The NFL regular season has reached its penultimate week, and the focus has shifted to the Week 16 picks and predictions for all of Sunday’s marquee games.
With key battles in the AFC and NFC previewing potential playoff matchups, the expectations for a weekend filled with postseason-clinching scenarios make this one of the most anticipated weeks on the schedule.
Here are the predictions for every game against the spread and a last-second preview of the most pivotal games.
|Away Team||Home Team||Spread||Pick ATS|
|Miami Dolphins||Buffalo Bills||MIA -3||Dolphins|
|New Orleans Saints||Carolina Panthers||CAR -2.5||Panthers|
|Dallas Cowboys||Washington Redskins||DAL -3.5||Cowboys|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||St. Louis Rams||STL -4.5||Rams|
|Chicago Bears||Philadelphia Eagles||PHI -4||Eagles|
|Cleveland Browns||N.Y. Jets||NYJ -1||Browns|
|Indianapolis Colts||Kansas City Chiefs||KC -6.5||Colts|
|Minnesota Vikings||Cincinnati Bengals||CIN -8||Vikings|
|Denver Broncos||Houston Texans||DEN -9.5||Broncos|
|Tennessee Titans||Jacksonville Jaguars||TEN -4||Jaguars|
|Arizona Cardinals||Seattle Seahawks||SEA -9.5||Seahawks|
|N.Y. Giants||Detroit Lions||DET -9.5||Lions|
|Oakland Raiders||San Diego Chargers||SD -9.5||Raiders|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Green Bay Packers||PK||Packers|
|New England Patriots||Baltimore Ravens||BAL -1.5||Patriots|
|Atlanta Falcons||San Francisco 49ers||SF -10||Falcons|
Source: Vegas Insider
Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) vs. Indianapolis Colts (9-5)
The most exciting matchup of the weekend is the AFC battle between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead Stadium.
Both teams are coming off a much-needed victory, but Kansas City has been the more consistent team this season, and that will be the ultimate difference Sunday. While Indianapolis can be hard to stop, the Colts have a tendency of being their own worst enemy.
He’s an exceptional talent. The two things that surprised our players the most is how fast he is. He’s legitimately fast. And he’s really strong. He’s a big man, he has a great arm, he can extend the play … he makes a lot of the right decisions. He’s been asked to do an awful lot and has done it awfully well.
Led by Jamaal Charles and the 215 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns he amassed in Week 15 against the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs offense is even more dangerous than the defense.
After the Colts allowed 42 points to a less talented Cincinnati Bengals team on Dec. 8, Kansas City should find the room to rack up big points on Indianapolis this Sunday.
Predicted Final Score: Kansas City 40, Indianapolis 30
Philadelphia Eagles (8-6) vs. Chicago Bears (8-6)
The entire NFL is looking forward to the NFC battle between the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears. With both teams fighting for a postseason berth, the action on the field is sure to be intense.
As well as Chicago has played at times this season, Philadelphia has the more explosive offense, and the matchup this Sunday couldn’t be any more perfect. The Eagles boast the league’s best rushing attack, and the Bears are ranked dead last, allowing 152.4 yards on the ground per game.
Running back LeSean McCoy will dominate that matchup.
Any chance either the Bears or Eagles defense can stop the other Sunday night in Philly? Looks like a 48-45 kind of game coming up...— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) December 17, 2013
McCoy saw limited rushing attempts against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15 due to the deficit his team faced throughout the game, but this is a player who amassed 221 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against the gaudy run defense of the Detroit Lions on Dec. 8.
There is no question that Chicago boasts a talented offense of its own led by running back Matt Forte and the receiver combination of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. With Nick Foles performing at a high level and Philadelphia playing inside the friendly confines of Lincoln Financial Field, though, the Eagles will steal the show in this high-scoring matchup.
Predicted Final Score: Philadelphia 34, Chicago 27
New England Patriots (10-4) vs. Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
The New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens have become very familiar with each other over the last several years as two of the perennial AFC Super Bowl contenders, but the Patriots will be looking to send a message to the entire league this week.
Which predicted winner needs the victory the most?
Baltimore has won four straight games leading into Sunday’s game, and the credit goes to the defense and special teams. The Ravens have not met an offense during their winning streak that pushes them like the Patriots will in Week 16, and the team will fold under the pressure.
New England’s defense is far from perfect, but it will be Baltimore’s secondary that will be most susceptible this Sunday. The Ravens have allowed 231.6 yards passing per game, and Tom Brady will take advantage of his chances to make big plays.
Baltimore will keep the score close, but New England has too much talent to lose this game.
Predicted Final Score: New England 27, Baltimore 20