Bing Predicts NFL Week 15

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December 12, 2018
Jonathan Daniel // Getty

Bing Predicts NFL Week 15

Week 14 tested the NFL's elite and provided multiple improbable finishes, further muddying the playoff picture and building excitement over the season's final three games. The Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, Houston Texans, and Pittsburgh Steelers were all upset, whereas the New Orleans Saints struggled to put away the Buccaneers until a late-game surge, and the Kansas City Chiefs needed overtime to take down the Baltimore Ravens at home.

The postseason may look a lot more clear after Week 15—as many as seven of the eight divisions could have a champion crowned—but if we've learned anything this season, it's to expect the unexpected.

Here's a look at some important Week 15 matchups:

—Chargers @ Chiefs: Yet again, this is another pivotal Thursday night affair. This game will go a long way in deciding the AFC West and the #1 overall seed on that side of the bracket.

—Cowboys @ Colts: Are the Cowboys legitimate Super Bowl contenders? The Colts will try to prove otherwise as they fight to keep their season alive.

—Packers @ Bears: This is the NFL's oldest rivalry. A win and the Bears are in the playoffs, but the Packers won't go down without a fight as they have three games to sneak their way into the postseason under interim head coach Joe Philbin.

—Patriots @ Steelers: These two teams are looking to bounce back from heart-wrenching losses last week and secure their positions in the AFC playoffs.

Guiding you through every game is Bing Predicts, which leverages search, social, and historical statistics to forecast the week's winners and losers. Read on for Week 15 predictions.

ALSO: See how Bing predicted the entire season here.


Los Angeles Chargers (10-3) @ Kansas City Chiefs (11-2)

Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Game time: Thursday, Dec. 13, 8:20 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Kansas City Chiefs lead series 61-55-1

This week's Thursday night matchup is a good candidate for game of the week. A victory for the Chargers brings their record even with the Chiefs, clinches a playoff berth, and gives them a shot at the #1 overall seed in the AFC. The Chiefs have already punched their postseason ticket, but a victory clinches the the AFC West as they've already taken down Los Angeles once this season.

While it would take a major collapse to keep the Chargers from playing in January, home field advantage is on the line. Kansas City and L.A. hold the top two records in the AFC, but if the Chargers lose, they can only finish as high as the fifth seed.

Patrick Mahomes II remained magic on Sunday, making other-wordly throws and continuing to defy what we thought was possible from the quarterback position. He sits atop the NFL rankings in passing yards (4,300) and touchdowns (43) this season, and he's making it look easy. The Chargers' Philip Rivers is having a remarkable season as well. He's pacing for the best quarterback rating of his career: His quarterback rating is currently at 114.5, and his 29-to-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio is the best of his career.

The Chiefs have not been an easy opponent for the Chargers in recent years. The Chargers have lost the last nine matchups.


Bing Predicts: Kansas City Chiefs

Bing Predicts Winner: Kansas City Chiefs (60% chance)

See more on the Kansas City Chiefs

Houston Texans (9-4) @ New York Jets (4-9)

Houston Texans @ New York Jets

Game time: Saturday, Dec. 15, 4:30 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: New York Jets lead series 5-2-0

The Houston Texans saw their league-high, nine-game winning streak come to an end after falling to the Indianapolis Colts 24-21, stifled by their inconsistent performance on offense. With a win last week, the Texans could have capitalized on the New England Patriots' last-second loss to the Miami Dolphins and moved into the #2 overall seed in the AFC. However, Houston can still take home an AFC South title in Week 15 with a victory over the New York Jets and a Colts' loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Jets halted their six-game losing streak with a 27-23 victory over the Buffalo Bills. They aren't officially eliminated from the postseason, but one more loss will serve as the final nail in the coffin. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold did just enough to best fellow 2018 first-round quarterback Josh Allen: Darnold was 16-of-24 and orchestrated a fourth-quarter comeback capped by a game-winning touchdown run from running back Elijah McGuire. Darnold had missed the previous three games with a foot injury.

