PFT’s Week 16 picks

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With 32 games left, MDS has clinched the No. 1 seed and I’ve clinched the No. 2 seed. In a two-team league.

Last week, I went 10-6 in our picks; MDS went 12-4. For the year, MDS is now 149-75. I’m at 136-88.

This week, we disagree on three games. For all picks, scroll away.

Texans at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Buccaneers have nothing to play for, as they’re mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. The Texans have everything to play for, as they clinch the AFC South with a win. And yet I think the Bucs are playing better football right now and will pull the upset.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Texans 17.

Florio’s take: Texans are ridiculously inconsistent this season, but with the playoffs in sight they can’t afford to stumble against a team they should beat, especially with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin out.

Florio’s pick: Texans 31, Buccaneers 24.


Bills at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Patriots are slouching toward the postseason, but they’ll shut down the Bills’ offense and win this one.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 13, Bills 10.

Florio’s take: At some point, the Bills will unleash Josh Allen as a runner. It likely won’t be this week, and that means the Patriots will be able to complete the sweep.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 17, Bills 10.


Rams at 49ers

MDS’s take: Although the Rams are technically still alive in the playoff race, they’re all but out of it. The 49ers are still real Super Bowl contenders, and they’ll show it.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 30, Rams 20.

Florio’s take: The Rams can beat anyone when firing on all cylinders. The 49ers desperately need to avoid a potential 1-4 finish after starting 10-1. Kyle Shanahan should be able to get his guys pointed in the right direction, even though it could go either way.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 24, Rams 17.


Giants at Washington

MDS’s take: Does anyone really care about this one? Both teams’ fan bases are fed up with the way this season is going. I’ll say Washington pulls out a win.

MDS’s pick: Washington 10, Giants 7.

Florio’s takeEli Manning’s farewell win is likely Pat Shurmur’s farewell win, too.

Florio’s pick: Washington 23, Giants 20.


Saints at Titans

MDS’s take: I’m awfully tempted to pick the Titans here, but the Saints just looked too good on Monday night. The Titans will miss a late field goal to lose a high-scoring, exciting game.

MDS’s pick: Saints 35, Titans 34.

Florio’s take: The Titans have their backs against the wall, and that magical night against the Colts may not translate to an open-air game in Nashville against a team that will be, based on Mike Vrabel’s press conferences this week, extra salty.

Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Saints 21.


Steelers at Jets

MDS’s take: Even if they fall short of the playoffs, the Steelers deserve an enormous amount of credit for making it this far into the season, given the terrible spate of injuries they’ve had. They’ll beat a Jets team with nothing to play for.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 20, Jets 17.

Florio’s take:  Le’Veon Bell finally gets a crack at his old team, but it may not be enough to keep a playoff contender from keeping its run on track.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 23, Jets 17.


Bengals at Dolphins

MDS’s take: In a big one for draft watchers, the Dolphins will show they care more than the Bengals do.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 24, Bengals 10.

Florio’s take: Ryan Fitzpatrick faces another one of his former teams. Which pretty much happens every week at this stage of Fitzpatrick’s career.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 21, Bengals 17.


Panthers at Colts

MDS’s take: Will Grier is likely to have a tough time in his first NFL start.

MDS’s pick: Colts 20, Panthers 10.

Florio’s take: Will Grier gets an introduction into the difference between NFL and Big 12 defenses.

Florio’s pick: Colts 27, Panthers 17.


Ravens at Browns

MDS’s take: It’s hard to believe the Browns blew out the Ravens in Baltimore. That was a long time ago, and it won’t happen again.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 28, Browns 14.

Florio’s take: Somehow, the Browns beat the Ravens in Week Four. The Ravens won’t let history repeat itself.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 34, Browns 20.


Jaguars at Falcons

MDS’s take: Both of these teams had come-from-behind wins in the Bay Area last weekend, showing they’re both still playing hard despite being out of contention. I think the Falcons will play harder in this one.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 27, Jaguars 17.

Florio’s take: Dan Quinn continues to make a good case for keeping his job.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Jaguars 24.


