21 December 2016

2016 NFL Predictions: Week 16

Only two weeks remain in this NFL season and only four teams (two in each conference) have knocked down playoff bids and just about every game this week means something for someone or another in the playoff contention fight.

So who will win in Week 16? Here are my predictions.
Last Week: 12-4
2016: 140-84
Locks: 12-3

Thursday, December 22nd
Giants (10-4) vs. Eagles (5-9) - NBC/NFL Network, 8:25
New York Giants (2000 - Pres)Philadelphia Eagles (1996 - Pres)
The Giants are only a slight favorite here even after they cranked out a strong win over the Lions on Sunday because they haven't been scoring a lot of points of late and also because the Eagles, even while losing, have been largely competitive in almost every game. I think their secondary makes it a bad matchup for Carson Wentz and thus New York should win. But on a Thursday night, anything is possible.
Giants 17 Eagles 9

Christmas Eve - Saturday, December 24th
Dolphins (9-5) vs. Bills (7-7) - CBS, 1:00
Miami Dolphins (1997 - 2012)Buffalo Bills (1974 - Pres)
Buffalo rebounded from two losses in a row by pounding Cleveland to keep their slim playoff hopes alive but I mean, who isn't pounding Cleveland of late? They have got a nice upset opportunity here against the Dolphins in Orchard Park as Miami will have to go into the cold with Matt Moore in their second straight road contest. That said, I think the Dolphins will pound the rock and find success in this game like they did earlier this season and crank out a close victory.
Dolphins 24 Bills 19

Jets (4-10) vs. Patriots (12-2) - CBS, 1:00
New York Jets (2002 - Pres)Boston Patriots (1965 - 1970)
As expected, that win over the 49ers was basically proven meaningless as the Jets came back and laid another egg against the Dolphins at home on Saturday night. Whether it's Bryce Petty, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kyle Petty or "Broken Hand" Fitzpatrick, they have just about no chance of going into Foxborough and pulling off an upset victory. It may be uninspiring but the Patriots are my Lock of the Week.
Patriots 27 Jets 7

Titans (8-6) vs. Jaguars (2-12) - CBS, 1:00
It took them a while but the Jaguars finally canned Gus Bradley. In his stead is Doug Marrone (remember him?) and while I do like Marrone as a coach, this team is a mess offensively and he will have to get his money's worth coaxing some offense out of this club. Perhaps they'll come out strong with the interim coach but I would still be surprise to see them take out a surging Tennessee club.
Titans 24 Jaguars 16

Vikings (7-7) vs. Packers (8-6) - Fox, 1:00
Minnesota Vikings (1966 - 2012)Green Bay Packers (1980 - Pres)
This is a huge game in the NFC North, especially after Detroit lost on Sunday in the Meadowlands, but these two teams are going in different directions. Minnesota has lost seven of their last nine and their offense has only gotten worse. They looked really bad in getting pounded by the Colts at home. Meanwhile, Green Bay nearly choked away a game in Chicago against a game Bears squad but a brilliant play by both Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson helped to save the day. Even in a divisional contest, I just don't see the Vikings offense to get enough production here on the road.
Packers 28 Vikings 14

Chargers (5-9) vs. Browns (0-14) - CBS, 1:00
San Diego Chargers (2007 - Pres)Cleveland Browns (2006 - 2014)
The Browns have two opportunities left to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to go 0-16 and it is hard to find reasons to believe that they will get a win either this week or this week. I mean, San Diego isn't any good and they're playing an early game but at least they can score some points (and may be getting Melvin Gordon back this week). Against a Cleveland team that can neither score nor keep teams from scoring, that should be enough.
Chargers 20 Browns 10

Washington (7-6-1) vs. Bears (3-11) - Fox, 1:00
Washington Redskins (1965 - 1969)Chicago Bears (1999 - Pres)
Matt Barkley may still be Matt Barkley but hey, the guy has played relatively well of late and has kept the Bears competitive, most recently against the Packers. It doesn't help him that his team is awful but you have to give credit where credit is due. Washington needs this win in the worst way and I think they will get, but it won't be easy.
Washington 23 Bears 21

Falcons (9-5) vs. Panthers (6-8) - Fox, 1:00
Atlanta Falcons (1966 - 1989)Carolina Panthers (1995 - 2011)
Even with their season in the toilet, the Panthers played well on Monday night in Landover as they helped to deal the Washington club a nice dent in their playoff chances. They have the chance right here at home to play spoiler again. I don't see it happening because their offense has not shown enough to me to think they can outscore the Falcons but if Cam Newton has a big league performance, look out.
Falcons 31 Panthers 28

Colts (7-7) vs. Raiders (11-3) - CBS, 4:05
Indianapolis Colts (2002 - Pres)
Now was their impressive victory over the Vikings in Minneapolis symbolic of an Indianapolis club being better than we thought they were or of a Minnesota club that has completely fallen apart? I lean toward the latter but even then, a four touchdown road victory is a four touchdown road victory. They are back on the road this week but against a much tougher team in the Raiders and while Andrew Luck can keep his team in just about any game, I'd be surprised if he won them this game.
Raiders 35 Colts 30

