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This is it. This is now the final stretch towards the PlayOffs and we have begun to see a number of teams being eliminated while others are ...

Thursday, 22 December 2011

NFL Week 16 Picks and Previews

Sometimes you just have a bad week when things don't go quite the way you want them- it seems to me that year, when I have a bad week it quickly goes down a bad path and becomes a REALLY bad week and that has put me in a big hole for the season. This is quite easily the worst season I have had picking NFL games since 2004, and it just seems like teams have it in for me.

For example, I picked Kansas City to keep things close against the New York Jets in Week 14 but they got absolutely hammered and effectively ended their chances of making the Play Offs... Yet a week later there they are not just covering the spread, but beating Green Bay OUTRIGHT- that's right, the unbeaten Packers.

This week we also saw the New York Giants, the New York Jets and the Tennessee Titans lose heavily outright, while I still can't believe Oakland threw away a 13 point lead with under 5 minutes to play.

Like I say, it just seems things quickly go downhill when I have a bad week, while the good weeks have been relatively small in comparison.

Week 15 Thoughts
1) The Philadelphia Eagles and the San Diego Chargers are somehow still alive: Both of these teams were expected to be Play Off contenders this season and perhaps a chance to win the whole Championship, yet long losing runs effectively seemed to knock them off that course.

However, with 2 games left this season, both have chances to make the Play Offs although they do need a lot of help from other teams.

The first thing both need to do is win their remaining two games: Philadelphia play at Dallas and then entertain Washington, while San Diego are on the road at Detroit and Oakland.

The Eagles then need the Jets to beat the Giants this week, and then the Giants to beat Dallas in Week 17 for them to win the NFC East with an 8-8 record.

San Diego need Denver to lose both games they have left, at Buffalo and against Kansas City.

Both Philadelphia and San Diego have disappointed this season yet still have a chance to get into the post-season and I will tell you now that almost all the other Play Off contenders will be very happy if both fail to make it.

2) Injuries may just knock the Green Bay Packers off course: I have said many times this season that I think this is the best team in the NFL, although the loss to Kansas City may have highlighted a couple of areas of concern.

The first is the Defense that could not stop the Chiefs doing what they want, either through the air or on the ground, although that has been covered up by an incredible Offensive output.

HOWEVER, what happens if the Offense stutters as it did on Sunday? All of a sudden, the Packers looked a little vulnerable, but I won't be panicking knowing someone will have to come into Lambeau Field to knock them out before the SuperBowl and I would still like them against any of the potential AFC rivals in the big game if they get there.

3) Pittsburgh should sit Ben Roethlisberger until Wild Card Weekend: The Steelers blew their chance of gaining the Number 1 seed in the AFC on Monday Night as turnovers killed their drives. Ben Roethlisberger played as expected, but was clearly hurting and now is the time to rest their star player.

Pittsburgh are not getting to the SuperBowl with either Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch, and they have little chance of overhauling Baltimore in the AFC North with 2 games left and the Ravens holding the head to head, so why not sit Roethlisberger and let him heal for 3 weeks before he needs to play again.

It seems that is going to be the case as Mike Tomlin has all but said Big Ben will not be playing against St Louis this weekend and I think that is the correct move if the Steelers wish to make it back to the big game.

4) The biggest winner in the AFC last week was New England: The New England Patriots now have the inside track to the Number 1 seed in the AFC and home-field advantage through to the SuperBowl.

They are not unbeatable at home in the Play Offs, as New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens have proved in the last couple of seasons, but it gives them another edge.

New England got their chance thanks to defeats for Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Houston last week, but I still have a big concern about that Defense as they probably couldn't stop a High School team the way they have been playing.

They could be a big lay before the Play Offs begin if they do wrap up the Number 1 seed as expected.

Power Rankings Top 10
1) Green Bay Packers (13-1)
2) New Orleans Saints (11-3)
3) New England Patriots (11-3)
4) San Francisco 49ers (11-3): May just have got back on the right road with an impressive win over Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football
5) Baltimore Ravens (10-4)
6) Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4): Need to rest Ben Roethlisberger to get him ready for the Play Offs
7) Houston Texans (10-4): Bad performance last week, but may just have been looking ahead to their short-week contest with Indianapolis
8) Atlanta Falcons (9-5): Chance to prove themselves as a real threat in the Play Offs if they can beat New Orleans in Louisiana on Monday Night Football
9) Detroit Lions (9-5): Had a couple of very lucky escapes in the last 2 weeks and definitely cooled down after a 5-0 start
10) Dallas Cowboys (8-6): Control the NFC East, but need to beat the Giants in Week 17 to confirm the Division is theirs.

My Top 5 and Bottom 5
1) Green Bay Packers                                   32) Indianapolis Colts
2) New Orleans Saints                                   31) St Louis Rams
3) Pittsburgh Steelers                                    30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4) Baltimore Ravens                                      29) Minnesota Vikings
5) New England Patriots                               28) Cleveland Browns

Week 16 Pick and Previews
As always, I will put up my picks from the Week 16 slate of games in a staggered way over the next couple of days.

Of course, the majority of games has been moved from Christmas Day to Christmas Eve so it will be Saturday Night NFL instead of the usual Sunday... That's not to say we won't have a Christmas Day game as the Chicago Bears visit the Green Bay Packers.

You can follow me on Twitter for updates as to when new games have been posted:

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12747-Houston-Texans-at-Indianapolis-Colts.htm)

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12750-Miami-Dolphins-at-New-England-Patriots.htm)

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12751-Cleveland-Browns-at-Baltimore-Ravens.htm)

Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati Bengals Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12752-Arizona-Cardinals-at-Cincinnati-Bengals.htm)

Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12753-Minnesota-Vikings-at-Washington-Redskins.htm)

Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12758-Denver-Broncos-at-Buffalo-Bills.htm)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12759-Philadelphia-Eagles-at-Dallas-Cowboys.htm)

San Diego Chargers @ Detroit Lions Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12760-San-Diego-Chargers-at-Detroit-Lions.htm)

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12764-Chicago-Bears-at-Green-Bay-Packers.htm)

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints Pick and Preview (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-12765-Atlanta-Falcons-at-New-Orleans-Saints.htm)

MY PICKS: Houston Texans - 5.5 Points @ 1.92 Coral (2 Units)
Miami Dolphins + 9.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (4 Units)
Baltimore Ravens - 13 Points @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Arizona Cardinals + 4 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Minnesota Vikings + 6.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Denver Broncos - 2.5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Philadelphia Eagles + 2 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
San Diego Chargers + 2.5 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Green Bay Packers - 12 Points @ 1.95 Victor Chandler (3 Units)
Atlanta Falcons + 6.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (3 Units)

WEEK 15: 5-8, - 5.15 Units
WEEK 145-6, - 1.09 Units
WEEK 136-3, + 5.54 Units
WEEK 125-3, + 2.87 Units
WEEK 113-7, - 8.26 Units
WEEK 104-6, - 3.74 Units
WEEK 96-2, + 7.04 Units
WEEK 83-5, - 6.44 Units
WEEK 75-4, - 2.61 Units
WEEK 64-4-1, - 2.24 Units
WEEK 55-3, + 3.15 Units
WEEK 4: 4-7, - 6.66 Units
WEEK 3: 4-3-1, + 2.77 Units
WEEK 2: 3-5, - 5.03 Units
WEEK 1: 4-2, + 2.53 Units

SEASON UPDATE66-68-2, - 17.32 Units

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