Will the Green Bay Packers make good on Aaron Rodgers‘ “run the table” comments?
To do so, they must get past the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Detroit has lost its past two–at the Giants and Cowboys–but returns home for the season finale. The Packers have won five straight after Rodgers expressed belief his team could win out.
I went an unimpressive 7-9 in my NFL Week 16 picks. Here’s hoping for some better predictions as the regular season comes to a close.
Will there be any final twists and turns in the playoff race?
Green Bay (9-6) at Detroit (9-6)
Detroit certainly has the offense capable of giving Green Bay its fair share of problems, but its defensively the Lions should be concerned. Potentially without their top two cornerbacks, Aaron Rodgers will get to work, and he’s in MVP form.
Tampa Bay needs a miracle to reach the playoffs. Washington must tie for it to happen. I say they do their bit and send the defending NFC champions to defeat No. 10, a disappointing return for last year’s Super Bowl runners-up.
Pick: Tampa Bay
Chicago (3-12) at Minnesota (7-8)
Plummeting back down to earth are the Minnesota Vikings, losers in eight of their past 10 games. Chicago is better than the 3-12 record suggests, and I expect them to sweep Minnesota.
Cleveland (1-13) at Pittsburgh (10-5)
Cleveland got its win, but they won’t back it up. The Steelers take some momentum into the playoffs.
Todd Bowles needs this season to end, but will he return with a job next year? There will be no Rex Ryan or the sidelines against his former team, but the Bills have more talent and should win.
Dallas (13-2) at Philadelphia (6-9)
The only way Dallas loses this game is if they send out the reserves. Don’t be surprised to see Tony Romo get some snaps under his belt. Who knows if he’ll be called upon in the playoffs? Unfortunately for the Eagles, it’s still Tony Romo. The Cowboys complete an excellent season.
Houston (9-6) at Tennessee (8-7)
Houston can’t afford to rest players despite having the division title wrapped up. They need to establish some rhythm and build momentum to avoid another one-and-done playoff season. No Marcus Mariota for Tennessee is a problem. The health of their quarterback is No. 1 after what’s been an encouraging year.
Baltimore (8-7) at Cincinnati (5-9-1)
Antonio Brown ended Baltimore’s playoff dreams on Christmas Day, but they finish the year with victory on the road at underachieving Cincinnati.
Kansas City (11-4) at San Diego (5-10)
Oakland faces an uphill battle to secure a first-round bye, allowing Kansas City to sweep in and steal a home game in the divisional round.
Pick: Kansas City
Oakland (12-3) at Denver (8-7)
You have to feel awful for Raiders fans. An excellent season is effectively over with Derek Carr on the shelf the rest of the way. A first-round bye could quickly become a wild-card berth, and we all know how that ends.
Seattle (9-5-1) at San Francisco (2-13)
Seattle needs a win to have any hope of securing a first-round bye. Fortunately, they get the Niners.
Arizona (6-8-1) at Los Angeles (4-11)
Disappointing season in the books, the Cardinals see off the Rams in what has been an awful return to Los Angeles. Jeff Fishers‘ preseason prediction of not going 7-9 has come true. It’s a shame here’s not in the building to see his promise through to the end.
New Orleans (7-8) at Atlanta (10-5)
Written off in preseason, the Falcons are marching towards a first-round playoff bye. They will be dangerous in January. Atlanta says farewell to the Georgia Dome with a victory over their dearest rivals. #Sweep
NY Giants (10-5) at Washington (8-6-1)
New York could rest starters as they are locked into the fifth seed. A Washington tie would seal a playoff berth ahead of either Green Bay or Detroit. If they tie, the Redskins would miss out.
If OBJ and his friends don’t suit, it’s Washington’s to win.