Week 15 will continue this weekend with several big games including an AFC East matchup between the 6-7 Miami Dolphins and the 7-6 Buffalo Bills, the return of Aaron Rodgers, who will be taking on the 9-4 Carolina Panthers in Carolina. The best games of the week however, will be a game between the 9-4 L.A. Rams taking on the 8-5 Seattle Seahawks for 1st place in the NFC West while the 10-3 New England Patriots will be taking on the 11-2Pittsburgh Steelers for the #1 seed throughout the playoffs. Now here’s what to watch for in Sunday’s games.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants; 1:00pm
1. Nick Foles’ 1st Start
With Carson Wentz out for the season after suffering a torn ACL last week against the Rams, Nick Foles will be guiding the 11-2 Eagles to the postseason and hopefully, the Super Bowl. Foles will be facing a Giants defense that ranks 31st in passing yards per game allowed (265.7). Defensive coordinator and interim head coach, Steve Spagnolo will be dialing up several exotic blitzes to try and throw Foles off and Eagles fans will discover if Foles is really a viable quarterback to lead them to the Super Bowl. Maybe he’ll be exactly like he was back in 2013 with the Eagles but everyone will have to wait and see on Sunday.
2. Eagles Run Game
The Eagles run game racked up 139 rushing yards last week against the Rams and will be looking to do the same against a Giants defense that ranks 31st in rush yards per game allowed (130.0). The run game will need to be effective especially since Nick Foles will be starting for the injured Carson Wentz for the rest of the season after Wentz suffered a torn ACL. It’ll be interesting to see if the run game gets the job done this Sunday.
3. Eli Manning
Eli Manning is coming off another disappointing performance where he threw 2 back-breaking interceptions in the 4th quarter against the Cowboys. Now he’ll have another tough challenge ahead of him in the Eagles defense that ranks 13th in passing yards per game allowed (223.0). He’ll need to get the ball out quickly because the offensive line in front of him will struggle mightily to pass protect.
Bold Prediction: Eagles run game racks up 200 yards on the ground.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns; 1:00pm
1. Isaiah Crowell Vs Ravens Defense
Isaiah Crowell always manages to gash the Ravens defense on the ground except for the last time these two teams played back in Week 2 when he only ran for 37 yards on 10 carries. Now he faces a Ravens defense that ranks 13th in rushing yards per game allowed (108.5). He’ll need to get going to take pressure off of DeShone Kizer.
2. DeShone Kizer
Kizer is coming off a wobbly performance as he and the Browns blew a 14 point lead that eventually led to an overtime loss to Brett Hundley and the Packers. Kizer threw an unorthodox ball in which Clay Matthews was right in his face which lead to a game winning TD for the Cheeseheads. He now faces a Ravens defense that ranks 12th in passing yards per game allowed (220.7). This defense also allowed Ben Roethlisberger to throw for 500 yards so they’ll be sure to not have that happen against Kizer.
3. Joe Flacco
Flacco had a solid performance against the Steelers, but it was not enough to secure a win and he threw an interception that lead to a TD for the Steelers. He faces a Nrowns defense that ranks 21st in passing yards per game allowed (232.2). The Browns know that Flacco is a turnover-prone quarterback, so they’ll be looking to get pressure on him early and often.
Bold Prediction: Joe Flacco and DeShone Kizer for 5 combined interceptions.
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills; 1:00pm
1. Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler is coming off a stellar performance where he outperformed Tom Brady, tossing 3 TDs for over 250 yards. He’ll be hoping he has a repeat performance against a Bills defense that ranks 17th in passing yards per game allowed (227.5). Cutler has been heating up as of late and the offense as started to click on all cylinders.
2. Bills Quarterback
The quarterback could have a nightmare day especially since the Dolphins limited Tom Brady to under 275 passing yards and picked of twice. The quarterback that plays will most likely lean on the run game to take pressure off them. The Dolphins defense currently ranks 14th in passing yards per game allowed (223.4). Whoever plays for the Bills will have a tough time throwing against this defense.
