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NFL Week 16 Picks

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NFL Week 16 Picks

Man, Saturday night football feels nice to see now that we are officially in the last two weeks of the NFL season. Last week was fairly rough for me but all the same, it was a interesting week of football which includes the controversial game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, that was last week and for me, I will give my full thoughts on the call as its still being a discussed topic similar to Dez Bryant’s catch from several years ago.

However, let’s just focus on the picks for this week since we are on crunch time.

Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens: Winner – Ravens (Correct)

 

Baltimore had the better defense, had a better record and needed this win to secure themselves in the wildcard. I feel bad for how Jacoby Brissett fought through this season. He hasn’t had a terrible season for himself but he was thrown to the wolves in this situation. With this win, I predicted the score to be about 26-20 which was close to what actually happened. (23-16 was the final score) With this win, the Ravens move to 9-6 for the season.

 

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers: Winner – Vikings (Correct)

 

I figured with Aaron Rodgers being still injured and officially with their season over, it was obvious that there was no way to risk Rodgers getting re-injured. He was placed back on injury reserve this week. The Vikings already secured the NFC North title and will likely now be the hot seat for a first round bye. The Packers meanwhile are going to need to heavily fix their roster for the off-season.

 

Rodgers is continuing to prove even now this team can’t succeed without him, which will only help his case when he is up for the hall of fame in the next decade or so. I had the Vikings winning 21-17, but I was giving the Packers way too much credit. They got shut out at home 16-0.

 

Los Angeles Rams @ Tennessee Titans: Winner – Rams

 

The Rams are on fire and with how the NFC West is shaping up, that will be a division to look out for. The Titans are on their last legs and with the Jaguars already securing the division, its evident that an attempt at a wildcard berth would be asking alot. I see no confidence in this Titans offense and with how they played against the 49ers last week, I expect this game to be nothing but a stomping. Rams win 27-14.

 

Buffalo Bills @ new England Patriots: Winner – Patriots

 

The Bills are still a playoff team but they aren’t ready to make a deep run yet. Still flaws in a lot of their game plan, but the Patriots are the same way. The defense is still giving up a lot of yards and the point differential has been lowered considerably. At the end of the day, it matters on what team you trust the most to win. The Patriots are at home and are coming off a major win last week. This should be a game that can be won. I am going with the Patriots 32-21.

 

Cleveland Browns @ Chicago Bears: Winner – Bears

 

Bears win 24-16, I am not wasting time on a game where Cleveland is going for the #1 pick. Sorry Cleveland fans but this team needs a huge swift kick in the head if it wants to become a legitimate team again.

 

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints: Winner – Saints

 

The Saints are likely the team win the NFC South this season. The Panthers, Falcons and Saints are all likely candidates to make the playoffs. The Saints are right now, with Drew Brees and a backfield that has Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, who are both in the pro bowl. To say that the Saints are dominate is an understatement. I will give the Saints the win here 27-24 as the Falcons are a team still in the hunt.

 

Detroit Lions @ Cincinnati Bengals: Winner – Lions

 

The Bengals will be free of Marvin Lewis in two weeks. This can’t come soon enough. The Lions should win this game only if they can manage to not pull a repeat of what happened last week. Lions I will give the win here 21-18.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers: Winner – Panthers

 

Considering how far the bucs have fallen this season, I will be surprised if they can keep this game down to only two scores difference. However, the Panthers are red hot when they are having fun and boy are they ever. I will give the Panthers the win 24-17.

 

Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs: Winner – Chiefs

 

The Chiefs finally made a bounce back with a win over the Los Angeles Chargers. However, Miami is also still in the playoff race and with how tight the AFC West is with the Chargers still in the hunt. The Dolphins are a team that can be deadly but Jay Cutler is a QB that is as inconsistent as they come. The Chiefs should win this game 24-17.

