NFL Picks Week 16: Can the Oakland Raiders Keep Their Playoff Hopes Alive?

Frank Fittipaldi@@Frank_FittiCorrespondent IIDecember 23, 2010

NFL Picks Week 16: Can The Oakland Raiders Keep Their Playoff Hopes Alive?

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Week 16 is upon us and the playoffs are right around the corner.

    We know who is for real and who is not but can the teams to beat remain hot heading into the playoffs?

    Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC while Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons refuse to slow down in the NFC.

    Here are the picks for Week 16.

Carolina Panthers (2-12) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4)

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    Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off an extremely disappointing loss at home to the New York Jets.

    The Steelers are back home in Week 16 to take on the 2-12 Carolina Panthers in a Thursday night matchup.

    This is the perfect opportunity to bounce back for the Steelers as they will try to win the AFC North within the next two weeks.


    Prediction: Steelers 31, Panthers 10

Dallas Cowboys (5-9) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-10)

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    The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a big win against their division rivals, the Washington Redskins.

    Jon Kitna led the Cowboys to a 33-30 victory last week with a 300-yard performance.

    The Cowboys travel to Arizona on Saturday to take on the Cardinals on Christmas Day. The Cardinals are coming off a 19-12 loss to the Panthers.

    The Cardinals struggles will continue this Sunday against the visiting Cowboys.


    Prediction: Cowboys 27, Cardinals 13

Detroit Lions (4-10) @ Miami Dolphins (7-7)

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    The 4-10 Detroit Lions will travel to Miami to take on the 7-7 Dolphins.

    The Lions upset the Buccaneers in Week 15 while the Dolphins were upset by their division rivals, the Buffalo Bills.

    The Lions will give the Dolphins trouble this Sunday but the Dolphin defense will step up and make a big play.


    Prediction: Dolphins 21, Lions 16

Baltimore Ravens (10-4) @ Cleveland Browns (5-9)

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    Ray Rice and the Baltimore Ravens are once again tied with the Steelers for first place in the AFC North, so these last two weeks of the season will be critical.

    Ray Rice had his best game of the season against the since with touchdowns rushing and receiving.

    The Raven defense will be too much for the Browns this week and Baltimore will improve to 11-4


    Prediction: Ravens 27, Browns 10

San Francisco 49ers (5-9) @ St. Louis Rams (6-8)

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    Is possible for the 49ers to be alive with a 5-9 record? Well, in the NFC West, it is definitely possible.

    If the 49ers win, they will be tied with the Rams at 6-9 and with a Seahawks loss, they will all be 6-9 with Week 17 being the deciding factor in the NFC West.

    The 49ers' 3-1 division record is important over these next two weeks.

    I like the Niners this week to make things interesting in the NFC West.


    Prediction: 49ers 17, Rams 14

New England Patriots (12-2) @ Buffalo Bills (4-10)

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    The New England Patriots improved to 12-2 in Week 15 with a Sunday night win over the Green Bay Packers.

    The Patriots are looking like the Patriots of old and are probably the favorites to reach the Super Bowl.

    Tom Brady will continue to play like an MVP this Sunday when they defeat the Bills.


    Prediction: Patriots 35, Bills 20

Washington Redskins (5-9) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (8-6)

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    The Jaguars are coming off a huge loss to the Indianapolis Colts which was an important game in the AFC South.

    The Jaguars are now 8-6 and tied with the lead in their division.

    Sunday's matchup against the Redskins is a must-win for David Garrard and his Jaguars.

    Garrard will find success against a weak Redskins' pass defense and will lead the Jaguars to victory.


    Prediction: Jaguars 24, Redskins 14

New York Jets (10-4) @ Chicago Bears (10-4)

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    Both the New York Jets and Chicago Bears improved to 10-4 in Week 15 but the only difference is that the Bears' win clinched the NFC North.

    The Jets have a tough test ahead of them this Sunday as Mark Sanchez will need to play mistake-free football as he did against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    The Jets will win their second in a row.


