NFL Week 15 LWOSports Staff Picks

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NFL Week 15
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 13: Jerome Baker #55 of the Miami Dolphins sacks Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter of the game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Week 14 was an exciting week in the NFL. Monday Night was an all-time great game, some contenders look fallible, and the top of the draft is getting solidified. This week, the NFL will have to compete with college football’s conference championship games on Saturday. In a normal year, this weekend would’ve been all-NFL. Either way, let’s take a look at the LWOSports staff picks for NFL Week 15.

Standings

Drew: 114-62 (12-4 last week)
Filip: 113-63 (10-6)
Shane L.: 113-63 (10-6)
Will: 112-64 (10-6)
Danny: 110-66 (12-4)
Nick: 109-67 (11-5)
Jordan: 108-68 (10-6)
Shane C.: 107-69 (11-5)
Derek: 107-69 (11-5)
Shiree: 98-78 (11-5)
Chris: 96-80 (9-7)
Luca: 85-91 (0-16)

NFL Week 15 LWOSports Staff Picks

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders (TNF)

Jordan: Week 15 kicks off with what could be an exciting and offensive heavy game. Both Justin Herbert and Derek Carr have proven multiple times they can keep up with the best of them, while both defenses have proven they are far from an elite level.

Herbert and the Chargers have had a rough second half of the season, but they are coming off of an exciting win against the Falcons just last week. There are still some positives to take from this year, including the development of Herbert behind center It’ll be interesting to see what he can accomplish later on in his career. However, one of the biggest problems this team has faced this year stems from their defense. In this game specifically, the Raiders can light pretty much any defense up on any given night. For a limping defense like the Chargers, it’s not an ideal matchup. Herbert will get his, but the defense is going to struggle immensely Thursday night.

The Raiders are making a final push for the playoffs, but are coming off of a rough outing against the Colts. The Raiders could easily be on a four-game skid right now, but the miracle win against the Jets saved them. They don’t look like a playoff team at the moment, but this is the same offense that nearly beat the Chiefs just a couple of weeks ago. They have got some serious firepower on that end of the field, but similarly to the Chargers lack significant power on the defensive end. Derek Carr is a gunslinger, but that’s not exactly what you want in the playoffs with a lackluster defense. Possession time isn’t exactly a strong suit for the Raiders and I think it’ll certainly come back to bite them not only this week but in the coming weeks as well.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the preview, I expect a high scoring and quick-moving affair. Both quarterbacks are far from game managers and both defenses are in rough shape this year. Mix those two together and you’ve got a recipe for a great game. I like the Chargers to steal this game, simply because the offensive weapons are overpowering on that LA offense. The Raiders won’t be able to handle it and this will be their last gasp of air before their inevitable elimination from the playoffs.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
LVR LAC LVR LVR LVR LAC LVR LVR LVR LVR LVR

Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos (Saturday)

Derek: The Bills travel to Denver in NFL Week 15 coming off of their Sunday night victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bills made a statement on Sunday when they defeated the number one team in the AFC. Now, Buffalo will have the Broncos, an easier opponent, to get past.

Denver won their previous game as well, defeating the Carolina Panthers behind quarterback Drew Lock’s four-touchdown performance. Lock is coming off of his best performance of the season and Buffalo will need to limit his playmaking ability to be victorious. Also, wide receiver Tim Patrick has emerged as a top option for the Denver offense. It will be important for Buffalo’s defense to keep him contained.

As for Buffalo’s offense, Josh Allen is having an MVP-caliber season and the Bills’ passing offense led by the connection of Allen and Stefon Diggs should have minimal difficulty against the Broncos’ defense. Their top cornerback A.J. Bouye is out of the game due to suspension making it difficult for Denver to matchup against Buffalo’s offense.

