This week the NFL slate is loaded with divisional matchups. Additionally, the Stampede Blue staff are in agreement on several of this week’s games. The Indianapolis Colts will kick off Week 15 in their Thursday night matchup with the Denver Broncos in Lucas Oil Stadium. Whether you’re hoping for a better draft pick or a victory for the Colts, both are seemingly just as likely as the Broncos have faltered this season nearly as much as the Colts have.
One of the more interesting story lines this week is the return of Aaron Rodgers as the Green Bay Packers travel to the Carolina Panthers. Both teams are in the running of the NFC playoff picture and Rodgers’ return couldn’t come soon enough as the Packers somewhat weathered the storm with Brett Hundley over the past several weeks.
Another NFC North squad, the Detroit Lions, are hoping to put some points on the board against the Chicago Bears Saturday in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Two of the most significant divisional games on tap are the Los Angeles Chargers heading to Kansas City in attempt to take sole possession of the AFC West from the Chiefs, and the Los Angeles Rams hoping to maintain their hold on the NFC West from the Seattle Seahawks.
A win for the Rams will give them a 2-game lead in the division and would make things awful difficult for the Seahawks going forward, while a loss would give up their lead as the Hawks own the head to head.
While Sunday and Monday night’s respective matchups look like one-sided affairs on paper, Sunday’s mid-afternoon game features the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the New England Patriots. While this obviously isn’t a divisional game, it is a game which could play a major part in the seeding for the post season. A loss for the Steelers means having to put more wins on the board than the Patriots as the head to head factor, again, would come into play with them on the outside looking in should they finish with identical records.
Week 15 is packed full of teams hoping to increase their divisional leads, teams hoping to play spoiler and others who have an opportunity to stay competitive in the Wild Card hunt with wins this week. Enjoy!
This week the following contributors voted on each game: Brett Mock, Matt Danely, Stephen Reed, Chris Shepherd, Chris Blystone, Andrew Aziz, Jared Malott and Jake Arthur. Again, our group voted ‘winners’ which have been bolded, with the vote counts in parenthesis and unanimous predictions were noted by an asterisk (*). Also with 8 voters, ties go to the home squad.
Thus far the staff’s numbers are: Faraz Majid – 68/105 (64.8%) | Brett Mock – 123/195 (63.1%) | Chris Blystone – 119/195 (61%) | Matt Danely – 115/195 (59%) | Andrew Aziz – 113/180 (62.8%) | Jake Arthur – 109/167 (65.3%) | Jared Malott – 112/182 (61.5%) | Stephen Reed – 107/183 (58.5%) | Chris Shepherd – 108/182 (59.3%) | Josh Hudgens – 87/135 (64.4%)
Thursday @ 8:25 ET
Broncos (7) @ Colts – Contrarian: Andrew Aziz
Saturday @ 4:30 ET
Bears @ Lions*
Saturday @ 8:25 ET
Chargers (6) @ Chiefs – Contrarian: Brett Mock, Chris Blystone
Sunday @ 1:00 ET
Bengals @ Vikings*
Cardinals @ Redskins*
Jets @ Saints*
Texans @ Jaguars*
Eagles (6) @ Giants – Contrarian: Chris Shepherd, Stephen Reed
Ravens (7) @ Browns – Contrarian: Matt Danely
Packers @ Panthers (6) – Contrarian: Jake Arthur, Aziz
Dolphins (6) @ Bills – Contrarian: Blystone, Reed
Sunday @ 4:05 ET
Rams @ Seahawks (4/4) – Contrarians: Danely, Reed, Blystone, Arthur
Sunday @ 4:25 ET
Titans @ 49ers (6) – Contrarians: Jared Malott, Blystone
Patriots @ Steelers (6) – Contrarians: Shepherd, Aziz
Sunday @ 8:30 ET
Cowboys (7) @ Raiders – Contrarian: Blystone
Monday @ 8:30 ET
Falcons* @ Buccaneers
Please share your picks in the comments!