NFL picks Week 15: AFC North showdown between Steelers and Bengals

Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Here's this week's picks, excluding the Ravens-Lions game.

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-10.5)

The Broncos will be without Wes Welker, but that shouldn't matter too much for them on offense. However, don't be surprised to see the San Diego offense move the ball on Denver's defense. Prediction: Broncos 41, Chargers 34

Washington Redskins at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)

Both teams have had surprisingly horrible seasons. The lone difference? The Falcons aren't dysfunctional. Prediction: Falcons 24, Redskins 3

San Francisco 49ers (-5.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 49ers' defense has been lights out lately. But the Buccaneers are beginning to find balance on offense. An East Coast 1 p.m. kickoff time could keep this game closer than people think. Prediction: 49ers 24, Buccaneers 21.

Seattle Seahawks (-7) at New York Giants

The Seahawks also have an East Coast trip lined up. But it's against the Giants, which have seen better years. Seattle should be able to take care of business on the road. Prediction: Seahawks 28, Giants 14.

Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns (pick)

The Bears have one of the worst defenses in the league. But the offense is one of the most efficient. The Browns could keep this close, but Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery will make enough plays in Jay Cutler's return. Prediction: Bears 31, Browns 27

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-5.5)

Even though they're divisional rivals, it's hard to imagine the Texans springing the upset over the Colts this weekend. Indianapolis wins big. Prediction: Colts 34, Texans 20

Buffalo Bills (-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have been playing much better football toward the end of Gus Bradley's first season as head coach. Look for that to continue this week, especially on defense. Prediction: Jaguars 21, Bills 14

New England Patriots (-2.5) at Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins need a win to continue their quest for a Wild Card berth. Fortunate as they are, they get a Patriots team that will no longer feature Rob Gronkowski. As the Patriots try to figure out who they are, the Dolphins pull out a home win. Prediction: Dolphins 24, Patriots 20

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) at Minnesota Vikings

The Eagles are among the NFL's hottest teams at the moment and for good reason. The offense is beginning to click and the results are starting to show. Look for a blowout win this Sunday. Prediction: Eagles 38, Vikings 21

New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (-11)

The Jets have been the definition of up-and-down this season. For them, though, they've mostly been down on the road. The Panthers are hoping to rebound from a loss to New Orleans and should be able to take care of the Jets. Prediction: Panthers 31, Jets 17.

Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5) at Oakland Raiders

The last time these two teams played, the Chiefs sacked Terrelle Pryor 10 times. The Raiders will figure to rely more on Rashad Jennings this time around in the run game. The Chiefs should still win. Prediction: Chiefs 31, Raiders 21

Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) at Tennessee Titans

The Titans boast one of the NFL's best pass defenses when they're not playing the Broncos. They should be able to limit Carson Palmer through the air. But Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Titans receivers will have tough sledding against the Cardinals' secondary, even without Tyrann Mathieu. Prediction: Cardinals 21, Titans 17

New Orleans Saints (-5.5) at St. Louis Rams

One week after the Seahawks held them to seven points, the Saints looked like a Super Bowl contender against Carolina. The Rams will have a hard time containing this offense. Prediction: Saints 34, Rams 14

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (-7)

Even without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers can beat the Cowboys. The Cowboys' defense is banged up and has been unable to stop anyone. Matt Flynn or Rodgers, Green Bay wins. Prediction: Packers 31, Cowboys 30

Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have been an unpredictable bunch this year. But AFC North games have a funny way of working out. With the game in Pittsburgh, the Steelers get a slight advantage. Prediction: Steelers 24, Bengals 21

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