The Bills’ rushing attack is still less than desired, but the offense hasn’t suffered so far. Denver’s rushing offense has several talented backs including Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay, but Buffalo’s run defense has been greatly improved from the beginning of the season. This should be an easy win for Buffalo over a lesser Denver team.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF

Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (Saturday)

Chris: In one of the rare Saturday night games of the 2020 NFL season, the Carolina Panthers travel to Lambeau Field to battle the Green Bay Packers. Fresh off a Week 14 home loss to the slumping Denver Broncos, Matt Rhule’s group will be looking to snap their two-game losing skid against one of the hottest teams in the league. Winners a week ago against their divisional rival Detroit Lions, the Packers locked up their second straight NFC North title. Overtaking the Saints as the number one seed in the conference after their surprising loss to the Eagles, Green Bay now controls their destiny as they look to lock up home-field advantage in the playoffs. In the 17th matchup all-time between these franchises, here’s what to look for in this one. 

One of the NFL season stories through the first five weeks, the Panthers rattled off three straight wins to begin the season 3-2. Right in the thick of the NFC South divisional race, the team then began to struggle mightily as injuries piled up on both sides of the ball. Losers of seven of their past eight games, Carolina has struggled to get teams off the field on third down, allowing opposing offenses to convert over 50 percent of the time. Along with this, Eric Washington’s group has also allowed over 374 yards per game to their opponents, leading to 25 points per game given up on average. In tough again this week, the team will be tasked with trying to slow down the league’s hottest offense.

Led by perennial MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have averaged over 400 yards of offense per game in 2020, leading to a league-high 31.5 points per game. Enjoying a resurgence in his 17th season in the league, Rodgers has tossed a league-high 39 touchdown passes to just four interceptions. Receiving unfortunate news on the injury front this week, the Panthers could be without safeties Tre Boston and Kenny Robinson in this one as both are expected to be game-time decisions with injuries. One more situation to monitor for Carolina heading into this one will be the return of all-pro running back Christian McCaffrey. Expected to suit up for just his fourth game of the season a week ago, the former 1,000-yard rusher had a setback in practice, forcing him to miss the contest.

Keeping pace atop the NFC with a victory over the Detroit Lions in week 14, the Packers vaulted into the number one seed in the NFC with just three weeks to play in the regular season. Remaining red hot this season, wide receiver Davante Adams caught seven more passes for 115 yards and a score. Susceptible against the pass all season long, the Panthers have allowed opposing signal-callers to throw for over 250 yards per game this season, setting the stage for Rodgers and Adams to have another monster performance on Saturday. One thing to watch for in this one for Matt Lafleur’s group will be the play of Mike Pettine’s defense against a talented group of Carolina pass catchers. Led by veteran Robby Anderson and breakout receiver DJ Moore, the duo will provide the team with all they can handle for the duration of the game.

A game that looks to be much closer than many expect, look for Matt Rhule’s team to provide a fight all game long as they bid to spoil the Packer’s postseason plans. However, Carolina has lost seven of its past eight games, giving up over 23 touchdown passes in the process. While McCaffrey could be back to add a spark back into the team, look for Rodgers and company to have another big day once again, leading to their 11th victory of the season.  

Final Score: Carolina Panthers 17 Green Bay Packers 34

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

Filip: Coming into this game, the Buccaneers enter with high playoff hopes after their win against the Minnesota Vikings. On the other side, the Falcons are waiting for the offseason especially after a mistake-filled game last week against the Chargers.

For the Falcons, Matt Ryan threw three picks last week, giving him a total of 11 on the season. It’s a season in which he hasn’t looked impressive, in general. What was once regarded as a high performing offense in the Falcons has greatly disappointed. Besides Calvin Ridley, who has 1,029 receiving yards, the rest of the offense has performed poorly especially Todd Gurley who only averages 53.8 rushing yards per game.

The Falcons are most certainly not going to try to reignite the running game in this game, as the Buccaneers are the best rushing defense in the league, allowing only 80.9 rushing yards per game. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers’ pass defense hasn’t been the best and should give up yards to the Falcons, but then again the Falcons offense has been anemic for the last couple of weeks.

The thing that hasn’t been anemic for the Falcons in the past couple of weeks is the defense. After an awful start and after the firing of Dan Quinn, the Falcons defense has played impressively under interim Head Coach Raheem Morris. They are specifically excelling at pressuring the passer. This will certainly be key, as Tom Brady struggles under pressure.

In general, Tom Brady has struggled throughout the year. He just hasn’t fit in with the Buccaneers system. Additionally, the relationship between Brady and Bruce Arians is fractured. If the Buccaneers don’t run the football in this game, which brings them success, then they will not move the football with great conviction.

The Falcons will be able to get enough pressure forcing Brady into a possible turnover. With that said, the Falcons still have a questionable secondary allowing Brady to find pockets where he can throw too. On the other side, the Falcons aren’t likely going to find a huge ton of success on offense. Even though the Buccaneers have not been great at defending the pass, they should be able to force a turnover. All in all, this game won’t be high scoring, with both offenses not playing to their best. Overall, the Buccaneers have the better team all around and are playing for a playoff spot which should give them extra motivation. 

Prediction: Buccaneers win 24-16

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
TB TB TB TB TB ATL TB TB TB TB TB

San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys

Will: In this matchup, the San Francisco 49ers are traveling to the Lone Star state to take on the Dallas Cowboys. Back in the Nineties, this would be the game of the week, maybe even the game of the year. Since we aren’t in the Nineties anymore and these teams aren’t what they used to be, this is one of two games in which both teams are below .500. Nonetheless, these two historic franchises will square off Sunday with their playoff hopes holding on by a thread.

The Cowboys are coming off a blowout win against the Cincinnati Bengals and that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Ever since Joe Burrow‘s gruesome leg injury, the Bengals have been outscored 81-31 and lost every game. Back to Dallas, they just haven’t been the same since the injury to Dak Prescott, and for good reason. His replacement, Andy Dalton, simply hasn’t been enough for this offense and it’s obvious they need Dak. Add that on to a consistent bottom ten defense, and you’ll get a 4-9 team. And that’s what they got. As it’s starting to look like either Washington or New York will win the NFC East, Dallas fans should start rooting for losses to get a better draft pick. It’s time (has been) to chalk this up as a lost season and get prepared for next year.
As for San Fran, they have been plagued with injuries throughout the majority of their post-Super Bowl LIV season. In the beginning weeks of the season, we could already tell this wouldn’t be the same 49er team as we expected to see. Injuries happened to many San Fran players like Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel, Jimmy Garoppolo, and more. Some might call this a “Super Bowl hangover” but can you really blame them? Head coach Kyle Shanahan has done his best job at making this team prepared week in and week out. This team shows heart every week and continues to play teams tough. I expect to see the same heart and toughness this week as they travel to Dallas.
The story of the game will be how Dallas cannot stop the 49ers run game. San Fran will do what they do best and that will lead them to victory. San Francisco will win 31-21.
Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
DAL DAL SF SF SF SF SF SF SF SF SF

Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans

Shane C.: The Tennesee Titans are hell-bent on getting Derrick Henry the magical two thousand rushing yards. He’s just 468 yards shy of the milestone. And, with the Detroit Lions, thirty-second ranked rushing defense he’ll likely take a sizeable chunk off of that remaining total. The Titans face the Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Houston Texans, all ranked at the bottom of the league in rushing defense. They are thirty-second, twenty-ninth, and thirty-first respectively. 

Unfortunately for the Lions, they will also face a potent passing attack with Ryan Tannehill hooking up with A.J. Brown and a resurgent Corey Davis. Portends to be a long afternoon for the Motor City Kitties.

The Lions have shown some fight under interim Head Coach Darrell Bevell. That said, team leader, Matthew Stafford could be on the shelf this weekend giving way to Chase Daniel. The Lions will have to rely on their running game to do the heavy lifting with rookie D’Andre Swift leading the charge. Swift has been a bright spot in an otherwise bleak season.

 If the Lions defense can limit the damage done by Henry and force the Titans into three and outs they have a fighting chance. The Titans defense can leak points and their running defense, not far behind the Lions, is ranked twenty-sixth overall. All of that said, the Titans will be out for blood after getting spanked by the Cleveland Browns. And, with the Lions limping into town the Titans couldn’t be in any better position.

Tennessee Titans 38 Detroit Lions 24

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
TEN TEN TN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts

Shane L.: Back in Week 13, these two AFC South teams slugged it out in Houston as the Indianapolis Colts won a close one 26-20. This time, the game will be in Indianapolis, where they’ve only lost twice.

