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News » Week 16 NFL picks

Week 16 NFL picks

Week 16 NFL picks
Saints 30, Lions 17: Who said this, a Saints player or a Lions player? "We're still professionals, we get paid to do a job, and we'll play these last two games." No, it wasn't Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky or kicker Jason Hanson or wide receiver Calvin Johnson. It was Saints linebacker Scott Fujita, who doesn't necessarily inspire confidence with his seemingly detached approach to the end of a long season. Plain and simple: A loss today by the Black & Gold wouldn't prevent the sun from coming up Monday morning, but the day might not be as promising.

Steelers 23, Titans 16: For all intents and purposes, today's game is for AFC home-field advantage. To get to this juncture, the Steelers had to get through a brutal seven-game stretch that included the G-Men (11-3), Redskins (7-7), Colts (11-4), Chargers (6-8), Patriots (9-5), Cowboys (9-5) and Ravens (9-5). What is one more mountain to climb for the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense? The Titans can clinch home-field advantage outright with a win, but it will be difficult without two defensive stalwarts -- Pro Bowl tackle Albert Haynesworth (knee) and end Kyle Vanden Bosch (groin).

Buccaneers 23, Chargers 17: This game was scheduled to be shown in prime time on NBC but got bumped for the Giants-Panthers clash. The Buccaneers are clinging to the sixth seed in the NFC after losing road games at Carolina and Atlanta. Quarterback Jeff Garcia is expected to return to the lineup after missing game against the Falcons with an injured calf. His presence is needed at home, where the Buccaneers are 6-0. A Chargers loss ends their playoff hopes in the AFC West.

Dolphins 24, Chiefs 17: Kansas City might find tough sledding against the new and vastly improved Dolphins, who have yielded eight field goals but no touchdowns in their past three games. With road wins against the Chiefs and J-E-T-S, the Dolphins can achieve what many thought to be an impossible dream -- win the AFC East. Miami takes the first step today at Arrowhead Stadium.

Patriots 28, CARDINALS 20: All one needs to know is the Desert Birds are 2-19 in their past 21 trips to the eastern time zone, including 0-4 this season, and have yielded an average of 38.8 points in those four losses. Arizona might be without running back J.J. Arrington (knee) and wide receiver Anquan Boldin (shoulder) as Coach Ken Whisenhunt attempts to get his NFC West champion healthy for the postseason. Pats should get win and stay alive in the playoff hunt.

Bengals 23, Browns 19: I'd rather be in a dentist's chair than have to watch these teams exchange turnovers and missed tackles four days before Christmas. For what it's worth, the edge goes to the visiting Bengals because of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for no apparent reason other than quarterback Ken Dorsey hasn't led the Browns to a touchdown in two games since replacing injured Derek Anderson (knee), who replaced injured Brady Quinn (finger).

Eagles 27, Redskins 21: This game features two NFC East teams going in opposite directions: The Eagles have won three in a row, and the Redskins have lost three straight. Although the Eagles are on the road, I'm going with the hot hand, quarterback Donovan McNabb, who has been on a personal crusade since being benched at halftime against Baltimore in Week 12. Plus, the 'Skins seem to have hit a wall under rookie coach Jim Zorn.

49ers 24, Rams 20: Each team is trying to make a compelling argument to keep its interim coach, Mike Singletary of the 49ers and Jim Haslett of the Rams. Singletary perhaps has a leg up with a 3-4 record since taking over for Mike Nolan on Oct. 21, including a 35-16 win against the Rams in Week 11. The Rams have lost eight consecutive games since winning their first two under Haslett, who is trying to avoid the franchise's first nine-game losing streak in 17 years.

Vikings 24, Falcons 20: This is one of the more intriguing matchups in Week 16 and features the NFL's top two rushers in Adrian Peterson and Michael Turner. It also pits two teams that are vying for NFC playoff berths. The Vikings can win the NFC North with a win and/or a loss by the Chicago Bears to the Green Bay Packers on Monday night. The Falcons need a win and help from other teams to claim a playoff berth. A loss would cripple their chances.

JETS 24, Seahawks 20: The Seahawks would like to make outgoing coach Mike Holmgren's home finale a winning one, which might be difficult considering Seattle is 1-6 at Qwest Field and has lost five straight in front of the home crowd. On the flip side, the J-E-T-S are 0-3 on the West Coast, and Brett Favre is going up against his old coach at Green Bay. New York also is trying to keep pace in the competitive AFC East, where it shares the lead with Miami and New England.

Texans 26, Raiders 17: No sense thinking what might have been if the Texans had not blown a 17-point lead in the final four minutes in a 31-27 loss at home against Indianapolis in Week 5. Who knows? The Texans might be vying for a playoff berth today against the Raiders instead of merely trying to climb above the .500 mark in Week 16. In the meantime, you can stick a fork in the Raiders. They're done under interim coach Tom Cable.

Broncos 29, Bills 20: The Broncos better end the suspense today with a win against visiting Buffalo, because they certainly don't want to go to San Diego next week needing to beat the Chargers in a winner-take-all game in the AFC West. My money would be on the Chargers in that scenario. But Denver should take care of business today at Invesco Field against the Bills, whose coach, Dick Jauron, might be in danger of losing his job after squandering a 5-1 start.

Giants 27, Panthers 23: Both teams are 11-3 and could end the regular season with identical records, regardless of tonight's outcome on national television. However, the victor will earn the tiebreaker and wrap up the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Carolina comes in on a roll, winning three consecutive games and seven of its past eight. But the Panthers have not played well on the road (3-3). The G-Men are trying to end a two-game slide. It promises to be a genuine "slobber knocker."

THURSDAY'S GAME: Straight up (1-0). Against the spread (1-0).

SEASON: Straight up (136-74-1). Against the spread (98-109-4).

Did not pick Week 5 games (14 games).

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 21, 2008

Brent Celek Name: Brent Celek
Position: TE
Age: 23
Experience: 2 years
College: Cincinnati
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