1. Chiefs vs. Colts
The Chiefs defense gives up yards via the air and ground, but they make up for that fact by being an aggressive, turnover-creating team. They lead the NFL in fumble recoveries and only two teams have more interceptions than Kansas City. Andrew Luck has thrown three of his nine interceptions in the last four weeks and has three 200-yards or fewer passing games in the last for weeks as well. The cherry on top of the Chiefs defensive sundae this Sunday is that only two teams have more sacks. I expect them to make Luck very uncomfortable in the pocket.
2. 49ers vs. Falcons
Fantasy championship weeks means going for broke for the big payday and it doesn't get much bigger than the 49ers defense right now as they've allowed the 3rd fewest points against and only six teams have scored more defensive touchdowns this season. Matt Ryan has thrown two interceptions in the last two weeks and only has one 300-yard game in the last seven weeks. Only three teams have allowed fewer passing yards than the 49ers this season so start them this week with confidence.
3. Seahawks vs. Cardinals
It doesn't get much better than the Seahawks defense this season as they lead the league in interceptions with 22 and points against with 205. The Cardinals are on a roll lately and have won six of the last games in large part because Carson Palmer has upped his game with only two interceptions in the last five weeks. Back in week seven Seattle held Palmer under 260 yards and picked him off twice and after adding in the Seahawks astronomical home field advantage this could be an ugly bird on bird fight.
4. Bengals vs. Vikings
The Bengals defense has played well all season and only five teams have allowed fewer points against than Cincinnati. Minnesota's bread and butter is rushing the ball, even without Adrian Peterson but no matter who the starting running back is it will be tough sledding as only five teams have allowed fewer rushing yards than the Bengals. Matt Cassel has been solid but not great for the Vikings this season and is historically prone to throwing interceptions. Add to the fact that only six teams have allowed fewer passing yards to opposing offenses and this is a tough all around matchup for the Purple.
5. Rams vs. Buccaneers
The Rams defense has given up over 20 points a game this season but has made up for that in turnovers and pressuring the quarterback as only the Seahawks have more fumble recoveries this season and only four teams have tallied more sacks. Tampa quarterback Mike Glennon has four interceptions in the last three weeks and has thrown for less than 200 yards in six games this season including the last three games. The Rams have generated 13 turnovers in the last five weeks and they make a solid start against a sputtering Buccaneers offense.
6. Buccaneers @ Rams
Ironically both the Tampa defense and the Rams defense have given up an identical 324 points so far this season and while the Rams excel in sacking the quarterback and recovering the fumbles the Buccaneers make do with interceptions. Only the Seahawks have more picks through 14 games this season. Watching Kellen Clemens play quarterback could cure insomnia as he's thrown for less than 200 yards in four of the seven games he's started. He's kept the interceptions at a minimum so far but will be challenged especially if they fall behind. Until the 49ers pounded them into the ground last week the Buccaneers had 15 interceptions in the previous six weeks. They'll be hungry to get back on track and a putrid Rams offense is just what the pirate doctor ordered.
7. Bills vs. Dolphins
The Bills defense couldn't stop a one legged running back this season as they've allowed the 7th most rushing yards per game, but they have head opposing air attacks in check as only five teams have allowed fewer passing yards. Ryan Tannehill is on track to eclipse 4,000 yards this season but it's come at a cost as only six quarterbacks have thrown more interceptions this season. Last week's win against New England was the first week in the last six where he didn't throw a pick and overall this season he's only kept the ball out of the defenses hands in four of 14 weeks. Only Tampa and Seattle have more interceptions than the Bills defense this season and the lead the league in sacks so I've got them on tap for a top 10 performance at home in the elements. Also, dolphins hate the cold.
8. Dolphins @ Bills
They haven't been spectacular but the Dolphins defense has been consistent in 2013. They have snagged interceptions in all but two games including a close loss to Buffalo at home back in week seven. E.J. Manuel has yet to throw for over 300 yards this season and has six games of less than 200 yards passing. He's thrown five interceptions in the last two weeks and while he didn't play against the Bills in week seven Thaddeus Lewis put up an uninspiring 202 yard effort with an interception. Miami is ninth in the league in sacks so it should be a defensive battle on both sides in Buffalo this week.
9. Panthers vs. Saints
Drew Brees managed to throw for nearly 400 yards last week against the Rams, but he only netted 16 points in the surprise loss. The Panthers defense has been in the conversation for the best defense all season long with one exception, week 14 at New Orleans. The Saints are a different team at home and in the safe confines of Bank of America Stadium they should fair much better. Only the Bills have more sacks than the Panthers this season and only five teams have more interceptions. Brees only has three multi-interception games this season but they have all been on the road. It's hard to put the Saints on back to back losses but against a divisional opponent with a defense that is hungry for revenge I like these odds.
10. Cardinals @ Seahawks
Carson Palmers better play and a rock solid defense has propelled the Cardinals into the playoff hunt this season. The Seahawks are tied with the Titans for the most points scored against the red birds this season but Arizona did recover two fumbles against them back in week seven. Russell Wilson continues to impress but he's shown cracks lately with back-to-back weeks with an interception and his first back-to-back week of only one touchdown since weeks one and two. This is a tough ask the Cardinals defense to go into Seattle and put up some good numbers but with the playoffs in sight I expect them to give the Seahawks hell all afternoon.
Denver @ Texans
Denver's defense hasn't stopped too many teams as they've allowed the ninth most points against the NFL this season. But here's the deal, Houston has surprisingly usurped the Jaguars as the worst team in the NFL and any promise that Case Keenum showed early on has faded as he's thrown six interceptions in the last five weeks to only two touchdowns. Peyton Manning might be sipping Mahi Tahi's on the bench by halftime and as Keenum tries to catch up Denver will feast on the carcass that is the Texans offense like a flock of googly-eyed vultures.
Browns @ Jets
The Browns pass defense has been a solid unit this season as only eight teams have allowed fewer passing yards to opposing offenses. Only six teams have allowed more defensive scores as the Browns have made the most of the relatively low number of turnovers. That should change this week against Geno Smith who has thrown a pick in every game except two including eight in the last five weeks. He only has one 200-yard game in that stretch as his internship as an NFL quarterback continues to spiral out of control. If the Jets run the ball Cleveland should be ready as only seven teams have allowed fewer yards so this makes a great sleeper play in all aspects.