NFL Week 15 Predictions


Patrick Mahomes (15) avoids a pass rush from the Chargers defense: Week 9, 2018.

Jacob Myers, Sports Writer

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (8:20 Thursday, FOX)


Two of the hottest teams in the whole league face off in an epic battle for the top of the AFC West standings. The Chiefs are lead by second-year stud Patrick Mahomes, who is at the very top of lots of MVP predictions this year. On the other side is Phillip Rivers, who defies the natural cycle of aging and still puts up huge numbers against great defenses. More than likely, both of these teams will make the playoffs. The Chiefs have 11 wins and the Chargers have 10 to this point, and no other wild card team is within 2 games. Not to venture into any political topics, but the Chiefs are without their running back Kareem Hunt, who they had to release. Their new back seems to be fitting in nicely, but the whole Hunt’s absence leaves can’t be replaced very easily. Watch in the offseason (or even now) for the Chiefs to make a move for Le’Veon Bell. The Chargers also have problems at running back as Melvin Gordon is listed as questionable, and his absence would surely be felt as well. To be honest, the winner will be decided by quarterback play only. Patrick Mahomes and Phillip Rivers are two great quarterbacks who will deliver a great battle, but Mahomes has the upper hand in terms of wide receivers.


Final: 45-38 Chiefs. Mahomes and Rivers will both have great games, but the Chiefs defense will be able to make one more stop to win.


Houston Texans at New York Jets (4:30 Saturday, NFL Network)


I mean, this one is pretty obvious. Even after a tough loss to a good team, the Texans definitely have the upper hand against the weak Jets. The two records are opposites of each other, the Texans at 9-4, and the Jets at 4-9 (in fact, the Jets are 2-4 at home, and the Texans are 4-2 on the road). If you don’t believe the Texans will win, here are some stats: Deshaun Watson has 22 touchdowns, nine picks. Darnold? 12 touchdowns, 15 picks. Injuries also come into play. Currently on the Jets questionable list are: Quincy Enunwa (best wide receiver), Isaiah Crowell (best running back), and Sam Darnold (starting QB). Not even to add that Darron Lee (linebacker) is ruled out. Also, the Jets average 25 points allowed per game, as well as almost 400 yards allowed per game. If that doesn’t say enough, I don’t know what will.


Final: 31-13 Texans. The stats tell the story. If you want more, here’s a link for you:


Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos (8:20 Saturday, NFL Network)


Here it is, Browns fans: a primetime game under the lights. On a Saturday. Against the Broncos. Yeah, it’ll suffice. According to ESPN, the Broncos have a 77 percent chance to win. For a team that only has 6 wins and just lost to the 49ers, the Broncos seemingly shouldn’t be favored that largely over any opponent. It’s the NFL, and any team can show up at any time. I’m very aware that playing at Mile High Stadium affects the opposing teams greatly, but no stats from this season could prove that the Broncos have such a large chance to win. The Panthers had over a 55 percent chance last week, and they lost that game to the Browns, so the Broncos are in the same boat. Baker has 19 touchdowns to 10 picks, Keenum has 15 touchdowns to 10 picks. Both have rookie running backs and veteran-led receivers that can also make big plays. Expect a great game to liven up your Saturday night.


Final: 27-21 Browns. Baker will feel dangerous a mile high and continue his great play, while both Phillip Lindsay and Nick Chubb have over 100-yard games.


New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (8:15 Monday, ESPN)


Every single week it seems like no matter what I try, I still end up covering the Saints. The Panthers on the other hand, give me another reason not to cover them every week. The Panthers are riding a 5 game losing streak coming off of a tough loss in Cleveland. The Saints, although on a bad stretch, are still playing decent enough football to take down a divisional foe.


Final: 18-10 Saints. Michael Thomas will catch a touchdown, Drew Brees will be decent, and the Saints will come away with another close, slow loss.