Week 16: picks, bets and Playoff scenarios
Packers and Dolphins risk their lives on Saturday, while the Ravens have up to 10 possible scenarios to get the ticket to the Playoffs this week
We are entering the last three weeks of the regular calendar, and some teams are a hair away from kissing the Playoffs goodbye.
In the AFC, Kansas City is through after winning its seventh Western Division crown, while Buffalo clinched the ticket last week and remains in first place in the Conference.
In the NFC, Minnesota (North champion), San Francisco (West champion), Dallas and Philadelphia are all in.
A lot is still at stake and these are the Playoff scenarios for Week 16:
BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-5)
Baltimore, who plays Atlanta this Saturday, qualifies for the Playoffs if any of these 10 scenarios come true:
BUFFALO BILLS (11-3)
Buffalo, which hosts Chicago (3-11) this Saturday, clinches the Eastern Division title with:
CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-4)
The Bengals, who play New England (7-7) on Saturday, clinch a playoff berth with:
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-6)
The Chargers, who visit Indianapolis (4-9-1) on Monday, tie the pass to the Playoffs with:
NEW YORK GIANTS (8-5-1)
The Giants, who play Minnesota (11-3) on Saturday, qualify for the Playoffs with:
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13-1)
Philadelphia, which visits Dallas (10-4) on Saturday, is already qualified, but will be champion of the Eastern Division with:
Philadelphia claims to play at home throughout the postseason and bye in the first round with:
Now, let’s go to the picks:
GAME OF THE WEEK
Green Bay at Miami (-4)
The packers and Dolphins are going in opposite directions. While Green Bay (6-8) has won two consecutive games and still holds a chance of making the playoffs, Miami (8-6) has lost the three most recent games and moved from the second seed in the AFC to the seventh seed, on the verge of being relegated from the postseason.
A loss at home against the Packers would greatly complicate the aspirations of the Dolphins, who close the regular season against New England (7-7) and the Jets (7-7), in positions 8 and 9, respectively, in the race for a ticket to the Playoffs.
Miami put up an unexpected fight in Buffalo last week, but couldn't avoid its third straight setback. In that icy game, Tua Tagovailoa passed for 234 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions for a rating of 104 points. This season he has 7 passes to the end zone and zero interceptions in five home games.
The problem has been Miami's defense, which in those three losses has allowed an average of 29.3 points, not the best stat when your next opponent is Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers’ veteran quarterback was 22 of 30 (73.3%) for 229 yards, with a touchdown and an interception on Monday against the Rams. In the most recent five, he’s had nice touchdown passes and three interceptions- two of them in Philadelphia.
Wide receiver Chris Watson leads among all NFL rookies with seven touchdown receptions and each week shows a better rapport with Rodgers. Miami’s perimeter should be well-watched, and not just in the passing game, as Watson also has a couple of rushing touchdowns.
The Packers’ secondary defense will also have their hands full with Miami’s wide receiving set consisting of Tyreek Hill (109 receptions, 1,529 yards, and 7 TDs) and Jaylen Waddle (62-1,117-7). Matchups against cornerback Jaire Alexander will be key in this game in Florida.
The pick: Miami is the team with the most talent, but they haven’t played at their best for weeks, while Green Bay seems to have found a breaking point in the season, and Rodgers is willing to take advantage of the moment. Packers 27-24 Dolphins
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Philadelphia at Dallas (-4.5)
OK, if Jalen Hurts doesn’t play, this is unlikely. But, we have to take the risk, right? Eagles 30-24 Cowboys
Los Angeles Chargers (-4) at Indianapolis
Maybe Nick Foles gives a new face to the Indianapolis offense; at least we know that this Monday there will be no historic comeback, right? Chargers 33-21 Colts
TWO MINUTE DRIVE
Jacksonville at New York Jets (-2)
The Jets won’t get very far as long as Zach Wilson is their quarterback, out of necessity. Trevor Lawrence, meanwhile, has thrown 14 touchdown passes to just one interception in his most recent six. Jaguars 24-17 Jets
Atlanta at Baltimore (-7.5)
The loss in Cleveland was very painful and the Ravens can't afford to lose at home this week. Ravens 23-14 Falcons
Detroit (-3) at Carolina
After Philadelphia and San Francisco, the Lions are the best team in the NFC right now. Detroit 28-20 Carolina
Buffalo (-8.5) at Chicago
It won’t be easy against Justin Fields, especially against the running side of the Chicago quarterback, who has a thousand rushing yards, averages 7 per attempt, and has 8 rushing touchdowns. Bills 29-23 Bears
New Orleans at Cleveland (-3)
It took time, but finally, Deshaun Watson was comfortable in command of the Browns’ offense. Expect more on that lineup this week. Cleveland 31-21 New Orleans
Seattle at Kansas City (-10)
Seattle (four losses in the last five) picked the worst time to deflate. Chiefs 31-23 Seahawks
New York Giants at Minnesota (-4.5)
These Vikings are not convincing. NYG 27-24 Minnesota
Cincinnati (-3.5) at New England
After the ridicule in Las Vegas, I didn't hear Bill Belichick say “We're on to Cincinnati”. Bengals 28-19 Patriots
Houston at Tennessee (-4.5)
The Titans are lucky those Texans always find a way to lose. Tennessee 29-26 Houston
Washington at San Francisco (-7)
Washington's is a good defense; the one in San Francisco is the best. 49ers 20-11 Commanders
Las Vegas at Pittsburgh (-2.5)
An emotional game that commemorates the 50th anniversary of “The Immaculate Reception”, a few days after the death of Franco Harris. The Steelers can’t let him down. Pittsburgh 26-21 Las Vegas
Denver (-2) at Los Angeles Rams
Is this on December 25? It's a joke, right? Broncos 12-9 Rams
Tampa Bay (-6.5) in Arizona
Tom Brady will be able to spend a “quiet” Christmas. Bucs 24-14 Cards
Last week: 12-4
Total for the season: 136-86-2
ON THE LINE OF PLAY
|week 16||Pyrrho recommends|
|Jacksonville at New York Jets||Jaguars +2|
|Atlanta in Baltimore||Ravens -7.5|
|Detroit in Carolina||Lions -3|
|Buffalo in Chicago||Bears +8.5|
|New Orleans in Cleveland||Browns-3|
|Seattle in Kansas City||Seahawks +10|
|New York Giants at Minnesota||Giants +4.5|
|Cincinnati in New England||Bengals -3.5|
|Houston in Tennessee||Texans +4.5|
|Washington in San Francisco||49ers-7|
|Philadelphia in Dallas||Eagles +4.5|
|Las Vegas in Pittsburgh||Steelers-2.5|
|Green Bay in Miami||Packers +4|
|Denver at Los Angeles Rams||broncos -2|
|Tampa Bay in Arizona||Bucks -6.5|
|Los Angeles Chargers at Indianapolis||Chargers-4|