Week 16 NFL guide – score predictions, playoff scenarios

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We’re previewing the Week 16 NFL slate with rating predictions for every recreation from our Nation reporters, what’s at stake within the playoff image and potential draft order from Kevin Seifert, Soccer Energy Index projections from ESPN Stats & Data and rather more.

Leap to a matchup:
WSH-TEN | BAL-LAC | HOU-PHI | NYG-IND
BUF-NE | TB-DAL | ATL-CAR | MIN-DET
GB-NYJ | CIN-CLE | JAX-MIA | CHI-SF
LAR-ARI | PIT-NO | KC-SEA | DEN-OAK


SUNDAY’S GAMES

Level unfold: PHI -2.5 | Matchup high quality: 60.2 (of 100)

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Turron Davenport’s decide: After seeing their nine-game profitable streak damaged, the Texans wish to get one other streak began by following up final week’s win in opposition to the Jets with a victory in opposition to the Eagles. Houston’s rush protection is fourth within the league, permitting 88.Three yards per recreation, and it will look to decelerate Nick Foles’ aerial recreation by getting stress from J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. The Texans have scored 29 or extra factors in three of their previous 4 video games. With a first-round bye at stake, Deshaun Watson will lead his workforce to a troublesome highway win. Texans 31, Eagles 24

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Tim McManus’ decide: The Eagles are a free group proper now and are driving the momentum Foles helped create in an upset win over the Rams in Week 15. The defensive position stepped up its recreation in that victory and can be key Sunday as properly. Houston has yielded a league-high 52 sacks this season. If Philly’s defensive entrance can maintain that pattern going, it has a very good shot at pulling out the win. Eagles 28, Texans 24

What’s at stake: The Texans can clinch the AFC South with a win or losses by the Colts and Titans. To safe a first-round bye, the Texans would want a win (or tie) and a Patriots loss. The Eagles cannot clinch a wild-card spot in Week 16, however they are often eradicated with a loss and a Vikings win. — Seifert

FPI win projection: PHI, 55.Three %. The Eagles are nonetheless very a lot alive within the NFC playoff image, particularly if they’ll maintain off the Texans at house. A victory would get them to a 48 % probability to make the playoffs, in comparison with a 10 % probability with a loss. On the opposite sideline, a highway win for the Texans would get them to 84 % to earn per week off.

In case you missed it: Answering the most important questions on Wentz’s again damage … Wholesome Watt, Watson gas turnaround by Texans … Eagles face huge determination on Wentz’s contract … Watson at 52 sacks and counting as Texans seek for solutions


Level unfold: IND -10 | Matchup high quality: 51.eight (of 100)

Jordan Raanan’s decide: It seemed as if the Giants have been again on monitor till they have been shut out Sunday by the Titans. It was a step up in competitors from latest weeks, and Eli Manning seemed extra just like the quarterback who struggled badly within the first half of the season. This needs to be extra of the identical. The Colts have the eighth-ranked dashing protection, which can put the stress on the Giants’ passing assault with out Odell Beckham Jr. You may’t like their probabilities. Colts 26, Giants 20

Mike Wells’ decide: In Week 15, the Colts blanked Dallas whereas the Giants put up a goose egg in opposition to Tennessee. The Colts should not have an issue working the ball in opposition to the Giants, who’re 28th within the NFL with regards to stopping the run. Indianapolis would possibly solely have to fret about working again Saquon Barkley as a result of Beckham continues to be coping with a quad damage. Indy will make it three consecutive victories and eight of its previous 9. Colts 27, Giants 10

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Steve Younger explains why he believes the Colts and Andrew Luck is not going to grow to be complacent and overlook the Giants.

What’s at stake: A win would bolster the Colts’ wild-card probabilities, however they’ll neither clinch nor be eradicated in Week 16. — Seifert

FPI win projection: IND, 73.5 %. Indianapolis has rallied from its 1-5 begin (when FPI gave it solely an eight.5 % probability to make the playoffs) to be FPI’s most certainly workforce to seize the sixth spot within the AFC. A loss right here (relying on outcomes elsewhere) would not be the tip of the highway for Indy, as it could nonetheless be projected to make the playoffs 36 % of the time, however a win would enhance the chances to 46 %.

