NFL-AFCE GameDay Wk 16

NFL-AFCE GameDay Wk 16
Luciano 11
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Bills (5-9) at Patriots (9-5): 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: NE -13.5 | Matchup quality: 49.3 (of 100)


Mike Rodak’s pick: Even if the Bills do not pull off a rare victory at Gillette Stadium, where they are 2-14, it would be a win for Buffalo if Josh Allen is competitive in his first game against the Patriots. Allen has the NFL’s 10th-best Total QBR since his Week 12 return from an elbow injury, but Tom Brady — despite his hiccups last Sunday — has the second-best QBR (80.9) over that span. Patriots 24, Bills 14

Mike Reiss’ pick: The Patriots are the NFL’s only undefeated team at home (6-0) this season, and returning to Gillette after back-to-back road losses serves up a reminder of how the club has looked much different this season at home vs. the road. One player in the locker room said focus was sharp this week, with a reminder that just because there is a Patriots logo on the helmet, it doesn’t guarantee anything. Patriots 27, Bills 17

What’s at stake: The Patriots can clinch the AFC East title with a win or a Dolphins loss. They can’t clinch a first-round bye this week, but they could lose out on one if both the Chiefs and Texans win. — Seifert

FPI win projection: NE, 86.0 percent. If the Patriots want to earn a first-round bye, this game is pretty much a must-win. Should the Patriots hold off Buffalo, they’d be 57 percent to avoid wild-card weekend. A loss drops them to a 1-in-20 chance at still earning a bye.

New England Patriots 30, Buffalo Bills 13


This AFC East clash is steeped in history, as these are two original AFL franchises. The Bills have upset the Patriots a time or three during the Belichick/Brady era, and certainly in the 59-year history of this rivalry. Not seeing it this week. Not sure if Tom Brady is hearing the proverbial whispers, but he certainly has watched the tape of last Sunday’s underwhelming performance at Heinz. So has Buffalo’s Sean McDermott, who will undoubtedly want DC Leslie Frazier to dial up a gaggle of blitz schemes to rattle the veteran quarterback. I don’t anticipate the Bills playing the numbers game all the time in the secondary, solely relying on the front four to create pressure. The missing man in New England’s offense who could play a huge role this week: James White, who has averaged 6.5 touches the last two games after getting 12.5 per game over the first 12 weeks. Brady will need to lean on his multi-talented back, especially with Josh Gordon suddenly out of the mix. Looking forward to seeing how the Patriots approach Josh Allen, who was quiet on the ground against the Lions last week. NE: Clinch AFC East with a win.


Packers (5-8-1) at Jets (4-10): 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Point spread: GB -3 | Matchup quality: 27.4 (of 100)


Rob Demovsky’s pick: The Packers have lost nine in a row on the road dating to last season, and this is the last chance to avoid going winless on the road this season. If they don’t notch a victory, it will be their first winless season on the road since 1958. As Aaron Rodgers said, “I think it’s important for us to not be a statistic next to the [1958] Packers.” That’s about all they have to play for, but it’s more than the Jets have. Packers 23, Jets 11

Rich Cimini’s pick: The Packers’ road record (0-7) is eye-opening, but it’s not like they’re venturing into hostile territory. The Jets are 2-5 at home, having lost four straight with an average margin of defeat of 18 points. Key question: Will there be more cheeseheads in the crowd than Jets fans with bags over their heads? Difference in the game: Sam Darnoldis improving, but he’s no Rodgers. Packers 24, Jets 17

FPI win projection: GB, 68.0 percent. Both teams are eliminated from the playoffs. Neither appears likely to bring back its current head coach. Both already have their quarterback for years to come. The only real consequence of this game’s result is draft order. The Jets would have a 5 percent shot at the No. 1 overall pick with a loss, but a victory would knock them out of contention.

New York Jets 21, Green Bay Packers 17


Well, we will all find out together as a family unit if the Packers are mailing it in to close out the season. Green Bay faces a Todd Bowles production that gave the Texans all they could handle last Saturday(despite missing extra points and a grand opportunity to play spoiler). Not liking the Packers in this game. With no Aaron Jones, and with Aaron Rodgers and his wideouts clearly misconnecting, the Jetswill close the deal this week. In order to do that, though, they cannot kill drives with the same dumb penalties they suffered last week (nine of those beauties versus Houston). Gang Green also must do a better job providing Sam Darnold time in the fourth quarter. Of course, the Packers aren’t exactly trotting J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney out there, either.

