NFL Predictions for Week 16: Will the Detroit Lions Finally Get a W?

Joe KleiberCorrespondent IDecember 20, 2008

After the most miserable start to an NFL season of all-time, the Lions have nearly won twice in the past two weeks. Can they finally get over the hump and beat an offensive-juggernaut in the New Orleans Saints? It's quite possible. Here are some reasons why the Lions might get the w.

 1. The Saints are 1-6 on the road.

 2. Reggie Bush is out for the season.

 3. The Saints rank 20th in total defense and have given up 353 total points.

 4. The Lions will be at home and will be pumped for a victory.

 5. Dan Orlovsky gives the Lions their best chance at winning.

 6. Kevin Smith has had an impressive rookie season, and they still have "Megatron" Calvin Johnson.

Are those enough reasons? Maybe and maybe not, because the Saints are unpredictable and can either lose a close game or blow them out.

This will be an entertaining and offensive slugfest. Make sure you start all your Saints and Kevin Smith, Calvin Johnson, and even Dan Orlovsky as a sleeper pick.

Saturday game: BAL@DAL Prediction: BAL 14 DAL 17

This has enormous playoff implications. Baltimore is currently the sixth seed in the AFC but needs this win to stay in the race. The Cowboys are currently the fifth seed in the NFC and need this win to stay in the tightly packed NFC playoff face.

It will be a physical and defensive game that will be similar to the Steelers-Ravens game last week. The Ravens have played well on the road with a 4-3 road record. Dallas's defense has played so well as of late that they held the Giants to eight points last week and sacked Eli Manning eight times.

You have to play both defenses, but be wary of the offensive players and except less-than stellar numbers.

Boom: Both defenses-It should be a defensive battle and both teams should create turnovers and get sacks. You have to start both and expect both to play well. Prediction: BAL: 5 sacks 1 int 1 fr 17 PA DAL: 6 sacks 1 int 1 fr 14 PA

Boom: Jason Witten-Witten will be Romo's security blanket, because he is going to be rushed plenty and will need to play the short-routes. Expect Witten to be heavily involved and be a key to the Cowboys winning. Prediction: 7 catches 75 yds 1 td

Tony Romo-I don't expect Romo to have a huge game, but if the Cowboys are going to win this, it will be because of Romo. He played very well last week against the Giants and they have a great defense. On top of that, Marion Barber may not play and Tashard Choice won't have much running room against the scary Ravens defense. Prediction: 275 passing yds 2 tds 1 int 30 rushing yds

Bust: All Ravens offense-I would not be confident in playing any Ravens offensive players this week after the way the Giants and Steelers offenses played against them the past two weeks. Flacco is going to get rushed to the point that he will be running for his life and the Cowboys run defense has stepped up in a big way recently so McClain will have a tough time running. You have to start him, but don't expect great numbers.

CIN@CLE Prediction: CIN 21 CLE 20

I like the Bengals this week after their great showing against the Redskins last week. The Browns don't have any offense and their defense has been torched also. I'd play most of my Bengals, including Ryan Fitzpatrick if you're desperate.

I wouldn't be confident in any Brown right now, aside from maybe Braylon Edwards, even against a poor defense like the Bengals.

Boom: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cedric Benson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chad Ocho Cinco-Yes that is Chad Ocho Cinco's name up there it is not a mis-print. Expect Chad to be involved this week, because the Browns will have most of their attention towards T.J. and Benson. Expect all of these players to have nice games since the Browns rank 27th in total defense. Predictions: Houshmandzadeh: 8 catches 97 yds 1 td Benson: 95 rushing yds 1 td 3 catches 30 yds Ocho Cinco: 6 catches 70 yds 1 td Fitzpatrick: 280 passing yds 2 tds 1 int

Braylon Edwards-This is the only Brown who should be in your lineup right now. The Bengals will put eight in the box to stop Jamal Lewis, so their only option will be to throw and Edwards is the only guy that can make catches. Even with his numerous dropped passes, he still has to be active this week. Prediction: 8 catches 87 yds 1 td

NO@DET Prediction: NO 31 DET 34

It will be a slugfest between two terrible defenses and both will light up the scoreboard. I'd play all your Saints and Calvin Johnson, Kevin Smith and even Dan Orlovsky. I like the Lions in the upset, because the Saints tend to lose focus towards the end of games and can't close opponents out.

