NFL Picks Week 16: New York Giants, Green Bay Packers Sort Out Playoff Scenarios

Matt RudnitskyCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2010

NFL Picks Week 16: New York Giants, Green Bay Packers Sort Out Playoff Scenarios

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants passes against the Philadelphia Eagles at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    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

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    ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 12:  Quarterback Jon Kitna #3 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 12, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    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

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    TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 19:  Receiver Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions runs through the tackle of defensive back E.J. Biggers #31 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Detroit is coming off an impressive win over Tampa Bay.

    Miami is 1-6 at home.

    Detroit 24, Miami 17

Giants (+3) Over Packers

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Justin Tuck #91, Michael Boley #59, and Antrel Rolle #26 of the New York Giants tackle Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles during their game on December 19, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford,
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    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

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    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

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 19: Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars dives against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Jaguars 34-24. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty I
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    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

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 19: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams passes against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome on December 19, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Chiefs beat the Rams 27-13.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    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

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    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 19:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 19, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    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

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    BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 05:  Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
    Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    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

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    OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 19:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs with the ball during their game against the Denver Broncos at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 19, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    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

The Rest

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    BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 19:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints passes against the Baltimore Ravens  at M&T Bank Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens lead the Saints at the half 21-14. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
    Larry French/Getty Images

    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

    Season: 76-57

    Matt Rudnitsky is a student at the University of Michigan and a Featured Columnist/writing intern at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at

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