Here are my NFL Week 16 Picks
(11-5 last week, 137-85-2 for the season)
Bye teams: none
NYG @ Phi – Although the Giants aren’t strong on the road and the Eagles play well at home, I have to go with the G-Men, and for a variety of reasons. Their defense is playing lights out currently and will shut Wentz down completely. Philly is on a 5-game losing streak and are completely out of playoff contention. And New York takes care of divisional opponents, when games really matter, going 3-1 on the season compared to Philadelphia’s 0-4.
Mia @ Buf – I really thought that the Dolphins were dead in the water following the loss of Ryan Tannehill, but they kept their winning streak going and are on their way to the playoffs if they can just keep winning. Sure, their last game was vs the Jets, who are horrendous, but the Bills aren’t that much better, and have quit playing for a coach that they’re pretty sure won’t be with them next season. Miami has more to play for, and that matters in these late-season games.
NYJ @ NE – The Jets have officially collapsed, if you hadn’t noticed. There will be wholesale changes next season, and literally everyone is on the trade/cut block. For the Patriots, it seems like nothing ever changes, Brady & Co. clinching an 8th straight AFC East division title. Playoffs here they come, and I wouldn’t want to face this team, not even with homefield advantage; New England is 7-0 on the road this season. Good luck, everyone else.
Ten @ Jax – Right now it’s the better teams who have all the advantages, which seems a silly statement, but during the season bad teams can jump out to upset plans. At the end of the season, when bad teams have punched their train tickets home already, good teams can come in and take easy games. Look for that here, as the Titans are a team with hope and the Jaguars are a club in crisis. They just fired their coach and will be wishing that the year was over already.
Min @ GB – The time for any Minnesota comeback is over, and with one more loss their season will be too. They tried, but the Sam Bradford experiment was always doomed to fail, it was just a matter of time. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Packers are coming together as a team just in time for the playoffs and will probably go on a deep run, if they can somehow make it past the Cowboys. Don’t look for Rodgers to have much trouble here.
SD @ Cle – If the Browns were going to win a game this season, they would have done so already, and more chances against mediocre teams don’t seem like they’ll be enough to give this dead franchise a burst of life. How the Chargers ever thought they could keep doing the exact same thing every single season and somehow turn their franchise around is beyond me, but as least they can beat Cleveland. I mean, who can’t?
Was @ Chi – The Redskins losing at home to the poor Panthers might spell the end of their playoff hopes, but that tie in their record still counts as half a win, so don’t count them completely out quite yet. If they were to lose this week, then you could sign their death certificate, and that might actually happen, the way the Bears are playing recently. They aren’t winning, but under Barkley they at least look like they maybe could, and that’s a big improvement.
Atl @ Car – Last season, Week 16, the mighty Panthers traveled to the lowly Falcons and got beat, Cam got shut down, and incidentally I won my Fantasy Championship because of it. Can Carolina return the favor in a situation that’s almost a mirror image? I think they can, I think they’re playing better lately, and I think that Atlanta is vulnerable because of their porous defense. I want a shootout here, that would be cool, but I think that the Panthers have one last roar left in them.
Ind @ Oak – Indy won’t quit, which is to their credit, but it might be too little too late. Houston & Tennessee seem about to battle it out for the division, and I don’t think anyone else from the AFC South is getting into the playoffs. The Raiders are already in, but they’d like to clinch their division, and they need all the momentum they can get going into the postseason because their road will not be an easy one. The Raiders don’t lose to anyone not in the AFC West, so you gotta pick ’em.
TB @ NO – If Tampa can just hold on, they’ll grab a Wild Card spot, and then probably lose in the first round, but hey, a ton of teams would give their ST coordinator just for a chance. But I would worry if I were the Bucs, I wouldn’t want to go face Brees if he might be heating back up as the season ends. After a few tough games, the NO QB got back on track, and I don’t think will have any difficulty scoring against a bad TB defense. At home in the dome, the Saints go marching.
Ari @ Sea – The team I’m playing in the Fantasy Championship has Carson Palmer and David Johnson, so I’m hoping for a resurgence of that stellar Seattle D, and I actually think that’s likely to happen. The Seahawks missed Earl Thomas, but have regrouped, and are still an amazing defense, only allowing 17 points per game. If the Cardinals can score 2 TDs and a FG in this game, it’ll be a miracle. Also, Seattle is 7-0 at home while Arizona is 1-5 on the road; this game is a foregone conclusion.
SF @ LA – The Ford Lincoln Mercury Toyota Nissan Honda Jeep Popeyes Chicken Who Cares Bowl, coming to you from sunny California. Seriously, who cares, this game doesn’t matter, and literally no one will watch it or arrive at the stadium. These teams are a combined 0-10 in their last 10 games, with the only bright side being that someone will get a win here, unless they’ll equally pathetic and tie.
Cin @ Hou – So the Texans bench the overpaid & underwhelming Brock Lobster, going with Savage instead, who is probably being paid $5 for this game, with a $1 bonus if he doesn’t completely suck it up. Still, Houston is winning their division, is 6-1 at home, and will probably be playing with playoff aspirations, so they should be able to take care of business vs a Bungles team that has taken the approach of their untouchable head coach; do just enough to be mediocre, and then, hey, hakuna matata.
Bal @ Pit – This could be the best game of the week, smack dab in the middle of Christmas Day, with both teams fighting desperately for the playoffs. Pittsburgh currently holds a one game lead on the division, so they either win it here or fall into a deadlock with Baltimore. I’d guess they win it, continuing their 5-game win streak and their solid 4-2 record at home. The Ravens defense is great and they have yet to lose within the AFC North, but I think that changes here.
Den @ KC – With a pathetic loss at home vs the Pats last week, the Broncos postseason dreams are slowly dissolving into harsh reality. They gave up in the game, you could see it, and the offense has completely fallen apart. I doubt they have enough gumption to do anything about how their season is collapsing, but if they were to care, now would be the time to act. I just can’t see a win in freezing Kansas City in December against a bitter rival when they are also, unfortunately, the better team.
Det @ Dal – The Lions laid an egg last week, and are now in danger of losing the division lead to the Packers, something that has to feel all too typical. If they lose and GB wins, the two teams will be tied atop the division, and will play each other next week in Detroit. That’ll be a great game to watch, but only if Dallas can take this game, which I think they can. The only team to beat the Boys all season is NYG, so they have to feel pretty impenetrable otherwise.