Prisco's Picks: Week 15

 
 
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WEEK
15
PETE PRISCO
Senior NFL Columnist
Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and can be seen throughout the week on CBS Sports' NFL shows. When he's not watching game tape you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
MATCHUP SCORE ANALYSIS
Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015
 
23
This is a bad Thursday game to have late in the season. The Bucs actually blew a good chance to be in the middle of the NFC race by losing to the Saints. Rebounding here won't be easy. I like St. Louis to win another tough one behind Todd Gurley.
Result: St. Louis Rams 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
17
 
Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015
 
Dallas
Cowboys
21
The Cowboys are done, while the Jets have won three consecutive games. They are rolling. But this is a tough game on a short week, playing Saturday night. The Cowboys are good on defense, and I think they will slow the Jets here. Upset special.
Result: Dallas Cowboys 16, NY Jets 19
New York
Jets
20
 
Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015
 
Kansas City
Chiefs
21
The Chiefs are rolling, while the Ravens are playing out the string and doing so without most of their top players. Kansas City's defense has made big strides during their winning streak. That continues against Jimmy Clausen here. Chiefs roll.
Result: Kansas City Chiefs 34, Baltimore Ravens 14
Baltimore
Ravens
13
 
 
Houston
Texans
20
This is for first place in the division. It might be a game of backups. That's never good. The Colts were horrible last week against the Jaguars. Do they bounce back here? Andrew Luck might be back, but not against that Texans defense. They get after it. Texans take it.
Result: Houston Texans 16, Indianapolis Colts 10
Indianapolis
Colts
17
 
 
Jacksonville
Jaguars
31
The Jaguars have scored 90 points the past two weeks. They are rolling on offense. Atlanta gave up 38 to the Panthers last week and didn't score a point. They are reeling, and playing consecutive road games. The Jaguars stay in the playoff hunt.
Result: Jacksonville Jaguars 17, Atlanta Falcons 23
Atlanta
Falcons
20
 
 
Minnesota
Vikings
27
Both teams have lost two straight, but the Vikings are still alive in the playoff picture. The Vikings played well in their loss to the Cardinals and they've had extra time to help get some injured players back. Their motivation is important here. The Vikings take it.
Result: Minnesota Vikings 38, Chicago Bears 17
Chicago
Bears
21
 
 
New England
Patriots
35
The Titans got blown out last week in New York by the Jets, and this is a tougher test. Consecutive road games for a young team is tough, but what will be tougher is Marcus Mariota facing Bill Belichick's defense. He will see a lot of different looks, and it will be tough to make plays down the field. Tom Brady will make plenty of his own.
Result: New England Patriots 33, Tennessee Titans 16
Tennessee
Titans
20
 
 
New York
Giants
23
I think this is where the undefeated season ends. The Giants offense was really good against Miami, and I think it carries over here. The Panthers are good on defense, but the Giants are making their late-season push. Upset special.
Result: NY Giants 35, Carolina Panthers 38
Carolina
Panthers
20
 
 
Washington
Redskins
24
The Redskins are tied for first place in the NFC East and have played well at home. Buffalo is playing consecutive road games and has been inconsistent. The Bills haven't been the same defensively this year, and Kirk Cousins has been good at home. That continues. The Redskins take it.
Result: Washington Redskins 35, Buffalo Bills 25
Buffalo
Bills
20
 
 
Green Bay
Packers
27
This is a be-careful game for the Packers. The Raiders showed last week with their upset of the Broncos that they can win these types of games. The Packers looked much better on offense last week with Mike McCarthy taking over as the play caller. This won't be easy, but the Packers will squeak it out.
Result: Green Bay Packers 30, Oakland Raiders 20
Oakland
Raiders
23
 
 
Seattle
Seahawks
35
This one will get out of hand. The Seahawks and Russell Wilson are putting up huge numbers the past four weeks. That continues against a bad Cleveland defense. Johnny Manziel has no chance to keep up. Blowout.
Result: Seattle Seahawks 30, Cleveland Browns 13
Cleveland
Browns
10
 
 
Pittsburgh
Steelers
23
This is the game of the week. The Steelers are a high-scoring offense and the Broncos are good on defense. Something will have to give. I think the Steelers offense will get the win here. Ben Roethlisberger continues to roll. Steelers take it.
Result: Pittsburgh Steelers 34, Denver Broncos 27
Denver
Broncos
20
 
 
San Diego
Chargers
21
This is a long trip for a Miami team that isn't playing for anything. That's always challenging. The Chargers are so banged up it might not matter. But I think Philip Rivers will do enough to find a way.
Result: San Diego Chargers 30, Miami Dolphins 14
Miami
Dolphins
17
 
 
Cincinnati
Bengals
17
This will be A.J. McCarron's first start at quarterback for the injured Andy Dalton. The good news is he faces a San Francisco defense that isn't very good. The Bengals will likely try to shorten the game. That means a lot of Jeremy Hill. That is good enough to win here.
Result: Cincinnati Bengals 24, San Francisco 49ers 14
San Francisco
49ers
16
 
 
Arizona
Cardinals
33
The Eagles have won consecutive games to stay in the division race. This won't be easy. Arizona can score, and they will have been off for 10 days. It's a long trip for the Cardinals, but that passing game will light up the Eagles. Cards get it.
Result: Arizona Cardinals 40, Philadelphia Eagles 17
Philadelphia
Eagles
28
 
Monday, Dec. 21, 2015
 
New Orleans
Saints
28
This is a dog Monday night game -- can they flex too? -- matching two teams going home in a few weeks. The Saints played hard last week at Tampa and won the game. The Lions didn't look great losing to the Rams and now are playing a second consecutive road game. Saints take it with help from their improved defense.
Result: New Orleans Saints 27, Detroit Lions 35
Detroit
Lions
23
 
 
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