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Week 15 quick takes

Posted Dec 16, 2015

Only three weeks remain of the 2015 regular season but who will end it on a high?

Tampa Bay (6-7) at St. Louis (5-8)

  • Tampa Bay are 5-1 when QB Jameis Winston throws fewer than 30 passes and 1-6 when he throws 30 or more.
  • Tampa’s Doug Martin leads the NFL with 13 runs of 20 yards or more but does not have a touchdown run covering 20 yards.
  • After averaging 52 rushing yards per game in the Rams’ 5-game losing streak, Todd Gurley broke out to the tune of 140 yards and 2 touchdowns in last week’s win over Detroit.
  • Bucs 2nd year WR Mike Evans has 1,940 receiving yards in his NFL career – that is the most in his first 2 seasons by a Buccaneer.

NY Jets (8-5) at Dallas (4-9)

  • The Cowboys have just 27 pass plays of 20 yards this season, which ranks last in the NFL.
  • The Jets rank 3rd in the NFL in red zone offense, turning 68.2 per cent of their trips inside the 20-yard line into touchdowns.
  • Jets WRs Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are tied for the NFL lead with a combined 20 receiving TDs. They are level with Jacksonville’s Allen Brothers – Hurns and Robinson.
  • The Cowboys are 1-8 without Tony Romo this season, scoring just 16.1 points per game.

Kansas City (8-5) at Baltimore (4-9)

  • Chiefs have won 7 games in a row to move into the playoff spots in the AFC.
  • Alex Smith’s 4 interceptions in 2015 are the lowest for a QB who has started every game.
  • Ravens have won the last 3 meetings between these teams.
  • The Ravens have at least 2 giveaways in 5 straight games.

Houston (6-7) at Indianapolis (6-7)

  • Since Bill O’Brien took charge of Houston in 2014, the Texans are 6-3 against their AFC South rivals. The 3 losses have come to the Colts.
  • These 2 teams are 2 of 3 in the NFL to average fewer than 5 yards per offensive play this year.
  • Texans DE JJ Watt has not recorded a sack or a quarterback hit in his last 2 games.
  • Colts have won the past 6 meetings between these teams.

Atlanta (6-7) at Jacksonville (5-8)

  • This is a battle of former Seattle defensive coordinators-turned head coaches. Gus Bradley leads the Jags and Dan Quinn takes charge of Atlanta.
  • Falcons have lost 7 of their last 8 games and 6 in a row.
  • Blake Bortles is just the 4th player in NFL history to throw 30 TD passes at age 23 or younger (Dan Marino, Matthew Stafford and Daunte Culpepper).
  • Jacksonville have averaged 29.3 points per game since Week 5 – 2nd-most in the NFL.

Chicago (5-8) at Minnesota (8-5)

  • The Bears have lost 8 straight games in the month of December.
  • Jay Cutler has more wins (8) against Minnesota than any other NFL team.
  • Vikings have failed to score more than 20 points in 4 straight games.
  • Teddy Bridgewater has 1 or fewer TD passes in 12 of 13 games this season.

Tennessee (3-10) at New England (11-2)

  • Titans have committed 25 giveaways this season – 30th in the NFL.
  • Marcus Mariota needs 1 TD pass to become the 10th rookie in NFL history to throw 20 in a season.
  • Patriots have won the AFC East for the 7th year in a row. They can clinch a first round bye with a win here and a Denver loss.
  • Patriots have won 51 of their last 56 home games.

Carolina (13-0) at NY Giants (6-7)

  • If this game is close, it’s advantage Carolina. The Panthers are 6-0 in games decided by 1 score this season while the Giants are 3-6 in such games.
  • Only San Diego (7) and Baltimore (8) have lost more 1-possession games than the Giants this season.
  • Cam Newton has won 16 straight regular season starts and is the 4th QB in NFL history to achieve that feat. The others are Peyton Manning and Tom Brady (twice) and Jim McMahon.
  • Odell Beckham Jr. has 6 straight 100-yard receiving days – the league record is 8 set by Calvin Johnson in 2012.

Buffalo (6-7) at Washington (6-7)

  • The Bills have won the past 6 meetings between these teams.
  • The Bills have been called for 147 penalties – most in the NFL.
  • Tyrod Taylor has 10 TD passes of 20 air yards this season – most in the NFL.
  • Washington’s Kirk Cousins leads the NFL with a completion percentage of 69.2.

Green Bay (9-4) at Oakland (6-7)

  • The Packers rushed for 230 yards against Dallas last week – that was the most by Green Bay in a regular season game since Week 12 of 2004.
  • Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 2 or more times in 10 straight games.
  • Oakland’s Khalil Mack leads the NFL with 14 sacks after registering 5 last weekend.
  • Oakland have scored 36 offensive touchdowns this season – only scored 26 all of 2014.

Cleveland (3-10) at Seattle (8-5)

  • Browns are 2-2 when Johnny Manziel starts this season and 1-8 when he does not start.
  • Browns have lost 15 of last 18 games and have clinched 8th straight losing season.
  • Seahawks have scored at least 28 points in 5 straight games.
  • Seattle are 26-4 at home since 2012 – 2nd-best record in the NFL.

Denver (10-3) at Pittsburgh (8-5)

  • On a yards-per-play basis, this game features the best offense in the NFL (Pittsburgh – 6.4 yards per play) vs. the league’s best defense (Denver – 4.3 yards per play).
  • Since Brock Osweiler took over at QB for Denver, the Broncos have the most 3 and outs in the NFL with 18.
  • Broncos have not scored a touchdown on their last 23 offensive drives – longest current streak in the NFL along with the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is averaging 332.1 passing yards per game this season.

Miami (5-8) at San Diego (3-10)

  • Dolphins have won 9 of the last 11 meetings between these teams.
  • Game features two of the most-sacked QBs in NFL since 2012 – Ryan Tannehill is the most-sacked (174) and Philip Rivers is third with 150 sacks.
  • San Diego rookie RB Melvin Gordon has an NFL-high 201 touches this season without a TD.
  • San Diego’s defense has allowed 6.2 yards per play this season – 31st in the NFL.

Cincinnati (10-3) at San Francisco (4-9)

  • A.J. McCarron will make his first NFL start at quarterback for the Bengals.
  • While they are upset about Andy Dalton’s injury, the Bengals have been relatively healthy in 2015, sending a league-low 3 players to Injured Reserve.
  • The 49ers are 3-3 at home this season and just 1-6 on the road.
  • The 49ers defense has struggled to force turnovers, ranking 30th on the year with just 11 takeaways.

Arizona (11-2) at Philadelphia (6-7)

  • The Cardinals have won 7 in a row for the first time since the 1974 season. They have not won 8 in a row since 1948.
  • Eagles QB Sam Bradford has the league’s highest passer rating on throws outside of the pocket with a mark of 131.0.
  • Arizona have gone 3 straight games without a giveaway.
  • Carson Palmer has gone over 300 passing yards in 9 of 13 games played this season.

Detroit (4-9) at New Orleans (5-8)

  • Over the past 5 seasons, Drew Brees has thrown an NFL-high 24,561 passing yards.
  • During that period, Detroit’s Matthew Stafford ranks third with 22,321 passing yards.
  • Detroit run the ball on just 33.3 per cent of offensive plays – lowest mark in the NFL.
  • Saints have the worst scoring defense in the NFL, allowing 30.5 points per game.

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