NFL Week 16 Preview

-Matt Magill

 

Game of the Week:

Detroit at Dallas – Monday at 830. Okay, there are a couple games that could go here.  A fight for the AFC North between the Steelers and Ravens and the next installment of Kansas City vs. Denver were all in the running, but no game has more at stake than the final home game for the Cowboys this year.  A Dallas win would not only win the NFC East, but it would wrap up home field throughout the playoffs.  A win for the Lions would keep them a step ahead of the red hot Packers, and might actually save their playoff lives.  Two quarterbacks that deserve to be in the MVP conversation (though Stafford was snubbed for the Pro Bowl) and two teams that are playing way better than anyone thought they would.  How could this game not take the top spot this week?

 

Time to do Yardwork Game of the Week:

San Francisco at Los Angeles – Saturday at 425. That’s three weeks in a row that the 49ers make our “worst game” list.  That’s the longest winning streak they’ve had in quite some time.  But seriously, no one wants to see this game, even the “fans” of these two teams (which makes me wonder why the NFL didn’t put it on Thursday night, since that’s kind of what they do).

 

Storylines for the Week:

Boy, if Philly is going to salvage any semblance of pride this season, could they start this week against the Giants. If not to quiet those Giants fans that think this team is a team of destiny, than to hand the East to the Cowboys before they even suit up against the Lions.

Miami is control of their playoff fate, and they go up against a Buffalo team that is rarely in control of anything. Can Matt Moore replicate last week’s success against a better defense?

The Jets always play the Patriots tough, but they aren’t that good and they seem to have quit on themselves and everyone else as evidenced by their shellacking at the hands (fins?) of the Dolphins last week. I don’t expect this to be pretty for New York.

This is usually when Tennessee tips up. When they are in a good position and they’re playing a divisional foe.  Can they learn from those mistakes and put the Jaguars away, or does Doug Marrone make a case for the head coaching gig?

Even a couple weeks ago, I would have said the Packers/Vikings game was going to be a good matchup. After watching the Vikings get torched last week against the Colts, I don’t feel that way anymore.  All the good vibes that defense built all year, and especially that performance against the Cowboys where they dominated one of the best offenses in the league for the majority of the game is now as gone as Mike Zimmer’s peripheral vision out of his right eye.

At least the Chargers can get a win against Cleveland this week! If you’re Hue Jackson, do you regret taking this job given how many may be available this offseason?

Washington visits Chicago this week. One of those teams is playing it’s ass off every week, and one of those teams is the Redskins.

Can Carolina rain on the parade of the Falcons as they close in on a playoff berth? Last week helped at least make me think this might be more of a game.  The Falcons just have too many ways to beat you though.

The big question for Oakland is whether they let up at all now that a playoff berth has been secured. There are loftier goals in sight, but can this young team keep their eyes on the prize or are they still celebrating?

The last time the Bucs and Saints played (two weeks ago) it was a low scoring game won by Tampa. Can Drew Brees spoil the playoff aspirations of this young Bucs team?  Does Jameis Winston fail to use his head by using his head again this week?

At the beginning of the season, Arizona at Seattle looked like a great game. Now it just looks like a game.  Arizona can easily play spoiler though as they consistently play the Seahawks tough, regardless of the final outcome.

Houston gets the lucky break of playing a terrible Cincinnati team that looks to have been mentally out of nearly every game this season. Will Tom Savage prove he’s the right guy moving forward?

Baltimore at Pittsburgh for all the marbles? Yes please!  Can this rivalry live up to the hype?

Denver needs a lot of help to make the playoffs, but it’s still possible. Kansas City needs to erase the bad taste of the Titans loss from last week and lock up the fifth seed, if not challenge the Raiders for the division.  This should be a brutal (but fun) game.

 

Cleveland is 0-14. Their remaining games are:

San Diego

@ Pittsburgh

Do you see a win in there at all? I sure don’t.

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