By Dan Durkin–
(CBS) Are you ready for a full slate of mediocre football? Then the NFL’s got you covered in Week 15!READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: Statewide Coronavirus Cases Drop For Second Consecutive Week
Only one game this weekend features two teams with a winning record, yet all but two games have playoff implications. That’s what happens when 21 of your 32 teams have losing records.
Here’s my take on how this weekend’s action plays out.
(Home team in all CAPS)
Jets 27, COWBOYS 13 — Saturday 6:25 p.m.
Let’s see here, one of the league’s most dominant defenses with plenty to play for squares off against a toothless offense that’s another “L” away from a double-digit loss season. The coin toss may be the most competitive moment of this game.
Falcons 28, JAGUARS 23 — noon
The last time the Falcons won a game, you were likely putting the finishing touches on your Halloween costume. A six-game skid has been quite a trick for Falcons fans who were once thinking playoffs. Oddly, I think this is the week the Falcons’ offense breaks out of it’s funk against a shaky Jaguars secondary.
VIKINGS 27, Bears 20 — noon
The Vikings have everything to play for, while the Bears can only relish in playing the spoiler role against a division foe. The Bears’ offense has struggled against lesser defenses in back-to-back weeks at home, so they’re in for a long afternoon against a banged-up yet still stout and athletic Vikings defense that should be refreshed from the extra rest.
Texans 24, COLTS 16 — noon
Two teams with a losing record are battling for first place in the AFC South. The best unit in this game, by far, is the Texans defense. With an already-limited Matt Hasselbeck dealing with a ribs injury, the Colts won’t be able to move the ball consistently.
Panthers 30, GIANTS 23 — noon
The Panthers are looking to get to 14-0 in New York. Josh Norman against Odell Beckham Jr. alone is worth the price of admission. With Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart out, this game will come down to what Carolina can do through the air. Cam Newton will get the ball deep and strengthen his MVP candidacy.
PATRIOTS 34, Titans 17 — noon
Seemingly every week, the Patriots lose a key offensive contribution. The most recent was running back LeGarrette Blount (hip). However, tight end Rob Gronkiwski returned last weekend and didn’t miss a beat, and now wide receiver Julian Edelman may return. The Titans won’t be able to keep up with the Patriots.
REDSKINS 27, Bills 24 — noon
The Redskins lead the NFC East and control their playoff destiny, while the Bills are still in the hunt. Washington’s defense is playing better of late, but it will have its hands full with LeSean McCoy. Kirk Cousins has been solid at home, so I’m giving Washington a slight edge.READ MORE: Judge Rules Prosecutors Can't Show Kyle Rittenhouse Link To Proud Boys At Trial In Kenosha Shootings
Chiefs 23, RAVENS 13 — noon
The Ravens offense will struggle to move the ball against the Chiefs defense. On the flip side, the Chiefs offense should be able to get deep against the Ravens’ secondary as they pick up their league-leading eighth straight win.
SEAHAWKS 37, Browns 17 — 3:05 p.m.
The Seahawks haven’t had much luck when it comes to the health of their running backs this season. First it was Marshawn Lynch who got banged up. Now it’s his replacement, undrafted rookie surprise Thomas Rawls, who is done for the year. The play-action game has been a big factor in the Seahawks’ recent offensive surge, and they still have Russell Wilson and a dominant defense, which will be plenty to flush the Browns.
Packers 23, RAIDERS 20 –– 3:05 p.m.
Khalil Mack is going to give an already shaky and now injured Packers offensive line fits. However, unlike last week against Brock Osweiler and the Broncos, it won’t be enough to take down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Green Bay’s defense will be the difference.
STEELERS 27, Broncos 23 — 3:25 p.m.
The only game of the weekend featuring two teams with a winning record is being played in Denver. It will be appointment television every time the Steelers have the ball, as two of the league’s premier units clash. This game comes down to what Osweiler can do. I still don’t believe in him.
Dolphins 24, CHARGERS 16 — 3:25 p.m.
The Chargers haven’t scored a touchdown since Thanksgiving. Their issues along the offensive line will be exposed against a strong Dolphins pass rush. Miami’s offense is at its best when it’s balanced, and San Diego’s defense has been generous to opposing running backs.
Bengals 23, 49ERS 17 — 3:25 p.m.
The irony in Andy Dalton’s injury is that he’s the same quarterback people say the Bengals can’t win with, yet now he’s become the guy they can’t win without. The Bengals defense should stifle the 49ers on the road.
Cardinals 31, EAGLES 23 — 7:30 p.m.
The Cardinals remain one of the league’s most well-rounded and complete teams. Their defense should contain an Eagles offense that lacks an explosive element, and their offense should get deep frequently against a porous Philadelphia secondary.
Lions 34, SAINTS 24 — Monday night, 7:30 p.m.
Despite last week’s hiccup, the Lions offense had been playing well over the last month. Now they have a matchup against the league’s worst pass defense. Get Matthew Stafford and all your Lions receivers active in your fantasy lineups and prosper.
Season record through Week 13: 126-82 (Last week: 10-6)MORE NEWS: Hundreds Of Cars Roll Through Downtown For Second Night To Celebrate Mexican Independence Day
Dan Durkin covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @djdurkin.