NFL Week 15 schedule and game-by-game predictions

By Vincent Frank
NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

The NFL Week 15 schedule will give us our first slate of Saturday games. This includes Super Bowl contenders in that of the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers doing battle in separate games. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns will have a rare “Sunday Night Football” appearance.

As for the NFL Playoff race, there’s some huge games on the NFL Week 15 schedule. That’s no more true than Sunday afternoon when the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs take to New Orleans to go up against the red-hot Saints.

It’s in this that we give you the NFL Week 15 schedule with game-by-game predictions.

Updated; Dec. 20, 9:15 AM EST

Related: NFL power rankings

NFL Week 15 Sunday games

Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team

NFL Week 15 schedule: Seahawks-Washington
Nov 22, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) looks on against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Seahawks-Washington Week 15 point spread: Seahawks -6.0 (44.5)

Update: Washington QB Alex Smith (calf) likely to play

There’s absolutely no reason to believe Washington is going to sit down and get blown out by the Seahawks following the team’s huge Week 13 upset over the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was not a mirage, either. Washington followed that up with a solid win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 14 in a game that saw its defense score two touchdowns. While the status of Alex Smith is up in the air here, I really like Washington’s defense against Seattle.

Related: NFL Playoff predictions Week 17 – Closing in on the playoffs.

In fact, Washington matches up extremely well against a Seahawks squad that lost to the Giants back in Week 13. Primarily, the team’s defensive line. Despite his stellar play this season, Russell Wilson has been sacked a resounding 40 times. Sure Seattle is coming off a blowout 40-3 win over the useless Jets and is playing for the NFC West title. Even then, Ron River’s squad could very well pull off the upset in this one.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Washington 24, Seahawks 20

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts

NFL Week 15 schedule: Texans-Colts
Jan 12, 2020; Kansas City, MO, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) against the Kansas City Chiefs in a AFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Texans-Colts Week 15 point spread: Colts -7.0 (over/under 51.0)

We have to give interim Texans head coach Romeo Crennel a lot of credit. He has the team at 4-5 since it fired Bill O’Brien. Heck, Houston took these very same Colts to the brink back in Week 13. Unfortunately, this all came crashing to a halt Week 14 against a previously struggling Chicago Bears team. Houston lost by the score of 36-7, allowing Mitchell Trubisky to complete 24-of-33 passes with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. That’s about as ugly as it gets.

Related: Deshaun Watson lobbying for this head coach

It’s hard to envision these Texans coming out on top against a Colts squad still battling for the AFC South title with the Tennessee Titans. Houston is giving up nearly 28 points per game and an opposing 108.1 quarterback rating. Philip Rivers and Co. have righted the ship following an ugly loss to the Titans in Week 12. In fact, this offense has scored 70 points over the past two games. Look for Frank Reich’s squad to earn a third consecutive victory here.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Colts 28, Texans 24

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

NFL Week 15 schedule: Bears-Vikings
Dec 6, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Bears-Vikings Week 15 point spread: Vikings -3.0 (over/under 47.0)

Out of necessity, embattled Bears head coach Matt Nagy had to turn back to Mitchell Trubisky back in Week 12 due to the Nick Foles’ injury. Shockingly, Trubisky responded by putting up a tremendous three-touchdown performance against the Texans in Week 13. We’re not 100% sure what to make of this given that Chicago had lost six consecutive heading in.

Related: Kirk Cousins and Vikings turnaround

Chicago will have an opportunity to continue this recent success against a Vikings squad reeling following a Week 14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s a game that saw Kirk Cousins struggle to move the sticks while finding himself sacked six times. Minnesota now finds itself at 6-7 and on the outside looking in when it comes to the NFC Playoffs. The team is in must-win mode, something that should help Mike Zimmer and Co. come out on top.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Vikings 30, Bears 17

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

NFL Week 15 schedule: Dolphins-Patriots
Sep 13, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) heads to the locker room after warmups before the start of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Patriots-Dolphins Week 15 point spread: Dolphins -2.5 (over/under 41.5)

Update: Patriots QB Cam Newton to start

New England is pretty much done on the season. For the first time in over 20 decades the team will not win double-digit games. It is also two games behind these Dolphins for the final playoff spot in the AFC. In what has to be considered a must-win game, the question now becomes whether Cam Newton has enough to rebound from last week’s brutal outing against the Rams. All said, Newton has thrown five touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions in 12 starts this season. That doesn’t inspire much confidence against Miami.

