PFT’s Week 16 picks

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All MDS wanted was a chance.  Maybe he should have been more careful about what he wished for.

Down five games with 32 games left and his ability to close the gap hinging on the existence of enough disagreements between the two of us, we disagree on five games this week.

So, in theory, he can pull off a five-game sweep and pull even for the Week 17 push to the finish line.

Last week, he nailed 12 of 16 picks.  But his decision to predict an Eagles sweep coupled with my decision to trust the Cowboys put me at 13-3.

For the season, I’ve moved to 150-74 (66.9%).  MDS is 145-79 (64.7%).

Titans at Jaguars

MDS’s take: In one of the worst games the NFL has ever put on prime-time television, I think the Jaguars will show that they’re still playing hard late in the season, while the Titans have given up.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 20, Titans 10.

Florio’s take:  The Jaguars are favored for the first time in more than 40 games.  And for good reason.  The Titans stink.

Florio’s pick:  Jaguars 17, Titans 13.

Eagles at Washington

MDS’s take: The Eagles are in a precarious position in the NFC playoff race, and I don’t think they’re going to make it. But I also don’t think they’ll lose to a reeling Washington team.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 20, Washington 10.

Florio’s take:  Philly has a very real chance at winning the division, since the Cowboys have a very real chance at losing to the Colts and opening the door for a Week 17 win-and-in for the Eagles.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 27, Washington 17.

Chargers at 49ers

MDS’s take: The 49ers are done, while the Chargers still have slim playoff hopes. That’s enough to make me think the Chargers will come out motivated and the 49ers will not, so I’m taking San Diego.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 27, 49ers 17.

Florio’s take:  The 49ers are playing for pride.  The Chargers are playing for a postseason berth they ultimately won’t be able to earn, given the broken collarbone suffered by Keenan Allen.  As players begin to realize that an era is ending, they’ll find a way to win at least one of the final two for the coach who nearly took the team to three straight Super Bowls.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 24, Chargers 20.

Browns at Panthers

MDS’s take: Johnny Manziel can’t possibly be any worse against the Panthers than he was against the Bengals, but I don’t think he’ll be a whole lot better, either. The Browns’ once-promising season will take another hit, while the Panthers will stay in contention in the NFC South.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 24, Browns 10.

Florio’s take:  Johnny Manziel will be better this week; he can’t be any worse.  But that won’t be enough to turn around a team that has gone into a characteristic free fall.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 23, Browns 10.

Lions at Bears

MDS’s take: The Bears have quit on the season, which means the Lions will get an easy win to clinch a playoff spot.

MDS’s pick: Lions 30, Bears 13.

Florio’s take:  And the Bears still haven’t had a true franchise quarterback since Sid Luckman.  The Lions continue to move toward the postseason.  The Bears continue to move toward seismic changes.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 31, Bears 13.

Ravens at Texans

MDS’s take: The Ravens haven’t clinched anything yet, but I think they’re going to make the playoffs and be a dangerous team when they get there. I like Baltimore to win easily on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 34, Texans 10.

Florio’s take:  The Ravens have run out of cornerbacks.  The Texans have run out of quarterbacks.  Advantage, team with no cornerbacks.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 24, Texans 14.

Vikings at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The Dolphins collapsed in their biggest game of the season last week, while the Vikings have played hard despite being long since eliminated from playoff contention. I’m tempted to pick Minnesota in an upset, but I just don’t think Teddy Bridgewater is quite ready to have a mistake-free game against a good defense, and so I’ll take Miami in a close one.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 17, Vikings 10.

Florio’s take:  It’s unclear whether coach Joe Philbin will return to the Dolphins next year, but it won’t hurt to finish strong.  Enter the Vikings, who have shown plenty of fight in a lost season but who don’t have the talent to overcome a Miami team that still has a little something to play for.

Florio’s pick:  Dolphins 24, Vikings 17.

Falcons at Saints

MDS’s take: Someone has to win the NFC South, and I still think the best bet is the Saints, who are not a very good team but should be able to put up good numbers on offense against a lousy Atlanta defense.

MDS’s pick: Saints 31, Falcons 28.

Florio’s take:  With or without Julio Jones lining up for Atlanta, the Saints reverse a bizarre trend that has seen them lose four straight games at home.  Maybe, just maybe, a 7-9 Saints team will host an 11-5 Seahawks franchise, four years after the roles were reversed.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 31, Falcons 20.

Patriots at Jets

MDS’s take: It wouldn’t shock me to see the Jets come out fired-up in Rex Ryan’s last game against the rival Patriots. The Jets could very well take an early lead. But over four quarters they just don’t have the firepower to keep up with New England.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 20, Jets 10.

