NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 16

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

New Orleans @ L.A. Rams (-4)

The Rams built a 20-0 lead and held on to beat the visiting Commanders 28-20 at SoFi Stadium. The win put Los Angeles into the NFC's No. 7 seed in the playoff race.

"Finally," Matthew Stafford said, "we've given the fans at SoFi something to half-heartedly cheer about. As apathetic fans go, we have the best in the NFL.

"We're ready for the playoff push. We have the playmakers on offense, the game wrecker on defense in Aaron Donald, and the head coach in Sean McVay to game plan as meticulously as he manicures his beard."

The Saints dominated the visiting Giants 24-6 at the Superdome as the New Orleans defense sacked Tommy DeVito 7 times.

"DeVito won NFC Offensive Player of the Week last week," Dennis Allen said. "There was a motion made that he would win it again. We 'DeVito'd' that motion. I believe we may have knocked the Italian clear out of DeVito. His last name might very well be 'TheVito' now.

"We haven't forgotten about that horrible missed pass interference call on the Rams back in the 2018 NFC championship game that kept us out of the Super Bowl. Kudos to the NFL for changing things after that, because officials just don't miss calls like that anymore. That's called 'sarcasm.' 'Carr-casm' is saying Derek Carr is a good quarterback. I lead the league in 'Carr-casm,' because I tell myself all the time that Derek is good."

Rams win, 27-24.

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (+2½)

The Steelers managed only 216 yards of total offense in a 30-13 loss to the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday. Mitch Trubisky struggled again and was benched in the fourth quarter for Mason Rudolph.

"I can't tell you what the future holds for Mitch," Mike Tomlin said. "I can tell you that at our year-end awards banquet, he's a virtual lock to win the 'Don't Comeback Player of the Year.'

"I know it looks bad on the surface, but we're this close to being a good offense. To explain my visual, I'm holding up my index finger and my thumb, and there's about a mile of space between them.

"Ben Roethlisberger questioned the Steelers tradition on his recent podcast, which I'm told he records from a different locked bathroom every week."

Bengals win, 26-23.

Buffalo @ L.A. Chargers (+11½)

The Raiders demolished the Chargers 63-21 on Thursday night. Las Vegas led 42-0 at the half and the Chargers fell to 5-9. On Friday, head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco were fired.

"It's not like Brandon didn't see this coming," Dean Spanos said. "But I think the important thing is we can see him 'going.'

"Whatever Brandon was doing wasn't working. And that's a fireable offense. In addition, he had a 'fireable defense,' 'fireable special teams,' 'fireable decision-making,' and 'fireable pre-game exercise routines.' What coach, or human being for that matter, gets down on all fours on the field and does a humping motion as exercise? I mean, do that in the privacy of your own home, or Jim Irsay's home. Plus, the NFL only has room for one head coaching super-dweeb, and that's Mike McDaniel."

The Bills kept their playoff hopes strong with a 31-10 dismantling of the visiting Cowboys at Highmark Stadium.

"I don't know if the Cowboys are built to win games in the kind of weather like we had in Buffalo," Sean McDermott said. "When a team averaging 32 points a game can manage only 10 points, you can say it's been 'watered down.' If Jared Goff was a team, he'd be the Cowboys.

"If we're going to get one of those playoff berths, we'll likely have to seize it by force. I would say 'hijack,' but my pre-game, locker room motivational speech sensitivity coordinator has advised me against that."

Buffalo wins, 27-13.

Indianapolis @ Atlanta (+2)

The Falcons lost a huge 9-7 decision to the lowly Panthers in the rain at Bank of America season. The loss knocked Atlanta out of a tie for first in the NFC South; they now trail the 7-7 Saints and Buccaneers by a game.

"That was a game we should have won," Arthur Smith said. "Opposing coaches see me on the sideline and tell themselves, 'This is a game we should win.'

"Obviously, I have no idea how to properly utilize Bijan Robinson. I'm sure he hates playing for me. It seems the only place I'm 'running' him is out of town.