Related: How can the Patriots make the playoffs?

Primarily, Miami has won eight of 11 since a 0-2 start to the season. It had given up 10 points over the past two games prior to losing to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14. Even then, Miami’s swarming defense under stud young head coach Brian Flores was able to pick Mahomes off three times. Whether it’s Newton or Jarrett Stidham starting for New England here, I don’t envision the team coming out on top.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Dolphins 24, Patriots 13

Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens

NFL Week 15 schedule: Jaguars-Ravens
Jan 11, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) is introduced before a AFC Divisional Round playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Jaguars-Ravens Week 15 point spread: Ravens -14.0 (over/under 46.5)

Update: QB Gardner Minshew to start for Jaguars

Update: Ravens place multiple players on COVID-19 list

Baltimore was finally able to get back on track with a win over the Dallas Cowboys back in Week 13 before its thrilling victory over the Cleveland Browns this past Monday night. Meanwhile, reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson looks to have turned the corner after some struggles earlier in the season. He returned from a second-half injury in Week 14 to lead these Ravens back in dramatic fashion. It was the difference between 7-6 and 8-5. That momentum will obviously bleed into Sunday.

As for the Jaguars, there’s absolutely no reason to believe this team will compete against Baltimore. Jacksonville has lost 12 consecutive games. It ranks in the bottom five in both scoring and points allowed. Pretty much giving up on the season, Mike Glennon was under center last week before being benched for Gardner Minshew. Yeah, things are not going swimmingly in Duval. Take Baltimore and don’t think twice about it.  

NFL Week 15 predictions: Ravens 38, Jaguars 13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

NFL Week 15 schedule: Buccaneers-Falcons
Nov 23, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST

Buccaneers-Falcons Week 15 point spread: Buccaneers -5.5 (over/under 50.5)

Update: Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring) out for Week 15

It’s pretty crazy how a few weeks can change things around the NFL. Heading into Week 6, Atlanta was 0-5 and had just fired head coach Dan Quinn following a loss to the Carolina Panthers. Tampa Bay found itself at 3-2 and was about to run off a three-game winning streak. 

Heading into Week 15, The Buccaneers are 8-5 and battling for one of the final playoff spots in the NFC after a win over the Minnesota Vikings. Tom Brady had struggled big time under center recently prior to throwing two touchdowns in last week’s win over the Vikings. Meanwhile, the Falcons are 4-4 since firing Quinn. The moral of the story ? Don’t be surprised if Matt Ryan and Co. pull the home upset here. 

NFL Week 15 predictions: Falcons 27, Buccaneers 24

San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys

NFL Week 15 schedule: 49ers-Cowboys
Dec 8, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) runs off the field after losing to the Baltimore Ravens 34-17 at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

49ers-Cowboys Week 15 point spread: 49ers -3.0 (over/under 45.0)

Update: 49ers WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring) out, George Kittle activated off IR

A game that was originally slated for “Sunday Night Football,” the NFL opted to move this to the early-afternoon slate. That makes a ton of sense given the Cowboys’ 4-9 record and the fact that they are still struggling to be relevant in the weak NFC East even after last week’s win over the hapless Bengals.

Related: NFL defense rankings – Top defenses in NFL Divisional Round.

As for the 49ers, they are also on the outside looking in when it comes to the NFC Playoff race. The defending conference champs sit at 5-8 on the season after a mistake-filled Week 14 loss to Washington. It really has been something to behold. Whether it’s Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard under center Sunday in Dallas, the 49ers don’t have much to play for. Meanwhile, they’ll be taking on a Cowboys team still technically alive in the NFC East. That should make the difference here.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Cowboys 27, 49ers 24

Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans

NFL Week 15 schedule: Lions-Titans
Dec 15, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) takes the field prior to the game against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Lions-Titans Week 15 point spread: Titans -9.0 (over/under 52.5)

Update: Lions QB Matthew Stafford (ribs) questionable

Detroit’s decision to fire Matt Patricia after a disastrous Thanksgiving outing against Houston led to the team winning its first game under interim coach Darrell Bevell. Whether that’s sustainable moving forward for the 5-7 Lions remains to be seen. After all, said win came against the lowly Chicago Bears. Detroit followed that up with an expected loss to the Green Bay Packers this past Sunday.

