clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Week 16 Picks: Chiefs Over Raiders, Broncos Over Bills, Lions Over Chargers

With Week 16 of the 2011 season comes some game that have huge playoff implications. Here are our picks for each game on Christmas weekend.

The second to last week of the 2011 NFL regular season kicks off Thursday night. Due to the fact that Christmas is on Sunday, the majority of the games are going to be played on Saturday, but that doesn't change the fact that there are a handful of teams that are on the cusp of making it into the playoffs, which makes this weekend's games some of the most important of the entire season. Here are our Week 16 picks.

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (+7.5) - The Colts are coming off their first win of the season last week against the Tennessee Titans. This season has shown us that without Peyton Manning, the Colts are a hot mess. The Texans, on the other hand, have taken full advantage of Manning being out so far this season and they're going to the playoffs for the first time in the short history of their franchise. Even without Matt Schaub, or Matt Leinart, the Texans, led by T.J. Yates, are more than capable of winning in Indy Thursday night. Pick: Texans

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-10) - The Dolphins were one of the worst teams in the NFL through the first eight weeks of the season, but since their first win in Week 9, they've won five of seven games and can't be considered an easy team to walk over anymore. The Patriots are, of course, the Patriots. Their coming off the highly publicized win over the Broncos in Denver. If the Dolphins had been playing the way they are now throughout the entire season, this game may have some playoff implications but that's not the case. Either way, the Dolphins don't have the fire power to hold up against the Patriots on the road. Pick: Patriots

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-7.5) - Of all teams relying on a rookie quarterback to get things done for them, the Jaguars are going through the most growing pains. They have a 4-10 record at this point in the season and though they've shown flashes, it's probably a safe bet to pick the other team almost every week. The Titans were knocking on the playoff door but a loss to the winless Colts in Week 15 puts them on the outside looking in. Still, Chris Johnson and Matt Hasselbeck should be enough to get the win in Nashville. Pick: Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-5) - After finishing the 2010 season with a 10-6 record, the 2011 Buccaneers have been a disappointment. They head into Week 16 with a 4-10 record. They'll be facing Cam Newton, who will more than likely be named the Offensive Rookie of the Year, and their 30th-ranked defense will likely struggle. Newton, along with Steve Smith, has been fun to watch this year and I don't expect the Buccaneers will be able to keep up. Pick: Panthers

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-14.5) - The Browns have struggled, again, throughout the 2011 season. The Ravens, on the other hand, are sitting at 10-4. They've already guaranteed a playoff spot but they're still fighting for a first-round bye. They won't be taking it easy on the Browns on Saturday. Pick: Ravens

Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals (-4) - The Bengals are one of those teams that needs to win out in order to make it the playoffs. They're one of the more surprising teams in the 2011 season. Most picked them to finish dead last but they're heading into Week 16 with an 8-6 record. The Cardinals got off to a rough start but they've won six of their last seven and four games in a row. This game isn't going to be easy for either team and will likely come down to defense. Pick: Bengals

Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins (-3) - Both the Redskins and Vikings are out of the playoff race. The Redskins have been passed up by the Philadelphia Eagles and the Vikings are sitting with a 2-10 record. Both teams are right around the same when it comes to stats so far in 2011. The Redskins actually have a worse schedule at home than they do on the road but this should be a game they can handle. Pick: Redskins 

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills (+2) - The Broncos were brought down to Earth in Week 15 by the Patriots and now they face another AFC East team on the road. The Bills were one of the hottest teams coming out of the gates this season but completely fell apart after the first quarter. They're now 5-9 and have lost seven in a row. If Ryan Fitzpatrick and company can up about 35 points on the board, the Bills can win, but the Broncos still have something to play for. The Bills' season is pretty much over. Pick: Broncos

St. Louis Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14.5) - The Rams are in the Andrew Luck race with a 2-12 record heading into Week 16. The Steelers, on the other hand, have locked up a trip to the playoffs but are still fighting for position. They need the Ravens to lose to jump back on top of the AFC North and get a possible first-round bye. The Ravens are playing the Browns, but anything's possible, right? Pick: Steelers

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (+2.5) - The Raiders are coming off a one-point loss to the Detroit Lions and the Chiefs are coming off a shocking win over the Green Bay Packers. Both teams still have a shot at the playoffs and this is a huge game for both of them. The last time these two teams met, Carson Palmer was playing in his first game in silver and black and the Chiefs shut out the Raiders 28-0. It won't be a blowout like it was in Week 7, but I expect the same outcome. Pick: Chiefs

New York Giants at New York Jets (-2) - There really is no home or away team in this game. Both teams share the same stadium and both teams need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. If both teams win out, they'll make the playoffs but if either of them lose one game, they could get knocked out. This game is tough to pick. Both have been up and down this season and, in my opinion, it comes down to one thing: Eli Manning is better than Mark Sanchez. Pick: Giants

San Diego Chargers at Detroit Lions (-2.5) - The Chargers are definitely better in december. Suddenly the turnover machine named Philip Rivers starts slinging touchdowns as soon as November comes to an end and they are riding a three-game winning streak. The Lions are hanging on to the NFC's last playoff spot right now and have won two in a row. Both teams have high powered offense and this game has the makings of a shootout. The Lions have been pretty good a home and the Chargers are 2-4 on the road. Pick: Lions

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) - This is another huge game with playoff implications. The Cowboys are currently in the lead of the NFC East and if they win out, they're in, but if they lose and the Giants win, they're likely out. The Eagles have really turned it on at the end of the season. They're coming off a massive beat down over the Jets and have worked themselves into the playoff picture with a 6-8 record. Who's going to have a bigger game, Michael Vick or Tony Romo? Pick: Eagles

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (+3) - The 49ers are heading to the playoffs in 2011 and have the toughest defense in the NFL. They're coming off a huge win against the Steelers at home on Monday Night Football. The Seahawks are on a roll. They've won three in a row and four of their last five. They have worked their way into position to make it into the playoffs with a 7-7 record. Seattle is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL and with the 49ers already packing their bags for the post season, I smell an upset. Pick: Seahawks

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-13) - The Packers got surprised in Week 15 but it won't happen two weeks in a row. This is one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL but with the questions at the quarterback position for the Bears and the fact that the game is being played in Green Bay, the Packers should be able to win easily. Pick: Packers

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-7) - Drew Brees is likely going to set the new record for single-season passing yards and he may do it against the Falcons on Monday night. The last time these two teams met, the Saints won, largely due to a controversial decision by Falcons head coach, Mike Smith, to go for it on fourth down in overtime. This game won't go to overtime. I expect the Saints to be on top as the final seconds tick off the clock in the fourth quarter. Pick: Saints