Week 15 Recap
After Oakland became the fourth team to lock up a playoff berth with a win in San Diego, thirteen NFL teams are now fighting for the final eight postseason spots. Seven of those teams can conceivably lock up a division title this week, but the Giants and Steelers are the only teams that can secure a playoff berth in Week 16 without some kind of help.
Week 16 Prime Time Games
This week, the main slate of games is on Saturday, with just two games being played on Christmas Day and one on Monday Night, as usual.
Thursday Night Football – New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Saturday Night Football – Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans
Christmas Day – Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Christmas Night – Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
Monday Night Football – Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys
What to Watch for in Week 16
Lock of the Week – Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5) over Baltimore Ravens
Pittsburgh quietly has the longest winning streak in the league, winning each of their last five games. Baltimore, on the other hand, has only won once in the last five weeks, and Steelers have a chance to lock up a playoff spot and division title. Pittsburgh’s offense is notably better at home, especially through the air, and only seven teams have allowed more passing touchdowns than the Ravens.
Matchup of the Week – Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
After taking control of the division and a possible first round bye in Week 14, the Chiefs floundered against an unimposing Titans team in Week 15, giving control of the division back to Oakland. The Chiefs could lock up a playoff spot with a win, but they will likely have to win out and get help to regain control of the AFC West.
Denver once looked like a lock to join the postseason, but they have lost two in a row and now likely have to win out to make it to the dance.
Both of these teams rank in the top-10 in scoring defense, so expect a low-scoring battle that should come down to the wire.
Player to Watch – Latavius Murray (Running Back, Oakland Raiders) vs Indianapolis Colts
Over the last few weeks, Derek Carr hasn’t been putting up the numbers that we saw in the first half of the season, throwing just eight touchdowns since Week 10. Probably not coincidentally, Oakland has leaned on the running back as much as any team in the league of late. The Raiders are favored at home and expected to light up the scoreboard against a Colts defense that has allowed over 100 rushing yards per game this season.
TJ Hernandez is an editor at 4for4.com and the founder of RosterCoach.com. You can follow him on twitter @TJHernandez.
*The blog is for entertainment purposes only and in no way should be used in making wagers of any kind.