Bing Predicts NFL Week 16

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December 19, 2018
Kevin C. Cox // Getty

Bing Predicts NFL Week 16

It was another week of unexpected upsets in the NFL with the Patriots, Rams, and Chiefs all falling. The Chargers are now in the conversation for the #1 overall seed in the AFC, and the Patriots could miss out on a first-round bye for the first time since 2009. An unpredictable season remained exactly that in Week 15.

As the NFL marches its way to the finish line, a murky playoff picture became a little more clear: Seven teams were eliminated from postseason contention after the weekend of play, but four divisions and three wild-card slots are still up for grabs. With what feels like 100 million different scenarios that could still play out, the final two weeks of the season are going to be fun.

Here are a few key games with major implications for both teams:

—Ravens @ Chargers: Baltimore is fighting to stay in the AFC’s sixth seed, but a division title isn’t out of the question either. L.A.’s huge victory over Kansas City last week means home field advantage is still possible.

—Texans @ Eagles: Philadelphia needed a victory over the Rams to stay alive, and they got it. They’ll need to fend off a Houston team that can clinch the AFC South with a victory, though.

—Steelers @ Saints: New Orleans can lock down the #1 seed in the NFC with a victory over the Steelers, who earned a must-win victory over the Patriots, but are still in danger of missing out on the postseason.

—Chiefs @ Seahawks: Kansas City is still fighting for home field advantage while Seattle needs one more win to clinch a wild-card berth.  

Guiding you through every game is Bing Predicts, which leverages search, social, and historical statistics to forecast the week’s winners and losers. Read on for Week 16 predictions.

ALSO: See how Bing predicted the entire season here.

Washington Redskins (7-7) @ Tennessee Titans (8-6)

Washington Redskins @ Tennessee Titans

Game time: Saturday, Dec. 22, 4:30 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Series tied 6-6

The Washington Redskins' and Tennessee Titans' seasons were saved, at least for another week. The Redskins were able to halt a four-game losing streak using a fourth quarter comeback orchestrated by quarterback Josh Johnson who made his first NFL start since 2011. The 16-13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars was Johnson's first NFL win. Washington has been decimated by injury this season, having lost both its starting quarterback (Alex Smith) and backup QB (Colt McCoy) to leg injuries, but currently sits just one game behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.

The Titans rode running back Derrick Henry again this week. His dominant performance—33 carries for 170 yards—was the second-consecutive week Henry amassed 125 or more first-half rushing yards. This late-season charge—408 yards in the last two weeks—from the former Heisman winner is what the Titans will need to rely on if they want to sneak into the postseason. Their 8-6 record has them tied with the Baltimore Ravens and the Indianapolis Colts, but they would be outside of the playoffs if the season ended today due to tiebreakers.

It's a must-win for both of these playoff hopefuls.

Bing Predicts: Tennessee Titans

Bing Predicts Winner: Tennessee Titans (73% chance)

See more on the Tennessee Titans

Baltimore Ravens (8-6) @ Los Angeles Chargers (11-3)

Baltimore Ravens @ Los Angeles Chargers

Game time: Saturday, Dec. 22, 8:20 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Baltimore Ravens lead series 6-5

The Los Angeles Chargers secured their biggest victory of the season on Thursday night when they bested the Kansas City Chiefs 29-28. The Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers trailed by 14 points with less than four minutes remaining in the game, but thundered back and opted to attempt a two-point conversion to get the win in the game's final seconds, earning their first victory over the Chiefs since 2013, which is also the last time the Chargers made the postseason. Thursday's victory guarantees at least a playoff berth.

The Ravens have found a winning recipe with rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson and his mobility. Baltimore's 20-12 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers moved Jackson to 4-1 as a starter and kept the Ravens in the AFC's sixth seed for now. Jackson finished the game with 131 yards and a touchdown through the air, along with 95 yards rushing. It appears head coach John Harbaugh will continue to roll with the rookie phenom despite regular starting quarterback Joe Flacco being fully recovered from a hip injury.

