The New Orleans Saints face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFC South showdown. The reigning Super Bowl Champions come into this game red-hot, riding a four-game winning streak where they have scored 30+ in each game. The Saints, on the other hand, come into this one on a one-game winning streak, following a five-game losing streak.
The Saints are the reigning four-consecutive time NFC South Champions, but it would take something greater than a miracle to see that streak extended for another season. With a win over the Saints this Sunday Night, Tampa will be crowned the king of the NFC South for the 2021 season. While the end result may almost certainly be inevitable, the Saints would love to delay the Bucs’ coronation.
Let’s take a look at this and all of the upcoming action in Week 15.
Last week I went 9-5
I told you so: Bucs over Bills!
What do I know: Jets over Saints?
Thursday, December 16th - Thursday Night Football
Chiefs(9-4) at Chargers(8-5) - Game of the Week
Patrick Mahomes vs Justin Herbert will be every bit as good as it usually is. This game will be a fun back and forth affair between two of the NFL’s best young quarterbacks. An overtime touchdown by Mahomes is the difference in this one. Kansas City wins 29-23.
Saturday, December 18th - Saturday NFL Special - Game 1
Raiders(6-7) at Browns(7-6)
Vegas will be forced to pass their way to victory, but they won't have enough to win in Cleveland. Cleveland wins 31-24.
Saturday, December 18th - Saturday NFL Special - Game 2
Patriots(9-4) at Colts(7-6)
New England will shut down the Indy rushing attack on their way to victory. New England wins 36-26.
Sunday, December 19th - Early Games
Cowboys(9-4) at Giants(4-9)
Dallas will have a big day forcing turnovers on defense in this one. Dallas wins 33-26.
Texans(2-11) at Jaguars(2-11)
The loser of this one has the inside track to the second pick in the draft. That loser (winner, actually?) will be Jacksonville. Houston wins 31-20.
Titans(9-4) at Steelers(6-6-1)
The Tennessee passing game will come up big in this one. Tennessee wins 34-21.
Jets(3-10) at Dolphins(6-7)
Miami’s defense will control this game from start to finish. Miami wins 20-7.
Washington FT(6-7) at Eagles(6-7)
After suffering a disappointing loss last week, Washington gets back on track in Philly. Washington wins 24-16.
Pick: Washington FT
Cardinals(10-3) at Lions(1-11-1)
After a crushing home loss on Monday Night, Arizona rebounds with a surprisingly close win in Detroit. Arizona wins 26-23.
Panthers(5-8) at Bills(7-6)
Statistically, this is a showdown of the top two defenses in the NFL, and both defenses will show out in this one. The shocking aspect of this game will be Carolina’s passing game outplaying the Buffalo passing attack. Buffalo loses another heartbreaker as their spiral continues. A late field goal clinches this one. Carolina wins 16-14.
Sunday, December 19th - Late Games
Bengals(7-6) at Broncos(7-6)
Cincy’s defense will be the standout unit in this battle of playoff hopefuls. Cincinnati wins 27-14.
Falcons(6-7) at 49ers(7-6)
Matt Ryan outduels Jimmy Garoppolo in this surprising shootout in the Bay Area, keeping Atlanta’s playoff hopes alive while hurting San Francisco’s hopes a bit. Atlanta wins 35-31.
Seahawks(5-8) at Rams(9-4)
Despite Russell Wilson’s best efforts, Matthew Stafford and the Rams passing attack will be too much for Seattle to ultimately handle. Los Angeles wins 27-20.
Packers(10-3) at Ravens(8-5)
Aaron Rodgers will make the plays Lamar Jackson doesn't, when this game is all said and done. Green Bay wins 24-17.
Sunday Night Football
Saints(6-7) at Buccaneers(10-3)
As much as it pains me to say it, the Saints just don't have enough to win this game. They are far too depleted, as we have all seen since the last time they played the Bucs. That’s not to say they won't put up a fight though. The Saints match up well with Tom Brady and the Bucs, going 3-1 against the combination, so expect the Saints to fight like hell, keeping within striking distance throughout. Turnovers, points on defense, special teams points, and a little luck is the combination these battered Saints would need to pull this one out. They may get a few, but not all of them. This game will be far better than most expect, but the NFC South crown in 2021 goes to Brady. Tampa wins 28-20.
Monday, December 20th- Monday Night Football
Vikings(6-7) at Bears(4-9)
The Minnesota defense will find a way to shut down Chicago’s ground game, effectively shutting Chicago down completely. Minnesota wins 23-17.
That’s how I see Week 15 playing out as we approach the end of the 2021 NFL Season. Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below!