NFL Week 16 Look Ahead
Game of the week: Saints (12-2) vs Steelers (8-5-1)
The game of the week for Week 16 is the New Orleans Saints versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are currently battling for the division with the Baltimore Ravens, who have had a surge since Lamar Jackson took over at quarterback. Pittsburgh cannot afford to lose any of their last two games, because then they would have to fight for the second wild-spot with the Dolphins (7-7), Colts (8-6), and Titans (8-6). The Saints are coming off of a rough few weeks for their offense, and are looking to bounce back. On Monday, their offense wasn't great at all, but their defense has become one of the most elite defenses in the conference. The Saints' only desire to win these last two weeks is to clinch home-field advantage for the NFC playoffs. I see one of two scenarios unfolding, either the Saints win a close and low scoring game, or the Saints blowout Pittsburgh.
Easiest win: Rams (11-3) vs Cardinals (3-11)
This game isn't even fair man. LA has looked off the last few weeks, losing to the .500 Philadelphia Eagles last week. But this game should easy this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals, who might as well be tanking at this point so they can keep the #1 overall draft pick in next year's draft. I believe the Rams just need a morale boost and this match-up will give them that in full servings. The LA defense needs to improve on what they have looked like recently. For the Cardinals, this may just be good experience for rookie QB Josh Rosen, who has looked alright for a rookie, but needs to improve if he wants to be the franchise quarterback in Arizona.
Potential upset: Lions (5-9) vs Vikings (7-6-1)
I will once in a while pick the Lions to get an upset over a great team, and the majority of the time, they lose horribly. But, I have a different feel about this weekend's game, but mainly because of the Vikings than the Lions. Minnesota did improve from past weeks, killing the Miami Dolphins, but I am still unsure of them. Their use of WR Adam Thielen has not been what it was for the first half of the season. As I have said before, Detroit is not a horrible team, and not a team who should be 5-9. It just seems that their chemistry is a little off and cannot win close games. If Minnesota does have an off day, it could be the Lions' last chance to prove that they can win a close football game.
I hope to see: The playoff race heat up
Wow, this playoff race in both the NFC and AFC is better than expected! In the AFC, only two out of six playoff spots are taken and both are from the AFC West. In the AFC South, the Houston Texans are currently leading the division by two games, and the Colts and Titans are in the battle with the Baltimore Ravens (who are .5 games back of the Steelers) and the Miami Dolphins (who are 2 games behind the New England Patriots for the AFC East). In the NFC, three out of the four divisions are clinched, but the wild card spots are there for the taking. The only division race left is the NFC East, which is currently the Dallas Cowboys one game ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. For the final two wild card spots, four teams (Eagles, Redskins, Vikings, and Seahawks) are all fighting for their lives to get them. It will sure be an entertaining last two weeks in the NFL.