The Week 15 NFL schedule for the 2022 season is stacked with great matchups, and we’ve got you covered with what you need to know heading into the weekend. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the biggest keys to every game and a bold prediction for each matchup.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a big stat to know and a betting nugget for each contest, and our Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a game projection. ESPN researcher Kyle Soppe hands out helpful fantasy football intel, as well. Finally, Seth Walder and Eric Moody give us final score picks for every game. Everything you want to know is here in one spot to help you get ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.
Let’s get into the full Week 15 slate, including three Saturday matchups, Jalen Hurts vs. Justin Fields, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels facing his old Patriots team and an NFC East battle between the Giants and Commanders. It all culminates with a “Monday Night Football” matchup between the Rams and the Packers on ESPN. (Game times are Sunday unless otherwise noted.)
Thursday: SF 21, SEA 13
Saturday, 1 p.m. ET | NFL Network | Spread: MIN -4.5 (48.5)
What to watch for: The Vikings are 4-0 against AFC teams this season via their sweep of the AFC East, a sneaky-impressive reason they’re on the cusp of the NFC North title. They’ll clinch the division with a win over the Colts. The Colts are 0-3 against the NFC this season and, with a 42.9 team QBR — the ninth-lowest in the NFL — do not appear equipped to capitalize on the Vikings’ struggling pass defense. — Kevin Seifert
Bold prediction: The Colts will limit Justin Jefferson to fewer than 100 receiving yards. Yes, Jefferson has eclipsed 100 yards in eight of 13 games this season. And, yes, he had a 223-yard performance against the Lions last Sunday. But Indianapolis, largely because of the play of veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore, has allowed just two 100-yard individual efforts this season (from Terry McLaurin and Davante Adams). — Stephen Holder
Stat to know: Jefferson has an NFL-best 1,500 receiving yards this season. He needs 133 more receiving yards to set a new Vikings single-season record (Randy Moss had 1,632 receiving yards in 2003).
What’s at stake: The Vikings can clinch the NFC North title with a win or tie, or if the Lions lose or tie. For context, the Lions would need to go 4-0 and the Vikings would need to go 0-4 the rest of the way for Detroit to win the division. The Colts, meanwhile, are clinging to a 1% chance to make the playoffs and appear much more destined for a top-five draft pick (24%), per ESPN’s FPI. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Lions WR Michael Pittman Jr. was drafted as a fantasy starter this summer, but he has produced more than 13.5 points just once since Week 7. The Vikings have allowed the second-most fantasy points to WRs this season, so if there was ever a time … See Week 15 rankings.
Betting nugget: After going over only once in the first nine games, Colts games have been over the total three of the past four contests. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Vikings 34, Colts 24
Walder’s pick: Vikings 30, Colts 23
FPI prediction: MIN, 69.4% (by an average of 5.8 points)
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET | NFL Network | Spread: CLE -2.5 (37)
What to watch for: The Browns own the second-lowest offensive total EPA (expected points added) in the two games since Deshaun Watson returned from his 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy for committing sexual assault, as defined by the NFL. The Browns’ EPA of minus-26.28 is better than only that of the last-place Texans (minus-27.96) over the past two weeks. — Jake Trotter
Bold prediction: Nick Chubb will run for 100 yards. The Ravens have the NFL’s second-best run defense (81.2 yards per game) and haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 21 straight games, which is the longest active streak in the AFC. But Chubb has totaled the most rushing yards against Baltimore since 2020, gaining 303 yards. He produced 91 yards on the ground against the Ravens in Week 7. The Browns are 20-8 when Chubb surpasses 100 yards rushing. — Jamison Hensley
Stat to know: A Browns loss would guarantee them a 14th losing season in the past 15 years.
What’s at stake: The Ravens are near locks to make the playoffs, but they also come into Week 15 with a 67% chance to win the AFC North, per ESPN’s FPI. A win pushes that to 78%, but a loss drops it to 52%. The Browns not only are headed toward missing the playoffs, they also do not have a first-round draft pick. See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: The Ravens have won their two previous games as a road underdog this season (at Buccaneers on Oct. 27, at Steelers last week). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Ravens 28, Browns 20
Walder’s pick: Ravens 23, Browns 17
FPI prediction: BAL, 60.7% (by an average of 3.3 points)
Marcus Spears believes the Ravens offensive line and Tyler Huntley are the key elements to victory for the Ravens against the Browns.
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET | NFL Network | Spread: BUF -7.5 (42)
What to watch for: When these teams met in Week 3, the temperature played a role with multiple Bills players missing time due to heat illness. But with a lake effect snow warning in place for the weekend, conditions will again be a factor in the big AFC East meeting. The Dolphins have lost eight straight games with a kickoff temperature of 40 or below, but Miami is looking to sweep the series vs. Buffalo for the first time since 2016. Unlike last time, the Bills will have cornerback Tre’Davious White and safety Jordan Poyer to help defend Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The Bills are 9-0 when Poyer plays. — Alaina Getzenberg
Bold prediction: Despite the weather, the Dolphins will win. Tua Tagovailoa has yet to win — or play well in — a game where temperatures are under 50 degrees. That all changes Saturday as the Dolphins’ laissez-faire attitude toward the snow pays off as Tua throws two touchdowns in a critical division victory. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Stat to know: Bills quarterback Josh Allen is 7-2 in his career vs. the Dolphins with at least two passing touchdowns in all nine career games against them; only Tom Brady (22) has more career games with two passing TDs against Miami.
What’s at stake: Buffalo can clinch the playoffs with a win. If the Bills tie the Dolphins, they can still clinch with a Chargers loss, losses from the Jets/Patriots or a Jets loss and ties from the Chargers/Patriots. Additionally, the Bills have a 44% chance at the AFC’s No. 1 seed, per ESPN’s FPI. That could increase to 53% with a win or fall to 20% with a loss. The Dolphins enter Week 15 with a 70% chance to make the playoffs. They also still hold a 6% chance of winning the AFC East, which could jump to 23% with a win. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Allen has scored over 19 fantasy points in eight of nine career games against the Dolphins (six games over 25 points). See Week 15 rankings.
Betting nugget: Tagovailoa is 0-2 outright in his career when an underdog of 7-plus points (1-0-1 against the spread); last time he was a 7-point underdog was last season at Buffalo (plus-15, Buffalo won 26-11). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Bills 31, Dolphins 24
Walder’s pick: Dolphins 30, Bills 28
FPI prediction: BUF, 76.7% (by an average of 8.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: Tagovailoa, Dolphins have right ‘mindset’ for Buffalo weather … Bills, WR Beasley on ‘same page’ with expectations … Tagovailoa, Dolphins’ offense in a rut as showdown with Bills looms … Rousseau leads Bills’ defenders emerging in Von Miller’s absence
Keyshawn Johnson explains why he likes the Bills to pull out the win vs. the Dolphins.
