NFL Picks Week 16: New York Giants, Green Bay Packers Sort Out Playoff Scenarios
After the NFL's Week 16 concludes, the playoff picture will be much clearer.
As of now, AFC teams like the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers have their playoff hopes still up in the air, but this week's happenings will go a long way in determining their fates.
The Giants-Packers game is the most important in the NFC, but the not-so-glamorous St. Louis Rams-San Francisco 49ers game, as well as the Seattle Seahawks' and Arizona Cardinals' respective contests, will help decide which NFC West team will get whipped in the first round of the postseason.
It's strange to see a guy like Peyton Manning have to scrap late in the season for a playoff spot, but with Maurice Jones-Drew willing the Jaguars to a tie atop the AFC South with the Colts, he'll have to do just that.
Here are my picks against the spread for Week 16.
Cowboys (-7) Over Cardinals
The Cowboys aren't as good as everyone seems to believe under Jason Garrett, and they showed that by letting Rex Grossman almost lead the Redskins to a comeback win.
But as bad as their defense has been, it can stop John Skelton in his third career start.
Cowboys 34, Cardinals 17
Detroit (+3.5) Over Miami
Detroit is coming off an impressive win over Tampa Bay.
Miami is 1-6 at home.
Detroit 24, Miami 17
Giants (+3) Over Packers
The Giants' loss last week was an absolute disaster, and now they need a win at Lambeau in order to clinch a playoff spot.
Green Bay is even more desperate, needing to win two straight to sneak in.
But despite last week's debacle, the Giants are the better team.
Aaron Rodgers is coming off of a second concussion, and the ferocious New York pass rush should trouble him a whole lot.
Giants 27, Packers 17
Eagles (-14.5) Over Vikings
Brett Favre still hasn't passed his concussion test, meaning Joe Webb may start.
Webb doesn't get the credit he deserves as an athlete (he's really impressive), but he's not ready to play quarterback in the NFL.
Not even close.
And Michael Vick is back, if you haven't heard.
Eagles 31, Vikings 10
Jaguars (-7) Over Redskins
MJD is hurting, but whether it's him or Rashad Jennings running the ball, they will be carving up the porous Redskins defense.
Ryan Torain should have success on the other side, but it won't be enough.
The Jaguars are the much better team.
Jaguars 30, Redskins 20
Rams (-2.5) Over 49ers
I'll take Sam Bradford over Troy Smith any day. Maybe even if this was Oklahoma-Ohio State.
Rams 26, 49ers 14
Jets (+1) Over Bears
This is a tough call.
If Mark Sanchez plays and is effective, I think the Jets will pull it out.
But if Mark Brunell steps on the field, it could be a long day for New York.
Jets 20, Bears 17
Ravens (-3.5) Over Browns
Now that the Ravens have unleashed Ray Rice, the league had better watch out.
The 250-plus total yards he had last week were a sign of things to come.
Ravens 34, Browns 20
Raiders (+3) Over Colts
The Raiders can run the ball and stop the pass.
The Colts can't stop the run and are pass-heavy on offense.
The game is in Oakland.
Peyton & Co. could be in trouble.
Raiders 27, Colts 24
Bucs (-6) over Seahawks
Bills (+7.5) over Patriots
Chiefs (-5) over Titans
Texans (-2.5) over Broncos
Bengals (+7.5) over Chargers
Saints (+2.5) over Falcons
Last week: 8-6
Matt Rudnitsky is a student at the University of Michigan and a Featured Columnist/writing intern at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Mattrud