Raiders at Chargers

MDS’s take: It’s actually a little hard to believe now that only a few weeks ago the Raiders were still in playoff contention. They sure don’t look like contenders now. The Chargers aren’t contenders either, but they’re a better team than their record suggests.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 30, Raiders 14.

Florio’s take: It’s Philip Rivers’ last home game with the Chargers and the last game in a 27,000-seat soccer stadium. While plenty of Raiders fans will make it into the mini-Black Hole, the Chargers go out on a high note.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 30, Raiders 20.


Lions at Broncos

MDS’s take: Neither team is going anywhere, both are down to their third quarterbacks of the season, but the Broncos are playing harder.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 28, Lions 17.

Florio’s take: The Broncos are doing whatever they can to get things on track for 2020, with a quarterback around whom they can finally build.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 27, Lions 13.


Cardinals at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The Seahawks are heading for a Week 17 showdown with the 49ers, and they won’t let the Cardinals get in their way.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 34, Cardinals 20.

Florio’s take: The table is set for the Seahawks to nail down the No. 1 or No. 2 seed; they simply need to win their last two games, both at home.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 31, Cardinals 17.


Cowboys at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Cowboys are the best team in the NFC East, not that that’s saying much. They’ll win in Philadelphia, rest their starters in Week 17, and get ready to host a playoff game.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Eagles 20.

Florio’s take: Head says Cowboys, heart says Eagles — especially after the way the Eagles performed down the stretch in 2017 and 2018 when seemingly overmatched.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Cowboys 20.


Chiefs at Bears

MDS’s take: The Chiefs have already wrapped up the AFC West but are still playing to earn a first-round playoff bye. The Bears are out of the playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 27, Bears 17.

Florio’s take: Andy Reid knows how to coach against his former assistants, and Matt Nagy is the latest branch of the Reid coaching tree who is about to get spanked.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 28, Bears 13.


Packers at Vikings

MDS’s take: This game actually isn’t quite as big as some are making it out to be, as the Packers will remain the NFC North favorites even with a loss: Green Bay only needs to beat the Lions in Week 17 to win the division. Nonetheless, both teams will be playing like it matters, and I think the Vikings are the better team, even if the Packers have the better record.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 24, Packers 20.

Florio’s take: Can Kirk Cousins finally get his second career Monday night win? If he can’t, he can’t forget about getting a playoff win. He possibly can forget about even getting to the playoffs.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 27, Packers 20.

62 responses to “PFT’s Week 16 picks

  1. Jets will beat Pitt. Duck Hodges will keep the jets In the game Steelers offense is not good. At home where the jets have played good they will win. Plus it’s about time the jets knock the Steelers out of the playoffs a little revenge. The Steelers won our super bowl 9 years ago

  2. The winners:

    Texans, Bills, 49ers, ‘Skins, Saints, Jets, Bengals, Colts, Ravens, Falcons, Raiders, Broncos, ‘Hawks, Cowboys, Chiefs and Vikes.

  3. The Ravens had to alternate home-away games every week this season. After Sunday, they will not have to leave home until they board a plane for Miami to play in Super Bowl 54.

    Ravens 35
    Browns 13

  4. Texans over Bucs – Texans are in a race with the Titans to win their division and have extra incentive.. I’m not buying the Bucs are relevant until they beat winning teams consistently… JW may have multiple turnovers against this defense..

    Saints over Titans – Titans need this win to stay in the race for their division title… Saints are just a little more than they can handle.

    Colts over Panthers – Colts may be struggling but the Panthers are imploding… changing qbs usually comes with many mistakes..

    Falcons over Jags – both teams have had many ups and downs this year but as of recently, it appears as though the Jags are on the down and Falcons on the way up..

  5. Lightsabermetrics says:
    December 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    The Ravens had to alternate home-away games every week this season. After Sunday, they will not have to leave home until they board a plane for Miami to play in Super Bowl 54.

