Week 16 of the NFL season is upon us and it is time to present the weekly series dedicated to early picks for each NFL game in the coming week. These picks are straight up and not against the spread. Here you get who the home team and away teams are as well as the chosen winner. In honor of the holiday, and some think I deserve one too, you are getting the straight picks this week and I am forgoing the write-ups.
You will also get a weekly Lock of the Week. Each week I will pick one game that I feel cannot lose. With that will be supporting data to back up that stance. Obviously each week anything can happen in the NFL but there is always a game that sets itself apart from the others.
The Carolina Panthers escaped a close game against the New York Giants, with Cam Newton once again leading the way, to remain undefeated. Can they get to 15-0 against the Matt Ryan and the rival Atlanta Falcons? Can Chris Ivory and the New York Jets put a chink in the armor of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots? Who wins the heavyweight bout between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers versus Carson Palmer, David Johnson, and the Arizona Cardinals? What about the battle of the backups in the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos game? Without any further trepidation enjoy the 2015-2016 NFL Week 16 Picks and Predictions, Lock of The Week.
Lock of the Week
Pittsburgh Steelers over Baltimore Ravens
Week 16 brings a division rivalry which normally has the AFC North in its balance but not this year. The 9-5 Pittsburgh Steelers will be facing the 4-10 Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens, as we know, are without Joe Flacco, Steve Smith, and Justin Forsett and enter in the midst of a three game losing streak. The Ravens have not been able to step forward with the loss of any key players and frankly cannot wait for the year to end.
Meanwhile the 9-5 Steelers are riding a three game winning streak including an epic comeback last week against the Denver Broncos, after being down 27-10. The Steelers are without Le’Veon Bell but DeAngelo Williams has been more than serviceable. Ben Roethlisberger has the best 1-2-3 receiving corps in the league. That could pose a problem for a secondary that already gives up chunks in Baltimore to wide receivers.
While it is true that the Ravens beat the Steelers 23-20 in week four, this is not an apple to apples comparison. The Baltimore Ravens were at full strength with Flacco, Forsett, Smith, and crew while the Steelers were with Bryant and Big Ben. The teams are in much different places now and that came can essentially be thrown out.
There is no reason to suspect that the Steelers, who have scored 30 or more in six straight, will be slowed offensively by a Ravens team that has given up 35 and 35 points in back to back weeks. The Steelers are also battling for the playoff lives and seeding in the playoffs, if they get in. Meanwhile, the only thing the Ravens are playing for is their seeding in the top-10 of the 2016 NFL draft.
2015 Lock of the Week Record: 13-2-0
|8:25||San Diego Chargers||Oakland Raiders||Raiders|
|8:25||Washington Redskins||Philadelphia Eagles||Eagles|
|1:00||Pittsburgh Steelers||Baltimore Ravens||Steelers|
|1:00||Carolina Panthers||Atlanta Falcons||Panthers|
|1:00||Dallas Cowboys||Buffalo Bills||Bills|
|1:00||San Francisco 49ers||Detroit Lions||Lions|
|1:00||Cleveland Browns||Kansas City Chiefs||Chiefs|
|1:00||Indianapolis Colts||Miami Dolphins||Dolphins|
|1:00||New England Patriots||New York Jets||Patriots|
|1:00||Chicago Bears||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Bucs|
|1:00||Houston Texans||Tennessee Titans||Texans|
|4:05||Jacksonville Jaguars||New Orleans Saints||Saints|
|4:25||Green Bay Packers||Arizona Cardinals||Cardinals|
|4:25||St Louis Rams||Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks|
|8:30||New York Giants||Minnesota Vikings||Vikings|
|8:30||Cincinnati Bengals||Denver Broncos||Broncos|
Do you think the upsets will pan out? Weigh in with your thoughts and let’s talk about it. So what did you think of the 2015-2016 NFL Week 16 Picks and Predictions, Lock of The Week? Do you agree? Disagree? Let’s hear your thoughts.