveaways and 31st in takeaways, while the Texans rank 5th in both categories. This game will come down to the turnover battle, and the Colts will lose that battle badly.
Texans win 31-23.
Seahawks (8-5) @ Bills (5-8): When you're talking about an 8-5 team that just trounced the Cardinals 58-0 facing a 5-8 team that just lost at home to the Rams, it's easy to just go with the obvious decision. However, I'll try to give you a couple more reasons that I like the Seahawks in this one. Marshawn Lynch has been in full-on beast mode all season, and tends to get even better late in the year. The Bills, on the other hand, couldn't stop a toddler learning to walk from hitting a hole and picking up four yards. The Bills turn over the ball too much, while the Seahawks force tons of turnovers. Despite the Seahawks' road struggles this year, all signs point to them winning this game.
Seahawks win 27-16.
Lions (4-9) @ Cardinals (4-9): While it's easy to pick the Seahawks because they just won 58-0, it's easy to pick against the Cardinals, because they just lost 58-0. What makes it even easier is that they've lost their last nine games. What makes it even easier is that I'm not even sure who their quarterback is. Okay, I admit I know it's Ryan Lindley, but you get the point. With the combination of no offensive line and a terrible quarterback, the Cardinals will be hard pressed to move the ball at all. Cliff Avril, Ndamukong Suh, and Nick Fairley will feast on whoever is behind center. With the top ranked passing offense, the Lions have far too much firepower for the Cardinals to keep up with.
Lions win 28-13.