Ace Picks: Week 16

CT bears-eagles053.JPGHere are my picks for Week 16…

SATURDAY GAMES

PHILADELPHIA @ Washington – The Eagles have a great matchup this week in what is essentially a must-win game for them, against the out of sorts Redskins who don’t even have faith in their own quarterback. That opportunistic Eagles defense will get after him early and often, which will be the difference in this game. Philadelphia wins on the road to keep their season alive. Pick: PHILADELPHIA.

San Diego @ SAN FRANCISCO – No, the 49ers have not played well at home in their new stadium, but they haven’t played very well pretty much anywhere lately. That means nothing here because previously they were tense playing for a playoff spot. Now that the dream is over, they are just playing for pride… oh yeah, and to be spoilers against other teams hoping to get to the playoffs. Kaepernick comes alive in this one and shreds that San Diego defense. Pick: SAN FRANCISCO.

SUNDAY GAMES

CLEVELAND @ Carolina – Why should I have any confidence at all in Cleveland after that debacle last week? Well, because the Panthers defense is not the Bengals defense for one. And Johnny Manziel has had time to study the tape for two. He is a quick study, and he knows everything he did wrong last week. It won’t be a repeat performance, even in Carolina. This one will be close, but I say that Newton doesn’t play and the Browns win. Pick: CLEVELAND.

Detroit @ CHICAGO – Chicago has been a mess at home this season, and they’re starting a career 1-9 Jimmy Clausen, but this game is all about mentality, and Cutler’s mentality just wasn’t productive to success. The more the Bears lost the more he seemed to get complacent. Clausen wants to be noticed, and he has a good rapport with the receiving corps in Chicago. Besides, Detroit is playing for a playoff spot, and they routinely self-destruct at this point. It happens again. Pick: CHICAGO.

Baltimore @ HOUSTON – Doubters beware. This Houston defense is for real, and it’s not just about J.J. Watt, although that’s where all discussions of the Texans should begin. With Fitzpatrick gone most have written off this team, but even with Case Keenum (projected starter) they only need to do the bare minimum passing the ball. Flacco statistically does poorly away from home and that will be the case (no pun intended) here. Pick: HOUSTON.

Minnesota @ MIAMI – Yes, yes. I know. This is when Miami begins to melt like the Wicked With of the West, but I don’t think it happens here. They still have a slim shot at the playoffs and I think they make the most of it playing at home against an above average Minnesota defense. I think Landry has a big game, and the Miami defense comes to play. Pick: MIAMI.

ATLANTA @ New Orleans – I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think the Falcons have a better chance of winning because this game is in New Orleans. I know, I feel like I’ve stepped into the Twilight Zone for this game, but that’s where we’ve gone this season. The Saints have lost four in a row at home and looked miserable in doing it. If the Panthers can blow them out at home, I think the Falcons stand a good chance. Pick: ATLANTA.

NEW ENGLAND @ NY Jets – This might just be a trap game, probably the last one between Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick, but I’m going with talent here. Geno Smith played probably his best game of the season against the Patriots in their first meeting this year and the Jets still came out on the losing side of the ledger, so how can I pick them in this one when he probably won’t play as well? I can’t. Pick: NEW ENGLAND.

KANSAS CITY @ Pittsburgh – There is absolutely no valid reason I should pick the Chiefs in this one. Pittsburgh plays better at home. The Chiefs play worse away from home. The Chiefs have no true passing game. Oh wait, but they do. In fact, I think a wide receiver scores for them for the first time this season in this game, and I think Travis Kelce also has a big game. They can pressure Roethlisberger on the opposite side of the ball too, and that will make the difference. Upset special. Pick: KANSAS CITY.

GREEN BAY @ Tampa Bay – The battle of the bays. Ha ha. I had to laugh just putting that up there. This should really be no contest, as Aaron Rodgers is angry after last week’s loss to the Bills and needs to take it out on someone. Enter the Buccaneers. Pick: GREEN BAY.

NY Giants @ ST. LOUIS – The Rams have given up only 12 points in the past three games, and if they can take Odell Beckham out of the game this one doesn’t even look like a fair fight. I think they can and will neutralize Beckham, that they will force Eli into several poor decisions, and they will win this game going away. Pick: ST. LOUIS.

INDIANAPOLIS @ Dallas – Yes, that Colts defense hasn’t been too great all season, but that offense still has Andrew Luck, and he’s a competitor all the way. In their minds they are still fighting for a playoff bye, so they will play this one hard. Dallas hasn’t had the advantage at home that you’d think they would, though, and they’re prone to let-down games. After that huge one in Philadelphia last week they come back down to earth. Pick: INDIANAPOLIS.

BUFFALO @ Oakland – The Raiders just don’t have enough weapons, and Latavius Murray isn’t going to be able to own the Bills like he owned the Chiefs a few weeks ago. That defense is just playing too tough now that they are able to sniff the playoffs. I don’t think they wilt this season, or in this game. Pick: BUFFALO.

Seattle @ ARIZONA – It doesn’t matter to me that the third-string quarterback is in, or that Seattle’s defense has been playing tougher of late, or any of that, because this Arizona team has shown all season that they find ways to win, and they will do just that here to solidify their possibility of being number one in the postseason on the NFC side. The Cardinals defense always plays that Seattle offense tough, and that will shine through here. It will be really close, but I think the Cards squeak one out at home. Pick: ARIZONA.

MONDAY NIGHT

DENVER @ Cincinnati – Peyton Manning wants that number one spot on the AFC side, if just for pride, and the Broncos want to go into the playoffs knowing they played the tough team best this time of year. It’s a psychological thing, and while the Bengals shut out the Browns last week, this Denver team doesn’t play in Cleveland. I’ll take Manning any day against Dalton. Pick: DENVER.

The Fantasy Ace

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