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Perfection fell and the defeated prevailed in Week Fifteen, as the Packers are now imperfect and the Colts grabbed a win at home.
The 72’ Dolphins are safe for another year, and they have the Kansas City Chiefs to thank.
After the last few weeks of impossible upsets and unpredictable blow-outs, I take nothing for granted in the NFL.
As the season wraps up in the next two weekends, prepare for some grand entrances into the playoffs and some heartbreaking mishaps, that cause a few of the better-playing teams to be watching post-season from their couches.
This week, the majority of games will be played on Saturday, with the exception of the primetime games on Thursday night, Sunday night and Monday night.
My Predictions for Week 16
Texans (10-4) at Colts (1-13) The Colts won a game. Finally! Can they make it two in a row? Doubtful. This week they play a Houston defense that was a bit off last week but will be back on this week. Offensively, the Texans will maintain time of possession with two of the best running backs in the league. Too bad, Indy faithful – your team won’t have much of a chance this week. Winner - Texans
Cardinals (7-7) at Bengals (8-6) Arizona has yet to announce which quarterback they will be starting but keeping John Skelton in, regardless of Kevin Kolb’s status, may be the smarter choice and probably the one they go with. Cardinals RB Larry Fitzgerald with be a huge factor in this game for Arizona, as he will have a lot of running room against an injured Bengals defense. For Cincy’s offense, their issues have surmounted as WR A.J. Green may miss this game. If that is the case, the Bengals offense will struggle passing the ball and this could hurt them in the points game. Winner - Cardinals
Giants (7-7) at Jets (8-6) For the first time in a long time, this New York showdown actually matters. Both teams are fighting for a post-season shot. Defensively, both teams struggle against the run. The Jets have a more talented defensive secondary. Offensively, I’d take Eli Manning over Mark Sanchez any day of the week, especially in a must-win game. The Giants offense will pull this one off, in the final seconds of the game. Winner - Giants
Jaguars (4-10) at Titans (7-7) Tennessee suffered a tough loss last week in Indy, and a last-second loss the week prior, to the Saints. This week, they shrug off those losses and get back to basics. QB Matt Hasselbeck should be back this week and will have no problem having success passing the ball against a struggling Jaguar defensive secondary. The Titans will out-score the Jags, by a lot. Winner - Titans
Dolphins (5-9) at Patriots (11-3) New England has a lot of offensive weapons to beat this well-rounded Miami defense, and the biggest problem for the Dolphins will be tight-end Rob Gronkowski. If they can contain him, they could win this game. In fact, the Dolphins offense is much better than the Patriots defense, especially with RB Reggie Bush. The Pats defensive weak spot is the run. With that being said, I see Miami controlling the clock, and therefore controlling the game. Miami’s offense will keep Tom Brady off the field, and therefore, outscore the Pats. This is my upset pick of the week. Winner - Dolphins
Browns (4-10) at Ravens (10-4) Baltimore will need to re-coup after that loss in San Diego last week, and that is just what they will do. The Ravens strategy this week will be to run, run, and run, toward a struggling Cleveland defensive line. Ravens RB Ray Rice will seem like a ball hog this week, but this will get the win for Baltimore. Winner - Ravens
Raiders (7-7) at Chiefs (6-8) Oakland is in a downward spiral, losing three games in a row. This week, they head to Kansas City to play a team that just beat the undefeated Packers. The Chiefs will not go away. All season, they have been counted out for various reasons, and they just keep resurfacing. The Raiders offense is going to struggle against a Kansas City defensive front seven. QB Kyle Orton has given the Chiefs life again, and Arrowhead Stadium is a tough place to play. Winner - Chiefs
Vikings (2-12) at Redskins (5-9) The Redskins defense is going to be the key to this game. They must find a way to stop RB Adrian Peterson, and they will win the game. Offensively, Washington doesn’t have much of a quarterback in the inconsistent Rex Grossman; however, I could see him playing well against a struggling Vikings defense. Vikings QB Christian Ponder will struggle against a tough Washington defensive secondary. Winner - Redskins
Buccaneers (4-10) at Panthers (5-9) Carolina’s defense really stepped up against Houston’s run game last week, and that is not an easy task. This week, they will have no problem putting the pressure on Bucs QB Josh Freeman, but may struggle a bit with RB LeGarrette Blount. Even with a bit of struggling against Blount, the Bucs defense won’t be able to keep up with Panthers QB Cam Newton and co. Winner - Panthers
Broncos (8-6) at Bills (5-9) The key to this game is going to be the Broncos defense against the Bills offense. Denver’s defense will prevail in this battle, as they bring pressure almost every down, forcing the Bills to punt a lot. Denver QB Tim Tebow will struggle a bit against the Bills linebackers, but in the end, he’ll find his mojo again. Winner - Broncos
Rams (2-12) at Steelers (10-4) Pittsburgh is coming off a rough loss to the 49ers last week and will be looking to keep up with the Ravens in a must-win game for them. St. Louis doesn’t have the talent on offense or defense to keep up with the Steelers this week. Winner - Steelers
Chargers (7-7) at Lions (10-5) This will be an exciting game to watch, as these teams are fairly evenly matched. The thing about Detroit is, it doesn’t matter how many points down they are at half-time, they have this way of coming back and winning. This is my prediction on this game: The Chargers will jump out ahead, become a bit over-confident, and blow it in the end. Also, San Diego’s defense doesn’t have an answer for Lions WR Calvin Johnson (aka Megatron). Winner - Lions
Eagles (6-8) at Cowboys (8-6) This will also be a good game to watch. Philly’s back on total offense, with Michael Vick back at the helm and scoring a lot of points. This week, that will be reigned in a bit, as they face a talented Cowboys defense who dominates against the run. Ok, so Michael Vick’s run game will be stopped this week. The guy still has an arm and very talented receivers. This game will be a shoot-out and once again, Dallas owner Jerry Jones will be disappointed. Winner - Eagles
49ers (11-3) at Seahawks (7-7) This game will end any playoff hopes for the Seahawks, as the 49ers defensive front seven shut-down their only hope, RB Marshawn Lynch. Seattle will be punting often, and the 49ers offense will take advantage of these opportunities. Winner – 49ers
Bears (7-7) at Packers (13-0) A Sunday night match-up that would have been a lot more exciting a month ago. Green Bay will not chance a repeat of last week, and will take an early lead and never fall behind. They will work out the kinks from last week and that won’t be difficult against a Bears offensive team that is struggling to score points. Winner - Packers
Falcons (9-5) at Saints (11-3) Here we go! A Monday Night match-up worth ordering pizza and grabbing a six-pack for. Watching Drew Brees play at home is something I love to watch, and I’m not even a Saints fan. He makes football exciting with all his passion. Atlanta will keep it close by trying to control the clock with RB Michael Turner, and they may very well succeed at time of possession. However, they will fall short in points against Brees and co. Winner - Saints
For Jana's thoughts on last week, further analysis on this week's match-ups, the complete Week 16 schedule, or to read anything else she feels like tossing out regarding the NFL, go to the dirty cleats blog.
Jana Newman lives in San Diego and has been an NFL fan for over 25 years (her not-so-secret obsession is still No. 13 Dan Marino). She has her bachelor of arts degree in English, and loves to write. To combine these passions, Jana created dirtycleats.com. It’s an NFL blog with a fresh look and a fun attitude. You can also follow dirtycleats on Facebook. To reach Jana, email her at email@example.com.