Most of the week 15 NFL outcomes were predictable with just a few mild upsets thrown in. Yes, Cleveland remains winless, Dallas won again, and a few teams are now officially in and out of the playoff picture. In addition, the Jacksonville Jaguars fired head coach Gus Bradley after their loss to Houston.
Week 16 kicks off this Thursday, December 22nd as the Giants take on the Eagles with games also being played on December 24th and Christmas Day. Postseason spots are still up for grabs making the last two weeks of the season crucial for many teams. Check out our weekly predictions below to see how each of the 32 clubs will fare in week 16 of the season.
Thursday, December 22nd
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
The New York Giants are one of the league’s hottest teams and the playoffs look like a certainty at his points. They enter week 16 at 10-4 and are in second place in the NFC East with an outside chance at winning the division. The Giants went 7-1 at home this year after downing the Detroit Lions 17-6 last weekend. Quarterback Eli Manning had a pair of touchdown passes and connected on one of them with Odell Beckham Jr.. Beckham now has four touchdowns in the past five games. The Eagles playoffs hopes are non-existent after losing 27-26 in Baltimore last week. They’re in last place in the NFC East at 5-9 and have allowed 21 aerial touchdowns this season. The giants are 3-3 on the road this year and 2-2-2 ATS. These teams met on November 6th with the Giants winning 28-23 at home.
Prediction: The Giants win by seven points, 28-21
Saturday, December 24th
Miami Dolphins at vs Buffalo Bills
Both the Dolphins and Bills are still in the playoff hunt making this a huge AFC East showdown. However, the Dolphins have a more realistic shot as they enter the game in second place in the division at 9-5 with Buffalo behind them at 7-7. The Bills downed winless Cleveland 33-13 at home last week while Miami thumped the New York Jets 34-13 on the road. Matt Moore started at quarterback for Miami since Ryan Tannehill was injured and he finished the game with four touchdown passes. The win meant the Dolphins own the last AFC wild card spot at the moment. Miami will be hoping that running back Jay Ajayi can help Moore out against the Bills’ inconsistent run defense which has conceded 18 touchdowns on the ground this year, the second most in the league. Miami is 3-2 both straight up and ATS on their past five road trip. The sides met back in October with the Dolphins winning 28-25 in Florida.
Prediction: The Dolphins win by five points, 26-21
New York Jets at New England Patriots
The Patriots have clinched the ADC East as they enter the game at 12-2 following their 16-3 victory in Denver last week. Quarterback Tom Brady won for just the third time in 10 visits to Denver, but had his lowest output of the season with just 188 yards on 16 for 32 passes with no touchdowns. Running back Dion Lewis led the way with 18 carries for 95 yards. The win means New England has a bye in the first round of the playoffs. They’ll be facing a Jets squad which has lost five of their past six outings after being downed 34-13 at home by Miami last week. they enter the weekend at 4-10 on the campaign and out of the playoff hunt. They’re also 2-4 ATS in the past six contests.
Prediction: New England wins by 10 points, 31-21
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee has won three straight games after edging Kansas City 19-17 on the road last week. They’re still tied for first place in the AFC South with Texas at 8-6 and the two co-leaders will meet on the final day of the season. Quarterback Marcus Mariota failed to toss a touchdown pass for the first time this season, but was helped out by the ground attack. The Titans ran in a pair of touchdowns and rushed for close to 150 yards with Derrick Henry leading the way with the TDs. Jacksonville lost 21-20 to Houston and the defeat cost head coach Gus Bradley his job. The Jaguars are now 2-12 on the year and in last place in the AFC South. Tennessee is 4-3 on the road this year and 3-4 ATS. The teams met in late October with the Titans winning 36-22 at home.
