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NFL Pro Football 2013 Week 15 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 15 Picks - Early Games

Welcome to the very best in winning NFL and College Football picks.
Rick Gagliano | December 12-15, 2013

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, December 12

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-10, 56), 8:25 pm - How much can Denver score this week at home? The Broncos continue on a record-setting scoring pace after last week's 51-28 pounding of the Titans, now averaging 38.7 per game, which is ten points better, on average, than the second-highest-scoring Seattle Seahawks (28.3).

Still alive for the one remaining playoff spot (KC can wrap up one wild card with one more win), the Chargers really need this game, as they are, at 6-7, one game behind Baltimore and Miami. If anyone can hurl the ball around enough to challenge the Broncos, it would be Phillip Rivers and the Chargers (4th in passing yardage), so expect a close, high-scoring game, which the Chargers just could win if they get a chance at the end.

These two met earlier in the year, with Denver coming away with a 28-20 victory at San Diego.

Prediction: Chargers 42 Broncos 38

Sunday, December 15

Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons (-6 1/2, 50), 1:00 pm - Both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs, so this game will feature players trying not to get injured, and probably a fair share of turnovers.

The Falcons seem to have a little more respect for the game, but they're a sorry bunch, at 3-10, even with the 'Skins. The Falcons' games have been closer of late (22-21 loss at Green Bay last week), and they even beat Buffalo two weeks back, 34-31, in OT at Toronto.

Washington has lost five straight, coach Mike Shanahan has lost control of the team, which turned in a real fiasco in their 45-10 home loss to the Chiefs last week.

Prediction: Falcons 34 Redskins 20

Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns (-1, 45 1/2), 1:00 pm - The Browns would have to win out just to get to 7-9, and that's doubtful to qualify for a playoff spot, so call their season over when Tom Brady and the Patriots finished them off in a 27-26 New England victory, Cleveland blowing a 12-point lead in the final 2:39.

It doesn't matter if Josh McCown or Jay Cutler starts, though it appears Cutler is healthy enough to play, because the Cleveland fans will be on the Browns once the tide turns against them.

The Bears really need a win, as they remain embroiled in the most-heated divisional battle, tied with Detroit at 7-6, with Green Bay lurking, at 6-6-1.

Prediction: Bears 27 Browns 21

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-5 1/2, 45), 1:00 pm - Everybody knows that the Texans are going to win a game sometime this season, right? There could be no more opportune time to do so than at the site of their hated AFC South rival Indianapolis, which clinched the division by virtue of Tennessee's loss at Denver.

The Colts, which have little incentive to play the remaining games on their schedule - unlikely to get a first week bye with Denver and New England in front of them - may just toss in the towel if the Texans appear to be going for blood. Could be a really ugly game, but one the Texans can surely win.

Prediction: Texans 30 Colts 13

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Buffalo Bills (-1, 43) at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 pm - Both Buffalo and Jacksonville are 4-9, but that's where the similarities end. The Bills looked like a pick-up team in their horrifying, 27-6, loss at Tampa Bay last week and, like the Jaguars, have been all but eliminated from playoff contention.

After starting out 0-8, Jacksonville has some strut in their step, having won three straight and four of their last five. At home, with hope for the future, the Jaguars should annihilate the listless Bills.

Prediction: Jaguars 31 Bills 10

New England Patriots (-2, 45 1/2) at Miami Dolphins, 1:00 pm - The spunky Dolphins have defied critics and actually have a very good shot at the playoffs if they can produce a win over the Patriots here, though they would lose a tie-breaker with Baltimore, per their 26-23 loss to the Ravens, October 6th.

That said, the Patriots got bailed out by the referees last week in their final seconds win over Cleveland, a game in which they trailed throughout, or we'd be talking about a chance for Miami to challenge for the division lead.

At this point in the season, the Dolphins are playing better, more spirited football than the Pats, who are going to be without Rob Gronkowski for the rest of the season. There's motivation enough for the Dolphins to return the favor to the Pats, who beat them in New England in week 8, 27-17.

Prediction: Dolphins 30 Patriots 24

Philadelphia Eagles (-4 1/2, 51) at Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 pm - Continuing to be competitive (2-2-1 over their last five), the Vikings may have to complete their season without the full services of Adrian Peterson, who is listed as doubtful at the moment, but could play after last week's sprained right foot.

There's really no good reason for Peterson to play, as the Vikes have been mathematically eliminated some time ago with their 3-9-1 record, so figure him sidelined for at least this game.

The Eagles will probably relish the indoor atmosphere at Minnesota after their snow bowl victory over Detroit last week. Chalk up another W for the high-flying Foles and gang from Philly.

Prediction: Eagles 35 Vikings 24

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Seattle Seahawks (-7, 41) at New York Giants, 1:00 pm - Could be the easiest play of the week. The Giants were absolutely lost in San Diego last week, losing to the Chargers, 37-14, their season ending right there.

Some may say the Seahawks will be emotionally and physically drained after their tough, 19-17, loss at San Francisco last week, but even so, are a few notches better than the Giants.

Seattle has the best defense in terms of yards per game (284.5) and are second-best in scoring defense (15.5). This one looks about as lopsided as a game can get. The Giants simply have not been competitive all season. Consider them history.

Prediction: Seahawks 28 Giants 10

San Francisco 49ers (-5, 41) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 pm - A trip East for the 49ers, but to a warm climate, which should suit them just fine following their delicious, 19-17, victory over Seattle last week.

The 'Niners can get to 10-4 with a win here, keeping them in good position for a playoff spot. They have Atlanta next week (in SF) and are at Arizona to end the regular season, so a victory here seems a paramount achievement, because the wild card race is tight with the Panthers and Cardinals.

Tampa Bay has played well of late, winners of four of their last five, and they are quite physical, something that may not suit the bruised-up 49ers. This could be a monumental upset.

Prediction: Buccaneers 24 49ers 23

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2013, 2014, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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