Overall Record: 143-79-2
Week 16 picks:
(Starting 0-1 after the Giants loss to Philadelphia on Thursday night)
Dolphins 17, Bills 20
The Bills stayed in the playoff hunt with a dominating win over Cleveland last week. LeSean McCoy gets another favorable matchup against Miami’s 30th-ranked run defense.
MIA: M. Moore — 224 yards, 2 TD
BUF: L. McCoy — 120 rush yards, TD, 5 receptions
Jets 13, Patriots 24
A young quarterback against Bill Belichick in Foxboro? This one is a no-brainer.
NYJ: B. Powell — 85 all-purpose yards
NE: T. Brady — 240 pass yards, 2 TD
Titans 24, Jaguars 13
These two teams have split the season series in recent years, but not in 2016. The Titans were road warriors last week and they do it again to keep pace with Houston for the AFC South title.
TEN: D. Murray — 130 rush yards, 2 TD
JAX: B. Bortles — 231 pass yards, TD, 2 INT
Vikings 16, Packers 27
These two teams are polar opposites of what they were back in week two when Minnesota dominated the Pack at home. The Vikings lost by 28 to the Colts last week and will now see the frigid temperatures of Wisconsin end what has been an epic collapse from one of the feel-good stories of the NFL.
MIN: M. Asiata — Rush TD
GB: T. Montgomery — 150 all-purpose yards, 2 TD
Chargers 21, Browns 14
This is Cleveland’s last chance to avoid joining the dreadful ’08 Detroit Lions. They’re playing at home against a team that is out of the playoff race. I don’t think Phillip Rivers will let it happen, though, even if Melvin Gordon doesn’t play.
SD: R. Hillman — Rush TD
CLE: I. Crowell — 92 rush yards
Redskins 27, Bears 19
Chicago nearly pulled off an upset over division-rival Green Bay last week at Soldier Field, but they couldn’t stop the run. Throwing is Washington’s forte, and Kirk Cousins will bounce back from what was a disappointing prime time loss to Carolina last Monday.
WASH: D. Jackson — 117 receiving yards, TD
CHI: J. Howard — 88 rush yards
Falcons 28, Panthers 27
Remember the last time these two teams played? Matt Ryan threw for 500 yards and Julio Jones accounted for exactly 300 of them. Carolina is mathematically still in the race after back to back wins, but since Julio is playing in this one, I have to give the advantage to the Falcons’ offense against the Panthers’ sub-par secondary.
ATL: M. Ryan — 320 pass yards, 2 TD
CAR: C. Newton — 250 pass yards, TD, rush TD
Colts 20, Raiders 27
The Colts surprised everyone with a convincing win in Minnesota last Sunday. However, Oakland returns home after clinching a playoff berth and no team would want to play in an inspired Black Hole.
IND: A. Luck — 227 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
OAK: L. Murray — 105 rush yards, 2 TD
Buccaneers 24, Saints 17
These two teams will play for the second time in a 3-week span. The Bucs held New Orleans and Drew Brees to just 11 points in the Sunshine State in the first meeting. Tampa Bay gets back on track after a close loss in Dallas.
TB: Doug Martin — Rush TD
NO: W. Snead — 6 receptions, 76 yards, TD
Cardinals 20, Seahawks 21
A rematch of the league’s best worst game ever. The 6-6 tie between these two teams featured turnovers, a blocked punt, and bad kicking. What’s in store for this week? Seattle is undefeated at home and the 12th man gives them the advantage.
ARI: D. Johnson — 117 all-purpose yards, TD
SEA: D. Baldwin — 75 receiving yards
49ers 20, Rams 16
The Niners only win came over the Rams in week one, they get it done again on Sunday in a game that will lock the Browns with the no. 1 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
SF: C. Kaepernick: Pass TD, Rush TD
Bengals 17, Texans 21
Houston (and the Texans in general) have been a death trap for Cincinnati. The Bengals have won just nine of 22 games since losing to Houston last year when they were 8-0. A.J Green is expected to play in this game, but fellow Pro-Bowler Tyler Eifert will not. Houston has the no. 2 ranked pass defense and that doesn’t bode well for Andy Dalton who has been held to under 200 yards passing in back to back games. Despite Tom Savage making his first professional start, the Texans win this game on defense and the legs of Lamar Miller.
CIN: R. Burkhead — 85 all-purpose yards, TD
HOU: L. Miller — 94 rushing yards, TD
Ravens 23, Steelers 24
As bad as most feature games in the NFL have been this season, the NFL has two great games lined up for Christmas. The Ravens have won four straight against Pittsburgh dating back to 2014, and they are the last team to hold Le’Veon Bell to under 100 scrimmage yards this season. Joe Flacco’s clutch gene returns, but the Steelers are too hot to lose at home in a game with playoff implications.
BAL: J. Flacco — 275 pass yards, 2 TD
PIT: A. Brown — 147 receiving yards, TD
PIT: L. Bell — 150 all-purpose yards, TD
Broncos 12, Chiefs 16
Denver has scored just 13 points in the last two games and the defending champs are seeing a playoff spot slip from their hands. With the division nearly out of reach, Denver really needs a win because they don’t have the tie-breaker with Tennessee and the Titans are playing the Jags this week. Arrowhead on primetime will be extremely noisy, and Spencer Ware will look to carve up Denver’s atrocious run defense.
DEN: T. Siemian — 298 pass yards, TD, INT
KC: S. Ware — 110 rush yards, TD
Lions 14, Cowboys 28
Uh oh. The Lions’ late-season schedule gets tougher. After a loss to the Giants on the road, they now have to travel South to take on the best team in the NFC. Dallas clinched the NFC East after Philly’s win on Thursday, but they will feed Zeke for a win over Detroit.
DET: M. Stafford — 175 pass yards, TD, 2 INT
DAL: D. Prescott — 236 pass yards, 2 TD
If these predictions hold true, we will be set up for two division championship games (HOU @ TEN & GB@ DET).
Photo: Tulsa World