"Matt Ryan quarterbacked both of these teams, and he was a model of consistency, because with both teams, he was the slowest player in the NFL."

The Colts smashed the visiting Steelers 30-13 at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday night. Gardner Minshew passed for 215 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"'Minshew Mania' is in full effect," Shane Steichen said. "And Gardner is loving every minute of it. He actually has groupies, and some of them throw their underwear at him. And the craziest part is he wears them."

Colts win, 23-16.

Seattle @ Tennessee (+2½)

The Titans blew an early 13-0 lead and lost to the Texans 19-16 in overtime at Nissan Stadium. Houston held Derrick Henry to nine yards on 16 carries.

"Derrick just didn't have it today," Mike Vrabel said. "That doesn't take anything away from his career. Some of his runs are the stuff of legends. The Texans defense holding a future Hall of Famer to less than a yard per carry makes them the 'stuff' of legends.

Drew Lock's 29-yard scoring strike to Jackson Smith-Njigba gave the Seahawks a comeback 20-17 win over the visiting Eagles at Lumen Field on Monday night. The victory put Seattle on the cusp of the playoff standings, as they now sit as the No. 8 seed in the NFC.

"Drew made the big plays," Pete Carroll said, "but I think our defense played a complete game. If our defense can bring to the field the same fire they bring to hurling social media insults to journalists' wives, then we could have the 'Legion of Doom 2.' Jamal Adams likes to call himself the 'X' factor; On the platform formally known as Twitter, he certainly is."

Seattle wins, 23-19.

Detroit @ Minnesota (+3)

Jared Goff passed for 5 touchdowns, 3 to Sam Laporta, as the Lions crushed the Broncos 42-17 at Ford Field on Saturday night.

"We raced to a 21-0 first quarter lead," Dan Campbell said. "I watched the Raiders jump on the Chargers 42-0 on Thursday night and thought, 'We can do that.' By 'that,' I mean embarrass another AFC West coach.

"I was confident Jared would bounce back after a tough game in Chicago. It's not whether or not Jared will respond after a terrible game, it's weather or not."

Lions win, 27-24.

Washington @ NY Jets (-3)

The Dolphins blanked the Jets 30-0 at Hard Rock Stadium. Zach Wilson struggled early before being knocked out of the game with a concussion.

"We're at that point in the season." Robert Saleh said, "where you really have to dig deep. You have to ask yourself, 'How bad do I want it?' And when I ask myself that, and choose a starter at QB not named 'Aaron Rodgers,' then, obviously, I want it very bad.

"And speaking of Aaron, he's not going to play this year since we've been eliminated from playoff contention. That's probably a smart move for a 40-year-old quarterback who ruptured his Achilles in September. But Aaron's all-in for 2024. And we're all-in for Aaron. And Zach reiterated his own commitment, because he still plans to keep going 'all-in' on 40-year-olds."

The Commanders lost 28-20 to the Rams at SoFi Stadium.

"They call me 'Riverboat Ron,'" Ron Rivera said. "There are many forms of transportation you can put in front of 'Ron'; our front office will choose the one that will get me out of town the fastest when this season is over. So maybe 'Trebuchet Ron,' or 'Top Fuel Dragster Ron,' or 'Rocket-Propelled Roller Skates Ron.'"

Jets win, 26-13.

Green Bay @ Carolina (+5½)

Eddie Pineiro's 23-yard field goal as time expired gave the underdog Panthers a 9-7 win over the visiting Falcons. It was only Carolina's second win of the season and knocked the Falcons out of a tie for first in the NFC South.

"We may be out of the playoff race," Bryce Young said, "but that doesn't mean we can't play spoiler. I think we'd like nothing more than to win a few more games and screw the Bears out of the 2024 No. 1 pick. It's only fair, since they screwed us out of it.

"Former Panther quarterback and walking wardrobe malfunction Cam Newton said some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL are merely 'game managers.' Does Cam know what the word 'asinine' means? Cam makes salient points about as well as he jumps on fumbles at the most crucial points of Super Bowls. Cam has a lot of hats; none of them seem to be 'thinking caps.'"

