Welcome to another edition of the Crystal Schnoz NFL Precaps, a weekly column where the Schnoz looks ahead to all the games played between two professional football teams in which they try to score more points than each other while wearing cool helmets.
If you’ve wandered here by accident, federal law requires you to read this entire post before exiting. Skimming – while not technically illegal – is greatly frowned upon.
Week 16 features 16 games, including one from last night and two on Saturday!
NOTE: I went 11-5 last week. It’s been a rough year for my picks, so yeah, I’m bragging about that.
Tennessee at Jacksonville (-3.5)
This has to wind up as the lowest rated prime time football game of the last 15 years, right?
Titans 27, Jaguars 24
(WRONG!!! The Titans are headed for Marcus Mariotta and good for them!)
Eagles at Redskins (+7.5)
The Eagles have to win out, and they need help one of two ways: 1) Dallas loses in Week 16 or 17, or 2) The Lions lose to the Bears AND the Packers.
I’d love to tell you the Redskins are gonna step up their game to play spoiler these last two weeks, but I just don’t see it.
Eagles 37, Redskins 23
Chargers at Niners (-1.0)
The Chargers, Chiefs, and Bills are all 8-6 and hoping to grab a wild card spot currently occupied by the 9-5 Ravens and 9-5 Steelers.
How do the Chargers get in? Win their last two and have the Ravens lose once or the Steelers or Bengals lose twice.
I think the Niners rise up and make Phil Rivers cry.
Niners 23, Chargers 17
Browns at Panthers (-4.5)
Can the Panthers finish by beating the Browns and the Falcons? Yes.
Can the Saints lose to the Falcons or Buccaneers? Yes.
Will it happen? It just might…
Panthers 26, Browns 20
Lions at Bears (+8.0)
The Lions win and their in. The Bears are playing some of the most uninspired football I’ve ever seen in my life.
Welcome to the playoffs, Detroit. (Now get ready to play for the division in Week 17 at Green Bay!)
UPDATE: Jimmy Clausen now starting at QB for Chicago!!! He’s worth 2 more points than Cutler, so I’m adjusting my prediction accordingly.
Lions 34, Bears 12
Ravens at Texans (+5.5)
The Texans playoff hopes are alive in the same way that Keith Richards is alive, especially now that Tom Savage is their QB. Let’s move on.
The Ravens win out and they’re in. And heck, if the Steelers or Bengals lose the Ravens could still win the division.
Last week’s ugly win against the Jags gets redeemed by a Houston pounding.
Ravens 43, Texans 21
Vikings at Dolphins (-7.0)
The Dolphins have about a 5% chance of making the playoffs, and that 5% chance is a 50/50 shot.
Not happening, so why not blow a game to the Vikings.
Vikings 20, Dolphins 17
Falcons at Saints (-6.0)
I picked New Orleans to win the Super Bowl and I’m sticking with them, even if they have a better chance of winning the Ryder Cup at this point.
Saints 34, Falcons 27
Patriots at Jets (-10.5)
Patriots 27, Jets 17
Chiefs at Steelers (-3.0)
Steelers can win the division if they win out, but a loss to the Chiefs could mean they miss the playoffs entirely.
You’re crazy if you trust the Steelers, but there’s no way the Chiefs can win this game without a passing game, right?
Steelers 34, Chiefs 23
Packers at Buccaneers (+10.5)
In an attempt to get back on track, Aaron Rodgers might throw 7 touchdowns in the first quarter.
Packers 38, Bucs 14
Giants at Rams (-5.0)
Rams 17, Giants 13
Colts at Cowboys (-3.0)
I’d really like to see the Cowboys win this game, so I’m picking against them because I know my picks play a huge role in the outcome of the game.
Colts 31, Cowboys 23
Bills at Raiders (+5.5)
Kyle Orton will take great delight in snuffing out the small flicker of hope that Buffalo has left.
Raiders 23, Bills 20
Seahawks at Cardinals (-7.5)
Bill Simmons likes to say that Pete Carroll is a great peace-time president, but a terrible war-time president. Well, it’s peace-time once again in Seattle the way that defense is playing.
They only scored 3 on the Seahawks in Seattle last month with Drew Stanton, maybe they get to 10 at home with Ryan Lindley running the ship.
Seahawks 34, Cardinals 10
Broncos at Bengals (+3.0)
As much as I distrust Andy Dalton in big games, I’m also not sold on this Bronco team as a juggernaut right now.
Actually, I take that back. Peyton vs. Andy under the MNF lights is a no-brainer until proven otherwise. Broncos roll.
Broncos 31, Bengals 17
Enjoy the games, everyone!
PS…If you’re an NFL fan and you’ve never played with ESPN’S NFL Playoff Machine. Remedy that immediately.