Week 16 NFL game picks, schedule guide, playoff scenarios and more

The Week 16 NFL slate is stacked with great matchups. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and final score predictions.

Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a stat to know for each game, and the Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN Chalk‘s Mackenzie Kraemer hands out helpful nuggets, and national NFL writer Kevin Seifert sorts through potential playoff and draft-order scenarios. It’s all here to help get you ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.

Let’s get into the full Week 16 schedule, including an NFC North showdown on Monday night.

Jump to a matchup:

Saturday, 1 p.m. ET | NFL Network
Matchup rating: 70.8 | Spread: HOU -3 (50)

What to watch for: The Bucs will be without their two Pro Bowl receivers — Mike Evans and Chris Godwin — who account for 54% of the team’s passing yards. While they’ve battled hard to win four consecutive games to reach 7-7, none of those victories has come against an opponent with a winning record like the 9-5 Texans. — Jenna Laine

Bold prediction: Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is four passing touchdowns away from setting a new single-season franchise record (Matt Schaub had 29 in 2009), and he achieves that on Saturday in Tampa. The Buccaneers are allowing an average of 276.8 passing yards per game, third most in the NFL. — Sarah Barshop

Stat to know: Bucs QB Jameis Winston has 450-plus passing yards in each of his past two games. The only player in NFL history to record three straight games with at least 400 passing yards is Ryan Fitzpatrick (2018).

What’s at stake: The Texans can clinch the AFC South title with a win or a Titans loss. If the Texans lose and the Titans win, Houston can at least secure a playoff spot if the Steelers win. The Buccaneers have been eliminated but are hoping to extend a four-game winning streak.

Betting nugget: Eleven of Tampa Bay’s past 12 games have gone over the total. Tampa Bay has won four straight games, going 3-0-1 against the spread (ATS). Read more.

Barshop’s pick: Texans 31, Buccaneers 24
Laine’s pick: Texans 28, Buccaneers 27
FPI prediction: TB, 54.0% (by an average of 1.4 points)

Matchup must-reads: Texans terrorizing defenses again with their ‘three-headed monster’Bucs WRs Evans, Godwin won’t play vs. TexansTexans won’t rule out possible return by J.J. Watt this season

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET | NFL Network
Matchup rating: 64.0 | Spread: NE -6.5 (37.5)

What to watch for: The Patriots’ top slot cornerback Jonathan Jones (groin) is out, and that is significant. Jones has the lowest completion percentage against him of the 24 corners in the NFL who have faced more than 30 passes in the slot this season. Meanwhile, the Bills have run 3-WR personnel 69% of the time, fourth most in the NFL. Bills slot receiver Cole Beasley could have a big day. — Mike Reiss

Bold prediction: As if predicting a Bills win at Gillette Stadium isn’t bold enough, I’ll go a step further. The Patriots have allowed four 100-yard rushers this season: Joe Mixon, Nick Chubb, Mark Ingram II and Buffalo’s Frank Gore. They’ll allow a fifth on Saturday, when Bills rookie Devin Singletary crosses the century mark. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Stat to know: According to NFL Next Gen Stats data, Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White has allowed just a 47.5% completion percentage as the nearest defender, the fourth lowest among defenders who have been targeted at least 50 times. But New England’s Stephon Gilmore actually ranks first (45.2%).

What’s at stake: With a victory, the Patriots would clinch the AFC East title. And if the Chiefs also lose, the Patriots would clinch at least a first-round bye. But a Bills win moves the AFC East race into Week 17.

Betting nugget: Buffalo is 9-4-1 ATS this season, the best mark in the NFL. The under is 11-3 in Buffalo games, tied with Pittsburgh for the best under record in the league. As for New England, this is the lowest over/under in a Tom Brady start since 2006. Read more.

