NFL Sunday Week 15 Games Ranked By Watchability

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Each week this season, OutKick will get you primed for an NFL Sunday on the couch by telling you which games deserve the most attention. For Week 15, here we go…

NFL Sunday Games Worth Watching From Opening Kick Until Final Whistle

  • Detroit Lions (6-7) at New York Jets (7-6), 1:00pm (CBS)

Main Storyline: Jets/Lions in Week 15 as a game people care about? What year is this? The last time both the Jets and Lions were within one game of .500 or better this late in the season was 2013. That year, Detroit finished 7-9 and the Jets ended at 8-8. The 2000-01 season is the last time both squads finished the season with winning records. The last time both these teams made the playoffs in the same season was 1991.

It seems unlikely the playoffs are in the cards for both teams, mostly because this game is significant. Currently, the Jets have a 33% chance to make the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight. The Lions sit at 25%. A New York win on Sunday bumps the Jets up to 46% and the Lions down to 10%. If Detroit wins, they go up to 40% chance to reach the postseason and the Jets drop to 40%. So yeah, we have late-season football between that Jets and Lions that actually matters. What a world.

  • Tennessee Titans (7-6) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-6), 4:25pm (FOX)

Main Storyline: OutKick’s Armando Salguero wrote a detailed piece on why this is the Game of the Week, which you can read here.

  • New York Giants (7-5-1) at Washington Commanders (7-5-1), 8:20pm (NBC)

Main storyline: These teams played to a TIE two weeks ago, and that’s our Sunday Night Football game. The good news is that this is one of only two NFL Sunday games featuring both teams with winning records. The other good news is that a tie means they are pretty evenly matched, so it should be a close game. Notice I said “close game.” I didn’t necessarily say “good game.”

Thanks to a missed field goal in overtime, the Giants and Commanders tied last time they faced each other on an NFL Sunday.
Thanks to a missed field goal in overtime, the Giants and Commanders tied last time they faced each other on an NFL Sunday. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Games To Flip To During Commercials Of Better NFL Sunday Games

  • Dallas Cowboys (10-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8), 1:00pm (FOX)

Main storyline: How did this game, a game between inter-conference opponents who are five games apart in the standings, get such a high ranking? Well, take a look at the rest of the early afternoon slate. It’s not great. It’s the downside to the NFL adding games to Saturday and having the ability to flex Sunday Night Football. You get a lot of brutal matchups in the early window.

But this game has a chance to be pretty fun. The spread is just 4 points in favor of Dallas so Vegas is expecting a close game. Plus Jacksonville has had some really good games this, particularly on offense. And Dallas, which has a great defense, has quietly been one of the best offenses in the league. The Cowboys have scored 27+ points in six-straight games, including hitting 40+ points in three of those.

  • Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7), 4:25pm (FOX)

Main storyline: Is this a changing-of-the-guard game? It sure feels like it. Joe Burrow appears to have all the tools to be one of, if not the, best quarterbacks in the NFL. Tom Brady, clearly on the downslope of his career, is still trying to prove that he’s got a season or two left.

These two, Brady & Burrow, have never faced one another. That changes on Sunday, and it’s one of the games I’ll be keeping a very close eye on.

We finally get to see Joe Burrow and Tom Brady go head-to-head on an NFL Sunday.
We finally get to see Joe Burrow and Tom Brady go head-to-head on an NFL Sunday. (Photos courtesy of Getty Images)

I Guess It’s OK If These Games Pop Up On NFL RedZone

  • Philadelphia Eagles (12-1) at Chicago Bears (3-10), 1:00pm (CBS)

Main Storyline: I initially had this game a tier lower, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it makes a great RedZone game. The Eagles have a high-flying offense with Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith and Miles Sanders. The Chicago Bears have one of the worst defenses in the league. There should be some fireworks.

Plus, while I’m not a big fan of Justin Fields, he makes exciting plays. Sometimes that means long runs for his team. Sometimes that means big turnovers for the defense. Either way, when this game pops on on RedZone, you know something fun is about to happen.

  • New England Patriots (7-6) at Las Vegas Raiders (5-8), 4:05pm (FOX)

Main Storyline: Not that I think this game will be particularly exciting, since the Patriots can’t score, but I’m a sucker for a “coach vs. former assistant” storyline. And it doesn’t get much better than Bill Belichick vs. Josh McDaniels. McDaniels had two long, separate tenures in New England, 2001-08 and 2012-21. McDaniels and Belichick have faced one another one time as opposing head coaches, and McDaniels’ Broncos defeated Belichick’s Patriots, 20-17 in overtime in Week 5, 2008.

That was coincidentally the beginning of the end for McDaniels in Denver. That win over New England put the Broncos at 5-0 in McDaniels’ first season. They would go 3-8 the rest of the season, then 3-9 to start 2010 before he was fired. With a 5-8 record so far this season, McDaniels has an 11-25 record as a head coach since beating Belichick. Weird, huh?

It's an NFL Sunday reunion for Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick!
It’s an NFL Sunday reunion for Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick! (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

If You’re A Fan Of These Teams, I Guess You Might Care. But I Don’t.

  • Atlanta Falcons (5-8) at New Orleans Saints (4-9), 1:00pm (FOX)

Main Storyline: Both of these teams are technically still alive in the NFC South, so this game does matter. But you’re not getting me to watch it. I suppose it’s interesting that rookie Desmond Ridder is starting for the newly-benched Marcus Mariota. Still, not enough to make me watch.

  • Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) at Houston Texans (1-10-1), 1:00pm (CBS)

Main Storyline: I can’t justify putting Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs any lower than this, but I was tempted to do it. Yes, Houston kept it close against Dallas last week. In fact, they should have won the game. But that felt like their one big game of the year against their in-state “rival.” I don’t think that happens here. This should be a bloodbath.

I just can't put Patrick Mahomes and his sidearm, behind-the-back,-left-handed, no-look passes at the bottom, no matter who his NFL Sunday opponent is.
I just can’t put Patrick Mahomes and his sidearm, behind-the-back,-left-handed, no-look passes at the bottom, no matter who his NFL Sunday opponent is. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

If These Games Show Up On My TV, I’m Punting It Off My Back Deck

In Week 14, we had ZERO games in this tier. No such luck on this NFL Sunday.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8) at Carolina Panthers (5-8), 1:00pm (CBS)

Main Storyline: I understand that Carolina is technically one game out of a playoff spot. And, if the Bengals beat the Bucs, they could even be tied for that spot come Monday. I don’t care. Kenny Pickett is out. I am not watching Mitch Trubisky vs. Sam Darnold. I never want to see any of that. Ever.

  • Arizona Cardinals (4-9) at Denver Broncos (3-10), 4:05pm (FOX)

Main Storyline: Colt McCoy vs. Brett Rypien. I don’t need to say anymore. And I won’t.


Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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