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Saturday December 13, 2008 5:51 pm

NFC North Week 15 Predictions

Adrian Peterson

The Chicago Bears just made the race for the NFC North crown a bit tighter with a 27-24 win over the Saints Thursday night, giving them an 8-6 record and a half game behind the 8-5 Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings travel to Tempe to take on the Arizona Cardinals. Sure the Cards have a lock on the NFC West title, but they have yet to face the Vikings defense which will shut down Arizona’s running game. Nor have they had to face thunderback Adrian Peterson. This one has massacre written all over it. Peterson will post a 200+ yard game and at least one rushing touchdown. Minnesota’s front four will wreak havoc on the Arizona ground game. Look for the Vikes to jump out to an early lead and pour it on the anemic Cards. Vikings by 14.

The Green Bay Packers travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. Now that the Packers are eliminated from winning the Black and Blue division and a playoff berth, about all they can do is salvage a .500 season. Easier said than done. The Packers have lost more than a fair share of close battles this season - an overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans, a last minute nail-biter to the Vikes and last week’s flub to the Houston Texans. If the stars were in alignment, those three losess converted into wins would put the Pack at or near the top of the division. Alas this just doesn’t seem to be Green Bay’s season. Jacksonville is out the playoff picture too, but they have home-field advantage and Packers have trouble winning on the road. Jags by 10.

And then there’s the Detroit Lions playing Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are right in the thick of the playoff race and every game is a must win. Why not host the Lions? They lose to everyone. Every week they find new and creative ways of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Teams all over the NFL must be checking their 2009 schedules to see if they get to play Detroit, which is like getting an extra bye week. This one is money in the bank. Colts by 17.

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