Prediction: Tennessee wins by nine points, 34-25
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
The Vikings got off to a 5-0 start this year, but have lost seven of the past nine to fall to 7-7, which means the playoffs don’t look good. They were hammered 34-6 at home by Indianapolis last week and sit in third place in the NFC North. Running back Adrian Peterson returned to the lineup after an 11-game absence due to a knee injury, but carried the ball just six times for 22 yards. He also lost a fumble. Meanwhile, Green Bay has now won four in a row after beating Chicago 30-27 on the road last weekend. The second-place Packers are 3-1 ATS on their winning streak and at 8-6 could still win the NFC North. These clubs met in week 2 with the Vikings winning 17-14 at home
Prediction: The Packers win by nine points, 30-21
San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns
Cleveland could be the second NFL team in history to go 0-16 if they fail to win one of their final two contests. They were drilled 33-13 in Buffalo last week and of course sit in the basement of the AFC North at 0-14. Meanwhile, San Diego blew a fourth-quarter lead at home against Oakland in week 15 and lost 19-16. It was their third consecutive defeat and they’re now at the bottom of the AFC West at 5-9 with no hopes of making the postseason. Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers has tossed 27 touchdown passes this season and Melvin Gordon may return to the San Diego lineup. The Chargers are 6-2 and 3-5 against Cleveland in their last eight meetings.
Prediction: San Diego wins by six points, 31-25
Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears
The Bears won’t be roaring in the playoffs after losing 30-27 at home to Green Bay last week. They’re 3-11 on the year and in last place in the NFC North. Alshon Jeffery is back in the Chicago lineup after serving a four-game ban and gained 89 yards and a touchdown on six receptions against Green Bay. Jordan Howard also had a touchdown as he carried the ball 17 times for 90 yards. Still, the Bears were beaten for the fifth time in their past six contests, but have gone 5-1 ATS in that stretch. It didn’t help matters that quarterback Matt Barkley was picked off three times. Washington lost at home 26-15 to Carolina on Monday night and that hurt their playoff chances as they’re 7-6-1 and in third place in the NFC East.
Prediction: The Redskins win by 11 points 35-24
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
The Atlanta Falcons offence ran wild again last week with a 41-13 home win over San Francisco last week. Quarterback Matt Ryan had a pair of touchdown passes and Devonta Freeman ran for three touchdowns and 139 yards. They’ll be facing a Carolina squad which they beat 48-33 earlier this season, so it could be another long afternoon for the Panthers on Saturday. Ryan had four touchdown passes in that win and Julio Jones racked up 12 receptions for a record-setting 300. However, Jones has sat out the last two contests because of a foot injury. He could be back in the lineup this weekend though. The Falcons lead the NFC South at 9-5 so they control their own destiny when it comes to the playoffs. Meanwhile, Carolina sits in a third-place tie in the division with New Orleans at 6-8 and the playoffs aren’t reachable even though they beat Washington 26-15 on Monday night.
Prediction: Atlanta wins by 13 points, 34-21
Indianapolis Colts at Oakland Raiders
Indianapolis is still in the playoff race thanks to their 34-6 beat down over the Vikings in Minnesota last week. Quarterback Andrew Luck tossed for a pair of touchdowns and 250 yards by completing 21 of his 25 pass attempts. The ground attack added 161 yards while the defence forced three turnovers, registered five sacks and allowed just six points against. The Colts enter the game at 7-7 on the year and in third place in the AFC South. Meanwhile, Oakland clinched a playoff spot for the first time in 14 seasons with their 19-16 victory in San Diego. They’re 11-3 on the year and still lead the AFC West. Indianapolis is 4-1 in their past five road trips as well as 4-0-1 ATS.
Prediction: The Colts win by four points, 24-20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Even though Tampa was beaten 26-20 in Dallas last weekend to snap their five-game winning streak, they still have hopes of making the postseason. The Bucs enter week 16 in second place in the NFC South at 8-6 and need a couple of big games to finish the season. New Orleans is basically playing out the year with no hope though as they’re 6-8 on the campaign and tied with Carolina for third place in the division. The Saints downed Arizona 48-41 on the road in a shootout last week. Quarterback Drew Brees passed for 389 yards and had four touchdown passes with two going to Brandin Cooks. Tampa Bay and New Orleans met just two weeks ago with Tampa winning a low-scoring affair 16-11 at home.
Prediction: Tampa Bay wins a close three-point decision, 27-24
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
Arizona dropped a 48-41 decision at home to New Orleans last weekend and it put a severe dent in any playoff hopes as they’re now 5-8-1 on the year and in second spot in the NFC West. Meanwhile, Seattle enters the weekend on top of the division at 9-4-1 and will finish the season as NFC West champs. The Seahawks sewed things up last Thursday with a 24-3 home win over Los Angeles. The Seattle defence gives up an average of 319.7 yards per game with 95.1 of those coming on the ground. The Cardinals’ David Johnson had a pair of rushing touchdowns last week while running for 53 yards and also chipped in with 55 yards on four receptions. He’s now the only player in league history to post a minimum of 100 yards from scrimmage in 14 straight contests from the start of a season. These two teams met in October and played to a rare 6-6 tie in Arizona. However, Seattle won three of their previous four encounters.