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: N/A (44.5)
What to watch for: Two teams thought to be a year away find themselves in their respective playoff races, seemingly going in opposite directions. The Jets have dropped four of their past six, and are relying on banged-up QB Mike White (rib) to reignite their offense — which has only two touchdowns in the past two games. The Lions are tied for second in scoring (32 points per game) since Week 10. The Jets are counting on their stingy defense to slow down Goff & Co. — Rich Cimini
Bold prediction: Lions quarterback Jared Goff will finish with at least 232 passing yards to hit the 25,000-yard mark for his career. He would tie Hall of Famers Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning as the third-fastest players in NFL history to hit that mark in 97 games. Goff has thrown for at least 330 passing yards in back-to-back games with zero interceptions, helping the Lions win five of their past six games. — Eric Woodyard
Stat to know: Goff is 1-9 in his career, including playoffs, against the AFC East. The only QB with a worse record against the AFC East since division realignment in 2002 is Jacoby Brissett (0-6)
What’s at stake: The Jets have a 25% chance to make the playoffs, which would go up to 35% with a win or drop to 13% with a loss, per ESPN’s FPI. The Lions also have a small chance to make the postseason (13%). See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: During the three weeks of the White experience, Zonovan Knight is RB10. That’s great. Less great for him … the Lions are the best defense against opposing running backs since Week 9. See Week 15 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Lions are 9-4 against the spread (ATS) this season, tied with the Giants for the second-best cover percentage in the NFL — only the Bengals are better (10-3 ATS). Detroit has covered six straight games, the longest active streak in the league and Detroit’s longest cover streak since 2010-11 (seven straight). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Lions 24, Jets 22
Walder’s pick: Jets 26, Lions 24
FPI prediction: NYJ, 54.5% (by an average of 1.3 points)
Matchup must-reads: Six stories that explain Lions coach Dan Campbell … Jets’ Robert Saleh: Wilson to be No. 2 QB for Lions game … Campbell says fans doing the wave influenced trick playcall … After years of pricey free agent busts, Jets reverse trend with D.J. Reed … Hutchinson pays tribute to Detroit icon with ‘Blade Dance’
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: PHI -9 (48.5)
What to watch for: This is the first starting quarterback matchup since the start of the 1950 season where both QBs entered with at least 600 rushing yards on the season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields are first and second, respectively, in rushing attempts. But Fields has been the more efficient rusher, racking up 905 yards on 128 attempts (7.1 yards per rush) compared to Hurts’ 686 rushing yards on 139 rushes (4.8 yards per attempt). Coming off a bye, Chicago aims to snap a six-game losing streak. — Courtney Cronin
Bold prediction: The Bears will give Philly a scare. The Eagles have done a good job of staying laser-focused, but the ingredients are there for a trap game. The trip to Chicago is sandwiched between a pair of divisional road games, with next week’s matchup at the Cowboys lining up to be a doozy. Chicago won’t have enough firepower to pull off the upset, but it won’t be a walk in the park for the best team in football. — Tim McManus
Stat to know: Hurts needs three touchdown passes to join Cam Newton (2015) and Kyler Murray (2020) to become the third QB in NFL history with at least 25 passing TDs and 10 rushing TDs in a single season.
What’s at stake: Philadelphia is the first team to lock up a playoff spot, but it won’t be able to secure the NFC East just yet. It has an 89% chance to win it, per ESPN’s FPI — and those chances will either improve to 92% with a win or slide to 69% with a loss. The Eagles also have an 87% chance to eventually take home the No. 1 seed in the conference. The Bears, on the flip side, are one of three teams already eliminated from the postseason. They are also currently projected to land the No. 2 draft pick and still have a 9% chance to overtake the Texans for the top spot. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Cole Kmet is still available in plenty of leagues after his Week 13 bye, so don’t forget that Darnell Mooney is out for the year and that Kmet has racked up over 13 fantasy points in three of his past five. See Week 15 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Bears are 4-8-1 ATS this season (.333 cover %), tied with the Rams for the second-worst cover percentage in NFL, with only the Bucs (3-9-1, .250 cover %) being worse. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Eagles 34, Bears 26
Walder’s pick: Eagles 27, Bears 23
FPI prediction: PHI, 84.2% (by an average of 11.9 points)
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: CAR -3 (37.5)
What to watch for: It’s cliché, but this will be one of those old-fashioned games decided in the trenches. The Panthers want to run and take the pressure off quarterback Sam Darnold to make plays. They are averaging 154.6 yards rushing over the past seven games and face a Steelers defense that gave up 215 rush yards last week against Baltimore. This also will be like a playoff game for Carolina, which can win the NFC South by winning its final four games. Pittsburgh is a long shot at best to make the AFC playoffs, and there’s uncertainty at quarterback with rookie Kenny Pickett, who was placed in concussion protocol on Sunday. — David Newton
Bold prediction: Mason Rudolph will throw a touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson. This is a flaming hot take because for this to even happen, Rudolph, who hasn’t been active all season, would have to get his first game action. It’s not impossible, though. Rookie Kenny Pickett is in concussion protocol for the second time in eight weeks, and Rudolph has been splitting first-team practice reps with Mitch Trubisky. Thursday, Johnson said he thought Rudolph would get the start and that it was his week. Johnson hasn’t caught a touchdown pass this season, but his belief in Rudolph could pay off Sunday in a big way. — Brooke Pryor
Stat to know: A loss guarantees the Steelers’ first losing season since 2003, which would snap a streak of 18 consecutive seasons without a losing record — the third-longest streak in NFL history after the Cowboys (21 straight in 1965-85) and Patriots (19 straight in 2001-19).