Louis-Jacques’ pick: Bills 13, Patriots 10
Reiss’ pick: Patriots 16, Bills 13
FPI prediction: NE, 81.4% (by an average of 11.8 points)

Matchup must-reads: Brady’s stats have slipped — except the one he really cares aboutPlayoff-bound Bills showing the grit and formula to win in JanuaryPatriots CB Gilmore making case to be NFL Defensive Player of the Year

Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET | NFL Network
Matchup rating: 78.0 | Spread: SF -6.5 (44)

What to watch for: The Rams and Niners are coming off what might be their most disappointing performances of the season. Now they must gather themselves on a short week, with fading playoff hopes on the line for the Rams and a shot at the NFC’s top seed and a first-round bye up for grabs for the 49ers. — Nick Wagoner

Bold prediction: The Rams won’t be able to slow or stop the run-first 49ers, who will gain 200 rushing yards. The Rams’ defense has experienced a meltdown in three games this season, most recently on Sunday in an embarrassing loss to the Cowboys. The 49ers’ offense, on the other hand, is rolling and averaging 147 rushing yards per game. — Lindsey Thiry

Stat to know: In the most recent meeting between these teams, in Week 6, Rams quarterback Jared Goff posted a career-worst 0.9 Total QBR. He threw for 78 yards on 28 attempts, and his deepest completion of the game was eight air yards. The Rams’ only touchdown drive in that contest was a product of seven straight running plays.

What’s at stake: The 49ers need a victory to ensure they can remain on track to win the NFC West with a victory at the Seahawks in Week 17. The Rams, meanwhile, need either a win or a Vikings loss to avoid playoff elimination.

Betting nugget: This matches the most points that Los Angeles has been an underdog under Sean McVay, and it also represents the most points L.A. has been an underdog in a game with McVay as coach and Goff starting at quarterback. McVay is 1-4 ATS as an underdog of at least two points. Read more.



Victor Cruz and Rob Ninkovich are looking forward to seeing how the 49ers bounce back against the Rams after their loss to the Falcons.

Thiry’s pick: 49ers 28, Rams 21
Wagoner’s pick: 49ers 27, Rams 17
FPI prediction: SF, 69.9% (by an average of 6.9 points)

Matchup must-reads: Garoppolo’s improved ball security good sign for playoff-bound 49ersRams search for defensive answers while on the brink of elimination49ers still control their playoff positioning but have no margin for errorGood Goff/bad Goff: Rams must find consistency moving forward

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 82.2 | Spread: NO -2.5 (50.5)

What to watch for: The Titans’ secondary will be trying to find a way to slow down Saints receiver Michael Thomas, who could set the single-season receptions record (143) if he catches 10 passes. The Titans will mix zone and man coverage against New Orleans. When the Titans go man, expect Thomas to be double-teamed. Zone coverage against Drew Brees is asking for trouble, but maybe Tennessee’s pass rush can get home to force a couple of bad throws and a rare interception. — Turron Davenport

Bold prediction: The Saints will hold Derrick Henry under 100 rushing yards, bringing their remarkable streak to 41 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher, including the playoffs. This could be their toughest test yet, though, since they placed two of their top defensive linemen on injured reserve last week — and because Henry is averaging a whopping 137 rushing yards over the past five games. — Mike Triplett

Stat to know: Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has completed 71.5% of his passes this season, but according to NFL Next Gen Stats, his expected completion percentage is 62.9%. He has the highest completion percentage above expectation for any quarterback with 100 attempts over the past four seasons, per NFL Next Gen Stats.

What’s at stake: The Saints need a win to maintain their best chance to elevate in the NFC standings, where they currently trail the Seahawks and Packers via tiebreakers. The Titans will be eliminated from AFC South contention with a loss but can neither clinch nor be eliminated from a playoff spot until Week 17.

Betting nugget: New Orleans has won and covered five straight road games. Over the past two seasons, New Orleans is 10-3 ATS on the road. However, Tennessee is 4-2 outright as a home underdog under Mike Vrabel. Read more.

