Prisco's Picks: Week 16

 
 
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WEEK
16
PETE PRISCO
Senior NFL Columnist
Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and can be seen throughout the week on CBS Sports' NFL shows. When he's not watching game tape you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
MATCHUP SCORE ANALYSIS
Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018
 
Tennessee
Titans
27
These two teams are still fighting for a playoff spot, even if the Redskins are a bit of a long shot. Washington is playing consecutive road games with Josh Johnson at quarterback. That's tough sledding. The Titans have come alive behind the running of Derrick Henry and that will continue here.
Result: Tennessee Titans 25, Washington Redskins 16
Washington
Football Team
13
 
 
Los Angeles
Chargers
23
This is one of the big games this week with two teams that need it. This is a long trip for the Ravens on a short week against a team with extra rest. I think the Chargers are on a roll right now and they will limit Lamar Jackson. The Chargers will take it.
Result: Los Angeles Chargers 10, Baltimore Ravens 22
Baltimore
Ravens
13
 
Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018
 
Atlanta
Falcons
26
The Panthers have shut down Cam Newton, because of his injured shoulder, which means Taylor Heinicke will start. This will be his first NFL start, which will be a challenge. The Falcons should be able to throw the ball against the Carolina defense, which will be the difference in this one.
Result: Atlanta Falcons 24, Carolina Panthers 10
Carolina
Panthers
16
 
 
Cleveland
Browns
27
The Browns are playing good football right now and are building something for the long haul. The Bengals have a ton of injuries to key players, but did find a way to win last week. Not this week. The Browns are rolling and will continue that in this one.
Result: Cleveland Browns 26, Cincinnati Bengals 18
Cincinnati
Bengals
17
 
 
Dallas
Cowboys
27
The Cowboys are coming off a horrible-looking shutout loss to the Colts. The Bucs, though, are playing consecutive road games and they have struggled much of this season on defense. Look for Dak Prescott to get back on track as the Cowboys win the game easily.
Result: Dallas Cowboys 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
14
 
 
Minnesota
Vikings
19
The Vikings got the running game going last week against Miami, and will want to do so again here. But the Lions are good against the run, which will make this a Kirk Cousins game. He won't need to get much since the Vikings defense will limit the Detroit offense. The Vikings win it, but it's close.
Result: Minnesota Vikings 27, Detroit Lions 9
Detroit
Lions
16
 
 
Indianapolis
Colts
27
The Colts have a good chance to get into the postseason and have won two straight. The defense has made big strides. The Giants are playing out the string and looked awful last week. The Colts will have an easy time of it in this one.
Result: Indianapolis Colts 28, NY Giants 27
New York
Giants
10
 
 
Miami
Dolphins
20
The Dolphins are alive barely. But the Jaguars season has long been over and has to be considered a major disaster. What's the motivation for the Jaguars? Is there any? I think Miami will still play hard and find a way to pull this one out.
Result: Miami Dolphins 7, Jacksonville Jaguars 17
Jacksonville
Jaguars
10
 
 
New England
Patriots
28
The Bills have done a solid job of playing hard for the entire season. That's a good sign. The Patriots have lost two straight games, so they have issues. But this will be a game to fix them. The Patriots will get back on track with a big victory.
Result: New England Patriots 24, Buffalo Bills 12
Buffalo
Bills
13
 
 
Green Bay
Packers
27
It looks as if Aaron Rodgers will play here in this meaningless game. He wants to play, so why not? If he does, the Packers will win this game. If he doesn't, they won't. I say he plays and they do. Packers take it.
Result: Green Bay Packers 44, NY Jets 38
New York
Jets
20
 
 
Philadelphia
Eagles
24
The Eagles stunned the Rams with Nick Foles last week to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Texans didn't look great in beating the Jets last week and now must head out on the road again. The Eagles are playing for survival and I think that shows as their defensive line dominates. Eagles take it.
Result: Philadelphia Eagles 32, Houston Texans 30
Houston
Texans
16
 
 
Los Angeles
Rams
30
The Rams have looked bad the past two weeks in losses and need to get back on track. I think this is the game where they will. The offense has struggled, but it won't here even if Todd Gurley isn't a go. The pass rush will get all over Josh Rosen. This will be a blowout.
Result: Los Angeles Rams 31, Arizona Cardinals 9
Arizona
Cardinals
13
 
 
Chicago
Bears
21
This is a be-careful game for the Bears. The 49ers are playing good football and they are coming off an upset of the Seahawks. The Bears are special on defense, but this could be a game where the offense struggles. Look for a close Bears victory.
Result: Chicago Bears 14, San Francisco 49ers 9
San Francisco
49ers
20
 
 
New Orleans
Saints
31
This will be fun to watch, even though both defense are coming off impressive games. I think the Saints being back home will get Drew Brees going again after three average games. But the Steelers will also score. Look for a nice passing game from both Brees and Ben Roethlisberger, but it will be Brees who gets the best of it.
Result: New Orleans Saints 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 28
Pittsburgh
Steelers
30
 
 
Seattle
Seahawks
28
Both teams are coming off tough losses and need this game. That will make for a classic battle between the Chiefs offense and Patrick Mahomes against the Seattle defense, which plays especially well at home. I think the key, though, will be Seattle's ability to run the football and control the clock. I think they will and win this game.
Result: Seattle Seahawks 38, Kansas City Chiefs 31
Kansas City
Chiefs
23
 
Monday, Dec. 24, 2018
 
23
This is a bad present on Christmas Eve considering the state of these two. This will be the last game for the Raiders in Oakland, which could mean an ugly setting. Even so, I think at home the Raiders will play well for the home crowd. Raiders take it.
Result: Oakland Raiders 27, Denver Broncos 14
Denver
Broncos
17