Movie quote of the day:
“Dad, you were like a father to me.”
– Ethan Tremblay, “Due Date” (2010)
Here are the matchups for week 16:
Week 15 record: 12-4 (75 percent)
2016 record: 136-86-2 (61.2 percent)
All-time record: 288-191-2 (60.1 percent)
New York Giants (10-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-9)
Lincoln Financial Field
Line: PHI -1.5
The Eagles have been slumping for a while – losers of nine of their last 11 games. I want to pick Philadelphia to win because I feel like this is a trap game for the Giants, but I can’t pull the trigger on the upset. The Giants have been playing really well in recent weeks. Their defense is playing lights out and Carson Wentz has really struggled – two touchdowns and six picks in his last four games. This is a big rivalry game, so, I think Philadelphia will find a way to keep the game close, but I think Wentz’s struggles continue against the Giants’ defense.
Prediction: Giants 19, Eagles 13
Miami Dolphins (9-5) at Buffalo Bills (7-7)
New Era Field
Buffalo, N. Y.
Line: BUF -4.5
Miami showed me a lot last week as the Dolphins went on the road and beat the Jets by three touchdowns with a backup quarterback as the starter. After that performance, I think they should handle Buffalo this week. Miami’s defense is pretty good and it should be able to contain the Bills’ offense from scoring too many points. It’ll be a tough game, but I think the Dolphins will be ready to play with a playoff spot on the line.
Prediction: Dolphins 24, Bills 21
New York Jets (4-10) at New England Patriots (12-2)
Line: NE -16.5
The Jets are a mess right now and I think they have little to no chance of winning this game. New England is too good of a team. I’m not sure the Patriots will blow out the Jets though because I think they’re in “coast” mode now that they’ve locked up the AFC East division. I think the Jets keep it within the spread but New England will pull away late.
Prediction: Patriots 27, Jets 13
Tennessee Titans (8-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)
Line: TEN -5
It’s time for people to start paying attention to Tennessee. The Titans have beat some good teams the last two weeks (Denver and Kansas City) and are looking like a playoff team. The Jaguars are terrible right now and fired Gus Bradley after last week’s loss to Houston. I expect the Titans to take care of business because they’re fighting for a playoff spot and they’re a much better team than Jacksonville.
Prediction: Titans 28, Jaguars 16
Minnesota Vikings (7-7) at Green Bay Packers (8-6)
Green Bay, Wis.
Line: GB -7
Minnesota has always found a way to keep Aaron Rodgers contained ever since Mike Zimmer became head coach a few years ago. However, I’m not sure that recipe will work this week. Rodgers and the Packers’ offense has been hot during their current four-game win streak, and the Vikings are really banged up. I think Minnesota’s defense keeps Green Bay’s offense somewhat contained, but Rodgers puts the ball in the end zone just enough to win.
Prediction: Packers 26, Vikings 20
San Diego Chargers (5-9) at Cleveland Browns (0-14)
Line: SD -5.5
Once again, I’m going out on a limb and pick Cleveland to win a game. San Diego has been awful the last few weeks and have lost three games in a row. West Coast teams tend to struggle on the East Coast for early kickoffs. I think the Chargers come out sluggish to start the game and the Browns get out to an early lead and hang on to get their first win. If Cleveland can’t win this game, I say go ahead and chalk the Browns up for an 0-16 season.
Prediction: Browns 21, Chargers 19
Washington Redskins (7-6-1) at Chicago Bears (3-11)
Line: WAS -3
Chicago has been playing a lot better the last few weeks. Granted, the Bears have lost five of their last six games, but four of those losses were by a total of 18 points. Also, Matt Barkley has also been playing well since taking over as the starting quarterback. I’m feeling an upset brewing in this game. Washington’s defense isn’t very good – particularly at stopping the run – and I think Jordan Howard will run wild and keep Kirk Cousins and the Redskins’ offense off the field.
Prediction: Bears 24, Redskins 20
Atlanta Falcons (9-5) at Carolina Panthers (6-8)
Bank of America Stadium
Charlotte, N. C.
Line: ATL -3
Watch out for Carolina. The Panthers have now won two games in a row – including going into Washington last week and slowing down a very good offense and give up just 15 points. Atlanta has the best offense in the NFL, but I think the Panthers’ defense is starting to come around. Also, Carolina’s offensive weapons are getting healthier, which is bad news for the Falcons’ subpar defense. I think Carolina pulls off the upset and stays alive for a playoff spot.