Boom: All Saints-Brees, Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, Lance Moore and Jeremy Shockey need to be in your lineups this week. They will post huge numbers and you'll regret it if you bench them vs. the Lions.

Calvin Johnson, Kevin Smith and Dan Orlovsky-I like all these guys, because the Saints defense has been awful. They did have a few turnovers on Kyle Orton last week, but their d has not been consistent. Predictions: Johnson: 10 catches 100 yds 1 td Smith: 90 rushing yds 2 td 4 catches 40 yds Orlovsky: 290 passing yds 2 tds 1 int

Bust: Nobody-It will be very high-scoring so you can't bench anybody in this game.

MIA@KC Prediction: MIA 24 KC 21

I think this game will be closer than people think, because the Chiefs are tough at home and Herm Edwards is playing for his job. I'd play all my Dolphins and Tony Gonzalez, Tyler Thigpen and Dwayne Bowe. I'd be skeptical about Larry Johnson, because he hasn't scored in two weeks and the Dolphins are better against the run than the pass.

Boom: All Dolphins-Chad Pennington, Ronnie Brown, and Ted Ginn Jr. should have nice games and Ricky Williams can be a sleeper pick this week as well. The Dolphins defense should be played as well, because the Chiefs are prone for turnovers and sacks.

Tony Gonzalez, Tyler Thigpen and Dwayne Bowe-Tony has been the most consistent tight-end this year and should never be benched. He will be heavily involved and will have a nice game.

Thigpen has been one of the best waiver-wire additions this year and the Dolphins struggle against the pass. Bowe is always good for a start so expect nice numbers. Prediction: Gonzalez: 8 catches 90 yds 1 td Thigpen: 300 passing yds 2 tds 1 int 25 rushing yds Bowe: 7 catches 80 yds 1 td

Bust: Larry Johnson-L.J. is too inconsistent right now to be counted on. If you have other options, I'd play them over Johnson. Prediction: 50 rushing yds 4 catches 40 yds

AZ@NE Prediction: AZ 17 NE 31

The Cardinals looked awful last week and basically have nothing to play for after clinching the division two weeks ago. Boldin is probably not going to play and I can see the Cards benching their starters to stay healthy for the playoffs.

The Pats will be fired up and with the weather expected to be snowy and cold, they will have a big advantage. I'd play all my Pats and only a few Cards this week.

Boom: All Pats-You have to play all your Pats this week, because the Cardinals' defense has struggled to stop anybody lately. Matt Cassel, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Sammy Morris and the Pats defense will be nice plays this week.

Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston-Warner still needs to be started, despite struggling lately. He's a risk only because they may pull him for Matt Leinart, but if the Cards are to keep pace with the Pats, they will throw, because they can't run right now and the Pats' secondary ha struggled all season. Prediction: Warner: 295 passing yds 2 tds 1 int Fitzgerald: 8 catches 90 yds 1 td Breaston: 6 catches 75 yds 1 td

Bust: Tim Hightower-The Cardinals don't run well and now don't even try to. Hightower has been a non-factor recently so don't think about starting him this week. Prediction: 40 rushing yds 2 catches 20 yds

SF@STL Prediction: SF 27 STL 24

The 'Niners have played well lately and Singletary has them playing for his job. Their defense has also played well lately, but can't be trusted. I like most of you Niners this week, but especially Issac Bruce.

Bruce is making his return to St. Louis, where he had his glory days and will be fired up to beat them. Frank Gore is a game-time decision and I'd bench him, because he may be limited if he plays. DeShaun Foster played well last week so expect him to be a factor.

I'd only trust Steven Jackson for the Rams, because anybody else is too much of a risk. If you're desperate though, Torry Holt has played well lately and could have another good game against the 'Niners' struggling secondary.

