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Fearless Rick's NFL Football Picks - Week 16 early games

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WEEK 16 NFL Picks

All times Eastern

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Week 15 Results: Coin: 9-6-1; Rick: 7-8-1
Cumulative: Coin: 92-110-8; Rick: 101-101-8

Thursday, December 22

NY Giants (-2 1/2, 41 1/2) at Philadelphia, 8:25 pm (NBC-NFLN-Twitter) - Philly has fallen completely apart at the seams, last week extending their losing streak to five straight, dropping a one-point decision at Baltimore, 27-26. Meanwhile, the Giants' defense continued its excellence, holding the Detroit Lions to a pair of field goals for their eighth win in their last nine games, a 17-6 score at home.

With New York playing lights out on the defensive side, it is only a matter of time before the offense takes advantage of additional possessions and absolutely pounds someone. This could be the time, having beaten the Eagles 28-23 back in week nine. The playoffs in sight for the Giants, an offensive explosion, possibly fueled by a couple of forced turnovers, should determine the outcome.

Coin Flip: Philadelphia

Rick's Pick: Giants 38 Eagles 10


Saturday, December 24

Miami at Buffalo (-3 1/2, 42), 1:00 pm (CBS) - The Dolphins topped Buffalo in week seven, by the score of 28-25, in a game the Bills had led in the second half. Buffalo has performed somewhat in the same manner as in the past 15 years, with 7 wins and 7 losses. Miami has a great opportunity to reach the playoffs, especially with a win here. Next week they close out against the Patriots - likely a meaningless game for New England - but this one is important to the fish.

The Bills still have playoff hope, but it is dim. Considering the style of play and frequency of offensive and defensive lapses, it's tough to back them, especially giving Miami points.

Coin Flip: Buffalo

Rick's Pick: Dolphins 23 Bills 17


Atlanta (-3, 44) at Carolina, 1:00 pm (FOX) - Atlanta needs to keep winning because Tampa Bay is just a game back in the race for the NFC South, but the Panthers have been a tough nut at home, winning three of their last four on their turf, the only loss a flukey 20-17 defeat to Kansas City.

Atlanta pounded the Panthers back in week four, 48-33, but the Panthers have found some answers of late, winning their last two, 28-16, over san Diego, and whipping the Redskins, 26-15, last Monday.

Atlanta has maintained their poise throughout the season and have won three of their last four, incidentally the lone defeat another fluke win by KC, 29-28. These teams are well-matched, making this a very iffy proposition either way.

Coin Flip: Atlanta

Rick's Pick: Panthers 23 Falcons 21


Washington (-3 1/2, 40 1/2) at Chicago, 1:00 pm (FOX) - With their 26-15 loss Monday night to Carolina, the Redskins are just barely in the hunt for a playoff spot, making this a must win kind of deal. Weather is expected to be moderate in the Windy City over the weekend, so that shouldn't pose a problem for either offense. The Bears came close to upending the Packers last week, losing 30-27 to Green Bay, but Chicago remains the venue for them this week, a distinct advantage.

With Washington losing for the third time in their last four outings and having a short work week, this could be the end of the road for the Redskins, despite playing at 3-11 Chicago.

Coin Flip: Chicago

Rick's Pick: Bears 21 Redskins 19


San Diego (-6, 43 1/2) at Cleveland, 1:00 pm (CBS) - Like Hillary Clinton voters were saying the night of the election, "wow, just wow." The Browns just plain stink. The only way San Diego doesn't win this game by at least a touchdown would be weather-related.

Coin Flip: Cleveland

Rick's Pick: Chargers 30 Browns 10


Minnesota at Green Bay (-6 1/2, 43), 1:00 pm (FOX) - Minnesota's complete collapse was evident in their 34-6 loss to Indianapolis last week. The Colts dominated the game from the start, essentially ending the Vikings season. At 7-7, Minnesota has faint hope of making the playoffs, either by winning out and taking the division or by a complete collapse of almost all wild card contenders. Unlikely. The Packers have won four straight and can smell the post-season.

Coin Flip: Green Bay

Rick's Pick: Packers 34 Vikings 20



Tennessee (-4 1/2, 43 1/2) at Jacksonville, 1:00 pm (CBS) - Jacksonville has removed their head coach and is in the midst of an overhaul, so there may be some unfamiliar faces on the field for the 2-12 Jaguars. Tennessee ripped them, 36-22 in week eight, and they've been surging eve since, winning four of their last five and three straight.

The Titan seem determined to win the AFC South, as both Indianapolis and Houston have had their fair share of struggles throughout the season. While the Titans don't necessarily need a victory here, it would certainly help, as they are tied with the Texas at 8-6 and host Houston next week to close out the regular season. Miracle men Mariotta and Murray should lead the way yet again.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Rick's Pick: Titans 30 Jaguars 13


NY Jets at New England (-16 1/2, 43 1/2), 1:00 pm (CBS) - Having clinched the division and a first round bye with their win at Denver last week, the Patriots still are looking at home field through the playoffs at 12-2, with the Raiders close up in the rear view mirror at 11-3.

That means there's little chance of the Patriots mailing this one in, as it is the final home game of the regular season. The Pats can do more damage to a divisional opponent and potential wild card when they travel to Miami next week, but they won't be looking ahead. Expect Tom Brady to throw at will against a NY defense that is allowing 251-8 yards passing and 25.6 points per game. Besides that, the Patriots have improved on defense to a point at which they now lead the league in points allowed, giving up just 16.6 per outing.

Coin Flip: New England

Rick's Pick: Patriots 34 Jets 10


Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-3, 52 1/2), 1:00 pm (FOX) - A setback for the up-and-coming Buccaneers was last week in Dallas, as the Cowboys topped them 26-20, snapping a five-game winning streak and putting Tampa a game behind the Falcons in the NFC South.

This is a true test for the Bucs' defense, playing against a New Orleans team that has nothing to gain, yet is still very dangerous, having just topped the Cardinals, 48-41, in Arizona last week.The Buccaneers squelched the Saints' offense just two weeks ago with a 16-11 triumph, but playing in the Superdome is another matter altogether. While the Bucs will certainly be all out for the win, the Saints will be equally motived to deny them. This is likely to be a close call, so the points may matter.

Coin Flip: Tampa Bay

Rick's Pick: Buccaneers 27 Saints 26

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