NGSC Sports

NFL Match-Up Mania: Week 15

The previous weeks of football may be to blame for spoiling us so intensely, but Week 15 presents the most ponderous of problems perceived by a previewer of pairings like myself.  This week there are too many seemingly one-sided samplings scheduled for me to really feel confident recommending particular games, but playoff placement will be involved this late in the season, so there is potential for underdogs to rise up and drag the favorites down to their level.  The weekly premonition known as The Student of the Game’s Match-up Mania let’s you know what games are worth procrastination of holiday shopping.

Patriots v. Dolphins

The AFC as a conference has been pretty miserable in 2013.  Going a number of weeks boasting only 5 teams with a winning record, the Dolphins are capable of getting 10 wins for the year to rise up as a playoff participant.  Despite all the scrutiny and criticism of 2nd year Head Coach Joe Philbin and 2nd year QB Ryan Tannehill, the Phins keep doing enough to win games.

However, playing against New England’s QB Tom Brady is a difficult proposition despite him being without Pro Bowl TE Rob Gronkowski . . . again.  Dolphins DE Cameron Wake will need to get involved in the game via getting in Brady’s face for his squad to have a shot at the ‘W’.

New England will squish the Phish with their balanced offense putting up more points than the one dimensional Dolphins.   Miami still has a hope at playoffs with the Baltimore Ravens (who are tied with the Phins for the AFC 6th seed at current) challenging schedule in the final few weeks.

Ravens v. Lions

Much like the Dolphins, Baltimore won during winter wildness that blanketed football fields with snow.  Tip-toeing past the 3-9-1 Vikings 29-26, they managed to hold serve on Miami.

The Lions, on the other hand, were the prey instead of the pride as Philly flew swiftly past Detroit’s ‘D’.  While the Lions looked bad against the Eagles, the Ravens are a bird of a different feather.  The Philadelphia Eagles feature RB LeSean McCoy who ran for 217 yards — something that seems preposterous for Ravens RB Ray Rice who seems to spend more time on the back of a milk carton than in the endzone.

Provided Detroit QB Matt Stafford doesn’t keep malfunctioning in efforts to force passes to “Megatron” (a.k.a. WR Calvin Johnson), the Lions can hope to help themselves ahead in the NFC North and by extension keep the AFC Wild Card race for the 6th seed at a tie.

Honorable Mention

Packers v. Cowboys

With both teams in desperate need to keep pace in both their divisional races as well as the NFC Wild Card, this game’s outcome rests on Green Bay QB and TV commercial star Aaron Rodgers return from injury.  But if Rodgers is still out, that doesn’t mean the Packers are a hopeless cause when starting back up QB Matt Flynn.  If you observe Monday night’s example from Bears back up QB Josh McCown, the Cowboys defense was rendered pointless as McCown was involved in 5 TDs (4 passing, 1 running) in a 45-28 pounding.  While Dallas fans and the media will certainly blame QB Tony Romo, that defense has a better chance of stopping Wile E. Coyote’s shopping addiction with the ACME company than they do an offense from moving a football.

That being said, the Packers are far from being whole and no matter how desperately they need this game, without Rodgers to execute a Touchdown Daaaaaaa-ble check, there’s still a chance they’ll be kept in check on the scoreboard.  Even still, after seeing the constant struggle of the Cowboys to keep team’s under 30 points in a single game, I think that Green Bay provides the cheese to the whine of Dallas Owner Jerry Jones.

Kyle Nash — @TheSoTG on Twitter

Founder and host of The Student of the Game show

VP of Operations and Editor for The National Gridiron Network

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Kyle NashThe Student of the Game
Host of the Student of The Game Podcast Monday @ 7:30pm EST
Writer for NGSC Sports
Narrator of Sport Symposium on NGSC Sports YouTube Channel.

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