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NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

NFL Week 15 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

Here are my games to watch for in Week 15 of the NFL season:

Bears at Packers — Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX
The Bears are growling again. They have three straight wins and are playing like a playoff team. The only problem is their many stumbles along the way have them at just 7-6, and currently the No. 8 seed in the NFC playoff pitcure. They travel to Green Bay with revenge on their minds, still remembering the season-opening loss to the Packers. That the Packers are 10-3 — currently the No. 2 seed in the NFC — is amazing in itself. Defensively, they stop either the run or the pass but never both in a game. Offensively, they don’t score a lot of points and rarely win impressively, but the bottom line is more times than not they have found a way to win. First-year head coach Matt LeFleur has his squad believing in his system. The Pack will rack up their 11th W at Lambeau.

Texans at Titans — Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS

One team is exciting by land, the other by air. Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins gives defenses fits weekly. Tennessee RB Derrick Henry is a battering ram. These two are currently tied for the lead in the AFC South but after getting blasted by Denver last week, Houston is still in control based on best win percentage in division games. The Titans are currently the No. 7 seed. Since QB Ryan Tannehill replaced Marcus Mariota after Week 6, the Titans have won six of their last seven and four in a row. Houston has the capability of rising up for big games with wins over the Patriots and Chiefs, but the Titans are hot, and I’m going with the hot team at home. Side note: They'll meet again Week 17.

Vikings at Chargers — Sunday, 4:05 p.m. on CBS

The only thing the Chargers have left to play for is pride and the Vikings are jockeying for better seeding and a possible division title. Under Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have not fared well when traveling west, sporting a 1-6 record in road games played in the Mountain or Pacific time zones. Two of the Chargers' five wins have come against the NFC North. The Vikings' defense is starting to jell again and they’ll need cohesiveness on D because Philip RIvers' offense can light it up at any given moment. The Vikings know what’s at stake — it wont be easy, but they’ll find a way to get the job done.

Rams at Cowboys — Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Don’t look now, but the Rams are starting to play like the team that represented the NFC in last season’s Super Bowl. They’ve won three in a row with the offense functioning like a well-oiled machine and the defense making plays. As for Dallas, fans are calling for heads to roll, starting with head coach Jason Garrett. They’ve lost three straight and haven’t beaten a quality opponent all season. With that said, they somehow still control the NFC East. They have the the talent all over the field, yet don’t have the wins to show for it. What should have been a promising season will be a disaster if they don’t find a way to rebound and make the playoffs. Sorry, Dallas, until you prove otherwise, you’re just not ram tough enough to win this one.

Bills at Steelers — Sunday, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Just when it looked like Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would have to endure his first losing season in Pittsburgh, his squad has risen from the ashes. A team that was 1-4 at one point is now 8-5, riding a three-game winning streak, and currently the sixth seed in the AFC. What’s even more impressive is that Tomlin is using his third QB of the season. Rookie free agent Devlin “Duck” Hodges has been on the winning side on all three of his starts. The defense has tightened the loose gaps and is playing 'Burgh ball. The Bills have been writing an incredible story of their own. They are currently the fifth seed and just one game behind New England in the AFC East. Buffalo is striving for its first 10-win season since 1999. It will also be Buffalo’s first Sunday night appearance in 12 years. Two good defenses in this one. Two teams hoping to move one step closer to solidifying a playoff spot. This one has the makings of a brass knuckles brawl with the Steelers delivering the final knockout blow.

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NFL Week 14 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

NFL Week 14 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

Here are Derrick Gunn's five matchups to watch for Week 14 of the NFL season.

COWBOYS AT BEARS (THURSDAY NIGHT 8:20PM FOX/NFL)
Everybody in Dallas wants Jason Garrett fired. In Chicago it looks like the love affair with QB Mitchell Trubisky has come to a crossroads. The Cowboys are doing everything they can to give the NFC East lead away, while the Bears have fought their way back into playoff contention. Dallas has a lot of soul searching to do after getting embarrassed on Thanksgiving day by Buffalo. Two good defensive fronts in this one, but if Dallas’ offense  comes to play they have enough fire power to ride out of chi-town with the W.

49ERS AT SAINTS (SUNDAY 1PM FOX)
Niners are still licking their wounds after coming up short in a slugfest in Baltimore. The Saints are the first team to wrap up a division title in the NFC South. Both squads are striving to achieve that number one overall seed. San Fran’s defense is stingy and will provide a great chess match for Drew Brees and his offense. Niners schedule has been brutal having played the Packers, Ravens and now New Orleans in consecutive weeks. Should be a good possible playoff preview. Saints get the slight edge in the dome.

