NFL Week 16 open thread

posted at 11:01 am on December 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

It’s hard out here for a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.  They’ve lost two games in a row after stunning the Ravens in Baltimore, but at least their fate still rests in their hands.  If they win the last two games of the season, they’ll get one of the wild-card slots in the playoffs.  The Cincinnati Bengals have the same opportunity, though, and the two division rivals finish their series today in Pittsburgh (1 pm ET, CBS).  It should be a close game, but the Steelers have to win this one or stay home in January.  I’ll pick the Steel Curtain to shut down the Bengals, 23-13.

Last week, I did about as well as the Steelers, going 2-4, but at least I got the fact that the Jets-Titans game would be a dull plodder.  Now I’m 62-31 on the season.  Can I improve in the final weeks?  Let’s see:

  • Titans at Packers (1 pm, CBS) – The Packers look like they’re coming up with their regular late-season charge, while the Titans looked almost as inept as the Jets last week.  Green Bay 35-17 over Tennesee.
  • Vikings at Texans (1 pm, Fox) – I’m only making a pick in this game because (a) I usually make a pick in the Vikings games, and (2) Minnesota won on the road last week for only the second time this season.  Don’t expect the Vikings to win the hat trick in Houston.  The Texans should easily handle the Vikings, 28-20, but look for Adrian Peterson to run for more than 100 yards again.
  • Redskins at Eagles (1 pm, Fox) – RGIII looks ready to return for Washington, while the Eagles look ready to fold for the rest of the season.  Philly has the home field, but all that means is that Andy Reid will hear the hometown boos that much more clearly.  Michael Vick’s ready to return, too, but Nick Foles will start the rest of the season.  Redskins win either way, 27-19.
  • Giants at Ravens (4:25 pm, Fox) -Both teams had setbacks last week, and for Baltimore it’s been two weeks in a row.  The Giants are a better December team than the Ravens, and that may just be enough.  Giants 31-28 over the Ravens, perhaps in OT.
  • 49ers at Seahawks (8:20 pm, NBC) – San Francisco comes fresh off a surprising beat-down of New England on the road, and now has to play a team that still hasn’t lost at home.  Seattle needs this win to challenge for the playoffs, but with the exception of one quarter last week, the 49ers look dominating.  This should be a great game pitting two young QBs against each other, but I think the 49ers will edge Seattle in the end, 28-24.

 

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Bengals to win, Bengals to win!!

Coming with motivation to secure a playoff berth! C’mon Giants, bring us a chance for the AFCN Title!

knob on December 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Go Steelers beat them gals!!!

CW on December 23, 2012 at 11:07 AM

I’ll be shocked if the Vikings win. Go AP!

gophergirl on December 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Go Saints!

After the year we had, we’re playing for pride and need to finish strong to set the table for next year.

cane_loader on December 23, 2012 at 11:17 AM

TEBOW! TEBOW! TEBOW! TEBOW! TEBOW!

lol

cane_loader on December 23, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I miss Tebow-mania. Plus, it had the extra added benefit of driving Allahpundit crazy.

Blake on December 23, 2012 at 11:22 AM

And since they took care of business last night, the Falcons players have a nice, relaxing afternoon at home wondering who will come to the Georgia Dome in three weeks.

radjah shelduck on December 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM

ALRIGHT!!!! Raider vs CAROLINA!! HELL YEAH!! FOOTBALL THAT MEANS SOMETHING!! Whose watching with me??

abobo on December 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Kapernick wilts under the 12th Man’s sonic assault. Seahawks win on their final drive.

Mallard T. Drake on December 23, 2012 at 11:39 AM

What are the odds that Seattle resident Tim Lincecum will make an appearance at the 49ers-Seahawks game tonight?

aunursa on December 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Er, I’ll go with the Patriots over Jax, Alex.

Del Dolemonte on December 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM

And since they took care of business last night, the Falcons players have a nice, relaxing afternoon at home wondering who will come to the Georgia Dome in three weeks.

radjah shelduck on December 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Don’t get too cocky. As I recall the Packers enjoyed a similar situation one year ago.

aunursa on December 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM

PS, a Happy Festivus to one and all!

Del Dolemonte on December 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM

…TOO LATE!…the Lions lost last night!

KOOLAID2 on December 23, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Just like the 3-game win streak following a blowout home loss to the lowly Jets, the Rams need to rebound from beatdown by AP and the Minnesquito Vikings & recapture momentum of their turn-around season.

Attaching that kind of urgency to any recent-season Rams game usually results in a mistake-filled, avoidable loss of a winnable game.

Take the Bucs at Sombrero Grande.
Probable big day for Josh Freeman.

Sacramento on December 23, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Vikings at Texans (1 pm, Fox) – I’m only making a pick in this game because (a) I usually make a pick in the Vikings games, and (2) Minnesota won on the road last week for only the second time this season. Don’t expect the Vikings to win the hat trick in Houston. The Texans should easily handle the Vikings, 28-20, but look for Adrian Peterson to run for more than 100 yards again.

Too, the Texans clinch the AFC 1st seed with a win today and it’s their last regular game at home. AP will also have a good number of local Houston fans and family at the game, but he has yet to meet the Bulls on Parade. This should be a closer game than the line or Ed predicts, but Texans will win.

Sorry, gophergirl, but our one-day legal separation begins in thirty minutes. XOXO. ;-)

TXUS on December 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM

If the Colts can beat the hapless Chiefs today they are in the playoffs. Cinderella team of the years. Yowsah!

tommyboy on December 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I would be interested to hear/see a report on whether/how much the TEBOW chants distract the announcers in the Jets-Chargers game.

