NFL Week 15: All About the Playoffs, Even on Thursday Night

By Scott Taylor and Dave Petrishen

TAMPA – This week, the New Orleans Saints have 13 different playoff clinching scenarios.

But that’s not even the craziest deal this week. Check this out: The Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that was once 0-8, could still make the playoffs. The Jags finish the season with Buffalo, Tennessee and Indianapolis. If they win all three and Tennessee wins one of two against Arizona and Houston; Baltimore loses out to Detroit, New England and Cincinnati; Miami loses out to New England, Buffalo and the Jets; Pittsburgh loses one of three against Cincinnati, Green Bay or Cleveland; and the Jets beat the Dolphins and lose to Cleveland and Carolina, then Jacksonville is in.

Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars

Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars

Granted, all of that is unlikely, but it’s still possible. And for the first time in recent memory we are using “Jacksonville” and “post-season” in the same sentence. Just think how good the Jags would have been with Tim Tebow at quarterback?

In the meantime, Week 15 is all about the playoffs and who will play in them. In the AFC, Denver and Indianapolis are in while Seattle has punched its ticket in the NFC.

If the season ended today, Denver, New England, Baltimore, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Indy would be in the AFC playoffs while Seattle, New Orleans, San Francisco, Carolina, Philadelphia and Detroit be representing the NFC. However, plenty of teams are still in the running. It’s win now or perhaps lose all hope.

Same goes for our fearless prognosticators. Both Dr. Football and the Coach had a solid Week 14 and both seem fired up to get going again.

Last week The Doc was 11-5 (135-73) straight up and 8-8 (101-107) against the spread while The Coach went 12-4 (137-71) straight up and 11-5 (111-97) against the spread.

The week, Dr. Football provides the legitimate commentary while The Coach snoozes and asks the server at the pool for another Pina Colada.

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

San Diego Chargers (6-7) at Denver Broncos (11-2) 
Line: Broncos by 10.

Finally, a Thursday Nighter worth watching. Two teams with high powered offenses; San Diego is coming off a big win over the Giants with Philip Rivers having completed 75 percent of his passes for 249 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Rivers has a 123.5 passer rating, just one interception and a 76 percent completion rate. In the Chargers seven losses, he’s thrown eight picks and completed 66 percent of his throws, and they still are in the playoff picture. The Broncos (who will be without Wes Welker) are already in the playoffs, but may have to win the rest of their games to secure home-field advantage on their road to the Super Bowl. Both teams have weak pass defenses, which will keep this a little closer than expected, but one team has Peyton Manning. The Coach says: I have no idea what Philip Rivers will do. He could be great or horrendous. I do know that Peyton Manning will be outstanding at home. Simple.



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