Week 15 continues with 2 Saturday games between some division rivals starting with the 4-9 Chicago Bears and the 7-6 Detroit Lions at Ford Field while the 7-6 Los Angeles Chargers will be traveling to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the 7-6 Kansas City Chiefs which will end the playoff hopes of one team and will put the winning team atop the AFC West. These games will end playoff hopes which will make the games come down to the wire. So here’s what to watch for in both games.
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions; 4:30pm
1. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen
Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen are coming off a monster game against the Cincinnati Bengals last week as Howard racked up 147 rushing yards and 2 TDs while Cohen racked 80 rushing yards. The odds of them having a similar performance isn’t that high but the Lions run defense ranks 20th in rushing yards per game allowed (116.3). These two will be a huge factor in a Bears upset win this Saturday.
2. Mitch Trubisky Vs Lions Defense
Trubisky will be looking to have a similar performance as last week where he threw for 271 yards and a TD against the Bengals. He could have a similar performance especially considering that the Lions ranks 27th in passing yards per game allowed (247.0). However, Trubisky will rely more on the run game to set up the play-action game.
3. Matt Stafford Vs Bears Defense
Matt Stafford will be looking to play like he did in the first half against the Bucs last week because he threw 2 interceptions in the 2nd half of the game but threw for 381 yards and a TD as his final stat line. He’ll have a much tougher tim throwing against the Bears as they rank 9th in passing yards per game allowed (216.6). The offensive line will also need to hold up against an aggressive Bears front seven in order to give Stafford enough time in the pocket to deliver his throws. This will be a great matchup to watch come Saturday.
Bold Prediction: Matt Stafford throws for 400 yards and 4 TDs.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs; 8:30pm
1. Keenan Allen Vs Marcus Peters
Keenan Allen is coming off a down performance catching 6 passes for 111 yards. The reason it was a down performance is because he didn’t record a for the first time in 4 weeks. Now he faces a great playe in Marcus Peters who wishes everyone else could play as well as him as the Chiefs defense ranks 28th insing yards per game allowed (248.5). Double-covering Philip Rivers’ favorite target will force him to throw the ball to other players which may still be a problem because it’s Philip Rivers throwing the ball.
2. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram Vs Chiefs O-Line
Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have combined for 20.5 sacks in the season and will be looking for more sacks against a Chiefs offensive line that has allowed the 12th most sacks this season with 33. The Chiefs O-line will have their hands full with these two and will have to try to chip one if not both of them to give Alex Smith time to throw the ball.
3. Alex Smith and Philip Rivers
Alex Smith will be facing a very very stingy defense that ranks 3rd in passing yards per game allowed (200.3) and this team ranks 5th in total sacks this season with 37. Smith will need to carry the team if they want to sweep the Chargers and make it to the postseason. Philip Rivers meanwhile will face less of a challenge against one of the top 5 worst defenses against the pass and a unit that struggles to sack the quarterback racking up only 24 sacks this season. The game will come down to the quarterback that commits the least amount of turnovers which is easier said than done.
Bold Prediction: Philip Rivers throws 4 TDs for 400 yards and throws 2 of them to Keenan Allen.