Let’s begin by saying that from here at Football Fan Source, we want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays as we come to a close on a wonderful year and season of football. Everyone celebrates the holidays in their own unique way and we sincerely hope that everyone enjoys the holidays even with the usual hustle and bustle that is normally associated with it.
As for the Week 16 NFL Predictions, which have some significant playoff implications…
Last week, I was 9-7. Given some of the outcomes last week, I don’t know what else I could have done. I did correctly predict San Diego’s upset Thursday night and Miami’s win against New England, but had a couple key blunders.
I missed on Washington, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Dallas, New Orleans, Cincinnati and Detroit last week.
Washington could have very well won with a successful two-point conversion. Kirk Cousins is obviously a quality quarterback who could be a decent trade piece for Washington to use in their attempt to get back into the first-round of the NFL Draft.
I don’t know how Philadelphia lost to Minnesota. The Vikings have talent, but played without Adrian Peterson. Are the Vikings better without him? Sorry! Sorry… just a question.
By trusting the Jaguars I should have expected them to disappoint me.
What are you doing Dallas!?!?!? Only running the ball seven times in the second half of a game you are winning 26-3 at halftime? The Cowboys have to be the most frustrating team to try to understand and comprehend.
Raise your hand if you thought the Saints would get, essentially, blown-out by the Rams? If you raised your hand… you’re lying.
Cincinnati looked like the Bengals of old as they got dominated by the Steelers. They looked young and unsure of their ability to compete with the “big boys”, which is a side of Cincinnati we haven’t really seen all season.
Calvin Johnson was told he was old and wasn’t a physical player and he actually failed to prove the Ravens wrong. I could have sworn he was going to go off and get the Lions the win by himself, but it obviously didn’t happen.
If you have any questions or simply want to discuss my Week 16 NFL Predictions, simply contact me and I’ll try to get back as soon as I can.
Sunday, 12/22 – 1:00 pm ET
Miami Dolphins 8-6 @ Buffalo Bills 5-9
Prediction: Miami Dolphins
Miami got a huge win at home last week against the Patriots and now remain in the thick of the AFC playoff picture as a wild card team. Now, they must travel to Buffalo in late December, seeking their ninth win on the season. Snow is always a possibility around this time of year in Buffalo, but the forecast points to more rain than anything. In my mind, this is a significant factor in the Dolphins’ chances. Another significant factor is that Buffalo is going to be missing starting rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel. With the Dolphins on the cusp of a playoff berth and the Bills missing their promising rookie quarterback, I like Miami to pull off this necessary win.
New Orleans Saints 10-4 @ Carolina Panthers 10-4
Prediction: Carolina Panthers
The theme of this week is that Mother Nature will be having a say in nearly every game whether it be due to rain, snow or sleet. This is another game that should plenty of rain in Carolina. Frankly, that alone decides this game. It is hard to refute that New Orleans and their offense, particularly, is not at explosive, or good, when they play on the road. This is even more apparent in road games against the elements such as this weekend’s game. Carolina’s defensive secondary may have been picked apart by Drew Brees in the first matchup between these two teams, but the ground game is going to essential in the rain. Carolina’s is much better and should lead them to a win.
Minnesota Vikings 4-9-1 @ Cincinnati Bengals 9-5
Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati looked atrocious before making a frantic, and also flawed, comeback last Sunday night in Pittsburgh. This could either be a game where the inconsistent Bengals fold and lose their promising season and playoff appearance to a surging Baltimore team, or they will come out with a renewed focus. I tend to think they will come out focused as Cincy is 6-0 at home this season with their offense simply taking over those games. I can’t trust that Minnesota can continue to surprise, particularly against an angry and motivated Bengals team.
Denver Broncos 11-3 @ Houston Texans 2-12
Prediction: Denver Broncos
Don’t be surprised when this is closer than you think, but Denver is still the favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, while Houston is the favorite to represent the AFC… with their number one draft pick. Don’t screw this up Houston! You’re so close!
Tennessee Titans 5-9 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 4-10
Prediction: Tennessee Titans
I took Jacksonville last week thinking they were on a roll and then they lost at home to Buffalo. Meanwhile, Tennessee continues to play close (for the most part) with the “big boys” almost knocking off Arizona last week. Now, the Jaguars are facing down injuries at receiver (Cecil Shorts) and running back (Maurice Jones-Drew) making it hard to trust them, even in an upset setting. I like Ryan Fitzpatrick to have a great game while Jacksonville struggles to move the ball offensively.
Indianapolis Colts 9-5 @ Kansas City Chiefs 11-3
Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs
This is actually a pretty straight-forward pick for me. Their is supposed to be a snow storm that is rolling through Kansas City Sunday morning, so the run game and defense will be key factors in the game’s outcome. Kansas City runs the ball very well and has a solid defense who should be able to pressure Andrew Luck. Indianapolis is a terrible running team and their defense has been leaky as of late. Playing in Arrowhead, even without the whole blizzard thing, is tough for any team. I like the Chiefs.