Triplett’s pick: Saints 26, Titans 24
Davenport’s pick: Saints 35, Titans 28
FPI prediction: NO, 54.3% (by an average of 1.5 points)

Matchup must-reads: How Saints WR Thomas is rewriting record booksFormer Saint Vaccaro faces old team with playoff chance at stakeCB Jenkins ‘ready to play football’ with Saints after release from GiantsTitans place struggling kicker Succop on injured reserve, sign Joseph

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 77.0 | Spread: BAL -10 (49.5)

What to watch for: The Ravens have home-field advantage — as well as revenge from the early-season loss to Cleveland — to play for. The Browns essentially have nothing. This quickly could turn into a rather tense scene in front of a frustrated Cleveland fan base that could use this opportunity to voice its displeasure with perhaps the NFL’s biggest disappointment. — Jake Trotter

Bold prediction: The Browns allow a season-worst 280 yards rushing. Over the past four games, Baltimore has averaged a league-best 199.7 yards rushing, and Cleveland has given up 155.3 yards rushing per game (third worst in the NFL). Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram II will both record 100 yards rushing. — Jamison Hensley

Stat to know: The Ravens have a league-leading 2,830 rushing yards this season, 772 more than the next closest team (San Francisco). Baltimore needs 335 more in their final two games to match the all-time single-season record of 3,165 rushing yards set by the 1978 Patriots.

What’s at stake: The Ravens can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win or losses by the Chiefs and Patriots. If the Ravens lose and either the Chiefs or Patriots lose, the Ravens will clinch at least the No. 2 seed and thus a first-round bye. The Browns, meanwhile, could have their thin playoff hopes officially dashed with a loss; or with wins by either the Steelers or Titans; or by a Colts loss.

Betting nugget: Cleveland is the second team in the Super Bowl era to be a double-digit home underdog to a team it beat by at least 14 points earlier in the season. The other time was in 1988, when Green Bay upset Minnesota 34-14 in Week 7, then won the Week 15 rematch 18-6 as a 10.5-point home underdog. Read more.

Hensley’s pick: Ravens 34, Browns 20
Trotter’s pick: Ravens 41, Browns 16
FPI prediction: BAL, 78.5% (by an average of 10.5 points)

Matchup must-reads: Is Jackson putting up the best season ever at quarterback?OBJ says ‘it’s just too special to leave’ ClevelandHow the Ravens went bargain shopping and rebuilt their defense

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 39.8 | Spread: ATL -7.5 (46.5)

What to watch for: This is Atlanta’s final home game and a chance for the Falcons to leave a strong last impression as they fight to keep coach Dan Quinn’s job. Losing the final home game would be a bad look for him, and the players know Quinn’s position is on the line. — Vaughn McClure

Bold prediction: Falcons tight end Austin Hooper will surpass 100 yards receiving. Opposing quarterbacks have a 126.9 passer rating when targeting tight ends against the Jaguars, per ESPN Stats & Information data. That is the second highest in the league (Arizona, 137.6), and the Jaguars are coming off a game in which Oakland tight end Darren Waller caught eight passes for 122 yards. — Mike DiRocco

Stat to know: The Jaguars have four losses by 20-plus points this season, tied for the most in the NFL. And since Week 9, the Jaguars’ minus-113 point differential is by far the worst in the NFL.

What’s at stake: Both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention. The Jaguars already have fired executive vice president Tom Coughlin, and it is hard to imagine that coach Doug Marrone’s status will be impacted by strong performances in the final two games of the season.

Betting nugget: Over the past five seasons, Jacksonville is 8-2 ATS as an underdog of at least seven points (regular season plus playoffs), including an outright win last week in Oakland. Meanwhile, since 2012, Atlanta is 3-13 ATS as a favorite of at least seven points. Read more.