Prediction: The Seahawks win by six points, 24-18
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco is almost as bad as Cleveland as they’ve lost 13 straight games and are 1-13 on the year. They own the cellar of the NFC West and came out on the wrong end of a 41-13 decision in Atlanta last weekend. Incidentally, they won their season opener by downing Los Angeles 28-0 on the road. They’ll be facing a Rams’ run defence which concedes 107.6 yards against per game. But the San Francisco defence also has problems as it ranks last in the league by allowing 424.9 yards against per contest as well as 31 points against. San Francisco is 2-11-1 ATS so far this year. The Rams are in third place in the division and out of the playoffs with a 4-10 record after falling 24-3 in Seattle last Thursday for their fifth straight loss.
Prediction: The Rams win by four points, 27-23
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans
Cincinnati couldn’t hang on to a 14-point lead at home against Pittsburgh last week and their 24-20 loss sent them crashing out of the playoff hunt. They’re 5-8-1 on the season and occupy third place in the AFC North. Houston’s division title hopes are still alive after their 21-20 home win over Jacksonville. The win enabled the Texans to remain as co-leaders of the AFC South with Tennessee at 8-6. The Texans have gone 6-1 on their home turf this year, but almost lost to the Jaguars last week as they fell behind by 13 points. Quarterback Brock Osweiler was then taken out of the game in the second quarter and Tom Savage took over. Savage had a fine outing by going 23 for 26 in passing for 260 yards as the Texans fought back for the win. Lamar Miller chipped in with a fourth-quarter touchdown to seal the victory. Look for Savage to start against the Bengals. Running back Jeremy has been playing well for the Bengals with a rushing TD in each of his past three outings. Cincinnati is 2-1 straight up and ATS in their past three encounters.
Prediction: Houston wins by three points, 26-23
Sunday, December 25th
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
This is a huge AFC North clash as the division title is still up for grabs. Pittsburgh can clinch it with a win while the Ravens need to win their last two games. The Steelers won their fifth in a row last week with their 24-20 comeback win in Cincinnati. They lead the division at 9-5. The Ravens are a game back at 8-6 after their 27-26 home win over Philadelphia last weekend. The Ravens have won three of the past four and have gone 2-2 ATS. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco didn’t have his best game against the Eagles, but tosses two touchdown passes. He was also picked off for the fourth consecutive contest though and has been intercepted a dozen times this season. These teams met in November with the Ravens downing the Steelers 21-14 at home. The Steelers have lost six of the past seven against the Ravens.
Prediction: The Steelers win by three points, 27-24
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
The AFC West hasn’t been decided either and it’s possible that three of the division’s teams make the playoffs. Denver’s hopes took a turn for the worse last week with a 16-3 home loss to New England. They’re now 8-6 on the year and in third spot in the division, but have won just two of their past six outings. They can’t afford to lose and will be depending on some outside help from other teams. They’ve fared well in Kansas lately though at 6-1 straight up and ATS on their past seven visits. Denver hasn’t allowed more than 20 points against in each of their past three games. The Chiefs also lost last week as they were edged 19-17 at home by Tennessee. They’re 10-4 on the year and a game back of Oakland in the division. The two sides met just a few weeks ago with Kansas taking a 30-27 decision in Denver.
Prediction: Kansas wins by two points, 19-17.
Monday, December 26th
Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot after a 26-20 home triumph over Tampa Bay last week. They lead the NFC East at 12-2 with both losses coming against the New York Giants. They’ve also won 12 of their last 13 contests. Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott led the way for the Cowboys last week with 23 carries for 159 yards and a touchdown. Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott also had a fine game by passing for 279 yards. Detroit still leads the NFC North at 9-5 after a big 17-6 loss to the New York Giants. However, the Packers and Vikings could still catch them. Detroit has conceded just six rushing touchdowns this year, which ranks the second-lowest in the league.
Prediction: The Cowboys win by eight points, 31-23