NFL Week 16 Predictions

Like many out there, I myself am taking tomorrow off to finish up the shopping portion of the Christmas season, as well as take in the new Rocky movie. With that, I am going to give my NFL Picks for week 16 a day early. Last week I was 10-6, bringing my yearly total to 142-85. With the Monday games a few days away, I will save those picks for Sunday. Here are the rest of the matchups that make up week 16.

Thursday :

Minnesota at Green Bay – The week kicks off with a Thursday night game that will go mostly unseen since its on a network that no one gets. The Packers beat the Vikings earlier this season in Minnesota 23-17, and will have the emotion of it possibly being the last game at Lambeau for QB Brett Favre. The Pack has won 6 games and have a slim shot at the playoffs, while the Vikings started 4-2, but are now just 6-8 as well. Take this stat to the bank – Favre is 40-5 at home when the temp at game time is 35 or under. It should be that tonight, and the Pack should move to 7-8. Green Bay 24 Minnesota 14

Saturday:

Kansas City at Oakland – Any chance the Chiefs had of making the playoffs are likely gone after last weeks loss in San Diego, but at least they will have someone to beat on this week. The Raiders at 2-12 are the worst team in the league, and this looks like a ripe matchup for the Chiefs to break their three game losing streak. KC struggled with the Raiders the first time around, winning 17-13 in KC, but the Raiders don’t seem to be getting much better following last weeks 20-0 shutout at home vs St.Louis. Look for a steady diet of Larry Johnson and Trent Green to Tony Gonzalez equal an easy win for the Chiefs. Kansas City 27 Oakland 7

Sunday:

Washington at St.Louis – On to Sunday, and our first game is between two NFC teams that are just playing out the stretch at the Edward Jones Dome. The Redskins were 2-2, but since have gone 3-7 to sit at 5-9. St.Louis was 4-1, but have also gone 2-7 since, sitting now at 6-10. The Redskins played what many believe was their best game of the season last week in beating the Saints at the SuperDome. They ran the ball well, and played their best defensive game of the year. The Rams were winners in Oakland, 20-0 over a Raiders team that was thinking about New Years Day. If the Skins halt the running game of Stephen Jackson they have a solid shot to make it two in a row, and I think they do that here. Washington 16 St.Louis 13

Tennessee at Buffalo – Both these teams are among the best stories of the year the way they have played over the last few weeks, and even though either will likely make the playoffs, both teams should get a round of applause. The Titans with a five-game winning streak are about the hottest team in the league. Vince Young looks like the real deal, and despite being outgained heavily last week, they found a way at home against the Jags. The Bills pitched a shutout last week, 21-0 vs the Dolphins, and they are hot as well, winning four of five. The Bills offense has been the key in the turnaround, averaging 21 points in the last five games. I think that Young and the running game will struggle a bit here, and at home take the Bills. Buffalo 20 Tennessee 10

Tampa Bay at Cleveland – Two teams with eyes on the April draft do battle at Browns Stadium, as the 3-11 Buccaneers battle the 4-10 Browns. Tampa Bay showed some heart last week, as backup now starter Tim Rattay led them to 21 fourth quarter points to send their game with Chicago into OT before losing 34-31. The Browns and Ravens were tied 17-17 in the 3rd quarter Sunday, but Baltimore hit for a long TD and a field goal to send the Browns to 0-6 in the division and a 27-17 loss. Cadallic Williams has been stuck in the mud the last three games, rushing for just 101 yards, but could get some traction this week against a Browns team allowing 144 per game on the ground. Derek Anderson starts at QB for the Browns, and despite not much to play for has been okay in his two starts. The weather should not be that much of a factor, and I think with Anderson showing some ability the Browns at home get it done. Cleveland 17 Tampa Bay 10

New Orleans at New York Giants – A must win in every sense of the term for the Giants, who now at 7-7 have no margin of error. Last week it was another round of turnovers that cost them a home win against the Eagles. Now they have to face a Saints team that is ticked off about losing a home game to the Redskins. At 9-5, the Saints are still the #2 seed, but a loss here and a Cowboys win over Philly on Christmas and the Saints could be playing Wild Card weekend. Look for a lot of Tiki and for the Giants to try and play it safe here and avoid mistakes. They realize one more loss and their season could be over. NY Giants 27 New Orleans 21

New England at Jacksonville – The Pats can clinch the AFC East with a win, but a win in J-Ville will not come easy. The Jags are a very Jekyl and Hyde team, very good at home, bad on the road. They know at 8-6 that a loss would hamper their playoff opportunity, and at home they simply have to play better. Last week they outgained the Titans 396-98, but allowed three picks, a fumble, and three returns for scores. The Pats did not turn the ball over vs the Texans, and went on for an easy 40-7 win. I have a strange feeling that the way they lost to the Titans may have a hangover effect for the Jags here, and I think the Pats steal one and crush the Jags playoff chances. New England 20 Jacksonville 17

Indianapolis at Houston – The Colts got a big confidence boost Monday night, beating up the Bengals to get their 11th win of the year. They held the Bengals to 278 total yards, just 133 on the ground. This after allowing 375 rushing yards to the Jags the week before. They now get to play a Texans team that allowed 40 points last week and has a QB in David Carr that is playing like…well, David Carr. Last week he threw four picks and was sacked four times. His play has been a big factor in the Texans 4-10 season, and a change may be coming for the team in 2007 at that position. The Colts know they still hold the #2 spot in the conference, and they will cement it with a win here. Indianapolis 31 Houston 14

