Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: Matt Loede's NFL Picks for Week 16

Matt Loede's NFL Picks for Week 16

by Matt Loede, NFL Gridiron Gab

An 8-7 week for week 14 puts me at 106-97 as we head into the second to last week of the regular season (where has the season gone?!). There are big games across the board, and no better time than now to get to them, so here we go:

Saturday:

Baltimore at Dallas (-4)

Two teams still looking to make the postseason, and Ravens were not able to stop the Steelers a week ago, while the Cowboys got a big win over the Giants at home. This will be the final game ever at Texas Stadium, and you can bet there will be some emotion there for the Cowboys. I like what the Cowboys defense has done as of late, and they do enough here stop a Ravens team that does not score a lot. Dallas 20 Baltimore 10

Sunday:

Pittsburgh (-2) at Tennessee

Talk about a big game. With a win the Steelers would have the inside track to the home field in the AFC, and the Titans would be in full collapse mode with a 12-3 record and losers of two straight. The Steelers keep finding a way to get it done, this against the toughest schedule in the NFL. They have a QB that refuses to lose, and a defense that is the best in the league. The Titans will come in with a banged up D-line, and I think the Steelers will do enough to keep it close and pull it out. Pittsburgh 21 Tennessee 17

Miami (-4) at Kansas City
The poor Chiefs had it all going their way till the last five minutes at home Sunday vs the Chargers. Now they host the Dolphins, who are thinking playoffs as they are tied still with the Jets and Pats in the AFC East. The important thing for them here is to not have a letdown, and I think with Joey Porter and that defense playing well and the running game they have, the Dolphins will be just fine in Arrowhead. Miami 27 Kansas City 21

Arizona at New England (-8)

The Pats come home after two west coast games, and they play a Cards team that has lost three of four and are not playing well. Arizona will likely start to think ahead to their playoff game in two weeks and sit some players, and the Pats will have an easy time of it moving the ball. The Cardinals still have Kurt Warner, but one has to wonder if he'll play the whole game as they have to keep him healthy for the playoff game. New England 28 Arizona 13

Cincinnati at Cleveland (-3)

Ugh. Two teams with nothing to play for go to battle at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Bengals at least come in with some momentum, as they beat the Redskins last week for their second win of the 2008 season. The Browns have not scored an offensive TD in four games, and I don't see them doing much scoring here. The Bengals are actually playing better right now, and with that I think they move to 3-11-1. Cincinnati 16 Cleveland 10

Philadelphia (-5) at Washington

The Skins are already thinking ahead to 09 as the loss to the Bengals ended any playoff hopes. For the Eagles, they are flying high after a couple of wins, and I think they are playing about as well as any team in the NFC. Washington has really struggled in the fourth quarter of games, and they are going to find themselves behind the eight ball this Sunday as well, leading to a loss to send them to 7-8. Philadelphia 24 Washington 14

San Francisco (-5.5) at St.Louis

The Rams last week couldn't stop the pretty bad Seahawks at home, so I don't know how exactly they are supposed to stop the 49'ers, who are a better team. The Niners really dominated the numbers vs the Dolphins, but couldn't get it done as they lost 14-9 thanks to two big plays by the Fins. Now they should be able to run and throw vs the Rams D, and will get the win on the road. San Francisco 31 St.Louis 19

Atlanta at Minnesota (-3.5)

A huge game for both teams when it comes to the playoffs. The Vikings are trying to hold off the Bears, while the Falcons are looking to finish off what would go down as a remarkable turnaround with a wild card playoff birth. Tarvaris Jackson gets the go at QB for the Vikings, and he's been playing great the past few weeks. The Falcons need to find a way to run the ball, or they will be able to get to Matt Ryan. I see a low-scoring game that in the end comes down to a big field goal for the Vikings. Minnesota 17 Atlanta 14

New Orleans (-7) at Detroit

The 0-14 Lions try yet again to get that elusive first win, and the Saints have to be ready for a fight. Don't forget that the Lions were 21-21 with the Colts Sunday before Indy was able to put the game away with 10 late points. New Orleans lost a heart breaker last week to the Bears, but they have enough with Drew Brees and that high powered offense in a nice warm dome in Detroit to put up a lot of points and get the win. New Orleans 34 Detroit 20

Carolina at New York Giants (-3)

Another huge game as far as home field is concerned in the playoffs. The Giants have lost two in a row, and I can't see three coming here. I think the G-Men step up on D and play better in stopping the run, which will be the key. They also need to get Brandon Jacobs back, and they need to find a way to get some drives going against the Carolina D. Look for a tight game that the Giants pull out in the last 10 minutes. New York Giants 20 Carolina 14

New York Jets (-4.5) at Seattle

This has all the makings of a trap game for the Jets, who have not played well out west, and are in the midst of coming off a lucky win over the Bills. Seattle beat the Rams last week on the last play, and they are looking a bit better with Seneca Wallace, who wants to start in 2009. Mike Holmgren's last home game in Seattle, and with the Jets running out of gas I think we have the upset of the week here. Seattle 23 New York Jets 20

Houston (-7) at Oakland

The Raiders at least made it somewhat entertaining last week in the driving rain vs the Pats, but make no mistake, they are a bad team. Houston scored the upset of the week vs the Titans, and they are looking to wrap up the year 9-7. They have a great shot here to at least get to 8-7, and I think with Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson being the best 1-2 punch in the game right now, they get the job done. Houston 29 Oakland 17

Buffalo at Denver (-6.5)

Can the Broncos finally wrap up the awful AFC West? With a home win vs the Bills, they will do just that, and I think that against a Bills team that is banged up, they will get it done. Trent Edwards goes for the Bills, who are finding new ways to lose each week. Denver should be able to get yards through the air with Jay Cutler finding his pals open early and often. Look for Denver to finally put this division to rest. Denver 20 Buffalo 6

San Diego at Tampa Bay (-3.5)

The Bucs may need to go again with Brian Griese, which probably won't be too bad against a Chargers team that needed a miracle finish just to beat the Chiefs last week. The Buccaneers have struggled the past two weeks, but should be able to take advantage of the soft Chargers defense. Look for Tampa to inch closer to a wild card spot, which the Chargers will be done without a playoff birth in 2008. Tampa Bay 27 San Diego 17

Monday:

Green Bay at Chicago (-4)

The Pack have fallen on hard times, and they simply cannot finish off games, as shown last Sunday in Jacksonville. Look for the Bears, who survived the Saints in OT, to run the ball with success and for Kyle Orton to take advantge of a Packers secondary that allowed David Garrard to have a big enough game to get the job done in Florida last Sunday. Chicago 23 Green Bay 13

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