Predictions, key stats and nuggets for every NFL Week 16 matchup: Who will win each game? What’s at stake?
Dec 23, 2022
The Week 16 NFL schedule for the 2022 season is stacked with great matchups — including three on Christmas Day — and we’ve got you covered with what you need to know heading into the weekend. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the biggest keys to every game and a bold prediction for each matchup.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information research provides a big stat to know and a betting nugget for each contest, and our Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a game projection. ESPN researcher Kyle Soppe hands out helpful fantasy football intel, as well. Finally, Seth Walder and Eric Moody give us final score picks for every game. Everything you want to know is here in one spot to help you get ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football. (And remember, most NFL games are on Saturday this weekend.)
Let’s get into the full Week 16 slate, including Josh Allen vs. Justin Fields, the Giants and Vikings looking to make a statement, the Eagles and Cowboys battling for NFC East supremacy and Aaron Rodgers in Miami. It all culminates with a “Monday Night Football” matchup between the Chargers and the Colts on ESPN. (Game times are Saturday unless otherwise noted.)
Thursday: JAX 19, NYJ 3
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: KC -10 (49.5)
What to watch for: The Chiefs lead the NFL in scoring and scored more than 40 points against three of their NFC opponents, including the NFL leader in scoring defense (49ers) and the team that’s last (Cardinals). Here come the Seahawks, who are 29th in points allowed at 25.4 per game. It would seem the Chiefs are headed to another big number, though perhaps the predicted game-time temperature of around 10 degrees will play a factor. If it does turn into a high-scoring game, can the Seahawks keep up? Maybe. The Chiefs allowed a combined 52 points in the past two weeks to low-scoring teams in the Broncos and Texans, so they appear vulnerable. — Adam Teicher
Bold prediction: Geno Smith will set a career high in pass attempts with at least 45. The Seahawks are facing the NFL’s highest-scoring offense, their defense is reeling and they haven’t had much of a run game to rely on over the past month. This has the makings of a game in which the Seahawks are playing from behind all afternoon and needing Smith’s arm to keep them in it. — Brady Henderson
Stat to know: Patrick Mahomes has won 15 straight regular-season games against the NFC, which is tied with Bobby Hebert for the longest win streak in interconference games since the 1970 merger, according to Elias Sports Bureau data.
What’s at stake: The AFC West champion Chiefs now have a 43% chance to earn the No. 1 seed in the conference and a first-round bye, per ESPN’s FPI. That could rise to 48% with a win or fall to 13% with a loss. The Seahawks, on the other hand, are just trying to get in. They have a 34% chance to make the playoffs, which could jump to 72% with a win or slide to 29% with a loss. See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: Kansas City’s past four home games have gone under the total. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Chiefs 34, Seahawks 24
Walder’s pick: Chiefs 33, Seahawks 27
FPI prediction: KC, 87% (by an average of 13.5 points)
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: MIN -4.5 (48)
What to watch for: The Vikings have already clinched the NFC North and have a minimal chance at the No. 1 seed. So the Giants will have much more to play for in this game; they can clinch a playoff spot with a win and some help. Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said this week that he would be mindful of snap counts for key veterans over the final three weeks of the season. Tailback Dalvin Cook could probably use some extra rest after playing more than 700 snaps in 2022, the highest total through Week 15 in any season of his career. — Kevin Seifert
Bold prediction: Justin Jefferson gets double-digit catches and over 200 yards receiving. Why not? He did it a few weeks ago, and as one Giants player explained, “There’s nothing he can’t do!” The Vikings can move him around the field, and the Giants don’t have anyone who can stay with him. It doesn’t help that No. 1 corner Adoree’ Jackson is out with a knee injury. Jefferson vs. Fabian Moreau? Mismatch. Jefferson should have his way and compile his second 200-yard game in three weeks. — Jordan Raanan
Stat to know: The Vikings’ 10 one-score wins this season are tied for the most one-score wins in a season in NFL history. The Giants are 8-2-1 in one-score games in 2022.