In case you missed it: After Professional Bowl snub, Colts LB Leonard desires 40 tackles in opposition to Giants … Barkley first Giants rookie RB in Professional Bowl since 1965 … Eric Dickerson: Barkley is a distinct breed … Calm, cool Reich pushing proper buttons for startling Colts


Level unfold: NE -13.5 | Matchup high quality: 49.Three (of 100)

Mike Rodak’s decide: Even when the Payments don’t pull off a uncommon victory at Gillette Stadium, the place they’re 2-14, it could be a win for Buffalo if Josh Allen is aggressive in his first recreation in opposition to the Patriots. Allen has the NFL’s 10th-best Complete QBR since his Week 12 return from an elbow damage, however Tom Brady — regardless of his hiccups final Sunday — has the second-best QBR (80.9) over that span. Patriots 24, Payments 14

ESPN Chalk has you coated with all of your NFL Week 16 betting wants:

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Mike Reiss’ decide: The Patriots are the NFL’s solely undefeated workforce at house (6-Zero) this season, and returning to Gillette after back-to-back highway losses serves up a reminder of how the membership has seemed a lot totally different this season at house vs. the highway. One participant within the locker room stated focus was sharp this week, with a reminder that simply because there’s a Patriots brand on the helmet, it does not assure something. Patriots 27, Payments 17

What’s at stake: The Patriots can clinch the AFC East title with a win or a Dolphins loss. They cannot clinch a first-round bye this week, however they might lose out on one if each the Chiefs and Texans win. — Seifert

FPI win projection: NE, 86.Zero %. If the Patriots wish to earn a first-round bye, this recreation is just about a must-win. Ought to the Patriots maintain off Buffalo, they’d be 57 % to keep away from wild-card weekend. A loss drops them to a 1-in-20 probability at nonetheless incomes a bye.

In case you missed it: Pats WR Gordon suspended indefinitely … What Gordon’s absence means for New England … Why Brady’s early-season hunch was a mirage


Level unfold: DAL -7.5 | Matchup high quality: 48.Four (of 100)

Jenna Laine’s decide: The Bucs may need one of many prime offenses within the NFL by way of yardage, however up to now two weeks, they’ve averaged simply 13 factors — 29th within the league. Proper now, their solely victory in opposition to a top-10 protection is Week 1, and that was a a lot totally different Saints workforce. Do not anticipate a variety of scoring alternatives. Similar to the Ravens in Week 15, the Cowboys have dominated time of possession all season, averaging 32 minutes, Three seconds with the ball, third greatest within the league. Cowboys 20, Buccaneers 14

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Stephen A. Smith is hoping for a Cowboys loss to the Bucs on Sunday and predicts it will likely be adopted by a season-ending loss to the Giants.

Todd Archer’s decide: The Cowboys have the second-worst pink zone offense within the NFL, scoring touchdowns on 19 of 43 journeys contained in the opponent’s 20. Perhaps it is a good factor they’re seeing the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has the worst pink zone protection, giving up 40 touchdowns in 51 inside-the-20 drives. The Cowboys do not wish to face a win-or-else recreation in Week 17, so it will likely be crucial for them to complete off drives with touchdowns. And in the event that they win and clinch a playoff spot, pink zone alternatives will grow to be much more vital within the postseason. Cowboys 27, Buccaneers 17

What’s at stake: The Cowboys can clinch the NFC East title with a victory, or with losses by the Eagles and Redskins. They will safe at the very least a wild-card berth with a tie and a Vikings loss. — Seifert

FPI win projection: DAL, 69.Zero %. After being shut out by the Colts, a date with Tampa ought to get the Cowboys’ offense again on monitor. The Bucs have allowed the second-highest Complete QBR this season and have been the fourth-least-efficient protection. Even with a loss, although, FPI has Dallas as a strong favourite to make the playoffs (82 %) and win the NFC East (78.5 %).

