In Week 16 (and 17), consider the clubs still fighting for playoff spots and/or teams facing division rivals. These are the games most likely to result in close scores or upsets.
Cowboys are still fighting for a playoff spot; get Ezekiel Elliott back
The Cowboys are still alive and kicking. Dallas has now won three consecutive games after falling to 5-6 but will need a lot of help to get to the playoffs. The team will have running back Ezekiel Elliott for the final two weeks of the season. There’s a good chance that Elliott’s return will help QB Dak Prescott – who has seen his share of struggles this season – spread the ball around. It’s an upgrade for all of Dallas’ offensive weapons except for Alfred Morris and Rod Smith who will serve as backups to Elliott. The Cowboys play the Seahawks this week, and we lean toward Dallas winning this matchup.
Chargers lousy game just a fluke
The red-hot Los Angeles Chargers (LAC) came back down to earth in a 30-13 loss to the Chiefs in Kansas City. LAC turned the ball over 4 times with 3 being interceptions thrown by Philip Rivers. Now 4-6 within the conference, the bolts have a lot of catching up to do as they face the New York Jets in week 16. Which team will show up? The one that went 7-2 and only turned the ball over 6 times during that whole stretch or the team from week 14 who turned the ball over 4 times in 1 game? Let’s remember that Rivers does this to us once or twice a season. He’ll have some great games in a row, and then he’ll have a random game where he throws 3-6 picks. He’ll be fine going forward.
NOTE: Star WR Keenan Allen left Saturday’s game with an injury, so it’s important to monitor his status going into week 16.
Falcons vs. Saints 2017 rematch
Matt Ryan is having a meh season. Last year, he threw 38 TD passes and was only picked off 7 times. This season, he’s only thrown for 17 scores and 11 interceptions. Do not expect him to turn into 2016 Matt Ryan just because the playoffs are on the line. This season, the Falcons D is the star of the show. This defense has allowed just 261 points and 25 offensive TD in 13 games this season. It’s a rematch with the Saints at New Orleans, and we predict a battle of defenses with the Saints coming out on top.
Bucs looking to the future
In 2017, Jameis Winston has nearly as many turnovers (12) as touchdown passes. The Bucs will not make the playoffs for the 10th straight year, and the team has some decisions to make regarding their running back situation. Because of this, we predict that rookie RB Peyton Barber, and not Doug Martin, will begin seeing a bulk of the carries in week 15.
Browns Christmas miracle?
The Browns lost. Again. But maybe week 15 is where they turn it around? Browns coach Hue Jackson is undefeated in games played on Christmas Eve. There’s no logic to this, but since December 2011, Jackson is 2-0 on Christmas Eve and 0-32 in all other games.