DiRocco’s pick: Falcons 27, Jaguars 20
McClure’s pick: Falcons 31, Jaguars 17
FPI prediction: ATL, 77.0% (by an average of 9.8 points)

Matchup must-reads: With Tom Coughlin out, what happens next for the Jaguars?Minshew making his case to be the Jaguars’ starter in 2020Julio Jones heroics could save Quinn’s job with Falcons

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 36.0 | Spread: IND -6.5 (46)

What to watch for: How will the Colts’ defense attack third-round quarterback Will Grier, who will lean heavily on Christian McCaffrey to help take some of the load off his shoulders? The opportunity to pass could be there for Grier because the Colts have given up 774 yards and seven touchdowns on 64 of 79 passing the past two games. — Mike Wells

Bold prediction: Grier will feed the ball to McCaffrey to the tune of 11 catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns, win his NFL debut and get the Pro Bowl running back within 81 receiving yards of becoming the third player in NFL history to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. — David Newton

Stat to know: With six catches, McCaffrey would become the first running back with multiple 100-reception seasons in NFL history. And with seven, he would tie the second-most receptions through a player’s first three seasons in NFL history (behind Michael Thomas).

What’s at stake: Both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention. The Panthers have a 60.0% chance of a top-10 draft pick and therefore have more incentive to lose.

Betting nugget: Quarterbacks making their first career starts are 9-2 ATS this season. And QBs making their first or second career start are 18-5 ATS. Read more.



Victor Cruz expects Jacoby Brissett to rally the Colts to have a good game against the Panthers.

Newton’s pick: Panthers 27, Colts 24
Wells’ pick: Colts 21, Panthers 17
FPI prediction: IND, 70.2% (by an average of 7.0 points)

Matchup must-reads: Brissett’s late-season woes leave Colts with QB questionsPanthers TE Olsen approaches final two games as if they could be his lastColts’ offensive line takes care of business but still taps into fun side

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 13.5 | Spread: PIT -3 (37)

What to watch for: Don’t expect a lot of scoring. The Steelers are fourth in total defense and the Jets are ninth. The return of Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams will spark the Jets, who will feel like visitors in their own stadium due to an anticipated invasion of Pittsburgh fans. Crowd noise could hurt the Jets’ offense, which will have a hard time blocking edge rushers T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. — Rich Cimini

Bold prediction: The Jets’ Le’Veon Bell rushes for more yards than the Steelers’ running backs. Despite dressing five backs and the return of James Conner, the Steelers ran the ball only 15 times a week ago. The Jets have the second-best rushing defense in the NFL, making it even more difficult to run the ball this week. — Brooke Pryor

Stat to know: All four of Pittsburgh quarterback Devlin Hodges‘ interceptions last week were on passes more than 10 yards downfield, and he was just 4-for-10 on such throws.

What’s at stake: Currently in the AFC’s No. 6 seed, the Steelers can neither clinch nor be eliminated from a playoff spot. And the Jets have an 88.8% chance to draft in the top 10, according to FPI, but only a 1.9% chance to move into the top five.

Betting nugget: All four Hodges starts have gone under the total. Overall, six straight Pittsburgh games have gone under the total, with none of those games combining for more than 40 points. Read more.

Pryor’s pick: Jets 17, Steelers 10
Cimini’s pick: Steelers 20, Jets 13
FPI prediction: PIT, 52.3% (by an average of 0.8 points)

Matchup must-reads: Hodges gets chance at redemptionJets WR Anderson catches fire: Harbinger or late salary drive?Thursdays with Joe: How Haden’s meetings bring together Steelers DBs

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 1.4 | Spread: WSH -2.5 (41)

What to watch for: Which 3-11 team wants to win more — or less? Both teams will make big changes in the offseason, and the loser of this game will be in far better draft position — possibly in the second spot, where they might have a shot at Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. — John Keim

Bold prediction: Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones combine for five touchdowns without a turnover. Call it a hunch. It would be something, though, considering the two rookies have combined for 30 turnovers this season. — Jordan Raanan

Stat to know: In a career day last week against the Eagles, Haskins threw for 104 yards and a touchdown on play-action. Haskins also finished with 146 yards on throws of more than 10 yards downfield, a career high.

What’s at stake: The Giants want to preserve their current 91.5% chance to pick in the top five of the draft (via FPI), but the Redskins have a higher goal. They have a 5.2% chance to land the top pick if the Bengals surge.

Betting nugget: Washington has lost eight straight division games, going 1-7 ATS in that span. Read more.

