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PFT’s NFL Week 16 2021 picks

From a coach on the line to a team looking for a rebound after a catastrophic upset, Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss who around the NFL needs to step things up in Week 16.

The one-game difference remains, with three weeks to go.

Last week, MDS and I split on our disagreements, finishing the weekend (and weekdays) 10-6 each. He continues to lead, 141-82-1 to 140-83-1.

This week, we disagree on three. For all picks, scroll away.

49ers (-3.5) at Titans

MDS’s take: The 49ers are playing their best football recently, and they’ll remain very much in the NFC playoff race with a win at an injury-plagued Tennessee team.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 24, Titans 23.

Florio’s take: If the Titans can iron out some of their mistakes, they can get back to winning. They need to.

Florio’s pick: Titans 24, 49ers 23.

Browns (+7) at Packers

MDS’s take: The COVID-ravaged Browns should be healthier than they were against the Raiders. But even at 100 percent, I wouldn’t pick them to win in Green Bay.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Browns 17.

Florio’s take: The 2021 Browns seem ready to fold the tents on a season bound for failure.

Florio’s pick: Packers 31, Browns 20.

Colts (+1) at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Cardinals laid the biggest egg of the season with their loss in Detroit, but they’ll bounce back with a big win on Christmas night.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 30, Colts 20.

Florio’s take: The Cardinals have fallen, and they can’t get up. The Colts have gotten up, and they’re not about to go down.

Florio’s pick: Colts 24, Cardinals 20.

Buccaneers (-11) at Panthers

MDS’s take: Even as banged-up as they are, I can’t imagine the Buccaneers losing to this Panthers team.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Panthers 10.

Florio’s take: Cam Newton is 2-0 lifetime as a starter vs. Tom Brady. That finally changes, with a little help from Sam Darnold.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Panthers 14.

Giants (+10) at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Eagles are coming on strong down the stretch and not out of the playoff hunt. They’ll stomp a Giants team that has made absolutely no progress during the Dave Gettleman era.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 31, Giants 12.

Florio’s take: The Giants have embarked on an involuntary tank. The Eagles remain very much alive for the playoffs.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 27, Giants 20.

Chargers (-8.5) at Texans

MDS’s take: Texans quarterback Davis Mills is actually playing reasonably well, but not well enough to beat Justin Herbert and the Chargers.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 24, Texans 14.

Florio’s take: The Texans are the gang that shouldn’t tank straight. The Chargers will help get them get pointed in the right direction.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 31, Texans 20.

Lions (+6) at Falcons

MDS’s take: I’m very tempted to pick the upset here, as I think the Lions are better than their record and the Falcons are worse than theirs. But I can’t quite pull the trigger and I’ll say the Falcons win on a last-second field goal.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 23, Lions 21.

Florio’s take: The Falcons are good enough to win when they should, and Detroit’s recent success will keep the Falcons from getting complacent.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Lions 17.

Ravens (+2.5) at Bengals

MDS’s take: The AFC North is wide open and the winner of this one is the clear favorite. I’ll say the Bengals escape in a close one.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 28, Ravens 27.

Florio’s take: In some games, desperation makes all the difference. This is one of those games. Whether it’s Lamar Jackson or Tyler Huntley, the Ravens find a way to get it done.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 24, Bengals 21.

Rams (-3) at Vikings

MDS’s take: The Vikings’ secondary shut down the Bears’ passing game on Monday night. They won’t have any such luck against the Rams’ passing game.

MDS’s pick: Rams 31, Vikings 20.

Florio’s take: Minnesota won’t have to worry about blowing a late lead in this one.

Florio’s pick: Rams 30, Vikings 23.

Jaguars (+2.5) at Jets

MDS’s take: The Jaguars are in a march toward their second consecutive first overall draft pick.

MDS’s pick: Jets 17, Jaguars 13.

Florio’s take: If a game falls in the woods, does it make a sound?

Florio’s pick: Jets 20, Jaguars 14.

Bills (+2.5) at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Patriots can lock up the AFC East with a win, and I think they’re going to do it with a defense that clamps down on Josh Allen.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 20, Bills 14.

Florio’s take: The Patriots lacked energy against the Colts. They won’t lack energy against the Bills.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, Bills 17.

Bears (+6.5) at Seahawks

MDS’s take: Neither of these teams is going to the playoffs, but Pete Carroll has the Seahawks playing with a little more fight than Matt Nagy’s Bears.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 27, Bears 20.

Florio’s take: The twelves would be better off staying home for the second day of Christmas.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 30, Bears 21.

Steelers (+8) at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Chiefs just need to win out to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC. I like their chances.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 30, Steelers 20.

Florio’s take: The Steelers cling to slim playoff hopes, and the Chiefs cling to the No. 1 seed. If this game were being played in Pittsburgh, I’d pick the Steelers.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 31, Steelers 20.

Broncos (+1.5) at Raiders

MDS’s take: With Teddy Bridgewater I’d take the Broncos. With Drew Lock I’m taking the Raiders.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 17, Broncos 14.

Florio’s take: The loser of this one is done. The winner likely will be done in time, too.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 21, Broncos 13.

Washington (+10.5) at Cowboys

MDS’s take: The Cowboys will win the NFC East regardless, but they’re jockeying for a playoff seed and they’ll take care of business against a Washington team that is clinging to its playoff life.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 24, Washington 17.

Florio’s take: The Cowboys have sleepwalked their way to the No. 2 seed, thanks to a recently soft schedule. The soft schedule continues.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 34, Washington 24.

Dolphins (+3) at Saints

MDS’s take: I would’ve picked the Saints until Ian Book became their starting quarterback.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 20, Saints 13.

Florio’s take: With 21 Saints on COVID-19 reserve, Miami catches a break in their unlikely quest to make it to the playoffs.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 23, Saints 20.