    Ravens 35
    Browns 13
    —————–
    Technically, the Ravens home is Cleveland, so…

  6. Wow.
    I understand that part of this is
    “poking the bear” to generate responses, but if this was a Vegas line, I would jump all over the Rams-49ers point spread.
    thats too much in my book.
    Rams could very well win this outright, and that might be my bet…

  7. jets2469 says:
    December 19, 2019 at 12:26 pm
    Jets will beat Pitt. Duck Hodges will keep the jets In the game Steelers offense is not good. At home where the jets have played good they will win. Plus it’s about time the jets knock the Steelers out of the playoffs a little revenge. The Steelers won our super bowl 9 years ago.

    The Steelers can lose this game and still make the playoffs.

  8. Vikings will destroy the hapless Packers like cheese melting. Lol
    —–
    And you said the same about the bears the week before. How’d that go? Good thing is, you guys are in a no lose situation. If the Vikes win you’ll talk smack all week, and if they lose you’ll blame the refs all week. Win win.

  9. Vikings are the better team.
    —–
    Why’d they lose head to head then? And why have they trailed us the entire year? Seems rather subjective.

  10. Vikings the better team? Maybe. Looks like it.

    Then I remember, they haven’t beaten a team over .500 this year.

    So, who knows if they really are or not.

  11. Garrett is 7-2 at philthy in his career and Dak is 2-1 there (with sole loss being the week 17 matchup in 2016 that he only played a series before he was rested for playoffs). Cowboys are not perfect but they will dominate philthy once again.

  12. pkrlvr says:
    December 19, 2019 at 12:53 pm
    Vikings are the better team.
    —–
    Why’d they lose head to head then? And why have they trailed us the entire year? Seems rather subjective.

    Simple answer there “Green Bay Referees!!!”

  13. johnnycantread says:
    December 19, 2019 at 12:31 pm
    The winners:

    Texans, Bills, 49ers, ‘Skins, Saints, Jets, Bengals, Colts, Ravens, Falcons, Raiders, Broncos, ‘Hawks, Cowboys, Chiefs and Vikes

    —-

    The last time the Patriots lost a home game to an AFC East opponent was a hundred years ago.

    The Josh Allen led Bills won’t be breaking the trend this weekend. He’ll turn it over a few times for sure and give the Pats some short field situations to work with.

  14. Vikings should win because they are at home and not going against the homer GB refs. I say MN by 3. If in GB, they lose by 7. A 10 point swing is about right for the Lambeau B.S. Luckily they will either eventually have to go to SF or NO or one of those teams will come to GB and be so much better than the Packers that they will overcome the b.s. calls and still win and put an end to the the facade that is GB’s season…

  15. Just a few days left for the Packer fans to talk about having a better record than the Vikings and winning head-to-head. Let them enjoy it while they can.

  16. Look at some of these trash games between teams with nothing to play for.
    Tell me again why the NFL wants to expand the regular season?? (Besides money).

  17. I’ve never seen a less inspiring 11-3 team in my life than the Packers. The defense is on the decline again. Rodgers is only fair to middling this season. And the WRs can’t get open or catch a ball. Jones is the real deal.

    Yet, they keep finding a way to win. Can’t take that from them….but then again, they’ve had a lot of help this season by the Stripes. (per usual).

    My guess, they are 1 and done in the playoffs. The team ain’t strong enough. And Rodgers isn’t 2009 Rodgers any longer.

  18. It’s been a long time coming but I said I’d own it if I were wrong and boy was I ever. I thought brees & the saints were cooked after last year and they look like the class of the NFC this year. So, hats off to them, needed to come clean, that’s an impressive operation they’ve been running for a while

  19. Eagles will put up a fight but I think they are simply too banged up at key spots. Dallas gets the edge here unless Dak is really hurt(which I doubt).

  20. ikeclanton says:
    December 19, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    The last time the Patriots lost a home game to an AFC East opponent was a hundred years ago.

