After week 14, fans around the country were left shocked as the Lions somehow beat the Packers and the Chargers shutout the Chiefs, 31-0. Going into week 15, football fans in the DMV have got to be shaking their heads after 'Skins quarterback Donovan McNabb was benched for...Rex Grossman? We'll see how that plays out when the Redskins take on Dallas this Sunday.
Our experts continued their winning ways in week 14, with Eli widening his lead by going 14-2. Melissa went 12-4, while Blake went 10-6 -- which means that the race for first place is still on and heating up as we enter week 15.
Sunday, Sept. 26
Cleveland Browns (5-8) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-11)
The Bengals are looking to break out of their ten game slump with a win this week. Look for T.O. to have a break out game to the Bengals hope.
Both of these teams lost in week 14 and are just playing for pride in an AFC North dominated by Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Saying that the Bengals offense has underachieved this season is an understatement, but I think Cincy will still find a way to win against the Browns.
This isn't the most exciting game on television this week, but I think Cleveland has the edge. I'm going with Peyton Hillis to help the Browns win on the road.
Washington Redskins (5-8) at Dallas Cowboys (4-9)
Once the NFL's greatest rivalry, this has turned into more of a toilet bowl. Both teams are suffering, but with John Kitna possessing the best third down conversion rating in the league, I'm thinking the Cowboys will have the advantage in this one.
The 'Skins may have the better record, but the Cowboys have certainly been playing better football as of late. And after the benching of McNabb, it's hard to give Washington a chance in this one.
Rex Grossman is really bad...what was Mike Shanahan thinking?!
Houston Texans (5-8) at Tennessee Titans (5-8)
The Texans offense will outplay the Titans defense this week. Without Vince Young, look for a key match-up between Andre Johnson and Courtland Finnegan. Let's just say the last time these two faced off, things got ugly.
Matt Schaub threw for 393 yards and three touchdowns against Baltimore last week. Expect more of the same against the Titans in week 15 as Houston rolls.
After an intense 30-28 loss to the Ravens on Monday night, in which the Texans rallied in the second half, but weren't able to close; Houston is looking to beat their division opponent Titans. The Titans are done for the season, and so is Houston, but this one's a battle of pride. Houston comes out on top.
Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
Jacksonville is hot. The Jaguars offensive line is beginning to find their rhythm after coming off a fresh win against the Raiders with a magnificent last game from Jones Drew. Look for a high scoring game from two prolific offenses.
The Jags beat Indianapolis 31-28 in their week four match-up. The Colts have lost four of their last six games and they're not looking like the Indy teams of previous years. Maurice Jones-Drew continues his stellar season with a big game on Sunday as the Jags win.
Peyton Manning's not having such a good year, which is bad for the Colts, because without him they can't win games. Jacksonville, on the other hand, needs a win in order to clinch the AFC South and make the playoffs. I'm going with the Jags to etch out a win.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) at St. Louis Rams (6-7)
The Chiefs are looking solid, but at this point it's all about getting a play-off spot. As the leading rusher in the NFL, look for Jamal Charles to outrun the Rams' struggling defense.
The Chargers completely manhandled Kansas City last week, winning 31-0. I'm confident that KC will bounce back with the return of Matt Cassel against the 6-7 Rams.
Without Matt Cassel, the Chiefs can't seem to find the end zone, which is a huge problem if they want any chance of sliding into the playoffs. Cassel's day to day and playing after an appendectomy probably isn't the smartest decision. Plus, after the Chargers win, things seem to be going downhill for the Chiefs. If the Rams win, they might actually win their division. In an upset, I'll take St. Louis to shake things up at home.
Buffalo Bills (3-10) at Miami Dolphins (7-6)
Coming off of a big win against the Jets, the Dolphins are a more solid team. Chad Henne is heating up and is showing signs of maturity as a young quarterback.
Miami's defense held the struggling Jets to just six points in a Dolphins win last week. The Bills were also victorious in week 14, but faced a lesser opponent in Cleveland. I'll take Miami at home.
Choosing between these two teams is actually quite hard. I'll take Miami - they've got a playoff spot on the line and desperately need to win if they want the chance.
Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) at New York Giants (9-4)
Two words can sum up the way this game will play out: Michael Vick. As one of the forerunners for MVP this year, the Giants cannot possibly form a game plan for stopping him.
In a game that may determine who wins the NFC East, it's Michael Vick's high-powered offense against the Giants stingy pass defense. I'll take the Eagles, who've won four of their last five.
This game determines who's going to win the NFC East, and it's a tough one. Even though the Eagles are taking on the Giants at home, I think they've got enough talent and intensity to come out on top. Plus, Eli Manning is turning the ball over like he forgot how to play football.
Detroit Lions (3-10) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)
The Lions are without quarterback Matt Stafford and back-up Shawn Hill. Young quarterback Josh Freeman led his team to a narrow victory against the 'Skins last week, and we can expect a similar performance this week.