The Packers lost their second in a row, going down 34-20 to the visiting Buccaneers. Baker Mayfield torched the Green Bay defense for 381 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"If you're giving up those numbers to Baker Mayfield," Matt Lafleur said, "then you should be in the Big 12. I say that while looking in the direction of defensive coordinator Joe Barry. Joe needs to get our defense straight; otherwise, he might go the route of the Pac 12, and disappear."

Packers win, 27-16.

Cleveland @ Houston (-2½)

The Browns overcame a tough Bears team to win 20-17 in Cleveland. Joe Flacco had 3 picks and was sacked 4 times, but persevered to throw 2 touchdown passes, and led the late game-winning field goal drive.

"Joe is playing like his old self," Kevin Stefanski said. "In fact, he's the very definition of 'old self.'

"With Joe, you take the good with the bad. The bad? He might throw a few interceptions. The good? Joe knows when a massage is over."

Browns win, 20-17.

Jacksonville @ Tampa Bay (even)

Baker Mayfield passed for 381 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Buccaneers to a 34-20 win over the Packers at Lambeau Field.

"Baker was amazing," Todd Bowles said. "He became only the third quarterback to have at least 375 yards, four touchdown passes, and a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in a road game. Tom Brady never did that. Trent Dilfer certainly never did that. In fact, it probably took Dilfer three games to reach the 375-yard, 4-touchdown milestone. The point is, Dilfer sucks, Brady is great, and Baker falls somewhere in between."

The Jaguars lost 23-7 to the visiting Ravens on Sunday night, done in by costly errors and a defense that allowed Baltimore to gash them for 251 yards on the ground. It was Jacksonville's third-straight loss and dropped them into a three-way tie for first in the AFC South with the Texans and Colts.

"We left a lot of points on the field," Doug Pederson said, "in lieu of putting them on the scoreboard."

Jaguars win, 23-19.

Arizona @ Chicago (-3½)

The Cardinals fell 45-29 to the 49ers at State Farm Stadium. Arizona found success moving the ball on offense, but could not stop the San Fran offense, which accumulated over 400 yards.

"There are a lot of issues we need to address in the offseason," Jonathan Gannon said. "Defense is on the top of that list, and that list is very long."

The Bears blew a 17-7 fourth quarter lead in Cleveland and eventually lost 20-17 to the Browns.

"It was a devastating loss for us," Matt Eberflus said. "I'm of course referring to the Falcons 9-7 loss to the Panthers. We don't need the Panthers to win anything, except for the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft.

"By that same token, we don't want the Cardinals losing and possibly snatching that No. 1 pick from under the noses of the Panthers. I'm not saying it benefits us to lose to the Cardinals, but I am heavily implying it."

Cardinals win, 26-24.

Dallas @ Miami (-2)

The Cowboys were overwhelmed 31-10 by the Bills at rainy New Era Stadium. The Dallas offense never got on track, while the Bills dominated on the ground, led by James Cook's 221 total yards and 2 touchdowns.

"We can't dwell on this one loss," Mike McCarthy said. "Especially when we'll have plenty of time to dwell on a loss after we lose early in the playoffs.

"Jerry Jones claimed the weather had a lot to do with our loss. Typical Jerry whining. Not all teams can rely on taxpayers to make sure they don't have to play outside. I guess if we have a problem playing the Bills in Buffalo, we should instead try to meet them in a Super Bowl. Everybody knows we'd win that game. Everybody also knows we'll never make it to another Super Bowl."

Miami shutout the Jets 30-0 at Hard Rock Stadium, even without Tyreek Hill, who missed the game with an ankle injury.

"I think we proved we can win without Tyreek," Mike McDaniel said, "against the Jets. Lots of teams have beaten the Jets without Tyreek. Some teams have beaten the Jets without really trying.

"This is a huge game for both teams and I predict it will be a classic. There are only two things that could make this game even more of a classic: Leon Lett, and snow."

Dallas wins, 27-24.

New England @ Denver (-7)

The Patriots lost 27-17 to the visiting Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, who passed for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns.