Prediction: Panthers 27, Falcons 26
Indianapolis Colts (7-7) at Oakland Raiders (11-3)
Line: OAK -3.5
Oakland has been too good this season. The Raiders’ pass rush should have its way against Indianapolis’ offensive line. I expect Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin to have big games, and Andrew Luck to spend a lot of time on the ground. Luck will make some plays and do his best to keep the game close, but I don’t think the Colts’ defense is good enough to slow down Oakland’s offense enough to help him out.
Prediction: Raiders 31, Colts 24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6) at New Orleans Saints (6-8)
Line: NO -3
This game will probably be a shootout – and New Orleans’ defense is improved, but it still isn’t good enough to win high-scoring affairs. Jameis Winston should have no problem scoring points on the Saints. The Buccaneers had a small setback last week after losing to the Cowboys, but they’re still a playoff team that’s playing well. I have to go with Tampa Bay to win a high-scoring game.
Prediction: Buccaneers 38, Saints 35
Arizona Cardinals (5-8-1) at Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1)
Line: SEA -8
Seattle has lost to Arizona at home two of the last three years, but I don’t think it’ll happen this year. Seattle has had its struggles this season, but the Seahawks have been a better team than Arizona all season. Carson Palmer hasn’t played well this year and I think his struggles continue against the Seahawks’ defense this week. I just hope this game doesn’t end in a tie the second time around.
Prediction: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 17
San Francisco 49ers (1-13) at Los Angeles Rams (4-10)
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Line: LA -4.5
This game is a total coin flip and I could see either team winning this game, but I’m going with the Rams. Los Angeles has better talent on its roster than San Francisco. I think the Rams’ defense will be too tough and I think their pass rush will get to Colin Kaepernick and force him to make mistakes. Plus, I’m sure that embarrassing loss to the 49ers on Monday Night Football back in week one is on the Rams’ mind. I think Los Angeles wins an ugly, low-scoring game.
Prediction: Rams 16, 49ers 13
Cincinnati Bengals (5-8-1) at Houston Texans (8-6)
I’m surprised the line is even for this game. I understand that Houston is starting a backup quarterback, but I think Tom Savage is a better option than Brock Osweiler right now. He led the team to a come-from-behind victory last week, and I think the Texans have had a good response to Savage becoming the team’s leader. Cincinnati has been a mess all season and I don’t think the Bengals are good enough to win this game on the road against a tough Houston defense. I think the Texans win a close one.
Prediction: Texans 24, Bengals 23
Baltimore Ravens (8-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)
Line: PIT -5.5
Pittsburgh is getting healthy and is on a roll right now – winners of five in a row. Baltimore has a really good defense, but Le’Veon Bell has been too good for the Steelers the last few weeks. I think the Ravens are going to have a hard time slowing down Bell and the Steelers’ offense. Pittsburgh’s defense isn’t great but I think it’s good enough to get stops against a Baltimore offense that ranks No. 19 in the NFL. Plus, the game is in Pittsburgh and the Ravens have lost two of their last three games there.
Prediction: Steelers 27, Ravens 21
Denver Broncos (8-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)
Kansas City, Mo.
Line: KC -3.5
Denver doesn’t have a good enough offense to go on the road and win this game. The Broncos’ offense has fallen apart since the season-ending injury to C. J. Anderson – ranking No. 21 in the league – and they can’t keep Trevor Siemian upright. The Chiefs’ defense is too good and they should have no problem forcing Denver’s offense to make mistakes – which gives Alex Smith a short field. I think the Chiefs win comfortably.
Prediction: Chiefs 24, Broncos 10
Detroit Lions (9-5) at Dallas Cowboys (12-2)
Line: DAL -7.5
Detroit’s defense has been one of the best stories in the NFL because it’s been over performing all year. However, Dallas has one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL and I don’t think Detroit has a good enough run defense (No. 11 in the NFL) to beat the Cowboys. Matt Stafford should be able to move the ball on Dallas’ defense but I don’t think he’ll have enough chances to score. The Lions will keep it close, but I think the Cowboys will pull away in the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Cowboys 31, Lions 20
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