Dallas Cowboys 7-7 @ Washington Redskins 3-11
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys
I have been a believer of the Cowboys all season because they have the talent and ability to be potential winners every week, but as a football fan, I can’t get over how ridiculous they can be. Between abandoning the run last week with a huge lead in the second half, the constant media coverage trying to blow up everything Dez Bryant does/says/thinks, I have trouble assessing them. I look at the matchup this week and think Dallas has traditionally played better on the road than in “Jerry Jones World” and I see a team that should be more committed to the run against Washington’s 17th-ranked rush defense. However, nothing seems to be that simple with Dallas’ terrible defense. They can’t stop anybody. I see this turning into a shootout and Dallas winning thanks to Tony Romo. I know I’m going against the grain, but I’m sticking with it.
Cleveland Browns 4-10 @ New York Jets 6-8
Prediction: Cleveland Browns
Do I have to pick one? Cleveland has been on a slide in the second half of the season and the Jets, partly due to the play of rookie Geno Smith, have done the same. Now they meet in New York nothing on the line. I’m taking Cleveland to win. The Browns have an underrated defense and Jason Campbell, while nothing special, has the Browns offense competing, almost knocking off New England and Chicago over the last two weeks. I think Smith could have more struggles and throw a pick or two. I also think the Browns will do enough to win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-10 @ St. Louis Rams 6-8
Prediction: St. Louis Rams
St. Louis has been incredible at home and pretty bad on the road nearly all season. The Rams’ defense comes to play, pressuring the quarterback and forcing mistakes on their home turf. When they are on the road, it’s a different story, but with this week being played in St. Louis, I think the Rams’ defense comes out firing. The Buccaneers have quietly turned their season around with four wins in their last six games, but after watching St. Louis beat up the Saints last week, I have to think the Rams have what it takes to pressure rookie Mike Glennon and run the ball with Zac Stacy to a Rams’ win.
Sunday, 12/22 – 4:05 pm ET
Arizona Cardinals 9-5 @ Seattle Seahawks 12-2
Prediction: Seattle Seahawks
This is an interesting game on paper, but Seattle should win. Arizona’s Carson Palmer will throw a couple interceptions, Larry Fitzgerald will be shut out again and the constant pressure that puts on Arizona’s defense will wear them down. Plus, I never pick against Seattle when they are playing in Seattle.
New York Giants 5-9 @ Detroit Lions 7-7
Prediction: Detroit Lions
Detroit is the better team and they really need this win to control their own destiny in their search for a playoff berth. The Giants are missing some key offensive pieces and the Detroit defense is capable of turning Eli Manning over. I don’t know if anyone on the Giants roster can matchup with Calvin Johnson, but then again… that’s what I said last week with Detroit’s matchup with Baltimore… I like Detroit to win.
Sunday, 12/22 – 4:25 pm ET
New England Patriots 10-4 @ Baltimore Ravens 8-6
Prediction: New England Patriots
New England is going to struggle again without Rob Gronkowski, but they were 5-1 without him at the beginning of the season. New England’s defense isn’t as “complete” as they were during that time with injuries taking their toll, but with Tom Brady, you always have a chance. I also don’t think Baltimore has the offense to take advantage of the Patriots’ defense. Baltimore has played tough, physical football over the last couple weeks and they can smell the playoffs, but I have trouble believing New England won’t put up a heck of a fight as they try to secure the second playoff seed in the AFC. I think New England does just enough to squeak by Baltimore.
Oakland Raiders 4-10 @ San Diego Chargers 7-7
Prediction: San Diego Chargers
Oakland was a strong start this season behind Terrelle Pryor (aka “Superstar”), but have struggled to stop anyone on defense and generate enough offense to stay in games as of late. San Diego is still in the playoff picture behind a balanced offensive attack and a defense that seems to simply do enough. I like San Diego to take care of business this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers 6-8 @ Green Bay Packers 7-6-1
Prediction: Green Bay Packers
This may be a bit of a reach. The Steelers looked playoff bound themselves last week against Cincinnati and while Green Bay stays in contention without Aaron Rodgers, they have won their last two games by a combined two points. Still, I like the home team here. Eddie Lacy should play a huge role, once again, in the Packers success offensively with Matt Flynn taking advantage more of potential play action opportunities. Pittsburgh’s defense isn’t what it once was, so the Packers should be able to generate some offense. On the other side of the ball, Ben Roethlisberger has been great this season and while I expect him to play well this week, I just think the Packers will be able to survive another “Rodgers-less” week.
Sunday, 12/22 – 8:30 pm ET
Chicago Bears 8-6 @ Philadelphia Eagles 8-6
Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles
This will be fun to watch. Chicago will be unstoppable offensively with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery being practically un-guardable and Philadelphia has LeSean McCoy, who will be unstoppable for the Bears rush defense, which should open up opportunities for Nick Foles and his receivers. I don’t expect defense to be a major factor in this matchup in terms of being able to control the game, but I think Philly gets a turnover off of Jay Cutler, which decides the game in the Eagles favor.
Monday, 12/23 – 8:40 pm ET
Atlanta Falcons 4-10 @ San Francisco 49ers 10-4
Prediction: San Francisco 49ers
Atlanta is terrible this season due to incredibly key injuries at incredibly key positions for the Falcons. Their defense will be manhandled by the 49ers’ physicality offensively.