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Week 15 Early Games Open Thread

NFL: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin-USA

Week 15 of the 2018 NFL season continues with a bunch of early afternoon games.

If you’re looking for great games featuring showdowns between top Super Bowl contenders you’re out of luck. Nonetheless there are some interesting games with playoff implications. Perhaps the best, or at least the best for NFL traditionalists, is the game between the 5-7-1 Green Bay Packers and the 9-4 Chicago Bears. The Bears are clearly the better team this year, which has been a rare thing for the last three decades or so. Nonetheless the Packers are still hanging around the periphery of a wild card playoff berth, and they badly need a win here to remain in the hunt. The Bears haven’t beaten the Packers in years, and they’ll be looking to avenge an opening day loss to them this year. Any game with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback is worth watching, so this game is my choice for the best early game if it’s available in your viewing area.

There are two other games featuring a pair of playoff contenders. The 7-6 Miami Dolphins, a bad football team that has somehow managed a good record, take on the 6-6-1 Minnesota Vikings, one of the most disappointing teams of the 2018 season, in a game both teams need to keep pace in their wild card playoff hopes. Also the 8-5 Dallas Cowboys travel to Indianapolis to clash with the 7-6 Indianapolis Colts in a game the Colts need more than the first place Cowboys.

The rest of the early games are games only fans of the teams involved could love. The 5-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the 7-6 Baltimore Ravens; the 3-10 Arizona Cardinals square off against the supremely disappointing 4-9 Atlanta Falcons; the 3-10 Oakland Raiders take on the 5-8 Cincinnati Bengals in a battle of cellar dwellers; the 6-7 Washington Redskins, led by the immortal Josh Johnson at quarterback, play the 4-9 Jacksonville Bortles, who have been Bortled into submission; the 7-6 Tennessee Titans look to keep pace for a playoff spot against the surging New York Giants; and the 5-8 Detroit Lions go against the 4-9 Buffalo Bills in a clash of NFL franchises historically filled with sadness.

Enjoy the games everybody. Use this thread to comment on whatever early afternoon games catch your fancy.