What’s at stake: Having already secured the NFC North, the Vikings are now just fighting for seeding. Chances don’t look great for the No. 1 seed, though (0.3%, per ESPN’s FPI). The Giants can clinch a playoff spot with a win and losses from two of Washington, Detroit and Seattle. They have a 91% chance to make the playoffs, which goes up to 99% with a win or down to 87% with a loss. See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: Overs are 9-3 in Minnesota’s past 12 games, including four straight going over. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Giants 28, Vikings 24
Walder’s pick: Vikings 27, Giants 21
FPI prediction: MIN, 70.2% (by an average of 6.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: A healthy defensive front buoys Giants’ playoff push … Jefferson, Hill in race to break receiving mark … Giants’ Jones attributes improvement to learning ‘what wins in the NFL’ … Vikings weary of illegal hits aimed at Jefferson
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: CIN -3 (41.5)
What to watch for: Patriots OLB Matthew Judon is coming off a game in which he played 49 defensive snaps and didn’t register on the stat sheet. In a game in which New England must find ways to disrupt Bengals QB Joe Burrow, it will need Judon to return to his prior form. The Bengals rank 26th in the NFL in rushing yards per game but sixth in passing yards per game, which reflects how coach Bill Belichick figures to tailor his game plan toward defending the pass. — Mike Reiss
Bold prediction: The Bengals’ running backs will have 100 combined receiving yards in a win. New England has a fierce pass rush that should give the Bengals problems. That means Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine should be quick options for Burrow in the passing game. — Ben Baby
Stat to know: The Bengals have lost seven straight road games at the Patriots, with the latest win coming in 1986.
What’s at stake: Cincinnati clinched a playoff spot, and it holds a 60% chance to win the AFC North, per ESPN’s FPI. New England, on the other hand, has a 15% chance of making the playoffs, which is projected to increase to 28% with a win or drop to 8% with a loss. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Mixon’s next week as a top-15 running back since the Week 10 bye will be his first. See Week 16 rankings.
Betting nugget: Cincinnati is 11-1 against the spread (ATS) in its past 12 games with six straight covers. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Bengals 30, Patriots 17
Walder’s pick: Bengals 20, Patriots 19
FPI prediction: CIN, 63.9% (by an average of 4.2 points)
Matchup must-reads: Source: Bengals DE Hubbard (cald) to miss time … Patriots’ Jones keeps ‘kid-like joy’ of football by mentoring young QBs … Bengals’ Hurst feels ready to return from injury … Patriots say laterals vs. Raiders were improvised; ‘have to be smarter’ … Bengals DE Hendrickson to play with broken wrist
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: BUF -8.5 (39.5)
What to watch for: Bills quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs are close to statistical milestones in Week 16, with Allen 143 yards away from his third straight season with 4,000 passing yards and Diggs just 1 yard away from recording the sixth 1,300-receiving-yard season in franchise history. Meanwhile, Chicago’s seven-game losing streak is the second longest in the NFL. With one more loss, the Bears will tie their longest streak in team history at eight (2002). — Courtney Cronin
Bold prediction: The Bears will rush for more than 187 yards, the team’s league-leading average per game, despite the Bills giving up an average of 106.1 rushing yards (sixth fewest). The Bills will be putting an emphasis on stopping the run after the Dolphins ran for 188 yards — the first time Buffalo has allowed over 100 yards since Week 10. But with a high around 10 degrees expected, and two Bills defensive tackles — Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips — questionable for the game, there should be opportunities for the Bears’ rushing attack. — Alaina Getzenberg
Stat to know: Allen has thrown for 3,857 passing yards this season and is seeking his third straight season with 4,000 passing yards. The only other 4,000-yard season in Bills history was by Drew Bledsoe in 2002.