In case you missed it: Garrett: Cowboys want psychological toughness, not humility … Cowboys one other robust project for Bucs QB Winston … Colombo brings the power again to Cowboys’ offensive line


Level unfold: ATL -Three.5 | Matchup high quality: 46.Zero (of 100)

Vaughn McClure’s decide: For as unhealthy as this season has been for the Falcons, one in every of their 5 wins was a 31-24 overcome the Panthers again in Week 2. In that recreation, Cam Newton threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns. Nicely, Newton will not play this time round as a result of a shoulder damage, leaving the Falcons to face Taylor Heinicke, who has thrown 5 profession passes. If the Falcons cannot determine a strategy to pull out this highway victory in opposition to the Newton-less Panthers — particularly with Professional Bowl linebacker Deion Jones within the lineup this time round — then there is perhaps extra turnover this offseason than initially anticipated. Falcons 24, Panthers 17

When: April 25-27
The place: Nashville, Tennessee
watch: ESPN/ESPN2/ESPN App

Projected draft order: Picks 1-32 »
• McShay’s Mock Draft 1.Zero: Going 1-32 »
• Kiper & McShay: 2019 draft primer »
• Kiper’s Huge Board » | McShay’s High 32 »
• Monitoring underclassmen declarations »
• Gamers skipping bowl video games for draft »
• Extra NFL draft protection »

David Newton’s decide: The Panthers can be with out Newton, with backup Heinicke making his first profession begin. Additionally they can be with out exterior linebacker Shaq Thompson, who was positioned on injured reserve. Whereas the Carolina protection performed its greatest recreation of the season in a 12-9 loss to New Orleans on Monday, it is laborious to see Heinicke matching Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and a Falcons offense averaging 25.Four factors per recreation. Falcons 24, Panthers 17

What’s at stake: The Panthers are getting ready to playoff elimination. It is going to be official with both a loss or a Vikings win. Additionally they could be eradicated if the Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins all win. — Seifert

FPI win projection: ATL, 49.eight %. How huge a distinction is the change from Newton to Heinicke? Had Newton been wholesome and performed, Carolina would have been an almost 60 % favourite. However with Heinicke pressured into the lineup, FPI now sees this as nearly a useless warmth.

In case you missed it: QB Newton to sit down out Panthers’ closing two video games … With Newton’s deep ball on ice, Panthers flip to backup … QB Ryan on taking part in into his 40s: ‘I do not see why not’ … Falcons DT Jarrett deserves new contract


Level unfold: MIN -6 | Matchup high quality: 40.1 (of 100)

Courtney Cronin’s decide: Whereas the Vikings management their very own playoff future, it isn’t so simple as “win and in” for Minnesota in Week 16. However Minnesota can do its half in opposition to the Lions the identical manner it notched a win over its division rival in Week 9: stress Matthew Stafford early and sometimes. The Lions QB was sacked 10 occasions of their first assembly and now has even fewer weapons to work with on offense after Marvin Jones Jr. and Kerryon Johnson went on IR, although he’s making a concerted effort to get the ball out quicker. Kirk Cousins and the offense ought to have the ability to construct some consistency after lastly getting the working recreation stepping into Week 15. Vikings 31, Lions 20

Michael Rothstein’s decide: The offense has gotten markedly much less explosive for the reason that groups’ earlier assembly. Add in that the Vikings are taking part in for a playoff berth and Detroit has nothing to play for apart from satisfaction, and this might get ugly. In fact, primarily based on the Lions’ historical past of the previous quarter-century or so, that is precisely the kind of recreation Detroit would win. However with Stafford banged up, it is robust to see that truly occurring. Vikings 27, Lions 10

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Tedy Bruschi and Darren Woodson are each in sync on the Vikings defeating the Lions on the highway in Week 16.