With the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans directly on Baltimore's tail, they may need to win out to reach the postseason. Chargers still have their sights set on the #1 overall seed in the AFC.

Bing Predicts: Los Angeles Chargers

Bing Predicts Winner: Los Angeles Chargers (63% chance)

See more on the Los Angeles Chargers

Cincinnati Bengals (6-8) @ Cleveland Browns (6-7-1)

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Cincinnati Bengals lead series 50-40

While this AFC North rivalry has been lopsided in seasons past, 2018 looks like the year when things trend in the Browns' favor. Since firing former coach Hue Jackson, the Browns are 4-1 and holding on to slim playoff aspirations, which hasn't been the case this late in the season in a very long time. The 17-16 win over the Denver Broncos was by no means pretty, but if anything, a good representation of the fight this team has given in 2018. They'll try to take down the dejected Bengals for the second time this season and keep their flickering playoff hopes alive.

Cincinnati escaped against the Oakland Raiders Sunday and ended a five-game losing streak, but their playoff chances are no more after every other team in the AFC North won in Week 15. Even if they manage to win their remaining two games of the season and finish with a .500 record, the Bengals won't be playing in January.

If the Browns manage to sneak into the postseason, they'll need a lot of help, but a victory over Cincinnati is the first piece of the puzzle in Week 16.

Bing Predicts: Cleveland Browns

Bing Predicts Winner: Cleveland Browns (60% chance)

See more on the Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10) @ Miami Dolphins (7-7)

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Miami Dolphins

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Series tied 4-4

This matchup likely has no playoff implications despite the Miami Dolphins remaining in the hunt for the sixth playoff seed in the AFC. Their 41-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings was a major hit to Miami's already slim postseason aspirations. A week following the unlikely and unbelievable last-second victory over the New England Patriots, the Dolphins suffered what could be a season-ending letdown. They were outgained 418-193 by Minnesota in the game.

Jacksonville is long-eliminated from postseason contention, and their 16-13 loss to Josh Johnson and the depleted Washington Redskins was a good microcosm of the forgettable 2018 the team has experienced. The Jaguars, who relied heavily on their opportunistic defense in 2017, is pacing for only half of the turnovers they forced last season. Defense is not the focal point to be addressed this offseason, though, as Jacksonville ranks third-last in points scored this season.

The Dolphins will need to win their remaining games and get help along the way if they hope to find themselves in the postseason for the second time in three seasons.

Bing Predicts: Miami Dolphins

Bing Predicts Winner: Miami Dolphins (64% chance)

See more on the Miami Dolphins

Atlanta Falcons (5-9) @ Carolina Panthers (6-8)

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Atlanta Falcons lead series 29-18

Despite Sunday's 40-14 blowout victory over the Arizona Cardinals, 2018 has been a season to forget for the Atlanta Falcons, who will miss the postseason for the first time since the 2015 season. Their defense, which struggled in the takeaway department all season, forced three turnovers in the victory. If there's a bright spot this season, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones continue to be one of the best quarterback-wide receiver tandems in all of football. Jones currently leads the NFL with 1,511 receiving yards. It's the third time in his career he has eclipsed 1,500 yards and had at least 100 receptions in a season.

After their 6-2 start, the Carolina Panthers are winless since and now on the brink of elimination. The ugly 12-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints means that Carolina now has next-to-no chance at making their way into the playoffs for the second-straight season. An injured Cam Newton was held to 131 yards passing and was sacked four times.

This NFC South bout, which was thought to have major divisional implications at season's start, is essentially meaningless.

Bing Predicts: Carolina Panthers

Bing Predicts Winner: Carolina Panthers (57% chance)

See more on the Carolina Panthers

Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1) @ Detroit Lions (5-9)

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Minnesota Vikings lead series 73-39-2

The Minnesota Vikings desperately needed Sunday's 41-17 beatdown of the Miami Dolphins to get things back on track. The offense was effective through the air and on the ground: Kirk Cousins threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns, while Dalvin Cook added 136 yards and two scores. That offensive combination, if maintained, could make Minnesota a dangerous team in January. They are currently in the NFC's sixth and final playoff slot, but can't afford to drop this matchup against the division-rival Detroit Lions.