The Texans will need to play better on offense than they did last week, but don't expect the Jets to play spoiler.


Bing Predicts: Houston Texans

Bing Predicts Winner: Houston Texans (73% chance)

See more on the Houston Texans

Cleveland Browns (5-7-1) @ Denver Broncos (6-7)

Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos

Game time: Saturday, Dec. 15, 8:20 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Denver Broncos lead series 23-5-0

The Cleveland Browns look like a totally rejuvenated football team after the firing of former head coach Hue Jackson. It took Cleveland just five games to win as many times—three—under interim head coach Gregg Williams as it did in the 40 games Jackson was at the helm. It appears the Browns have found their quarterback of the future in Baker Mayfield. He helped pull off a 26-20 upset over the reeling Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Mayfield has thrown at least one touchdown in each of his last 10 games.

The Broncos suffered a major blow to their playoff chances after their 20-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. It ended a three-game winning streak and dropped the team to below .500 with only three games remaining. With one AFC wild-card spot essentially locked up by either the Chiefs or the Chargers, the Broncos will need to leap four teams in the final three games to secure the sixth seed, which seems unlikely.

These teams don't battle often, but the Browns haven't taken down the Broncos since 1990 and are losers of 11-straight in head-to-head matchups. With momentum and a playoff pipedream on the Browns' minds, that losing streak could end in Denver.


Bing Predicts: Denver Broncos

Bing Predicts Winner: Denver Broncos (57% chance)

See more on the Denver Broncos


Arizona Cardinals (3-10) @ Atlanta Falcons (4-9)

Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Arizona Cardinals lead series 16-14-0

In a week chock-full of important games with major playoff implications, this is certainly one that can and probably should be avoided. The Atlanta Falcons have been one of the major disappointments in the NFL this season. Their 34-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers was their fifth straight loss. Despite impressive numbers put up by former MVP Matt Ryan and five-time Pro Bowler Julio Jones, the Falcons have glaring holes that need to be addressed. The team is now guaranteed a sub-.500 record for the first time since 2014.

The Cardinals weren't expected to contend this year, and they have not. Their 3-10 record has them tied for worst in the NFL, and Arizona has the worst offensive output of all 32 teams.

Both squads are looking to 2019 at this point, hoping to right the ship as much as possible over these final three games of the season.


Bing Predicts: Atlanta Falcons

Bing Predicts Winner: Atlanta Falcons (70% chance)

See more on the Atlanta Falcons

Tennessee Titans (7-6) @ New York Giants (5-8)

Tennessee Titans @ New York Giants

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: New York Giants lead series 6-5-0

As it currently stands, the Titans, along with the Dolphins, Ravens, and Colts, sit tied at 7-6, all vying for the last wild-card spot in the AFC. Tennessee is playing with extra rest after their 30-9 Thursday night rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Running back Derrick Henry had a career day, rushing for 238 yards and four touchdowns including a 99-yard record-tying score. Their victory kept them in playoff contention, but a victory over the surging New York Giants is critical in either leaping the three aforementioned wild-card contenders or, at the very least, keeping pace.

The Giants are playing like a completely different team in the second half of the season. After starting 1-7, New York has won four of five since its bye and looks like a squad that could contend for a postseason berth if it weren't for their abysmal start. With their 40-16 blowout victory over the Washington Redskins, the Giants are playing as well as they have all season. Running back Saquon Barkley looks like the clear rookie of the year. Barkley is currently #3 in the league among all running backs in rushing yards and added a career-high 170 yards on Sunday.

At this stage of the season, all the Giants can do is play spoiler, which the Titans cannot afford this week.


Bing Predicts: New York Giants

Bing Predicts Winner: New York Giants (53% chance)

See more on the New York Giants

Washington Redskins (6-7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9)

Washington Redskins @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Washington Redskins lead series 5-1-0

The 2018 season is essentially lost for both the Redskins and the Jaguars. Washington has been completely decimated by injury, and is now forced to start either Mark Sanchez or Josh Johnson after losing both starting and backup quarterbacks—Alex Smith and Colt McCoy—to broken legs. While their 6-7 record means the Redskins are technically within striking distance of the playoffs, their 40-16 defeat at the hands of the New York Giants is a good indication of the direction their season has gone.