Raanan’s pick: Redskins 28, Giants 27
Keim’s pick: Redskins 23, Giants 21
FPI prediction: NYG, 50.7% (by an average of 0.3 points)

Matchup must-reads: Barkley runs strong, looks like he’s back to pre-injury selfRedskins CB Norman on benching: ‘Got to play the cards you’re dealt’

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 1.3 | Spread: CIN -1 (45.5)

What to watch for: The Bengals are in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft. A Dolphins win clinches the No. 1 pick for Cincinnati, while likely moving Miami toward the back end of the top five. — Cameron Wolfe

Bold prediction: Joe Mixon will rush for 150 yards. The Bengals’ running back is on a hot streak and the Dolphins are next-to-last in the league in rushing defense. — Ben Baby

Stat to know: Mixon has at least 125 rushing yards in consecutive games. No Bengals running back has ever recorded three straight such games.

What’s at stake: The Bengals are the overwhelming 81.5% favorite to select first in the 2020 draft, according to FPI. The Dolphins have a 6.9% chance of moving into that spot with a loss but are currently projected to choose No. 3.

Betting nugget: Miami has been the only team to be an underdog in every game this season. Brian Flores is the second coach to begin his career as an underdog in his first 15 career games in the past 10 years (Gus Bradley was an underdog in his first 30). Read more.

Baby’s pick: Bengals 14, Dolphins 10
Wolfe’s pick: Bengals 23, Dolphins 20
FPI prediction: CIN, 50.3% (by an average of 0.2 points)

Matchup must-reads: Another 1K season could pay off for Bengals’ MixonDolphins’ path to a top-two draft pick, including Week 16Bengals WR Green forecast: Injury outlook, franchise tag option and more

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 39.8 | Spread: LAC -7 (45.5)

What to watch for: The Chargers will play their final game in the team’s temporary home in Carson, the 27,000-seat Dignity Health Sports Park. While fans enjoyed the intimate setting and up-close view, the Chargers did not have a home-field advantage, with opposing team’s fans regularly taking over the stadium. The Chargers are 11-10 at home since moving to L.A. three years ago. — Eric D. Williams

Bold prediction: Erik Harris will pick off Philip Rivers … again. The Raiders’ safety got the Chargers’ quarterback twice in the first meeting this season, including a 56-yard pick-six, and could have had two more interceptions were it not for a penalty and a tipped pass. — Paul Gutierrez

Stat to know: Rivers has 47 career passing touchdowns vs. the Raiders, and he can become fifth QB with 50 passing TDs against a single opponent in NFL history (Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Brett Favre).

What’s at stake: All but eliminated from the AFC playoff race, the Raiders could make it official with a loss. It could also happen with wins by either the Steelers or Titans, or a Colts loss. The Chargers need a loss to stay on track for a top-10 draft pick. FPI gives them a 60.6% chance to do it.

Betting nugget: Los Angeles is 0-4 ATS and outright in division games despite being favored in three of those games. Read more.



Victor Cruz and Rob Ninkovich think the Chargers will get the victory over the Raiders.

Gutierrez’s pick: Chargers 24, Raiders 20
Williams’ pick: Chargers 27, Raiders 20
FPI prediction: LAC, 72.7% (by an average of 8.0 points)

Matchup must-reads: Short-handed Raiders lose RB Jacobs, RT BrownDavis hits century mark in tackles, solidifies Chargers’ LB groupWant to play catch with an NFL player? Raiders safety is down

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 24.3 | Spread: DEN -6.5 (37.5)

What to watch for: With a Lions defense that has surrendered at least 275 yards passing 10 times this season and more than 400 yards twice in the past five games, expect the Broncos to let Drew Lock let it fly. The rookie Denver quarterback has attempted 28, 27 and 40 passes in his first three starts, and it’s likely he’ll throw early and often in this one. — Jeff Legwold

Bold prediction: Lock throws for his second 300-yard game along with two touchdowns against a beat-up Lions defense. Against Detroit’s porous pass defense, though, that might not be all that bold. — Michael Rothstein

Stat to know: Lions quarterback David Blough threw a touchdown on each of his first two drives as the starter. But now he has just one passing touchdown in the past 34 Detroit drives.

