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2014 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 16 Picks

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16 of the NFL is here. I've maintained my average of an 11-5 record over the past two weeks in my effort to avoid going over 100 losses. This week, the theme will briefly discuss the playoff implications each team faces, if at all.

Week 16 Games Explanation Pick
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D-League Game of the Week: There were two games with no playoff implications this week, and this was one of them. Long-term, the Jaguars have the foundation laid out for a tough defensive team. The Titans? Ehhh...hit the panic button. Jaguars 20, Titans 13

Note: this pick was made on Thursday, and was posted here for record-keeping purposes.

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Outside Looking In? If the playoffs ended today, the Eagles would be out in the NFC. They do end the season with two straight games against the Redskins and Giants, but both games are on the road. They'll need to take this one step at a time and then hope for the best. Eagles 28, Redskins 20

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Uphill Battle: The Chargers have a decent chance at making the playoffs, but they'll need to win their final two games -- this week against the 49ers, and next week on the road against the Chiefs. I don't expect the Chargers to make it, but it is a good sign that the 49ers are in disarray. Chargers 21, 49ers 17

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NFC South Duel to the Death: If the Falcons lose, they are eliminated from playoff contention. If the Falcons win, though, they will control their own destiny to winning the division since they would have a 5-0 record within the division. Trying to pick a winner in any NFC South game is like picking a winner blindly. Because Julio Jones' status is in doubt, I'll take the Saints. Saints 28, Falcons 27

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Tailor Made Finish: The Ravens seem to have it made this week against the Texans, who are down to their third quarterback of the year in Case Keenum. A win puts Baltimore in prime position to secure a wildcard spot and could give them a divisional edge over the Bengals if they lose to Denver. The Texans still have hopes in the wildcard race, but that is asking a lot of their defense. Ravens 23, Texans 13

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What? Jimmy Clausen? The Bears just ensured the Lions a postseason berth. Fantasy football owners with the Lions' defense have to be jumping for joy too. Lions 34, Bears 3

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What? The 2-12 Buccaneers? Just like game above, the Packers are pretty much guaranteed a win against a team like Tampa Bay. Aaron Rodgers struggled against the Bills last week, but he'll unleash pent up frustration against the Bucs' secondary. Packers 34, Buccaneers 10

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Extension of the Postseason: This is a playoff game for both teams in the sense that it is a "must-win." If the Steelers win out, they win the AFC North. The Chiefs need a win to stay pace in the AFC wildcard race. I don't like the factors against Kansas City this week -- being on the road, and despite winning last week, struggling over the past month or so. Steelers 24, Chiefs 17

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Last-Ditch Effort: The Dolphins looked to be a favorite for a wildcard spot a couple of weeks ago, but two straight losses have them at 7-7 and in tough position trying to get a wildcard spot. They do face the Vikings and Jets at home, which bodes well for a 9-7 finish, but even that probably won't be good enough to get in. Dolphins 21, Vikings 20

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Who is the Real Winner? Rex Ryan will not let his team quit, but who is the real winner of last week's Jets/Titans game? The Patriots has a first-round bye locked up with a win, but need to keep winning to maintain the No. 1 overall seed. Patriots 35, Jets 17

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No Playoff Implications: This is the only other game this week with no playoff implications for either team. Both teams are below .500, but have played reasonably well as of late. Odell Beckham Jr. is a one-man show for the Giants, but the Rams' defense will cause some fits for Eli Manning this week. Rams 20, Giants 14

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The Final Push: The Bills have lost crucial wildcard tiebreaker games to the Chargers and Chiefs, so they need to win their final two games to have any chance of getting a wildcard spot. It is certainly doable behind their strong defense, which should keep the Raiders off the board most of the game. Bills 17, Raiders 10

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No Breathing Space: It's remarkable that this is Dallas' best season in a long time, yet their margin for error is so slim. If they lose to the Colts, there is a chance that they go from division leader to the No. 7 seed in the NFC with a 10-5 record. The Colts, meanwhile, have breathing room since their division is already locked up. There is still incentive for them to win, since there is a shot at them getting a first-round bye. Cowboys 35, Colts 31

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Losing Ground: The Cardinals have been atop the NFC West all season and are still the No. 1 seed heading into this game. With Ryan Lindley set to start at quarterback and the Seahawks' defense red hot again, this is where the scope of the division changes. Seattle has already beaten Arizona this year, so a win here puts them in prime position to secure the division. Seahawks 20, Cardinals 7

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Clutching for Dear Life: The Bengals have had the division lead in the AFC North for over a month, but they have a tough matchup against the Broncos this week. If the Bengals lose and either Pittsburgh or Baltimore win, then Cincinnati will fall out of the division lead. Cincinnati had a great gameplan to run the ball against the Browns last week, but Denver's offense will outshoot the Bengals if it comes down to that. Broncos 34, Bengals 24

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Still Alive in the NFC South: If the Browns were in the NFC South, they'd be leading the division. Our full game preview and prediction for this week's game is here.

TBA



Pokorny's Week 15 NFL Picks Record: 11-5
Pokorny's Record w/ Browns Games: 5-9
Pokorny's 2014 NFL Picks Record: 133-90-1

Survivor Pick: I am on a eight-game winning streak after the Giants beat the Redskins last week. The teams I've used are NE, CIN, SEA, SD, IND, MIA, DET, and NYG. This week, I'll go with the Packers over the Buccaneers.