What’s at stake: The Bills clinched a playoff spot last week and can now take home the AFC East title with a win/tie or a Dolphins loss/tie. And per ESPN’s FPI, they have a 56% chance to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC (hold head-to-head tiebreaker over KC). A win pushes that to 63%, while a loss drops it to 22%. The Bears are eliminated and slotted at No. 2 in the projected draft order (14% chance to take the top spot). See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: All seven Buffalo road games have gone under the total. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Bills 30, Bears 20
Walder’s pick: Bears 24, Bills 23
FPI prediction: BUF, 80.8% (by an average of 10.3 points)
Matchup must-reads: Injured Bills stars Hyde, Miller impacting team off the field … Bears’ Fields becomes third quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season … … Bears’ Jenkins out of hospital after injuring neck in game
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: BAL -6.5 (35)
What to watch for: This features two of the top running games in the NFL: The Ravens rank No. 2 and the Falcons are No. 3. When totaling more than 180 yards rushing in a game, Baltimore is 4-2 and Atlanta is 1-3. The Ravens have outrushed their opponent in 13 straight games, the longest streak in franchise history. Baltimore running back J.K. Dobbins has gained 245 yards in two games since returning from injured reserve, which leads the NFL over that span. — Jamison Hensley
Bold prediction: Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier will have another 100-yard day even though he’s facing a top-five run defense. If there’s one thing Atlanta has shown all season, it is that it can run on anyone — and is willing to do so. Allgeier, coming off a career-high 139-yard game against New Orleans, has averaged at least 4.9 yards per carry each of the past four weeks. That continues as Allgeier ends up with 115 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens. — Michael Rothstein
Stat to know: The Ravens are 3-0 vs. the NFC South this season. They could sweep an NFC division for the fourth time in franchise history and the third time in the past four seasons.
Stephen A. Smith breaks down why Lamar Jackson should consider signing somewhere besides Baltimore in the offseason.
What’s at stake: Baltimore can clinch a playoff spot in Week 16 with a win and a loss by either the Dolphins or Patriots. It also has multiple clinching scenarios in the event of a tie, and it could even clinch in one very specific losing situation (losses from the Patriots, Browns, Raiders, Titans and Colts). Atlanta, meanwhile, is clinging to its playoff hopes (a 3% chance, per ESPN’s FPI, that rises to 14% with a win). The Falcons are projected to pick at No. 7 in the draft and have a 19% chance to move into the top five. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Dobbins has been a top-20 running back in both of his weeks back from injury and appears to be the clear featured back in Baltimore. See Week 16 rankings.
Betting nugget: Baltimore is 1-4 ATS in its past five games. Atlanta is 2-6 ATS in its past eight games. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Ravens 26, Falcons 13
Walder’s pick: Ravens 19, Falcons 16
FPI prediction: BAL, 81% (by an average of 10.6 points)
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: CLE -3 (32)
What to watch for: Due in large part to Saturday’s snowy, windy and frigid forecast in Cleveland, the total for this game is just 32 points. That would be the lowest total for any NFL game since 2008 Browns-Bengals, when the total was 31.5 (Cincinnati won that game, 14-0). — Jake Trotter
Bold prediction: The Saints will have at least 40 rushing attempts with high winds and snow expected in Cleveland. It will look less like the 39-32 win against the Seahawks (48 rushing attempts for 235 yards, four of which were kneel-downs), when the Saints mixed in at least 200 yards passing, and more like the Saints-Broncos game in 2020, in which both teams played it safe and ran on almost every play because of player shortages due to COVID-19. — Katherine Terrell
Stat to know: Nick Chubb has 48 career rushing touchdowns and is seeking to become the third player in Browns history to reach 50 career rushing TDs (Jim Brown, 106; Leroy Kelly, 74).
What’s at stake: We aren’t likely to see either team in the playoffs, as ESPN’s FPI says the Saints have a 3% chance while the Browns are below 1%. Worse, neither team has its first-round draft pick in April. See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: New Orleans is 1-5 ATS on the road this season. Cleveland has won and covered three straight home games. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Browns 26, Saints 20
Walder’s pick: Saints 20, Browns 17
FPI prediction: CLE, 54.8% (by an average of 1.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: Saints TE Johnson is a TikTok star, a juggling aficionado and, lately, a TD machine … Browns’ Watson tosses TD pass in ‘special’ home debut … Saints rule out Olave, put Landry on IR … Browns’ improving defense too little, too late
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: TEN -3 (35.5)
What to watch for: The Titans’ lead over the Jaguars in the AFC South has dwindled to half a game in the midst of their four-game losing streak. As the sense of urgency intensifies, the Texans could be the perfect remedy, but their two-quarterback scheme will test Tennessee’s defense. Watch for quarterback Malik Willis, who will likely make his third NFL start after showing an improved ability to progress through his reads in fill-in time for Ryan Tannehill last week, according to Mike Vrabel. — Turron Davenport
Bold prediction: The Texans snag their second win of the season. The Titans are without quarterback Tannehill, so Willis will start. It’ll be the second time the Texans face Willis, who threw for 55 yards and an interception in their first matchup. The Texans allowed Derrick Henry to rush for 219 yards and two touchdowns. The Texans will be better prepared for the Henry show, as they’re allowing 139 rushing yards per game in the past four games, an improvement from the 178 yards per game they were giving up before. — DJ Bien-Aime
Stat to know: The Titans haven’t lost five straight games within a season since a six-game streak from Weeks 2 to 8 in 2015 — the season before they drafted Henry.