What’s at stake: The Vikings can clinch a wild-card spot with a win and losses by the Eagles and Redskins. — Seifert

FPI win projection: MIN, 59.2 %. No workforce within the NFC has as a lot playoff leverage driving on its Week 16 recreation as Minnesota. The Vikings can enhance their probabilities on the playoffs to 85 %, or see them fall to 37 %. They will want Cousins to show his recreation round, as he has now gone three consecutive begins with a Complete QBR beneath 50; he has by no means had 4 such begins in a row in his profession.

In case you missed it: Stress is on QB Cousins to ship with new Vikings OC … What Lions should play for final two weeks … Barr hits ‘one other degree,’ making determination more durable for Vikings … beat odds, survive 10 NFL seasons as seventh-round decide


Level unfold: GB -Three | Matchup high quality: 27.Four (of 100)

Rob Demovsky’s decide: The Packers have misplaced 9 in a row on the highway courting to final season, and that is the final probability to keep away from going winless on the highway this season. If they do not notch a victory, it will likely be their first winless season on the highway since 1958. As Aaron Rodgers stated, “I feel it is vital for us to not be a statistic subsequent to the [1958] Packers.” That is about all they should play for, but it surely’s greater than the Jets have. Packers 23, Jets 11

Compensate for what’s occurring popping out of Week 15:
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• Execs re-draft the highest 10 of the 2016 NFL draftInsider
• Overreactions: Jason Garrett again on the recent seat? »
• Playoff image: AFC, NFC seeds by Week 15 »
• Week 15 takeaways: Vikings inch nearer to playoff lock »
• Largest accidents of Week 15 »
Extra NFL protection »

Wealthy Cimini’s decide: The Packers’ highway report (Zero-7) is eye-opening, but it surely’s not like they’re venturing into hostile territory. The Jets are 2-5 at house, having misplaced 4 straight with a median margin of defeat of 18 factors. Key query: Will there be extra cheeseheads within the crowd than Jets followers with luggage over their heads? Distinction within the recreation: Sam Darnold is enhancing, however he is no Rodgers. Packers 24, Jets 17

FPI win projection: GB, 68.Zero %. Each groups are eradicated from the playoffs. Neither seems prone to convey again its present head coach. Each have already got their quarterback for years to come back. The one actual consequence of this recreation’s result’s draft order. The Jets would have a 5 % shot on the No. 1 general decide with a loss, however a victory would knock them out of rivalry.

In case you missed it: Rodgers to play vs. Jets, cites position as a frontrunner … Jets want a No. 1 receiver; discovering that man will not be simple … Humbug: Donated toys stolen from Pack’s Clark … Why McCarthy needs to be at prime of Jets’ brief record


Level unfold: CLE -10 | Matchup high quality: 17.Four (of 100)

Katherine Terrell’s decide: The Bengals seem like they are going to be with out Tyler Boyd this weekend, and John Ross and Joe Mixon are banged up as properly. It is laborious to think about the Bengals can beat the Browns on the highway with nearly all of their playmakers injured, although their protection has been a lot improved currently. If Boyd cannot play, it could possibly be a protracted day in Cleveland. Browns 24, Bengals 13

Pat McManamon’s decide: The Browns now not have the sting of an actual probability on the playoffs, however they are going to be taking part in in entrance of a sellout crowd for the house finale as they search to complete with a profitable report for the primary time since 2007. The Browns had a little bit enjoyable on the Bengals’ expense 4 weeks in the past, however this recreation needs to be extra aggressive. Quarterback Baker Mayfield’s 111.1 score since Freddie Kitchens took over as offensive coordinator is the defining statistic for this recreation. The rookie is simply taking part in too properly for the Browns to lose. Browns 24, Bengals 16

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Tedy Bruschi and Darren Woodson tab Baker Mayfield to guide the Browns to victory over the Bengals in a Week 16 AFC North matchup.

