We have two more Football Fridays left for this year, calendar year that is. The Giants didn’t help our picks start out well this week losing 24-19 to the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night. A pick-six by Eli Manning in the first quarter didn’t help matters. 2016 is rapidly coming to a close. It hasn’t been great, but this weekend as we celebrate Christmas with family and friends, take time to remember what is truly near and dear to each of you and enjoy the time. Merry Christmas everyone. Now let’s get to some picks in “the stack” for today, Friday, December 23rd:
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills 1 PM ET CBS
The Dolphins have a great chance to make the playoffs, but a trip to Buffalo is in their way and it is no easy task. The Bills are playing to help head coach Rex Ryan keep his job. LeSean McCoy has been running wild lately. I think the Bills defense dials up some blitzes on Matt Moore and they find a way to beat the Dolphins.
Prediction: Bills 23 Dolphins 17
Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers 1 PM ET FOX
This is a weird game. I don’t feel really confident that the Falcons can go on the road and beat a Panthers team that seems to be okay with being spoilers this year (see last Monday night at Washington). Julio Jones torched the Panthers earlier this season and he is back in the lineup after missing the last two games with a toe injury. I’ll go with the team with more to play for and with the more explosive offense, but I don’t feel good about it.
Prediction: Falcons 31 Panthers 24
Washington @ Chicago Bears 1 PM ET FOX
The Bears have looked pretty good with Matt Barkley at quarterback. They almost came back to beat the Packers last week while Washington crapped the bed against Carolina. Washington has a lot to play for with a sixth seed in the playoffs on the line. I am very tempted to take the Bears, but I think Washington finds a way to get the win.
Prediction: Washington 27 Bears 23
San Diego Chargers @ Cleveland Browns 1 PM ET CBS
Is this the week the Browns finally pick up win number one of the season? Certainly possible. The Chargers flying on a short week (by one day) to play a game with an early kickoff start in Cleveland with nothing to play for? Don’t put it past the Chargers to be disinterested and lose this one. I like Cleveland’s odds, but until they actually win a game, I can’t pick them.
Prediction: Chargers 20 Browns 17
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers 1 PM ET FOX
After five weeks in the NFL season, the Vikings were the last remaining unbeaten team. Boy how the times have changed. They are likely to miss the playoffs barring a miracle. The Packers were left for dead about a month ago and now they are the favorites to win the NFC North. The NFL is a fickle sort of thing. Adrian Peterson was targeting this game to come back for, but he played last week and likely will not play this week. All that said, I still think the Vikings can make this a game, but they still won’t win.
Prediction: Packers 23 Vikings 16
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1 PM ET CBS
Last time I thought the Titans were ready to come out and win a big game and make a statement they lost on the road at Indianapolis. I don’t foresee that happening in this one though the Jaguars may have a little more energy to try and win one in honor of Gus Bradley who was fired last Sunday. Be aware of an upset here, but the Titans are playing too good right now.
Prediction: Titans 27 Jaguars 20
New York Jets @ New England Patriots 1 PM ET CBS
Bryce Petty versus Tom Brady. And Petty is on the road. I’ll leave it at that for this one. Patriots roll.
Prediction: Patriots 34 Jets 13
Indianapolis Colts @ Oakland Raiders 4:05 PM ET CBS
After last week’s performance against the Vikings on the road it would be silly of me not to think that Captain Andrew Luck could go into the Black Hole and win. But that would mean that Derek Carr and the Raiders would have a bad game at home like the Vikings did last week. I don’t foresee that happening.
Prediction: Raiders 31 Colts 27
San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 PM ET FOX
No one wants to watch this game. No one! The Rams are bad, but the 49ers may be worse. Can the 49ers sweep the Rams this year? I don’t think so.
Prediction: Rams 24 49ers 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints 4:25 PM ET FOX
I’m starting to become a big time believer in Jameis Winston and the Bucs. They contained Drew Brees and the Saints a couple of weeks ago, but that was in Tampa. The Superdome is a different place. Brees and the Saints exact revenge.
Prediction: Saints 27 Bucs 20
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks 4:25 PM ET FOX
I wonder if Cardinals running back David Johnson is going to have over 100 yards from scrimmage for a fifteenth straight game? I certainly hope he does. It would really help my fantasy team win a championships. I wonder also if Richard Sherman will criticize the offensive play-calling. He probably will, but at least the Seahawks will win the game.
Prediction: Seahawks 23 Cardinals 20
Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans 8:25 PM ET NFL Network
Tom Savage is going to start at quarterback for the Texans. That instantly gives them a better chance to win over Brock Osweiler. A.J. Green is expected to play for the Bengals so that will help the Bengals’ chances of getting the offense to be a little more productive. The Texans have a little more to play for though and will find a way to win to close out Christmas Eve.
Prediction: Texans 24 Bengals 20
Coming up Christmas Day: Saturday week 16 NFL reaction plus preview of Sunday’s two NFL games.