Chicago at Detroit – Its the Lions Super Bowl as at 2-12 they play the 12-2 Bears, who really have nothing to play for. Chicago has a division title, a bye, and home field for the playoffs. Most of the starters will likely get some time off, and that makes this a hard game to call. Can the Bears backups beat the Lions starters? That is basically what this game comes down to. One concern for the Bears is that their defense has been beat up the last two weeks, and they have to play at a high level for them to reach the Super Bowl. Last week they allowed 21 fourth quarter points to a bad Tampa Bay team. Detroit has 14 players on IR, and haven’t won since November 5th. The effort is there, but they simply don’t have the horses. Chicago’s backups are good enough. Chicago 14 Detroit 10

Carolina at Atlanta – For all the problems that Falcons have had in 2006, they still have a shot at the playoffs. Of course those chances could improve greatly with a win over the struggling Panthers, who with two straight home losses have killed their shot at the postseason. Atlanta has lost three straight at home, and are 3-4 at home this season. They are a staggering 1-6 at home in November and December the last two years. Last week Michael Vick threw four TD’s, but the defense was beaten up and the Falcons lost 38-28. The Panthers look like a team that has given up. Last week a the Steelers came to Carolina and simply pounded the Panthers – 37-3. If Chris Weinke, 1-16 as a starter lifetime, gets the start for the injured Jake Delhomme, the Falcons should be able to get some turnovers and turn around their home woes. Look for a Falcons breakout. Atlanta 29 Carolina 17

Baltimore at Pittsburgh – The Steelers have won five of six, but still need two wins and a miracle to make the playoffs. The Ravens, who beat the Steelers 27-0 last month, want that number two spot in the conference and a bye in the first round. The Ravens have won 7 of 8, and will need Steve McNair to be back and healthy after missing much of last week after having his hand stepped on. The Steelers have found their running game, and Pro Bowl back Willie Parker has been stepping it up with some big games the last few weeks. He is averaging 132 yards rushing at home. Ben Roethlisberger also is back to playing pretty well, avoiding many of the turnovers that plagued him earlier this year. This could be Bill Cowher’s last game at home as coach of the Steelers, and the team will want to send him out on a winning note. Pittsburgh 21 Baltimore 17

Arizona at San Francisco – 21 fourth quarter points last Thursday vs the Seahawks led the 49’ers to a big road win 24-14 last week. San Fran is starting to show signs that next year they are going to be something to handle, as at 6-8 they are playing with a lot of heart for coach Mike Nolan. Arizona lost to the Broncos at home last week, and at 4-10 are going to have to rebuild some for the 07 season. They may have a new coach as well, as many think that Denny Green will be shown the door on Black Monday – January 1st. The biggest playmaker in this game is 49’ers RB Frank Gore, who has rushed for 1,491 yards this season. Look for he and 49’ers offense to be able to move the ball on the Cards, and for it to be another long day for the birds. San Francisco 27 Arizona 20

Cincinnati at Denver – A pair of AFC Playoff hopefuls meet in Denver as the 8-6 Broncos host the 8-6 Bengals. Monday was a long night for the Bengals, who were stopped on all phases in a 34-16 loss to the Colts. Now they can ill afford a loss in Denver, against a team that finally got on track last weekend in Arizona. The Bengals have lost seven straight in Denver, but the Broncos have lost three straight at home, meaning that something has to give. Denver QB Jay Cutler has been playing okay as a starter, last week going 21 for 31 for 261 and two TD’s vs Arizona. The Bengals still allow a lot of yards on defense, along with 20 points per game. I think the Broncos have enough offense to outlast them at home here. Denver 28 Cincinnati 26

San Diego at Seattle – The Chargers can wrap up homefield with a win over the Hawks, but considering how Seattle must feel right now, that task will be easier said than done. The Hawks imploded last week vs the 49’ers in a 24-14 loss, and have to get back to track at 8-6 just to make sure they clinch their division. Going up against LaDainian Tomlinson won’t be easy, the Chargers superback is a clinch to be MVP, breaking all kinds of records this past season. Shaun Alexander, last seasons MVP, is struggling, rushing for just 3.8 yards per carry. Seattle will key on L.T. and try to see if Phillip Rivers can beat them. Rivers has struggled the past few weeks, and last week was terrible most of the night vs the Chiefs. Seattle will try and get that running game back on track, but I don’t think even at home they have the horses to last with the Chargers. San Diego 24 Seattle 20

 


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One Response to “NFL Week 16 Predictions”

  1. Greg Dix says:

    Matt!!!

    your killing me! I need ur pic for the J-E-T-S GAME!!! It’s the Monday night game w/ total pts I need for my office pool. C’mon Matt… it’s the home stretch I need you to bring me home the bacon! I know Philly is going to cover if not win. Jeff Garcia has too much to prove to lose this game especially w/ the TO dynamic. Jeff wants to get even. But I need help with the J-E-T-S Jets!!! total pts please…… I’m going away for the holiday and i won’t have email access……