The Colts are coming off of a dominating performance against the Las Vegas Raiders 44-27. Philip Rivers and company were on fire as he threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns while T.Y Hilton caught 86 of them yards and both of the touchdowns. They had huge help on the ground as rookie Jonathan Taylor ran for a whopping 150 yards and two touchdowns. The defense showed up as well as they forced two interceptions and a fumble. All parts of their game were working in this one.

On this flip side, the Houston Texans had one of their worst games of the season. Last week, they went up against a Chicago Bears team that had lost six in a row and their offense was struggling mightily. This week, the Bears look like the offense was number one in the league. Mitchell Trubisky threw for three touchdowns, Allen Robinson had 123 yards and a touchdown, and David Montgomery ran for 113 yards and a touchdown. Houston couldn’t get anything going as Deshaun Watson barely threw for over 200 yards and the ground game was nowhere to be found. That’s been the trend for the Texans lately and no one knows when it’ll stop.

This game was close in Week 13 because the Texans had a glimmer of hope for a Wild Card opportunity. This time around, the Colts see the vulnerability even clearer and they are looking to exploit it. It doesn’t help the Texans that the Colts have played very well at home. With only three weeks left and the Colts still being in a tight division race, I see them literally running wild on the Texans and Philip Rivers throwing for at least three touchdowns. The only chance Houston has is if Watson has a great turnaround game but I still don’t think that’ll be enough.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
IND HOU IND IND IND IND IND HOU IND IND IND

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Jordan: Is a reverse Miami miracle in the near future? Two years in a row, the Dolphins have upset the Patriots towards the end of the season; now the roles are reversed. The Patriots are all but out of the playoff race while the Dolphins are clawing to get in. Could we see a spoiler by the Pats?

The Pats are coming off of one of their worst games of the year, scoring just once against the Rams to seriously put a dent in their playoff hopes. Their offense looked about as bad as it had all year and it won’t get any easier facing a stingy Dolphins defense. Cam Newton was replaced by backup Jarrett Stidham last week late in the game, but it looks like Newton will still get the start despite his poor performance last week. The future of the Patriots this year looks bleak, but they still have some talent on both sides of the ball to make this a tough game against Miami.

Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins are fighting to stay in the playoff race following a loss to the Chiefs this past Sunday. With the Ravens win on Monday, the Dolphins have even more pressure to grab a victory this week. Otherwise, the Raiders could jump back into the conversation along with the Ravens pushing into the wild card spot. It looked like at points the Dolphins may have caught the Chiefs on a bad day. That is until everyone realized the Chiefs don’t have bad days. However, it’s encouraging for many Miami fans that the team was able to compete with the undisputed top team in the NFL. The Patriots don’t pose nearly (or even close to) as big a threat, but the Dolphins lost to this same squad pretty badly in Week 1.

This game should be full of entertainment. You’ve got two very volatile quarterbacks in Newton and Tagovailoa who both have the potential to thrive in any given week. On the flip side, you’ve got two above-average defenses looking to force mistakes out of some below-average offenses. It should be a rather low scoring affair, and I think Belichick and his great track record with rookies proves to be true once again. Patriots by six.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
MIA NE MIA MIA MIA NE MIA MIA MIA MIA MIA

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

Drew: Last week, I was terribly wrong about the Bears’ game. They woke up and completely smashed the Texans and snapped their six-game losing streak. The Vikings were the opposite: they started off slow and have won five of their last seven. Each at 6-7, this is a massive game for each’s playoff hopes.

If it weren’t for Dan Bailey completely forgetting how to kick a football, the Vikings might’ve upset Tampa Bay last week. Kirk Cousins out-dueled Brady and threw for 225 yards and a touchdown. Dalvin Cook is an outside candidate for MVP and Justin Jefferson has a great chance to be Rookie of the Year.

The Bears came out firing with Mitchell Trubisky, Allen Robinson, and David Montgomery. Look for these three to get going again against this Vikings defense. Last time around, the Vikings took the matchup 19-13. That was with Nick Foles. I think Trubisky was impressive last week, but Minnesota rides again. I’ll take the Vikings.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
MIN MIN CHI MIN MIN MIN MIN CHI CHI MIN MIN

Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team

Nick: The Seattle Seahawks and Washington Football Team have a lot at stake when they play Sunday. The Seahawks are 9-4 and are tied with the Rams for first in their division, but are in a wild card spot as a result of losing their first head-to-head. The Football Team, meanwhile, sits at 6-7 and has a one-game lead in the NFC East.