What’s at stake: The Browns, nonetheless alive within the playoff race, can be eradicated by a loss, or wins by the Colts, Ravens or Titans. In different phrases, their postseason hopes are as shaky as they are often. — Seifert

FPI win projection: CLE, 60.2 %. The precise state of affairs the Browns want has not occurred in any one in every of FPI’s 10,000 simulations, and the chances of their “dream” state of affairs are nearer to 1 in 50,000. Mayfield posted a career-high 96.5 Complete QBR on the highway in opposition to the Bengals of their Week 12 encounter … may he do even higher at house?

In case you missed it: QB Mayfield’s strategy fosters belief, builds swagger … Bengals RB Mixon emerges as the highest rusher in AFC


Level unfold: MIA -Four | Matchup high quality: 10.5 (of 100)

Mike DiRocco’s decide: Because the Jaguars fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, made QB coach Scott Milanovich the playcaller and benched Blake Bortles for Cody Kessler, the offense has been nearly non-functional. The Jaguars have scored one offensive landing within the three video games for the reason that modifications, and that got here when the Titans held a 30-2 lead and have been in mushy protection. Kessler has been sacked 13 occasions in his three begins, and the Jaguars managed simply 20 web passing yards in Week 15 in opposition to Washington. Exhausting to see the offense mustering a lot Sunday. Dolphins 13, Jaguars 6

Cameron Wolfe’s decide: Miami has seemed like an AFC contender when taking part in at house this season, evident in its 6-1 report with victories over New England and Chicago. Playoff likelihood is slim, so motivation can be key on this one. But when the Dolphins come to play, they need to have the ability to feast off Kessler in a bounce-back recreation that is perhaps ugly to observe for followers of offensive soccer. Dolphins 17, Jaguars 12

What’s at stake: The Dolphins stay in play for a wild-card berth and also have a path to the AFC East title. They cannot clinch something in Week 16, however a loss would get rid of them from playoff rivalry altogether. Additionally they could be eradicated if the Patriots, Colts and Titans all win. — Seifert

FPI win projection: MIA, 50.7 %. The Jags’ protection may not be the identical as a season in the past, but it surely nonetheless ranks fourth in defensive effectivity and fifth in defensive FPI. Miami will want extra from Ryan Tannehill than it received in Week 15. Tannehill ranks 31st out of 32 qualifying signal-callers this season in Complete QBR.

In case you missed it: Dolphins RB Gore not anticipated to return this season … Jaguars traditionally unhealthy with out Bortles, however QB will nonetheless sit … How rookie RB Ballage’s endurance set him up for giant alternative


Level unfold: CHI -Four | Matchup high quality: 39.5 (of 100)

Jeff Dickerson’s decide: San Francisco is a pesky workforce, and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan jogs my memory a variety of Matt Nagy. The Niners are higher than their report signifies, however the Bears are nonetheless taking part in for a possible first-round bye. That is sufficient motivation for Chicago to get it accomplished. Plus, the Bears have pressured a league-high 35 turnovers, and the 49ers battle to guard the soccer. Bears 21, 49ers 17

Nick Wagoner’s decide: The 49ers have performed higher the previous two weeks, and Chicago should journey to Santa Clara for this one, which may make issues fascinating. On the finish of the day, although, Chicago leads the league in takeaways whereas the Niners are tied for the third-most turnovers (27). When unsure, err on the facet of who’s prone to win the turnover battle. Bears 23, 49ers 20

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Darren Woodson says the Bears’ protection goes to fully shut down the 49ers.

What’s at stake: The Bears already are NFC North champions, however they’ve an outdoor probability to sneak right into a first-round playoff bye. They will want a victory to make sure that chance extends to Week 17. — Seifert

FPI win projection: CHI, 64.7 %. Sunday would be the hardest take a look at but for Nick Mullens by far. The Bears have allowed a league-low 33.9 QBR this season. The hole between the Bears and the No. 2 Vikings is as giant because the hole between Minnesota and the 15th-ranked workforce (Denver). Mullens has confronted defenses rating 32nd, 13th, 31st, 11th (twice) and 15th.