What’s at stake: Both teams are eliminated from the playoffs, but Lions coach Matt Patricia already knows he will return in 2020. There has been no official confirmation of Broncos coach Vic Fangio’s future, but it has been presumed that he will get more than one year to turn around the Broncos.

Betting nugget: Detroit is 1-8 ATS in its past nine games and has lost seven straight games outright. Read more.

Rothstein’s pick: Broncos 27, Lions 14
Legwold’s pick: Broncos 24, Lions 12
FPI prediction: DEN, 64.8% (by an average of 5.1 points)

Matchup must-reads: Stafford a cautionary tale for QB Lock, Broncos fansMatt Patricia is coming back, and the defense must be overhauled for him to have successBroncos rookie Fant in record-setting position after rocky start

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 78.5 | Spread: DAL -1.5 (46.5)

What to watch for: Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz leads the league in red zone touchdowns (eight) over the past three weeks despite missing many of his top options. Dallas’ defense, meanwhile, has yielded touchdowns on 70% of opponents’ trips to the red zone over the past three games — a far more generous rate than their season average of 52%. — Tim McManus

Bold prediction: Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper will have more than 100 receiving yards. It’s meaningful because Cooper’s numbers are not the same away from AT&T Stadium. He has just 23 catches for 296 yards and three touchdowns in seven road games this season. — Todd Archer

Stat to know: On throws at least 15 yards downfield, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott been among the league leaders in completion percentage (52%, third), yards per attempt (15.0, third) and touchdowns (14, first).

What’s at stake: This one is pretty simple. The Cowboys can clinch the NFC East and eliminate the Eagles from playoff contention with a win. An Eagles win shifts the race to Week 17.

Betting nugget: Philadelphia is 0-2 at home as an underdog this season. It is 0-4 outright as a home underdog against Dallas since upsetting Dallas in 1999 as a 10-point underdog. Current coach Doug Pederson was Philadelphia’s starting quarterback in that game. Read more.

Archer’s pick: Cowboys 24, Eagles 21
McManus’ pick: Eagles 24, Cowboys 21
FPI prediction: DAL, 54.9% (by an average of 1.7 points)

Matchup must-reads: De facto NFC East title game: Everything at stake for Cowboys, EaglesCowboys LB Lee delivering and cherishing big momentsEagles rallying around Wentz as Cowboys game nearsEagles RB Sanders drawing comparison to LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET | Fox
Matchup rating: 48.7 | Spread: SEA -10 (51)

What to watch for: Keep an eye on Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin chasing Kyler Murray. Griffin has become a regular in the Seahawks’ pass-rush rotation over the past five games, and Pete Carroll gave what seemed like a hint that he could factor heavily into this game because of how his speed matches with that of Murray. — Brady Henderson

Bold prediction: Murray will throw for two touchdowns and run for another while proving that the noise in Seattle isn’t too much for him. But the Seahawks will win on a last-second field goal. — Josh Weinfuss

Stat to know: Murray has recorded 3,279 passing yards and 504 rushing yards this season. With 221 more passing yards, he would become the sixth different quarterback with 3,500 passing yards and 500 rushing in a season in NFL history — and he would join Cam Newton (2011) as the only rookies to do it.

What’s at stake: The Seahawks have clinched a playoff spot but need a victory to ensure the possibility that they can play the 49ers in Week 17 with the NFC West title — and likely No. 1 overall seed — in the balance. Arizona, on the other hand, is looking at the likelihood of a pick in the top 10 of the draft, according to FPI, with an 18.6% chance of moving up.

Betting nugget: Seattle has won only one game this season by more than eight points. However, that lone double-digit win came in its Week 4 meeting against Arizona, winning 27-10 as a 5.5-point favorite. Read more.