Historical note: Last time these teams met at the Big Snoopy, Green Bay won 9-0. #Sanchize

Jaguars (4-10) at Dolphins (7-7): 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: MIA -4 | Matchup quality: 10.5 (of 100)


Mike DiRocco’s pick: Since the Jaguars fired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, made QB coach Scott Milanovich the playcaller and benched Blake Bortles for Cody Kessler, the offense has been almost non-functional. The Jaguars have scored one offensive touchdown in the three games since the changes, and that came when the Titans held a 30-2 lead and were in soft coverage. Kessler has been sacked 13 times in his three starts, and the Jaguars managed just 20 net passing yards in Week 15 against Washington. Hard to see the offense mustering much Sunday. Dolphins 13, Jaguars 6

Cameron Wolfe’s pick: Miami has looked like an AFC contender when playing at home this season, evident in its 6-1 record with victories over New England and Chicago. Playoff chances are slim, so motivation will be key in this one. But if the Dolphins come to play, they should be able to feast off Kessler in a bounce-back game that might be ugly to watch for fans of offensive football. Dolphins 17, Jaguars 12

What’s at stake: The Dolphins remain in play for a wild-card berth and even have a path to the AFC East title. They can’t clinch anything in Week 16, but a loss would eliminate them from playoff contention altogether. They also can be eliminated if the Patriots, Colts and Titans all win. — Seifert

FPI win projection: MIA, 50.7 percent. The Jags’ defense might not be the same as a season ago, but it still ranks fourth in defensive efficiency and fifth in defensive FPI. Miami will need more from Ryan Tannehill than it got in Week 15. Tannehill ranks 31st out of 32 qualifying signal-callers this season in Total QBR.

Miami Dolphins 10, Jacksonville Jaguars 6


Not gonna mislead you: This matchup could produce the fugliest offensive football display in years. Second prediction: Dolphins win. As awful as the Miami offense has been over the last month, the Jags’ offense has been worse. Jacksonville has scored one offensive touchdown over the last three games, and even that was in garbage time against the Titans. The bright side for one of these unprolific attacks is the new running back Adam Gase unearthed last week in Minnesota, Kalen Ballage. The Arizona State product made the most of his first extended period of NFL action, piling up 123 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries. Play well, Kalen — you are the universe’s only hope. (For touchdowns in this game, anyway.) Dolphins‘ playoff outlook: Need to win both of their final games, then wait for the cavalry to arrive (Chargers and Redskins must win this week, for starters).


Luciano’s Picks

Last week 4-0
Season total 30-13

Bills @ Patriots: 10-24

This is an absolute must win game for the Patriots, who are not used to having to play to win wk 16, to ensure a top two spot in the playoffs. BB has lost two straight, another loss would literally send New England folks into orbit. Josh Allen has played ok last few weeks, but his passing skills are still at  Juco level. Patriots are great at taking something away from opponent, and this week they will take Josh’s legs. Bills will be forced to pass a lot as they play catchup, Josh will make many mistakes.

Packers @ Jets: 17-23

Yea this is a strange pick, but it’s my usual one I do weekly, against all the experts above (this time ESPN only). Right now this Jets team is actually better than this Packers’ mess. Right now I trust Darnold in this game more than I trust Aaron (weird but true). Rodgers has been less than pedestrian, this game will be the Jamaal Williams show, because not sure Stoneface HC wants his QB to get killed. Jets players are playing for pride and support of TB, they will win this one.

Jaguars @ Dolphins: 9-17

This is a game that the Dolphins have to win, not that there are any chances higher than 2% they make the playoffs, but its game that begins a two-week audition for both HC and rookie QB. Jaguars are a total disaster, Fournette is the Fournette everyone expected, the one that in college spent more time in the training room than on the field. HC has lost control, GM has no clue as he decided that his QB was worthy of an extension. Jags have to be one the most amazing stories in NFL history; from crap to almost SB team to worst than original mess. HC allowed best WR to walk, replaced him with unproven crap. Jags are the new Browns.

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