Sam Farmer’s NFL Week 15 picks

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo scrambles to avoid the rush of Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin in a 30-23 victory in Seattle. Romo and the Cowboys travel to Philadelphia this week for an NFC East first-place showdown.
(Paul Moseley / McClatchy-Tribune)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Glantz-Culver (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 12-4 (.750); season 134-73-1 (.647). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 9-7 (.563); season 109-98-1 (.527).


Pittsburgh (8-5) at Atlanta (5-8)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Steelers 31, Falcons 28

TV: None. DirecTV: 705.

Line: Steelers by 2 1/2. O/U: 54.

It’s clear that the Falcons have talent. They displayed that at Green Bay. But Atlanta’s defense is horrible, and Ben Roethlisberger is hot. Watch for a lot of scoring.



Jacksonville (2-11) at Baltimore (8-5)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Ravens 28, Jaguars 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 706.

Line: Ravens by 13 1/2. O/U: 45 1/2.

The Jaguars are tough and play hard, but they don’t have the offensive firepower to keep pace with the Ravens, especially when Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett are hot.


Houston (7-6) at Indianapolis (9-4)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Colts 31, Texans 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Colts by 6 1/2. O/U: 49.

Have to go with the Colts at home here, especially with Andre Johnson coming off a concussion. Indianapolis can roll its coverage over to DeAndre Hopkins and slow the Texans.


Oakland (2-11) at Kansas City (7-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Chiefs 28, Raiders 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 708.

Line: Chiefs by 10. O/U: 41 1/2.

Raiders are riding high after beating San Francisco, and should keep this close for a while. The Chiefs will pull away down the stretch, and they aren’t going to lose to this team twice.


Miami (7-6) at New England (10-3)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Patriots 28, Dolphins 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 709.

Line: Patriots by 7 1/2. O/U: 48.

The Dolphins are solid, although they can’t quite put it all together. Considering the way the Patriots are playing, not many teams can challenge them — especially in Foxborough.


Green Bay (10-3) at Buffalo (7-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Packers 34, Bills 24

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 710.

Line: Packers by 5. O/U: 50 1/2.

Anybody else going to Buffalo might struggle with the weather. But Green Bay? Aaron Rodgers is at the top of his game, and everybody looks like a speed bump to the Packers.


Tampa Bay (2-11) at Carolina (4-8-1)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Buccaneers 21, Panthers 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 711.

Line: Panthers by 3 1/2. O/U: 41 1/2.

Tampa Bay looks solid at times, and has some playmakers, but can’t figure out how to win games. The Buccaneers should figure it out here, though, with Cam Newton out.


Cincinnati (8-4-1) at Cleveland (7-6)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bengals 24, Browns 21

TV: None. DirecTV: 712.

Line: Browns by 1. O/U: 44.

Hard to tell how ready Johnny Manziel is, and this game will definitely be entertaining. Even though Cleveland’s defense is smothering, the edge goes to Bengals vs. a rookie quarterback.


Washington (3-10) at NY Giants (4-9)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

Giants 28, Redskins 14

TV: None. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Giants by 6 1/2. O/U: 47.

At times, the Giants resemble an actual NFL team, and Eli Manning threw for four touchdowns vs. Washington in September. The Redskins are grasping at straws.


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

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Chargers 31, Broncos 28

TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 714.

Line: Broncos by 4 1/2. O/U: 50 1/2.

The past couple of weeks for the Broncos have been the C.J. Anderson show; Peyton Manning has really struggled. That could play into the hands of the desperate Chargers.


NY Jets (2-11) at Tennessee (2-11)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

Jets 24, Titans 20

TV: None. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Jets by 1 1/2. O/U: 42.

Good luck selling tickets to this battle of 2-11 teams. With Zach Mettenberger hurt, Jake Locker gets the nod against a Jets defense that is ranked seventh in the NFL.


San Francisco (7-6) at Seattle (9-4)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Seahawks 38, 49ers 21

TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 716.

Line: Seahawks by 10. O/U: 38.

The 49ers were lifeless against Oakland and looked like they just wanted the season to be over. That’s not the attitude you want heading into Seattle to face the smoking Seahawks.


Minnesota (6-7) at Detroit (9-4)

Sunday, 1:15 p.m.

Lions 24, Vikings 17

TV: None. DirecTV: 717.

Line: Lions by 8. O/U: 43.

This could be closer than people might expect, but the Lions should prevail at home. Vikings rookie Teddy Bridgewater has a combined passer rating of 119.0 in the past two games.


Dallas (9-4) at Philadelphia (9-4)

Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Eagles 31, Cowboys 24

TV: Channel 4.

Line: Eagles by 3 1/2. O/U: 55 1/2.

The Eagles will bounce back after a dispiriting home loss to Seattle, and they’ll be extra motivated by the prospect of nudging the Cowboys one step closer to missing the playoffs.


New Orleans (5-8) at Chicago (5-8)

Monday, 5:30 p.m.

Saints 28, Bears 21


Line: Saints by 3. O/U: 54.

Not many teams have a worse defense than Chicago — but the Saints are one of them. Still, Drew Brees lit up the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Hey, it’s better than playing in the Superdome.