Dan Orlovsky dissects the playoff chances for the Titans with quarterback Ryan Tannehill injured.
What’s at stake: According to ESPN’s FPI, the Titans have a 59% chance to make the playoffs, which rises to 64% with a win or falls to 48% with a loss. And the Texans might be eliminated, but they have a 83% chance to finish with the top pick in the 2023 draft. In fact, they can clinch it with a loss and a Bears win. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: 892 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. That is Henry’s rushing line over his past four games against the Texans. Four games. That’s similar work on the ground to what Bengals running back Joe Mixon has produced in his past 16 games (949 rushing yards and seven touchdowns). See Week 16 rankings.
Betting nugget: Houston is 16-7 ATS against Tennessee since 2011 (5-4 ATS vs Vrabel). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Titans 23, Texans 20
Walder’s pick: Titans 26, Texans 10
FPI prediction: TEN, 56.7% (by an average of 2 points)
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: DET -2.5 (44)
What to watch for: The Panthers and Lions are in the playoff hunt, but for different reasons. The Panthers are only a game behind Tampa Bay because the NFC South is down, not because they’ve been playing great. The Lions are in the hunt for a wild-card spot because they have been playing great, winning six of their past seven games. The key for both teams is the running game. Carolina is 0-6 when it averages less than 4 yards a carry. Detroit ranks 14th in the league in rushing with 126.1 yards a game. — David Newton
Bold prediction: Lions QB Jared Goff will extend the longest streak of his career to seven consecutive games without an interception. Goff has the Lions’ offense rolling as he continues to manage the games and play efficient football. With the Lions in the playoff hunt and so much at stake, I don’t envision Goff regressing at this point. — Eric Woodyard
Stat to know: Goff has gone four straight games with 35-plus attempts and no interceptions. Doing so in a fifth straight game would tie the third-longest streak in the Super Bowl era (Tom Brady’s seven in 2022, Drew Brees’ six in 2015-16).
What’s at stake: The Lions have a 28% chance to make the playoffs, according to ESPN’s FPI. That goes up to 47% with a win and down to 13% with a loss. And the Panthers have an 18% chance to make the playoffs, which climbs to 26% with a win or falls to 8% with a loss. See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: Detroit has covered in seven straight games, its longest single-season cover streak in the Super Bowl era. The Lions have won and covered three straight road games. Detroit has never won and covered four straight road games in the Super Bowl era. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Lions 27, Panthers 17
Walder’s pick: Panthers 26, Lions 24
FPI prediction: CAR, 58.5% (by an average of 2.4 points)
4: 05 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: SF -7 (37.5)
What to watch for: The 49ers are riding a seven-game win streak, have clinched the NFC West Division and can drop to no lower than No. 3 in the NFC playoffs, but so long as the No. 2 seed is in reach, they plan to keep pushing for it. The Commanders, meanwhile, are clinging to a playoff spot and could use a win here on a short week while traveling across the country in what will be a battle between two of the NFL’s four-best defenses when it comes to average yards allowed per game. — Nick Wagoner
Bold prediction: Quarterback Carson Wentz will play for Washington. He will return because the 49ers’ defense — ranked first in both scoring and yards — will make life miserable for Taylor Heinicke. If Washington doesn’t move the ball in the first half and falls behind by, say, two scores, then look for Wentz, who last played Oct. 13 before breaking his right ring finger. Heinicke has started the past eight games. While the team is 5-2-1 with him, the offense ranks 20th in scoring despite being 13th in yards. It’s not all on Heinicke, but the 49ers will make Washington desperate for a second-half spark. — John Keim
Stat to know: Heinicke has a 10.6 QBR and averages 3.9 yards per dropback on third down this season — both the worst in the NFL. His 51% completion percentage on third down this season ranks 31st out of 33 qualified quarterbacks.