In case you missed it: Bears out of the blue seem like NFC North’s most secure franchise … Mullens stakes declare to 49ers’ No. 2 quarterback job


Level unfold: LAR -14 | Matchup high quality: 37.5 (of 100)

Lindsey Thiry’s decide: The Rams are coming off back-to-back regular-season losses for the primary time in Sean McVay’s tenure as coach, and with two video games remaining earlier than the playoffs, they have to get again on monitor in all three phases in opposition to the Cardinals. “There’s an elevated sense of urgency from us as coaches,” McVay stated. “And I sense that from the gamers.” Jared Goff has thrown six interceptions up to now three video games, and Aaron Donald hasn’t recorded a sack up to now two. That frustration can be taken out on Arizona. Rams 32, Cardinals 17

Josh Weinfuss’ decide: The Rams can be coming into Arizona with a full head of steam after consecutive losses. They’ve shut out the Cardinals twice of their previous three conferences. Oh, and the Cardinals are set to roll out their patchwork offensive line in opposition to top-of-the-line defensive fronts within the NFL. Rams 38, Cardinals 10

What’s at stake: The Rams can clinch a first-round bye with a victory and a Bears loss, whereas a Cardinals win would threaten their present standing because the front-runner for the No. 1 general decide within the 2019 draft. — Seifert

FPI win projection: LAR, 88.7 %. The Cardinals can all however lock up the highest decide within the NFL draft with a loss Sunday to the Rams, who’re nonetheless taking part in for seeding. A Playing cards loss would give them the highest decide within the draft 94 % of the time, however an unlikely win — whereas additionally shaking up the NFC seeding image — would make Oakland the workforce most certainly to get the No. 1 decide.

In case you missed it: No panic but, however Rams have pressing want to resolve self-inflicted wounds … WR/KR Cooper claimed by Playing cards off waivers from Rams … Rams’ offense gradual to adapt with out injured WR Kupp … CB Peterson dedicated to Cardinals, ‘subsequent in line’ to guide


Level unfold: NO -5.5 | Matchup high quality: 81.7 (of 100)

Jeremy Fowler’s decide: The Steelers are tempting to choose as a result of the NFL universe is opening; no workforce is untouchable. However the Saints are again house within the Superdome, the place they’ve posted at the very least 40 factors in three of their previous 4 video games. The Steelers are able to profitable a shootout and are desirous to strengthen an AFC North lead, however they should play turnover-free ball to seek out their edge. The difficulty with that? Pittsburgh has eight turnovers in its previous three highway video games. Saints 35, Steelers 28

Mike Triplett’s decide: The Saints’ offense has been slumping, whereas the protection has been thriving currently. Each of these traits may change Sunday, although. Drew Brees, who has thrown a complete of two landing passes and three interceptions up to now three video games — all on the highway — returns house, the place he has thrown 4 landing passes in every of his previous three video games. As a workforce, the Saints are averaging 38 factors a recreation at house this season. In the meantime, the Saints’ underrated protection has allowed 17 factors or fewer in six consecutive video games. However that streak can be examined by maybe the most effective extensive receiver duo within the NFL this season. Saints 30, Steelers 26

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Steve Younger explains what the Steelers’ recreation plan needs to be in opposition to the Saints with a view to take management of the AFC North.

What’s at stake: The Steelers would clinch the AFC North with a win and a Ravens loss. If the Ravens additionally win, the Steelers can nonetheless clinch the playoffs with a victory and losses by the Colts and Titans. The Saints can clinch home-field benefit all through the playoffs with a win, or losses by the Bears and Rams. They will guarantee a first-round bye with a tie, or a loss by the Rams or Bears. — Seifert

FPI win projection: NO, 70.9 %. The Steelers are presently 81 % favorites, per FPI, to take the AFC North. A Steelers loss and a Ravens win primarily flips Baltimore to the 80 % favourite.

