NFL Picks Week 16: 4 Road Underdogs That Could Shock the World

Brian LendinoCorrespondent IIDecember 20, 2011

NFL Picks Week 16: 4 Road Underdogs That Could Shock the World

0 of 4

    As the playoffs draw near many teams on the playoff bubble are looking for signature late-season wins to move them one step closer to the postseason.

    Many of those bubble teams face tough road tests this week.

    Others who are out of the playoffs will look to knock off the big boys to end their putrid seasons on somewhat of a high note.

    So, which road dogs have the best shot of knocking off their home opponents?

    Check the out.

Atlanta Falcons over New Orleans Saints

1 of 4

    The Atlanta Falcons have stormed into the driver's seat of the NFC wild-card car with a 9-5 record after their slow 2-3 start out of the gate.

    The Matt Ryan-and-Roddy White connection looks to be as strong as ever as the stud wide receiver has recorded a score in each of the past four games.

    This week, on the final Monday Night Football game of the season, the Falcons head to New Orleans to take on Drew Brees and the division-leading Saints.

    A win in New Orleans not only keeps the Falcons in contention to win the division but would all but solidify their spot in the playoffs.

    Drew Brees is as hot as any quarterback playing in the league today but I think the Falcons are playing well enough as a team to knock off the Saints on Monday Night Football.

Arizona Cardinals over Cincinnati Bengals

2 of 4

    I could argue that the Cardinals are the hottest team in football because they've won six of their last seven games with wins against the Cowboys, at the Eagles and against the 49ers.

    While their playoff chances are slim, they are still mathematically in the hunt and I expect them to come out with everything they have against the Bengals.

    The Bengals, who are also in the hunt in the AFC, are reeling right now having lost two of their last three games and struggling to beat the lowly Rams.

    Chris "Beanie" Wells will break the 1,000-yard mark in this game and I like him to also find the end zone at least once.

    And while he isn't shy from throwing interceptions, John Skelton has thrown for 600 yards in his last two games and has led his team to victory.

    The Cardinals have as good a shot as any team this week to steal one on the road in Week 16.

San Diego Chargers over Detroit Lions

3 of 4

    I mean, we're all aware of Norv Turner and Philip Rivers' ability to miraculously turn the season around in November and December.

    I expect the trend to continue as they are assumed to be road underdogs at the 9-5 Detroit Lions this weekend.

    It took a career performance from the incomparable Calvin Johnson and a fourth-quarter comeback for the Lions to sneak out of Oakland with a win. 

    Detroit is a good team, but I think they have a lot of holes and aren't mentally strong enough to win big games against good teams down the stretch.

    Philip Rivers has found a way to not turn the ball over anymore and the backfield duo of Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert is finding ways to get into the end zone.

    It may be too little too late but the Chargers are winning football games at the right time of the season.

Philadelphia Eagles over Dallas Cowboys

4 of 4

    If there is one thing you can take away from the Eagles' beatdown of the Jets it's that this team still has the potential to be great when they are fully healthy.

    LeSean McCoy is as good a running back as we have in the league, and a healthy combination of Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek can be lethal for Mike Vick.

    The last time these two teams played, the Eagles annihilated the Cowboys 34-7 in Philadelphia behind 185 yards and two touchdowns from the aforementioned McCoy. 

    The Eagles are still playing for a playoff position through winning the division and need to win out and get some help to see that come true.

    A huge win in Dallas would be a great start and take care of both of those.

    If Mike Vick can protect the football, look for the Eagles to come out of Dallas with a huge win and keep their playoff hopes alive.