Cook’s NFL Picks: Week 16!

Hello friends! I wish you all a happy holiday season. Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Joyful Festivus! And if you don’t celebrate any of those, enjoy these NFL picks anyway! You’ll note that most of these games fall on Saturday this week, so if you forget about football until Sunday you’re going to be SOL.

Saturday, December 24

Washington (-3.5) at Chicago

Washington was hanging on by a thread last week, and that thread might have been cut by Cam Newton. The Bears have been showing a lot of feistiness lately, especially at home, and I think they win this game over a D.C. team heading in the wrong direction.

Miami at Buffalo (-3.5)

I really have no idea what to expect from this game. The Dolphins have nine wins and I don’t know how that happened. The Bills are still kind of hanging around in contention too, and I don’t know how that happened. The Bills have the homefield advantage here & LeSean McCoy’s been on fire lately, so they seem like the smart choice here. Not to mention, dolphins generally don’t fare well in cold weather.

Atlanta (-2.5) at Carolina

Look at those Panthers showing some fire lately. The Falcons have had some pretty easy games recently, hopefully they won’t expect this to be another one of those. If they do, Carolina will win this game. The Falcons will put up some points, but I think the Panthers could keep up…SO HARD.

I asked Jeremy Lambert and he said to take the Falcons. When in doubt I go with the Carolina Panther expert.

Minnesota at Green Bay (-6.5)

The Packers are on a roll & the Vikings aren’t. Sometimes you just have to go with momentum. Sure, Green Bay let the Bears get back in the game last week, but that’s just the kind of thing to give them more motivation. They’ll step on Minny’s throats and not let up.

NY Jets at New England (-16.5)

I know the Patriots are a lot better than the Jets, but these games are always closer than people expect. If you’re giving me 16.5 points I’m usually going to take it. The  Jets certainly aren’t going to win this one, but I can see them getting within ten.

Tennessee (-5) at Jacksonville

When’s the last time this game had any meaning? Both of these teams have been pretty useless since the days of Jeff Fisher & Tom Coughlin roaming the sidelines, their late-season tussles have only determined draft order. This season, the Titans are in actual real life playoff contention, they’re tied in the standings with the Texans & can win the AFC South if they win their last two games.

Before we talk about Titans vs. Texans next week, we gotta talk about Titans vs. Jaguars this week. The Jags let Gus Bradley go off into the night after a narrow loss to the Tom Savage-led Texans and Doug Marrone is steering the ship until the off-season. Where the Jags will probably hire Jeff Fisher or Tom Coughlin because that’s the most Jag solution possible. The Jaguars may show some fire with their coach out of town, but the Titans can’t let their season end in Jacksonville. That’s just not acceptable for any team in the league.

San Diego (-6) at Cleveland

cropped_0-16

It’s happening. Chargers.

Indianapolis at Oakland (-3.5)

This sounds like fun! Derek Carr vs. Andrew Luck! Amari Cooper vs. T.Y. Hilton! Two young teams here that should be contenders in the AFC for years to come. The difference? Oakland kind of has a defense. Indy might have been able to stop Sam Bradford & company last week in Minnesota, but I don’t see them stopping the Raiders.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-3)

Of course Drew Brees would return to form last week after I virtually declared his career over. He might have killed off thousands of fantasy teams & the Saints are out of luck as far as playoff contention goes (they’re mathematically still in it, but way too many dominos have to fall to get them in), but apparently Drew Brees still has some passes left in that arm of his. He’ll need them this week against a Buccaneer team that already beat the Saints once this season. It’s tough to pick against the Saints in the SuperDome, they showed some fire last week and if that offense is back on track I don’t think Tampa has enough firepower to keep up.

San Francisco at Los Angeles (-3.5)

dontcare

I mean, come on. On one side we got a team that hasn’t won since beating the team on the other side back in Week 1. They’ve only even come close to winning a couple of times this season, most of the time they’re just getting their asses handed to them. The head coach will probably be on his way out the door because that’s what the 49ers do every single year now. Then we’ve got the Rams, who already fired their coach and haven’t won a game since Week 10 & haven’t been close to winning a game since Week 11. Just two sorry-ass teams here and I’ve already typed too much about this.

Take the 49ers cause you’re getting 3.5 points, I guess. Honestly, if you’re betting on this game you’ve got some serious issues that I can’t help you with.

Arizona at Seattle (-8)

We’ve become accustomed to these teams facing off towards the end of the season with postseason implications on the line. This year, only the Seahawks have visions of Super Bowls dancing in their heads. The Cardinals, one of the top off-season picks to win the NFC, have been a complete and utter disappointment this year.

You know what else was a complete & utter disappointment? The last game between these teams. It was a 6-6 tie that set the game back about fifty years or so. I’m hoping we get nothing close to that this time, but I feel like eight points is way too wide a spread to ride with Seattle. I’ll suggest the Cardinals just in case it’s close like it usually seems to be.

Cincinnati at Houston (-1.5)

There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about a Texans team quarterbacked by Tom Savage. Not against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Texans are money against the Bengals, having won six out of their seven meetings. Worried about Tom Savage? The Texans beat the Bengals twice, including a playoff game, with T.J. Yates as their quarterback. T.J. Yates. It doesn’t matter who the Texans run out there. They’ll beat Cincinnati, especially now that the Bengals’ season is officially over and they only care about getting home in time to open presents. Andy Dalton must be pleased that he’ll have a pretty short trip home to visit his family in the greater Houston area.

Sunday, December 25

Baltimore at Pittsburgh (-5)

Boy, nothing says “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” like some good ol’ fashioned AFC North football with two of the grittiest, hard-nosed franchises in the business. You’ll see some very un-Christian behavior in this game, that’s for sure. I feel like the Steelers are going to win this game, but it’ll probably be one of those field goal type of games so the Ravens will be the pick here.

Denver at Kansas City (-3.5)

Speaking of teams that don’t like each other. Denver’s coming off of an embarrassing showing against New England while the Chiefs snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against Tennessee. KC fans couldn’t have liked seeing the re-emergence of Late Game Andy Reid in that one. In any event, I like the Chiefs‘ chances this week. The Broncos are a team getting bad at the wrong time, they have no answers on offense and the Chiefs’ defense should have no problem clogging that shit up.

Monday, December 26

Detroit at Dallas (-7)

Another week, another prime time game for the Cowboys. No wonder the ratings are back to normal now. After a week where the Dak/Tony threat level was raised up to orange, I feel comfortable lowering it to blue this week since Prescott had a solid game on Sunday night and quelled the Romo truthers at least for the time being. This feels similar to last week’s Cowboys game to me, right down to the point spread at seven. So I’m going to do the same thing I did last week and pick the road team, this week being the Lions. It worked last week, why mess with success?

bluto-chug-o

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