The Jaguars are one of the bigger disappointments in all of football. Just a game away from last year's Super Bowl, Jacksonville has no identity on offense. It is rumored that the team will move on from Blake Bortles in 2019 despite signing the quarterback to a three-year, $54 million deal last offseason—a deal that included $26.5 million in guaranteed money. Backup quarterback Cody Kessler has started the last two games although he and the Jags were routed 30-9 last week by the Tennessee Titans.


Bing Predicts: Jacksonville Jaguars

Bing Predicts Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars (73% chance)

See more on the Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins (7-6) @ Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1)

Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Miami Dolphins lead series 8-4-0

A miracle in Miami last week stunned the Patriots and kept the Dolphins' playoff hopes alive. With seven seconds remaining, 69 yards to go, and a 0.1% win probability, Miami used two laterals and key blocks down field to score an unbelievable touchdown as time expired. Kenyan Drake received a pitch from DeVante Parker, who received a pitch from Kenny Stills after he caught a curl route from Ryan Tannehill. In the series of whacky games the Patriots have played in Miami, this one is probably the craziest.

Even with the Vikings' 21-7 loss in Seattle on Monday night, they remain the sixth seed in the NFC and control their own destiny down the stretch. The team parted ways with first-year offensive coordinator John DeFilippo after the loss to the Seahawks; he will be replaced on an interim basis by quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski. The Vikings' offense has averaged only 12.8 points over the last four games.

Both teams need this win to keep wild-card pace in their respective conferences.


Bing Predicts: Minnesota Vikings

Bing Predicts Winner: Minnesota Vikings (69% chance)

See more on the Minnesota Vikings

Detroit Lions (5-8) @ Buffalo Bills (4-9)

Detroit Lions @ Buffalo Bills

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Buffalo Bills lead series 5-4-1

No postseason impact in this battle. The Detroit Lions were able to take down the hapless Arizona Cardinals last week despite mustering only 218 yards of offense. While their offense is a mess, the defense has emerged as formidable over the past several weeks. Since Week 10, Detroit is #3 in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (71.6) and just outside of the top 10 in total yards allowed per game (335.2). First-year head coach Matt Patricia, who spent the last six seasons as the New England Patriots' defensive coordinator, seems to have things working on defense. The Lions have also forced turnovers in the last four games, which has allowed their remedial offense added opportunity.

The Bills' season has been a tough one, and things only got worse in the 27-23 loss to New York Jets. Rookie quarterback Josh Allen didn't look great throwing the ball, 18-of-36 for 206 yards, but he was able to amass 101 yards rushing. The dual-threat is just the second quarterback to rush for 90 or more yards in three-consecutive games.


Bing Predicts: Buffalo Bills

Bing Predicts Winner: Buffalo Bills (53% chance)

See more on the Buffalo Bills

Dallas Cowboys (8-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

Dallas Cowboys @ Indianapolis Colts

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Dallas Cowboys lead series 10-6-0

Two teams who appeared out of contention earlier this season have emerged as some of the most impressive teams in football. The Dallas Cowboys currently hold the league's longest winning streak at five games and have built a sizable lead in the NFC East. Quarterback Dak Prescott had one of his best games as a pro in the Cowboys' 29-23 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The third-year quarterback threw for three touchdowns and 455 yards. The addition of wide receiver Amari Cooper has been a welcome one. Since Cooper's first game with the Cowboys in Week 9, he leads the NFL in receiving yards (642). A career-high, 217 yards came in Sunday's victory.

The Indianapolis Colts have won six of their last seven and are right in the thick of the wild-card race. Andrew Luck is a comeback player of the year front-runner with the incredible season he has put together after his lingering shoulder injury. Luck is currently #2 in touchdowns and #5 in passing yards this season.

