This season, like most, has flown by. As we reach Week 16 — the last weekend we get to enjoy unique, non-division matchups, unfortunately — a few division titles and playoff spots are still up for grabs. Three games on Saturday get the ball rolling before the full slate Sunday, so without further ado, let’s jump in:
Last week: 2-3
Buffalo at New England (-6.5)
The Bills NEVER win meaningful games in New England. And I mean that literally: Buffalo’s two all-time wins at Gillette Stadium were either with Tom Brady suspended (2016) or resting in Week 17 (2014). Brady is 31-3 lifetime against the Bills, and as much as I want to believe the Bills can get it done this time around, I can’t see this team scoring enough points to hang with the Pats. Buffalo will end up 6-2 on the road and is already in the playoffs, and they can justify that as enough (even though beating the Pats would really spice up this season). No way the Patriots lose two December home games, as that has never happened in the Brady era. Pick: Patriots.
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco (-6.5)
Let’s double down on the chalk here. The 49ers desperately need a bounce back, not to mention a win to stay alive in the NFC West race in which they still control their own destiny. The Rams are all but fried and this should be the final nail in their coffin. Pick: 49ers.
Baltimore (-10) at Cleveland
Hard to believe this line considering the Week 4 result when these teams first met. Since that 40-25 Browns win in late September, Baltimore has not lost a game and turned into a juggernaut in the process. The Browns have mailed this season in, and this could be Freddie Kitchens’ final home game. As tempted as I am to pick the Browns to cover, I can’t trust this dysfunctional club. The Browns had me snowed before the season that they were a playoff contender, but I should have known better. The weather is not expected to be a factor either. Pick: Ravens.
Cincinnati (-1) at Miami
The Bungles would really hurt themselves with a win, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It’s a miracle that the Dolphins already have three wins, and as bad as the Bengals are, I don’t see them finishing with just one win. Go with the “favorite” here (and I use that term very loosely). Pick: Bengals.
New York Giants at Washington (-1)
Eli Manning got his send-off win, and now it’s time for the Skins to get their sendoff win for 2019. Washington has looked improved the last few weeks, and should be able to avenge an ugly 24-3 loss to the G-Men in October. Pick: Redskins.
Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers (buying to -7 at -130)
Two bad teams with nowhere to go — literally. The Raiders are fresh off a disgraceful defeat in their Oakland finale. The Chargers looked God-awful in the penultimate game at historical Dignity Sports Health Park, but let’s give them the slight nod in this game between two bad, nomadic teams that deserve each other. Pick: Chargers.
Dallas (-2) at Philadelphia
So it comes down to this: a battle of 7-7 teams for the NFC (L)East title. Everyone seems to think the Cowboys are back, but are they, or were the Rams just masquerading as a good team for a week the previous Sunday against the Rams? The Eagles are the equalizer. Their offense at times can’t get out of its own way. They barely beat New York and Washington the past two weeks. Begrudgingly, I’ll take the Boys to complete the season sweep and take the crown. Pick: Cowboys.
Green Bay at Minnesota (-5)
Opposite to the NFC Least title is the battle for NFC North supremacy in the Monday Night Football finale. The Packers rolled to a 21-0 lead en route to a 21-16 win in Week 2, and Dalvin Cook is likely out. Minnesota is 6-0 at home and I’d still lean towards them winning this one, but the Packers are quietly in position to grab homefield advantage in the NFC and should stay toe-to-toe with the Vikes with the division title on the line. What’s interesting is that even a loss here doesn’t really hurt Green Bay, as they would only need a win in the finale at Detroit to clinch. But even though Minnesota needs it more, that also means they have more pressure on them. Pick: Packers.