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NFL Pro Football 2015 Week 15 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 15 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | December 17-20

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, December 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams (-1 1/2, 41) 8:25 pm - Here's a game the NFL network may have wanted to rethink, but, too late, both teams are on the edges of playoff contention for nothing more than a potential wild card, but just on the edge.

At 5-8 the Rams are virtually out of it, while the 6-7 Buccaneers were dealt a near-death blow when they dropped a 24-17 decision to the Saints last week. With Seattle and Minnesota entering the week at 8-5, there might not be a real race for the wild card this year, as there's almost no parity in the NFC. Either you're good, bad, or playing in the East division, where the Giants, Redskins and Eagles are all 6-7.

St. Louis has a better defense and they're also pretty good at home, with a 4-3 mark. The Bucs are one of the few teams better on the road (3-3) than at home (3-4), which sends mixed signals. This is a pretty meaningless game in the larger scheme of things but the Rams appear to be the better of the two.

Prediction: Rams 21 Buccaneers 15

Saturday, December 19

New York Jets (-3, 42) at Dallas Cowboys 8:25 pm - Dallas is pretty much done for the season. After being hammered by the Packers last week, and, without Tony Romo at the controls, the Cowboys must be thinking about off-season plans.

Meanwhile, the Jets continue to defy all expectations by continuing their winning ways. The defense has been sound and Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't turn the ball over, so, with New England next week and Buffalo to close out the regular season, a win here makes the Jets look like a serious wild card.

Prediction: Jets 24 Cowboys 13

Sunday, December 20

Kansas City Chiefs (-8 1/2, 42) at Baltimore Ravens 1:00 pm - Difficult to take the Ravens seriously with either Matt Schaub or Jimmy Clausen at QB, but the Chiefs, winners of seven straight, are poised for the playoffs and could take the AFC West if Denver falters.

KC is two games behind the Broncos in the division, and this is their last road game, so a win here puts them in pretty nice shape for the post-season. Tough to take the Ravens even with the generous spot at home because the Chiefs clearly are the better team.

Prediction: Chiefs 28 Ravens 14

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Houston Texans (-1, 41 1/2) at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 pm - Indy is beginning to suffer without the services of Andrew Luck and it really showed last week against the Jaguars, who dominated them, 51-16. Prior to that, the Colts were overwhelmed by Pittsburgh, 45-10.

The Texans had won four in a row to get back into contention in the division, but also have lost two straight, to Buffalo and New England, though they seem capable of playing better. They're just 2-4 on the road, but, being tied with the Colts now for three weeks (they're both 6-7), they have their chance.

The two met earlier in the season, in Houston, won by the Colts, 27-20, and another close game is expected. This time will be different.

Prediction: Texans 19 Colts 17

Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3, 49) 1:00 pm - The Jaguars may not be going to the playoffs (though they still have a shot at winning the AFC South), but after hammering the Colts last week are a team with one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL. The Falcons seem to be unable to muster anything resembling sustained offense, which leaves the defense on the field for too long.

This could turn into a real slaughter because Atlanta is already looking ahead to next season.

Prediction: Jaguars 38 Falcons 9

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Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-5 1/2, 43) 1:00 pm - Chicago's playoff hopes came crashing down last week in their 24-21 loss to the Redskins and now must go on the road to meet the playoff bound Vikings. Minnesota won the first meeting of these two, 23-20, but this time around the Vikings get home field and still have an opportunity to catch the Packers in the NFC North.

Being a divisional game, and the Bears having nothing to lose, expect this to be a very contentious meeting. The Vikings should win, but the margin of victory may be somewhat smallish.

Prediction: Vikings 21 Bears 19

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-15 1/2, 47) 1:00 pm - Largest spread of the week, and for good reason because the Patriots have lost just twice this season and, despite numerous injuries on offense, the leadership of Tom Brady combined with a concerted effort from the defense should result in plenty of scores for the home team and few opportunities for the 3-10 Titans.

Prediction: Patriots 41 Titans 16

Carolina Panthers (-5 1/2, 48) at New York Giants 1:00 pm - Undefeated after 13 games, Carolina has already clinched their division (NFC South) and wrapped up a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

The Giants need this game badly, however, they are not capable of either outscoring or holding down the offense of the Panthers. Carolina goes to 14-0 and the Giants fall behind in their division.

Prediction: Panthers 31 Giants 17

Buffalo Bills at Washington Redskins (even, 44) 1:00 pm - Buffalo's season is over and most of the players know it. Washington needs to keep winning if they hope to capture the NFC East because they enter today's action tied with the Giants and the Eagles.

The Bills' defense has been a horrible disappointment this season as has the coaching debut of Rex Ryan who was hailed as Buffalo's savior. As it turns out, Ryan is neither a savior nor a defensive genius. Washington wins handily.

Prediction: Redskins 27 Bills 17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2015, 2016, 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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