3. Both Teams Run Games
The Bills racked up 227 rushing yards on the ground last week against the Colts in a snow bowl where LeSean McCoy ran for 156 yards 1 TD. The Dolphins also ran the ball effectively against the Patriots as they ran for 120 yards and won the game. They Dolphins run defense ranks better statistically in 15th, allowing 109.5 rush yards per game while the Bills rank 27th in passing yards per game allowed (123.7). It seems like the Dolphins will be better off running the ball than the Bills.
Bold Prediction: Cutler throws for 3 more TDs and 300 yards
Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Redskins; 1:00pm
1. Kirk Cousins
Captain Kirk will be aiming to play better than last week as only threw for 151 yards, a TD, and an interception. He faces another tough challenge facing a tough challenge in the Cardinals defense that ranks 15th in passing yards per game (223.8). This defense is also very aggressive and with a banged up offensive line, he could be in for another rough outing.
2. Cardinals O-Line Vs Redskins Front Seven
The Cardinals offensive line is coming off a game in which they allowed Gabbert to get sacked 8 times and now rank 2nd in the total sacks allowed (44.0). They have a challenge ahead of them in the Washington Redskins who rank 16th in total sacks (31.0). The Redskins will certainly apply a lot of pressure when defending Gabbert.
3. Blaine Gabbert
Blaine Gabbert will be looking to have a similar performance as last week, if not better, as he threw for 178 yards and no TDs or interceptions. He was however, sacked 8 times by the Titans because of how leaky the offensive line is. He now faces a Redskins defense that ranks 18th in passing yards per game allowed (229.5). The Redskins know they have to get after Gabbert like te Titans did last week.
Bold Prediction: Kirk Cousins throws for 300 yards and 3 TDs
New York Jets @ New Orleans Saints; 1:00pm
1. Bryce Petty’s 1st Start
The Jets will get their first look at Bryce Petty now that Josh McCown is our for the season with a broken wrist. He’ll have a tough task ahead of him in the Saints who rank 10th in passing yards per game allowed (216.8). Petty will need to build a rapport with the receivers which could take some time and could lead to a one-sided affair this Sunday.
2. Saints Run Game
The Saints will be looking to get their running game mojo back after they only ran for 50 yards against the Falcons last week, but Alvin Kamara suffered a concussion which may have played a factor in less than 100 yards. This week, The run game will be facing a Jets defense that ranks 21st in rush yards per game allowed (116.9). The Jets know they have to stop the run like the Falcons did last week to have a chance against the Saints.
3. Drew Brees
Brees is wishing he hadn’t thrown that interception at the end of the game last week against the Falcons because they were in field goal range and could have forced the game into overtime. He’ll be looking to bounce back against a Jets defense that ranks 19th in passing yards per game allowed (230.4). Odds are he has a much better outing than he did last week against the Falcons.
Bold Prediction: Brees throws for 300 yards and 4 TDs.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Minnesota Vikings; 1:00pm
1. Case Keenum
Case Keenum will be looking to keep the ball out of harms way as he threw 2 interceptions and lost a fumble which all lead to points. He’ll be facing a Bengals defense that ranks 8th in passing yards per game allowed (213.4). Keenum will most likely rely more on the run game especially since the Bengals allowed Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to run all over them last week.
2. Latavius Murray Vs Bengals Run Defense
Latavius Murray will be looking to gash the Bengals defense that ranks dead last in rush yards per game allowed (132.1). The Bengals are coming off a horrible game where they allowed more than 150 rushing yards to the Bears running back. If they want any chance of winning, they’ll need to stop the run game as a priority.
3. Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton threw for 141 passing yards, 1 TD and interception, and completed just under 50% of his passes. He made the Bears deems look godly and will be looking to shake that game off against a Vikings defense that ranks 5th in passing yards per game allowed (205.1). But since this is a stout Vikings defense, Dalton will have another rough day against them.