A victory over the Colts would mean Dallas could contend for the #3 seed in the NFC. The Colts desperately need a win to keep their playoff hopes in good standing.


Bing Predicts: Indianapolis Colts

Bing Predicts Winner: Indianapolis Colts (60% chance)

See more on the Indianapolis Colts

Oakland Raiders (3-10) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-8)

Oakland Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Oakland Raiders lead series 20-10-0

Here is another game that won't garner much interest in Week 15. The Raiders are in contention for the #1 overall pick in 2019, and the Bengals aren't looking much better after dropping their fifth straight game 26-21 to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Raiders' 24-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers might actually be more of a loss as they worsened their chance at a better draft selection, but the improbable win was more important to the team than where they'll be slotted this upcoming April. Steelers' kicker Chris Boswell slipped and missed a potential game-tying field goal after a hook-and-ladder play gave the Steelers a chance to send the game into overtime.

It would be an interesting move for the Bengals to hold onto head coach Marvin Lewis after another disappointing season. In his 16 years in Cincinnati, the team has won exactly zero playoff games, and, barring a miracle, they won't have a chance in the postseason this year.


Bing Predicts: Cincinnati Bengals

Bing Predicts Winner: Cincinnati Bengals (57% chance)

See more on the Cincinnati Bengals

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8) @ Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Baltimore Ravens

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Baltimore Ravens lead series 3-2-0

The Baltimore Ravens lost a 27-24 heartbreaker in overtime to the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs. Lamar Jackson, who made his fourth start in place of the injured Joe Flacco, finished with 147 yards through the air to go along with two touchdowns and 71 yards rushing. Jackson missed the final two plays of overtime with an ankle injury, but says he'll be ready to go next week. Joe Flacco is also expected to be active, and according to head coach John Harbaugh, “he'll be part of the game plan” if he's ready to go.

The Buccaneers have had an up-and-down season, rotating between quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Winston has been the starting signal-caller the last three weeks and will likely finish out the season. Their two-game winning streak came to an end Sunday after relinquishing a 14-3 halftime lead to the Saints. New Orleans would go on to score 25-unanswered points in an NFC South division-clinching victory.

An overtime triumph last week would have moved Baltimore into sole possession of the sixth wild-card spot, making this week all the more important for the playoff-hopefuls.


Bing Predicts: Baltimore Ravens

Bing Predicts Winner: Baltimore Ravens (77% chance)

See more on the Baltimore Ravens

Green Bay Packers (5-7-1) @ Chicago Bears (9-4)

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Green Bay Packers lead series 97-94-6

The Bears are seeking retribution after squandering a 20-point lead to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 1. In one of the wildest games of the year, Rodgers left the game with a knee injury, only to return and throw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes. Unfortunately, this rematch isn't as meaningful as it could have been, seeing as the Packers are extremely unlikely to make the playoffs at all. The Packers were able to end a three-game losing streak on Sunday in a 34-20 victory over the Atlanta Falcons—the first game under interim head coach and offensive coordinator Joe Philbin—but it's likely too little, too late for the Pack.

Chicago has been impressive all season long, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Bears handed the Los Angeles Rams their second loss of the season and held their high-powered offense to just six points and 214 yards. Chicago intercepted quarterback Jared Goff four times: The Bears lead the NFL in takeaways this season.

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was erratic with the ball after returning from an injury that kept him out of the last two games; he threw for only 110 yards and three interceptions. Aaron Rodgers broke the NFL record for most consecutive throws without an interception, passing Tom Brady. The mark now stands at 368.


Bing Predicts: Chicago Bears

Bing Predicts Winner: Chicago Bears (66% chance)

See more on the Chicago Bears

Seattle Seahawks (8-5) @ San Francisco 49ers (3-10)

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 4:05 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Seattle Seahawks lead series 25-15-0

The San Francisco 49ers pulled off an upset over the Denver Broncos last week behind a career day from tight end George Kittle, who had seven catches for 210 yards in the first half. Amazingly, Kittle was only targeted one time in the final 30 minutes and didn't have another catch. He fell four yards short of the single-game record for receiving yards by a tight end. The victory was a bright spot in an otherwise bleak season. The 49ers are tied for the worst record in the NFL and are -21 in turnover differential, which is the worst mark in the league.