What’s at stake: Carolina is somehow still very much alive in the playoff hunt, currently owning a 23% chance to make the postseason and win the NFC South, per ESPN’s FPI. It also has a 58% chance to land a top-10 pick, though. Pittsburgh might not have the same playoff chances (less than 1%), but it also has only a 48% chance to claim a pick in the top 10 in April. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: After scoring once on the ground in the first 10 weeks this season, Najee Harris has reached pay dirt four times in his past four games (touchdown or 17-plus carries in all five games since the Week 9 bye). See Week 15 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Panthers have covered the past four weeks after starting the season 3-6 against the spread. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Steelers 20, Panthers 17
Walder’s pick: Panthers 16, Steelers 13
FPI prediction: CAR, 52.7% (by an average of 0.8 points)
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: KC -14 (49.5)
What to watch for: Coming into this matchup, the Texans’ defense has held opposing QBs to under an 80.0 passer rating seven times this year, which ranks tied for second in the NFL. And the Texans almost pulled off an upset last week against the Cowboys. But Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has the highest QBR in the NFL (77.9) and the fourth-highest passer rating in the NFL (103). — DJ Bien-Aime
Bold prediction: Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco will set a career high in rushing yards and have his first multi-touchdown game. Pacheco had his most productive game of the season in Week 11 against the Chargers, when he ran for 107 yards. The Texans are last in the league in rushing yards allowed and give up a generous average of almost 5 yards per carry. — Adam Teicher
Stat to know: With a win on Sunday, the Chiefs will clinch their seventh consecutive division title, tying the second-longest streak in NFL history. The Chiefs’ current run of six straight division titles is also the longest active streak in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
What’s at stake: The Chiefs can take home the AFC West this weekend with a win, a Chargers loss or ties by both the Chiefs and Chargers. But if none of that comes together, they can at least clinch the playoffs with a tie and either losses by the Jets and Patriots, or a loss by the Dolphins and then one of the Jets and Patriots losing and the other one tying. Kansas City also has a 44% chance to finish the season atop the AFC, per ESPN’s FPI. The Texans are eliminated from the postseason and are in the driver’s seat for the top pick in the draft, currently holding an 84% chance to earn it. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Pacheco has reached double-digit fantasy points in four straight games and has even added multiple catches in consecutive games (one such game this season prior). See Week 15 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Texans are 5-4 ATS when the over/under is over 43 points (0-3-1 otherwise). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Chiefs 41, Texans 14
Walder’s pick: Chiefs 34, Texans 20
FPI prediction: KC, 85.3% (by an average of 12.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: All he’s worried about is winning’: Kelce says latest milestone just part of another Chiefs win … Sources: Texans’ Pierce (ankle) could miss up to 3 weeks … 2022 NFL MVP watch: Ranking the top five candidates through Week 14 … How the Texans’ two-QB system almost helped them pull off the upset of the year … Texans sign QB Driskel to active roster
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: DAL -4 (47.5)
What to watch for: If there’s one stat that might decide this game, it’s this: The Cowboys are second in the NFL in terms of getting sacks (48), while the Jaguars have only 23, which is the fourth fewest in the league. The key matchup will be Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who is tied for third in the NFL with 12 sacks, versus Jaguars tackles Jawaan Taylor and Cam Robinson. Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence said this week he has to know where Parsons is at every moment because of his ability to wreck the game. If the Jaguars can limit the damage Parsons causes, their chance at an upset increases. — Mike DiRocco
