What follows are my picks for the NFL’s Week 16 games:
*Saturday, December 22*
Atlanta (12-2) at Detroit (4-10) – 8:30 p.m. (Line: Atlanta by 3.5)
The only thing that matters for the Lions at this point is to make sure Calvin Johnson is able to break Jerry Rice’s record for receiving yards in a season.
—RJ’s Pick: Falcons by 28
*Sunday, December 23*
New Orleans (6-8) at Dallas (8-6) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: DALLAS by 2.5)
The Cowboys have won three straight. The Saints are just 2-5 on the road this season.
—RJ’s Pick: Cowboys by 7
Tennessee (5-9) at Green Bay (10-4) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: GREEN BAY by 12)
The Packers are still in the hunt for a playoff bye. The Titans have dropped three of their last four.
—RJ’s Pick: Packers by 20
Indianapolis (9-5) at Kansas City (2-12) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: Indianapolis by 6.5)
Despite their good record, the Colts have a -49 point differential. The Chiefs, however, have the league’s worst point differential at -172.
—RJ’s Pick: Colts by 11
Buffalo (5-9) at Miami (6-8) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: MIAMI by 4.5)
The Bills have lost their last two games. The Dolphins are 4-3 at home this season.
—RJ’s Pick: Dolphins by 2
San Diego (5-9) at New York Jets (6-8) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: NEW YORK JETS by 2.5)
Greg McElroy will get the start this week for the Jets. LOL.
—RJ’s Pick: Chargers by 4
Washington (8-6) at Philadelphia (4-10) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: Washington by 6)
The Redskins have won five in a row and control their own destiny in the NFC East. The Eagles are just 2-5 at home this season.
—RJ’s Pick: Redskins by 3
Cincinnati (8-6) at Pittsburgh (7-7) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: PITTSBURGH by 3)
This is a huge game for both teams. The Bengals are in the playoffs with a win, while the Steelers would make the playoffs with a win here and another one next week against Cleveland (both home games).
—RJ’s Pick: Bengals by 1
St. Louis (6-7-1) at Tampa Bay (6-8) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: TAMPA BAY by 3)
For the second year in a row, the Buccaneers have collapsed late in the season. They started 4-2 last year before losing their last ten games, and they were 6-4 earlier this year before dropping their last four games. New head coach, same old story.
—RJ’s Pick: Rams by 5
Oakland (4-10) at Carolina (5-9) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: CAROLINA by 7.5)
The Raiders are 0-3 against the NFL South this season. The Panthers have won their last two games.
—RJ’s Pick: Panthers by 4
New England (10-4) at Jacksonville (2-12) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: New England by 14)
The Patriots look like they will fall a little short of the NFL record for points scored in a season (589), a record they set back in 2007 during their 16-0 regular season. Then again, it’s entirely possible they’ll put up 40 or 50 points on the Jaguars this week, who are ranked next to last in the league in total yards allowed per game. If they do that, then they’d still have a slim chance of breaking the record next week against Miami.
—RJ’s Pick: Patriots by 24
Minnesota (8-6) at Houston (12-2) – 1:00 p.m. (Line: HOUSTON by 7)
The Texans can clinch the top seed in the AFC with a win this week. The Vikings desperately need a victory to keep their Wild Card hopes alive in the NFC.
—RJ’s Pick: Texans by 2
Cleveland (5-9) at Denver (11-3) – 4:05 p.m. (Line: DENVER by 12.5)
—RJ’s Pick: Broncos by 8
Chicago (8-6) at Arizona (5-9) – 4:25 p.m. (Line: Chicago by 5.5)
The Bears have lost three in a row, and need a win badly to stay in the hunt for a Wild Card berth. The Cardinals scored 38 points against Detroit last week. They had scored just 23 points in their previous three games combined.
—RJ’s Pick: Bears by 1
New York Giants (8-6) at Baltimore (9-5) – 4:25 p.m. (Line: New York Giants by 1.5)
The Giants have fallen into a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East. A loss here would almost certainly end their playoff hopes. The Ravens have clinched a playoff berth, but they’ve lost three straight and run the risk of falling out of first place in the AFC North.
—RJ’s Pick: Giants by 7
San Francisco (10-3-1) at Seattle (9-5) – 8:20 p.m. (Line: San Francisco by 1)
The 49ers have clinched a playoff spot, and can clinch the NFC West division title with a win here. The Seahawks have won their last three games and are undefeated at home this season. They’ve scored an incredible 108 points over their last two games. However, a loss here would put their playoff hopes in jeopardy.
—RJ’s Pick: Seahawks by 3
[If you're interested, you can check out the full list of Danny Sheridan's Odds here.]