The Seahawks possess a superior offense than Washington. But Washington possesses a superior defense than Seattle. For the Seahawks, Russell Wilson, Chris Carson, Tyler Lockett, and DK Metcalf will all need to have big games.
The Football Team is ninth in run yards allowed per game and third in pass yards allowed per game. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that they only allow 21.2 points per game. In addition, Chase Young is coming off one of the most dominating rookie performances ever by a defensive end. Washington is elite at getting to the quarterback and is amongst the league leaders in sacks. While the Seahawks have struggled in pass protection in 2020.
But the offense of Washington doesn’t scare many people. Outside of Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin (who’re having breakout years), the Football Team lacks other reliable weapons. Alex Smith has earned comeback player of the year, but his short passing attack might be easily stuffed by the likes of Bobby Wagner. Unlike the Seahawks who have two phenomenal wide receivers who can go deep.
This game has all the makings to be a close one that comes down to the fourth quarter. The matchups in this game are fascinating, and it should be competitive. But in the end, I trust Seattle’s offense to score more points than I do Washington. And in a clutch two-minute drill, the weapons of the Seahawks will be too much to handle.
Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA WAS SEA SEA SEA

Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens

Jordan: Well, both teams should be happy following this game. The Ravens are currently fighting for that final playoff spot while the Jags are fighting with the Jets for that number one draft spot. What a year.

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are coming off of one of the best games the NFL has seen this season, beating the Browns in a pivotal matchup. The Ravens now sit at 8-5, just a game behind the Colts, Titans, and Browns, while currently sitting in a virtual tie with the Dolphins. Baltimore has picked up the pace over the past couple of weeks, looking more and more like the Ravens of last season. Recent news has placed nearly half of their receiving core, including Marquise Brown, on the COVID/Reserve List. It may spell trouble for Jackson who’s already struggled in the passing game, but the Ravens running attack has amassed 200+ yards on the ground for two weeks in a row now. Expect massive games from both Lamar and developing rookie J.K. Dobbins.

As for the Jags, there isn’t much to say about them. It’s evident they have given up and who can blame them. The revolving door that was their quarterback position has now welcomed Gardner Minshew to the stage once again. It’s something the Jaguars hope to figure out at this year’s draft, with Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields projected to land in Florida. The Jags aren’t coming into this game looking for a win and they shouldn’t expect too.

The Ravens may very well put up 300+ rushing yards on the Jaguars defense this week. With multiple COVID-related designations, Baltimore could very well be left with just a handful of receivers for this week’s game. Either way, it won’t matter. Ravens by 16.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL BAL

New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams

Drew: This a matchup of two very different teams. On one hand, the Rams are fighting for a division title and a playoff spot. On the other, the Jets are a dumpster fire losing their way to a franchise quarterback.

Sam Darnold hasn’t recovered from “seeing ghosts.” The Jets were a Greg Williams away from actually winning a game two weeks ago, but it’s better that they blew it. This team has scored the fewest points in the league and allowed the second-most. There has not been a team as bad as this one in a long time. The 2008 Lions and 2017 Browns could beat them.

The Rams, however, are in prime playoff position. Jared Goff hasn’t been the greatest quarterback in the league, but he’s got a team around him. Cam Akers has seriously burst onto the scene and led the Rams to victory. Outside, they have Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds. Even if this isn’t “The Greatest Show on Turf,” they can and will score points. The NFC West is a gauntlet. Don’t count them out.

Honestly, how could the Jets win this one? Their offensive line will likely have to triple-team Aaron Donald. With how poorly New York played against the Seahawks last week, there is no reason to believe another beat down isn’t in order.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR

Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

Danny: Arizona bounced back in a strong way last week beating the Giants in convincing fashion. The defense stifled Daniel Jones all day long and they couldn’t get anything going offensively. The Arizona offense continued to be a tough guard as long as Kyler Murray stays healthy. Philadelphia coming off a huge upset over the Saints as rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts turned in a very impressive performance.