Bold prediction: Trevon Diggs will intercept Lawrence. Diggs has gone six games without an interception, his longest streak since the first seven games of his career. Last year, on his way to 11 interceptions, he never went more than two games without a pick. This doesn’t mean he is playing poorly. It does mean he has not been tested as much. Since Week 9, Lawrence has not had a pass picked off and has 10 touchdown passes, tied for the best ratio in the league. — Todd Archer
Stat to know: The Jaguars have 20 consecutive losses to NFC teams, the longest interconference losing streak since the 1970 merger and tied for the longest losing streak vs. a single conference in that time (Lions lost 20 straight vs NFC from 2007 to ’09). The Jags’ last win vs. the NFC came in the 2018 opener against the Giants.
What’s at stake: The Cowboys have multiple clinching scenarios for this weekend, the simplest of which is a win or tie. Others include: (1) a Dallas tie and no tie in the NYG-WSH game, (2) a Detroit loss or tie, (3) a Washington loss. ESPN’s FPI also still has Dallas with a 13% chance to win the NFC East. And then there is Jacksonville, which has a 19% chance to make the playoffs. That could jump to 34% with a win or fall to 13% with a loss. See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: The Cowboys have seen five of their past six games go over the total. The odd part? The lone exception was when they hung 40 points on the Vikings. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Cowboys 31, Jaguars 23
Walder’s pick: Jaguars 28, Cowboys 27
FPI prediction: DAL, 72.5% (by an average of 7.0 points)
Matchup must-reads: Stars like Parsons lead Cowboys’ defense, but don’t forget the other ‘hims’ … Jags’ Lawrence says bad London game ‘flipped a switch’ … Cowboys’ Jerry Jones says to ‘stand by’ on Beckham Jr. decision … Lawrence had career day vs. Titans … Cowboys add veteran T.Y. Hilton to wide receiver corps
Chris Canty highlights how the Cowboys’ offense should lean more on the running game and less on Dak Prescott.
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: NO -4 (43)
What to watch for: Tight end Taysom Hill was the key in beating the Falcons in Week 1 and could be again if the Saints can get him going. The Saints are 4-0 in games where Hill has at least 50 rushing yards and 0-8 in all other games (he was inactive in Week 2). They’ll certainly try to utilize him and running back Alvin Kamara against the Falcons’ 25th-ranked rushing defense. The Saints could also get some help on both sides of the ball, with center Erik McCoy and linebacker Pete Werner back at practice. — Katherine Terrell
Bold prediction: Falcons rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder will throw for 225 yards and two touchdowns, winning his first start for the franchise. The Falcons have wanted to have a more balanced offense — and in a league where that usually means skewing toward passing so adding the run, for Atlanta, it’s been the opposite as the Falcons have been a run-based team. The change from Marcus Mariota to Ridder gives the Falcons more flexibility, and he connects often with Drake London for the rookie receiver’s first 100-yard day. — Michael Rothstein
Stat to know: The Saints are looking to avoid their first season with double-digit losses since 2005, when they finished 3-13 (the year before Sean Payton and Drew Brees joined the team).
What’s at stake: Both teams are alive in the NFC South, but not by much. Atlanta has a 4% chance, per ESPN’s FPI, while the Saints are at 1%. The Saints also lack a first-round draft pick, whereas the Falcons are projected to pick No. 8. See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: The Falcons covered the spread in each of their first six games but are 1-6 (.143) against the spread since Week 7 (worst cover % in league over that span) . Read more.
