PFT’s Week 16 picks

AP

The regular-season contest is ending soon, and the divide between MDS and yours truly continues to be five games.

After splitting four disagreements last week, and going 9-7 each, I’m at 140-84 (62.5 percent) for the year, and MDS is at 135-89 (60.2 percent). This week, we disagree on two games.

We’ve also got a new “best bets” video for your consideration. Last week, I went 1-2 against the spread. MDS also was 1-2.

Washington at Titans

MDS’s take: Both teams remain in playoff contention heading into Week 16, but I have a hard time picturing Washington winning this one with Josh Johnson at quarterback. The Titans appear headed for a Week 17 playoff play-in game against the Colts.

MDS’s pick: Titans 24, Washington 10.

Florio’s take: The Titans go for their fourth straight win against a team that somehow has won seven games this season. Tennessee has the better team, and the better chance to get to the postseason. 

Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Washington 13.


Ravens at Chargers

MDS’s take: Right now, these would be the two AFC wild card teams. But the Chargers are still fighting for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, and I think they’re going to make a statement against the Ravens.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 30, Ravens 20.

Florio’s take: That 30,000-seat soccer stadium in Carson, California finally hosts a huge regular-season game, perhaps only three weeks before hosting its first playoff game. The Chargers are more rested, they’re at home, and they are slightly better, from an overall talent standpoint.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 27, Ravens 23.


Bengals at Browns

MDS’s take: The Browns are favored by more than a touchdown for the first time in five years. Believe the hype. This Cleveland team is good.

MDS’s pick: Browns 24, Bengals 13.

Florio’s take: Welcome back, Hue. The Browns have been waiting for you.

Florio’s pick: Browns 30, Bengals 20.


Buccaneers at Cowboys

MDS’s take: A Cowboys win clinches the NFC East, and that’s just what will happen.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 27, Buccaneers 17.

Florio’s take: The Cowboys got their wake-up call in Indy. They return home to face a team that really doesn’t have much to play for, and that doesn’t really have the talent to compete with a true contender.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 27, Buccaneers 10.


Vikings at Lions

MDS’s take: The Vikings had a great first game with new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, and they should keep it going against a bad Lions defense.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 28, Lions 14.

Florio’s take: Kevin Stefanski continues to do what John DeFilippo didn’t. And it continues to work, for now.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 23, Lions 14.


Bills at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Patriots will clinch the AFC East with a win over the Bills and snap their two-game losing streak.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Bills 20.

Florio’s take: Go ahead, write them off. It will play right into their hands.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 34, Bills 13.


Packers at Jets

MDS’s take: Two teams already eliminated from playoff contention meet in a game that is interesting only to those who want to see how far Aaron Rodgers has fallen, and how far Sam Darnold has come.

MDS’s pick: Packers 21, Jets 20.

Florio’s take:  The Packers haven’t won a road game all year. Here’s their last and perhaps best chance to get a win away from Lambeau Field.

Florio’s pick: Packers 24, Jets 20.


Texans at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Eagles looked great against the Rams, but I don’t think Nick Foles can keep it going against a Texans defense that will shut down the running game and force Foles to pass.

MDS’s pick: Texans 20, Eagles 17.

Florio’s take: Here they come, making a late run at a playoff berth that could become an intriguing run in January.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 20, Texans 13.


Falcons at Panthers

MDS’s take: Even without playoff implications there are some good players to watch on both teams, with Julio Jones having a big season for the Falcons and Christian McCaffrey having a big season for the Panthers. I see the Panthers finally snapping their losing streak.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 27, Falcons 24.

Florio’s take: Taylor Heinecke gets a chance to let everyone know who he is. And he’s not Matt Ryan.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Panthers 17.


Giants at Colts

MDS’s take: The Colts are cruising toward the playoffs and should dominate an undermanned Giants team.

MDS’s pick: Colts 28, Giants 7.

Florio’s take: They shut out the Cowboys. Can they do the same to one of the Cowboys’ top rivals? Maybe.

Florio’s pick: Colts 20, Giants 6.


Jaguars at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The Dolphins are clinging to slim playoff hopes and should beat a Jaguars team with nothing to play for.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 28, Jaguars 17.

Florio’s take: It’s been a very bad year for Florida teams. The one with slim playoff chances gets a win.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 20, Jaguars 10.


Rams at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Rams have not played well recently, but even if they play their worst game of the season I see them beating the Cardinals.

MDS’s pick: Rams 30, Cardinals 14.

Florio’s take: The Rams aren’t the team they were earlier in the year. But they should be good enough to knock off the Cardinals.

Florio’s pick: Rams 27, Cardinals 20.


Bears at 49ers

MDS’s take: Nick Mullens has played fairly well this season, but he hasn’t faced a defense like Chicago’s. This should be an easy Bears win.

MDS’s pick: Bears 27, 49ers 13.

Florio’s take: The 49ers have put together an impressive late-season surge, but the Bears are fighting for a possible bye.

Florio’s pick: Bears 30, 49ers 17.


Steelers at Saints

MDS’s take: I’m tempted to pick the Steelers to pull off the road upset, but I like the Saints to escape with a low-scoring win.