In case you missed it: Saints DE Jordan: Huge Ben not in prime 5 this period … Huge Ben-Tomlin vs. Brees-Payton: Keys to longevity, what’s subsequent … RB Conner: Aaron Donald textual content ‘my motivation’ to make Professional Bowl … Factors and picks: Sizing up WR Brown’s confounding season


Level unfold: KC -2.5 | Matchup high quality: 87.Zero (of 100)

Adam Teicher’s decide: The Seahawks are Zero-Four in video games in opposition to groups that, just like the Chiefs, are within the prime 10 in scoring. The Seahawks are ninth in scoring however have posted greater than 31 factors simply as soon as, in opposition to the lowly 49ers. The Chiefs have been over 31 factors eight occasions and are higher outfitted to win a shootout, which this recreation will grow to be. Chiefs 34, Seahawks 27

Brady Henderson’s decide: The Seahawks’ protection had a number of protection busts within the first half of their extra time loss to the 49ers in Week 15, exhibiting what an awesome playcaller like Kyle Shanahan can do in opposition to Seattle even and not using a nice solid of talent gamers. It’s going to get a lot more durable Sunday in opposition to the intense offensive thoughts of Andy Reid and arguably the NFL’s greatest quarterback/receiver/tight finish trio in Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The Seahawks are a whopping 16-2 in prime-time house video games underneath Pete Carroll, however a harmful Chiefs offense that leads the league in scoring plus a banged-up Seahawks roster is a foul mixture. Chiefs 34, Seahawks 30

What’s at stake: The Chiefs can clinch the AFC West title and at the very least a first-round playoff bye with a victory and a Chargers loss. To clinch the AFC home-field benefit, the Chiefs have two eventualities. The best is a win, with losses by the Chargers and Texans. It is also doable that the Chiefs may clinch with a win and a Chargers loss, even when the Texans win, if outcomes elsewhere imply the Chiefs would win a strength-of-victory tiebreaker with the Texans. In the meantime, 5 eventualities may clinch the Seahawks a wild-card spot. The best: a win and losses by the Redskins or Vikings, or a win and losses by the Redskins and Eagles. — Seifert

FPI win projection: KC, 51.7 %. The Chiefs are solely the fourth workforce for the reason that begin of the 2015 season to be FPI favorites in Seattle and the primary AFC workforce to be a highway FPI favourite over the Seahawks since New England in 2012.

In case you missed it: Watch: Six performs that outline QB Mahomes’ extraordinary expertise … How the Seahawks’ receivers perfected the TD celebration … Inside DT Jones’ epic sack streak … Wilson, Seahawks want WR Baldwin again for good


MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Level unfold: DEN -Three | Matchup high quality: 20.5 (of 100)

Jeff Legwold’s decide: The primary back-to-back shedding seasons for the Broncos since 1971-72? They should win the ultimate two video games to keep away from that distinction. In the long run, the pursuit of some private targets would possibly assist them as a workforce. Rookie working again Phillip Lindsay is 9 yards away from a 1,000-yard dashing season and 113 yards away from tying Dominic Rhodes’ NFL report for dashing yards in a rookie season by an undrafted participant. Toss within the uncertainty over coach Vance Joseph’s future in addition to maybe that of quarterback Case Keenum, and there’s a lot on the desk for the Broncos on this one. Broncos 24, Raiders 17

Paul Gutierrez’s decide: Derek Carr has not thrown an interception since Oct. 7, a stretch of 301 passes, and whereas the Broncos provide a No Fly Zone-lite secondary, it is going to nonetheless be a problem. Plus, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb is perhaps champing on the bit to take down Carr, who already has been sacked 47 occasions. However in what could possibly be the ultimate Raiders recreation in Oakland — at evening and in opposition to an historical rival — Jon Gruden’s workforce prevails. Raiders 17, Broncos 16

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Darren Woodson is assured the Broncos will pull out a win in opposition to a struggling Raiders workforce.

What’s at stake: The Raiders may work themselves into the No. 1 decide of the 2019 draft in the event that they handle to lose yet one more recreation than the Cardinals over the ultimate two weeks of the season. — Seifert

FPI win projection: DEN, 60.7 %. Carr and Keenum rank 27th and 29th in Complete QBR this season, respectively. With each groups out of the playoffs, this recreation should be about quarterback analysis, serving to every workforce resolve how aggressively it wants to hunt an improve on the recreation’s most vital place.