Moody’s pick: Falcons 24, Saints 21
Walder’s pick: Falcons 20, Saints 16
FPI prediction: NO, 65.4% (by an average of 4.5 points)
Matchup must-reads: Why the Falcons have turned to rookie QB Ridder … Saints set to have first losing season since 2016; so, what went wrong? … Saints DE Jordan: NFL questioning my integrity with fine
4:05 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: NE -1 (44.5)
What to watch for: Yes, Bill Belichick is 7-1 as a head coach against the Raiders. But Josh McDaniels is 1-0 against his old mentor. Granted, it happened way back in 2009. Still, the matchup between former student and old teacher is a tale as old as time, so throw away how the Raiders’ offense dominated the Patriots’ defense in those joint practices in training camp. This counts now, and if the Jedi beats his young Padawan, that would essentially dim the neon lights on Las Vegas’ playoff push, too. — Paul Gutierrez
Bold prediction: Raiders RB Josh Jacobs, the NFL’s leading rusher, will be held to fewer than 100 yards as Belichick will devote extra defensive resources to slowing him down. The challenge for the Patriots, however, will be that it leaves them vulnerable in other areas — such as against WR Davante Adams. Thus, the game could come down to whether QB Derek Carr can deliver with the game in his hands. — Mike Reiss
Stat to know: The Patriots have won their past six games against Raiders (five wins by double digits during streak), tied for their second-longest active win streak against a single opponent (won 14 straight against Jets). The last Raiders win in the series came in 2002, which was their first meeting following the Tuck Rule game.
What’s at stake: The Patriots enter the week with a 29% chance of making the playoffs, per ESPN’s FPI. Win, and that goes to 45%. Lose, and it’s 19%. The Raiders aren’t looking as promising with a 3% chance, and even a win here only pushes that to 5%. Las Vegas is currently projected to pick at No. 9 in the draft, while New England is No. 16. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Jacobs has scored at least 19 fantasy points in five straight games and has a claim to be considered the top running back the rest of the way. See Week 15 rankings.
Betting nugget: Overs are 3-1-1 when the Raiders play in Vegas, but just 3-5 on the road. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Patriots 27, Raiders 24
Walder’s pick: Raiders 26, Patriots 19
FPI prediction: LV, 62.2% (by an average of 3.5 points)
Matchup must-reads: Patriots’ rookie RBs Harris and Strong Jr. stepped up when needed Monday … What did Raiders coach McDaniels learn in second stint with Belichick? … Source: Handling of WR Parker’s injury to be reviewed … Raiders’ Jacobs has formed bond with Hall of Famer Allen
4:05 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: DEN -2.5 (36)
What to watch for: The Broncos have lost eight games this season by seven or fewer points and have just three games in which they’ve scored more than 16 points. Russell Wilson and the Broncos had a good effort against the Chiefs last week and will look to build on that. On the other hand, the Cardinals have lost three straight games and five of their past six — the team’s worst six-game stretch within a season since losing six straight games in 2019. — Jeff Legwold
Bold prediction: Colt McCoy will get sacked just once and will throw for 275 yards and two touchdowns after spending a week getting all the first-team reps in place of Kyler Murray, who’s out for the season with an ACL injury. McCoy has become adept at throwing quickly behind Arizona’s patchwork offensive line, and this week will be no different. He’ll get the ball out quickly and efficiently, but there won’t be a lot of deep balls — because he won’t have time. — Josh Weinfuss
Stat to know: McCoy has completed 71.9% of his passes in 11 appearances with Cardinals, his highest percentage with any team he has played for.
What’s at stake: Arizona could join Denver as eliminated teams this week through multiple scenarios. ESPN’s FPI currently has the Cardinals with a top-five pick in the draft. But the Broncos traded away their own first-rounder to land Wilson, and their acquired pick in the Bradley Chubb deal is looking like it will be outside the top 20. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: James Conner‘s top three games have come in his past four games played, and this Arizona offense will need to lean heavily on him with Murray sidelined. See Week 15 rankings.
