Skip to main content

Week 15 NFL Picks: Challenge Athlon Sports Experts!


The NFL is in full swing, and the competition off the field among fans is nearly as heated as the competition on the field on game day.

The Athlon Sports Pro Football Experts Club presented by New Era gives you the chance to compete with your friends and our experts each week.

Think you’re up for taking on our experts every week? Think you can beat the writers and editors each week? Join our weekly pick ‘em game and compete for tons of cool prizes.

Here are this week’s picks from Athlon Sports senior editor John Gworek:

Thursday's Game

Tampa Bay at St. Louis

The Rams snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over the Lions as Todd Gurley rushed for 140 yards and two scores. He will be tested by a Tampa Bay defense allowing just 3.4 yards per carry, second-best in the NFL.

Gworek's Pick: Tampa Bay, 23–17.

Sunday’s Games

N.Y. Jets at Dallas

The Jets hold a tiebreaker edge over Pittsburgh for the last Wild Card spot, but they better win this one with New England looming next week. Brandon Marshall has a touchdown catch in each of the last six games.

Gworek's Pick: N.Y. Jets, 20–13.

Kansas City at Baltimore

The Chiefs ran their winning streak to seven despite Alex Smith’s first interception in 312 passes. Baltimore has turned the ball over at least twice in five straight games while using three different quarterbacks.

Gworek's Pick: Kansas City, 27–13.

Carolina at N.Y. Giants

While Carolina may not have the weapons to feast on the Giants horrific pass defense, Eli Manning will still have to put up a bunch of points. That will be tough against a defense that leads the NFL in interceptions.

Gworek's Pick: Carolina, 31–19.

Atlanta at Jacksonville

The Jaguars are still in the AFC South race, and Blake Bortles has thrown eight touchdowns with no interceptions in the last two games. Atlanta has lost six straight and turned it over 16 times in those games.

Gworek's Pick: Jacksonville, 21–16.

Tennessee at New England

Tom Brady has at least two touchdown passes in all but one game this season. Tennessee ranks ninth in pass defense but only three teams have allowed more touchdowns through the air.

Gworek's Pick: New England, 28–17.

Arizona at Philadelphia

The Cardinals are the only team in the NFL’s top five in offense (first) and defense (fourth). Only one team has allowed more touchdown passes than Philadelphia, while only one team has thrown more than Arizona.

Gworek's Pick: Arizona, 31–21.

Houston at Indianapolis

It’s not quite winner-take-all in the AFC South, but it’s close. The Colts may be forced to start Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback, while the Texans will likely have to go with T.J. Yates. A matchup for the ages.

Gworek's Pick: Houston, 16–10.

Chicago at Minnesota

Since an 0–3 start, the Bears are 5–5 with the losses by an average of less than four points. One of those was a 23–20 loss to the Vikings. Minnesota has lost three of four but to teams with a combined record of 33–6.

Gworek's Pick: Minnesota, 24–20.

Buffalo at Washington

The NFL’s most penalized team, the Bills are on pace to blow by team records for penalties and penalty yards. Still, Buffalo can run it, and the Redskins rank 29th in average yards per rush (4.7).

Gworek's Pick: Washington, 21–17.

Green Bay at Oakland

Oakland still has faint playoff hopes after beating Denver but has lost to the other three NFC North teams. Green Bay rushed for 230 yards against Dallas, their first 200-yard day on the ground since 2009.

Gworek's Pick: Green Bay, 26–20.

Cleveland at Seattle

Seattle has won six of seven, and Russell Wilson has 16 touchdowns and no interceptions in his last four games. Johnny Manziel is 2–2 as a starter, but a trip to the Pacific Northwest will be his biggest test.

Gworek's Pick: Seattle, 30–13.

Denver at Pittsburgh

Brock Osweiler is 2–1 as a starter but has produced just one offensive touchdown the last two weeks. He’ll need a lot more to beat the Steelers, who are averaging 35 points over their last five games.

Gworek's Pick: Pittsburgh, 27–24.

Miami at San Diego

The Chargers have scored just three points in three of their last four games. Miami has fewer than 10 first downs in two of its last four games. But then, these defense aren’t very good either.

Gworek's Pick: San Diego, 21–20.

Cincinnati at San Francisco

AJ McCarron starts in place of injured Andy Dalton, but the Bengals should feast on the Niners’ 31st-ranked run defense. Only one team has allowed fewer points than Cincinnati. No one has scored less than San Francisco.

Gworek's Pick: Cincinnati, 24–10.

Monday’s Game

Detroit at New Orleans

These teams have little interest in trying to run the ball. Look for Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees to battle it out as they did in a January 2012 Wild Card Game when they combined for 846 yards passing.

Gworek's Pick: New Orleans, 33–31.

Week 14 Record: 11–5

Overall Record: 124–84