NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 15

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Kansas City @ L.A. Chargers (+3½)

The Chargers hammered the Giants, 37-21, led by Justin Herbert's 275 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. At 8-5, Los Angeles trails the 9-4 Chiefs by one game in the AFC West.

"Thursday night's game will be one of the biggest in Chargers history," Herbert said. "Personally, I can't wait. I'm gonna be so hyped up, I might even raise my voice.

"This game will feature two quarterbacks with arguably the strongest arms in the NFL. Patrick Mahomes once threw a ball out of Arrowhead Stadium. I once threw a ball in SoFi Stadium, while it was filled to capacity, and didn't even hit a single Chargers fan."

The Chiefs demolished the Raiders 48-9 at Arrowhead Stadium. KC's defense forced 5 turnovers, and Patrick Mahomes was an efficient 20-for-24 for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns.

"The Raiders looked absolutely awful," Mahomes said. "I'm not sure how they could look worse, unless they were sitting on top of Mark Davis' head.

"The Raiders made the mistake of having themselves a pep talk on the Chiefs logo at midfield. That's super insulting. If they were trying to make a statement, they did, and it was the following: 'This spot we're standing on right now? We're not gonna cross it but a couple times during this game.'"

Chiefs win, 27-24.

Las Vegas @ Cleveland (-5½)

The Raiders looked terrible in a 48-9 blowout loss to the Chiefs that left the Raiders in last place in the AFC West. Vegas committed 5 turnovers and were down 35-0 late in the second quarter.

"Sometimes," Derek Carr said, "I find myself feeling ashamed to be a Raider. Wait, let me amend that statement to take into account things that have happened in this organization previously: Sometimes, I find myself feeling more ashamed to be a Raider.'"

The Browns knocked Lamar Jackson out of the game early and built an early 17-0, then held off a late Ravens rally for a 24-22 win.

"Myles Garrett challenged the whole team to play better," Baker Mayfield said. "And I took it to heart, because he was staring straight at me the whole time."

Browns win, 24-21.

New England @ Indianapolis (-2½)

The Patriots had a Week 14 bye and currently are the top seed in the AFC.

"We're right where we need to be," Bill Belichick said. "That's what Robert Kraft said when he addressed the team recently. But his most profound words were when he said, 'Maintain that position, and you'll get that happy ending."'

The Colts are 7-6 and trail the 9-4 Titans by two games in the AFC South.

"We'll have to play our absolute best to beat the Patriots," Frank Reich said. "This is a huge rivalry, and the Pats always come to play when it's the Colts. New England sets the bar high, and the PSI low, when it comes to the Colts."

Colts win, 27-25.

Carolina @ Buffalo (-10½)

The Panthers lost 29-21 to the visiting Falcons as Cam Newton lost his third straight start.

"We're sticking with Cam as the starter at Buffalo," Matt Rhule said. "So, Cam has my vote of confidence, which I say that with the utmost lack of confidence. "Now, P.J. Walker will spell Cam from time to time. P.J. knows better than anyone that the way to 'spell' Cam is 'I-N-T.'"

The Bills comeback from a 24-3 deficit fell short in a 33-27 overtime loss to the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. The Bills have lost two in a row, and currently sit outside the playoffs in the AFC.

"It's times like these when you find out what you're made of," Sean McDermott said. "Currently, it doesn't appear that we're made of 'playoff material.'"

Bills win, 30-15.

NY Jets @ Miami (-8½)

The Jets lost 30-9 to the visiting Saints, who held New York to under 300 yards of total offense. Zach Wilson completed just 19-of-42 passes for 202 yards as New York was officially eliminated from playoff contention.

"Sometimes," Robert Saleh said, "Zach's youth is very apparent. Like when he throws ill-advised passes, or when he takes a toke from his vape pen.

"I'd like him to get that completion percentage up. Preferably, I'd like Zach to be known as the 'best NFL quarterback under 23,' with the '23' being age and not completion percentage."

The Dolphins had a Week 14 bye and enter Week 15 with a 6-7 record, firmly entrenched in the wild card hunt after winning five straight.

"We may be one of the hottest teams in the NFL," Brian Flores said. "But we've got to temper our expectations. Don't get me wrong, we're thinking 'Super Bowl.' It just happens to be the 'Super Bowl' in Ricky Williams' van down by the ocean."

Miami wins, 28-13.