MDS’s pick: Saints 14, Steelers 13.

Florio’s take: The Steelers are good enough to beat anyone, anywhere. But the Saints won’t let it happen, not with the No. 1 seed on the line.

Florio’s pick: Saints 31, Steelers 24.


Chiefs at Seahawks

MDS’s take: A very intriguing game, with the Chiefs trying to hold on to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and the Seahawks wanting to bounce back from last week’s disappointing loss. I like Seattle to win a good game at home.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 27, Chiefs 24.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs have struggled in prime time this year, and everyone struggles in Seattle.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 20, Chiefs 17.


Broncos at Raiders

MDS’s take: Not much of a game on Christmas Eve, with both teams already eliminated from playoff contention. I have a hunch the Raiders will come out playing hard in what could be their last game in Oakland.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 24, Broncos 21.

Florio’s take: The Raiders say farewell to Oakland in the kind of style they haven’t displayed much in recent years.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 27, Broncos 20.

45 responses to “PFT’s Week 16 picks

  1. Cowboys over Bucs – Cowboys were embarrassed in their last game… They won’t repeat that this week by losing to the lesser Bucs

    Falcons over Panthers – Panthers are starting a backup QB and have fallen as of late… The Falcons are looking to prove they are better than their record suggests..

    Saints over Steelers – Tough one to decide so Home team gets the advantage…

  2. Florio’s take: The Chiefs have struggled in prime time this year, and everyone struggles in Seattle.
    ——————-
    Guess losing by 3 at the gun @ NE, 3 to a 9-1 Rams team in LA by 3, winning @ DEN and beating Cincinnati by 35 on a Sunday night constitutes “strugglin'” according to Florio.

  3. I previously thought the Steelers would get blown out by the Saints, and it still may happen. In the Pats game, the D coach/Tomlin, for once, game planned for the team they were playing instead of trotting out the same stale defense from prior games. However, to go into New Orleans, and beat the Saints is a tall order for any team.

  4. Dallas got shut out vs. the Colts. A big “0” on the scoreboard. “Contenders” don’t get shut out much. I think Tampa pulls the upset.

  5. Seattle can beat KC, sure, but thinking they hold them to 24, let alone 17 is kind of a stretch. Grew up in Kansas, lived a good chunk of my adult life in Seattle. This is the only game a root against the hawks, I’m a Chief through and through, my adopted city has to sit on the back burner Sunday night.

  6. Bears fan here hoping they got their trap game out of the way vs. the Giants. Nagy seems to have them pretty dialed-in right now but weird things always seem to happen when the Bears and Niners meet. This game may mean a little more for Fangio so I expect the D to bring it.

  7. These predictions are always interesting to read; the comments even more so. But to be clear the authors comment on football…they just aren’t very knowledgeable on the subject of the game (or at least what is a winning team vs a losing team.) The win percentages for straight up are posted but didn’t see the cumulative win percentage for the “best picks” against the spread. They are as follows:

    Florio = 21-23-1 (47.7%)
    MDS = 16-27-2 (37.2%)

    To be fair, Florio does warn against using their picks as any type of information for your own betting. But I think he may be wrong. If you picked exactly the opposite of MDS you would be 27-16-2 (62.8%) and be close to paying cash for a new car.

  8. Pats win out without Gordon to finish 11-5……
    Texans lose to the Eagles…..
    Pats are #2 seed with a bye…..
    Cowboys win a close one with TB….
    NFC EAST comes down to week 17…..

  9. KC loses to Seattle….
    Chargers beat the ratbirds….
    Steelers lose to Saints….
    Colts beat Giants….
    AFC NORTH winner is determined week 17….as is the final wild card spot for the #6 seed…..(Will it be Steelers, Colts or Ravens??!!)

  10. if you told me at the start of the year this Falcons/Panthers game would be meaningless i would have laughed out loud

  11. steelpenguin6687 says:
    December 20, 2018 at 1:33 pm
    I previously thought the Steelers would get blown out by the Saints, and it still may happen. In the Pats game, the D coach/Tomlin, for once, game planned for the team they were playing instead of trotting out the same stale defense from prior games. However, to go into New Orleans, and beat the Saints is a tall order for any team.

    There’s a difference between a game plan and facing a team that killed itself with penalties. Every time it got close, laundry. Not saying the refs favored the steelers, just sayin’. Those who watched can decide for themselves if it was a fair shake or not.

  12. This is the type of game that seattle typically comes out and surprises people, but with both of you picking Seattle, I’m very weary of that actually happening.

  13. So you approve a post then take it down along with anything mentioning it??? It was a joke about a mistake in the Week 16 picks. Get over it PFT. Or if you can’t hire someone to point out flaws before the story is posted.

  14. kissbillsrings says:
    December 20, 2018 at 2:22 pm
    Pats win out without Gordon to finish 11-5……
    Texans lose to the Eagles…..
    Pats are #2 seed with a bye…..
    Cowboys win a close one with TB….
    NFC EAST comes down to week 17…..
    _____________________________________
    If the Cowboys “win a close one with TB” then week 17 doesn’t come into play at all in the NFC East. The Cowboys will be NFC East champs. Only thing Philly/Redskins would be playing for in week 17 is a possible playoff shot (depends on how things shake out in week 16 with them as well as the Vikings.)

