NFL Week 15 Picks
Prime Video gets a Thursday night matchup that used to be the hottest rivalry in the NFL not that long ago. The Seattle Seahawks will host the San Francisco 49ers to kick off a pressure-packed Week 15.
Of course, a key man is missing from the Seattle roster, which will likely make this game less than it used to be. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has moved on to the Denver Broncos. The unfortunate Drew Lock was listed as the starting quarterback on the pre-training camp depth chart. That is quite a drop for quarterback ability.
San Francisco has its own quarterbacking quandary. Jimmy Garoppolo is number-2 on the depth chart behind Trey Lance, who will enter his second NFL season with the weight of 49er expectations on his shoulders. Garoppolo has led the 49ers to a near win at the Super Bowl in February 2020 and the NFC Championship game last season. Will the 49ers eventually trade Jimmy G or give him his old job back if Lance falters?
Sunday afternoon features a critical AFC East matchup in the early window with the Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills. Miami is gunning for its first playoff season since 2016. Since 2002 the Dolphins have only two playoff appearances.
Miami owner Stephen Ross has the University of Michigan Business School named after him. It has to do with his blank check donations as much as his accomplishments. And it certainly has nothing to do with his inept tenure as the Dolphins' owner. Miami ranks with the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Washington Commanders, and Detroit Lions as one of the worst-run franchises in pro football.
The Buffalo Bills are trying for their first Super Bowl in three decades. Buffalo came tantalizingly close last year but suffered a gut-cut playoff loss at the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime.
The AFC North features a matchup that could also have playoff implications. The Cleveland Browns will host the Baltimore Ravens. Last year the Browns and Ravens were hot future market teams that fell flat when it mattered most.
Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has been good but not anywhere near great since his 2019 Most Valuable Player season. NFL defenses have figured out how to contain Jackson after he gave them sleepless nights three years ago. Baltimore was the top seed in the AFC that season and has never recovered from their devastating playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans that year.
Last year Cleveland gave back all of the goodwill that they earned in 2020 as an upstart playoff team. The Browns went back to playing sloppy football, and quarterback Baker Mayfield was outed as not having matured enough. Thus, the Browns are gambling on Deshaun Watson over Mayfield at quarterback.
NBC Sunday Night Football has a dramatic matchup between the New England Patriots at the Las Vegas Raiders. AFC Playoff implications will be on the line. Quarterbacks Mac Jones of the Patriots and Derek Carr of the Raiders will bring the potential of a shootout.
ESPN Monday Night Football is a potential NFC playoff preview of the Los Angeles Rams at the Green Bay Packers. The tundra will be frozen in Green Bay, where the Packers will be facing one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL. Packers coach Matt LaFleur gained NFL attention when he was an assistant to Rams head coach Sean McVay.
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