NFL WEEK 16 PREDICTIONS
Saturday, December 21st, 2019
Houston Texans @ Tampa Bay Bucs
The Buccaneers are hot having won four straight and five of their last six. Head coach Bruce Arians is turning things around with an offense that is third in the league scoring 29.7 points a game. The problem this week for Tampa Bay is their opponent actually has a winning record. Last time the Bucs faced a team with a record above .500? Yep, they lost. Houston has won three of four and is perched to clinch the AFC South… Houston 32, Tampa Bay 28
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Earlier in the season at home, the Bills lost a close one to Patriots 16-10. Buffalo has already clinched a playoff berth and would love nothing more than to beat the Pats for the first time in seven games. A Bills victory could actually help Buffalo claim a division title. New England rebounded from two straight losses with a win over Cincinnati last week. This week is postseason prep for the Patriots… New England 17, Buffalo 14
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
It’s Rams-49ers, Part Deux. San Francisco won the first meeting this season 20-7. The Rams were blown out by Dallas last week and with it gave the 49ers their first playoff berth in five seasons. The Rams playoff dreams were all but shattered. The Niners were upset by Atlanta last week. Expect San Francisco to come out and play well at home… San Francisco 24, LA Rams 17
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Saturday, December 22nd, 2019
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Atlanta Falcons
The Jags finally got a win coming back from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit last week to beat Oakland. Jacksonville had lost five straight before last week’s game. Now, the Jags will face the Falcons who surprised everyone with a win over San Francisco last week. It was Atlanta’s second straight victory. With some momentum and playing at home, the Falcons make it three straight… Atlanta 34, Jacksonville 28
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
The Ravens have the best record in the NFL and the likely league MVP in QB Lamar Jackson. Somehow, Baltimore lost to the Browns in their fourth game of the season. Don’t expect that to happen again. The Browns lost last week to Arizona and appear headed for yet another losing season. Playing at home, maybe the Browns keep it close, maybe not… Baltimore 41, Cleveland 28
New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans
The Titans can still make the playoffs but need to win out and hope Pittsburgh loses one of its final two games. Tennessee dropped a tough one to division rival Houston last week and facing the likes of Drew Brees and company will be no easy battle. The Saints lost two defensive line starters for the season and it’s possible they could rest some guys since they have clinched the NFC South… Tennessee 28, New Orleans 27
New York [email protected] Washington Redskins
It’s the battle for the basement in the NFC East. The Giants got their first win after nine straight losses last week. They beat Miami. The Redskins lost again to Philadelphia. Washington is continuing the Dwayne Haskins experiment at quarterback. The rookie went 19-for-28 for 261 yards and two touchdowns against the Eagles. Both defenses are awful. The Giants have won the last two in a row in the series. That ends Sunday… Washington 27, NY Giants 22
Detroit Lions @ Denver Broncos
The Lions lost for the seventh consecutive time last week and now sit 3-10-1. Denver had won two in a row before having to face the Chiefs in Kansas City. Detroit is using a third-string quarterback, a running back from their practice squad, and a giant Band-Aid on defense. The Lions are 1-5-1 on the road this year. Detroit moves another step closer to a top-5 draft pick next season… Denver 23, Detroit 20
Oakland Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers
Both the Chargers and Raiders are falling apart. Oakland lost their last home game before the move to Las Vegas. The Chargers lost to Minnesota marking their fourth defeat in their last five games. Oakland won the first meeting of this season. It was the Raiders first win in the series since 2016. The Chargers turned the ball over seven times last week. If they can cut those down… LA Chargers 33, Oakland 28
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
This one will determine the winner of the NFC East. A Dallas victory gives the Cowboys the division regardless of what they do in Week 17 since Dallas would own the tiebreaker over the Eagles. After a huge win over the Rams last week, it’s time for Dallas to do what it does best – disappoint… Philadelphia 28, Dallas 27
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
The Cardinals are still learning. They head to Seattle for another test on Sunday. Unfortunately, this test is against the 11-3 Seahawks who beat the Cardinals 27-10 earlier this season. Seattle is now playing for the NFC west title and the conference’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs… Seattle 28, Arizona 10
Kansas City Chiefs @ Chicago Bears
The Bears loss to Green Bay last week foiled any playoff hopes. The Chiefs continue to roll. Kansas City holds tiebreaker advantages over Baltimore and New England having beaten both teams. That’s their motivation against the Bears on Sunday… Kansas City 30, Chicago 20
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
As it stands, the Packers own the No. 2 seed and a home playoff game heading into Week 16. The Vikings own the No. 6 spot. To win the NFC North, the Vikings must win out and watch the Packers lose to the Lions in Week 17. Not happening, though they might get this one at home… Minnesota 27, Green Bay 24
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The Redskins kept their playoff hopes alive with a late field goal in a win over Jacksonville. Now 7-7, Washington heads to Tennessee where the Titans are in a similar situation. The Titans Derrick Henry ran for 170 yards and two TDs. The Titans are 5-1 at home… Tennessee 21, Washington 17.
The Ravens have won four of five but their lone loss was to Kansas City. Now, Baltimore faces the team that beat the Chiefs last week – the Chargers. Los Angeles is playing at home where they have won their last two straight. The Chargers can win the division and get closer to a first-round bye with a win… L.A. Chargers 33, Baltimore 27.