Bold Prediction: Latavius Murray runs for 125 yards and 2 TDs
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars; 1:00pm
1. Sacksonville Vs Texans O-Line
The Jaguars defense is filled with sack artists in Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler, and several other players that have contributed to the league-high 47 sacks. The Texans will have their hands full ans have allowed the 4th most sacks in the league with 41. This offensive line will have a tough time pass blocking for T.J. Yates which could mean an ugly performance by him.
2. T.J. Yates
T.J. Yates looked solid filling in for the concussed Tom Savage last week but will have a very difficult time throwing against a Jaguars defense that ranks 1st in passing yards per game allowed (174.2). This defense also leads the league in sacks with 47 and put that on top of one of the worst offensive lines in the league, and you get a sackfest for the Jaguars. Don’t expect Yates to light it up against this incredible defense.
3. Blake Bortles and Offense
Blake Bortles and the offense seem I be clicking at the right time and will look to keep that chemistry going in this game. The Texans defense ranks 26th against the pass (241.8) while the run defense ranks 10th (104.5). The Texans will need to shut the run down and also need to stop the pass game simultaneously if they want any chance of pulling off an upset. Odds are the Texans defense will struggle on Sunday.
Bold Prediction: Jaguars offense racks up 450 yards while defense holds Texans offense under 200 yards.
Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers; 1:00pm
1. Aaron Rodgers’ Return From Injury
Aaron Rodgers will be returning to the field for the first time since he was driven to the turf by Anthony Barr 7 weeks ago in the Vikings game. He will not have an easy task ahead of him and will need to be Aaron Rodgers to win this game as he faces a Panthers defense that ranks 7th in passing yards per game allowed (212.6). If Rodgers can somehow exploit the Panthers defense, the Packers will pull of a huge upset.
2. Cam Newton
Cam Newton had perhaps his best run of the season last week where he completely juked Andrew Swndejo in the open field and ran all the way down to the 5 yard-line against the Vikings last week. Cam will be facing a Packers defense that ranks 24th in passing yards per game allowed (240.3). Cam is a dual threat and the Packers will be aware of that and have to prevent him from running for 60 yards like he did against the Vikings last week.
3. Both Teams Run Games
The run game will be very important for both teams because it will take pressure off of their quarterbacks. Aaron Jones and Jamal Williams will be in the backfield for Aaron Rodgers while Jonathon Stewart and Christian McCafferey will be in the backfield for Cam Newton. The Panthers have a massive advantage when it comes to defending the run as they rank 3rd in rush yards per game allowed (89.5). The Packers know they have to stop the three runners in Cam, Christian, and Jonathon I’d they want to come away with a victory.
Bold Prediction: Aaron Rodgers throws for 350 yards against Panthers and 3 TDs.
Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks; 4:05pm
1. Jared Goff Vs Legion of Boom
Jared Goff is coming off a solid game against the Eagles where he threw for 199 yards and 2 TDs. He’ll now be facing a Seahawks defense that ranks 16th in passing yards per game allowed (226.3). Luckily he won’t have to deal with Richard Sherman or Kam Chancellor as they have sustained season-ending injuries. The last time these two teams played, Goff and the offense only scored 10 points and turned the ball over 5 times. This game will certainly come down the the quarterback play.
2. Todd Gurley
Todd Gurley is coming off a game in which he ran for 91 yards and a TD against the Eagles. He’ll be looking to be as productive or ven more productive than that against a Seahawks defense that ranks 8th in rushing yards per game allowed (102.8). Seattle knows they need to stop the run to make the defense one-dimensional and force Jared Goff into a few turnovers.
3. Russell Wilson Vs Rams Defense
Russell Wilson is coming off his worst performance of the season where he threw 3 interceptions but also threw 3 TDs against the Jaguars. Wilson will be facing a Rams defense that ranks 11th in passing yards per game (218.7) and ranks 3rd in total sacks (40.0). Wilson will need to keep the ball with the offense because the know this will be a game that will be decided by defensive takeaways.