    Prediction: Jets 23, Bears 16

Tennessee Titans (6-8) @ Kansas City Chiefs (9-5)

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    The Chiefs have not slowed down this season still leading the AFC West with a 9-5 record.

    The Titans are still mathematically alive for the playoffs but their hopes have faded after their hot start to the season.

    Matt Cassel and the Chiefs can get one step closer to a division title on Sunday but I am taking the Titans in one of my upset wins of the week.


    Prediction: Titans 24, Chiefs 20

Indianapolis Colts (8-6) @ Oakland Raiders (7-7)

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    This Sunday is a huge game for both the Colts and the Raiders.

    Both teams desperately need a win to stay alive in the playoff hunt with a little help around the AFC as well.

    The Colts and Raiders are coming off wins in Week 15 against division rivals and look to carry the momentum into Week 16.

    Home-field advantage is huge for Darren McFadden and the Raiders this week who will stick to their strengths and pound the football.

    The Raiders will upset the Colts in the Black Hole.


    Prediction: Raiders 31, Colts 24

San Diego Chargers (8-6) @ Cincinnati Bengals (3-11)

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    The San Diego Chargers have won two straight games and remain alive in the AFC West.

    The Chargers travel to Cincinnati this Sunday to take on the Bengals who have had a miserable season.

    Carson Palmer and the Bengal offense just continues to struggle and that will continue this week against a tough Chargers' defense.

    Philip Rivers will continue his outstanding year in a victory over the Bengals.


    Prediction: Chargers 31, Bengals 17

Houston Texans (5-9) @ Denver Broncos (3-11)

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The disappointing Houston Texans continues to struggle in Week 15 in a loss to the Tennessee Titans.

    The Denver Broncos were swept by the Oakland Raiders in Week 15 for the first time since 2002.

    Both teams have struggled all season long and are playing for pride at this point in the season.

    Tim Tebow has taken over for the Broncos and played well during his first career start. Tebow and the Broncos will take advantage of that poor Texans' defense and walk away with a win at home.


    Prediction: Broncos 24, Texans 20

New York Giants (9-5) @ Green Bay Packers (8-6)

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    Nobody is more anxious to get on the field this Sunday than the New York Giants.

    The Giants blew a 21-point lead to the Eagles in Week 15 in which was a huge division loss.

    They can redeem themselves this Sunday at Green Bay in a game with huge playoff implications.

    The Packers have struggles without Aaron Rodgers, but he is cleared to play in Week 16 and that will give the Packers a much better chance to keep their playoff hopes alive.

    Expect this one to be close with the Giants coming out on top with their strong pass rush.


    Prediction: Giants 27, Packers 23

Seattle Seahawks (6-8) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6)

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Buccaneers playoff hopes are slowly fading away but they are still alive in the wild card race.

    The Bucs are home against the 6-8 Seahawks this Sunday and will look to bounce back after a shocking loss to the Detroit Lions.

    Week 15's loss was huge for the Buccaneers who were trying to stay alive for the AFC South.

    The Bucs improve to 9-6 this week.


    Prediction: Buccaneers 26, Seahawks 17

Minnesota Vikings (5-9) @ Philadelphia Eagles (10-4)

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    Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles have all the momentum in the world after scoring 28 points in the fourth quarter in a comeback win over the Giants.

    The Eagles return home in Week 16 to take on the Vikings who have had a dreadful season.

    The combination of Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson will continue to dominate this week in a win over the Vikings.


    Prediction: Eagles 34, Vikings 21

New Orleans Saints (10-4) @ Atlanta Falcons (12-2)

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    The New Orleans Saints are coming off a huge loss to the Baltimore Ravens which put them two games back of the division leading Atlanta Falcons. 

    In the game of the week. Drew Brees and the Saints will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons on Monday night in which should be a great game.

    Matt Ryan and the Falcons have been outstanding this season, currently on an eight-game winning streak.

    The Falcons got the best of the Saints earlier this season but it is hard to beat a division rival twice in one season so i think the Saints bounce back this week.


    Prediction: Saints 35, Falcons 31