NFL Picks Week 16: Predictions for Pivotal Weekend Matchups

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NFL Picks Week 16: Predictions for Pivotal Weekend Matchups
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NFL Week 16 will feature a plethora of pressure-packed matchups

With the playoff picture far from settled and more than a dozen teams still alive for eight remaining playoff spots, there'll be no shortage of drama across the league this weekend.  

Without further ado, here's a look at my picks for Week 16's entire slate. 

NFL Picks Week 16
Winner Loser
Miami Dolphins (-3) Buffalo Bills
Cincinnati Bengals (-8) Minnesota Vikings
Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) Indianapolis Colts
St. Louis Rams (-4.5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Jets (-1) Cleveland Browns
Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) Washington Redskins
Carolina Panthers (-2.5) New Orleans Saints
Jacksonville Jaguars Tennessee Titans (-4)
Denver Broncos (-9.5) Houston Texans
Detroit Lions (-9.5) New York Giants
Seattle Seahawks (-9.5) Arizona Cardinals
San Diego Chargers (-9.5) Oakland Raiders
Baltimore Ravens (-1.5) New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers (N/A) Pittsburgh Steelers
Philadelphia Eagles (-4) Chicago Bears
San Francisco 49ers (-10) Atlanta Falcons

Lines via VegasInsider.com

 

Seattle Seahawks Over Arizona Cardinals

The Seattle Seahawks have been outright dominant on their home turf all season while the Arizona Cardinals have proven vulnerable outside of the desert, going 3-4 on the road in 2013. Look for that combination to result in another impressive Seahawks win in Week 16 as they host the Cardinals.

While the Seahawks have locked up a playoff berth and only need one more win to secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Cardinals can ill afford a loss down the stretch as they look to earn an NFC Wild Card berth.

Still, it's difficult to imagine the Cards becoming the first team in two years to beat the Hawks in Seattle. 

Sure, Arizona's No. 1-ranked rush defense is encouraging, but keep in mind that Seattle was able to rush for 135 yards against the Cardinals in the two teams' first meeting back in October. The Seahawks boast the NFL's second-best rushing attack, and you can expect it to rack up plenty of yards en route to another win at home in Week 16. 

 

San Diego Chargers Over Oakland Raiders

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers are still alive for a wild-card berth in the AFC and need to win out to give themselves a shot at making the postseason for the first time since 2009. 

With the reeling Oakland Raiders coming to town in Week 16, expect the Bolts to win their third straight and get above .500 for the first time since October.

After all, the Chargers have won three of their last four to remain in the playoff hunt while the Raiders have lost four in a row to eliminate themselves from postseason contention. What's more, two of the Chargers' last three wins have come against playoff-bound teams in Kansas City and Denver. 

Make no mistake, this is a dangerous squad that could make things interesting if it's able to sneak in at the last minute. 

With veteran passer Philip Rivers leading the league's fourth-ranked aerial attack, expect Oakland's 24th-ranked pass defense to fall short in Week 16, thus keeping San Diego's slim playoff hopes alive for the time being. 

 

Philadelphia Eagles Over Chicago Bears

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Another home team sure to win a pivotal matchup in Week 16 is the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that will host the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football.

While the Bears have won two in a row and the Eagles are coming off a shocking loss at Minnesota, it's hard to argue with the oddsmakers, who have made Philly a four-point favorite at home this weekend. 

The Eagles are clearly the safer pick. While quarterback Nick Foles has tossed just two interceptions all year, Chicago's Jay Cutler has thrown two or more on three different occasions in 2013 despite missing five games because of injury

On top of that, Philly's No. 1-ranked rushing attack is sure to run wild on Chicago's 32nd-ranked rush defense. The Eagles, led by the dynamic LeSean McCoy, are racking up more than 152 rushing yards per game on the ground while the Bears are surrendering the same amount each week.

McCoy is certainly salivating over Week 16's favorable matchup, per PhiladelphiaEagles.com's Alex Smith:

I feel like this game, I've got to put the offense on my back. I want to roll. I feel like myself and the big guys up front -- we've got to put this game on our back and take care of business and get a win.

Assuming Shady can find yards easy to come by against the league's worst run-stopping unit, you've got to love Philly's chances in Sunday's prime-time clash.  

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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