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What happened this past week?
For one, we finally have our first playoff spot locked up, and it was done by none other than the Buffalo Bills (11-2). In week 14, the Bills dominated an Oakland Raiders team that looks like it has lost all hope. CJ Spiller added 223 yards and 3 rushing tds in this 57-19 blowout. The Bills will look to lock up home field advantage over the next three weeks with remaining games against New England, New York (Jets), and Denver. Also in the AFC East, it looks as if the Dolphins are the real deal as they moved to 9-4 on the year. They have won the last 7 out of 8 games and will most likely continue that streak against a declining Dallas team in week 15. Look for the Dolphins to lock up one of the wild card spots in the AFC.
After a 24-17 defeat by the Titans, the Jags (7-6) no longer appear to be the favorite of the AFC South. This Jacksonville team has also just received news that their head coach has some family issues to handle, and will not be back until the offseason. On the other side of things, the Texans' playoff chances look better than ever after a 34-9 defeat over the Panthers. 3rd string running back Darius Reynaud stepped up in this one as he took 8 carries for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns. Someone has to step up for Houston in that backfield after Foster's injury, and Reynaud was that guy in week 14. Let's see if they can find a go to guy against the Falcons in week 15.
The AFC North looks to be a battle between 2 teams now, the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-4) and the Cincinnati Bengals (7-6). The Bengals certainly made their case for the playoffs in week 14 as they destroyed the reigning NFC champion Arizona Cardinals by score of 30-12. In week 15, the Steelers will get a little taste of the Cardinals, but we expect Arizona to come out and play in this one and take the victory. On the other hand, the Bengals will host the Titans in what looks to be an easy win for them. However, I said the same last week, and the Titans came in and destroyed a tough Jacksonville team. This one could be good.
Much like we expected, the Raiders have completely fallen apart after the retirement of John Madden Jr. Likewise, we expected the AFC West to get sticky between the Chargers and the Chiefs, but we didn't expect this. These two teams currently sit at 9-4 and will need to do everything possible to win the next 3 games. We won't even discuss week 14 for these two as they both went out and embarrassed the opposition. However, week 15 will provide a tougher matchup for both teams, and we expect that one of the two will be given a loss. The Chargers will host a hungry Jets team looking to scrap up some end of the season wins in hopes of gaining the wild card. Kansas City will host the Lions who are in a prime position to gain the NFC wild card. Look for the Lions to come out firing, but just short at a predicted 37-28 Chiefs victory.
Key games to watch in week 15: