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NFL Week 15 schedule: 5 teams that need to win the most

Looking at the NFL Week 15 schedule, these five playoff contenders need to win or essentially face extinction for 2021.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers

This is it for the Steelers, who likely have to run the table to make the playoffs. Oddly enough, the Steelers could do so and win the division, as they’re only one game out in the loss column. The AFC North is a mess, and Pittsburgh has already beaten the leading Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field, with a road rematch scheduled for Week 18. However, none of it matters if Pittsburgh can’t handle the Tennessee Titans this weekend, who come into the Steel City at 9-4.

4. Philadelphia Eagles

Coming out of their bye week, the Eagles must find a way to get on a roll. At 6-7, they are one of five teams tied for the final NFC Wild card spot, alongside the Washington Football Team, who comes to town this weekend. Washington is dealing with a slew of COVID cases, and so Philadelphia is getting one of the bigger breaks of the week from a football standpoint. If Jalen Hurts and Co. lose this one, there’s no reason to think they’ll bounce back.

3. Miami Dolphins

At 6-7, the Dolphins are barely hanging onto hope for an AFC wild card slot. However, Miami has won five straight and comes out of its week off with the New York Jets, which is almost like having another week off. The Dolphins already beat the Jets at MetLife Stadium, and now get them on South Beach with an opportunity to get to .500 for the first time since Week 2.

2. Indianapolis Colts

Another team coming off its bye week. The Colts are at home taking on the New England Patriots — also, yes, off their break — who have won seven straight entering their tilt on Saturday night. Indianapolis is 7-6 after starting the year at 1-4, and with a victory over the Patriots would have a chance of sneaking into the playoffs as a wild card. However, a loss and the Colts are 7-7 going to face the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Kyler Murray in the desert on Christmas night. This is a pivotal contest.

1. Cleveland Browns

It’s almost not fair to put the Browns on this list with all the COVID issues facing them this week. However, at 7-6, Cleveland desperately needs to beat the downtrodden Las Vegas Raiders at home on Saturday afternoon. With a victory, the Browns would be 8-6 and in decent position to make the postseason for a second straight year.

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