Pick6: Playoff Push

Pick6: Playoff Push

By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.

So here we are in Week 16, and only four NFL teams have have mathematically been eliminated from playoff contention (the Jets, Texans, Jaguars and Lions). Buckle up, because it’s only going to get crazier as the regular season reaches the finish line, especially with COVID wreaking havoc on team rosters and coaching staffs.

Here are this week’s picks:

♦ L.A. RAMS @ MINNESOTA: Having just played yesterday, the Rams will only have four days to rest before locking horns with the 6-7 Vikings. Minnesota really needs this one, but so do the more talented Rams, who are battling Arizona for the NFC West crown. L.A. has the league’s No. 4 scoring offense (28.2 ppg), and that should be enough to hold off the Vikes. Pick: RAMS

♦ BUFFALO @ NEW ENGLAND: What a difference a week makes. Suddenly, Buffalo has regained a bit of momentum. Their dominant win over Carolina, coupled with New England’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts, has brought the Bills to within one game of the Patriots. New England beat the Bills a couple of weeks ago. Can they do it again? I’m rooting for Buffalo, but… Pick: PATRIOTS

♦ TAMPA BAY @ CAROLINA: Whoa, what was THAT, Tom Brady? The G.O.A.T. got shut out for the first time in 15 seasons on Sunday, as the Bucs fell to the New Orleans Saints, 9-0. Cause for concern? Not really. Tampa Bay is comfortably ahead of the Saints in the NFC South, and they’re allowed a stinker every now and then. I expect Brady and Co. to take out their frustrations on the poor Panthers. Pick: BUCCANEERS

♦ PITTSBURGH @ KANSAS CITY: Give the Steelers credit. Just when they were counted out, they bounced back with a season-salvaging victory over Tennessee. Most of the credit goes to the defense, which completely shut down the Titans’ offense in the second half. Unfortunately for them, they now go up against a red-hot Kansas City team that has scored 82 points in their last two games. Pick: CHIEFS

♦ DENVER @ LAS VEGAS: After getting embarrassed by the Chiefs last week, the Raiders rebounded with a win over Cleveland on Monday. Of course, the Browns seemingly had half of their starters out with COVID, including starting QB Baker Mayfield. I think they’ll do enough to handle the Broncos, who are struggling at QB. Las Vegas has Derek Carr, who will be the difference in this one. Carr gets a lot of flak, but the team would be a disaster without him in the lineup. RAIDERS

♦ WASHINGTON @ DALLAS: These two rivals hooked up just two weeks ago, with Dallas prevailing, 27-20. I don’t think the rematch will be as competitive, as the Cowboys are on a mini roll and Dak Prescott is slowly regaining his winning form. Pick: COWBOYS

Last Week: 3-3 | 2021 Record: 50-40 (.555)