Here are my games to watch for Week 16 of the NFL season:
BILLS at PATRIOTS — Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network
Usually, New England has the AFC East wrapped up by now. They’ve won the last 10 straight division titles and 15 of the past 16. This season, the Bills are not ready to concede the title so easily. Back in Week 4, the Bills gave the Pats all they could handle, but Josh Allen threw three interceptions and left with a concussion. Buffalo is in the postseason party for the second time in three seasons, but for them that’s not enough; they feel they can take the division from New England. Two good defenses will be on display Saturday afternoon in Foxborough. Until further notice, New England is still king of the division hill. Buffalo will make a game of of it, but the Bills won't cash in.
RAMS at 49ERS — Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on NFL Network
The Rams are still licking their wounds from getting mauled by the Cowboys. Jared Goff has a bruised thumb on his throwing hand, but the word is he should be fine. The Niners are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Last Sunday they got tripped up by Atlanta. A mild setback, but San Fran can still win the NFC West (win out vs. Rams and Seahawks), and the No. 1 overall seed is up for grabs. The Rams are a big play offense with 66 pass plays of 20-plus yards, but the Niners have the defensive personnel to diffuse them. San Fran went on the road and won the Week 6 meeting between the two. The Rams' hopes of getting back to the Super Bowl will end in Santa Clara.
SAINTS at TITANS — Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX
What a season it's been for New Orleans. Drew Brees gets hurt, Teddy Bridgewater holds down the fort for six games, Brees comes back and becomes the new all-time leader in touchdown passes. His favorite target, Michael Thomas, is also on a record-setting pace, needing just 11 more catches to break Marvin Harrison's single-season reception total (143). The Titans lost a heartbreaker last week against Houston in a battle for first place in the AFC South, and it may have broken their playoff spirit. Tennessee is currently the seventh seed and needs help elsewhere. The Saints are on a mission, and unfortunately for Tennessee, this is not the season we remember the Titans.
CHIEFS at BEARS — Sunday at 8:20 p.m. on NBC
The Bears were making playoff noise having won three in a row until Green Bay officially put their postseason hopes in hibernation. So now, Chicago just wants to finish the season strong. K.C. has gotten hot at the right time. They are champs of the AFC West and winners of four straight. Patrick Mahomes is playing well but not at an MVP level (three INTs in his last four games), yet has weapons galore to choose from. The Chiefs' defense has been playing much better. K.C. will win its fifth straight and the Bears will fall one game below .500
PACKERS at VIKINGS — Monday at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN
Schedule makers knew what they were doing when they made this rematch a Week 16 heavyweight showcase. The Packers won the Week 2 preliminary bout. It's hard to figure out who these Packers are. Their offense is not explosive and their defense is generous, yet they’ve won 11 games. The Vikings went on the West Coast and demolished a Chargers squad that manhandled the Packers a few weeks ago. Aaron Rodgers is 13-8-1 as a starting QB vs the Vikes. In those 22 games, Rodgers has completed 67.9 percent of his passes, thrown 44 touchdowns, has six interceptions and a 109.3 passer rating. The Vikes' run game could suffer if Dalvin Cook (shoulder) is sidelined. Minnesota is the only unbeaten team at home in the league. They’ll make Green Bay pack it in this time to pull even in the standings. Which means the division outcome won't be decided until the final game of the season.
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