It is Week 16 baby. Closing time is near. The playoff picture is starting to become clearer. There are plenty of teams that have basically closed up shop and are looking ahead to next season. But there are still a good few teams fighting for their playoff lives.
Lets take a look at the Pick’em Scoreboard.
TheSportsKraze: 131 CV3: 134
I am still 3 back on the great CV3. Is there any way I can finally catch him during these final two weeks?
Cowboys at Cardinals: NFL action on Christmas? After a day full of NBA games, the ratings might not be top-notch for this affair, but a good amount of people will still tune in. In the “Post Wade Phillips Era,” the Cowboys offense has scored 30 plus points every game. It has been an impressive offensive outburst for Jerry Jone’s squad. Maybe Jon Kitna is not so bad? The Cardinals on the other hand are coming off of a loss to perhaps football’s worst team, the Carolina Panthers. Expect Dallas to shred a very weak Arizona defense all night. Cowboys by 9 on the road.
Patriots at Bills: The Patriots have appeared nearly unstoppable over the past month and a half. Winners of 6 straight, no team has held the potent Pat’s offense under 30 points since the beginning of November. Do not expect that to change in Buffalo. Sure the Bills have won 2 straight games, but they have not played a team the caliber of NE. Good luck slowing down Brady, Welker, Branch, and Woodhead. Patriots by 9 in most likely atrocious Buffalo weather.
Jets at Bears: This is one of Week 16’s best matchups. Though the Bears have already clinched a divisional title, they are still playing for seeding. Home games in a cold Chicago could be a major advantage in postseason play. The Jets on the other hand answered their critics with a huge victory in Pittsburgh last week. Can they answer the critics for a second straight week? This will be an old-fashioned defensive struggle at Soldier Field. The difference in this one will be New York’s ability to run the ball effectively against anyone. Jets by 3 on the road in a very exciting game.
Ravens at Browns: The Ravens look to keep pace with the Steelers atop the AFC North as they head to face their bitter rival, Cleveland. You better believe that this will be a cold and physical affair. Is Peyton Hillis ready to take on the Raven’s mighty defense? If the Ravens can stop the run, they will win this game. And my money is on Baltimore to stop the Brown’s solid rushing attack. Sadly, Cleveland is about to experience their first 3 game losing streak since they started the season on a 3 game skid. Ravens by 7 on the road.
Titans at Chiefs: The Titans ended their horrific 6 game losing streak with authority against the Texans last week. The Chiefs on the other hand look to remain atop the AFC West. After a huge victory over the Rams, the Chiefs remain a game ahead of a hot Charger’s team. Can they hold on to their lead? I am going to go out on a limb and pick the Chiefs to choke away this one. The Titans have struggled this year. But with Chris Johnson, they have a guy who can score on any play. Look for CJ to give KC a little taste of their own medicine. And run the Chief’s defense ragged all day. I got the Titans shocking KC by 1 on the road.
49ers at Rams: This is San Francisco’s last chance. If they want any hope of salvaging their season, this is a must win. Can they make good on their team owner’s promise of the season not being over when the team struggled to an 0 and 5 start? I think they can. St. Louis has had a season where they have exceeded expectations in a big way. Sam Bradford has been even better than advertised. There is no logic to why I am picking the 49ers. But I think they will make this NFC West fiasco turn into a photo finish with a victory in this one. 49ers by 3 on the road.
Lions at Dolphins: Detroit has shocked the world over the past couple of weeks. Knocking off the likes of a tough Packers team and a solid Buccaneers team. Can they keep rolling as they head to Miami? I think so. Miami has struggled at home this year for some odd reason. Detroit is playing their best football. Look for the Lions to continue their late push with a 3 point victory in Miami.
Redskins at Jaguars: Washington has lost 4 straight games and Jacksonville just let Indianapolis back into the picture. Neither team is very happy heading into this rumble in Jacksonville. Sadly for the Jags, it appears Maurice Jones-Drew will not be suiting up. Without MJD, the Jaguar’s offense will have to rely on its less that stellar passing attack. Luckily for them, Washington has a very weak secondary. This will be an ugly game in every sense of the word. I do expect the Jags to survive and conquer by 3 though.
Colts at Raiders: Peyton and the boys are once again full of life after a huge victory over divisional foe, Jacksonville last week. Indy is a team that strictly relies on a lethal passing attack. The Raiders are the polar opposite, placing all of their offensive stress on the ground attack. Old school vs new school. I am taking the new school. As long as Indy has Peyton Manning under center, it is very hard to pick against the Colts in any must win game. Colts by 7 on the road.
Texans at Broncos: Two teams whose seasons are long over. Back to the drawing board. Just based on raw talent, the Texans are an obvious choice to win this game. Denver’s horrific defense will struggle with the Texan’s balanced offensive attack. I expected much bigger things from the team out of Houston. But I still go them winning this game. Texans by 7 in Denver.
Chargers at Bengals: Teams heading in very different directions. Both of these teams were favorites in their respective divisions heading into the season. Cincy got off to a decent start while San Diego got off to their normal very slow start. Following a Week 3 win, the Bengals then went on to lose 10 straight games. Even though the losing streak is finally over for the Who Deys, the bleeding is not. The Chargers will demonstrate their great balance in every aspect of the game. The real question in Cincinnat is who will they draft and which players/coaches will return. Chargers by 9 on the road.
Giants at Packers: This is possibly the biggest game of the week with respect to the NFC Playoff picture. Two teams fighting for their respective playoff lives. The Giants possibly suffered their most heartbreaking loss in franchise history last Sunday. The Packers on the other hand, almost shocked the Patriots without their starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. These are two teams that are very solid in all facets of the game. It is a toss-up. I am going out on a limb and taking the heartbroken Giants by 1 on the road.
Seahawks at Buccaneers: This is a must win for the Buccaneers. So was last week’s game vs the Lions. Can the Buccaneers redeem themselves? I think that they can, but it will not matter. I see the Buccaneers just missing out on the playoffs even with a win over Seattle on Sunday. Bucs by 7 at home.
Vikings at Eagles: Will Brett Favre play? Who really cares. Philadelphia is flying high behind their outstanding offensive attack. Expect to see the Eagles continue to fly high, with a big victory at home. Eagles by 12.
Saints at Falcons: Battle for the NFC South. Roddy White has made it publicly known that his team will be ready. The Falcons have won 8 straight games. New Orleans had won 6 straight until they traveled to Baltimore on Sunday. I would pick the defending champs if this game was being played in NOLA. But it isn’t. Atlanta does not lose at home with Matt Ryan behind center. Falcons by 1 at home.
Pats over Bills by 9
Jets over Bears by 10
Ravens over Browns by 3
Titans over Chiefs by 6
Rams over 49ers by 10
Lions over Dolphins by 6
Jags over Redskins by 10
Raiders over Colts by 7
Texans over Broncos by 8
Packers over Giants by 9
Bucs over Seahawks by 10
Eagles over Vikings by 21
Bengals over Chargers by 1
Falcons over Saints by 3
It is crunch time in the NFL now. This week will make or break many team’s playoff hopes. Most teams are looking to do all in their power to clinch a spot in the postseason heading into Week 17. Enjoy the great matchups highlighted by a big time Monday Night Affair between the Saints and Falcons.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.