It has been a disappointing season all the way through for Detroit. All they can do is play spoiler at this point as they are guaranteed a losing record for the first time since 2015. With multiple injured players and nothing other than pride to play for for the Lions, Minnesota should like its chances on the road this weekend.

Lions head coach Matt Patricia hasn't experienced the success he hoped for in his first season at the helm, and the 14-13 loss to the Buffalo Bills only further suggests they need to start planning for a 2019 bounceback.

Bing Predicts: Minnesota Vikings

Bing Predicts Winner: Minnesota Vikings (63% chance)

See more on the Minnesota Vikings

Buffalo Bills (5-9) @ New England Patriots (9-5)

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: New England Patriots lead series 73-43-1

The New England Patriots—the NFL's most coveted franchise over the last two decades—has dropped two-straight games and fallen out of the second seed in the AFC playoff picture. New England has secured a first-round bye every year since 2010, but if the season ended today, they would be playing on wild-card weekend. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady made an uncharacteristic mistake in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, throwing an errant red zone interception to halt a would-be game-tying drive.

It would take an unprecedented collapse for the Patriots to miss the postseason as they need just one victory in their final two games against the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, respectively.

Buffalo can't make the playoffs, but they can play road spoiler this Sunday in Foxborough. The Patriots are double-digit favorites, but the Bills gutted out a 14-13 victory over the Lions, who beat the Patriots earlier this season, in Week 15.

Bing Predicts: New England Patriots

Bing Predicts Winner: New England Patriots (78% chance)

See more on the New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9) @ Dallas Cowboys (8-6)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Dallas Cowboys lead series 14-4

The Dallas Cowboys missed out on a chance to clinch a playoff berth in Week 15 when they were blanked by the Indianapolis Colts 23-0, and they failed to increase their winning streak to six games. The loss, while deflating, may have been the humbling experience the Cowboys needed, according to some locker room talk, as they prepare for postseason play. Wide receiver Amari Cooper, who has been nearly unstoppable since he was acquired by the Cowboys midseason, was held to just 32 yards on four receptions.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were officially eliminated from playoff contention after their 20-12 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and a Minnesota Vikings victory. The Bucs are guaranteed a losing record for the second-straight season, and head coach Dirk Koetter's post appears in jeopardy. Inconsistency has been what has plagued Tampa Bay all season: Their offense looked unstoppable at times and totally stagnant at others.

A win for Dallas this Sunday means they're in and NFC East champions for the second time in three seasons.

Bing Predicts: Dallas Cowboys

Bing Predicts Winner: Dallas Cowboys (70% chance)

See more on the Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers (5-8-1) @ New York Jets (4-10)

Green Bay Packers @ New York Jets

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: New York Jets lead series 8-4

Not much to watch here as both teams have officially been eliminated from postseason play. To call it a disappointing season for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, who entered the year with Super Bowl aspirations, would be a gross understatement. The Pack will finish with a sub-.500 record for the second straight year, but Rodgers has started every game this season unlike 2017. The two-time MVP hasn't finished with a losing record in seasons when healthy since 2008—his first year as a starter. Rodgers entered Sunday's contest 16-4 in starts against the Chicago Bears, but fell 24-17 in a less-than-sharp outing.

The Packers will seek out a new head coach this offseason after firing longtime play caller Mike McCarthy after their loss to the Arizona Cardinals. It's highly unlikely interim coach Joe Philbin will be retained.

The New York Jets should be in search of a new head coach as well: The organization is expected to part ways with Todd Bowles at season's end. After an impressive debut in 2015 when the Jets went 10-6, Bowles hasn't put together a winning season since. New York lost 29-22 to the Houston Texans last week, and they've dropped seven of their last eight.