The Bucs got lucky in a 17-16 win over the 'Skins last week. They now face a 3-10 Detroit team that beat Green Bay last week solely because the concussion that forced Aaron Rodgers to leave the game.
After barely beating the 'Skins 17-16 last Sunday, the Bucs can't afford to lose this one. The Lions are simply terrible on the road and Tampa Bay knows that they need this if they want to even be a wild card in the playoffs.
Arizona Cardinals (4-9) at Carolina Panthers (1-12)
This match-up should be low scoring with highlight players out. Look for the struggling Cardinals to have an improved offensive game against the overall struggling Carolina Panthers.
Cardinals win in a slop-fest. I wouldn't watch this game if someone paid me to.
Carolina's possibly the worst team in the NFL. Arizona wins easily.
New Orleans Saints (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
This is definitely the game of the week. In a very intense and competitive match-up, I'm predicting that Drew Brees would be able to handle the cold Baltimore weather. The Ravens will just barely slide by in this one.
Could this be a possible Super Bowl match-up? Matt Schaub had a ton of success throwing the ball against Baltimore's defense last week, so expect Drew Brees to have a big game. I'll go with the Saints on the road.
Baltimore defense v. New Orleans offense is what this game comes down to. But as good as New Orleans is offensively, I don't think they'll be able to beat Baltimore at home.
Atlanta Falcons (11-2) at Seattle Seahawks (6-7)
Quarterback Matt Ryan is having a Pro Bowl year thanks to the help of wide receiver Roddy White. This duo is dynamic and will help the Falcons roll past the Seahawks with ease.
This one's easy. The Falcons haven't lost since week six, while the Seahawks have lost three of their last five. Atlanta improves to 12-2 on the season with a win against Seattle.
The best team in the NFC takes on the struggling Seahawks in a pretty uneven match up. But the Falcons aren't the greatest on the road, so they shouldn't take this one for granted - especially in Seattle. Either way, I'll take Atlanta to win; they're the better team by far.
Denver Broncos (3-10) at Oakland Raiders (6-7)
The Broncos are too inconsistent to win this game. All season long Denver has failed at finding a leader that can lead them in the right direction. Look for Darren McFadden to have a big game against a struggling Broncos defense.
Oakland punished Denver 59-14 in week seven, and now the Broncos are starting a backup quarterback. The Raiders nearly beat an 8-5 Jaguars team in week 14. I'm taking the Raiders at home.
The Broncos are 3-10 and looking worse every week. Going into this game, the question on everyone's mind is: will there be another blowout? If you don't remember, Oakland annihilated Denver 59-14 at home in their last meeting a few weeks back. I'll go with the Black and Silver to roll over the Broncos once again.
New York Jets (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)
Look for both offenses to struggle as both teams are very defensively dominant. I'm predicting that the Steelers are in store for some serious fourth-quarter heroism from Ben Roethlisberger in a very close match-up.
The Jets have struggled mightily over the last few weeks. Pittsburgh's defense is smothering opposing offenses, so don't expect this to be the week where New York bounces back and finds any type of offensive rhythm. Pittsburgh wins at home.
The Jets are in a slump, having dropped two straight games to their division opponents, New England and Miami, respectively. It won't get any better for New York this week, as they take on the Steelers' steel curtain. Pittsburgh wins big.
Green Bay Packers (8-5) at New England Patriots (11-2)
Aaron Rodgers, who is recovering from a concussion, is questionable to play after sitting out this week's practices. With a playoff spots already clenched for both teams, the Patriots are looking to keep the number one seed.
No Aaron Rodgers, no football team. Green Bay simply has no chance against any team without their precious quarterback, not to mention against the best team in football - the 11-2 Patriots. New England wins big.
The Pack lost to the Lions (didn't see that coming) last week after quarterback Aaron Rodgers left the game with a concussion. Rodgers again looks doubtful for the week, which means Green Bay will have to depend on their defense on Sunday. As long as the Pats can get points on the board early, they'll definitely win.
Monday, Dec. 20
Chicago Bears (9-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-8)
The Bears defense is significantly greater than the Vikings offense. This game will be a match-up between Julius Peppers along with the Bears defense, and Adrian Peterson with the Vikings' running game. Since Brett Favre's season is most likely over, look for the Bears to place eight men in the box against Peterson.
Chicago's 9-4 and poised to win the NFC North. Having won four of their last five, the Bears shouldn't have any problem beating the Vikings, who are without Favre.
The Bears should be able to cruise by the Vikes - as long as they remember that you need to score touchdowns in order to win.
Melissa Haniff. Melissa loves music, One Tree Hill, traveling and experiencing new cultures. She is also a diehard Patriots, Red Wings, Pistons and University of Michigan fan...Go Blue! More »
Eli Schwadron. Eli (@eschwad) is a chill guy who likes to play basketball, watch TV and eat. More »
Blake Morgan-Gamber. Blake Morgan-Gamber is a rare specimen with two last names; she woos women and men alike with her fanciful features writing and sumptuous sports editing. But do not be lulled by this siren, though BMG is a creature of beauty, there's many amazing talents inside ... More »