18 December 2013

2013 NFL Predictions: Week 16

Another week in the football, another week of quality football as we saw some excellent action during Week 15, which ended up being the highest scoring week in NFL history. Can Week 16 keep up the trend? Here are my predictions.

Last Week: 10-6
2013: 140-82
Locks: 12-3

Sunday, December 22nd
Miami Dolphins (8-6) vs. Buffalo Bills (5-9) - CBS, 1:00
It takes a lot to stare down Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots but the Dolphins did just that thanks to a brilliant performance from Ryan Tannehill, quite possibly the finest of his young career. Miami is on a three game winning streak and they control their destiny for a Wild Card berth. Buffalo did get off their schneid with a solid road win at Jacksonville, with E.J. Manuel looking rather sharp, and I think they will give the Dolphins no cakewalk, but I don't think they can pull off the upset.
Dolphins 24 Bills 21

Denver Broncos (11-3) vs. Houston Texans (2-12) - CBS, 1:00
I would not take a whole lot from Denver's loss on Thursday night to the Chargers, with the exception of their defense having some holes that leaves them potentially vulnerable in the postseason. That said, the Texans are pitiful and have just about no shot to pull off this upset at home.
Broncos 31 Texans 6

Tennessee Titans (5-9) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10) - CBS, 1:00
So if you are a team whose playoff hopes have died and you pull off an incredible comeback to have the opportunity to tie up the ballgame late in regulation with a PAT, but can also win it with a two point conversion, don't you have to go for the two? Of course, but don't tell that to Mike Munchak who went for the tie, and promptly lost in overtime to Arizona. But hey, it's not like he's coaching for a job or anything. That said, I think they come out and get this divisional win against a Jacksonville team that I believe has seen some of the wind come out of the sail.
Titans 23 Jaguars 20

Indianapolis Colts (9-5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) - CBS, 1:00
Even with a solid win over the Texans, I still do not have much faith in the Colts yet. A nice win over an awful team does not a real contender make. If they want to give me some more confidence in them going int the postseason, they need to win a game like this one in a tough road environment against a really good squad. And yet, I'm not seeing it. After all, Kansas City has been looking very stout offensively, which should worry everyone.
Chiefs 30 Colts 21

Cleveland Browns (4-10) vs. New York Jets (6-8) - CBS, 1:00
I will say I did not see the Jets not getting eliminated from the playoffs at the very end of Week 15, so they do earn some credit for exceeding expectations. And you know what, they were more competitive against the Panthers than I thought they would be, only losing by ten. For Cleveland, they have lost five in a row but they have their last three are all games they should have won and with how strong their defense is and how awesome Josh Gordon is, they have a shot more often than that. In what should be a good game, I like the Brownies on the road.
Browns 13 Jets 10

New Orleans Saints (10-4) vs. Carolina Panthers (10-4) - Fox, 1:00
Before Sunday, I was not necessarily buying the notion that the Saints were a bad road team, even with the demolition in Seattle. But to be manhandled by the Rams in the Ed Dome, that really changed my mind and I think their road problems are not to be ignored. Look what they have done on the road this year, they struggled to beat Tampa, Chicago and Atlanta while somehow blowing a win in Foxborough, inexplicably losing to the Jets (which I predicted), and the blowouts at Seattle and St. Louis. Now you want me to think they can go into Ericsson Stadium and beat a Panthers club hungry for retribution after their embarrasing loss in New Orleans two weeks ago?
Panthers 33 Saints 31

Minnesota Vikings (4-9-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (9-5) - Fox, 1:00
I am not sure how they did it, but the Minnesota offense exploded for 48 points without their top two running backs and even more surprisingly, their defense stepped up to the plate did just enough to keep the Eagles at bay in a big home victory. But they are in for a tougher test offensively this week against a strong Cincinnati defense, and I doubt Matt Cassel will be throwing for almost 400 yards against them. And let's go on and say that defensive performance, and they were still gashed by Chip Kelly's attack, was a fluke as well.
Bengals 28 Vikings 9

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10) vs. St. Louis Rams (6-8) - Fox, 1:00
Can somebody figure out the Rams for me? In the last eight weeks alone, they have blown out Houston, lost three in a row, blown out Indianapolis, lose two in a row convincingly, and then beat the Saints convincingly. Hmm. So if I'm going to be buying stock in anything, it's that the Rams are damn inconsistent. They seem bound for a fall as the Bucs will come to town and win. But hey, with St. Louis, who the hell knows.
Buccaneers 19 Rams 14