What’s at stake: The Niners are NFC West champs, but the Commanders still have a lot on the line. ESPN’s FPI gives them a 35% chance to make the playoffs. Win, and that will go up to 65%. Lose? Expect a drop to 22%. See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: San Francisco is 8-2 ATS in conference games this season. Read more.
Moody’s pick: 49ers 25, Commanders 13
Walder’s pick: 49ers 29, Commanders 21
FPI prediction: SF, 67.4% (by an average of 5.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: Commanders sticking with Heinicke at QB for now … McCaffrey has been focal point of 49ers’ second-half surge … Commanders enter crucial stretch with little margin for error … Purdy passes another test to lead 49ers to NFC West title … Commanders’ Young will play vs. 49ers … Getting 49ers’ sixth Super Bowl title motivation for GM John Lynch
4: 25 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: DAL -5 (46.5)
What to watch for: The Eagles can clinch the NFC East title and home-field advantage with a win that will have to come without starting quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has a sprained right shoulder. With a win, the Cowboys can keep their small hopes for a division title alive and perhaps send a message for a potential playoff rematch. Philadelphia won the first meeting of the year, but the Cowboys did not have Dak Prescott, who was in the final stages of a return from a fractured right thumb. — Todd Archer
Bold prediction: The Cowboys will be held to 20 points or fewer. That hasn’t happened since Prescott returned to the starting lineup in Week 7. In fact, Dallas has averaged 35.5 points per game since Prescott came back from his thumb injury. But the Eagles’ defense is No. 1 in pass defense (172.4 yards per game), interceptions (15) and sacks (55). With Hurts out of the lineup, the defense will elevate its game to secure the win and the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC. — Tim McManus
Stat to know: The Eagles’ defense has recorded six-plus sacks in three consecutive games, which is tied for the second-longest streak since the NFL first began tracking team sacks in 1963.
Tyler Fulghum says he expects fireworks from both the Eagles and the Cowboys, leading him to take the over on total points.
What’s at stake: Philadelphia will close out the NFC East title with a win or tie. And it can even clinch the top seed in the conference with either a win or a tie plus a Vikings loss/tie. Dallas joins Philadelphia as a playoff team, but its hopes of overtaking the Eagles for the division are bleak (1%, per ESPN’s FPI). See playoff picture.
Betting nugget: Each of the past four meetings between the Cowboys and Eagles went over the total. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Eagles 31, Cowboys 28
Walder’s pick: Eagles 24, Cowboys 20
FPI prediction: DAL, 70.1% (by an average of 6.3 points)
Matchup must-reads: What the Eagles want to see from Minshew … Can the Cowboys avoid another playoff flop? … NFC East showdown: Do the Eagles have the better roster? … Jerry Jones: Odds Cowboys sign Beckham Jr. in ’22 fading … Philly leads Pro Bowl with eight selections
8: 15 p.m. ET | NFL Network | Spread: PIT -2.5 (38.5)
What to watch for: This is going to be an old-school smashmouth football game, the appropriate way to honor the 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception” and the memory of Steelers legendary running back Franco Harris, who died suddenly this week. “We do look forward to honoring him and his legacy this weekend,” coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday. Temperatures at kickoff are projected to be in the single digits with a wind chill below zero. This will open the door for a game dominated on the ground by Steelers running back Najee Harris and the Raiders’ Josh Jacobs, the NFL’s rushing leader. — Brooke Pryor
Bold prediction: Neither the freezing weather nor the Steelers’ No. 7 run defense will slow Jacobs, who leads the NFL with 1,495 rushing yards, from joining his idol in the record book on Christmas Eve. Jacobs needs just 5 rushing yards, but 142 all-purpose yards, to join Marcus Allen as the only players in Raiders franchise history with 1,500-plus rush yards and 2,000-plus scrimmage yards in a single season. Allen accomplished the feat in his 1985 NFL MVP season. — Paul Gutierrez
Stat to know: A Steelers loss guarantees their first losing season since 2003 (6-10), which would snap a streak of 18 consecutive seasons without a losing record — the third-longest streak in NFL history after the Cowboys (21 straight from 1965 to 1985) and Patriots (19 straight from 2001 to 2019).
Chris Berman reacts to the death of Steelers legend Franco Harris, who was 72.