 

Denver Broncos @ Washington Redskins: Winner – Redskins

 

The Broncos are in a tank mode now as they are already out of playoff contention. Same could be said for the Redskins but they still have Kirk Cousins. But with how badly the Redskins organization has screwed up negotiations with Cousins, he could be a free agent again. The Broncos are only a QB away from becoming a playoff team again and that window is closing fast. This game could be another showing of what is to come for the off season. But for now, the Redskins should win this game at home, 26-19.

 

Los Angeles Chargers @ New York Jets: Winner – Chargers

 

The Jets season is over, but still Todd Bowles way over performed for this season. With the Chargers currently still in the running, they will be dangerous here. I will give Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are doing incredible. Philip Rivers might still have a chance of making the playoffs as his final years are coming in hard. Chargers need this win and I will give it to them 24-16.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Fransisco 49ers: Winner – Jaguars

 

As much as I like Jimmy G, that Jags secondary is historically dangerous. I would say this game is better off being close for the 49ers because anyone expecting a win is clueless. The 49ers could play close if they control the time of possession as Blake Bortles is having a career year for himself. The Jags should win this game 31-21.

 

Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys: Winner – Cowboys

 

Despite the fact the Seahawks could lose this game, I think they will come close and cover the spread this week. Russell Wilson has been known to make bounce back performances and his game last week against the Rams was almost historically bad for him. The Cowboys should still win, but anybody expecting a blowout is not seeing the same thing I am. The Seahawks are a team that is on the edge right now but with how banged up their team is, this will be a tough game for them. I give the Cowboys 27-24 to win this game.

 

New York Giants @ Arizona Cardinals: Winner – Cardinals

 

No way am I taking the Giants even now. With how badly their season has gone and with the potential for Eli to be leaving or retiring from the team, its evident that this team’s trust in their coaching staff is historically low right now. (I think I said historical like 3 times writing this) Overall, the Cardinals have had a otherwise disappointing season but Budda Baker has been a surprise standout on the team with him making the Pro Bowl this year. Cardinals win 28-24.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Houston Texans: Winner – Steelers

 

After what happened to the Steelers last week? If the Steelers don’t leave a crater in NRG Stadium I will be shocked. Steelers are winning this 30-14. The Texans are the punching bag of the injury bug this season and honestly, this will be a brutal game to watch. Steelers fans get a warm win, while the Texans get nothing but coal for Christmas.

 

Oakland Raiders @ Philadelphia Eagles: Winner – Eagles

 

Nick Foles throwing for 4 TDs last week shows he still has some of that brilliance from his 2013 campaign. The Eagles are still capable of making a strong push in the playoffs but at this rate, I am still not certain on how far they will go (NFC championship is possible but way too much for me to bet on it) Oakland on the road is very bad and its just awful how bad this team has gone down. Eagles will win this one by like 16+, the Raiders are just a horrible team. I had this game as one of the biggest watches at the start of the season. *Sigh* Can’t always get what you want.

 

That will do it for my Week 16 picks. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas Pats Nation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen is a Contributing Editor for Trifecta Sports Network and covers the New England Patriots and the NFL.

New England Patriots

Patriots Talk: Alan Branch On Butler’s Benching in Super Bowl 52

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Many Pats fans are still licking wounds from the Super Bowl 52 loss, but the off season right now is set up to be an exiting one nonetheless. The Patriots have many potential cuts that will be made before the NFL Draft in April such as with veteran DE Alan Branch. In addition, the team has several free agents set to hit the market including Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, Matthew Slater and among others, obviously Malcolm Butler.

What happened to Butler was the very definition of an oddity. There was no seemingly logical reasoning to it all. Many sports analysts called Belichick’s ego being put ahead of the team in the biggest game of the year. Yet even with the news outlets going almost full on detective mode, none of the Patriots’ personnel have any idea. Some like fellow CB Eric Rowe had no idea leading up to the benching during the game. And other like FS and team captain, Devin McCourty, said that they were informed well in advance and act ignorant.