Florio’s take:  When hired by the Jets, Rex Ryan said he wasn’t going to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings.  In what likely will be their last meeting, Belichick will be kicking Rex’s ass one last time, for old time’s sake.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 41, Jets 13.

Chiefs at Steelers

MDS’s take: This is an intriguing game in the AFC playoff race, where the winner is likely to make it and the loser is likely to be home for the holidays. I think the Chiefs are going to go on the road and pull off an upset.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 24, Steelers 21.

Florio’s take:  The Steelers have lost at home to the Buccaneers and Saints.  Which makes the fact that the Steelers will be playing their last two games at home not necessarily a good thing.  But they’ve come this far and the division title is two victories away.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 27, Chiefs 17.

Packers at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Bills showed that a good defense can rattle Aaron Rodgers. The Buccaneers’ defense is not as good as Buffalo’s. The Packers will win to set up a Week 17 NFC North showdown with the Lions.

MDS’s pick: Packers 30, Buccaneers 13.

Florio’s take:  The Packers looked horrible in Buffalo.  They’ll have to look a lot more horrible to lose in Tampa, especially with a loss moving Green Bay toward missing the playoffs.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 34, Buccaneers 20.

Giants at Rams

MDS’s take: If the Rams were in any division other than the NFC West, they’d have a real shot at being a playoff team. St. Louis can’t get to the postseason, but it can get to 8-8 with two more wins, and one of those wins will come on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Rams 21, Giants 17.

Florio’s take:  Both teams hope to finish the season strongly.  The Rams are currently stronger than the Giants, despite a pair of victories by Eli and company.

Florio’s pick:  Rams 24, Giants 20.

Colts at Cowboys

MDS’s take: The Colts don’t have much to play for after wrapping up the AFC South last week, while the Cowboys have plenty to play for as they could still finish anywhere from first seed in the NFC to out of the playoffs entirely. And yet I have a funny feeling that Andrew Luck is going to exploit the holes in the Cowboys’ defense and put up big numbers in a Colts win.

MDS’s pick: Colts 30, Cowboys 20.

Florio’s take:  The Cowboys realize the stakes of this one; a win moves them closer to a division title and a loss could ultimately knock them out of the playoffs, again.  DeMarco Murray will play, Tony Romo will deliver, and the Cowboys will continue one of their most surprising seasons ever.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 34, Colts 23.

Bills at Raiders

MDS’s take: The Bills probably won’t make the playoffs even if they win out, but beating the Raiders will clinch Buffalo’s first winning record since 2004. This Bills team is making progress.

MDS’s pick: Bills 17, Raiders 10.

Florio’s take:  By beating the Packers, Doug Marrone may have saved his job for at least a year.  He could secure it for the rest of the decade by securing the team’s first playoff berth since 1999.

Florio’s pick:  Bills 24, Raiders 14.

Seahawks at Cardinals

MDS’s take: I admire the way the Cardinals have continued to find ways to win despite injuries taking a huge toll on the roster. But a Ryan Lindley-quarterbacked team just can’t beat a Seattle team that is playing at a Super Bowl level.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 24, Cardinals 6.

Florio’s take:  Common sense points to Seattle, a seven-point favorite facing a third-string quarterback who was on San Diego’s practice squad a little more than a month ago.  But I can already hear Bruce Arians telling reporters after the game how the players fed off the combined incentive of proving everyone wrong and seizing the brass ring that is home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  Maybe I’m just a sucker for an underdog.  Maybe I’m stupid.  Maybe I’m a little tipsy.  Regardless, I’d rather be wrong by picking the Cardinals than wrong by making the obvious pick.

Florio’s pick:  Cardinals 23, Seahawks 20.

Broncos at Bengals

MDS’s take: The good news for the Broncos is they’re showing they can win with defense and a good running game on offense. The bad news is that Peyton Manning’s numbers are way down, and the Bengals’ secondary is solid. Look for the Bengals to frustrate Manning and pull off a home upset.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 24, Broncos 20.

Florio’s take:  Andy Dalton has a putrid record of 2-9 in prime-time and postseason games.  Make it 2-10.  The only good news is that he’ll possibly not have a chance to lose another playoff game.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 30, Bengals 20.

58 responses to “PFT’s Week 16 picks

  1. Whoever has the unfortunate experience of playing quarterback for the Texans on Sunday will not enjoy himself. Ravens will notch up another 6 sacks on the day.

    Ravens 28
    Texans 10

  2. The Seattle D will score more points than the AZ Offense. B.A. coach of the year no doubt. Gota have a healthy Palmer which is the killer.

  3. The Patriots cannot afford a repeat of last week’s first half dance recital they had with the Dolphins. They have to put up points early and make the Jets play from behind. However, Geno has been effective in previous games versus New England

  4. I don’t think the Redskins have a chance against the Philadelphia team this week but you can never count out a desperate team playing at home.