Weinfuss’ pick: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 24
Henderson’s pick: Seahawks 30, Cardinals 21
FPI prediction: SEA, 79.9% (by an average of 11.1 points)

Matchup must-reads: Seahawks LB Griffin should improve his pass-rush ‘batting average’Cardinals’ win gives Murray bragging rights over MayfieldJosh Gordon banned indefinitely by NFL for PEDs, substance abuse

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET | NBC
Matchup rating: 82.8 | Spread: KC -6 (44.5)

What to watch for: It’s Mitchell Trubisky vs. Patrick Mahomes. The battle of quarterbacks on Sunday night means nothing to Chiefs fans. In Chicago, it means everything. The last thing the Bears want is a three-hour prime-time infomercial focused on how the Bears messed up by drafting Trubisky over Mahomes (and Deshaun Watson) back in 2017. — Jeff Dickerson

Bold prediction: Terrell Suggs will get a sack in his Chiefs debut. The Chiefs are down two of their top defensive ends because of injuries, so they need Suggs to step in and play a significant role. He’ll get his chances to sack Trubisky. — Adam Teicher

Stat to know: Trubisky has five straight games with an interception, the longest active streak in the NFL.

What’s at stake: The Chiefs have won the AFC West, but as the weekend opens, they have a chance to move all the way up to the No. 1 seed if they win and everything else falls their way. That is unlikely, but their playoff seeding is far from settled. The Bears were eliminated last week.

Betting nugget: Over the past three seasons, Chicago is 6-1-1 ATS as a home underdog with four outright wins. Read more.



Victor Cruz and Rob Ninkovich think the Chiefs have found their groove and will get the win against the Bears.

Teicher’s pick: Chiefs 26, Bears 13
Dickerson’s pick: Chiefs 27, Bears 17
FPI prediction: KC, 71.8% (by an average of 7.7 points)

Matchup must-reads: Stomach illness has Chiefs DE Clark shedding weight but not slowing downBears’ Trubisky ignores comparisons to Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun WatsonDE Suggs says no hard sell needed to join Chiefs

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET | ESPN/ESPN App
Matchup rating: 79.5 | Spread: MIN -5.5 (46)

What to watch for: Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook is unlikely to play, according to league sources, and backup Alexander Mattison‘s status for Week 16 is unclear. If the Vikings want to keep their running game going, they might have to go through Mike Boone, Minnesota’s No. 3 back, who ran for 56 yards and two touchdowns in Los Angeles. — Courtney Cronin

Bold prediction: Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is 0-8 on Monday Night Football, the worst record by any quarterback (according to the Elias Sports Bureau), and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers has won his past five starts on MNF. Both of those streaks will halt at U.S. Bank Stadium, where Rodgers has more broken collarbones than victories. — Rob Demovsky

Stat to know: The Vikings have been great at minimizing running backs and tight ends in the passing game. When defending those two positions, opponents have the third-lowest Total QBR (41), the lowest completion percentage (67%), the second-fewest yards per attempt (5.9) and the lowest TD-to-INT ratio (0.71). But when defending wide receivers, opponents have the highest total QBR (93), the sixth-highest completion percentage (68%), the 14th-most yards per attempt (8.4) and the eighth-highest TD-to-INT ratio (2.6).

What’s at stake: The Packers can clinch the NFC North title with a victory, while the Vikings can secure a playoff spot with a win or a Rams loss. In the latter scenario, the NFC North race would move into Week 17.

Betting nugget: Since joining Minnesota, Cousins is 13-3 ATS as a single-digit favorite, including 8-1 ATS at home. However, Cousins is 0-8 outright and ATS on Monday Night Football. Read more.

Demovsky’s pick: Vikings 27, Packers 17
Cronin’s pick: Vikings 27, Packers 24
FPI prediction: MIN, 68.1% (by an average of 6.3 points)

Matchup must-reads: He’s not a Pro Bowler, but no denying Kendricks’ impact on VikingsPackers need CBs Alexander, King to play like top tandem againMr. December Kenny Clark’s strong finish could help Packers — and his wallet

Published at Fri, 20 Dec 2019 13:15:50 +0000

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