There is no doubt that Butler’s benching was a coaching decision. But all the same, it just doesn’t make sense unless you studied the game tape. A guy like Butler played over 98% of the team’s snaps last year. Even his teammate Alan Branch was seemingly off guard by the news. According to Dale & Holley with Keefe on WEEI (or however long till the station is officially closed), Branch ‘didn’t know anything, honestly.’

 “I noticed he wasn’t in the game, but then again you never know the reason for what is going on at certain times in that organization, especially. It’s neither here nor there.”

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Patriots Talk: Josh McDaniels And The Colts Wouldn’t Have Worked Out

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A Case of Behind The Scenes

 

 

Josh McDaniels and the Patriots thought their time to depart after their tough loss in Super Bowl 52 was unavoidable. However, not only did Josh McDaniels get extended, but its been many rumors that Robert Kraft had contacted McDaniels literally hours before he was suppose to take off Tuesday for Indianapolis.

 

It’s difficult to know anything within the Patriots’ organization as they have remained firm in not explaining what goes on behind closed doors. However, multiple sources over at ESPN for the past week since the story broke out about McDaniels’ abrupt decision to not become the Indiapolis Colts Head Coach. The way things broke down was that Kraft and Bill Belichick got together and sat down with McDaniels. With Defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia going to Detroit, this seemed like a desperation move to maintain the coaching staff from the previous season.

 

However, according to ESPN writer Mike Reiss, there was more to the situation then just that. In one of his articles regarding the McDaniels’ decision, he stated:

 

Belichick offered to include McDaniels on more of the inner workings of the organization, from roster construction to financial/salary-cap related considerations. That was viewed as “extremely valuable” to McDaniels. Ownership also endorsed it as a way to extend Belichick’s influence on the organization in future years, although no assurances were given to McDaniels that he would succeed Belichick. McDaniels, who a source confirmed got a significant raise, has privately said in the past that he did not want to be the coach who succeeds Belichick. Although he since may have changed his mind, McDaniels knows Belichick, after five Super Bowl victories, will be a hard act to follow.

Beyond financial and professional stability, McDaniels also was thinking of his family. He wanted a long-term commitment from the Patriots so his four children, ages 12 to 3, would be able to attend the same schools over the next several years. The transient life of a coach doesn’t always make that possible.

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Former NFL Official Claims Eagles Used Illegal Play To Win Super Bowl

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Did you have doubts that the Eagles lined up correctly on the Nick Foles touchdown catch?

Well, you are not the only one with a former analyst now claiming that Philly was indeed lined up illegally on the play.

Appearing on the Talk of Fame Network, former head of officiating and FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira said the Eagles were in fact lined up illegally.

“I know the league came out and said that it’s a judgment call, which it is,” Pereira said, via Pro Football Talk. “The down judge, who was the one that [the play] was on his side of the field, they felt that it was his judgment, and [receiver Alshon Jeffrey] was close enough. Well, he wasn’t. They lined up wrong.

“Not only that, it’s a trick play. And if you’re going to run a trick-type play, then you have to be lined up properly. You could either have six men on the line, or you could have an ineligible number lined up at the end of the line, which was the case. I know what the league has said, but they would have been a lot more comfortable if they would have called an illegal formation.

“We always use a yard [within the line of scrimmage], maybe a yard-and-a-half. But that’s two [yards], and even a little bit beyond two. It’s kind of one of those that has no effect on the play. I get it. But they didn’t line up properly. And it really should’ve been called.”

Bottom line is it was simply a judgment call be the officials, might have been the completely wrong judgment, but based on what we know about Super Bowl LII the New England Patriots were never going to win the game. The Malcolm Butler benching paired with Doug Pederson‘s mindset of keeping his foot on the gas and exposing New England’s weaknesses were the reasons the Patriots lost the game, not this particular play.

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