Believe it or not, the Eagles are still in the playoff race. Do they have a December run in them for a third straight year? It all depends on this week. If they win, and Washington loses they control their own destiny. The Eagles pull off another upset.

Eagles 30

Cardinals 27

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
ARI PHI ARI PHI ARI ARI ARI PHI ARI PHI ARI

Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints

Shiree: The Chiefs travel to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium to take on the Saints. Will they play a full-on game or will they allow backup Chad Henne to get some playtime.

The Saints have secured at least a wild card spot for this year’s playoffs with the modified playoff standings of allowing one more team for each side. They are trying to secure the top seed with Taysom Hill at the helm and no idea when Drew Brees will return as it will most likely not be in Week 15. If they want to win this week they have to make sure the offensive line holds it down for Hill. He was sacked five times against the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday. That can’t happen against the Chiefs if they want a chance against them. Even if the Chiefs don’t start Patrick Mahomes, it’ll be a long day for their offense if they allow that.

The Chiefs on the other hand don’t really have much to worry about for this game. They have already secured an inside track for a bye for themselves for the first week of the playoffs. They may not play to the fullest potential of their team this week but they will play a hard-fought game. The biggest thing for them will be to make sure they stay true to what they do best and get to their main players—Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. If they do that, I think it’ll be more of the same for the Chiefs.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
KC KC KC KC NO NO KC KC KC KC KC

Cleveland Browns at New York Giants (SNF)

Jordan: A game that has some significant playoff implications is set to kick off Sunday night. The two participants however are not very familiar with the spotlight. Both the Browns are Giants find themselves in a position to make it to the postseason for the first time in a while.

The Browns are coming off of a disappointing loss against the Ravens. The Browns held the lead multiple times, at one point with roughly a minute to go, but couldn’t stop the Jackson train from rolling. Nevertheless, Baker Mayfield again looked locked in. He totaled 3 touchdowns while passing for nearly 350+ yards. Although the Browns’ defense couldn’t hold up, it’s very encouraging for Cleveland fans to see Mayfield continue to impress especially heading (hopefully) into the postseason. The offense in Cleveland looks to be as potent as ever, a great sign for the Browns.

The Giants are amazingly competing for a playoff spot at 5-8. A Washington loss and a win on SNF would push the Giants atop the NFC East. The Cardinals snapped the Giants’ four-game winning streak last week, but it’s more impressive with who the Giants beat on their streak. Two division wins and a win against the Seahawks has really put the Giants in a great position late in the season. Although they do need to climb back into the playoff picture, they are setting themselves up for a great finish with the way they are playing. Despite last week, I do like the Giants in the final weeks to secure that NFC East title.

The Giants’ defense will be a tough test for the Browns this week. It’ll be an interesting SNF game with some major implications. I’ll take the Browns to bounce back this week, but don’t count this Giants team out.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE CLE NYG CLE CLE CLE

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (MNF)

Drew: Ugh. This game should have been flexed out of MNF. Nobody deserves to watch this game. Either way, here it is: Bengals vs Steelers.

The Bengals continue to be decimated by injuries, poor play, and even poorer coaching. Head Coach Zac Taylor is looking Hue Jackson-esque with his impressive 4-24-1 record. The offense hasn’t scored in the third quarter in seven weeks and has scored only one touchdown in the second half since Week 8. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd have been solid, but they can’t do it all.

Defensively, the Bengals have been decent. But when you have a terrible offense, the defense is on the field for longer amounts of time and is prone to fatigue. Jessie Bates is a top safety in the league, but he can’t completely cover for the fact that the corners are all injured.

Ben Roethlisberger teased retirement again after another bad game, as he does. The rushing attack with James Conner and Benny Snell is nearly non-existent. When they actually catch the ball, Pittsburgh’s wide receivers are some of the best. However, they lead the league in drops.

Speaking of injuries to crucial players, the Steelers are also dealing with health issues. Devin Bush and Joe Haden were having great years, but each has gone down with injuries. Realistically, the defensive line is going to have their way with Cincinnati.

Their first matchup went the Steelers’ way in Week 10, 36-10. That was with Joe Burrow. If Cincinnati scores, it’ll be a win. The Steelers desperately need a get-right game to end their two-game skid. They’ll get their confidence back just in time for their final two games.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris
PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT

 

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