"I know all the talk in Foxboro is whether or not I'll be back as head coach next season," Bill Belichick said. "I'd like to answer by pointing to the six Super Bowl banners hanging in Gillette Stadium. What do you think was said when each one of those banners was delivered here? 'Hang it up,' of course."

The Broncos stunk it up in a 42-17 blowout loss to the Lions at Ford Field on Saturday night. Denver's defense gave up 5 Jared Goff touchdown passes, while the Broncos offense sputtered.

"You probably saw me screaming at Russell Wilson on the sideline," Sean Payton said. "I wasn't mad at Russell; I'm just an asshole. If I'm gonna 'Let Russ Cook,' then you gotta 'Let Sean Vent.'

"One thing's for sure about this game: it will be low-scoring ... in the television ratings."

Patriots win, 17-14.

Las Vegas @ Kansas City (-9)

The Raiders embarrassed the Chargers 63-21 on Thursday night, a defeat that ultimately resulted in Brandon Staley being fired. Aidan O'Connell passed for 248 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Raiders to their sixth win of the year.

"I really hate what happened with Brandon Staley," Antonio Pierce said. "I don't hate that he got fired — he absolutely deserved that. I just hate that I, as a Raider, actually did a favor to the Chargers organization. Chargers fans can thank me later."

The Chiefs beat the Patriots 27-17 at Gillette Stadium. Patrick Mahomes passed for 2 touchdowns and had 2 interceptions.

"One of those interceptions was Kadarius Toney's fault," Mahomes said. "Kadarius is the 'Roberto Duran of the NFL,' because he has 'Hands of Stone.' Drops by our receivers have killed us this season. They're not our 'wide receiver corps;' they're our 'wide receiver corpse.'

"The NFL fined me $50,000 for criticizing the officiating after the Buffalo game. Andy Reid was fined twice that. $100,000 is nothing to Coach Reid. He makes that daily, posting topless images of himself on his 'OnlyCans' page."

Chiefs win, 30-17.

NY Giants @ Philadelphia (-9)

The Seahawks toppled the visiting Eagles 20-17 on Monday night, handing Philly its third consecutive loss.

"We had two awful performances leading up to our game with Seattle," Nick Sirianni said. "With a nod to Donovan McNabb in Super Bowl XXXIX, we had a whole team 'puking' on the field, in two straight games, no less. Make it three.

"I thought our defense played well until Seattle's final drive. Our defense faced a lot of adversity, like having their plays called by a fat hobbit named Matt Patricia, who always has a pencil stuck behind his ear. This is 2023; why on earth would you need a pencil, other than to mark your par on a miniature golf scorecard?"

The Giants lost 24-6 to the Saints at the Superdome, which snapped New York's winning streak at three games. Tommy DeVito was sacked 7 times.

"Is Tommy the real deal," Brian Daboll said, "or are his recent stellar performances disguising underlying flaws? Some people actually agree with this assessment, and they've nicknamed Tommy the 'Facade Father.'"

Eagles win, 31-19.

Baltimore @ San Francisco (-3½)

The 49ers made it six in a row with a dominant 45-29 road win over the Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Brock Purdy had 4 TD passes, two to Christian McCaffrey, and McCaffrey also had a rushing score.

"It's important that we start fast," Kyle Shanahan said. "Like a certain Golden State Warrior, we need to come out swinging."

The Ravens beat the Jaguars 23-7 in Jacksonville and maintained the AFC's top seed. Baltimore rushed for 251 yards and dominated the time of possession battle.

"We're ready for the 49ers," John Harbaugh said. "That's going to be a real test for us. The Jaguars were merely a quiz. An easy one. The kind you didn't even need to study for. The kind that if you did need to study for, you did it on the school bus on the way to school.

"I hear my brother Jim is a leading candidate to be the next head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. I think that's a great fit for both. Jim actually played with the Chargers for two years, so there's already a relationship there. And let's face it, Jim knows this better than anyone, you don't want a stranger on your sideline."

49ers win, 24-21.

Leave a Comment

Featured Site