NFL Week 16 Picks: This is My Time to Shine!

Can Taylor Heinicke keep the Commanders alive in the NFC playoff race with an upset win over the 49ers on Saturday?

I do seem to get better picking these games as the year drags on, as proven by my 6-3-1 record last week. With a little breathing room at four over .500 for the year, I will dive in again to a bigger chunk of the slate than I have in years past.

Let’s take a look as we hit crunch time with some Week 16 picks:

Last week: 6-3-1

Season: 26-22-4 (54.2%)

Houston at Tennessee (-3)

The spread has dwindled to three points in this one and I can see why: Ryan Tannehill is out for the year, meaning Malik Willis starts under center. And boy what a difference that makes, as the Chiefs were lucky enough to find out. Willis barely qualifies as a QB, and the Texans are playing good teams tough every week while the Titans slowly fade into oblivion. Houston should have more than one win and Tennessee doesn’t even feel like a .500 team, so go with the road team here as I think the Texans will finally be able to (somewhat) contain Derrick Henry in this one knowing that Willis can’t possibly beat them with his arm. Pick: Texans.

Seahawks at Chiefs (-10)

This is a year of things coming easy for the Chiefs, as the schedule continues to be as forgiving as possible down the stretch. Now it’s Seattle, a team fading quickly back to earth after a strong start. Kansas City has let some bad teams hang around in recent weeks, but my hunch tells me they’re due for a blowout win at home (can you believe their biggest margin of victory in a home game this year is only 16?). Seattle’s defense is pretty porous and Geno Smith is having trouble finding big plays in the passing game as he was earlier in the season. Pick: Chiefs.

Commanders at 49ers (-7)

The 49ers have wrapped up the NFC West and now are looking to possibly move up to the No. 2 seed. But the Commanders are desperate after their Sunday night loss to the Giants in which some questionable calls went against them. At some point Brock Purdy and the Niners have to come back to earth and the Commanders are physical enough to match up in this one and keep it close. Pick: Commanders.

Packers at Dolphins (-4)

Miami is in the midst of about as tough a three-game losing skid as you can have, dropping close (or relatively close) road contests to playoff contenders. Now they have to win at home against a Packers team barely clinging to playoff life, and I like them to bounce back and remain in the thick of the AFC wild card picture. Green Bay is still struggling to find big plays in the passing game but is likely to give a few up on defense. Pick: Dolphins.

Denver (-2.5) at Los Angeles Rams

The Broncos have a shot at an actual winning streak here, with Russell Wilson back in the fold and Baker Mayfield firmly planted back on earth after that one miraculously comeback win over the Raiders. Denver finally found success in the run game last week and should be able to continue that against a Rams defense that is a shell of its 2021 self. Pick: Broncos.

Tampa Bay (-7.5) at Arizona

Things are going so badly for the Cardinals this year, but nothing has come easy for the 2022 Buccaneers. They played a brilliant first half against Cincinnati only to melt down in a fashion never seen before by a Tom Brady-led team. Arizona may be playing out the string and Kliff Kingsbury may not keep his job in 2023, but since all the pressure is on a very mediocre Tampa team in this one, I’ll take the points. Pick: Cardinals.

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