Fearless Rick's NFL Football Picks - Week 15 late games

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WEEK 15 NFL Picks- late games

All times Eastern

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New Orleans at Arizona (-2 1/2, 50), 4:05 pm (FOX) - This might be fun to watch, if your intent is to see two QBs who have lost the touch (Arizona's Carson Palmer and the Saints' Drew Brees) battle for respectability. Neither team is capable of making the playoffs at this juncture, so this game is likely to have all the drama of a high school debate.

As the O/U line indicates, here may be plenty of scoring, but as to the outcome, we'll defer to the coin flip, as this game really does come up somewhat indecipherable.

Coin Flip: Arizona

Rick's Pick: Cardinals 34 Saints 28

San Francisco at Atlanta (-13, 51 1/2), 4:05 pm (FOX) - OK, the 49ers blew a big lead at home to the Jets, so yes,, they really, really stink. Atlanta just needs to keep winning to stay on top of the FC South (tied with Tampa Bay at 8-5), but they have the most potent offense in the league (32.9 ppg) and once they get rolling against San Fran this is likely to be another rout of an NFC West team. The Falcons lost to Seattle, but hammered Arizona, 38-19, and last week demolished LA, 42-14.

Coin Flip: Atlanta

Rick's Pick: Falcons 34 Rams 10

New England (-3, 44) at Denver, 4:25 pm (CBS) - Denver has a tough road to the playoffs, especially since dumping against Tennessee last week, 13-10. The Patriots have had plenty of success over the years in Denver, and that was when Peyton Manning was at the helm. The tables are turned on Denver this time around and the spread should probably grow a little larger.

Tom Brady proved again on Monday night that he is still in his prime, as the Patriots defeated Baltimore, 30-23.

Coin Flip: New England

Rick's Pick: Patriots 27 Broncos 17

Oakland (-3, 50) at San Diego, 4:25 (CBS) - Having their six-game winning streak ended at Kansas City in a 21-13 defeat was not a surprise, though the Raiders have been one of the more pleasant uprisings in the league this year. Oakland is still a tough nut no matter where they play and they prevailed against San Diego earlier in the season by a 34-31 score.

Since then, Oakland's defense has improved while the Chargers may have actually deteriorated and the offense has also been less than fully efficient, scoring just 21, 21 and 16 points in its last three games, two of them losses, the most recent a 28-16 defeat at Carolina. Oakland may very well cut it loose against the 5-8 Chargers, putting an end to a miserable season.

Coin Flip: San Diego

Rick's Pick: Raiders 34 Chargers 20

Tampa Bay at Dallas (-7, 46), 8:30 pm (FOX) - The surprise team of the season, Tampa Bay has won five in a row to find themselves locked into a first place tie with Atlanta in the NFC South.

Of course, Dallas, at 11-2, remains the class of the league, but this game becomes a peek at a possible playoff meeting. Losing to the Giants for the second time this season begs the question of how New York can be the only team capable of beating Dallas, but there's a possibility that Dallas has run the course and these last few weeks could prove troublesome. The way Tampa's been playing, it'shard to imagine Dallas winning by the seven point spread, if at all.

Coin Flip: Tampa Bay

Rick's Pick: Buccaneers 24 Cowboys 14

Monday, December 19

Carolina at Washington (-4 1/2, 51), 8:30 (ESPN) - While this may not rank as one of the better Monday night games this year, it still does feature at least one playoff contender, the Washington Redskins, a team which has proven, week in and week out, capable of playing with any opponent on any field.

Carolina is still mathematically alive for the playoffs heading into week 15, though they may not be following Sunday's games and they almost certainly will not be after this one.

Coin Flip: Washington

Rick's Pick: Redskins 30 Panthers 21

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