Washington @ Philadelphia (-3½)

Washington faltered at home in their NFC East showdown with the Cowboys. Taylor Heinicke struggled, completing only 11-of-25 passes, and had 2 turnovers that resulted in Dallas defensive touchdowns. Heinicke left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury and was replaced by Kyle Allen.

"Our quarterback play reminded me of former Washington quarterback Gus Frerotte," Ron Rivera said, "in that it was pathetic, and also made me want to bang my head against a wall.

"Luckily, we still hold the seventh and final playoff spot. That means, as the seeds are currently, we'd face the Packers at Lambeau Field in the wild card round. In other words, in my team was a pass route, they'd be a 'quick out.'"

Philadelphia wins, 27-20.

Arizona @ Detroit (+13½)

The Lions lost 38-10 to the Broncos in Denver and were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

"This is the Detroit Lions," Dan Campbell said. "Do you know what they call being officially eliminated from the playoffs in December? Behind schedule."

The Cardinals faltered in their Monday night showdown versus the Rams, losing 30-23 at State Farm Stadium. Kyler Murray threw for 383 yards, but tossed 2 interceptions and no touchdowns.

"We were not mentally prepared to play that game," Kliff Kingsbury. "All of the 'MVP,' 'Coach of the Year,' and 'No. 1 seed' chatter must have gone to our heads. And those heads were up our asses.

"In short, we have to be better. Luckily, that's easy when you're playing Detroit, because, as that city's motto says, 'Everything's better than Detroit.'"

Cards win, 34-16.

Dallas @ NY Giants (+10½)

The Cowboys defense came up big as Dallas beat Washington 27-20 at FedEx Field and took solid control of the NFC East. Dallas forced 4 turnovers, had 5 sacks, and scored 2 defensive touchdowns.

"I had guaranteed a win earlier in the week," Mike McCarthy said. "I'm normally not that outspoken of a coach. In most cases, when I open my big mouth, it is for the express purpose of putting food, or my foot, in it."

The Giants lost 37-21 to the Chargers at SoFi Stadium and fell to 4-9, last in the NFC East. Los Angeles piled up over 400 yards of total offense and had no turnovers.

"Sure," Joe Judge said, "we got dominated up and down the field, and on the sideline. And that is clearly the fault of me and my coaching staff. Admittedly, there are things me and the coaching staff need to clean up. There are also things we need to clean out, like our offices."

Dallas wins, 33-18.

Tennessee @ Pittsburgh (+2½)

The Steelers fell behind 29-0 to the Vikings on Thursday night before a late comeback fell short. The 36-28 loss left the Steelers at 6-6-1 and currently 10th in the AFC's playoff standings.

"I choose not to dwell on losses," Mike Tomlin said. "It's a huge waste of time. And speaking of 'a huge waste of time,' Chase Claypool is a huge waste of space. As they say, 'Too much 'hot dog' makes you a 'spoiled brat.' And that's just one of the many pork-themed cliches in my vast arsenal of cliches."

The Titans blanked the Jaguars 20-0 as the Tennessee defense intercepted Trevor Lawrence 4 times.

"I'll tell you who else 'blanked' the Jaguars," Mike Vrabel said. "Whoever hired Urban Meyer as their head coach. I worked under Meyer as defensive line coach at Ohio State. I can definitely say I know how those assistant coaches for Jacksonville feel, because I too worked for an idiot."

Pittsburgh wins, 26-14.

Houston @ Jacksonville (-3½)

The Texans lost 33-13 to the visiting Seahawks as Houston fell to 2-11.

"We moved the ball," David Culley said, "but just couldn't put it in the end zone on a consistent basis. There's very little we do on a consistent basis, except not do things on a consistent basis."

The Titans shut out the Jaguars 20-0 as Trevor Lawrence tossed four interceptions and was sacked 3 times.

"There are many that think hiring me was a mistake," Urban Meyer said. "I'm not exactly sure how many people feel that way, but it is exactly equal to the number of people that have an opinion on the matter.

"As for Trevor, he needs to work on his decision-making. And so do I, like, I have to decide whether I want to resign or be fired."

Texans win, 26-13.

Atlanta @ San Francisco (-7½)

The Falcons picked up an NFC South road win with a 29-21 win over the Panthers. Atlanta is second in the NFC South at 6-7 and are legitimately in the playoff hunt.

"We feel like we're playing our best football," Arthur Smith said, "and that showed against the Panthers. If we could play this way every week, we could go undefeated. Understand, when I say 'play this way,' I mean against Cam Newton."