The Browns can actually still make the playoffs. They will have to beat in-state rival Cincinnati this week to begin the process. Cleveland beat the Bengals for the first time in eight games when they met just a few weeks ago. Browns QB Baker Mayfield threw four touchdown passes against the worst pass defense in the NFL. Cleveland has won four of its last five games and they are 4-2-1 at home… Cleveland 24, Cincinnati 22.
Dallas blew a chance to clinch the NFC East last week and got shutout for the first time since 2003 in the process. A win over Tampa Bay all but locks up the division. The Bucs are deadly in the passing game, but the defense is one of the worst in the NFL. The Bucs have won just twice in their last eight games and they have just one win on the road this year. Don’t expect another… Dallas 33, Tampa Bay 27.
The Vikings came out of their shell a week after firing offensive coordinator Joe DeFilippo. They beat Miami 41-17 and remain in control of the NFC’s second wild card spot. With just a half-game lead for the No. 6 seed in the NFC, the only way to guarantee a playoff berth for the Vikings is to win their final two games. Minnesota has beaten the Lions (5-9) once already, 24-9 at home earlier this season. The Vikings defense held Detroit to just 209 yards of offense. The Lions have just one win in their last four…over Arizona… Minnesota 31, Detroit 20.
Since starting the season 1-5, the Colts are 7-1 and in position to earn a playoff berth. They beat Dallas 23-0 last week and can move a step closer to the postseason with a win over the Giants. The Giants have a future star in Saquon Barkley who has rushed for 1,155 yards and has caught 82 passes for another 654. Last week, Tennessee proved that if you stop Barkley, you stop the Giants. The rookie had just 31 rushing yards and the Giants lost 17-0. The Colts defense could do the same and they are 5-2 at home… Indianapolis 27, NY Giants 20.
Miami (7-7) is still alive in the AFC playoff race. Jacksonville…not so much. The Dolphins lost 41-17 to the Vikings last week and apparently have lost leading rusher Frank Gore (722 yards) for the season. The Jags are 4-10 after playing for an AFC title last year. They have won once in their last 10 games. The offense is just awful. The Jags have scored 28 points … in their last three games combined. The Dolphins have had great success at home. They are 6-1 at Hard Rock Stadium… Miami 20, Jacksonville 19.
The Patriots dropped to the third seed in the AFC with Sunday’s loss to Pittsburgh. This could be the first time in nine years that New England does not receive a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Patriots beat the Bills 25-9 earlier this season, have won the last four straight, and have owned the series since 2000. Buffalo is just 5-9 and is coming off a win over Detroit last week. Surprisingly, the Bills last two wins over the Patriots have been in New England (2016 & 2014). New England isn’t losing three in a row… New England 44, Buffalo 27.
The Jets have won once in their last eight games, but they have kept their most recent games close. They lost 29-22 to Houston last week. Now, they face a slumping Green Bay at home in Week 16. The Packers (5-8-1) are eliminated from the postseason and the big question is whether or not QB Aaron Rodgers will play. It won’t matter. Here’s why. Green Bay hasn’t won a road game all year… NY Jets 23, Green Bay 22.
At 10-1 in their last 11 games, the Houston Texans are the NFL’s hottest team. They face a Philadelphia team that can still earn a playoff bid in Week 16.Backup QB Nick Foles, last year’s Super Bowl MVP, led the Eagles to an upset of the Rams last week. Could it happen again? The Texans are one of the better road teams in the NFL. They also run the ball better… Houston 17, Philadelphia 14.
In year’s past, a Falcons-Panthers late-season game usually had some kind of playoff implications. Not this time around. It’s hard to say which team – the 5-9 Falcons or 6-7 Panthers – is more disappointing. Carolina appeared headed to at least a wild card when they were 6-2. They haven’t won since. Atlanta won for the first time in six games last week with a win over Arizona. Can both teams lose? Carolina 23, Atlanta 20.
Can the Cardinals get any worse? They definitely won’t get any better against the Rams on Sunday. Arizona is just 3-11 on the season and has what is likely the NFL’s worst offense. The Cardinals average 13.7 points a game. The Rams? Despite an upset loss to Philadelphia last week, they are headed to a first-round playoff bye… L.A. Rams 44, Arizona 20.
The Bears clinched the NFC North for the first time since 2010 with a win over Green Bay last week. This week, it’s a trap game. San Francisco is just 4-10, but the 49ers pulled a huge upset over Seattle last week. QB Nick Mullens and TE George Kittle are hot. Playing away from home with a division title locked up, this could be a prime upset… San Francisco 23, Chicago 20.
As if the Steelers’ schedule couldn’t get any rougher. Pittsburgh had to beat New England last week at home to get their first win in four weeks. Now, they head to New Orleans, which has already clinched the NFC South. The Saints are 5-1 at home, but the Steelers really need a win to solidify the AFC North. How about an upset… Pittsburgh 38, New Orleans 35.
The Chiefs (11-3) need a win over Seattle to maintain a hold on the AFC West title and the AFC’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Winning at CenturyLink Field can be difficult, but Seattle has lost two home games this season and they were upset by San Francisco last week. The Chiefs are awful against the pass, but the Seahawks rely on the running game which will keep the ball away from Patrick Mahomes (45 TD passes) and the Chiefs offense…. Seattle 30, Kansas City 28.
It’s one of the oldest of AFC rivalries. Denver heads to Oakland to face the Raiders, a team they beat in their first matchup this season. Denver let a playoff berth get away with a loss to Cleveland last week. The Raiders are playing for positioning in next year’s NFL Draft. They are simply not that good, even at home… Denver 24, Oakland 16.