  5. Packers beating the Bucs on the road where they have not won in years,just aint gonna happen,Bucs 32 Pack 17.

  6. I fear for Russell Wilson’s safety given Hawks O-Line and Card’s D. Could be first game ever with no first downs recorded by either team.

  7. Apparently both of you have more faith in the Bengals overcoming the ‘primetime jinx’ than I do. But I hope you are right and I’m wrong.

  8. Wow, big time winning percentages, fellas. Maybe pick the spreads instead of loading up on obvious match ups like tonight’s game.

  9. Got a feeling that the Eagles will CRUSH the ‘Skins in Washington. Colts-Cowboys is too close to call for me; ‘Boys have much more to play for and I’ll be rooting hard for the Colts. Having a hard time imagining Ryan Lindley completing many passes against this Seattle D.

    I have a feeling the Saints will take control and wrap up the NFC South next week with a non-losing record at 8-8; no chance with that D in the playoffs though.

  10. If Clausen plays well, the Bears *might* keep the crowd at Solider Field till for at least the first half. Otherwise, look for a massive early exodus as people head out to finish their Christmas shopping.

  11. You guys forgot to mention homefield advantage for the Eagles. Redskins fans stopped coming to games a while ago. FedEx field should pretty much be awash in Eagles Green.

  12. Surprised MDS took the Bengals.
    Playing Denver on Monday night…

    I don’t even have that much faith in a primetime game, especially against one of AFC’s supreme.

  13. I know the NFC South is subpar, but why not flex that Saints Falcons game to 4pm? This is the most underrated rivalry in the league.

  14. I always found it amusing that Rex believed he’d even be allowed to kiss the rings if he wanted to. I doubt Belichick wants them covered in cheetos powder and flop sweat.

  15. Titans 7, Jaguars 24- Jaguars dominate.
    Eagles 34, Redskins 24- Easy win for Eagles
    Chargers 21, 49ers 27- Tight game, but Niners win.
    Ravens 38, Texans 21- Watt is just not enough.
    Browns 17, Panthers 14 OT- Manziel gets his 1st O/T W.
    Lions 34, Bears 13- Blowout… Bell scores 3 times.
    Packers 38, Buccaneers 24- Rodgers to Nelson for 3TD’s.
    Chiefs 16, Steelers 17- Alex Smith blows it.
    Dolphins 42, Vikings 38- Close and high scoring game.
    Patriots 27, Jets 23- Close but no cigar.
    Falcons 41, Saints 34- Brees falls short.
    Bills 24, Raiders 17- Bills first 9 win season in a long time.
    Giants 10, Rams 14- Manning throws 4 ints.
    Colts 27, Cowboys 26- Luck gets lucky.
    Seahawks 21, Cardinals 27- Legion of oops.
    Broncos 23, Bengals 21- Manning throws 3 strikes.

  16. If the Pats come out fast and get a couple quick TDs the Jets will fall apart and it will be a laugher.

    If they can hold off the initial push the Jets can make a game of it. Their defense is good and Rex has come up with some great defensive game plans against the Pats. Plus the fact that the Jets players hate the Pats as much as Rex does.

  17. The Patriots typically have a better game the second time around with division opponents. The Jets made a game of it the first time around. This time it won’t be close.

  18. Good to see Steelers fans still exist, they had been pretty scarce over the previous few years. Still bandwagon as ever.

  19. Choosing the Cardinals to score 23 points with Ryan Lindley when the Seahawks have allowed 3,3,14,7 the last 4 games combined should eliminate that person from ever predicting scores again.

  20. Manziel can’t be worse? I beg to differ. Manziel’s rating was 27.6 against the Bengals. He may not be epically bad (Andy Dalton’s 2.0 comes to mind), but there’s some wiggle room to be worse.

  21. I think it’s safe to say Manziel doesn’t need the keys to the facility, since most everybody starts their day earlier than he does. 7:30 am? That’s what espy reported. What newbie rookie QB sleeps in until 7? He should have a cot at the facility and be there 24/7 until he gets his first win. Then he should be there longer.

  22. I’m very impressed with Florio’s pick of Cards over the Hawks. 27 points allowed combined to the Eagles, 9ers x2 (but who are we kidding, they have cratered these last few weeks) and Cards. No team since 2009 has allowed 27 points or fewer in a 4 week stretch. But Lindley will find the magic to allow the Cards to score nearly that total this Sunday?
    Ballsy, Florio. Or stupid. One of the two. At least you admit the latter is a possibility.

    That SEA-AZ isn’t going to be pretty. I don’t think it’ll be high scoring either, especially if Unger and Okung are out. But picking the Cards to score 20+? Suuuuuuure.

    This game feels like a 13-9 / 14-10 kind of football game to me. GO HAWKS.

