PFT’s Week 16 picks

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We’re finding out groove as the season moves toward a conclusion; in Week 15, MDS and yours truly each went 12-4.

He still leads by one game with 32 to go, and we disagree on two for Week 16.

For all picks on all Week 16 games, I think you know what to do by now.

Giants at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Giants are still in contention for the NFC East and are fighting for playoff positioning, while the Eagles have nothing to play for. Hard to go against the Giants here.

MDS’s pick: Giants 23, Eagles 17.

Florio’s take: Bitter rivals moving in different directions meet for the final Thursday night poopfest game of the year. The Giants’ offseason changes have paid off, the Eagles’ haven’t (yet), and New York have every incentive to continue to put the heat on their mutual enemy in Dallas.

Florio’s pick: Giants 24, Eagles 17.

Dolphins at Bills

MDS’s take: This is a tricky one. The Dolphins are still competing for a wild card berth while the Bills, though mathematically still alive, are really just playing out the string. And yet I think the Dolphins, without Ryan Tannehill, may struggle on a cold day in Buffalo. I like the Bills in a close, defensive struggle.

MDS’s pick: Bills 17, Dolphins 16.

Florio’s take: Miami is closing in on a playoff berth with their new coach, and the Bills are closing in on another new coach. If Rex is going to go, he’s going to go out swinging — and that could be bad news for the Dolphins.

Florio’s pick: Bills 23, Dolphins 17.

Jets at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Patriots struggled to beat the Jets last time. They won’t struggle this time.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 33, Jets 14.

Florio’s take: Last year, a pair of losses to the Jets and Dolphins kept the Patriots from securing the No. 1 seed and, in turn, making it to the Super Bowl. They won’t let it happen again.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 40, Jets 17.

Titans at Jaguars

MDS’s take: This Titans team has been hard to pick all season, but I can’t see them struggling with the Jaguars on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Titans 24, Jaguars 13.

Florio’s take: It’s a trap game for the Titans. Which is a major improvement; not long ago, the Titans were the trap game.

Florio’s pick: Titans 23, Jaguars 10.

Vikings at Packers

MDS’s take: The Vikings’ fall from the last undefeated team has been extraordinary, and the fall will finish when the Packers officially eliminate the Vikings on Saturday at Lambeau Field.

MDS’s pick: Packers 23, Vikings 9.

Florio’s take: The Packers are surging, the Vikings are stinking. And Green Bay is moving closer to a playoff appearance that a month ago seemed like a long shot at best.

Florio’s pick: Packers 31, Vikings 13.

Chargers at Browns

MDS’s take: The Browns’ march to the first overall pick in the draft and the second 0-16 season in NFL history continues.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 21, Browns 14.

Florio’s take: Two chances remain for the Browns to avoid 0-16. The Chargers, good but far from great, could be vulnerable. But with the Browns losing 14 in a row, why assume the trend will end now?

Florio’s pick: Chargers 27, Browns 21.

Washington at Bears

MDS’s take: I like the way the Bears are still competing with Matt Barkley running the offense and rookie Jordan Howard showing once again that you can find great value with a late-round running back. But as hard as the Bears fight, they usually fall short, and they’re going to again on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Washington 21, Bears 20.

Florio’s take: Washington is 1-3 since Kirk Cousins’ “how you like me now?” moment. The Bears have more punch than they get credit for. Chicago screws up its draft position with a morale-building win led by Matt Barkley.

Florio’s pick: Bears 24, Washington 20.

Falcons at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Falcons’ offense has played great for the last two weeks without Julio Jones. Now they face a tougher test against the Panthers, but I see Atlanta keeping it going.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Panthers 20.

Florio’s take: The Panthers relish the spoiler role, and Cam Newton has a track record of success in December. But the even-shorter week, Newton’s busted shoulder, and the ongoing absence of Luke Kuechly could make it hard for the Panthers to take a chunk out of Atlanta’s chances of winning the division.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Panthers 20.

Colts at Raiders

MDS’s take: The Colts are clinging to their slim playoff hopes, but those hopes will come to an end as the Raiders take another step toward a first-round bye.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 24, Colts 17.

Florio’s take: If the Colts team that beat the Vikings shows up in Oakland, that could be trouble for the Raiders. But they surely can’t put it all togetherr in two straight weeks, can they?

Florio’s pick: Raiders 23, Colts 20.

Buccaneers at Saints

MDS’s take: The Bucs’ defense shut the Saints’ offense down last time, but this time I think Drew Brees has a big game and the Buccaneers are dealt a big loss.

MDS’s pick: Saints 30, Buccaneers 23.

Florio’s take: The Saints get a couple of chances to play spoiler against NFC South rivals who are contending for the division title. Unfortunately for the home team, the Bucs continue to be the real deal.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Saints 24.

Cardinals at Seahawks

MDS’s take: This should be an easy win for Seattle as it marches toward a first-round playoff bye.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 34, Cardinals 20.

