With playoff races and draft positioning hanging in the balance, Week 16 offers up a load of intriguing matchups. Be it a divisional showdown between the Bengals and Steelers or an inter-conference battle featuring the Giants and Ravens, there will be some exciting football played this weekend.
Of course, there will also be some soul-crushingly awful football played as well, most likely whenever the Jets take the field.
Only two more weeks of regular-season picks for you to belittle and laugh at. Enjoy.
Picks are in BOLD.
Last Week: 9-7
Atlanta vs. Detroit
The Falcons made a big-time statement against the Giants. There's a legit fear of a letdown here, especially with Detroit's defensive line being able to dominate up front against the Falcons. But Mike Nolan's defense keeps the Lions in check.
New Orleans vs. Dallas
This Cowboys team just keeps finding ways to win, even with an extremely banged-up defense. Drew Brees and the Saints are playing better than they were early on in the season, but the Cowboys keep their playoff hopes alive.
Tennessee vs. Green Bay
The Packers may not be as pretty to watch as they were when their offense was lighting up opponents in 2011, but they are a more complete football team. The Titans won't stick around for long in this one.
Indianapolis vs. Kansas City
Buffalo vs. Miami
Ryan Tannehill should be the starter in Miami for a long time. Ryan Fitzpatrick's time as the starter in Buffalo is coming to a close. Dolphins fans may be less than thrilled with their team this year, but Joe Philbin's group gets a division win.
San Diego vs. New York Jets
This will be an ugly display of the game of football. The Chargers can't block the Jets' pass rush. The Jets can't move the ball on the ground or through the air...on anyone. The Jets win because they're at home and because Norv Turner is involved.
Washington vs. Philadelphia
It sounds like RGIII will be back for this divisional matchup—not that it matters much. The Redskins showed they can survive without their rookie phenom against a Browns defense that is better than the one Philadelphia will put out on the field. The Eagles' defensive line has been playing out of its mind, but it won't be enough to win.
Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh
The Bengals are probably the better team—but I'm taking the Steelers because I can't see Mike Tomlin and Big Ben losing a big game at home, late in the year with the playoffs in sight. That's it.
St. Louis vs. Tampa Bay
The Bucs were thoroughly embarrassed by the Saints. The Rams couldn't have looked less intimidating against the Vikings. The Bucs get back on track by running the football and getting the ball to Vincent Jackson off of play action.
Oakland vs. Carolina
New England vs. Jacksonville
Poor Jacksonville. It gets Tom Brady and the Patriots a week after they got beat up and embarrassed on national television. You can expect the Pats to take it out on the Jaguars. Make sure you bring your Jag Rags, Jaguars fans!
Minnesota vs. Houston
The Texans will use their running game to keep Adrian Peterson off the field, and they will use Andre Johnson to score points. Peterson will be held under 200 yards for the first time in seemingly forever.
Cleveland vs. Denver
The Browns have the makings of a good football team. The Broncos ARE a good football team. It's almost unfair to Browns fans to make them watch Brandon Weeden while having to watch Peyton Manning play for the opposing team.
Chicago vs. Arizona
The Bears are a mess. Their offense is impotent. Their defense is banged up. But despite all of that, they will eat whoever is under center for the Cardinals for breakfast, and the offense will lean on Matt Forte to grind out a win in the desert.
New York Giants vs. Baltimore
Two teams coming off embarrassing butt-kickings. Who do you trust to shake it off and show up to play this week? Joe Flacco, or Eli Manning? Yeah, me too.
San Francisco vs. Seattle
This could be a tough game to watch. Not because of the quality of play on the field, mind you, but because the hitting will be so fierce that you can expect a number of injury timeouts. I tend to think the Niners are the more talented team overall, but on this night, in this stadium, the Seahawks find a way to win.
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