Week 15 Matchup Predictions
Panthers win 27-21.
Steelers (7-6) @ Cowboys (7-6): Ben Roethlisberger returned to action for the Steelers last week after missing three games with a shoulder injury, but couldn't get going until it was too late. This week, however, I expect Big Ben to be at his pre-injury form (playing arguably the best football of his career) right off the bat. As a result, Tony Romo will have to be up to the task of gunning it out with his Super Bowl champion opponent. Unfortunately for Romo, my calendar reads December, and we all know what tends to happen to Romo when that month comes around. To make matters worse, he'll be facing the league's top ranked pass defense.
Steelers win 27-23.
49ers (9-3-1) @ Patriots (10-3): And here we have the age-old question: what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? It's nearly impossible to stop the Patriots' offense from moving the ball, as they rank first in both points and yards. Across the field on Sunday night, however, will be the impenetrable 49er defense, allowing the least points in the league and second least yards. I know the old philosophy that defense wins championships, but the Patriots are coming off a ridiculous 42-14 win over the 11-2 Texans, whose defense isn't too bad either (ranked 6th in points). It just doesn't seem to me that anyone can shut down Tom Brady and company right now, and the 49ers will have a hard time matching his scoring output.
Patriots win 31-24.
Jets (6-7) @ Titans (4-9): Why is this game on Monday Night Football? Who picked this? My guess is that they were hoping this would be one of Tim Tebow's first starts as a Jet and would be the best rated MNF ever, but they seemed to have underestimated Rex Ryan's undying love for Mark Sanchez. All Ryan/Sanchez bashing aside, the Jets shockingly find themselves in the playoff hunt thanks to a ridiculously easy late season schedule. Granted, they're essentially two games back of the 7-6 Steelers, who beat the Jets earlier this season - but anyway, the Jets do have a chance of making the playoffs, and that will have them a bit more amped up for this game than the playoff-eliminated Titans. I think that the Jets will struggle in containing Chris Johnson on the ground, but when it comes to the passing game, the Jets will lock it down, allowing them to keep the game close. Eventually, they'll come out on top thanks to winning the turnover battle.
Jets win 24-20.