NFC West Week 15 Game Capsules
Once again the Seattle Seahawks are still mathematically alive in the NFC wildcard race, but realistically only one team in the NFC west has a shot at the playoffs.
The San Francisco 49ers face the Pittsburgh Steelers this week on MNF, the Cardinals play the Browns, the Seattle Seahawks vs. Bears, and the St. Louis Rams vs. Bengals.
Here’s my capsule previews and NFC West predictions for Week 15.
Good luck on your NFL bets, NFL picks, NFL Pools and whatever else your “NFL Gambling” on folks!
SEAHAWKS vs BEARS (Dec 18, 1 p.m. ET)
The Seahawks (6-7) kept their playoff hopes alive with their last win and can get back to the .500 mark this Sunday facing a reeling Bears (7-6) team that has lost 3 straight.
Seattle has won 2 straight and 4 of their last 5 games and the main reason is the play of RB Marshawn Lynch, who has the most rushing yards in the league in the last 6 weeks. The Bears’ run defense has struggled in the last few games and if that continues facing Lynch Chicago will be in trouble.
The Seahawks’ D has been playing well as of late and luckily they will not have to face Jay Cutler or Matt Forte, who are both out with injuries.
Seattle needs to establish the run early and I think they will do just that and Chicago’s backups QB Caleb Hanie and Marion Barber will not be able to keep up with a hot Seattle team that will leave the Windy City with a win.
BENGALS vs RAMS (Dec 18, 1 p.m. ET)
The Bengals (7-6) have to get back in the W column to stay in the AFC playoff race and even though they are on the road this Sunday they face a Rams (2-11) team that has lost 4 straight and is really struggling on both sides if the ball.
Sam Bradford is going through a massive sophomore slump and RB Steven Jackson has not rushed for over 100 yards or averaged at least 4 yards per carry in his last 4 games.
The Bengals have faced great defenses in 4 of their last 5 games and that is not the case this weekend, which is why Cincy will easily win this road game and stay in the AFC playoff picture.
BROWNS vs CARDINALS (Dec 18, 4:15 p.m. ET)
The Cardinals (6-7) have gotten over a horrid start and have won 5 of their last 6 games to keep their faint playoff hopes alive. The Cardinals do not have a great offense, but their defense has stepped up in the last month and a half.
The Browns have lost 5 straight, have a horrid rushing offense, and their run defense ranks 2nd to last in the league. On top of that starting QB Colt McCoy is questionable in this game with a concussion.
This is, obviously, not a marquee game, but may get ugly since the Cardinals will lay a serious beat down facing the Browns to get back to the .500 mark on the season.
STEELERS vs 49ERS (Dec 19, 8:30 p.m. ET)
The 49ers have already wrapped up the NFC West, but San Fran has lost 2 of their last 3 games and a first round bye in the playoffs is in jeopardy if they continue to lose.
The Steelers are 10-3 and tied atop the AFC North with the Ravens, but they have already lost twice to Baltimore this season.
San Francisco has the league’s top-ranked run defense, but only rank 19th defending the pass. They are hoping QB Ben Roethlisberger cannot go and he is questionable for this game with an ankle injury. At least the 49ers’ offense will not have to deal with star LB James Harrison, who is suspended for this game.
Alex Smith is coming off his worst game of the season in last week’s loss to Arizona and RB Frank Gore is banged up, which are 2 things that do not bode well for the 49ers.
Both teams have issues, but this Monday night game may show if the 49ers are legit Super Bowl contenders facing Pittsburgh and their solid D, which has only given up 19 points in their last 4 games.
San Fran has yet to beat an elite team this season and their best wins are against the Bengals, Lions, and Giants.