    The Josh Allen led Bills won’t be breaking the trend this weekend. He’ll turn it over a few times for sure and give the Pats some short field situations to work with.
    ———————————————-
    Your Pats offense scored nothing the fist game with Buffalo.
    9 points by field goal (special team).
    7 points off the returned blocked punt.
    Michel had 63 yds rushing
    Gore had 109 yds
    Brady was 18-39 -150 yds
    Allen was 13-28-153 yds in half the time playing
    Allen was leading a Bills comeback in the 3rd period until he was the victim of a NE cheap shot
    The Bills racked up 375 yds offense
    NE had 224 yds offense
    Bills had 23 1st downs
    NE had 11 1st downs
    The difference was turnovers and the cheap shot
    Allen has 2 int in the last 9 games so good luck with your turn over scenario because it is the only chance NE has of winning……

  21. Gonna be an interesting weekend. Can San Fran bounce back against an angry desperate LA team? The titans and saints should be interesting although the way the saints are playing i find it hard to beleive the Titans can win. Does anyone have any confidence in any team that plays in the AFCS? And last, can Cousins and the Vikings win any game with significant value and meaning? DOubtful but i do think Green Bay is very suspect. Picks…

    Saints
    Vikings
    Niners
    Eagles/Cowboys (whoever wins still loses. They all suck)

  22. Assume Seattle/San Fran is the 1 Seed.

    If GB is the 2:

    Bye, then Saints, Cowboys/Eagles or Niners/Seahawks at Lambeau.

    If GB is the 3:

    Wild Card home game, likely vs Vikes, then at Saints.

    MONDAY IS A GIANT GAME FOR GB

  23. jackedupboonie says:
    December 19, 2019 at 2:34 pm
    Seahawks gonna try to win by 1 with 30-40% of their starters out.

    —-

    Isn’t that what they normally do when all the starters are in? You know, with that impressive +26 point differential.

  24. I don’t see the Bills winning unless Brady turns it over 4 times like Duck, which most likely isn’t happening. Buffalo needs to probably score 24 which without a special teams or defensive TD will be tough. New England will make just enough plays…like they always do against the Bills. Not to say I wouldn’t mind seeing the trend busted!

  25. ikeclanton says:
    December 19, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    The last time the Patriots lost a home game to an AFC East opponent was a hundred years ago.

    *******************************************************************************

    That’s because the last time an AFC East opponent was actually decent was a hundred years ago. Bills offense isn’t great, but neither is the Pats.

  26. Going back through the past 15 weeks of picks for the Packers, MDS is 9 for 16 in correct picks (.563). Florio is 8 for 16 in correct picks (.500).

    The best stat yet – when BOTH pick against the Packers they are 0 for 3 (.000).

    Toss in a 0-8 record for Cousin’s on MNF, I’m kinda liking the Packers chances on Monday night 🙂

    #analytics

  27. ikeclanton says:
    December 19, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    The last time the Patriots lost a home game to an AFC East opponent was a hundred years ago.

    Sorry dude but the Bills SHUTOUT the Patriots 16-0 in Foxborough 3 years ago.

    Yes…that was when Tom Brady was serving the final game of his 4 game suspension for CHEATING but they still lost…to Rex Ryan of all people.

    The Bills defense shut down Brady in week 4 and is now an even better defensive unit. One blocked punt for a TD was the difference. Won’t happen again. These Bills want to show the country that New England’s days of dominance are over for good!

    Bills….27-7.