Florio’s take: After five quarters that resolved nothing earlier this year, the Seahawks will more than make up for a sluggish Sunday night in Arizona. As long as they don’t throw from the one.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 31, Cardinals 17.

49ers at Rams

MDS’s take: In their last 18 games, the 49ers are 2-0 against the Rams and 0-16 against the rest of the NFL. Can the 49ers make it 3-0? I don’t think so. The Rams’ defense should shut Colin Kaepernick down.

MDS’s pick: Rams 13, 49ers 10.

Florio’s take: If two NFL teams play a game and no one gives a crap, does it make a sound?

Florio’s pick: Rams 16, 49ers 13.

Bengals at Texans

MDS’s take: Tom Savage gets the start in place of Brock Osweiler, which should be an upgrade for the Texans. I think Houston will win a Christmas Eve night game that most of America will ignore.

MDS’s pick: Texans 23, Bengals 20.

Florio’s take: The last time a team benched Brock Osweiler it won the Super Bowl. That’s not likely to happen a second time.

Florio’s pick: Texans 22, Bengals 16.

Ravens at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Steelers can clinch the AFC North with a win, and I think they’ll do just that, on the strength of their defense shutting down Joe Flacco.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 17, Ravens 9.

Florio’s take: If you’re dreaming of a Black Christmas, tune in on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET and you’ll get one.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 15, Ravens 13.

Broncos at Chiefs

MDS’s take: With the Raiders likely winning on Christmas Eve, the Chiefs will have to win on Christmas Day to keep pace in the AFC West. I think they’ll do just that.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 24, Broncos 16.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs deliver the dagger to Denver in prime time.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 24, Broncos 13.

Lions at Cowboys

MDS’s take: Dallas clinches home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win, while the Lions will have to move on to a Week 17 NFC North title game with a loss.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 27, Lions 17.

Florio’s take: The last Monday night game of the year could be one of the best, with plenty of playoff implications and a Texas native trying to avenge a playoff loss in Dallas from two years ago. For the Lions to earn a rematch in January, they’ll need to beat Green Bay six days later.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 27, Lions 17.

52 responses to “PFT’s Week 16 picks

  1. If your predictions turn out to be wrong does that make you guys liars? Sort of how Nick Saban was accused of being a liar for not being accurate where he would be in ten years back in 2006?

    Or would that be apples and oranges?

  2. Someone tell the Viking not to forget their mucklucks and mufflers for chilly Lambeau on Saturday.

  3. As much as I would like to see my Bears win their final home game, I’m with MDS on this one. They will come close again, but again, not get over the hump.

    The Bears are losing close games this year because too many of their players who could make a difference are unavailable and their replacements don’t have enough talent and/or experience to pick up the slack. That situation hasn’t changed since last Sunday so against a Skins team fighting for their playoff lives I don’t see win #4 happening for Fox. Maybe New Year’s Day in Minneapolis, though.

  4. .
    Injuries aren’t an excuse, but they certainly are a factor. Each year it seems that random teams get decimated and their season becomes DOA. One of this year’s unlucky teams is the Vikings who first lost their QB, then their RB, and then multiple offensive lineman. It’s almost impossible to win under those conditions.

    The intriguing questions about the Oakland secondary will be answered when going up against the hot hand of Andrew Luck.

  5. I don’t trust the Chiefs. Specifically I don’t trust Alex Smith. They barely beat the struggling Broncos the first time around. Justin Houston is also not 100%. Add to that Andy Reid’s second half bad play calling, you end up with an upset. Denver wins this one.

  6. Steelers all the way! Not a single team, AFC or NFC, wants to see Big Ben, AB, and Juice in the playoffs.

    Wrong. I think most in the AFC would rather see the Steelers than the scary January Ravens.

    Go get that W so the path is easier!

  7. “One of this year’s unlucky teams is the Vikings who first lost their QB, then their RB, and then multiple offensive lineman. It’s almost impossible to win under those conditions.”

    Yet New England and Green Bay do it every year, and almost all of those years have many injuries. New England had very similar OL injury problems last year (as the Vikings have now). Bradford is better than Bridgewater, Packers losing all-pro CB Shields is a much bigger loss than Vikings losing Peterson, plus the Packers lost their top 4 RBs this year (Lacy played 5 games, Starks out about 2/3 of the time, others on IR), Rodgers has played injured again, top 3 CBs out much of the year, TE out most of the year. The Vikings might be unlucky to not be healthy, but injuries are the norm, other teams are just better and have better depth.

  8. Wrong. I think most in the AFC would rather see the Steelers than the scary January Ravens.

    Go get that W so the path is easier!


    No, I don’t think that would be the case, not because the Ravens have bad players, but because they have bad coaches. Did you see the Eagles game? What answer did they have for the Ravens running game? Not a single one. What did the Ravens do? Throw it deep and get it intercepted. The coaches almost gift wrapped the game to the Eagles.