  23. Marrone secure his job for the rest of the decade? Really?
    — You realize that’s another 5 seasons?

    As much as the media would like to say Doug was on the hot seat, he simply was not. You do NOT get rid of a coach after 2 years. He was coming back for a 3rd year whether he finished 7-9 or 10-6.

  24. The Seahawks have the #1 ranked overall defense, #1 ranked pass defense, #5 ranked run defense, and #1 ranked run offense in the NFL.

    But they’re going to lose to a lesser defense with a 4th string QB whose thrown 0 TDs and 7 INTs in his entire career, and some practice squad 4th string RB named Sherwynn.

    If Arians is able to win with Lindley and Sherwynn Williams, after getting absolutely destroyed with Stanton and Ellington – then we can just end all this talk about Arians being a great coach right now. Because the Seahawks made the Cards look absolutely silly a few weeks ago.

    Seattle defense is the best in the history of the NFL. They’re not going to get beat by a bunch of practice squad scrubs. We’re not St Louis. Keep dreaming, Cards fan. And pass that spliff while you’re at it. I want some of what y’all are smokin!


  25. Let’s look at the Broncos over the last 7 games, shall we? And, we’ll throw out the Oakland game. The Patriots crushed them. The Rams befuddled and defeated them. And, they’ve squeaked past the rest.

    A 3-point win over the Dolphins, AT HOME in Denver.

    A nice 13-point win AT Kansas City.

    A 7-point win over Buffalo, AT HOME in Denver.

    And the 12-point win at San Diego.

    Earlier this season they were super-human and unbeatable. Since the Patriots game, they’ve become human and beatable.

    Now, I’m not going to say much about the Bengals offense, as Dalton & Co. can’t seem to find the rhythm in prime-time games, for whatever reason. But, their defense is very formidable and they have the ability to upset Peyton’s apple cart. If they’re as aggressive as they were against the Browns, and there’s no reason to think they won’t be, they could put Peyton on his backside fairly often and win this game. As far as underdogs go this week, this is the only one I’m picking.

  26. The Titans-Jaguars game doesn’t sound like a great prime time matchup but I have a hard time believing that it will be worse than the Dolphins-Steelers game on Monday Night Football in 2007. Miami was 0-10 coming into the game. Game was delayed by 25 minutes because of lightning, the teams combined for 375 total yards offensively, and the Steelers score the only points of the game on a 24-yard field goal with 17 seconds left to play to defeat the Dolphins 3-0.

  27. mockthesebirds says:

    Lindley may suck walnuts, but the Cardinals defense IS NOT scared of the Seattle offense.
    LOL yeah, they should be.

  28. The Jets shock the world every time they take the field and perform what they seem to think is football.

  29. The Eagles blew their chance at the division by losing to Dallas. There’s no way on Earth they are beating the Giants week 17. The Eagles humiliated the Giants in primetime in the first game and the Giants will be playing their Super Bowl for a coach who may be coaching his last game. In fact, we’re sooo looking forward to next week that the Rams are going to kick our butts this week.

    Philly better pray that Dallas loses its next two because Odell Beckham will be making sure Philly is playing golf with us in January. Book it.

  30. conormacleod says:

    I just want to say it has been very pleasant not hearing from Packer fans this week.

    I just want to say that it would be very pleasant if fans of irrelevant teams with losing records weren’t heard from for the rest of the season.

  31. Smart pick, Florio! Big Red is undefeated at home; we’ll show then whose defense is nastier! Big Red owned Lynch for 39 yards and sacked Wilson 7 times the last time we played them. They won’t be getting a blocked punt or damn good field position this time. I’ll laugh at you Legion of Bandwagoners if we beat you with Lindley LOL. Cardinals 20 Hawks 10 #Quest4HomeSB, #Quest4LombardiTrophy

  32. Lots of points going to be scored when the Seahawk defense is on the field. Problem is the points won’t be coming from the Cardinal offense.

  33. Russell Wilson has split the season with AZ even when AZ is 5-11.
    He split last season when they are 12-4 and never lost at home until AZ.
    Remembers me just a similar game last year about Seattle at home when only a couple of experts picked AZ among like 30-40 experts.
    Florio is smart not to go with the obvious.
    There is a reason too, BA and AZ keeps surprising game after game.
    Let this game give the biggest surprise of all thus far this season.
    If Seattle wins there won’t be any surprises, but if Arizona wins it will be the biggest Christmas present of home-field advantage throughout playoffs for AZ!!

  34. I am very confused. MDS expects the Eagles to miss the playoffs, but also expects them to win and the Colts to beat the Cowboys. Florio says there are very real possibilities of the Eagles winning the division and the Cowboys losing to the Colts, but then picks the Eagles and Cowboys. Am I missing something? Is MDS already expecting the Giants to beat the Eagles next week?

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