  28. Texans over Bucs (As a Bucs fan I’d love a W but I can’t pick against a healthy Texans when my guys are down 3 WRs)
    Pats over Bills (This was close last time and Allen left injured but I’ll believe he can top the Pats when I see it)
    49ers over Rams (The Rams just got demolished on the ground against an inconsistent Cowboys team, now they face one of the best rushing teams in the league looking to bounce back from an upset loss)
    Giants over Redskins (The Skins have been fighting hard recently but I think the Giants will pull it out a win in Eli’s last start as a Giant)
    Saints over Titans (I think this will be closer than expected but the edge for to the Saints as they try to get homefield throughout the playoffs)
    Steelers over the Jets (Jets offense still can’t get anything going and the Steelers are still in playoff contention, think they’ll lock it up this week)
    Dolphins over Bengals (Classic Tankbowl but the Dolphins fight hard for Flores, they should get the win and the Bengals will lock up the 1st pick in 2020…sorry in advance Joe Burrow)
    Panthers over Colts (Just give the ball to McCaffrey and you’ll be fine, that Colts O isn’t doing anything with Brissett at QB)
    Ravens over Browns (No stopping the Ravens now, they’ll lock up homefield with a W)
    Falcons over Jaguars (Falcons have been playing better lately, should be able to handle the Jags easily)
    Chargers over Raiders (With Trent Brown done for the season Bosa and Ingram should feast on whoever is playing RT for them)
    Broncos over Lions (Lock has been solid so far, should get an easy W here over a terrible Lions team)
    Seahawks over Cardinals (Seahawks will set themselves up for a climactic Week 17 game against the 49ers for homefield throughout the NFC playoffs with a W here)
    Eagles over Cowboys (it’ll be way funnier if they split the season series, what an awful division this year)
    Chiefs over Bears (remind me why Trusbisky was drafted over Pat Mahomes again?)
    Packers over Vikings (Dalvin Cook is the spark plug for that offense and he’s out, Packers should be efficient enough to lock up the NFCN with a W here)

  29. Here’s what I do know….if the Vikings win on Monday night, suddenly the Packers are sweating out week 17. Their false 2 game lead now comes down to the last game of the season. Maybe they lose Monday and still win the division. Maybe they don’t. But it’s also unlikely they get that 2 seed and a bye. Now, if the Vikings lose? Well, they’re still in the 6 seed. I would say Green Bay has a lot more to lose on Monday night than the Vikings do.

  30. Sorry dude but the Bills SHUTOUT the Patriots 16-0 in Foxborough 3 years ago.

    ——
    If Brady was under center in that game the Bills would have lost 37-16. I think that was the Jacoby Brissett game who was a 3rd strong rookie then. Garopollo would have won that one but was injured and he had barely started at that point.

    I know Bills fans have had to relish those types of victories. I’m actually glad they’re relevant.

    However, reality must rudely intervene once again. Pats at home, and they view this as a “must win”. They need that playoff bye. Those reasons alone tell you that the Bills are going to lose.

    The last time a Brady-led team lost to a division rival at home was in 2006. That is just incredible.

  31. ninefingers9 says:
    December 19, 2019 at 1:01 pm
    Packer fans are scared, as they should be

    Actually as a Packer fan, we are not playing so we are not scared. Am I concerned that we don’t look like a Typical 11-3 smash mouth football team with a killer instinct? Absolutely, that is well documented and we are not blind. I would agree that the Vikings look much more physical than the packers, Kirk I dare say is playing better than Rodgers and theoretically, the Vikings should win at home. They are a good team and the packers have some really good bright spots as well. Any given Sunday they are all athletes 11 on 11, it takes a mistake, a fumble, a pick six to change momentum in a heartbeat. You never know. As a true Packer fan I’m not too confident that our team can pull it off. I have witnessed several Pack games that we were supposed to lose but did not….I know must have been the refs. You can see the Packers are really favored by the league with the 2 Pro Bowl candidates. In all seriousness, our team has not been great the last couple years, new coach, new scheme, and the record says we made an improvement, definitely not championship caliber but we are better than last year.

  32. Patriots 24 Bills 17 I see some turnovers from both sides but I see a pick six from Allen being the main nail in the coffin for the Bills. Ravens 38 Browns 13 can’t see the Browns doing the same thing twice to the Ravens. Packers 23 Vikings 20 Kirk in clutch situations is terrible.

  33. patsfan1820 says:
    December 19, 2019 at 6:53 pm
    Patriots 24 Bills 17 I see some turnovers from both sides but I see a pick six from Allen being the main nail in the coffin for the Bills. Ravens 38 Browns 13 can’t see the Browns doing the same thing twice to the Ravens. Packers 23 Vikings 20 Kirk in clutch situations is terrible.
    ——————————————————–
    Interceptions Last 9 games
    Josh Allen 2
    Tom Brady 5

  34. Cowboys @ Eagles. Philadelphia hosts a stadium that has a courtroom with a judge and a jail cell, because Eagles fans often get violent and throw things, like batteries in snowballs. When I went to games at Texas Stadium, the only times fights broke out in the stands where when the Eagles were visiting. At home, they’re even more unruly. It’s an inhospitable environment.

