Week 16 NFL Picks and Predictions: Breaking Down the Games So You Don't Have To

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Week 16 NFL Picks and Predictions: Breaking Down the Games So You Don't Have To
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Can Eli Manning and co. avoid another late-season collapse?

Week 16 of the 2010 NFL season is officially here, and unlike many past seasons, we won't be having several teams sitting their starters as they coast into the NFL Playoffs.

Sure, the Patriots and Bears are officially in, but they still have something to play for.

There are several very interesting matchups this week, which makes it ever more difficult to escape the week with a winning record. However, our writers at NFL Soup have been doing a stellar job all season, as our top writer has rivaled the best of what ESPN has to offer.

With our other writers not far behind, the race is heating up.

Best of all, you can participate in the fun, too! Send in your weekly NFL picks to nflsoup@gmail.com before the Thursday night game kicks off, and you'll have a shot at winning a brand new Dallas Cowboys team history book! Beat the top expert for Week 16 and you're the winner!

But beyond a book give-away, there's bragging rights, and of course for many, there's money on the line. For the surest bet at nailing the games this week, read on for our summary of our writer consensus:

Note: The "record" after NFL Soup Verdict shows you how many writers picked the winning team for the week.

Thursday Night Football

Karl Walter/Getty Images
Big Ben won't even blink against Carolina.

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

It's Clausen vs the Steelers on the road. Yikes. Needless to say, we all went Pittsburgh here.

NFL Soup Verdict: Steelers (4-0)

Sunday Games

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

About the only good thing Arizona has going for them is that they play at home. Larry Fitzgerald will probably have a nice game as the Cards' throw the ball a ton, but this one is all Cowboys.

NFL Soup Verdict: Cowboys (4-0)

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

The Jets actually cling to a little life as far as the division title goes, while they still need to play to get into the playoffs.

Chicago has the division and a playoff spot wrapped up, so we see the Jets steam-rolling here.

NFL Soup Verdict: Jets (3-1)

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

Buffalo has a ton of fight left, so we wouldn't be shocked to see a close one. However, with the division still on the line, Bill Belichick won't let his crew get sloppy.

Which division leader is most likely to lose this week?

Submit Vote vote to see results

NFL Soup Verdict: Patriots (4-0)

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

Tennessee found a way to come to life last week for a win over Houston, but going on the road and snubbing the Chiefs just doesn't seem likely. KC has way too much riding on this game and the season to come up short now.

NFL Soup Verdict: Chiefs (4-0)

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

There's a good chance Rex Grossman plays out of his mind again, but with Jacksonville still in a fight for the division and playing at home, nothing he does this week will be enough.

NFL Soup Verdict: Jaguars (4-0)

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

The Lions are trying to finish on a high note in hopes of catching fire again next season, while the Dolphins are out of the playoffs and simply playing for pride.

NFL Soup Verdict: Push (2-2)

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

The rookie Sam Bradford looks to keep his unlikely first season going by knocking the 49ers out of the division race. The switch from Alex to Troy Smith could do the 49ers in for good.

Larry French/Getty Images
Can the Ravens slow down Peyton Hillis?

NFL Soup Verdict: Rams (3-1)

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

The Ray Lewis trash-talk has already begun. Look for the Ravens to edge the Browns in a must-win game.

NFL Soup Verdict: Ravens (3-1)

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

Both teams have been in free fall mode for the better half of the season. Neither defense is worth a hoot, but Houston still has the better overall offense and more talent.

NFL Soup Verdict: Texans (3-1)

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

Can the Raiders pull off the impossible at home? Probably not.

NFL Soup Verdict: Colts (4-0)

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

The Chargers need to win out to make the playoffs or have a shot at their division, while the Bengals are already discussing how they're going to clean house.

NFL Soup Verdict: Chargers (4-0)

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

J. Meric/Getty Images
Are the Buccaneers done?

The Seahawks are the team with the playoff hopes, but the sliding Buccaneers need to prove they're as good as everyone thought they once were.

NFL Soup Verdict: Buccaneers (3-1)

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

The Giants look ready for another late-season collapse, while the Pack just needs two home wins and they're in.

NFL Soup Verdict: Packers (3-1)

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

With or without Favre, the Vikings are no match for this Philly team on the road.

NFL Soup Verdict: Eagles (4-0)

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

The Saints fight for their playoff lives, while the Falcons aim to sweep New Orleans en route to a division title. 

NFL Soup Verdict: Falcons (3-1)

Head over to NFL Soup and check out our NFL Picks article to see which writer picked who, and what they had to say about each matchup!

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