Related: Top candidates to become Lions new head coach

As for the Titans, they had lost four of seven prior to a blowout 31-10 win over a bad Jaguars team in Week 14. Whether that victory will help Ryan Tannehill and Co. return to form remains to be seen. What we do know is that Derrick Henry is playing completely out of his mind after yet another 200-yard performance against Jacksonville. He should be enough to take out the Lions here.  

NFL Week 15 predictions: Titans 35, Lions 27

Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

NFL Week 15 schedule: Eagles-Cardinals
Nov 19, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 4:05 PM EST, Fox

Eagles-Cardinals Week 15 point spread: Cardinals -6.5 (over/under 48.5)

Update: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts to start

There’s something brewing in both Philadelphia and Arizona right now. It’s a mixed bag. The Eagles just recently benched Carson Wentz for Jalen Hurts after dropping four consecutive. It then shockingly took out the red-hot New Orleans Saints with Hurts under center in Week 14. It also now looks like Hurts will be under center for the remainder of the season with Philadelphia still firmly in the NFC East race.

As for the Cardinals, they had dropped four of five since a 5-2 start to the season prior to a much-needed 26-7 win over the New York Giants. Kyler Murray played mistake-free football in tallying nearly 300 total yards. Arizona’s defense also sacked Giants quarterbacks a whopping eight times. Look for Hurts and Co. to descend back to reality in Week 15.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Cardinals 27, Eagles 23

New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams

NFL Week 15 schedule: Rams-Jets
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) and head coach Adam Gase walk off the field together after a disappointing shut-out loss against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford. Nyj Vs Ne Week 7

Time/station: 4:05 PM EST, CBS

Jets-Rams Week 15 point spread: Rams -17.0 (over/under 44.0)

It will be miserable for Jets fans to watch their anemic offense go up against one of the best defenses in the NFL during this Week 15 game. Heck, it might in fact be unwatchable. The 0-13 Jets are averaging less than 14 points per game and are being outscored by 16.2 points per outing. Their quarterbacks have combined for 11 touchdowns in 12 games.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Jets, check out #TakeFlight rumors, rankings, and news here.

As for the Rams, they are currently in first place in the NFC West. Despite some struggles from Jared Goff, it’s the team’s defense that has stepped up in a big way. Los Angeles is yielding the third-fewest points in the NFL to go with an absurdly low 77.7 opposing passer rating. This one is going to be an absolute blowout. Jets fans might as well get their last-minute Christmas shopping in.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Rams 41, Jets 10

Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints

NFL Week 15 schedule: Chiefs-Saints
Dec 8, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks at his right arm after being hit in the second half of their game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) is at right. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 4:25 PM EST, CBS

Chiefs-Saints Week 15 point spread: Chiefs -3.0 (over/under 51.5)

Update: Saints QB Drew Brees (ribs, lung) will start, Michael Thomas to IR

A potential Super Bowl preview. The two-best teams in the NFL squaring off as the 2020 regular season draws to a conclusion. This is going to be an absolute blast in the Bayou. The backdrop here being Drew Brees’ potential return under center after missing the past few games to injury.

Related: Find out who our experts think will win Super Bowl 2021 (Updated Weekly).

It’s really hard to gauge where these two teams stand against one another. Kansas City has won 22 of its past 23, postseason included. However, all four of the team’s most-recent wins have come by one score. Meanwhile, the Saints had won nine consecutive while yielding a total of 44 points over the past five games prior to Sunday’s shocking loss to Philadelphia. In a pick em game, we still have to go with the defending champs.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Chiefs 38, Saints 34

NFL Week 15 Sunday Night Football

Cleveland Browns at New York Giants

NFL Week 15 schedule: Browns-Giants
Nov 22, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) tosses a ball following the win against the Philadelphia Eagle at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 8:20 PM EST, NBC

Browns-Giants Week 15 point spread: Browns -4.0 (over/under 46.5)

Update: Giants QB Daniel Jones out for Week 15

Cleveland entered last week’s action at 9-3 for the first time since Bill Belichick was its head coach back in 1994. Despite stellar play from Baker Mayfield, the team could not earn its 10th victory in a narrow 47-42 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Having given up 231 yards on the ground in that game, there’s now come concern over the Browns’ defense.

Related: Top 25 potential NFL free agents of 2021.

