The New Orleans Saints enter the Arizona desert brutally losing four of their past five games, and now clinging desperately to the lifeless corpse of their playoff hopes. The offense has fallen off the map over the past two weeks but had been so previously dominant that they are still ranked as the #1 offense in the NFL. It should be strength-on-strength at they face the #1 defense in the NFL in the Cardinals. But with injuries lingering and confidence waining, all signs point to the Cards having the advantage in this one.
The Saints will need to play with fire and focus, by somehow igniting a fire they might not have in them this week. We can only hope they turn things around, if only for entertainment's sake. Here's a look at this and all of the upcoming action in Week 15.
Last week I went 8-8
I told you so: Giants over Cowboys!
What do I know: Chargers over Panthers?
Thursday, December 15th - Thursday Night Football
The Rams have had Seattle's number over the past few seasons but that all changes in this one, as the Seahawks will take out some recent frustrations on the dysfunctional Rams. Seattle wins 30-9.
Saturday, December 17th - Saturday Night Football
Unsurprisingly, Jay Ajayi will be the key to victory for Miami in this one. Miami wins 29-20.
Sunday, December 18th - Early Games
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will easily continue to roll along against the Bears in Chicago. Green Bay wins 31-13.
LeSean McCoy will have a monster 160 yard rushing performance in the Buffalo snow against the pathetic Browns. Buffalo wins 28-10.
This game will be low-key fire, with Carson Wentz facing the daunting Baltimore defense but looking good against them. On the other side, Joe Flacco will make all of the big plays necessary to pull out a close win at home. Baltimore wins 24-23.
These teams will look to slow down the tempo and make this game a war of attrition, and Kansas City will win that war. Kansas City wins 17-10.
Steelers(8-5) at Bengals(5-7-1)
This once contentious rivalry will amount to little more than another nail in Marvin Lewis' coaching coffin here. Pittsburgh wins 25-16.
Lions(9-4) at Giants(9-4) - Game of the Week
This will arguably be the most exciting game this week, and the passing games will be a sight to see. In the end, Odell Beckham Jr. will make a huge play to secure victory for the G-Men. Giants win 25-22.
Minnesota's dominant defense will get enough pressure on Andrew Luck to keep Indy off balance all game long. Minnesota wins 20-17.
Jacksonville's defense will have little issue with the Houston passing game, but the Texans' rushing attack will be the key to victory here. Houston wins 28-16.
Sunday, December 18th - Late Games
You thought Los Angeles was bad last week against Atlanta? Wait until you see the Niners. Atlanta wins 48-16.
Raiders(10-3) at Chargers(5-8)
As always, San Diego will put everything on the shoulders of Phillip Rivers, but the load will be too much for him to carry in a shootout against Derek Carr and the Raiders offense. Oakland will rebound nicely from their crushing Week 14 loss here. Oakland wins 31-27.
Patriots(11-2) at Broncos(8-5)
This game will be much closer than anyone will give it credit for. The key for Denver will be their dominating defense and homefield advantage. Unfortunately for Denver, due to their issues on offense, it won't be enough. New England's balance and experience will be too much for the Broncos to handle, come the 4th quarter. New England wins 24-20.
Saints(5-8) at Cardinals(5-7-1)
Coming off of their second straight horrendous outing on offense, the Saints find some relief as they now face the NFL's top-ranked defense. Wait. What?! Well, okay then. When it rains, it pours. With the entire offense plagued by injuries, the Saints that make the field in this game will need to play mistake-free football in order to keep this game interesting.
The Saints defensive unit will need to carry most of the burden once again (this is a statement I never thought I'd be making) against an Arizona offense that has been much better at home (except for the Seattle tie game) than they have been away. There is just about no other high-profile starting quarterback in the NFL that I have been more down on than Carson Palmer, so of course it will only be fitting when that bum throws for 320 yards and 2 TDs against the Saints.
New Orleans will need Michael Thomas on the field and a big day from their rushing game to pull out this win, but neither seems likely at this point. The Saints defense will keep it close into the 4th quarter until a late Drew Brees pick-six puts this game out of reach. Arizona wins 27-17.
Sunday Night Football
Buccaneers(8-5) at Cowboys(11-2)
In a game that won't be as close as most are predicting, the Dallas offense will regain its mojo at home against Tampa. Dak Prescott will silence the Romo crowd for a week, with a huge performance in this game. Dallas wins 20-10.
Monday, December 19th - Monday Night Football
Panthers(5-8) at Redskins(7-5-1)
Kirk Cousins and the deadly Washington passing attack will decimate the Carolina defense, while Josh Norman and the 'Skins defense dominates Cam Newton and the Panthers offense. Washington wins 33-16.
That's how I see Week 15 playing out as we approach the end of the 2015 NFL Season. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below.