NFL picks Week 16: Packers-Vikings and every other game
Will the Green Bay Packers win a fifth consecutive game when they host the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Eve?
The NFL reaches crunch time. Playoff berths are flying off the shelves, with teams jostling for the final positions. Two games remain on the regular season schedule. Who has what it takes to seal a place in the postseason?
Green Bay will claim the NFC North title by winning two more games. Aaron Rodgers‘ belief the Packers can run the table is 66 percent there.
Who wins in Week 16?
Minnesota (7-7) at Green Bay (8-6)
These two teams are headed in opposite directions. Minnesota has lost seven of its last nine and looks destined for a losing season. Green Bay is rejuvenated on the back of four straight victories, and can take the NFC North crown by winning out.
The Vikings dominated the first meeting of these two in Week 2, but this game has an entirely different feel to it.
Pick: Green Bay
NY Giants (10-4) at Philadelphia (5-9)
Philadelphia is another team that fell apart after a hot start. After rookie quarterback Carson Wentz led the Eagles to 3-0, they’ve since gone 2-9. The Giants are rolling and win an 11th game on the year to put the pressure on Dallas, who play Boxing Day.
Pick: New York
Atlanta (9-5) at Carolina (6-8)
Oh how the tables have turned in this rivalry. Carolina thumped Atlanta, 38-0, at home last year. Cam Newton was taking selfies with his teammates on the sideline before the game had even finished. The only showboating this time will come from the playoff-bound Falcons.
Miami (9-5) at Buffalo (7-7)
Can Miami squeeze into the playoffs? It will take winning without Ryan Tannehill. Buffalo wins behind another dominant LeSean McCoy performance.
Washington (7-6-1) at Chicago (3-11)
Matt Barkley has offered solid quarterback play filling in for Jay Cutler, but Washington are a team with playoff ambitions, and they should edge past Chicago.
NY Jets (4-10) at New England (12-2)
How have the Jets won four games?
Pick: New England
San Diego (5-9) at Cleveland (0-14)
How have the Browns won zero games?
Pick: San Diego
Tennessee (8-6) at Jacksonville (2-12)
Gus Bradley is out of town, which is no surprise. Jacksonville, the offseason darlings, look destined for a top-three draft pick yet again. Tennessee owned the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft. Now they have eyes on the playoffs.
Indianapolis (7-7) at Oakland (11-3)
This is make or break for the Colts. Unfortunately they run into Derek Carr and the high-flying Raiders.
Tampa Bay (8-6) at New Orleans (6-8)
Where did this Bucs team come from? Strong defense, multiple weapons on offense and five wins from six games. They’ve made mistakes along the way, this is a young team after all. They complete a quick sweep of the Saints having beaten them two weeks ago.
Pick: Tampa Bay
San Francisco (1-13) at Los Angeles (4-10)
Would anybody care if this game wasn’t played? Let’s flip a coin. Oh look, it landed on Los Angeles.
Pick: Los Angeles
Arizona (5-8-1) at Seattle (9-4-1)
When the schedule was released, this had the look of a mouth-watering December showdown with the NFC West potentially on the line. Instead, it’s a prime opportunity for the Seahawks to beatdown their rivals at home.
Cincinnati (5-8-1) at Houston (8-6)
How Houston has won eight games is beyond me. An 8-6 team just benched their quarterback. Let me repeat: An 8-6 team just benched their quarterback. Cincinnati has struggled this year, but Houston’s playoff hopes take a major hit.
Baltimore (8-6) at Pittsburgh (9-5)
Baltimore hasn’t won on the road since September 25. Pittsburgh has won four of six at home, the only losses coming against Dallas (12-2) and New England (12-2). This is the NFL, and this is the AFC North. Forget about trends.
Denver (8-6) at Kansas City (10-4)
If this game is anything close to what we witnessed between the two teams in Denver, it’s going to be a thriller. I don’t see a way Denver escapes Arrowhead with victory, though. These Chiefs are just too talented.
Pick: Kansas City
Detroit (9-5) at Dallas (12-2)
Has the Lions’ bubble burst? Lose this one and they could be staring at a playoff-less season, which is incredible to think as they sat at No. 2 in the conference before last week’s games. A trip to Dallas followed by Green Bay at home gives reason to believe their win column has maxed out.
Next: Packer Perspective: Aaron Rodgers enters the MVP race
Last week: 11-5
Season: 132-81 (.620)