Buccaneers (8-6) vs. Saints (6-8) - Fox, 4:25
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1997 - 2013)New Orleans Saints (2000 - Pres)
Tampa Bay had their chances on Sunday night (frankly, thanks to Jason Garrett's coaching) but that was a tough loss for them to handle as they are fighting to hang on in the NFC playoff race. They will stay on the road and take on a Saints team that just cranked out a nice victory over the Cardinals in Glendale, and we know that they are always a tough team at home. These two only played two weeks ago with the Buccaneers coming out on top but I think you'll see some revenge here.
Saints 27 Buccaneers 25

Cardinals (5-8-1) vs. Seahawks (9-4-1) - Fox, 4:25
Arizona Cardinals (1994 - 2004)Seattle Seahawks (2002 - 2011)
Arizona's faint playoff hopes got killed on Sunday with a disappointing home loss to the Saints at home so now their goal is to play some sort of spoiler against the Seahawks, likely in trying to keep them from a bye. I'm not that confident that they can go on the road and take out a team that has yet to lose this season at CenturyLink Field.
Seahawks 30 Cardinals 21

49ers (1-13) vs. Rams (4-10) - Fox, 4:25
San Francisco 49ers (2009 - Pres)Los Angeles Rams (2016 - Pres)
Wow, what a disaster of a football game. On one side, you have a team that has not won since Week 1 and on the other, you have a team that seemingly hasn't scored a touchdown in years. I will tell you, the Niners have a gotten a little frisky at times and Colin Kaepernick has not been terrible of late. I think he will lead a road victory right here.
49ers 17 Rams 13

Bengals (5-8-1) vs. Texans (8-6) - NFL Network, 8:25
Cincinnati Bengals (1997 - 2003)Houston Texans (2006 - Pres)
Rutgers legend Tom Savage is now the man with the Texans after another awful performance from Brock Osweiler and while he played well in relief in the team's comeback victory against Jacksonville, he is also pretty inexperienced. Houston is the better team but I don't expect a big performance from Savage so this will be close.
Texans 14 Bengals 12

Christmas - Sunday, December 25th
Ravens (8-6) vs. Steelers (9-5) - NFL Network, 4:30
Baltimore Ravens (1999 - Pres)Pittsburgh Steelers (1969 - 2001)
The AFC North race has been sloppy this year but with a win, the Steelers can knock down the division title and then host a playoff game. They have been playing some pretty good football of late in winning five in a row behind their vaunted offensive trio of Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. The Ravens have been tough to move the ball on but here on the road, I'm not sure they will be able to keep the Steelers at bay.
Steelers 28 Ravens 21

Broncos (8-6) vs. Chiefs (10-4) - NBC, 8:30
Denver Broncos (1997 - Pres)Kansas City Chiefs (1972 - Pres)
Just in case their little locker room skirmish didn't make it clear enough, the Broncos have lost their last two and three of their last four and now basically have to win out to get to the playoffs. Kansas City is still in pretty good shape but they failed to close out the Titans and ultimately lost at home on Sunday. Look for Denver's defense to keep them in it as they always do but the Kansas City offense will do just enough for the victory.
Chiefs 18 Broncos 13

Monday, December 26th
Lions (9-5) vs. Cowboys (12-2) - ESPN, 8:30
Detroit Lions (1970 - 2002)Dallas Cowboys (1964 - Pres)
It wasn't that long ago that the Lions were in position to potentially get a bye in the playoffs but now they are in legitimate danger of missing out entirely after a tough loss in the Meadowlands and then they have a tough road game here in the Metroplex and then they close at home against the surging Packers. Dallas has all but knocked down home-field advantage after surviving the Buccaneers on Sunday night. Look for the Lions to give them a fight but I think the powerful rushing attack of the Cowboys will grind their visitors down.
Cowboys 23 Lions 17


  1. Hi Ben
    Given that you (correctly) have chosen the Pats to stomp all over the Jets, I shall fall back on your play-off predictions and give Detroit no chance in Dallas. There is something about coming up against the Cowboys this year (Giants apart) that gets into their opponents heads; as if they don't believe they can beat the Cowboys. Detroit is one of those teams. Happy Christmas to everyone who contributes to this blog.

  2. Ben, where are the Week 17 NFL Announcer Lineups? Since they were not listed, here is what I found:

    New England @ Miami
    Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts

    Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
    Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

    Jacksonville @ Indianapolis
    Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots

    Buffalo @ NY Jets
    Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker

    Houston @ Tennessee
    Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta

    Baltimore @ Cincinnati
    Carter Blackburn, Chris Simms

    Oakland @ Denver
    Jim Nantz, Phil Simms

    Kansas City @ San Diego
    Greg Gumbel, Trent Green


    Dallas @ Philadelphia
    Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch

    Carolina @ Tampa Bay
    Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis

    Chicago @ Minnesota
    Dick Stockton, David Diehl

    NY Giants @ Washington
    Joe Buck, Troy Aikman

    New Orleans @ Atlanta
    Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston

    Arizona @ Los Angeles
    Chris Myers, Ronde Barber

    Seattle @ San Francisco
    Joe Davis, Brady Quinn