What’s at stake: ESPN’s FPI has both teams below 5% to make the playoffs, and each has an elimination scenario in play in Week 16. The Raiders will be out with a loss, a Chargers win and a win from the Dolphins or Patriots. And the Steelers would be eliminated with a loss or wins from the Chargers and Dolphins. Las Vegas is projected to have the No. 10 draft slot, while Pittsburgh is at No. 12. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Davante Adams was held to under 40 yards last week by the Patriots, the second time that has happened since the beginning of October. His follow-up game the last time it happened? Season highs in catches (10) and targets (17) for 146 yards and a pair of scores. See Week 16 rankings.
Betting nugget: Las Vegas has covered five straight meetings. Tomlin is 1-6 ATS and 2-5 outright against Las Vegas despite being favored in each game. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Steelers 24, Raiders 14
Walder’s pick: Raiders 26, Steelers 19
FPI prediction: LV, 55.7% (by an average of 1.8 points)
Matchup must-reads: There’s still a chance: How the Raiders can make the playoffs … Franco Harris embraced his own Steelers legend through final hours … Raiders stun Patriots in ‘unbelievable’ ending … Sports world reacts to the death of Steelers great Franco Harris … Trubisky receives vindication in what might be his Steelers curtain call
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: MIA -3.5 (50)
What to watch for: The Dolphins would love to keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers‘ hands, but they’ve struggled to control the ball during their three-game losing streak. Since Week 13, Miami ranks last in the league in average time of possession per drive; Green Bay, on the other hand, is second in the league in the same category. The Dolphins also rank 28th during that time frame in third down defense, allowing opponents to convert on 49% of attempts. That will have to improve if they want to end this skid and further solidify themselves in the AFC playoff picture. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Bold prediction: Even though the Dolphins have the 10th-best run defense in the NFL, the Packers will score multiple rushing touchdowns. AJ Dillon has run for three scores in the past two games, and the Packers had multiple rushing touchdowns in consecutive games against the Bears and Rams. But they haven’t had multiple rushing scores in three straight games since 2009. — Rob Demovsky
Stat to know: Mason Crosby is expected to play in his 256th career game Sunday, which would break a tie with Brett Favre for most in Packers franchise history (both Favre and Crosby never missed a game).
What’s at stake: The Dolphins enter Week 16 with a 75% chance of making the playoffs, per ESPN’s FPI. Chances increase to 82% with a win or drop to 64% with a loss (independent of what happens Saturday). The Packers, though, have a 12% chance that improves to 26% with a win. And Green Bay can actually be eliminated Sunday with a loss and a Commanders win. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Packers receiver Christian Watson was (finally) held out of the end zone, but his usage (four catches, six targets) mirrored that of his historic four-game stretch, even with Romeo Doubs back. Watson has elite upside, but games like this (46 yards) are very much in the range of outcomes. See Week 16 rankings.
Moody’s pick: Dolphins 32, Packers 24
Walder’s pick: Dolphins 41, Packers 17
FPI prediction: MIA, 58.6% (by an average of 2.5 points)
Sunday, 4: 30 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: DEN -2.5 (36.5)
What to watch for: The Broncos are 0-6 in true road games this season — they won in London as the designated road team — but haven’t gone winless on the road since they went 0-7 in 1964. Quarterback Russell Wilson, in his first season in Denver, is 8-13 against the Rams, including the playoffs, his most losses against any opponent. — Sarah Barshop
Bold prediction: Wilson, who was held out of last weekend’s game against the Cardinals, will have this third game of the season with two or more touchdown passes. But — and it’s a significant but — only if Wilson shows more patience against the Rams’ heavy dose of zone coverages with cornerbacks in off-coverage. Wilson has been too quick to pass on plenty of available completions in the short and intermediate areas in favor of high-risk throws to bracketed receivers. If he avoids that, the Broncos will move the ball. — Jeff Legwold
Stat to know: The Rams have won four straight meetings vs. the Broncos. The Broncos’ most recent win vs. the Rams was Week 1 in 2002, when the Broncos were quarterbacked by Brian Griese and the Rams were quarterbacked by Kurt Warner and based in St. Louis.
What’s at stake: Here’s an easy one. Both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention … and both teams no longer have a first-round draft pick to concern themselves with. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Cam Akers totaled 100 yards against the Packers on Monday night, and his three catches (he had a total of two since September entering that game) were encouraging. See Week 16 rankings.
