Week 15 of the 2016 NFL schedule will get underway this Thursday evening when the struggling Los Angeles Rams take on the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. Unfortunately, the biggest news for the Rams since their move to L.A. has been the recent firing of longtime coach Jeff Fisher.
In what seems like a wasted season for the Rams in their first year in Los Angeles, they will now have to put up with the distraction of who will be the next coach and what direction the team will move towards. Add to that, their first game without their longtime coach will occur on a short week in Seattle against a Seahawks team that desperately needs a win, and this game has all the makings of a blowout.
The Seahawks are coming off one of their worst defeats in decades after falling to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field 38 – 10. You had better believe that any aggravation left over from this embarrassing loss can and will be taken out on the L.A. Rams this Thursday.
The loss against the Packers has dropped the Seahawks from the No. 2 seed to the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoff bracket.
The Rams vs. Seahawks game is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to big match-ups this weekend. Several games will have serious impact and playoff implications this week, including the Green Bay Packers at the Chicago Bears, the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans taking on the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Detroit Lions squaring off against the New York Giants.
The Lions and Giants might be the biggest game of all in terms of playoff standings because both teams are in a very strange situation.
Detroit is currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC and has a first-round bye, while the New York Giants are the fifth seed overall. Here’s where it gets a bit strange, though.
NJ.com reports that while both teams have 9-4 records and a playoff position secured at the moment, they are far from guaranteed a playoff berth.
As crazy as it sounds, the Lions need to win at least two of their next three games to secure a playoff spot. If they happen to lose to the Giants this week, then lose to Dallas and Green Bay, Detroit could go from the No. 2 seed to possibly not even making the postseason.
The same could be said about the Giants.
If they stumble against Detroit this weekend, they definitely will have to win their remaining two games to hold on to a playoff berth.
That’s how strange the 2016 NFL season has been. Even with nine wins so far heading into week 15, no team in either conference outside of the Patriots and Cowboys has a guaranteed walk into the postseason.
The parity in NFL is at an all-time high, and Detroit and New York are both are a great example of that. They are both having great seasons and deserve to be playoff bound, but if they slip up from here on out, they could be on the outside looking in.
Below is a look at the complete schedule, current Las Vegas odds, and point spread predictions, along with which network will carry each game’s live action for Week 15. Games on NBC will also stream live online through the NBC SportS Network. ESPN games can also be seen streaming live through Watch ESPN.
To watch games on your tablet, cell phone or other handheld device, you will need to download the NBC Sports app and the Watch ESPN app.
Last week, the predictions finished 4-0, which puts the two-week total at 7-1.
Predictions – Green Bay -6, Pittsburgh -3, Minnesota -4, Seattle -13.5
THURSDAY, DEC. 15
- L.A. Rams at Seattle (-13.5) — 8:25 pm – NBC/NBC Sports Extra
SATURDAY, DEC. 17
- Miami (-2) at N.Y. Jets — 8:25 pm — NFLN
SUNDAY, DEC. 18
- Green Bay (-6) at Chicago — 1:00 pm — FOX
- Tennessee at Kansas City (-5) — 1:00 pm — CBS
- Detroit at N.Y. Giants (-5) — 1:00 pm — FOX
- Cleveland at Buffalo (-10) — 1:00 pm — CBS
- Indianapolis at Minnesota (-4) — 1:00 pm — CBS
- Philadelphia at Baltimore (-6) — 1:00 pm — FOX
- Jacksonville at Houston (-6) — 1:00 pm — CBS
- Pittsburgh (-3) at Cincinnati — 1:00 pm — CBS
- New Orleans at Arizona (-2) — 4:05 pm — FOX
- San Francisco at Atlanta (-14) — 4:05 pm — FOX
- New England (-3) at Denver — 4:25 pm — CBS
- Oakland (-3) at San Diego — 4:25 pm — CBS
- Tampa Bay at Dallas (-7) — 8:30 pm — NBC
MONDAY, DEC. 19
- Carolina at Washington (-5) — 8:30 pm — ESPN
[Featured Image by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]