Welcome to my NFL Week 16 Picks. This week, games are on Saturday, and they mean a lot. By the end of today, the playoff picture could look very different. I’m 139-84-2. How will I do this week? Keep reading, then feel free to comment your thoughts.
Lock Of The Week
Patriots, 34, Jets, 16
How could the Jets win in New England with no sophisticated QB? Their hole at QB has took a big hit on their scoring, receiver performance, and overall record. They are not the same team without a QB. The Patriots offense will easily outplay the Jets’ offense, so no matter what the score is, the Pats should win by a lot. Also, Brandon Marshall is really struggling, and Malcolm Mitchell is on fire. Things like that are going to extend the Pats’ lead. By the 4th quarter, it’ll already be far in the Patriots’ favor, and they will just be able to run the ball. I think their backfield could get them a couple of TDs, despite the Jets run defense being alright. Dion Lewis and James White are the kind of guys that can speed past them, work through them, and Blount can just push through defenses for first downs. The Pats backfield is anything but defense friendly, and with that, it’ll definitely be over for the Jets.
Upset Of The Week
Jaguars, 31, Titans, 24
I’ve gotten a lot of grief about picks like this. I know I need to give up on the Jaguars, but games between them and the Titans are always close, and at home, I think this is a match-up they have a chance in. The Titans defense isn’t great, and offenses like the Jags’ that are ready to breakout can easily do it on a defense like this. It doesn’t matter how much Marcus Mariota scores on them, in certain cases, breakout offense is breakout offense. Against defenses like this, the Jags’ offense should be able to break out and even keep the lead. I just have a feeling that things won’t go as most people expect. If any of you that areTitans fans are upset with this pick, the Titans can still make the playoffs as a wild card if they lose this one and win next week. However, they’d also need a Dolphins loss vs. the Pats next week (which will only happen if Oakland wins), and a Denver loss this week or next week. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh also have to hold off Baltimore for them to get in. If they lose today, it’s an unlikely scenario, but the Titans could get the wild card, and I think they will.
The Other Games
Bills, 23, Dolphins, 20
The Dolphins really don’t have much of a secondary and the Bills are ready to take advantage of that. LeSean McCoy may also be too much for the Dolphins run defense. The Bills offense is fit for this game, and should win them it. The Dolphins offense will not have it easy against a Bills defense that’s also in the right position to cover their best players.
Panthers, 30, Falcons, 24
I think with Julio Jones injured, the Falcons offense won’t be quite as good. They’ll have problems rushing the ball against a good rush defense and won’t have many other passing options despite Carolina’s hole at corner. Unfortunately for them, it will be hard for them to take advantage of that, and meanwhile, Carolina’s offense should rebound against an Atlanta defense that isn’t really stacked at any particular position. That will basically mean that the Panthers won’t have much between them and the end zone.
Redskins, 27, Bears, 9
The Redskins lost embarrassingly last week. It should help Carolina’s momentum against Atlanta, which could work To Washington’s advantage. But they need to win their games too. This one could go either way. The Bears will be in it the whole time, and won’t look all that bad, but I think eventually, since the Redskins are the better team offensively and defensively, that the Redskins will take a significant lead.
Chargers, 24, Browns, 19
It’ll be close, but there is no way on earth that I would pick the Browns to win another game this year. This team is so bad, that it’s almost as if they’re meant to be 0-16. Maybe they’re worse than the 2008 Lions. We’ll just have to see. How they do in this game will show it. A loss will show that they really are that bad, and a win would prove that the Browns aren’t great, but aren’t the worst team in history. The Chargers have proven, even with all these injuries that their offense can thrive. Even with Melvin Gordon now hurt, will that happen this game? I don’t think they’ll be as good, but the guys they do have should score a couple TDs on the Browns D. That’s all they need, don’t expect the Browns to get more than a TD or two, even against another weak defense. Their offense does not have much in them at this point, so it’ll be hard to do more than that.
Packers, 23, Vikings, 16
No Adrian Peterson, no Vikings win. The Vikings offense isn’t very good without Teddy Bridgewater and AP. Unfortunately for Christmas lovers, I do not think Kyle Rudolph will be extra productive in this Christmas Eve game. The Packers offense has been better lately, and should definitely outscore the Vikings, especially without AP. They may have problems running the ball against a tough Minnesota defense, but should be able to throw for a couple TDs, which should get them in position to win.
Saints, 22, Buccaneers, 16
No matter how bad the Saints defense plays in this game, the Bucs defense isn’t going to do much better. This will really be a battle of who plays better offense. That’s definitely something the Saints have the advantage of, and at home, that should be enough to get them the win this time around.
Raiders, 26, Colts, 20
The Colts did great last game, but that was against a terrible offense. The Raiders offense should take full advantage of the bad Colts D, and win this game. The Colts will challenge them and stay in the game, but the Raiders should win in the end. They have the better offense and the better defense.
Rams, 27, 49ers, 23
The 49ers got their only win when hosting LA in Week 1, but this game is in LA, so I think the Rams will win this one. Against a mediocre 49ers D, Todd Gurley should be able to run more easily, and with Jared Goff starting, their passing offense just might be better. The 49ers will score a decent amount, and stay close, but in the end, the Rams defense is a lot better than the Niners’ defense, and with the Rams at home, that will make a difference.
Seahawks, 20, Cardinals, 18
The Seahawks will win at home easily. They are undefeated at home. But this will be a low scoring game. The Seahawks offense isn’t the kind of offense that scores 30 points on a team, I know that about them. But Seattle’s defense will do enough to hold the Cardinals’ dominant offense, under 20 points. They do usually score around 30, but are not the same offense under the pressure of a great defense like Seattle’s. Based on the fact that they’re 5-8-1, I guess it really has hurt them badly this year.
Texans, 26, Bengals, 23
The Bengals have been good even without Giovani Bernard and A.J. Green, but I don’t think their offense is a match for a tough Texans team. The Texans’ run defense is really good, and they have an offense now. Even with Brock Osweiler not working out, hopefully Tom Savage leads good RBs, WRs and TEs to a good game. I can see that happening, which will give them the win with the defense taking care of Cincinnati well. If Savage struggles, Osweiler will return, and hopefully do enough to get Houston the win.
Steelers, 31, Ravens, 29
This is one of the two games actually on Christmas Day this Sunday. The Steelers are going to win this division, and this game. The Ravens offense may be better but the Steelers’ offense is unbelievable. Pittsburgh’s only flaw is defense. So expect a high scoring game. However, even with how good the Ravens defense is, especially at home, the Steelers’ offense has the capacity to outplay them.
Chiefs, 33, Broncos, 30
This game means a lot to the playoffs. If the Chiefs beat Denver on the road though, they’ll beat them at home. Each of these teams has found new ways to work around each other’s defenses, and it’s resulting in higher scoring games. The Chiefs have done that better though, resulting in them edging out these wins. I think the same result will be true tomorrow night.
Cowboys, 34, Lions, 33
Both these defenses aren’t so good, so this will be an offensive shootout. The Lions offense will do very well in this game, but it won’t be enough to top a Cowboys offense that also puts up almost 35 points. With the home field advantage, the Cowboys should hold the Lions off, especially after what happened last week. If Detroit loses to Green Bay too (which I don’t think they will), they could be out of the playoff picture.
Thursday Night’s Game
Giants, 30, Eagles, 27
I was surprised by the result of this game. The Eagles took an easy lead early. I saw a close one the Giants pull away in. The Eagles offense did establish themselves again like I predicted, but they ended up holding up the Giants’ playoff clinching as well.