In case you missed it: With Broncos’ season all however over, questions must be answered … A weekend in Vegas with the followers ready on their Raiders … Broncos OLB Chubb’s pursuit of rookie sack report mirrors Jevon Kearse’s run


SATURDAY’S GAMES

Level unfold: TEN -10.5 | Matchup high quality: 40.6 (of 100)

John Keim’s decide: Since Week 9, the Redskins have dedicated a league-high 50 penalties on offense, 14 greater than anybody else. It leaves them in unfavourable conditions and, with a banged-up crew, unable to get well. Up to now three weeks, the Titans have held opposing offenses to 280 yards or fewer every time; in that very same interval, the Redskins’ offense has been held to 288 yards or fewer every recreation. Washington has misplaced too many key gamers on offense to hold with a very good workforce. Titans 27, Redskins 14

Turron Davenport’s decide: The Titans are driving Derrick Henry’s scorching streak of 408 dashing yards over the previous two video games. Washington’s run protection is permitting 116.6 dashing yards per recreation this season, so it will likely be one other prime alternative for Henry. Tennessee is taking part in excellent soccer in all three phases over its previous three video games, outscoring opponents 73-31, and the protection is tied with the Ravens for the highest spot in factors allowed (18.1 per recreation). Each groups want this recreation, however the Titans are extra lifelike playoff contenders. Titans 25, Redskins 14

What’s at stake: The Redskins cannot clinch a playoff spot in Week 16, however they could possibly be eradicated with both a loss and an Eagles win, or a loss and wins by the Seahawks and Vikings. The Titans are in the identical boat. They cannot clinch however could be eradicated by a loss together with wins by the Steelers and Ravens. — Seifert

FPI win projection: TEN, 75.7 %. Tennessee can nostril its playoff chance to only over 50 % with a victory, whereas a Washington win would get the Redskins nearer to a 1-in-Three probability. Losses would drop them to 10 and Four %, respectively.

In case you missed it: Redskins’ season may relaxation on stopping Titans RB Henry … After brutal month, Redskins someway ‘are nonetheless on this factor’ … Stingy Titans newest proof the security place is again in vogue


Level unfold: LAC -Four.5 | Matchup high quality: 60.6 (of 100)

Jamison Hensley’s decide: The Ravens should go cross-country on a brief week, and the Chargers play at house on eight days’ relaxation. This is not a great scenario for Baltimore, particularly when contemplating the Ravens’ historical past. Since 2013, Baltimore is 1-6 when taking part in on the highway in opposition to groups from the AFC and NFC West. Chargers 23, Ravens 13

Eric D. Williams’ decide: The Chargers get again two key gamers in working again Melvin Gordon and nostril deal with Brandon Mebane. So anticipate the Bolts to pound the soccer on offense and crowd the road of scrimmage defensively, forcing Lamar Jackson to push the ball down the sector. Jackson has fumbled an NFL-high seven occasions since Week 11, shedding three of these, and this protection is primed for takeaways. Chargers 28, Ravens 20

What’s at stake: The Chargers have already got clinched a playoff berth, however they’ll maintain their AFC West title hopes alive with a win. The Ravens cannot clinch a wild-card berth this weekend however they’d be eradicated with a loss and wins by the Steelers and Titans. — Seifert

FPI win projection: LAC, 79.5 %. The Ravens would possibly presently maintain the ultimate wild-card spot within the AFC, however that might change dramatically if they cannot upset the Chargers on Saturday evening. A Ravens victory will get them as much as an 82 % probability to make the playoffs, whereas a loss drops them to only 16 %, the most important doable swing of the week. A win for the Chargers will get L.A. as much as a 34 % probability to earn a bye, whereas a loss drops it to 2 %.

In case you missed it: Chargers WR Allen anticipated to play … Weddle’s reunion with Chargers: No grudges however always remember … QB Jackson’s prime-time problem: Beat a top-10 protection

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