Boom: Shaun Hill, Issac Bruce and DeShaun Foster-Hill is playing for his starting job next year and has played well since being named the starter. Issac Bruce will be pumped up so expect him to have a great game and Foster will get major playing time with Gore's injury. Prediction: Hill: 280 passing yds 2 tds 1 int Bruce: 8 catches 90 yds 1 td Foster: 90 rushing yds 1 td 5 catches 40 yds

Steven Jackson and Torry Holt-Jackson has been playing well since returning from his injury. Holt has also played well since Jackson has been back, so he could be good for a td and 60-70 yds. Prediction: Jackson: 100 rushing yds 1 td 4 catches 40 yds Holt: 7 catches 70 yds 1 td

Bust: Frank Gore (if he plays)-Gore will probably be limited if he plays, so if you have him, make sure you add DeShaun Foster as insurance in case he starts. Prediction: 50 rushing yds 3 catches 30 yds

PITT@TENN Prediction: PITT 17 TENN 10

These teams are playing for the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC, but the Titans will be without Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch, two of their best defensive players.

The Steelers offense has yet to get going, but always find ways to win. I expect the same this week. The Titans offensive players are risky this week against the top defense in the Steelers.

Boom: Both defenses-Even with the Titans' injuries, they are still worth a start, because the Steelers offense hasn't been consistent and the Titans still have good cornerbacks and lineman/linebackers. Prediction: Pit defense: 6 sacks 1 int 1 fr 10 PA Tenn defense: 4 sacks 1 int 1 fr 17 PA

Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller and Willie Parker-With the Titans' injuries, the Steelers offense should be fine. I like Parker especially, because of the Haynesworth injury. Prediction: Ward 6 catches 70 yds 1 td Roethlisberger 287 passing yds 1 td 1 int Miller: 6 catches 60 yds Parker: 88 rushing yds 1 td 4 catches 40 yds

Bust: Chris Johnson-Johnson has hit a rookie wall against tough defenses, so don't expect him to have a big game. I'd bench him if I had other options. Prediction: 50 rushing yds 3 catches 40 yds

SD@TB Prediction: SD 24 TB 21

I like the Chargers this week with all the injuries to Tampa Bay. They don't know which QB is going to start for them and have numerous injuries to their defense, especially Pro-Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks and safety Jermaine Phillips. I'd start all my Chargers, and Antonio Bryant is the only Buc I'd trust this week.

Boom: All Chargers-This offense has been on a roll lately, even if they had to recover an onside-kick to salvage their stats last week. Rivers has played at a high level all season and Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson and L.T. will be involved and play well this week. L.T. has been risky, but expect a nice rebound game for him.

Antonio Bryant-Bryant has been explosive lately and has had a great comeback season. He's been underrated all year and will be explosive again this week. Prediction: 8 catches 90 yds 1 td

Bust: The rest of the Bucs-The rest of the Bucs are too risky this week, because of the platoon between Warrick Dunn and Cadillac Williams and the injuries to Jeff Garcia and the defense.

BUF@DEN Prediction: BUF 21 DEN 24

The Broncos may have nothing to play for by the time this game starts, because if the Chargers lose than they will have clinched their division. Still, I feel like Mike Shanahan will have his team motivated this week so he probably won't bench his players. I like most Bills and all your stud Broncos.

Boom: Trent Edwards, Lee Evans and Marshawn Lynch-The Broncos' defense continues to struggle without Champ Bailey, so I'd start these Bills. Edwards is returning from injuries, but expect him to air it out. Evans will benefit with Edwards back and he should get back on track.

Lynch is questionable for the game, but if he plays, you have to start him against a struggling run defense. Predictions: Edwards: 280 passing yds 2 tds 2 ints Evans 6 catches 88 yds 1 td Lynch(if he plays): 100 rushing yds 1 td 5 catches 40 yds

Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal-With all the injuries to the Broncos' running backs, you can't trust any of them. Cutler will air it out and Marshall and Royal will have big games against the Bills soft secondary. Predictions: Cutler: 300 passing yds 3 tds 2 ints Marshall: 9 catches 100 yds 1 td Royal: 7 catches 90 yds 1 td

Bust: Nobody-It will be a high-scoring game with both defenses struggling so start all your regular Bills and Broncos.