RAVENS AT BILLS (SUNDAY 1PM CBS)
Can anybody stop the Ravens right now? So far the answer is no. Their 8 game win streak is quite impressive when you consider 5 of those wins have come against the seahawks, Patriots, Texans, Rams, and 49ers. Lamar Jackson has the league buzzing and appears to be the MVP front runner. Buffalo went down to Dallas and shocked the world. They believe they still have a chance to catch the struggling patriots in the AFC East. Bills head coach Sean McDermott has done a wonderful job with his defense. They’re good, but not good enough to stop the Ravens hot streak.

CHIEFS AT PATRIOTS (SUNDAY 4:25PM CBS)
Speaking of the Patriots for years offense has been their staple, but lately the defense has had to carry the weight of this team. In their last 3 outings Tom Brady’s crew has posted 17, 13, and 22 points. Not what we expect from an O that normally racks up 30 plus points a game. They better figure it out in a hurry because the reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs can light it up in a hurry. In their last two games KC has scored 64 points. Patriots defense against the Chiefs offense will be fun to watch. New England is ripe for the picking, and I pick KC to pluck them.

SEAHAWKS AT RAMS (SUNDAY NIGHT 8:20PM NBC)
Right now Seattle controls the NFC West and is the two seed in the conference overall. As for the Rams they’re on the outside trying to get back in currently holding the 7th spot. Rams trying to get RB Todd Gurley more involved in the offense which would take some of the pressure off Jared Goff. This is a crucial stretch for the rams ... with 3 straight heavyweight showdowns against Seattle, Dallas, and San Francisco. They’ve already lost to both the hawks and niners earlier in the season. Seattle coming off a huge win over the vikings at home, will up their road mark to 7-0 after getting by Los Angeles.

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NFL Week 11 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

NFL Week 11 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

Here are Derrick Gunn's five matchups to watch for Week 11 of the NFL season.

Cowboys at Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

Dallas got knocked off its high horse Sunday night by Minnesota. Now the 'Boys try to get back on the winning saddle at Detroit. Dallas has been its own worst enemy at times and has allowed the opposition to capitalize.

Meanwhile, the Lions are at the bottom of the NFC North and riding a two-game losing streak. QB Matthew Stafford is dealing with back and hip issues and may miss a second straight game. His backup Jeff Driskel is OK but if Stafford can't go, the Lions are in even bigger trouble. Dallas will take down Detroit.

Saints at Buccaneers (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)

Every dog has its day, and the Falcons chomped down hard on the Saints this past Sunday. New Orleans could do nothing right and Drew Brees was sacked six times.

Tampa Bay has been hard to figure out — one moment looking like a contender but more times than not diminishing itself to the role of pretender. Jameis Winston, when he’s on, can light it up but somehow ends up finding a way of costing his team a chance to win. The last thing the Bucs need right now is to face a ticked-off Sean Payton squad. Saints will make it a season sweep.

Texans at Ravens (Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS)

They are young, athletic and dynamic. Houston QB Deshaun Watson has completed 70 percent of his passes, while the Ravens' Lamar Jackson has completed almost 66 percent of his tosses — and has been talked about as a legitimate MVP candidate. The Texans are well-rested coming off a bye. The Ravens are rolling with a league-best five-game winning streak.

Houston claimed former Tampa Bay CB Vernon Hargreaves off waivers to help with its secondary woes. After watching its run game plow through the Patriots' defense, Baltimore feels it can beat anybody. Houston will be the Ravens' sixth consecutive victim.

Bears at Rams (Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC)

To think just a season ago the Bears won the NFC North and the Rams were playing in Super Bowl 53. Now they are both in third place in their divisions and in serious jeopardy of not making the postseason. 

The Rams have injuries all over the place and it's affecting their overall continuity. The Bears' offense finally came out of hibernation Sunday. Both teams are in desperation mode. Because the Rams are at home for this one, I’ll give them the hometown edge.

Chiefs at Chargers (Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN)

K.C. is struggling and its defense is a big part of the problem, especially the run D that’s allowing 148.1 yards per game. The Chiefs have lost two of their last three and four of their last six. Not even Patrick Mahomes, who returned after missing two games because of a dislocated knee cap, could turn around their fortunes this past Sunday.

As for the Chargers, who had put together impressive back-to-back wins over the Bears and Packers, they flopped against the Raiders. Mahomes and Philip Rivers on the same field means the passes will be flying. The Chargers, currently two games behind the Chiefs in the AFC West, will slide one game further in the standings.

(Bye: Packers, Titans, Giants, Seahawks)

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