  15. itsalwaysabout says:
    December 20, 2018 at 2:49 pm
    —————————————–
    steelpenguin6687 says:
    December 20, 2018 at 1:33 pm
    I previously thought the Steelers would get blown out by the Saints, and it still may happen. In the Pats game, the D coach/Tomlin, for once, game planned for the team they were playing instead of trotting out the same stale defense from prior games. However, to go into New Orleans, and beat the Saints is a tall order for any team.
    –———————————————–

    There’s a difference between a game plan and facing a team that killed itself with penalties. Every time it got close, laundry. Not saying the refs favored the steelers, just sayin’. Those who watched can decide for themselves if it was a fair shake or not.
    ———————————

    Have you watched any of the other Steelers/Pats games? You know, the ones where they let Gronk run wild with the smallest guy on the field trying to cover him. Didn’t happen this time. Flags are flags, many Pats’ penalties were pre-snap, procedure etc. I can sit back in EVERY game (including the Pats game) and pick calls that should have gone the Steelers way and didn’t. I choose not to do that, as every team gets calls for and against.

  16. Dont sleep on the Bills. I know the Pats dont ever lose 2 games in a row much less losing 3. Especially at home. But that’s why they play the game because you never know. If Buffalo can get at Brady from the DL spot it might not be such a cakewalk anymore.

  17. Dallas is obviously skating to an 8-8;finish only to lose in the wild card round! Bucs win.

    Broncos-Raiders on Christmas Eve interferes with our family gift exchange. Who cares about a game then?

  18. Patriots 30 Bills 21 it will be close for about 50 minutes until Michel and Edelman grind out some key yards via the short pass and run game. Chargers 20 Ravens 7 LA has a good defense and will shut down Jackson. Titans 38 Skins 13 this will be a blowout thanks to the Skins having no offense and a depleted defense.

  19. I just came to find out what needs to happen for the Pack to make the playoffs. After all, Florio assured us they would be in the Superbowl…

  20. Fans always blame the refs for losing. Remember this quote, “If it was close enough for a penalty to be called, you probably weren’t doing your job.”

  21. “I just came to find out what needs to happen for the Pack to make the playoffs.”
    >>>>><<<<<<
    Someone doesn't need to explain themselves. Predictable and inconsequential.

  22. Both of you have Chiefs scoring a season low point total. Seems far fetched considering the Seahawks are giving up around 400+ ypg recently.

    I do agree with the “struggled in prime time games” poke though. 2-3 in prime time this season, with the three losses coming by a combined 7 points.

  23. The Redskins are going to shock the NFL and win the NFC East. Dallas will lose both of their next two games.

  24. I’m beginning to reevaluate the Chiefs. They’ve played well, scored tons of points, but they’ve also lost all their big games. Yes, the losses were close, but they lost. And their wins, apart from a couple, have been close as well. And mostly against weak teams.

    I do think the Chiefs are an excellent team. But they’ve failed all their biggest tests so far, and are hobbled at a key position.

    The Texans’ record is hugely inflated. They’ve only played one (ONE!) top-tier team all season (the Pats), and they lost. If they get a bye, they’ll be wasting everyone’s time in the end.

  25. Until 3 years ago, primetime in Seattle spelled doom for any and every team. That just isn’t the case anymore. And a quick-strike offense like the Chiefs can take control of the crowd and keep it if they start strong. Love the Seahawks and like their chances, but if you insist on placing a wager on this game, I strongly suggest you back the Chiefs.

  26. kevpft says:
    December 20, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    The Texans’ record is hugely inflated. They’ve only played one (ONE!) top-tier team all season (the Pats), and they lost. If they get a bye, they’ll be wasting everyone’s time in the end.
    ——————-
    And the Texans have beaten four of the teams the Pats lost to. Lost to the Pats by one (ONE!) TD. Hard to say they’re not deserving of a bye if/when they earn it.

  27. jodave5 says:
    December 20, 2018 at 1:16 pm
    Florio’s take: The Chiefs have struggled in prime time this year, and everyone struggles in Seattle.
    ——————-
    Guess losing by 3 at the gun @ NE, 3 to a 9-1 Rams team in LA by 3, winning @ DEN and beating Cincinnati by 35 on a Sunday night constitutes “strugglin’” according to Florio.

    —————————————————-

    also dropped one to the Chargers in prime time. I think Florio is just pointing out that the only times the Chiefs have lost were in prime time. Hence, the only time they’ve struggled.

  28. defscottyb says:
    December 20, 2018 at 5:30 pm
    The Redskins are going to shock the NFL and win the NFC East. Dallas will lose both of their next two games.
    ____________________________________________
    This is hilarious! I love a good laugh in the morning. The Skins will not only lose this week, they’ll lose to the Eagles in week 17. It’s who they are.

  29. Bears.better not sleep on Mullens, Kittle, Breida, Pettis and the Niners

    Shanny could spring the upset or at least get their attention real quick

    I see a close one here

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