HOU@OAK Prediction: HOU 31 OAK 21

The Texans have been playing at high-level lately and are coming off tow huge wins against the Packers at Lambeau Field and against the Titans. They are an offensive machine right now and their defense is playing well too.

Start all your Texans, but be wary about the Raiders, because they are so unpredictable and risky.

Boom: All Texans-This should be an offensive show for the Texans, who are aiming at a winning record for the first time in franchise history. Andre Johnson has been a monster and the No. 1 receiver in fantasy all year.

It doesn't matter who is covering him, because the Texans can move him all over the place. Matt Schaub, Steve Slaton, Kevin Walter, and Owen Daniels will have big games against the weak Raiders defense.

Darren McFadden-"Run DMC" has been inconsistent, but productive when he's been involved. The Raiders will have no choice but to get him involved this week so start him with confidence. Justin Fargas should have a good game too, but doesn't get the tds so his upside is very limited. Prediction: 88 rushing yds 1 td 3 catches 30 yds

Bust: All other Raiders-McFadden should be the only Raider that starts for you this week. Any other Raider is way too risky.

NYJ@SEA Prediction: NYJ 27 SEA 24

 The Jets haven't played well since they beat the Titans and got lucky to win last week. They haven't won on the West Coast this year, but something tells me Brett Favre will get this team focused and read to play this week.

The Jets' receivers and Favre are risky, but start them this week against one of the worst defenses in the league this year. Thomas Jones and Leon Washington will have big games this week as well. I'd start a few Seahawks, but don't go overboard, because they're risky.

Boom: All Jets-The Jets should get back on track with their offense this week and run the ball to set-up the pass. Start your Jets with confidence this week and play the defense, but be aware they haven't played well in weeks aside from J.P. Losman's turnover-show in the fourth quarter last week.

Deion Branch-Even though Darrelle Revis will be covering him, Branch should not be benched because he's played so well lately and the Jets secondary has struggled. Prediction: 6 catches 70 yds 1 td

John Carlson-Carlson has been unbelievable lately and will be heavily involved once again. The Jets have struggled to cover anybody recently and Carlson has been a reliable tight-end. Prediction: 6 catches 77 yds 1 td

Bust: Any other Seahawk-Seneca Wallace has played well lately, but unless you're desperate you can't start him with confidence. He's been too inconsistent.Anybody else is too risky as well.

ATL@MIN Prediction: ATL 24 MIN 21

 The Falcons can boost their playoff hopes with a big victory on the road this week. They need this game and the Vikings will be without Pat Williams for the rest of the regular season.

Expect the Falcons to run well with Michael Turner and set-up the pass for Matt Ryan. Adrian Peterson is the only Viking I'd trust this week and you have to play the Vikings defense, despite the Pat Williams injury.

Boom: Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Michael Turner-Matt Ryan has been the most impressive rookie qb in a long time. The Vikings secondary hasn't been playing all that great so Ryan should have success. Roddy White is a Pro-Bowler and been one of the top wide receivers all season.

Michael Turner should have success without Pat Williams plugging up the middle. Predictions: Ryan: 290 passing yds 2 tds 1 int White: 9 catches 90 yds 1 td Turner 95 rushing yds 1 td 3 catches 20 yds

Adrian Peterson-Peterson is having a great year, despite fumbling issues and injury problems. The Falcons struggle against the run so expect Peterson to have plenty of room to run. Prediction: 110 rushing yds 1 td 3 catches 30 yds

Bust: any other Viking-Any other Viking is too risky to start in your fantasy playoffs. I'd bench every other Viking this week.

PHI@WAS Prediction: PHI 24 WAS 14

The Redskins are falling apart and may not have Clinton Portis this week so bench him and most of your Redskins. You gotta play your stud Eagles players, such as Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, DeShaun Jackson, and the Eagles defense. The Eagles should have their way this week so expect them to roll

Boom: All Eagles-The 'Skins can't stop anybody right now.

Bust: All Redskins-You can't trust any Redskin right now. You have to play Chris Cooley, but I'd bench every other Redskin.

I will preview the Sunday night game and Monday night games tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the games!


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