As for the Giants, they had won three in a row and were in first place in the NFC East prior to last week’s blowout loss to the Cardinals. Daniel Jones returning under center after missing one game with a hamstring injury didn’t do much to help New York. I don’t envision that changing against a Cleveland team in need of a rebound performance on Sunday night.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Browns 31, Giants 27

NFL Week 15 Monday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

NFL Week 15 schedule: Bengals-Steelers
Sep 14, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) celebrates his touchdown reception with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 8:15 PM EST, CBS

Steelers-Bengals Week 15 point spread: Steelers -12.5 (over/under 40.5)

There’s not a scenario on this green earth that includes Cincinnati somehow coming away with a win against Pittsburgh with Brandon Allen under center. Unfortunately for the 2-10-1 Bengals, their season pretty much ended when Joe Burrow suffered a torn ACL back in November.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Steelers, check out #HereWeGo rumors, rankings, and news here.

As for the Steelers, they have everything to play for here. That includes now being one game behind Kansas City in the AFC after losing two consecutive. Whoever earns the top seed in the AFC will have the sole first-round bye under the new NFL Playoff format. Pittsburgh ranks first in total defense and has racked up 45 sacks. Again, the Bengals have no chance here.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Steelers 35, Bengals 13

NFL Week 15 Thursday Night Football

NFL injury report: Latest news on top fantasy stars for Week 15

Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders

NFL Week 15 schedule: Chargers-Raiders
Dec 29, 2019; Denver, Colorado, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 8:20 PM EST, NFL Network (Amazon)

Chargers-Raiders Week 15 point spread: Raiders -3.0 (over/under 52.0)

Update: Chargers WR’s Keenan Allen, Mike Williams to play

We’ll give the Chargers some credit for responding last week with a narrow win over the Atlanta Falcons one game after their worst loss, a 45-0 beatdown at the hands of the equally pedestrian New England Patriots. Still 4-9 on the season, Los Angeles is pretty much playing out the stretch under embattled head coach Anthony Lynn. Whether a short week gives this team momentum against the division-rival Raiders remains to be seen.

Related: NFL coaches on the hot seat

As for the Raiders, they have a whole heck of a lot to play for. Despite some recent struggles, Jon Gruden has this squad at 7-6 and in playoff contention following a blowout loss to the Colts and the firing of defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Quarterback Derek Carr has put up 24 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions. He’ll be taking on a Chargers defense that is yielding nearly 29 points per game. I expect Las Vegas to rebound here and remain in the AFC Playoff race

NFL Week 15 predictions: Raiders 31, Chargers 24

NFL Week 15 Saturday games

Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos

NFL Week 15 schedule: Bills-Broncos
Dec 7, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) prior to facing the San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 4:30 PM EST, NFL Network

Bills-Broncos Week 15 point spread: Bills -6.0 (over/under 49.5)

The difference between Buffalo and Denver heading into Week 15 couldn’t be more real. It starts at the quarterback position. Bills star Josh Allen has accounted for 34 touchdowns compared to nine interceptions in 13 games this season and has Buffalo at 10-3. Broncos signal callers had tallied 30 touchdowns and 31 interceptions in their past 28 games ahead of last Sunday’s win over the Carolina Panthers. That game saw Drew Lock put up a career-best performance, completing 21-of-27 passes for 280 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. It was a shocking outing from the must-maligned young signal caller.

Could this be a theme heading into Week 15 against the 10-win Bills? I wouldn’t be too sure. After struggling earlier in the season, Buffalo’s defense has come to play big time. In fact, this unit has forced a resounding 11 turnovers in its past five games. Look for Lock and Co. to be given a dose of reality Saturday afternoon.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Bills 34, Broncos 19

Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers

NFL Week 15 schedule: Panthers-Packers
Dec 6, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) hands the ball to quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 8:30 PM EST, NFL Network

Panthers-Packers Week 15 point spread: Packers -8.5 (51.5)

Update: Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey doubtful

What Aaron Rodgers has done thus far this season is nothing short of extraordinary. He made history two weeks ago by becoming the first quarterback to throw 35 or more touchdown passes in five different seasons. Rodgers has tossed 39 scores compared to four interceptions en route to leading Green Bay to a 10-3 record and north of 31 points per game.

Related: Ranking NFL quarterbacks

On the other end sits a Panthers squad that has lost seven of its past eight. This defense has yielded 23 passing touchdowns compared to just five interceptions. And while Christian McCaffrey could be back, there’s just not a lot to like about this matchup for Carolina. Rodgers will eat this poor defense alive, disabling Teddy Bridgewater’s ability to keep the game close.

NFL Week 15 predictions: Packers 35, Panthers 20