The Baltimore Ravens will have to move on without the fire of Ray Lewis.
Week 15 has been dubbed “Showdown Sunday” for a dozen teams in the thick of the playoff hunt. Honestly, there are a dozen games with at least one team still alive to make the playoffs.
Games of note for Week 15: Packers vs. Bears, Giants vs. Falcons, Broncos vs. Ravens and 49ers vs. Patriots.
Sunday December 16, 2012, Games Beginning at 1:00 pm:
Green Bay Packers (9-4) at Chicago Bears (8-5) – The player with the most to prove on the field Sunday is Jay Cutler. Brandon Marshall wants to get back at the Packers in the worst way.
Packers 24 – Bears 22
NY Giants (8-5) at Atlanta Falcons (11-2) – The Giants will be without Ahmad Bradshaw and the Falcons could miss Roddy White. This is David Wilson’s time to shine.
Giants 27 – Falcons 21
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) at New Orleans Saints (5-8) – The Bucs have all but squandered their playoff hopes. They’re still alive and they have won in New Orleans when the Saints were good.
Bucs 29 – Saints 27
Minnesota Vikings (7-6) at St. Louis Rams (6-6-1) – Two teams who should be on everyone’s radar for next season.
Rams 34 – Vikings 23
Washington Redskins (7-6) at Cleveland Browns (5-8) – Whether it’s Griffin or Cousins, both need to be wary of an opportunistic Browns defense.
Browns 20 – Redskins 17 (ot)
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) at Miami Dolphins (5-8) – It killed me to see the Dolphins fall out of playoff contention so soon. Jacksonville has a great young receiver in Justin Blackmon, but will they sign Maurice Jones-Drew long-term.
Dolphins 26 – Jaguars 13
Denver Broncos (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (9-4) – The Ravens may have Ray Lewis in the lineup, none of that matters if Joe Flacco is ineffective. The Ravens will put the ball in Ray Rice’s hands to squeeze the clock.
Ravens 19 – Broncos 17
Indianapolis Colts (9-4) at Houston Texans (11-2) – The job Bruce Arians has done with this team has him as the No. 1 coaching candidate this offseason in some circles. Houston will be surprised at the toughness of the Colts.
Texans 24 – Colts 22
Games beginning at 4:05 or later:
Carolina Panthers (4-9) at San Diego Chargers (5-8) – Cam Newton is the first QB to pass for 30 touchdowns and rush for 20 more in his first two seasons. I guess Norv Turner will last until the end of the season.
Panthers 23 – Chargers 20
Seattle Seahawks (8-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-8) – Marshawn Lynch refused to talk about the Bills this week. He’d rather show them on Sunday.
Seahawks 27 – Bills 16
Detroit Lions (4-9) at Arizona Cardinals (4-9) – The Lions are worth watching merely for Calvin Johnson’s pursuit of Jerry Rice’s record. The Cardinals, well….
Lions 24 – Cardinals 13
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) at Dallas Cowboys (7-6) – Tough game to pick this week. I’ll take the Steelers here.
Steelers 26 – Cowboys 20
Kansas City Chiefs (2-11) at Oakland Raiders (3-10) – Somewhere, a potential draft pick is shaking in his boots.
San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1) at New England Patriots (10-3) – You won’t see Randy Moss and Bill Belichick having a Kevin Garnett/Kevin McHale moment.
49ers 20 – Patriots 16
Monday December 16, 2012 8:30 pm:
NY Jets (6-7) at Tennessee Titans (4-9) - Make that two draft picks shaking.
Last Week: 9-7
2012 Season: 127-80-1