Bing Predicts: New York Jets

Bing Predicts Winner: New York Jets (52% chance)

See more on the New York Jets

Houston Texans (10-4) @ Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)

Houston Texans @ Philadelphia Eagles

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Philadelphia Eagles lead series 4-0

The Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles both captured huge victories last weekend: The Texans' 29-22 win over the New York Jets moved them into the #2 seed in the AFC while the Eagles toppled the Los Angeles Rams 30-23 and kept their playoff chances alive.

Can Philadelphia conjure a little more late-season magic with Nick Foles? Last year when the backup signal caller took over for an injured Carson Wentz, he went on to win Super Bowl MVP. This Eagles team is clearly not the dominant force it was last season, but they are still in contention to earn either a wild-card berth (the easiest route) or the NFC East title. If Philly wins its remaining two games and Minnesota loses one of their remaining two, the defending Super Bowl champs will find themselves in the postseason.

Because of a New England Patriots' loss, the Texans now control their own destiny in earning a first-round bye. DeAndre Hopkins tacked 10 receptions and 170 yards onto an already All-Pro worthy season. A victory over the Eagles would lock up the AFC South for Houston.

Bing Predicts: Houston Texans

Bing Predicts Winner: Houston Texans (66% chance)

See more on the Houston Texans

New York Giants (5-9) @ Indianapolis Colts (8-6)

New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 1 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Indianapolis Colts lead series 11-7

The Indianapolis Colts needed a victory Sunday to keep pace with the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans for the sixth and final slot in the AFC playoffs, and in impressive fashion, that's exactly what they got. In shutting out the Dallas Cowboys 23-0, the Colts have solidified that they're a far cry from the squad who started the season 1-5. While Indy belongs in the playoff conversation, winning the rest of its games doesn't guarantee a playoff berth. Either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens will need to falter down the stretch for the Colts to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

The New York Giants were shut out 17-0 by the Tennessee Titans Week 15. Despite a lackluster 2018 campaign, the Giants entered Sunday's matchup having won four of their last five and looking less hopeless than the team who started 1-7.

To avoid New York playing spoiler, the Colts will need to borrow the model used by the Titans: stop Saquon Barkley at all costs. The rookie phenom was held to just 31 rushing yards after rattling off 100-plus yards in each of his last four games.

Bing Predicts: Indianapolis Colts

Bing Predicts Winner: Indianapolis Colts (79% chance)

See more on the Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams (11-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (3-11)

Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 4:05 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Los Angeles Rams lead series 40-38-2

In what feels like the blink of an eye, the Los Angeles Rams went from a Super Bowl favorite to a vulnerable and exposed team entering the final two weeks of the season. An offense averaging just under 35 points-per-game through the first 13 weeks of the season has failed to score 30 points combined in the team's two-game losing streak. Quarterback Jared Goff threw two interceptions in L.A.'s 30-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and four in the 15-6 loss to the Bears. While L.A. need not panic, the Rams gave fans few reasons in the last two weeks to believe they are the best team in the NFC.

The Arizona Cardinals are a good team to face if you're hoping to get back to your winning ways. The Cardinals are tied for the worst record in football and a leading candidate for the #1 overall selection in 2019's draft. Their most recent loss, a 40-14 smacking issued by the Atlanta Falcons, featured 40 unanswered points relinquished by the defense. The rookie campaign has not been pleasant for Josh Rosen, who was benched in favor of Mike Glennon after being sacked six times and throwing for just 132 yards in more than three quarters of work.

Bing Predicts: Los Angeles Rams

Bing Predicts Winner: Los Angeles Rams (74% chance)

See more on the Los Angeles Rams 

Chicago Bears (10-4) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-10)

Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 4:05 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: San Francisco 49ers lead series 34-31-1

The Chicago Bears are kings of the NFC North for the first time since 2010. Their 24-17 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, a divisional win that has been tough to come by in recent years, secured their first playoff appearance in eight seasons. The Bears now have their sights set on a first round bye; they trail the Los Angeles Rams by only one game. The first obstacle in their path? The surprisingly-hot San Francisco 49ers.