  9. djvh2 says:
    Dec 22, 2016 12:17 PM
    “One of this year’s unlucky teams is the Vikings who first lost their QB, then their RB, and then multiple offensive lineman. It’s almost impossible to win under those conditions.”

    Yet New England and Green Bay do it every year
    The difference is NE* loses their QB due to suspensions from cheating.

  10. bassplucker says:
    Dec 22, 2016 11:58 AM

    As much as I would like to see my Bears win their final home game, I’m with MDS on this one. They will come close again, but again, not get over the hump.
    As a life long bassplucker, AND a Packer fan who spent the 60’s in Chi. (playin’ in a travelin’ band)
    I’d much rather be fighting a season out with the Bears and their fans than the other two choices.
    (so much more real, traditional, and fun)

    I sort of feel sorry for Matt Millen/Lions legacy.

    As far as the other one’s fans… SKOLOL!

  11. mparmelee says:
    Dec 22, 2016 11:58 AM
    You refuse to give Fins any credit. Your comments and picks for the Giants/Eagles game should be the same for Fins/Bills.

    Thats because your team is going down this Saturday. The Bill will eliminate your from the playoffs just like they did to the Jets last year….

  12. Bad place to rant on this particular subject, but, I hate when people “think” that late-round backs are “value” picks(Jordan Howard, for example). Its not that these guys are over-performing, it’s that the the demand for other positions has over-taken the demand for Running backs. QB, WR, TE, and Tackles are all more valuable assets to an offense in this era than the RB, therefore, the RB’s are shuffled to the back of the pack, allowing immensely talented RB’s to be available in the later rounds. /end rant

  13. Re Eagles- Giants. Not a dog in this fight, but how many road teams have won on Thursday night? One, or two? Big advantage for the home team.

  14. Except for when they beat New England in week 4 when Brady was still suspended and the Pats played their injured rookie 3rd string QB Jacoby Brisset, all of Buffalo’s wins have come against teams with a losing record. Miami is playing much better than the Bills and this game means more to them. Miami 20-12.

  15. Giants fan here agrees with the Steeler fan. You’re about the only team that causes me consternation come playoff time. The rest, including the Pats, I’m comfortably playing. Being spread out by Brown, Bell, Green and a bunch of other speedsters…not so much.

  16. if the Browns are going to get a win this season, this is likely their chance though I don’t believe they will…

    The bucs struggled to put up 16 points on the saints questionable defense just 2 games ago… peyton and brees are on a mission to show the saints are a better team than they started out this season… This becomes a 1 sided shoot out like brees and his offense has displayed many times before!

    The bills and dolphins will come down to who wants it more… Dolphins trying to keep their playoff hopes alive and the Bills playing for their HC job…

  17. I’ll agree on Shields, after that you guys have had nothing comparable to the injuries this year.

    It’s not like Rodgers is getting killed behind your 3rd string o-line. Every week.

  18. Just curious why you’re not reporting on DeCastro stomping on Burfict after the whistle last weekend. Right after the personal foul on Gilbert for hitting Burfict late.

  19. The Packers just squeaked out a victory over the Bears on another Rodgers miracle throw. Barkley threw 3 picks. On the other hand he completely shredded the Packers’ D for 360 yds. Harry is back and Zimmer has owned Rodgers since he took over in Minnesota. The Pack should be the favorite but this game will not be a blowout.

  20. Dolphins are still missing key players and the Bills have everybody this time around. Rex goes out swinging but the Fins will swing back. They want it more. Florio got the score right just the teams wrong. Fins 23 Bills 17

  21. Don’t the Ravens pretty much own the Steelers?

    What’s different now, other than the Ravens don’t have Ryan Mallett playing?

  22. Remember Pack ten also got blown out by the Colts as well. They’re no different than the team who loss to the Vikings earlier in the season and they will lose again.

  23. Before last Sunday I would have bet the farm that the Ravens would beat the Steelers on Xmas. But after watching the Eagles run the ball almost at will against the Ravens D I don’t think the Ravens can pull this one off.

    When’s the draft??

  24. Eagles fans rejoice, the so called “experts” are picking against you. They say you’re going nowhere and have nothing to play for but a draft choice. Do you fold AT HOME against a bitter rival that you have a chance to derail heading into the playoffs? Naw, it’s, Eagles will fly high tonight and the Giants will fall. 26 – 20 Eagles Win

  25. By next Monday night, the Green Bay Packers will again be in the lead of the NFC North by 1/2 game as the Lions continue their annual dive.

  26. rabidbillsfan says:
    Dec 22, 2016 3:20 PM
    Dolphins haven’t won in Buffalo since 2011. Yeah, keep dreaming Phin-Fans, just stay tucked in bed at those retirement resorts.


    Guess who the Dolphins QB was in 2011 when they last beat the Bills in Orchard Park….



  27. You both had the Giants. Great, both 0-1. Just keep picking against the Browns and the 49ers.

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