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Week 15 NFL Schedule Morning Thread

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Week 15 of the 2011 NFL season gets back underway this morning after Falcons-Jaguars and Cowboys-Bucs did their best to put us to sleep. The NFL primetime schedule has had some pretty questionable matchups thus far. Given that the schedule is set based in part on last season and in part on hopes for this season, I can only complain so much. But complain I still will.

The morning slate of games features some potential mismatches, but all but one game includes at least one team battling for some sort of playoff positioning. The lone holdout would be the Bills and Dolphins who are both out of the playoff picture. Other than that, every game features somebody with something to play for as the playoffs get closer and closer.

The Saints and Vikings is most important for the 49ers, but arguably the most important for potentially clearing some things up in the overall picture is the Seahawks versus the Bears. If the Seahawks lose, they can stay alive if the Lions lose, but realistically, a loss ends their modest chances at the playoffs. The Bears on the other hand are struggling without Jay Cutler and Matt Forte and I don't see that changing anytime soon. A Seahawks win moves them one stop closer to a slightly improbable comeback.

I think the most entertaining game of the morning could end up being that Saints-Vikings defense, so long as the Saints defense doesn't show up at the Metrodome. While Christian Ponder has his doubters, he can chuck it with great frequency. If the Saints defense struggles, this could turn into a modest shootout.

Given that the 49ers have the day off, I'll be back with a new thread around 12:55 for the afternoon slate of games. Enjoy the football!