Gerry Dulac's NFL Forecast: Week 15
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pigskin picks from the PG's gridiron guru ...

Last week: 10-6 (.625)

Season record: 122-86 (.587)

San Francisco 49ers (5-8) at San Diego Chargers (7-6), 8 p.m., Thursday

The Skinny: You think it's crazy the Chargers can still win a division title? How about the 49ers, who are just a game out of first place with that dismal record? The Chargers won't lose to another Bay area team at home in December.

Prediction: Chargers, 31-10

New York Jets (9-4) at Steelers (10-3), 4:15 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: You think the Steelers offense, which has scored just two TDs in three games, has problems? The Jets haven't scored a touchdown in nine quarters, which is why they have lost two games in a row. The Jets have never won in Pittsburgh (0-7).

Prediction: Steelers, 20-10

New Orleans Saints (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (9-4), 1 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: The Saints have won six in a row, are 5-1 on the road and are starting to look like Super Bowl contenders again. They could give the Steelers a little breathing room over the Ravens, who are 5-1 at home. Prediction: Saints, 24-20.

Arizona Cardinals (4-9) at Carolina Panthers (1-12), 1 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: The Panthers don't want to be blowing that No. 1 overall pick in the draft by doing something stupid, like, say, beating the Cardinals. You know the last QB to produce 43 points in his first NFL start before Arizona's John Skelton? Tom Brady.

Prediction: Panthers, 19-18

Cleveland Browns (5-8) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-11), 1 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: Haven't Bengals fans suffered enough? Not only has their team lost a club-record 10 games in a row; they have to endure a December home game against the Browns.

Prediction: Bengals, 17-13

Washington Redskins (5-8) at Dallas Cowboys (4-9), 1 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: The Cowboys are 3-2 under interim Jason Garrett, and both losses have been by a combined six points. The Redskins have bigger problems. They cut Hunter (The Punter) Smith because he botched the hold on the tying PAT against the Bucs.

Prediction: Cowboys, 27-14

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6), 1 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: The Colts are starting to get some of their injured players back and will probably still win the AFC South title. But they need to beat the Jaguars, who have won five of their past six to surge to the top of the division.

Prediction: Colts, 31-27

Buffalo Bills (3-10) at Miami Dolphins (7-6), 1 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: The good news for the Dolphins is they kept themselves alive for a possible wild-card playoff spot with a victory at the Jets. The bad news is they play their next two games at home, where they are 1-5.

Prediction: Dolphins, 17-9

Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) at New York Giants (9-4), 1 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: LeSean McCoy's 50-yard TD run on fourth down decided the first meeting for the Eagles. The Giants, who have allowed just 10 points in the past two games, will need their defense against the high-flying Eagles.

Prediction: Giants, 24-23

Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) at St. Louis Rams (6-7), 1 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: When's the last time these Missouri teams played with first place at stake for each team? The Chiefs need a win to hold off the Chargers. The Rams need a win to keep pace with the Seahawks.

Prediction: Chiefs, 20-16

Detroit Lions (3-10) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5), 1 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: It might be nice to think the Lions can take out another team with playoff aspirations. But, with an NFL-record 26 consecutive road losses, they better knock out Josh Freeman to do so.

Prediction: Buccaneers, 23-13

Houston Texans (5-8) at Tennessee Titans (5-8), 1 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: If it weren't for the Bengals, the Titans would have the longest losing streak in the AFC (6). The Texans, though, aren't far behind. They have lost four of their last five, including the wasted comeback against the Ravens. Prediction: Texans, 19-15

Atlanta Falcons (11-2) at Seattle Seahawks (6-7), 4:05 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: Five losses -- and plenty more -- separate these first-place NFC teams. The Falcons have won a league-best eight in a row, are tied for the NFL's best record and have just one loss since their season-opening overtime defeat at Heinz Field.

Prediction: Falcons, 27-13

Denver Broncos (3-10) at Oakland Raiders (6-7), 4:15 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: In case the Broncos don't remember the first meeting in Denver -- how can they forget? -- the Raiders amassed 508 yards offense and put up 59 points against them. This won't be that bad.

Prediction: Raiders, 42-20

Green Bay Packers (8-5) at New England Patriots (11-2), 8:20 p.m., Sunday

The Skinny: Let's see now, the Patriots beat the Steelers by 13, the Jets by 39 and the Bears by 29 -- teams with a combined 28-11 record. It's the NFL's highest scoring team against the league's stingiest team.

Prediction: Patriots, 30-23

Chicago Bears (9-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-8), 8:30 p.m., Monday

The Skinny: The bad news for the Bears is that the game won't be indoor as planned, rather outside at the University of Minnesota. The good news is, at least they're not playing the Patriots.

Prediction: Bears, 19-16

Ed Bouchette's blog on the Steelers and Gerry Dulac's Steelers chats are featured exclusively on PG+, a members-only web site from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Our introduction to PG+ gives you all the details.

First published on December 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm