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Game Picks: NFL Week 16

The end of the NFL season is probably one of the most exciting times of the season. It's the time when teams are fighting for division titles, wildcard spots, and home field advantage. This week, week 16, there are plenty of teams fighting for just that. Here are my predictions for the outcomes of the week 16 games of the 2011 NFL season.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans

Winner: Houston Texans

Notes: The Texans already clinched their division for the playoffs but this matchup is a must win for them. If T.J. Yates and the Texans can't bounce back after losing to the Carolina Panthers last week, and beat the 1-13 Colts this week, they can certainly expect a short-lived playoff trip this season.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals

Winner: Arizona Cardinals

Notes: This will be a close matchup but I expected the Cardinals to come out on top. John Skelton has helped strike playoff potential in the Cardinals season, going 4-1 in five starts, and the defense has turned around what started out as a terrible season. They have only allowed an average 17.4 points per game in the last seven games.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns

Winner: Baltimore Ravens

Notes: The Browns pass defense may be very strong this season but they are struggling to stop the run this year, allowing 145.4 yards per game. Expect Ray Rice and the Ravens to take advantage of this and chalk up what should be an easy win.

Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos

Winner: Denver Broncos

Notes: The Bills are 29th in rush defense which is a big reason why I expect Tim Tebow and the Broncos option offense to pull out a win this week. The Bills have been struggling a lot lately, looking for their first win since week 8.

Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Winner: Tennessee Titans

Notes: The Titans needs to win this game if they want any chance at making the playoff this season. After letting Matt Ryan throw for 224 yards and three touchdowns last week, I think Matt Hasselbeck should be able to capitalize against the Jaguars for this needed win.

New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins

Winner: New England Patriots

Notes: I couldn't imagine the Patriots losing to the Dolphins this late in the season this year especially with potential home-field advantage through the playoffs on the line. Besides I don't think the Dolphins passing game is even strong enough to pull out a win against the Patriots poor pass defense.

Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings

Winner: Washington Redskins

Notes: This should be the Vikings easiest game since their game against the Panthers in week 8. However, I still don't expect them to win.

New York Jets vs. New York Giants

Winner: New York Giants

Notes: Jets should take this one. It's a much needed win if they want any chance at taking the last wild card spot available in the AFC. As long as Shonn Greene has a solid running game then there shouldn't be much for the Jets to worry about in their matchup against the Giants.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders

Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

Notes: I'll ride this train and take the Chiefs this week. Yes, most of their points last week came from field goals but Kyle Orton is due some credit. He threw for 299 yards and an average 9.6 per completion. The Raiders aren't very impressive in their last three games, letting up a combined 108 points.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. St. Louis Rams

Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Notes: Despite poorly performing on offense last week, the Steelers are still one of the best teams in the AFC and this should be an easy win for them. They'll need it too as they're battling the Ravens for the AFC North division title this season and already dropped two against them this year.

Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winner: Carolina Panthers

Notes: I'm a fan of Cam Newton and looking forward to see what he can do against the Buccaneers this week. The Buccaneers are struggling on both pass and run defense this year, ranked 26th in the pass and 30th in the run and they haven't won since week 6.

Detroit Lions vs. San Diego Chargers

Winner: Detroit Lions

Notes: This will be an interesting game as the Chargers are coming off an incredible win against the Ravens but I expected the Lions to take this one. A win is needed for either team to ensure playoff life this year.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Winner: Dallas Cowboys

Notes: The Eagles have been impressive these past two weeks but I'm going to give this game to the Cowboys. Although the Cowboys are 1-2 in their last three games, Tony Romo has been playing consistently well. He has thrown eight touchdowns, only one interception, and for 869 yards in his last three starts.

Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers

Winner: San Francisco 49ers

Notes: Marshawn Lynch has been a big reason for why the Seahawks have gone 5-1 in their last six games but because they are playing 49ers this week don't expect him to have much of an impact. The 49ers have the best run defense in the NFL and Lynch should just be another running back they shut down this season (again).

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears

Winner: Green Bay Packers

Notes: Despite their loss to the Chiefs last week, the Packers are still the dominating offense they've been this season. Their defense should have much easier time this week considering the Bears offense has been plagued with plenty of key injuries this year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons

Winner: New Orleans Saints

Notes: Drew Brees has been incredible and this should be another week that he capitalizes on a phenomenal passing performance. The Saints overall have been a very solid team and for that reason they should their top division rival the Falcons.

Follow Jake on Twitter, @JGilfix, for his latest sports news, fan perspective articles, or just to talk sports.