Thursday, Dec. 15
Los Angeles Rams (4-9) at Seattle Seahawks (8-4-1)
Seattle made themselves look ridiculous in a 38-10 blowout loss at Lambeau Field last weekend, thanks in large part to Russell Wilson‘s career-high five interceptions.
But expect a big bounce-back this weekend, even on short rest.
Their opponent is stumbling into this matchup and the Seahawks have a chance to obtain another NFC West crown with a win in front of their fans.
Q’s Pick: Seahawks, 28-17
Saturday, Dec. 17
Miami Dolphins (8-5) at New York Jets (4-9)
The only thing that might keep the Dolphins from running away with this game is if they can’t learn to adjust on the fly without Ryan Tannehill.
Matt Moore will be making a spot start, but he should only need to play just-well-enough for Miami to keep their playoff hopes alive against such a bad Jets team.
Q’s Pick: Dolphins, 24-17
Sunday, Dec. 18
Detroit Lions (9-4) at New York Giants (9-4)
The Lions can clinch the NFC North with a win and a Packers loss, but their test is a challenging one in the Big Apple.
The Giants are fresh off a big win against the Cowboys and Detroit has to win with an injured Matthew Stafford, who has torn ligaments in his throwing fingers.
New York is fighting just to get into the postseason and that grit should show Sunday.
Q’s Pick: Giants, 27-26
Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) at Baltimore Ravens (7-6)
Baltimore’s defense remains among the league’s best with the No. 1-ranked run defense to boast (75.5 ypg).
In Philly’s favor, Carson Wentz is the focal point, not the run game.
But the Ravens play well at home, winners of four-straight at M&T Bank Stadium, and they have more to gain from a win.
Q’s Pick: Ravens, 23-20
Green Bay Packers (7-6) at Chicago Bears (3-10)
The Packers playoff hopes are bleak at best, but the Bears won’t pose much of a challenge.
Green Bay’s newly-found secondary has held three-straight opponents to 13 points or fewer and their average margin of victory in those games has been by more than two touchdowns.
Aaron Rodgers, the floor is yours.
Q’s Pick: Packers, 30-20
Indianapolis Colts (6-7) at Minnesota Vikings (7-6)
The Colts’ best chance to win their division may have slipped away from them last weekend when they failed to beat the Texans at home.
The Vikings aren’t playing for much, but their defense is much better than Houston’s and a win at home still helps their playoff chances.
Q’s Pick: Vikings, 27-23
Cleveland Browns (0-13) at Buffalo Bills (6-7)
The Browns haven’t just been bad, they’ve been dismal this year.
It’s unfortunate, because no team deserves to lose every game, but even in games they might have had chances to win, they’ve blown it.
LeSean McCoy and the Bills are too talented a squad to fall victim to an upset win at home.
Q’s Pick: Bills, 26-16
Tennessee Titans (7-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)
The Chiefs have powered into position to win the AFC West, thanks to eight wins in nine games, including two against the Raiders.
The Titans aren’t a pushover team, they’re very much in play to win the AFC South for themselves and a statement win in Kansas City would help do the trick.
Q’s Pick: Chiefs, 30-24
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) at Houston Texans (7-6)
The Texans, like the Titans, need to win-out for a shot to win the AFC South.
They took care of Step One last weekend by beating the Colts on the road, now they can return home to focus on Blake Bortles and the Jaguars.
This game is Houston’s to lose.
Q’s Pick: Texans, 27-17
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1)
What do the Steelers need to sneak into the postseason? A win and some help.
It starts with a win though and they can’t get caught snoozing on the Bengals, a team that has scored 55 total points in their last two games.
Pittsburgh has the offense, but do they have the defense to win?
Q’s Pick: Steelers, 31-23
New Orleans Saints (5-8) at Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1)
Drew Brees continues to struggle leading to what could be an ugly finish for a team that has had one of the league’s best offenses all season.
The Bird Gang will counter with one of the league’s best defenses, including a secondary that only gives up 201.8 passing yards per game.
Q’s Pick: Cardinals, 27-24
San Francisco 49ers (1-12) at Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
The Falcons probably thought that they would be battling the NFC champion Panthers right now for the chance to win the division, but they are actually battling the 8-5 Buccaneers.
Atlanta can’t afford to lose because it could cost them the chance at the NFC South title.
Expect them to come out firing on all cylinders for that very reason.
Q’s Pick: Falcons, 30-13
New England Patriots (11-2) at Denver Broncos (8-5)
These teams love playing in primetime and the rivalry will be even more heated with the fact that both teams have a lot on the line.
The Patriots can win their division and get close to a No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win — Denver could be eliminated from the postseason with a loss.
Tom Brady‘s history against Denver isn’t great but history re-writes itself.
Q’s Pick: Patriots, 24-20
Oakland Raiders (10-3) at San Diego Chargers (5-8)
The Raiders all but had the AFC West locked up but now they are in a race to win-out before the Chiefs can.
That starts against Philip Rivers‘ high-flying offense in Southern California.
The Raiders should have their own firepower working well enough to get the win, but their exposed and deteriorating defense could make this a close one.
Q’s Pick: Raiders, 34-30
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) at Dallas Cowboys (11-2)
The Bucs are playing their hearts out so don’t expect them to roll over against Dallas, who still only has a playoff spot clinched.
This game was flexed into primetime rightfully so, but I would still be extremely surprised if Jameis Winston manages to lead an upset against America’s Team.
That being said, Ezekiel Elliott might have a big night against Tampa’s run defense that allows 110.7 yards per game (21st).
Q’s Pick: Cowboys, 27-22
Monday, Dec. 19
Carolina Panthers (5-8) at Washington Redskins (7-5-1)
The Redskins are longshots to make the postseason, but Kirk Cousins isn’t going to let them disappear quietly.
Washington hasn’t played at home since Nov. 20 so the crowd should be amped and cheering on the league’s No. 2-ranked pass offense (302.8 ypg).
Cam Newton will keep things close, just not close enough.