Betting nugget: The Broncos have covered consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 8-9 of last season. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Cardinals 23, Broncos 21
Walder’s pick: Cardinals 19, Broncos 9
FPI prediction: DEN, 71.1% (by an average of 6.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: Cardinals GM Steve Keim taking health-related leave of absence … Russell Wilson practices but remains in concussion protocol … What does Murray’s ACL tear mean for the Cardinals’ future?
Ryan Clark voices his concerns about Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals’ futures after Kyler Murray’s season-ending ACL injury.
4:25 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: CIN -3.5 (44)
What to watch for: The Bengals are vying for double-digit wins to grab sole possession of first place in the AFC North, while the Bucs are merely trying to get back to .500 and maintain first place in an awful NFC South. Neither team can afford to lose, but the Bengals look a lot better coming in with a five-game winning streak. — Jenna Laine
Bold prediction: Cincinnati wins by three touchdowns. Cincinnati is in the best form of coach Zac Taylor’s four-year tenure. A win over a floundering Bucs team will give Cincinnati a sweep against the NFC South this season. — Ben Baby
Stat to know: Joe Burrow and Tom Brady have been two of the league’s best quarterbacks in the fourth quarter. They are tied for the most fourth-quarter touchdown passes with nine each, and both are ranked in the top 10 in QBR.
What’s at stake: A win for the Buccaneers would increase their playoff chances from 72% to 85%, per ESPN’s FPI (66% with a loss). The Bengals have a 98% chance to make the postseason, along with a 32% chance to beat out Baltimore for the AFC North. See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: The Bengals have covered five straight, and it’s worth noting they covered their final four games last season prior to their run to the Super Bowl. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Bengals 24, Buccaneers 19
Walder’s pick: Bengals 37, Buccaneers 13
FPI prediction: CIN, 66.7% (by an average of 5.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: Bengals say DE Hendrickson (wrist) will avoid IR … Inconsistent Bucs look inward with future hopes in balance … Backups Irwin, Taylor filling the gaps at WR … Buccaneers’ Brady a ‘good sport,’ signs INT ball for 49ers LB … Burrow lauds Brady, resists comparisons to Bucs QB
4:25 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: LAC -3 (47.5)
What to watch for: Both the Titans and Chargers feature dynamic running backs in Derrick Henry and Austin Ekeler, and both could have a monstrous game Sunday. The Titans’ defense is tied for first in rushing touchdowns allowed this season, and Ekeler, who ranks second in the NFL with 13 touchdowns, has been especially effective in the red zone. Henry ranks second in the NFL with 1,199 rushing yards, averaging 4.36 yards per carry, which means a tall task for a Bolts defense that’s among the league’s worst at defending the run, allowing an average of 5.4 yards per carry. — Lindsey Thiry
Bold prediction: The Titans will generate three turnovers against a Chargers team averaging one turnover per game this season. The Titans’ defense hasn’t forced a turnover since Terrance Mitchell picked off Russell Wilson in a Week 10 win over the Broncos. Defensive coordinator Shane Bowen challenged his defensive backs to “maximize opportunities” to make plays on the ball, which hasn’t happened in the past couple of games. — Turron Davenport
Stat to know: Henry is 4 yards shy of 8,000 career rushing yards. He would join Ezekiel Elliott and Mark Ingram as the only active running backs with 8,000 career rushing yards; only Eddie George (10,009) and Earl Campbell (8,574) have more rushing yards in Titans history.
What’s at stake: Per ESPN’s FPI, the Chargers enter Week 15 with a 74% chance to make the playoffs — and it could climb to 88% with a win or plummet to 52% with a loss. The Titans have an 81% chance, which jumps to 92% with a win or drops to 74% with a loss. See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: Chargers games have gone over the total only once in their past six games, as overs are 1-4-1. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Titans 26, Chargers 23
Walder’s pick: Chargers 30, Titans 17
FPI prediction: LAC, 62.7% (by an average of 3.7 points)
Field Yates and Mike Clay discuss whether Derrick Henry or the Chargers wide receivers will fare better in fantasy in their matchup.
