By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
Merry Christmas to me! It took me 15 weeks, but I finally had a perfect “Pick6” score of 6-0. Can I do it again this week? Doubtful. There are some really tough matchups for Week 16, many of them with postseason implications.
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On to this week’s picks:
♦ MINNESOTA @ NEW ORLEANS: The Vikes are currently on the outside looking in as far as the playoff races goes, but they still have a shot. They’ll need to beat the Saints, who have already clinched a berth in the postseason. Drew Brees looked a bit shaky in his return from injury against the Chiefs, and I expect him to look a lot sharper here. Minnesota is motivated, but it won’t be enough. Pick: SAINTS
♦ MIAMI @ LAS VEGAS: Yeah, this is the game fans in the 808 have been clamoring for. Marcus vs Tua. At the time of this writing, however, injured Raiders QB Derek Carr (groin) says he intends to play this Saturday. Gotta admire him for that. But no matter who takes the snaps for the Silver & Black, the Raiders will struggle because of their woeful defense. Tua could have his best day as an NFL QB: Pick: DOLPHINS
♦ INDIANAPOLIS @ PITTSBURGH: What is going on with the Pittsburgh Steelers? After stating the season 11-0, the team has lost three straight and are now in danger of surrendering the AFC North to the Cleveland Browns. Ben Roethlisberger is suddenly showing his age. Indianapolis and it’s stellar defense, meanwhile, have won three straight and are tied for first in the AFC South. Can the Steelers stop the bleeding? Not this week. Pick: COLTS
♦ L.A. RAMS @ SEATTLE: The Rams should still make the postseason, but they didn’t do themselves any favors by inexplicably losing to the previously winless N.Y. Jets. Seattle, on the other hand, have already secured a postseason berth and, thanks to their suddenly improved defense, they appear to be building toward a deep playoff run. These teams are heading in the opposite directions. Pick: SEAHAWKS
♦ DENVER @ L.A. CHARGERS: This will be an interesting game between two division rivals that are out of the playoff race but have promising futures. Both the Chargers and Broncos have talented young QBs and solid defenses – cornerstones for successful football teams. The jury is still out on their respective head coaches, however. I’m going with the home team and the better QB, Justin Herbert. Pick: CHARGERS
♦ TENNESSEE @ GREEN BAY: The Pack have already clinched the NFC North, but their work isn’t over yet. At stake is home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Tennessee, of course, needs to win on Sunday to both earn a playoff spot and possibly claim the AFC South. The Titans are currentlyndeadlocked with the Colts atop the division, with 10-4 records. I’m not going to go against Aaron Rodgers here. Pick: PACKERS
Last Week: 6-0
Season to Date: 60-30 (.667)
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