Dallas Cowboys (7-7) vs. Washington (3-11) - Fox, 1:00
So I'm watching the Packers-Cowboys game on Sunday, leave to eat dinner with the family early in the second half with Dallas beating the crap out of Green Bay and yet when I returned, the Cowboys were in the midst of a truly astounding choke job. When you factor in a defense with more leaks than the Iraqi Navy, awful playcalling and a Tony Romo meltdown, that's how you blow a 23 point halftime lead. But even with losing two in a row, they still have a fine chance to win the NFC East if they win out. And considering the state of Washington right now, where the football team may actually have a lower approval rating than Congress, I refuse to rule out that possibility.
Cowboys 27 Washington 9

New York Giants (5-9) vs. Detroit Lions (7-7) - Fox, 1:00
Boy, have the Lions done all they could to all but blow their chances in the NFC North. By falling on Monday night to Baltimore, they made their road significantly tougher to win to get to the playoffs as they need to win out and have both Chicago and Green Bay lose once. With their 1-4 stretch and sloppy, undisciplined play that reminds me of my freshman year, they need to stop the bleeding fast before it really hits the fan. Fortunately, they get the Giants who are pulling one of their classic end of season fold jobs.
Lions 24 Giants 12

Arizona Cardinals (9-5) vs. Seattle Seahawks (12-2) - Fox, 1:00
The Cardinals did what they could to blow the game to the Titans on Sunday, but fortunately for them, Mike Munchak coached like a coward as I mentioned earlier and they were able to escape in overtime. That said, this has been an impressive debut season for Bruce Arians down in the desert and if they can push the action down the stretch, they can get in the playoffs. Unfortunately, they have to go to Seattle and win, and we all know the Seahawks do not lose at home.
Seahawks 33 Cardinals 24

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8) vs. Green Bay Packers (7-6-1) - CBS, 4:25
It was very shocking hpw the Packers rallied from a 23 point halftime deficit on the road in Arlington to get a big win that, when coupled with Detroit's loss on Monday evening, has given a team that should have been given their last rites with their winless stretch in November a very legitimate chance to win the NFC North. The biggest question remains, when will Aaron Rodgers return? I actually think this will finally be that week and with that, along with a team with seemingly house money, I like them to get a huge win on the road in Pittsburgh. Of course, I reserve the right to change my pick should developments necessitate them.
UPDATE: With Rodgers indeed being out, I am switching to the Steelers. I just do not have the confidence in Matt Flynn moving the ball, even at home.
Steelers 31 Packers 18

Oakland Raiders (4-10) vs. San Diego Chargers (7-7) - CBS, 4:25
So Oakland's defense has shown its true colors during their four game losing streak as it has been disastrous for them. Of course, their offense has not done much either to rectify the situation but besides that, it's been rose of late in Oaktown. I think the Chargers found themselves some confidence with their big win in Denver on Thursday night and they think they can get big wins in their longshot effort to get into the playoffs. San Diego is a safe bet in my eyes.
Chargers 30 Raiders 20

New England Patriots (10-4) vs. Baltimore Ravens (8-6) - CBS, 4:25
You know what defines a good team? Well, it's a very broad question but one of the biggest answers has to be knowing how to win games, no matter what it takes. We have seen this with New England over the years and a number of times this year, although not on Sunday as they fell to the Dolphins in Miami Gardens, and we have seen that with Baltimore winning four in a row, including on Monday after riding the leg of Justin Tucker, to get right into the mix of the playoffs. Give me Baltimore at home, I do wonder if New England may have left their foot off the gas somewhat.
Ravens 27 Patriots 25

Chicago Bears (8-6) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (8-6) - NBC, 8:30
The Eagles' sleep job loss to the Vikings was pretty inexplicable but the blow was lessened by the Cowboys putting together an epic collapse of their own. For Chicago, they struggled for much of their game against the Browns as Jay Cutler struggled in his return from injury, but when Cutler found his game in the fourth quarter, the Bears roared back and pulled off a big win. And I think we will see that Cutler against a pitiful Philadelphia defense and I think Chicago has more motivation to win than dos Philadelphia.
Bears 34 Eagles 31

Monday, December 23rd
Atlanta Falcons (4-10) vs. San Francisco 49ers (10-4) - ESPN, 8:30
Here is how bad the Falcons are. They forced Washington to force seven turnovers on Sunday, and they won by one point. And that was after Washington went for two and failed instead of kicking the tying PAT. But that is what happens when one flailing team takes on another, even more so flailing team. So given that, I feel confident that San Francisco, in the final game at Candlestick Park, will win. In fact, they are my Lock of the Week.
49ers 30 Falcons 14

Cover photo courtesy Yahoo

No comments:

Post a Comment