With just two weeks remaining in the 2020 NFL season, there will be fans that are more than ready to see an end to this tumultuous campaign while others are eagerly anticipating seeing their team in the post-season. For Pittsburgh Steelers fans, the panic button has officially been pressed for the Black and Gold.
Every team is scheduled to play beginning with a Christmas Day matchup between the Vikings and Saints and then three more games the day after with the rest of the league wrapping it up on Sunday. There are still many playoff implications to be settled by results on the field so away we go with another look at my crystal ball for week 16.
Minnesota at New Orleans: Merry Christmas! The Saints still have a shot at the #1 seed in the NFC while the Vikings need a miracle to get to the playoffs and that means winning their final two games. Not to be. Prediction: Saints 28 Vikings 17.
Tampa Bay at Detroit: Tom Brady is going to lead his new team to the post-season in his first year as a Buc but from there how far will they go? Every team wants to finish the season strong but the Lions have nothing to play for but pride. That’s a dangerous thing just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers. Prediction: Lions 31 Bucs 28.
San Francisco at Arizona: The Cardinals are holding on tight to the final wild-card spot and have two difficult games to close the show. This one and next week in Los Angeles for another matchup with the Rams. The Niners can play spoiler but won’t on this day. Prediction: Arizona 23 49ers 20.
Miami at Las Vegas: Like the Cardinals above, the Dolphins are fighting off the oncoming Baltimore Ravens for the last wild card slot in the AFC. Miami has the much more difficult path having to play a very dangerous Raiders team and then playing in Buffalo. Ouch. Prediction: Raiders 34 Dolphins 24.
Atlanta at Kansas City: The Falcons M.O. this season has been blowing leads. They did it again last week but they won’t have a lead in this one. Prediction: Chiefs 45 Falcons 13.
Carolina at Washington: With a victory here The Washington Football Teams wins the NFC East division title. They could finish the season 7-9 and still be going to the playoffs as division kings. Crazy. Win this one and then next week in Philadelphia and they would be 8-8 for the year. Prediction: The Washington Football Team 28 Panthers 14.
Chicago at Jacksonville: Living in Jacksonville and listening to local sports shows, the buzz is about the Jaguars tanking just so they can draft Trevor Lawrence. Now that the Jets have won, the Jaguars have matched their season-long 13 game losing streak. Jacksonville can extend that with a loss here but that all depends on if they want to lose on purpose or go out a winner. Head Coach Doug Marrone says they won’t tank. Prediction: Bears 30 Jaguars 21.
Cincinnati at Houston: The Bengals had their Super Bowl last Monday night beating the Steelers. The Texans have been playing better than Cincinnati and should handle them here. The only reason Cincinnati toppled Pittsburgh was that the Steelers beat themselves. Houston won’t allow that to happen. Prediction: Texans 25 Bengals 13.
Cleveland at NY Jets: The Browns are licking their chops at the chance to surpass the Steelers in the AFC North and take the division title for the first time since 1989. Unless they lose their final two games they are in the postseason for the first time since 2002. Ironically, they lost that wildcard playoff game to Pittsburgh 36-33. The Jets are happy they won a game this season and that might be their only victory in 2020. Prediction: Browns 44 Jets 12.
New York Giants at Baltimore: The Ravens can smell the playoffs. After a mild slump, they are rolling again and will roll the Giants in this one. Prediction: Ravens 37 Giants 9.
Denver at Los Angeles Chargers: This is a game to find out who finishes in the basement in the AFC West. Both teams are 5-9 and someone is getting another “L” unless they go into overtime and tie. It should be the Broncos who fall to last place. Prediction: Chargers 34 Broncos 31.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle: On the flip side the AFC West we have the NFC West and a game to determine the division winner. The Seahawks have won two in a row and will make it three. Prediction: Seahawks 27 Rams 17.
Philadelphia at Dallas: The Jalen Hurts show continues and it’s a race to see who wins the most games among these two teams. The Eagles trail the Cowboys by one victory (5-9 for Dallas). Prediction: Cowboys 28 Eagles 24.
Tennessee at Green Bay: The Titans will try to topple the NFC’s best team and also be scoreboard watching to see how the Colts handle the messed up Steelers. Both teams are 10-4 and the Titans are one game better in the division. Tennessee’s last game is in Houston where Indianapolis closes the show with the Jaguars. The division title probably boils down to this week’s games. Prediction: Packers 30 Titans 27.
Buffalo at New England: In with the new out with the old. The Bills replace the Patriots as division winners and have a shot at the #1 seed. That probably won’t happen but this won’t be a New England domination similar to years past. Prediction: Buffalo 31 Patriots 13.
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh: The Steelers are reeling right now having lost three in a row and to one of the worst teams in the league. The Colts are fighting for a division title and are simply the better overall team right now. As much as a Steelers fan that I am I believe they have won their last game in 2020. Much will be told about this team in the last two games and playoffs. They should play better this week but not good enough. This Steelers teams has lost confidence, lost their mojo, and has no running game. Prediction: Colts 27 Steelers 24.