NFL Picks Week 16: Playoff-Bound Teams Who'll Cruise to Easy Victories

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVDecember 21, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos talks with offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy during the second half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

It's Week 16, which means some teams are locked up for the playoffs and are simply playing for seeding. But there's still plenty to play for in the case of those teams, and some elite powers will prove that this weekend.

Whether it's playoff seeding, a berth in the postseason or hope for next season, there's never a shortage of motivation to play late in the season, no matter where your team is headed. 

In the case of these teams, they want to end the season on a high note to garner some momentum for the postseason. They'll do just that.

Let's take a look at teams who will notch easy victories over their counterpart as they cruise toward the playoffs. 


Atlanta Falcons

Despite a record of 12-2, things haven't been all easy for the Falcons this season as they've gutted numerous close victories and have looked hapless in their losses. No one is more desperate to enter the postseason on a good note than Matt Ryan and company.

After dominating the Giants in a shutout performance, they have a great chance to build some momentum heading down the final stretch.

It's hard to find a team other than the 4-10 Detroit Lions that would be a better team to defeat at this point in the season. They've lost their last six games, including a 38-10 drubbing from Arizona of all teams, but still have weapons and are tough to beat if they play up to scratch.

The Lions will be an easy win for the Falcons, but also show many parallels of a playoff team. A big win by Atlanta this weekend is to be expected and should help them head into the playoffs with some momentum.


Green Bay Packers

A 2-3 start to the season isn't what Packers coach Mike McCarthy had in mind, but Green Bay has since righted the ship and is headed to the postseason yet again. Just like seasons past, they'll be one of the Super Bowl favorites.

The 5-9 Tennessee Titans come to town in the second-to-last regular season game, and the Pack match up well against a Titans team that is still trying to find their way. Sure, they won on Monday Night Football last week against the Jets. But it was also the Jets, and they looked about as bad as you can possibly look in a win.

Fueled by last season's untimely playoff loss, Aaron Rodgers will be doing all he can to have his team rolling heading into January. Young Jake Locker won't stand a chance against that type of will.

Nothing short of an apocalypse will keep Green Bay from winning big Sunday.


Denver Broncos

It was expected for the Denver Broncos to improve off their 2011 record of 8-8, but I don't think anyone expected it to be this easy for the Mile High boys. They currently sit at 11-3 and have won nine straight contests.

Peyton Manning wasn't expected to return to his elite form after multiple neck surgeries, but now he's arguably better than ever, on a team that is arguably his best ever. 

Put both of those dynamics together and combine it with the fact that Cleveland is coming to town, and you have yourself a very easy victory for Denver. Manning could sit this one out and it would still end as an easy Broncos win.

Look for the Broncos to use this game to work on some packages they've been experimenting with for the playoffs, as it could get out of hand early.