The 49ers beat the Bengals 26-23 in overtime in Cincinnati. Jimmy Garappolo's 12-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk with 1:19 left in overtime was the game winner.

"I don't know what impressed me more," Kyle Shanahan said. "Jimmy's throw, or me actually trusting him to make it."

San Francisco wins, 28-17.

Cincinnati @ Denver (-1½)

The Bengals overcame a 20-6 third quarter deficit before storming back to forced overtime against the visiting 49ers. However, Cincy managed just a field goal in overtime, and lost when San Fran scored late in OT.

"Ja'Marr Chase kept us in the game with 2 touchdown catches," Zac Taylor said. "He may be the most frustrating player in football. Ja'Marr is great one game, and garbage the next. Sometimes, I see him make an incredibly athletic play and think to myself, 'Wow! Was he created in a lab?' After one of his many drops, I ask myself, 'Was he created by a Lab? Squatting?'"

The Broncos beat the depleted Lions 38-10 in Denver and improved to 7-6.

"It's not the first time the Lions have been accused of being 'barely able to field a team,'" Vic Fangio said. "But we came out and did what we had to do, which was run the ball, play good defense, and pray that those qualities are enough to attract a top-notch quarterback to play in Denver in 2022."

Denver wins, 23-20.

Green Bay @ Baltimore (+6½)

The Ravens lost Lamar Jackson early to an ankle injury and despite a valiant comeback led by backup quarterback Tyler Huntley, eventually lost 24-22 to the Browns in Cleveland.

"I know Lamar will do everything in his power to play against the Packers," John Harbaugh said. "Let's face it, Lamar on one good leg is better than some quarterbacks on two good legs. There are some teams, one or two in our division, I believe, that would settle for a quarterback with one good arm."

Aaron Rodgers passed for 4 touchdowns, two to Davante Adams, as the Packers beat the Bears 45-30 in a surprising shootout at Lambeau Field.

"It may not have looked like it," Rodgers said, "but the pain in my little toe was a lot like my views on vaccinations — almost unbearable.

"But surgery is not an option. Neither is amputation, although my toe would look pretty cool in the Hall Of Fame next to half of Ronnie Lott's pinkie finger."

Green Bay wins, 31-26.

Seattle @ L.A. Rams (-6½)

The Seahawks beat the Texans 33-13 at NRG Stadium to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Russell Wilson passed for 260 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Tyler Lockett had 5 catches for 142 yards and a TD.

"I'm open to being traded to the Giants, the Saints, or the Broncos," Wilson said, "just to name three ... of the 29 other teams I'd be happy to play for next season."

Rams win, 27-24.

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay (-10½)

Tom Brady's 58-yard touchdown pass in overtime gave the Bucs a 33-27 overtime win over the visiting Bills. It was Brady's 700th career touchdown pass.

"I also passed Drew Brees for most completions in NFL history," Brady said. "Pretty soon, no one's gonna even remember what Drew did. See, I'm up to some of my old tricks. I'm destroying evidence ... from the record books."

The Saints ended a five-game losing streak with a 30-9 win over the Jets at MetLife Stadium. Back from a four-game absence, Alvin Kamara rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown, and Taysom Hill had 2 rushing scores.

"Netflix is releasing a movie called 'Home Team,'" Sean Payton said, "based on me, and the year I was suspended from the NFL for the 'Bountygate' scandal. It's a movie loosely based on actual events, which makes it a lot like my testimony to the NFL on 'Bountygate.'"

Bucs win, 28-21.

Minnesota @ Chicago (+3½)

The Vikings raced to a 29-0 lead on Thursday night and withstood a furious Steelers rally in a 36-28 win. Dalvin Cook, back from a separated shoulder, rushed for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns.

"I attribute Dalvin's quick return to two factors," Mike Zimmer said. "One, having complete faith in his body's recuperative powers, and two, a total lack of respect for the Pittsburgh defense."

The Bears raced to an early 10-0 lead at Lambeau Field, but then faced the onslaught on the Packers offense in an eventual 45-30 loss. Aaron Rodgers passed for 4 touchdowns and the Bears fell to 4-9.

"We jumped out to a 10-0 lead," Matt Nagy said. "Then Rodgers got angry. It was less of him 'owning' us, and more of a 'hostile takeover.'"

Bears win, 26-24.

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