Week Fifteen kicks off with the final Thursday Night Football game on NFL Network for the 2013 season with the San Diego Chargers (6-7) taking on the Denver Broncos (11-2) in the Mile High City.
The Broncos are led by quarterback Peyton Manning, who has the inside track for the league's Most Valuable Player Award this season, throwing 45 touchdown passes with three games to go. If Manning connects for six more scoring passes, he will break Tom Brady's record of 50 set during the 2007 season.
San Diego QB Philip Rivers has had a good year as well, completing a league leading 70 percent of his pass attempts while throwing for 26 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. However, the Chargers have lacked the things necessary in crunch time to win consistently and thus their 6-7 record. They have lost by eight points or less in six of their seven defeats this season.
Meanwhile, this Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, the Chicago Bears (7-6) will have Jay Cutler back at quarterback after missing all or part of the past five games after sustaining an ankle injury against Detroit in early November.
While Cutler has been out, backup QB Josh McCown has done a very good job, amassing eleven TD passes with just one interception for an impressive 109.8 QB rating. So, are the Bears better off with McCown or Cutler starting this week against a formidable Browns' defense that ranks in the top ten in the league?
The New England Patriots, minus All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski (torn ACL and MCL) will travel to face the red hot Miami Dolphins, winners of two straight road games and right there with the Baltimore Ravens for the sixth and final AFC playoff spot with their 7-6 record.
The Cincinnati Bengals have a real good chance to clinch the AFC North division title this week when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers (on the road) on Sunday night while the second-place Baltimore Ravens (7-6) travel to play the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football.
A Bengals win, combined with a Baltimore loss, clinches the division for Cincy, which would be their first division title since the 2009 season.
Heftyinfo went 13-3 last week with the picks and is looking to stay hot down the stretch of the 2013 NFL season. The following capsule style previews are below along with the predictions for Week Fifteen.
San Diego (6-7) at Denver (11-2) - The Chargers are certainly capable of pulling off the upset win on the road, but they won't because there is too much at stake for the Broncos in this game.
Washington (3-10) at Atlanta (3-10) - A battle between two of the bigger disappointments in the NFL this year.
Chicago (7-6) at Cleveland (4-9) - The Browns play defense, so Bears' QB Jay Cutler better be ready to go in his return from injuries.
Arizona (8-5) at Tennessee (5-8) - Surprise, surprise! The Titans win this one.
Houston (2-11) at Indianapolis (8-5) - The Colts should dominate this game.
New Orleans (10-3) at St. Louis (5-8) - Drew Brees and company made a statement at home last week vs. Carolina... now can they do it again on the road?
New England (10-3) at Miami (7-6) - Tom Brady and the Patriots once again will find a way to win this week.
Philadelphia (8-5) at Minnesota (3-9-1) - The Eagles control their own destiny and they aren't about to let the Vikings ruin that.
Seattle (11-2) at NY Giants (5-8) - The Giants have nothing to lose and that makes them dangerous... just not as dangerous as the mighty Seahawks.
Buffalo (4-9) at Jacksonville (4-9) - Jags playing much better football over the past month or so.
San Francisco (9-4) at Tampa Bay (3-10) - The 49ers have to keep their momentum going.
NY Jets (6-7) at Carolina (9-4) - The Panthers will win this one in a big way and eliminate the Jets from playoff contention.
Kansas City (10-3) at Oakland (4-9) - The Raiders would love to play spoiler the rest of the way this season.
Green Bay (6-6-1) at Dallas (7-6) - The loser of this one is OUT of the playoff hunt in the NFC.
Cincinnati (9-4) at Pittsburgh (5-8) - The Bengals should win, but the Steelers are tough at home and Big Ben Roethlisberger is having a decent season. Beware!
Baltimore (7-6) at Detroit (7-6) - The loser of this one could be in BIG trouble as far as playoff hopes are concerned.
The Heftyinfo picks for Week Fifteen . . . . . (Home teams are listed in BOLD; Lock of the Week pick is listed in BOLD CAPS)
Denver over San Diego
Atlanta over Washington
Chicago over Cleveland
Tennessee over Arizona
Indianapolis over Houston
New Orleans over St. Louis
New England over Miami
Philadelphia over Minnesota
Seattle over NY Giants
Jacksonville over Buffalo
San Francisco over Tampa Bay
CAROLINA over NY Jets
Kansas City over Oakland
Dallas over Green Bay
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
Detroit over Baltimore
Last Week's Record: 13-3
SEASON RECORD: 134-73-1
Lock of the Week Record: 12-2