Week 15 found itself short on upsets, with nearly every game going to the favorite. The tides turned for some in the playoff race while others secured their postseason future. With the season winding down and the pressure heating up, there figures to be plenty of tense moments, jubilant relief and heart breaking devastation. There is still plenty on the line and much to gain as late season showdowns and division rivalries come to a head.
Each week the cover32 national content team will give you their picks for five of the week’s best and most challenging NFL matchups. A running tally will be kept to see which of the team’s writers knows the most about the NFL and can pick’em the best.
Winners and Losers: NFL Week 15: Closing time
QB Rankings: NFL Week 16: Jack Frost Nips
Five Questions: NFL Week 15: Bubble teams and wiggle room
Power Rankings: NFL Week 16 — Closing in and wrapping up
cover32 Exclusive: NFL pick’ems week 14
cover32’s Week 16 NFL Pick’ems
Justin Ekstrom (33-10)
Picks: Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, Chargers, Chiefs
After a third-straight 5-0 week, the slipper might fall off of cinderella’s foot this week as the betting lines are not as telling as in week’s past. That being said, New England, Seattle and Green Bay all hold steady as heavy favorites against divisional foes at home. After losing yet another close game, San Diego hurts their draft spot by defeating the winless Browns. With a much closer point spread, the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos game looks to have the makings of an instant classic. In a defensive battle with major playoff seeding implications, the Chiefs take the AFC West matchup at home. Hopefully I can get back to my 4-1 ways while still holding onto the top spot in our friendly competition.
Last week: Seahawks, Bills, Falcons, Packers, Texans; (5-0)
Miles Dittberner (32-12)
Picks: Giants, Patriots, Titans, Chargers, Seahawks
The Eagles have been abysmal over the second half of the year, as defenses have caught up with Carson Wentz. There is little reason to expect that to change in week 16 as the Giants’ defense has been one of the better units as of late. The Jets are just trying to get to the end of the season at this point and should be of little obstacle in the Patriots’ quest to lock up home field advantage. The Titans should hold at least a share of the AFC South after their soft week 16 matchup with the debacle that is the Jaguars. Despite the mess the Chargers appear to be, they still should be able to keep the Browns winless. Arizona should continue to disappoint and provide little resistance against a Seahawks’ team looking to find their stride as they enter the postseason.
Last week: Dolphins, Packers, Falcons, Bills, Vikings; (4-1)
Brandon Scott (29-15)
Picks: Patriots, Packers, Chargers, Seahawks, Cowboys
As playoff time approaches this week is a perfect time to go with the favorites. Winning teams building momentum for the playoffs and … whoever is playing Cleveland. First hosting last in the AFC East – New England rolls. The Packers win and barring an upset on Monday set up a huge Week 17 showdown at Detroit. Despite the Chargers’ struggles they beat Cleveland. Seattle wins at home and the Cowboys clinch both the division and home field to wrap up the week.
Last week: Seahawks, Bills, Packers, Falcons, Cowboys; (5-0)
Michael Jaycox (23-20)
Picks: Bills, Steelers, Cowboys, Packers, Broncos
What do I care about this week? Chaos. Chaos, chaos, chaos. I don’t want to enter Week 17 with the playoff seeding set in stone; I want to enter Week 17 with no idea who’s going to be playing in the postseason. If these picks go according to plan, that’s exactly what will happen.
Last week: Broncos, Jets, Titans, Lions, Chargers; (2-3)
Austin Erwin (23-20)
Picks: Vikings, Falcons, Bears, Saints, Ravens
Look for the Vikings, who are still barely in the hunt, to end the series with a sweep over their division rival, Green Bay Packers. The Falcons can be expected to go grab a win in Carolina despite the Panthers’ increasing momentum. After losing last week, look for the Redskins to continue deflating on the road in Chicago. The Buccaneers will also find another loss when they travel to New Orleans. Drew Brees should have a day. In the AFC, expect the Steelers to fall off their high horse in an unpredictable rivalry against the Ravens.
Last week: Giants, Cowboys, Panthers, Chiefs, Broncos ; (3-2)