    Both teams are banged up, have lost key players. Football is a game of attrition. Both teams have players dealing with nagging injuries, any one of which could become serious on any play.

    Still, this game is for the division title. The Eagles are not going to play to lose, not at home, and certainly not against the Cowboys. So it’s going to be a game.

    I have a sinking feeling that Dallas is going to lose.

  35. Packers 28 – Bikings 24. Green bay will go up 28 – 10 in the 3rd, then let Minnesota back into the game by playing “win prevent” defense and running 3 times for 6 yards on offense, then punting. Minnesota will have the ball with 3 minutes left and Cousins will either fumble or throw a pick with 1:30 left in the game. Book it.

  36. Interceptions Last 9 games
    Josh Allen 2
    Tom Brady 5

    —-

    Turnovers are turnovers. Are we counting fumbles?

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare Allen to Brady in anything just yet. He’s an exciting player, but careful with the football? No.

    The Patriots are +24 in the takeaway/giveaway department – by far leading the league. I’m predicting they increase that number this weekend against the Bills. It will be the difference in the game.

  37. Not too difficult to imagine these 49ers imploding to end the season. They overlooked the Falcons and now face two tough divisional matchups. What is almost impossible to imagine is that they win both.

    Bills? Sorry Cinderella but it is half-past midnight.

    Eagles-Cowboys is the best argument for keeping the divisional winner system the way it is. Garbage game now becomes one of the most intriguing of the weekend. Tough to pick but if I had to bet a finger on it, I would take Phila.

    Ravens gonna do nasty, nasty things to the Browns. Margin of victory: 5 scores and their dignity

    Saints-Titans should be a fun one. Unfamiliar opponents, non-conference yet both teams need the W. I like the Saints but hope they drop one to give the Seahawks a leg up in seeding (the worry is that GB drops one, the 3-way tie is gone and Saints head-to-head win in Seattle dictates seeding)

  38. I already know The Vikings are scared! They always try to act like they somebody special, Truth will show Monday night! Packers 38 Vikings 17. I know you will blame it on the Refs like you always do. Just thank us for the beatdown! Enjoy your sixth seed.

  39. Andrew Teal says:
    December 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm
    Vikings the better team? Maybe. Looks like it.

    Then I remember, they haven’t beaten a team over .500 this year.

    So, who knows if they really are or not.

    ————————

    I know it’s not a ton to brag about but the Vikings did beat cowboys on the road, when they had a winning record, and it was a game everyone picked against the Vikings. They were over .500 when they played them. They have lost several games since, but it’s dumb to take away that because they did beat a winning team. The Vikings have lost close good games to good teams. The Packers got destroyed by the 49ers, bearly beat the Vikings the first time, and lost to crappy teams like the Eagles and Chargers.

  40. If you look at the NFL statistics on penalties this year, the Vikings and Packers are ranked right next to each other in terms of gained and penalized yardage. I do not understand how Vikings fans continue to use the refs, especially this year, as the reason we are winning games. They have neck and neck statistics on flags. Every team has experienced plays that were called unfairly, and the Packers are not even in top 5 for beneficial penalty yards.

  41. Well if you look further into those stats the penalties Packers have had go in their way were directly related to possession and scoring, 2 examples are the muffrd kick that was called a penalty when it clearly was legal, the Bears recovered that muff deep in Packers territory at a time when the game was still either team to take, the Packers scored and that was the difference in the game, Against Minnesota A Vikings TD was nullified on a phantom defensive penalty on the other side of the play which even if it were legit played no difference in the play. In that same game there were 2 Delay of Game penalties that were not called, both were proven by freeze frames and made the difference between 1 score. that is exactly the difference between who won. So you have to look at NON calls as well. there are others like the Lion game, The reffs totally blew that game. Rodgers gets roughing calls on plays NO other QB in the league gets them.

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