NFL Week 16 Picks

Tom Coughlin

The football season isn’t as fun when the Giants don’t matter and we’re a Redskins win over the Eagles on Saturday night from the Giants not mattering and their season being over. If the Redskins beat the Eagles in Philadelphia, I will be the happiest person that Odell Beckham Jr. is suspended is suspended for Sunday Night Football and would go as far as to make him inactive for Week 17 even if the Giants’ single-season receiving yards record would still be a possibility despite him missing a game. There’s nothing good that can come from the Giants trying once they are eliminated. Tank the last two games, get an easier 2016 schedule and a higher draft pick. After blowing five should-have-been wins this season, that’s the least the Giants can do for their fans to end the season.

The picks season is a 17-week grind to get through the regular season and then another four-week grind in the postseason. It’s hard and frustrating and that’s before you get to the late weeks of the season when players are just hoping to get to the offseason healthy and where losing teams can taste the final minutes of their season before they hit the beach and the nice weather and skip out on the winter weather and stop beating up their bodies every week. This week there are five games that have absolutely no meaning when it comes to the playoffs and then number is only going to increase next week. After what has been a successful picks season, it’s time to finish strong and get hot heading into the postseason.

OAKLAND -5.5 over San Diego
I always take the Raiders in the Battle for Which Team Should Move, but usually when I’m taking the Raiders, they are getting points and a good amount of them. These two franchises are moving in opposite directions and to keep up with the times, I’m sticking with the Raiders, who I think have done more good than bad for me against their in-state rival.

PHILADELPHIA -4 over Washington
I actually think the Redskins will cover and win this game. The problem is I can’t root against the only hope the Giants have for making the playoffs even if the Giants haven’t done anything that should even have me wanting them to reach the postseason. Fly Eagles Fly! (I think I’m going to need to shower after rooting for the Eagles in this game.)

New England -2 over NEW YORK JETS
The Patriots don’t need this game and the Jets have to have this game. That’s usually enough of a reason for people to pick one way, but this is the Jets we’re talking about. The team that lost seemingly must-win games against the Bills and Texans and now need to win out and have the Steelers or Chiefs lose in the final two weeks to very bad teams. The Jets never make things easy for themselves, much like the Giants except the Giants manage to win the Super Bowl every once in a while, and if this is going to be a close game, I don’t trust the Jets.

Houston -4 over TENNESSEE
I would like to take this time to thank to the Titans for giving the Patriots a last-minute cover last week thanks to a turnover that felt so inevitable I was never really worried the Patriots weren’t going to cover a two-touchdown spread. The Titans are the worst team in the NFL and have absolutely nothing to play for in the final two weeks (though they haven’t had anything to play for for a while now). The Texans, still in the playoff hunt, should be able to get past the Titans easily even on the road and even with a quarterback that I wouldn’t trust under any other circumstance.

KANSAS CITY -11 over Cleveland
The Chiefs were once 1-5. Now they are 9-5 and control their own fate for the playoffs. Not only are they a lock for a wild-card berth, but they could still take the AFC West from the Broncos and get a first-round home game. I wouldn’t want my team to have to go to Arrowhead in the first round of the playoffs and face a Chiefs team that could be on a 10-game winning streak in front of that crowd. Actually, who am I kidding? I would sign up for the Giants having to play in Seattle with all of the Giants players required to wear headphones and no cleats just to see a playoff game after these last four seasons.

Miami -2 over INDIANAPOLIS
The last thing I need is the Colts finding a way into the playoffs and then having Andrew Luck back for a postseason game and winning that game, so that the entire sports media world can drool over a guy who seems to throw as many interceptions as touchdowns. The Colts don’t have a chance in beating the Patriots if they were to meet in the playoffs and I need as many teams that can beat the Patriots in the playoffs as possible.

DETROIT -9 over San Francisco
Somewhere someone who isn’t a Lions fan or a 49ers fan is going to bet on this game and watch it in its entirety. Think about that.

BUFFALO -6 over Dallas
Another one!

Somewhere someone who isn’t a Bills fan or a Cowboys fan is going to bet on this game and watch it in its entirety. Think about that.

CHICAGO +3 over Tampa Bay
And another one!

Somewhere someone who isn’t a Bears fan or a Buccaneers fan is going to bet on this game and watch it in its entirety. Think about that.

Carolina -7 over ATLANTA
I don’t want Carolina to go undefeated because I feel like an undefeated team should be an absolute juggernaut that runs over every team the play. (Hi, 2007 Patriots!) Couple that with the fact that I’m still angry about the Odell Beckham Jr. suspension while Josh Norman got the equivalent of a $10 for a person with a normal everyday job and everything that happened last Sunday and the following punishments are just so stupid.

Pittsburgh -11 over BALTIMORE
The Jets can’t be happy about the Week 16 and 17 opponents for the Steelers and Chiefs needing one of them to lose a game. You don’t get anymore cupcake than Ryan Mallett starting in Week 16 for a Ravens team that has been waiting for the clock to read 0:00 in Week 17 for months.

Jacksonville +2.5 over NEW ORLEANS
There’s just no way I can back the Saints with that defense. Not even in the Superdome and not even against the Jaguars. The days of the Saints being two-possession favorites at home no matter who the opponent is are long gone as the days of taking the points against the Saints in New Orleans no matter who the opponent is are here.

SEATTLE -11 over St. Louis
We’re headed for a Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl rematch. I can feel it. I won’t be anywhere as confident as I was headed into last year’s Super Bowl for the Patriots to lose until Pete Carroll handed it to them since the Seahawks’ defense has regressed as Russell Wilson has progressed. But it’s going to happen. Seahawks-Patriots Part II. (Or Cardinals-Patriots. It’s one of those two.)

ARIZONA -6 over Green Bay
I don’t enjoy football Sundays as much as I’m going to start enjoying picking against Aaron Rodgers Sundays. Can we please stop with the idea that he is the best quarterback in the league or that he ever actually was? As long as Tom Brady is still winning games as every average to above-average player goes down with injury around him, he’s the best. Rodgers lost Jordy Nelson for the season in preseason and you would have though he lost Jerry Rice in his prime with the way he is treated week after week with the excuses for his career-worst play. He still has Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and James Jones as well as Eddie Lacy and James Starks, and while some of those players haven’t lived up their potential or hype, if you give Brady those five players, the Patriots walk to another championship.

NEW YORK GIANTS +7 over Minnesota
This is it. An Eagles win coupled with a Giants win and Week 17 matters. But if the Eagles lose on Saturday night, this game could get ugly for a Giants team playing in freezing temperatures in Minnesota with nothing to play for and without their best player.

DENVER -4 over Cincinnati
Brock Osweiler vs. AJ McCarron! Just the way ESPN hoped it would be when they got this game for their final Monday Night Football game of the season.

Last week: 10-6-0
Season: 123-96-5