Seattle secured an impressive 21-7 victory over Minnesota on Monday night and is now on the brink of a playoff berth. One win in the final three games should be enough for the Seahawks to punch their ticket.

This series has been lopsided in recent years with the Seahawks winning the last nine contests including the 43-16 thrashing in Week 13.


Bing Predicts: Seattle Seahawks

Bing Predicts Winner: Seattle Seahawks (75% chance)

See more on the Seattle Seahawks

New England Patriots (9-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1)

New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 4:25 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: New England Patriots lead series 16-15-0

This is one of the premier Week 15 matchups featuring two teams who should be playing in January. The New England Patriots could have clinched the AFC East last week, but were shocked by the Miami Dolphins in one of the craziest finishes in recent memory. The Pats can lock up the division with a victory Sunday over Pittsburgh and a Miami loss to Minnesota.

The Steelers were also shocked last week, falling 24-21 to a struggling Raiders team. Pittsburgh has dropped three straight games and is no longer a postseason lock. They had a chance to send Sunday's game into overtime after an extraordinary hook-and-ladder play got the Steelers into field goal range in the final seconds, but kicker Chris Boswell slipped and the try was no good. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed 25 minutes of game action with a rib injury in the Steelers loss, but did finish the game and is expected to play this week.

These two teams played in Week 15 last season as well, and the Patriots escaped with a 27-24 victory.


Bing Predicts: New England Patriots

Bing Predicts Winner: New England Patriots (55% chance)

See more on the New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) @ Los Angeles Rams (11-2)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 16, 8:20 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Philadelphia Eagles lead series 21-19-1

This is a rematch of last year's 43-35 Philadelphia victory. The Eagles won the contest, but lost starting quarterback Carson Wentz to a torn ACL. It didn't slow their efforts in a run to a Super Bowl championship behind backup quarterback Nick Foles. The Eagles have a healthy Wentz back under center, but things are much different for Philly this season as they're fighting for their playoff lives. A deflected touchdown pass reeled in by receiver Amari Cooper served as the walk-off score in the 29-23 Cowboys' victory last week.

The Rams have already secured a playoff berth, but may have been a bit exposed in their 15-6 loss to the Bears on Sunday night. They finished with a season low in yards (214) and points. Quarterback Jared Goff was reckless with the football, tossing four interceptions, and Todd Gurley II, an MVP front-runner, was held to 28 rushing yards. Still a favorite to make it out of the NFC, Rams' fans are hoping the poor output in chilly Chicago was simply a blip on the radar.


Bing Predicts: Los Angeles Rams

Bing Predicts Winner: Los Angeles Rams (72% chance)

See more on the Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints (11-2) @ Carolina Panthers (6-7)

New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers

Game time: Monday, Dec. 17, 8:15 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Carolina Panthers lead series 24-23-0

The New Orleans Saints have won their second NFC South title in as many years, but are still vying for the #1 overall seed in the NFC and home field advantage. They were helped out by a Rams' loss on Monday night to the Bears, as the Saints own the head-to-head tiebreaker over L.A. and both teams stand at 11-2. New Orleans used 25-unanswered points to bash the Buccaneers 28-14 last week.

Carolina is reeling after losing its fifth-straight game and falling below .500 for the first time this season. The latest, a 26-20 loss to the Browns, featured more of the same absent-mindedness, inability to get off the field on third down, and susceptibility to big plays over the top—things we didn't see from the Panthers in the first half of the season. Their hopes of playing in January look quite bleak as they face the Saints this Monday night and again in 13 days. New Orleans was able to win all three matchups against Carolina last season, including a 31-26 victory in the wild-card round.


Bing Predicts: New Orleans Saints

Bing Predicts Winner: New Orleans Saints (78% chance)

See more on the New Orleans Saints

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