It's Friday and after a couple of days off (I mean there wasn't much to talk about other than New York Jets news about their quarterbacks), The Stack is here to preview week 16 in the NFL and make some predictions. So let's get right to it and see what's in "the stack" for today, Friday, December 21:
Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions Saturday 8:30 PM ET ESPN
The Falcons still have not wrapped up the number one seed in the NFC so there is no reason for them not to come out and put up an "A" effort, but there is always the chance they come out a little flat after their big win over the Giants last week. Given the fact that the Lions already looked like they packed up for the season last week at Arizona, Atlanta could still get off to a slow start and win this game. Main reason to watch: to see Calvin Johnson try to break Jerry Rice's single season receiving record. Only 182 yards away!
Prediction: Falcons 27 Lions 20
Oakland Raiders @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM ET CBS
The Raiders have had major issues flying across country for early kickoff games. I see this being no different. Cam Newton and the Panthers have been playing well as of late and they want to give the home fans one last present this year.
Prediction: Panthers 27 Raiders 13
New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys 1:00 PM ET FOX
Big game for the Cowboys as a win can get them closer to the playoffs. A loss would be devastating, but perhaps more so to the Saints. If they win, that means Jerry Jones may put more heat under head coach Jason Garrett's seat and that means Sean Payton's name will be mentioned as a possible replacement. The Saints need to lock him up and quick. Won't shock me if the Saints win this game, but the Cowboys are the better team.
Prediction: Cowboys 31 Saints 27
Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM ET CBS
The Titans barely beat a bad Jets team at home Monday night. Does anyone really think they stand a chance at the road at Green Bay, especially after a blizzard?
Prediction: Packers 31 Titans 14
Minnesota Vikings @ Houston Texans 1:00 PM ET FOX
Adrian Peterson's quest to break Eric Dickerson's single season rushing record of 2,105 yards is just 294 yards away. The Texans will do their best to stop him, but he'll still get his yards and the Vikings are surprisingly in the playoff hunt. While it wouldn't stun me if the Vikings win, the Texans are clearly the better team and playing at home will not hurt them in this one.
Prediction: Texans 27 Vikings 20
New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM ET CBS
One of the best teams in football is coming off of a bad loss at home and now is playing one of the bottom two teams in the league. Sounds like a mismatch to me.
Prediction: Patriots 41 Jaguars 9
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 PM ET CBS
I have a hunch that the Chiefs will keep this game closer than people think. My hunch doesn't say the Chiefs, the worst team in the league, end up winning this game.
Prediction: Colts 24 Chiefs 13
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM ET CBS
The Dolphins don't have a great offense, but the Bills don't have a great defense so something's got to give. I think the Dolphins get a little more and stay alive, although barely, in the AFC playoff hunt.
Prediction: Dolphins 23 Bills 10
San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets 1:00 PM ET CBS
No good feeling whatsoever one way or the other about this game. Chargers looked like they gave up last week. The Jets just flat out stink. Greg McElroy starting at quarterback is not the answer for the Jets and all of the talk around the team this week won't help either.
Prediction: Chargers 16 Jets 13
Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 PM ET FOX
RGIII is expected to play this week and the surprising Redskins continue their NFC East division title hopes against a team that is injury-riddled and looks like they're ready to call it quits. I think they'll have plenty of success.
Prediction: Redskins 27 Eagles 16
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM ET CBS
Maybe the best game of the NFL weekend. The Steelers are in desperate need of a win having lost two games in a row and are on the outside looking in at the playoffs. The Bengals have been playing some really good football the last few weeks, but this stands to be the biggest challenge yet. They haven't beat the Steelers in a little while. Can they do it this time? Eh...I don't know. Steelers backs are against the wall and they come out and play like it.
Prediction: Steelers 23 Bengals 20
St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM ET FOX
The Bucs looked like the threw in the towel last week against the Saints. In a toss up game, I think I like Jeff Fisher's coached team a little better.
Prediction: Rams 23 Bucs 17
Cleveland Browns @ Denver Brocnos 4:05 PM ET CBS
Broncos have a very easy last two weeks of the season with the Browns and Chiefs at home. They win this game easily, putting more pressure on the Texans for the #1 seed in the AFC.
Prediction: Broncos 34 Browns 17
Chicago Bears @ Arizona Cardinals 4:25 PM ET FOX
After the way the Bears played last week and with the Cardinals upsetting the Lions, it would not shock me to see the Bears have a letdown and the Cardinals end the last part of their home scheduled with back-to-back wins. But I need to see it to believe it.
Prediction: Bears 24 Cardinals 13
New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens 4:25 PM ET FOX
Will either of these real teams please stand up? The Ravens have lost three in a row and have looked bad yet they are in the playoffs. The Giants were spanked in Atlanta last week yet control their own destiny to make the playoffs by winning their final two games. Not sure yet if Ray Lewis will play for the Ravens, but they certainly need him because their defense stinks. If he plays, they win a close game. I'm going on the assumption that he'll play.
Prediction: Ravens 26 Giants 20
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks 8:20 PM ET NBC
This will be an epic battle. The Seahawks are undefeated at home for a reason. Their home crowd is loud. Big advantage for the Seahawks. As of this posting, cornerback Richard Sherman's appeal hearing hasn't been heard yet. If he plays, I really like Seattle in this one. If he doesn't, that's a huge plus for San Fran. Seattle remains undefeated at home.
Prediction: Seahawks 24 49ers 20
Coming up Monday (Christmas Eve): Week 16 reaction