The hunt for the Lombardi Trophy is in full force. December games are always ones that can make or break a franchise’s playoff hopes, and there are still 23 teams eligible to make it into the playoffs. There are a number of games this week that could be critical to a teams playoff chances. Let’s take a look at week 15’s top 5 match-ups.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Baltimore Ravens
After settling with a tough loss last Monday night to the New England Patriots, tempers flared this week at Ravens practice as veteran WR Steve Smith slammed his helmet in frustration and walked off the practice field. It will be interesting to see if the many veterans on the team can settle the squad and move to this week’s matchup with the Eagles. Philly looks to rebound from their four game losing streak and douse Baltimore’s hope at sneaking into the playoff picture. This game will definitely have a playoff atmosphere at M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow. Ravens will use some of that old magic and Coach John Harbaugh will have his troops ready, Ravens win.
Ravens 28-Eagles 17
Detroit Lions @ New York Giants
The Giants are coming off a huge win last week against the division leading Dallas Cowboys. Their defense seems to be firing on all cylinders and offseason acquisitions Janoris Jenkins and Olivier Vernon seem to be worth every penny. Detroit currently has a two game lead in their division, but Aaron Rodgers seems to be getting back into his old self and the Packers are rolling . And trust me, Detroit does not want to let them back into the picture. This is a must win for both teams. Although Detroit is in better position to make the playoffs, my senses tell me that when Giants are in the playoff hunt, they’re probably going to win.
Giants 24- Lions 17
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
Mile High has never been a friendly place for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots as it is one of the only places they have a losing record in the Belichick era. However, this is a much different Broncos team than what we saw in January of last year. No Peyton Manning and no CJ Anderson means that it is a whole new ball game and the advantage goes to the Patriots. Brady seems to have found comfort in rookie Malcolm Mitchell and newcomer Chris Hogan. The Pats also have Dion Lewis and Legarette Blount in the backfield this time and Denver can’t stop the run. Advantage Patriots. Although you can never predict what will happen in Mile High, I still think it’s pretty clear. Pats win
Patriots 31- Denver 14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys
At the beginning of the season, no one would have guessed that the Bucs would be in the playoff hunt and the Cowboys would be at the top of the NFC. But they are and this is going to be a FANTASTIC football game. Dak Prescott vs. Jameis Winston. Two future star NFL QB’s squaring up for their first real December football game with playoff implications. If you look at the standings, this game on paper is needed more by the Bucs to keep their playoff hopes alive as they sit 6th in the NFC.
As we have heard from Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, he loves his quarterback situation and he sees both as potential Super Bowl winning players. This might give pause to Dak Prescott, making him feel as if he is on the hot seat after losing to the Giants in New York. If he loses again, Tony Romo might get the nod to go for the rest of the season. It will be very interesting to watch. I love Dak Prescott and I think his future in the NFL is bight, but the Bucs are on a roll and I think they keep it going Sunday Night in Jerry’s World. Bucs win.
Buccaneers 27-Cowboys 24
Monday Night 8:30
Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins
Another good Monday Night match up will leave NFL fans happy as the Washington Redskins look to keep their playoff hopes alive with a big win at home against the reigning NFC champions Carolina Panthers. This game has A LOT more implication than that. Former Carolina Panthers CB Josh Norman will be suiting up with the Redskins in his first game against his old team. He has shown a lot of animosity towards them due to this past offseason when they chose to part ways instead of making Norman the highest paid CB in the NFL. This would be a great way for him to show his old team what he’s worth. With a big victory as well as kicking the Panthers while they’re down after their abysmal season. Redskins get the W.YOU LIKE THAT!
Redskins 34- Panthers 24