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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS
Jaguars-Ravens Week 15 point spread: Ravens -14.0 (over/under 46.5)
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
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
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
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