NFL picks 2017, Week 16: Experts taking the Saints and Patriots to keep winning


Can’t miss picks for every game this week.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … or is it? This week there is no Thursday night game (YESSSSS!), but there are games scattered across the weekend and into Monday. On the surface, none of them are kind of marquee matchups we had last week.

The Colts at the Ravens for the Saturday matinee? The Steelers against the Texans and the Raiders at the Eagles finishing things off on Monday, Dec. 25?

Talk about a lump of coal in your stocking …

Or maybe it’s not going to play out the way we think it is. With that many one-sided affairs and the playoff race on the line, there’s bound to be an upset or two in the offing. But where? Which heavily favored team walks into a trap game for Christmas?

The Lions have to win to keep their wild card hopes alive. They should win too. It’s the Bengals they’re playing, even if it is a road game, Matthew Stafford and Co. shouldn’t have a hard time there. There was only one pick for the Bengals from our panel.

Jacksonville ought to cruise past the 49ers. But last week’s dramatic comeback engineered by Jimmy Garoppolo, already cementing himself as the franchise quarterback in San Francisco, kinda makes you wonder. Then again, this is the Jaguars, not the Titans.

What about the Steelers? They don’t have Antonio Brown this week. Still, that shouldn’t be much of a problem against the Texans.

There’s one pick for the Bills against the Patriots. I’m not willing to stake my already terrible picking prowess on that though.

The one game we don’t really have much consensus on at all from our panel is the Chargers at Jets. That one’s not exactly a one-sided affair. At 7-7, the Chargers have been the better team, at least since October, than the 5-9 Jets. But the Jets have shown a knack for beating some of those wobbly favorites. They took down the Chiefs in Week 13. They beat the Jaguars back in Week 4. But they did all of that with Josh McCown. Now, they have Bryce Petty. I’m surprised to see as many picks for the Jets as there are.

I wonder a little a little about the Ravens-Colts game. It’s in Baltimore, the Colts’ former home. The Ravens are 4-1 since their bye week, and they’ve scored an average of 31 points a game over that span, 38 points in one-point loss to the Steelers. Not too bad. They should walk all over the Colts, and everyone picked them to do just that. But I still wonder just a little if they don’t caught sleeping.

If Aaron Rodgers hadn’t ended up back on injured reserve, I suspect we’d see a lot more picks for the Packers to beat the Vikings. Not with Brett Hundley though.

The best game of the week, by far, is the Falcons at Saints. That one is in New Orleans, which must have swayed most of our panel, because only one person picked the Falcons to win that one.

OK, let’s get on with the picks. Usual rules apply, we’re allowed to change up to two picks by the end of the day on Friday to allow for injuries, arrests or other unforeseen circumstances.

Our guest picker this week is Brett Kollmann from Battle Red Blog, SB Nation’s home for all things Texans.

The worst call in the NFL last week was quite bizarre

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