Bold Prediction: Russell Wilson racks up 400 total yards and 4 TDs
New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers; 4:25pm
1. Tom Brady
Tom Brady will be looking to bounce back after he threw 2 interceptions against the Dolphins last week. However, he won’t have an easy task even going against a Ryan Shazierless defense that ranks 4th in pass yards per game allowed (200.8). The Steelers also rank 2nd in total sacks on the season with (41.0). The offensive line of the Patriots will have a tough task ahead of them and will need to provide Brady with time to throw or else Brady will have a long day again.
2. Ben Roethlisberger/Antonio Brown Connection
Big Ben is coming off his 3rd 500 passing yard game of his career and will look to give Antonio Brown as many targets as last week. Antonio Brown is coming off a monster game as well as he caught 11 passes for 213 yards. They face a Patriots defense that ranks 29th in passing yards per game allowed (253.9). The patriots know they have to get Big Ben unsettled so that he doesn’t throw the ball to Brown and shut down the run game as well.
3. Le’Veon Bell
Le’Veon Bell is simply incredible and Big Ben will look to feed him the ball a lot against a Patriots defense that allowed Kenyon Drake ro run for over 100 yards. The Patriots defense currently ranks 24th in rushing yards per game allowed (120.7) and this unit knows that they need to force Ben Roethlisberger to throw the ball a lot especially because he has a tendency to turn the ball over. It’ll be interesting to watch how this game unfolds on Sunday.
Bold Prediction: Le’Veon Bell racks up 200 scrimmage yards while AB records over 100 receiving yards again.
Tennessee Titans @ San Francisco 49ers; 4:25pm
1. Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota is coming off another poor performance where he threw for 159 yards and 2 interceptions. Mariota really needs to stop turning the ball over if he wants my chance of winning a game. He will be facing a Niners defense that ranks 20th in passing yards per game allowed (230.5). The Niners will be looking to get loads of pressure on him to force him into turnovers.
2. Jimmy Garropolo
Jimmy G is still undefeated in all of his starts (5-0) and will look to continue his solid performances against this Titans defense that ranks 22nd in passing yards per game allowed (233.3) and also ranks 5th in total sacks (37.0). The Titans know they have an advantage when it comes to their front seven because the Niners offensive line is among one of the league’s worst units and will have to block well to give Garropolo time to throw in the pocket.
3. Both Teams Run Games
The Titans will really need to run the ball especially since they have struggled to do that on Sundays. They do have the edge because the Niners defense ranks 25th in rushing yards per game allowed (121.3) while the Titans defense ranks 5th in rushing yards per game allowed (90.0). The Niners are relatively good when it comes to running the ball but this matchup will be great to watch since both teams run games could become a non-factor in this game.
Bold Prediction: Jimmy G throws for 300 yards and 2 TDs.
Dallas Cowboys @ Oakland Raiders; 8:30pm
1. Dak Prescott/Dez Bryant Connection
Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant will be looking to have a repeat performance of last week where Dak threw for 332 yards and 3 TDs and Dez Bryant caught 3 balls for 73 yards and a TD. They now face a Raiders defense that ranks 25th in passing yards per game allowed (241.2). This Raiders defense has struggled to pick the ball off and only have 3 on the season. This matchup is very favorable for the Cowboys.
2. Derek Carr/Michael Crabtree Connection
Derek Carr will be looking to have a much better performance against the Cowboys compared to last week where he threw for 211 yards, 1 TD and 2 interceptions. Carr will be facing a Cowboys defense that ranks 23rd in passing yards per game allowed (234.2). Carr will need to play a turnover-free game to have a chance to win the game because they are still in the playoff hunt at this moment in time.
3. Both Teams Run Games
The run game of the Cowboys has been starting to pick up some steam as of late and will look to keep steaming ahead against a Raiders defense that ranks 16th in rush yards per game allowed (109.5). The Raiders are also looking to keep running the ball with Marshawn Lynch, but they’ll have a tough time doing that against a Cowboys defense that ranks 11th in rush yards per game allowed (107.4). The Cowboys have a slight advantage going into this game but both offensive lines are capable of opening up holes for their respective runners.
Bold Prediction: Dez Bryant racks up 150 receiving yards and 2 TDs.