With no games on Sunday, today is the day to make my picks for week 16 of the 2011 NFL season. A lot is on the line for a lot of teams, as there are a ton of playoff possibilities that will begin to bet a bit clearer once the weekend is over. Ironically, the Monday Night Football teams both get two full days of additional rest compared to the rest of the league that is playing Saturday, not too mentioned the two that played last night (Yea Indianapolis Colts!).
A bunch of upsets highlighted week 15, but I didn't have most of them, although I made finished strong to at least have a winning week. Let's get it on for this week's selections:
Steelers over Rams: No way Ben Roethlisberger risks further injury and besides, they should be able to beat St. Louis with either Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon, although we still will say, "Go Rams!"
Cardinals over Bengals: This pick is part-head and part-heart, as Arizona is on a roll and Cincinnati clinging to hopes for a possible Wild Card spot. This is my first of many "Upset Special Picks of the Week."
Bills over Broncos: This game is in Buffalo and although the Bills have thudded to earth with a huge thump after starting off so good, I'm looking for a rebound over a Denver team away from home that just isn't that good even with Touchdown Jesus leading them. Another "Upset Special."
Panthers over Buccaneers: Rookie of the Year shoo-in Cam Newton is a star in the NFL and will lead his vastly improved Carolina teammates to victory over this division rival, Tampa Bay. It's just too bad they are in the same division as the New Orleans Saints, much less the Atlanta Falcons.
Chiefs over Raiders: Kansas City has proved their defense can show up at home and the change to Kyle Orton was a big difference in their huge upset last week over the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers. Meanwhile, Oakland's playoff hopes are fading as they've lost three in a row and finding new ways to lose each week. (PS- Great move trading TWO first round picks for Carson Palmer!)
Patriots over Dolphins: I can't even use my heart to make this an "Upset Special," as there is too much on the line for New England, and at home with Tom Brady, they just won't pull a "Baltimore Ravens" and lose to an inferior team. However, we can still say, "Go Dolphins!"
Giants over Jets: I will go out on a limb and pick a New York victory in this game. However, picking the Giants qualifies as an "Upset Special" as the "Jekyll & Hyde" Giants will bounce back and beat the over-rated and big-mouth Jets, as the media will be all over Rex Ryan after this one.
Redskins over Vikings: Don't look now but Washington is about to go on a two-game winning streak! If Minnesota loses again next week and Indy wins, the Vikes could be looking at the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft!
Lions over Chargers: This game should go over the total points, as both teams will be airing it out to stay in the playoff race. San Diego looked great at home against the Ravens last week and the Lions went to the west coast and came back in the final seconds to be the Raiders. Therefore, knowing how the NFL works, the Lions are now at home and Chargers on the road, so that means Detroit wins. Right?
Eagles over Cowboys: Could the NFC East be any wackier? Philadelphia can still win the division with a bit of help along the way and Dallas always seems to find a way to let their games slip from their grasp and piss off owner Jerry Jones. Who wouldn't love to see the Cowboys lose at home and the "Dream Tea" stay alive for one more week! Yes, this is another "Upset Special."
Seahawks over 49ers: Seattle has won three in a row with a solid offense behind an amazing Marshawn Lynch and surprising effective Tarvares Jackson, as well as a real tough defense, especially at home. San Francisco is coming off an emotionally charged yet perhaps draining win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, so I like the Seahawks in a pretty hefty "Upset Special Pick of the Week!"
Packers over Bears (Sunday Night Football): Green Bay will be an angry team and give a late Christmas present to its disappointed fans, who wanted a perfect season (so did I). Meanwhile for Chicago, a change at QB shouldn't make a difference tonight.
Saints over Falcons (Monday Night Football): Drew Brees continues his assault on the record books and combined with a loss by SF, this will put New Orleans in the #2 seed in the conference playoffs, while Atlanta should still get into the post season via the Wild Card, but not with a win tonight.
Last Week: 9-7
Season Record: 139-84