NFL Week 15: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Atlanta Falcons

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Atlanta Falcons Thurs. Dec. 15, 2011 8:20 p.m. EST

Coming into Week 15 of the NFL regular season, many teams around the league will be battling it out for a late season push for the playoffs. One of the most intriguing playoff races in the league will be in the NFC Conference with plenty of teams still in the running for a playoff spot like the Atlanta Falcons.

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With the NFC South division title basically out of the question for the Atlanta Falcons now that the New Orleans Saints have hit their stride and are on the verge of winning the division, the Falcons will have to fight it out with the likes of the New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and maybe even the resurgent Seattle Seahawks for the two playoff spots in the NFC Wild Card.

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Maurice Jones...

Maurice Drew-Jones

With that being said, the Atlanta Falcons will have to win as many of the three regular season games left on their schedule starting with the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15. Even though the Jaguars have been arguably one of the worst teams in the NFL this season after the release of long-time starting quarterback David Garrard and firing of head coach Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville is coming off an impressive win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (41-14) in which the offense came to life.

Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert has been a disappointment for the Jaguars this season as he just hasn’t been able to get anything going under center, but that changed last week with Gabbert having arguably his best game of the season against the Bucs. With 217 passing yards and two passing touchdowns, Gabbert finally got things going for this struggling offense in Jacksonville, but he still threw two interceptions.

Coming into Week 15, the Atlanta Falcons will be concentrating on stopping the potent ground game of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Blaine Gabbert may have had his best performance of the season, but Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew was the difference maker with four total touchdowns (two receiving, two rushing) and 136 total yards (85 rushing, 51 receiving).

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Jones-Drew will be the only thing standing the way of the Falcons getting another win and inching closer to clinching a playoff spot. Even though the Jaguars have come to life offensively and could have finally hit their stride this season, Jacksonville might be able to pull off the unlikely upset in Week 15 in order to keep Atlanta at bay.

In all likelihood, the Atlanta Falcons will cruise to victory on their home field at the Georgia Dome this Thursday night. With the Falcons being the better all-around team on both sides of the football, Atlanta will almost certainly get the win.

As of right now, the Atlanta Falcons are heavily favored to come out on top with a -12 point spread. This is a bit high in my opinion despite the Falcons getting the win.

Take the Jaguars at +12.

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