The Niners have put together a two-game winning streak, last week taking down the rival Seattle Seahawks 26-23 in overtime and ending a 10-game losing streak within the series.

These two faced off last season with the 49ers earning a 15-14 victory, but we are looking at two very different teams in 2018. It's likely the Bears end up the third-seeded team in the NFC, so this game likely doesn't mean much for Chicago. While playing for nothing more than pride at this point in the season, San Francisco may keep this game close at home.

Bing Predicts: Chicago Bears

Bing Predicts Winner: Chicago Bears (63% chance)

See more on the Chicago Bears 

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1) @ New Orleans Saints (12-2)

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New Orleans Saints

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 4:25 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: New Orleans Saints lead series 8-7

The Pittsburgh Steelers earned a much-needed Week 15 victory, and their opponent was no late-season cupcake. The 17-10 win over the New England Patriots stopped a three-game Steelers' losing streak and kept Pittsburgh atop the AFC North for the time being. The Patriots had gotten the best of the Steelers each of the last five times these two faced off, but not Sunday.

The could-be, season-saving victory came a week removed from a loss to the abysmal Oakland Raiders, making this game all the more important. Things don't get any easier this week as they battle what may be the best team in football.

New Orleans' 12-9 victory over the Carolina Panthers improved their record to the best in the NFL and moved them one win away from home field advantage in the NFC. It wasn't pretty: MVP candidate Drew Brees threw for just over 200 yards with no touchdowns and an interception, but the Saints have found ways to win all season when they aren't at their best.  

This matchup is one of Week 16's most exciting. Can the Steelers improve their chances at another AFC North title, or will the most complete team in football be too much to handle at home?

Bing Predicts: New Orleans Saints

Bing Predicts Winner: New Orleans Saints (64% chance)

See more on the New Orleans Saints

Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) @ Seattle Seahawks (8-6)

Kansas City Chiefs @ Seattle Seahawks

Game time: Sunday, Dec. 23, 8:20 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Kansas City Chiefs lead series 33-18

This Sunday night matchup has the potential to be the best of Week 16, depending on what transpires in the earlier games. If both the Los Angeles Chargers and Houston Texans lose, the Chiefs will have nothing to play for, having already locked up the #1 overall seed. If not, they'll be seeking home field advantage in the AFC, but must first fend off a pesky Seattle Seahawks team needing a victory in one of their next two outings to secure a wild-card spot.

Seattle experienced an unexpected 26-23 overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers, which makes potential implications of this game all the more meaningful. Kansas City also suffered heartbreak Week 15 after surrendering 15 points in the final four minutes of what would be a 29-28 Los Angeles Chargers' victory.

The Chiefs' secondary is even more vulnerable than usual after losing cornerback Kendall Fuller to a fractured wrist. Seattle will need to win in a shootout against the NFL's best offense, so long as the Chiefs are still seeking the #1 overall seed.

Bing Predicts: Kansas City Chiefs

Bing Predicts Winner: Kansas City Chiefs (58% chance)

See more on the Kansas City Chiefs 

Denver Broncos (6-8) @ Oakland Raiders (3-11)

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders

Game time: Monday, Dec. 24, 8:15 p.m. EST

Historical matchup: Oakland Raiders lead series 63-53-2

The casual NFL fan need not waste their time taking in this matchup. This year's Monday night finale is one the NFL likely wishes they could flex out of. The Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders are two underperforming teams who have both been eliminated from postseason play, making this primetime contest a largely irrelevant one.

The Broncos were officially removed from the playoff conversation with a 17-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns while the Raiders had already been eliminated and their 30-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals further increased their odds of the #1 overall draft selection next year.

The dichotomy between the AFC West's top two teams and bottom two teams is more extreme than in any division. Unfortunately for spectators, this battle features the bottom two squads. If fans are looking for a reason to tune in, this could be the final game played in Oakland by the Raiders.

Bing Predicts: Denver Broncos

Bing Predicts Winner: Denver Broncos (61% chance)

See more on the Denver Broncos

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