Friday Five, Week 15

The NFL Season is rapidly moving toward a conclusion and there are plenty of questions to consider. We have a full slate of games, with 12 matchups on Sunday, including several crucial games that will have playoff implications. Also, don’t forget there will be a pair of games on Saturday this week as well! Below are five that I’m particularly interested in this Sunday.

Sunday Early Games:

Bears vs. Vikings game recap: Everything we know

Chicago Bears (6-7) at Minnesota Vikings (6-7)
This is a crucial game for the NFC playoff picture. Both the Bears and Vikings are still in the race, both sitting at 6-7, one game back of the Cardinals. The Vikings won the first matchup of these teams, and if they win again they’ll own a major tiebreaker as they chase the Cardinals. The Bears, meanwhile, need a win just to hang in the race. It’s fair to assume the team that falls short in this game will be out of the running for the NFC’s final seed.

New England Patriots (6-7) at Miami Dolphins (8-5)
This is another divisional battle that will impact the playoff picture in the AFC. With the Colts, Titans and Browns all sitting at nine wins, and the 8-5 Ravens facing a pretty easy final three games, there is plenty of pressure on the upstart Dolphins if they want to make the playoffs. Following this game, the Dolphins get the Raiders and Bills to wrap up 2020. The Patriots, meanwhile, feel like they’ve slipped out of the picture, but you never know. If they are to have a chance, they have to win out. So the team that falls short here has really painted themselves into a corner.

Cam Newton's debut begins with a rush as Patriots run over Dolphins, 21-11  - The Boston Globe

Seattle Seahawks (9-4) at Washington Football Team (6-7)
The Seahawks righted the ship against the Jets in Week 14, going for 40 points. But the pressure is on to keep winning. The Seahawks are chasing the Rams in the NFC West, and fending off a few teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to get the top Wild Card spot. Washington, meanwhile, sits atop the NFC East and simply needs to keep winning to hold on to a playoff spot. But with Alex Smith and Antonio Gibson ailing, that becomes a tall order.

Sunday Late Games:

Kansas City Chiefs (12-1) at New Orleans Saints (10-3)
The Chiefs moved to the top of the heap in the AFC last week and have been rolling on offense. The Saints suffered a tough loss to the Eagles in Week 14 and now trail the Packers for the NFC’s top seed. This is a potential Super Bowl preview, albeit one that is missing the Saints’ projected playoff quarterback Drew Brees. Can Taysom Hill keep up with Patrick Mahomes? With the Rams coming on strong, this could have a major impact on the seeding in both the AFC and NFC.

Sunday Night Game:

Browns vs Giants Week 15 NFL Betting Odds & Trends | 12/20/2020

Cleveland Browns (9-4) at New York Giants (5-8)
It’s weird to think about a 5-8 team playing a relevant game in Week 15, but that’s the tale of the NFC East. The Giants’ loss to the Cardinals last week hurt their playoff chances, but it didn’t dim them entirely. Washington faces a stout test and the Giants hold the tie-breaker, so this game could have major relevance for the top of the NFC East. The Browns, meanwhile, lost a heart-breaker to the Ravens on Monday Night Football. Cleveland is still in good shape to make the playoffs, but they can ill-afford a losing streak.

Week 15 Picks

I had a 12-pick week in Week 14, while Lindsay posted nine. So I’ve opened a decent lead as we hit the home stretch in the NFL Season.

Matt’s Week 15 Picks:
Raiders Over Chargers
Bills Over Broncos
Packers Over Panthers
Bears Over Vikings
Buccaneers Over Falcons
Cowboys Over 49ers
Titans Over Lions
Colts Over Texans
Dolphins Over Patriots
Seahawks Over Washington
Ravens Over Jaguars
Rams Over Jets
Eagles Over Cardinals
Chiefs Over Saints
Browns Over Giants
Steelers Over Bengals

Last Week: 12-4
Season: 131-77

Lindsay’s Week 15 Picks:
Raiders Over Chargers
Bills Over Broncos
Packers Over Panthers
Buccaneers Over Falcons
Vikings Over Bears
Cowboys Over 49ers
Titans Over Lions
Colts Over Texans
Dolphins Over Patriots
Seahawks Over Washington
Ravens Over Jaguars
Rams Over Jets
Cardinals Over Eagles
Chiefs Over Saints
Browns Over Giants
Steelers Over Bengals

Last Week: 9-7
Season: 123-85

Matt’s Picks Against the Spread Week 15:
Chargers +3.5 Over Raiders
Bills -6.5 Over Broncos
Packers -8.5 Over Panthers
Buccaneers -5.5 Over Falcons
Bears +3.5 Over Vikings
Cowboys +2.5 Over 49ers
Titans -9.5 Over Lions
Texans +7.5 Over Colts
Dolphins -2.5 Over Patriots
Seahawks -5.5 Over Washington
Ravens -13.5 Over Jaguars
Rams -16.5 Over Jets
Eagles +6.5 Over Cardinals
Chiefs -3.5 Over Saints
Browns -3.5 Over Giants
Steelers -12.5 Over Bengals

Last Week: 9-7
Season: 97-111

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a proud member of the Drive-In Podcast Network.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.