Steelers and Packers Will Keep Winning; Lions and Broncos Will Take One on the Chin
Fikkle Fame’s NFL Predictions for December 15-19, 2016
With three games left in the regular season, almost all of the playoff picture is undecided. Dallas has clinched a post season berth, but the Cowboys are the only ones to do so at this point. The Falcons and Buccaneers are tied at the top of the NFC South, the Texans and Titans are tied at the top of the AFC South, and the Chiefs and Raiders are both 10-3 and tied for the lead in the AFC West. A lot of teams are in contention for Wild Card runs, and some of those could still make a run for a division title. It’s likely that a bunch of post season berths will be in doubt until the last games of the season, which will be on New Year’s Day.
Game of Thursday December 15th
Los Angeles (4-9) at Seattle (8-4-1). Seahawks favored by 16. The Rams fired coach Jeff Fisher this week as they proceed with rebuilding for next year a few weeks early. The Rams have had success against the Seahawks in recent years, and have won four of the last five games. The Seahawks, who looked horrible in last Sunday’s 38-10 loss at Green Bay, will clinch the AFC West with a victory. They’ll win, but based on how the Rams have played against Seattle lately, we think it will be closer than the spread. Seahawks 24 Rams 17.
Game of Saturday December 17th
Miami (8-5) at New York Jets (4-9). Dolphins favored by 2 1/2. The Jets had a come from behind victory last Sunday to end a four game losing streak. Of course, it was against the 1-12 49ers. The four game losing streak began with a loss to the Dolphins, who will win this rematch and remain in contention for a Wild Card berth. Dolphins 31 Jets 24.
Games of Sunday December 18th
Green Bay (7-6) at Chicago (3-10). Packers favored by 6 1/2. The Packers utterly destroyed the Seahawks last Sunday and are playing some of the best football in the league right now. With games remaining against Minnesota and Detroit, a good portion of their hopes for the post season are in their hands, but they’ll probably need some help, too. Packers 28 Bears 14.
Jacksonville (2-11) at Houston (7-6). Texans favored by 6. Houston is 5-1 at home and should have no problem against the Jaguars to remain in at least a tie for first in the AFC South. Texans 27 Jaguars 17.
Cleveland (0-13) at Buffalo (6-7). Bills favored by 10. The Bills will keep their fading Wild Card hopes alive for one more week with a win over the Browns, who look increasingly likely to finish 0-16 with games vs. San Diego and at Pittsburgh to close out the season. Too bad they aren’t playing the 49ers, they might have shot. Bills 31 Browns 10.
Philadelphia (5-8) at Baltimore (7-6). Ravens favored by 6. Baltimore will stay in the playoff hunt with a victory over the fading Eagles, who have lost four straight and are just 1-6 on the road. Ravens 20 Eagles 12.
Tennessee (7-6) at Kansas City (10-3). Chiefs favored by 5. Tennessee is tied for the lead in the AFC South with Houston and could really use a victory here, but Kansas City is playing well and as the Raiders found out, is really tough at home. Chiefs 24 Titans 14.
Detroit (9-4) at New York Giants (9-4). Giants favored by 4 1/2. Both teams have indentical 6-1 home records and 3-3 road records. But it’s the Giants who are at home, and are coming off a big win over the Cowboys. Lions QB Matthew Stafford has an injured finger on his throwing hand and is listed as questionable, but no doubt will play. New York will end the Lions’ five game winning streak and tighten up the NFC North race. Giants 27 Lions 21.
Indianapolis (6-7) at Minnesota (7-6). Vikings favored by 4. Vikings will stay alive in the playoff chase with a win here, in advance of a big Christmas Eve game at Green Bay coming up. Vikings 27 Colts 20.
Pittsburgh (8-5) at Cincinnati (5-7-1). Steelers favored by 3. Pittsburgh will win its fifth straight and remain in 1st place in the AFC North. Steelers 24 Bengals 21.
New Orleans (5-8) at Arizona (5-7-1). Cardinals favored by 2 1/2. It’s been a disappointing season for the Cardinals, who were in the NFC Championship game last season and will miss the playoffs this time around. They’ll close out their home schedule on a high note with a victory over the Saints. Cardinals 34 Saints 30.
San Francisco (1-12) at Atlanta (8-5). Falcons favored by 13 1/2. Just like the line says, an easy victory for Atlanta. Falcons 35 49ers 17.
New England (11-2) at Denver (8-5). Patriots favored by 3. The Broncos finish the regular season with games against the Patriots this week and the Chiefs and Raiders after that. Tom Brady is coming off a 406 yard three touchdown performance over the Ravens, and shows no signs of slowing down at age 39. New England will wrap of the AFC East title with a win over the Broncos. Patriots 29 Broncos 24.
Oakland (10-3) at San Diego (5-8). Raiders favored by 3. The Raiders lost for the first time on the road at Kansas City last week, but will bounce back against the Chargers and stay in the hunt for the AFC West title. Raiders 27 Chargers 24.
Tampa Bay (8-5) at Dallas (11-2). Cowboys favored by 7. Back in August, who thought this game would feature two first place teams at this point of the season? The Cowboys will rebound from last week’s loss to the Giants. Cowboys 27 Buccaneers 17.
Game of Monday December 19th
Carolina (5-8) at Washington (7-5-1). Redskins favored by 4 1/2. Washington will stay alive in the Wild Card chase with a victory over the Panthers, who are just 1-5 on the road this year. Redskins 31 Panthers 24.