NFL Outlook for Week 15

Broncos Face a Prime Time Showdown Against the Detroit Lions

Trevor Phipps


One thing I can say for sure: Life as a Denver Broncos fan is quite nerve racking and at times heartbreaking.


And despite the hopes of many Bronc fans for 2023, this season has not been any different. In fact, it seems like almost every single game is stressful, as they get decided in the final minutes by a slim score margin.

(But Welcome to the NFL, a brutal competition these days in which team equity rules the day. The winning margin is getting smaller and smaller.)


I am still recovering from the devastating loss Denver took against the Houston Texans in Week 13, which may have squashed their playoff hopes. (Results weren’t available as of press time from the LA Chargers game). The Texans’ game once again was a nail biter with the Broncos blowing a chance to win the game in the final seconds.


But then again, the ol’ interception in the end zone will get you every time. And us Broncos fans can at least rejoice at the fact that the game was close and Denver didn’t get completely annihilated.  (The last few minutes of this game have been analyzed to death recently, with a plethora of excuses given by Coach Sean Payton, but with the same end result, a heartbreaking defeat. The last play of the game has even been titled by our infamous coach as “Chaos.”)


Even though the match officially ended the Broncos’ red hot five-game winning streak, they are not completely eliminated from the playoff picture. If they can win all (or at least four of their next five games), they might find themselves playing on Wild Card Weekend.


But this week will probably be the biggest obstacle that sits in their way of their playoff hopes. On Saturday night at 6:15 p.m., the Broncos head north to the cold Midwest to challenge the Detroit Lions on the road.


In the beginning of the season, many NFL fans would have laughed in your face if you would have told them that the Lions vs. Broncos match would be one of the best games to watch this season. But, it happened, which became apparent after the NFL “flexed” the match to Saturday night prime time. Both teams have improved from last season and are considered two hot franchises in the league to watch as the NFL regular season winds to an end.


The Lions this season have dropped a handful of games they should have won. At the same time, they have also beaten many good teams this season, including the Kansas City Chiefs. But so did the Broncos.


The team leads their division, but after the latest loss by the Philadelphia Eagles, the Lions will be playing for home field advantage in the playoffs. With quarterback Jared Goff behind the reins, the Lions should put on quite a show and be able to take advantage of playing the heavily anticipated game on their home field.


But like I have said before almost every game, the winner of this match will depend greatly upon which Broncos team happens to show up. If the Broncos play like they did against the Cleveland Browns and the Chiefs, then they could easily win this game.


At times this year, the Broncos offense made some huge plays and their defense was on point with forcing turnovers. But during the game against the Texans, the Broncos defense struggled a little and were not able to take the ball away.


The Broncos offense just couldn’t get anything together against a Texan defense that isn’t even rated in the top 10 in the league. In the end, I think the Lions will come out ahead in this one just because they look like the more consistent team.


Prediction: Lions 28, Broncos 23


Other Games to Watch This Week


Now that the NFL season is coming to an end, there is another day added to football action. This week, there are three games on Saturday as well as matches on Thursday, Sunday and Monday.


Saturday morning at 11 a.m., the Minnesota Vikings at the Cincinnati Bengals could be worth watching as both teams are grasping at slim playoff chances. However, the Bengals have struggled since losing QB Joe Burrows, so they will probably lose this one.


On Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Indianapolis Colts could prove to be a better match to watch. Both teams are currently in the playoffs, but I think the Steelers will come out ahead.


On Sunday afternoon, the Dallas Cowboys at the Buffalo Bills could be worth watching as both teams have won some big games this season. But with the Bills having trouble staying on top lately, I think the Cowboys will win.


Sunday night, most NFL fans will be tuning in to the Baltimore Ravens at the Jacksonville Jaguars match. The Ravens are currently in the top seat in the AFC, but the Jaguars will be looking to strip it away from them. The Ravens should take this one.


During Monday Night Football, many will be watching the Philadelphia Eagles at the Seattle Seahawks match. The Seahawks look like they could be a playoff-worthy team, but I don’t think they have what it takes to beat the Eagles.


AFC West Predictions


Starting on Thursday night, an AFC West Division rivalry match will take place as the Los Angeles Chargers travel just a few hours east to take on the Las Vegas Raiders. Both teams need to win if they want any chance of the postseason.


The Chargers have played decent, but they just don’t look like a team that is bound for the championship. The Raiders on the other hand, have improved since QB Jimmy Garoppolo has returned and the Raiders canned their head coach.


Prediction: Raiders 32, Chargers 21


On Sunday morning, the AFC West first place team the Kansas City Chiefs hit the road to take on the New England Patriots. Even though the Chiefs recently lost to the Green Bay Packers, they still shouldn’t be counted out of this one.


As far as the Patriots go, their season is basically over with no chance of playoffs, but they would love to upset a good season for the Chiefs. And even though I am picking them to win this week, I don’t think the Chiefs look as good as they did last year.


Prediction: Chiefs 34, Patriots 15