Betting nugget: Denver has covered three straight games after starting the season 3-8 ATS. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Broncos 17, Rams 13
Walder’s pick: Broncos 16, Rams 10
FPI prediction: LAR, 53.8% (by an average of 1.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: How Broncos keep Demaryius Thomas’ legacy going … Stafford says he has no plans to retire this offseason … Former Broncos RB Hillman dies of cancer at 31 … ‘Very humbling season’: Rams out of playoff picture
Sunday, 8: 20 p.m. ET | NBC | Spread: TB -7.5 (40)
What to watch for: Cardinals third-string quarterback Trace McSorley — the former Penn State star in his fourth NFL season — will get his first career start Sunday under the bright lights of prime-time football on Christmas night. That’s all you need to know about this game. He’s been taking his first real practice snaps of the season this week, which coach Kliff Kingsbury hopes will give McSorley a fighting chance against a fast Tampa Bay defense. — Josh Weinfuss
Bold prediction: Assuming the Bucs don’t have a second-half collapse like last week, they’ll rush for 120 yards — their third-highest total of the season. The Cardinals have surrendered 356 fantasy points against the rush this season, the seventh most of any team. — Jenna Laine
Stat to know: Mike Evans needs 112 receiving yards for his ninth consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season, which would tie Tim Brown for the second-longest streak all time (Jerry Rice, 11 straight). Evans already owns the longest streak of 1,000-yard receiving seasons to start a career.
Mike Tannenbaum and Dan Graziano aren’t confident that Tom Brady will retire but hope he does.
What’s at stake: Despite a 6-8 record, the Buccaneers still have a 76% chance to win the NFC South, per ESPN’s FPI. That would improve to 82% with a win Sunday or fall to 61% with a loss. The Cardinals are eliminated from the playoffs but are projected to have the third pick in the draft. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Evans was the 29th-highest-scoring receiver in Week 15, a floor type of game in previous years but his best finish since Week 8 this season. Tough year, but playing on a pass-centric offense should keep him on your radar. See Week 16 rankings.
Moody’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Cardinals 12
Walder’s pick: Buccaneers 23, Cardinals 7
FPI prediction: TB, 77% (by an average of 8.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: Wirfs lone Buccaneer to make Pro Bowl roster … Cardinals’ McCoy out; McSorley set for first NFL start … One game apart: Here’s a breakdown of the chaotic NFC South heading into the playoffs
What to watch for: The Colts are starting their third quarterback of the season as they turn to Nick Foles after benching Matt Ryan for the second time. Foles has started just one game in the past two seasons, leading the Bears to a win over the Seahawks in Week 16 last season. And because Foles has been limited almost exclusively to scout-team duties this season in Indianapolis, he has not had much opportunity to work with the starting offense since training camp. That should make for an interesting game plan. — Stephen Holder
Bold prediction: Despite playing recently without Pro Bowl safety Derwin James Jr., who is nursing a quadriceps injury, the Chargers’ defense is hitting its stride, allowing an average of 15.5 points over the past two games. Watch for Khalil Mack and the Bolts to record five sacks against Foles, who will be playing behind an offensive line with a league-worst 46.9% pass block win rate. — Lindsey Thiry
Stat to know: Austin Ekeler has 95 receptions this season (21 more than any other RB). He could become the fifth RB in NFL history with 100 receptions in a season.
What’s at stake: Some more clinching scenarios here. The Chargers clinch a playoff berth with a win and a Raiders loss/tie plus one of these two outcomes: (1) loss by the Patriots or (2) loss by the Dolphins, plus a Patriots tie. ESPN’s FPI has L.A. at 94% to make the playoffs. On the flip side, the Colts were eliminated Thursday when the Jaguars won. Indy is looking at the No. 6 draft pick. See playoff picture.
What to know for fantasy: Michael Pittman Jr. has been a top-25 receiver in three of his past four games and should continue to offer an elevated floor with Jonathan Taylor on the shelf. See Week 16 rankings.
Betting nugget: Overs are 4-1 in Indianapolis games under interim coach Jeff Saturday, including a current three-game streak. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Chargers 28, Colts 23
Walder’s pick: Chargers 24, Colts 13
FPI prediction: LAC, 72.6% (by an average of 7 points)
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