8:20 p.m. ET | NBC | Spread: WSH -4.5 (40.5)
What to watch for: The winner of this game will be in an excellent position to make the playoffs as a wild card. Whichever team wins, they’ll be 8-5-1 and hold the sixth playoff spot in the NFC. New York quarterback Daniel Jones will be key. Since Ron Rivera arrived in Washington for the 2020 season, Jones has a 56.9 passer rating vs. the Commanders (and 52.9 overall) and also 244 rushing yards. Three of his top six rushing games in the past three seasons have come vs. Washington. Also, for those worried about a second tie, you should know this: New York has never tied the same team twice in a season, and Washington last did it in 1938 (against the Brooklyn Dodgers). — John Keim
Bold prediction: Saquon Barkley runs for 150-plus yards. You might say this isn’t a bold prediction until you look at Barkley’s past four games (152 rushing yards combined). But his most productive performance during that stretch was against Washington — 63 yards — in that tie that left a “sour taste” in his mouth. Extra motivation. Barkley also averages 6.1 yards per rush against the Commanders in his career, second best vs. a single opponent. It all sets up for Barkley to have a big evening. — Jordan Raanan
Stat to know: The Commanders have won the time-of-possession battle in seven straight games, tied with the Ravens for the longest streak in the NFL this season. Washington’s plus-6:03 TOP margin this season is best in the league.
What’s at stake: According to ESPN’s FPI, the Giants have a 53% chance to make the playoffs, while the Commanders are at 70%. But get this: Whoever wins Sunday’s game would then have an 89-90% chance of making the playoffs. The loser would be in the 33-36% range. It’s going to be a critical matchup in the NFC playoff hunt. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: The next time the Giants hold McLaurin under 13 fantasy points will be the first (24.5 fantasy points in the Week 13 tie). See Week 15 rankings.
Betting nugget: Seven of the first Giants games this season went under, but they’ve gone over in three of the past four. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Commanders 27, Giants 20
Walder’s pick: Giants 19, Commanders 16
FPI prediction: WSH, 63.4% (by an average of 3.9 points)
Matchup must-reads: Barkley ‘good’ after playing through injury in loss … Commanders WR trio could hold key to playoff berth … Washington activates Wentz to back up Heinicke … GOP’s Commanders memo draws attorney’s ire
What to watch for: The Packers’ defense has allowed four straight opponents to top 400 yards in a game. They’re in danger of allowing that to happen for a fifth straight game for the first time since 1983. In that same stretch, the Rams’ offense ranks 30th in the league in yards per game. So what wins out: Bad defense or bad offense? — Rob Demovsky
Bold prediction: The Rams will lose to the Packers, matching the most losses by a defending Super Bowl champion. The 1999 Broncos went 6-10. That would be the Rams’ fifth straight loss on the road, something the team hasn’t done since 2011-12, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. — Sarah Barshop
Stat to know: Aaron Rodgers has won eight consecutive starts on “Monday Night Football,” which is the fifth-longest win streak by a QB. Rodgers has 22 touchdown passes and two interceptions in those eight games.
What’s at stake: Both considered Super Bowl hopefuls in the preseason, the Packers and Rams both appear to be outside looking in at the playoffs. Green Bay has an 8% chance of making the postseason, per ESPN’s FPI (up to 10% with a win). And the Rams are on the cusp of elimination. Los Angeles does not have a first-round pick, and the Packers are projected to pick at No. 14. See playoff picture.
Moody’s pick: Packers 26, Rams 20
Walder’s pick: Packers 23, Rams 16
FPI prediction: GB, 77.8% (by an average of 8.9 points)