|NFL Week 15 Picks and Predictions For Sunday December 14|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Saturday, 13 December 2008 15:00|
NFL Week 15 Picks
There are just three weeks remaining in the 2008 NFL Season so don’t miss any of the upcoming action. Our team of handicappers and writers hand out four free picks for Week 15.
Buffalo Bills (6-7) at New York Jets (8-5), 1:00 PM ET
At different points in the season, the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets were each in the driver's seat to win the AFC East. Now, it's possible neither team will make the playoffs.
The Jets try to bounce back from consecutive defeats and keep at least a share of the lead in the muddled East on Sunday when they host a Buffalo team that has seen its postseason hopes all but vanish.
The Jets (8-3) were riding high entering Thanksgiving weekend, alone atop the AFC East thanks to a five-game winning streak. The two most impressive wins during that run were the final two - 34-31 in overtime on Nov. 13 at five-time reigning division champion New England and 34-13 the following week at previously unbeaten Tennessee.
Since beating the Titans, the Jets have fallen back to the pack with a pair of surprising losses, 34-17 at home to Denver followed by last week's 24-14 defeat at San Francisco.
The Bills had won three straight meetings between these division rivals prior to last month's loss.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-4) at Atlanta Falcons (8-5), 1:00 PM ET
With division losses last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons both took a step backward in their respective chases for the postseason. In the wide-open NFC South, however, there's enough time left for both teams.
The Buccaneers look to do their part to clinch a playoff spot by ending the NFC South's dominance at home Sunday when they visit the Falcons, who remain hopeful they'll be able to cap their surprising season with their first postseason appearance in four years.
Each team in the NFC South has a winning record and a chance to make the playoffs. Tampa Bay (9-4) is one game back of first-place Carolina, but can clinch at least a wild-card berth this week with a victory and a loss by either Dallas or Philadelphia.
Atlanta (8-5) remains one game behind Tampa Bay after missing a chance to pull into a second-place tie by falling 29-25 to division rival New Orleans last Sunday.
With his team trailing by four late in the game, first-year Falcons coach Mike Smith decided to punt, thinking Atlanta could force a three-and-out and get another chance on offense. The Saints, however, never gave back the ball.
The Falcons are 5-1 at the Georgia Dome, where they're averaging 32.2 points, the highest home mark in franchise history and third-highest in the league. Atlanta has scored 18.6 points per game while going 3-4 on the road.
Minnesota Vikings (8-5) at Arizona Cardinals (8-5), 4:15PM ET
Though the Arizona Cardinals have clinched the NFC West, they're giving little thought to resting any players. The Minnesota Vikings certainly can't consider giving their players a break - at least not yet.
The Cardinals, looking to improve their playoff seeding, host a Vikings club seeking to maintain its lead in the NFC North when the teams meet Sunday.
Arizona (8-5) has clinched the NFC West title with three games to spare, giving the franchise its second playoff appearance since moving from St. Louis to Arizona in 1988.
As the Cardinals still have hopes of bettering their seeding in the NFC, they aren't entertaining thoughts of resting players.
This will be the first meeting between the Cardinals and Vikings since Nov. 26, 2006, when Minnesota won 31-26 at home.
New York Giants (11-2) at Dallas Cowboys (8-5), 8:15PM ET
The Dallas Cowboys were close to making this week's game against the New York Giants a meaningful one in the NFC East. Instead, they're much more vulnerable to missing the playoffs.
Dallas looks to bounce back from a devastating loss Sunday night when it hosts a Giants team trying to clinch a first-round bye.
Last Sunday, New York (11-2) had its seven-game winning streak snapped with a 20-14 home loss to Philadelphia. Later in the day, Dallas (8-5) visited Pittsburgh with a chance to cut the Giants' lead in the division to two games heading into this matchup.
The Cowboys had a 10-point advantage over the Steelers heading into the fourth quarter, but Pittsburgh scored two touchdowns in the last 2:04 to come away with a 20-13 victory and hand the Giants their first NFC East title since 2005.
New York lost 45-35 at Texas Stadium last regular season before winning 21-17 there in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Posted: 12/13/08 9:00PM ET