You know it’s going to happen. Jets fans are POed and this will be their chance to show the owner.

Bet the mood at that game is going to be fun :)

cane_loader on December 23, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Tebow ought to put his helmet on and stalk Rex Ryan the whole game, and also Tebow for the crowd.

Amusement to follow ;-)

cane_loader on December 23, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I predict facepalmingly bad, game-changing officiating in the Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Seattle games.

Christien on December 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I suppose Sanchez will be wearing a bulletproof vest, unless he watches the game from the locker room?

cane_loader on December 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Gotta go bake some valve covers.

WHO DAT!

cane_loader on December 23, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I’m thinking that the ‘Skins will surprise in the NFC East. Giants will fade, and my beloved Cowboys will lose a close one to Washington.

irongrampa on December 23, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Sorry, gophergirl, but our one-day legal separation begins in thirty minutes. XOXO. ;-)

TXUS on December 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM

So does that mean we get to “make up” after 3:00 :D

Oh yeah one other thing – 7-3!

gophergirl on December 23, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Rams are winning, Steelers are losing. Take that, Ed! (Btw, it’s never too late to undo your mistake by going back to cheering for your Rams and against the Steelers. ;P

Christien on December 23, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Todd Haley must be fired. The games we have won have been in spite of his playcalling, not because of it. I’ve always admired the Rooneys for making good decisions, but the Haley decision was based on emotion, not his abilities and we have the results to show for it.

Haley must go!

ButterflyDragon on December 23, 2012 at 2:32 PM

ButterflyDragon on December 23, 2012 at 2:32 PM

They should hire the Rams OC, if they want to score more. Heh.

Christien on December 23, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Hey, 62 and 31 is excellent.

Haley must go!

ButterflyDragon on December 23, 2012 at 2:32 PM

You are a very bright person and I lean your way.

However, the “under center universe” is the dicey job in the NFL and when you add the performance of an entire offense, it really gets complicated. Obviously, they are trying to get more years from Ben and getting hit is not consistent with that.

On the recent slide, this is a bad start for OC Todd Haley, to be sure. Brandon Carr’s ($50 mill 2012 contract, 26.5 million guaranteed) play was just icing on the cake.

However, Kareem Copeland did a decent article on the subject and it featured video “front office” comments from Charlie Casserly.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000114270/article/todd-haley-not-offended-by-big-bens-recent-criticism

IlikedAUH2O on December 23, 2012 at 3:07 PM

I am very encouraged for next season for our Saints.

Payton coming back (I still want him to sneak into the ‘Dome with a carrier pigeon to send in a play for the last game.

We still have a good team and next season we will be on a mission.

Super Bowl or bust.

cane_loader on December 23, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I’m watching Bengals vs. Pittsburgh, thinking how sweet it would be for the Steelers to lose by a field goal–preferably one missed by Suisham.

C’mon, Who Deys!

Christien on December 23, 2012 at 4:08 PM

AWWWWW YEAHH! STEELERS LOSE! Great job, Bengals.

Christien on December 23, 2012 at 4:13 PM

OT in Big D. GEAUX, SAINTS!

Christien on December 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Unbelievably bad coverage by the Saints to allow 2 TDs in 3:20.

Going to OT.

Good for Romo.

Saints need this win for pride. Damn.

cane_loader on December 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Props to the Saints and Bengals for being able to gut it out on the road.

I would also give props to my Patriots for doing the same, but Brady was absolutely horrible today. Final QB rating of 73.9?

But Henne was even worse (59.9) so it didn’t really matter.

Del Dolemonte on December 23, 2012 at 4:54 PM

So does that mean we get to “make up” after 3:00 :D

Oh yeah one other thing – 7-3!

gophergirl on December 23, 2012 at 1:30 PM

If you’ll let me back in. Just don’t make me sleep on the couch, okay?

*on knees, begging* ;-)

TXUS on December 23, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Ed,

your team failed-just like Mitt.

too bad

gerrym51 on December 23, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Todd Haley must be fired. The games we have won have been in spite of his playcalling, not because of it. I’ve always admired the Rooneys for making good decisions, but the Haley decision was based on emotion, not his abilities and we have the results to show for it.

Haley must go!

ButterflyDragon on December 23, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Ben Roethlisberger has lost the Stealers their last two games.

On a happier note, the Cam Cameron-less Ravens offense came out and destroyed a Giants team thats already set tee times for a few weeks from now. Flacco played great and the playcalling was fantastic, something we never had when Cam called the offense.

ManWithNoName on December 23, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Go Bears!

But it’s still time for Lovie to go, unless the Bears make a surprise run deep into the playoffs.

JimLennon on December 23, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Did Ed really bet against the ‘Hawks?

Man-oh-man… it’s gonna be the cherry on top of an already REALLY bad day for somebody!! ;)

Shepherd Lover on December 23, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Go Bengals!

NCC on December 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

HaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! WRONG!!!

STEELERS LOOOOOOOSE!!!

williamg on December 23, 2012 at 9:59 PM

If you’ll let me back in. Just don’t make me sleep on the couch, okay?

*on knees, begging* ;-)

TXUS on December 23, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Since it’s Christmas :)

gophergirl on December 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Man, y’all are really harshing on Ed!

Have some respect before he squnches up his face and sends you to the cornfield!!

cane_loader on December 24, 2012 at 2:50 AM

Who Dey!

mazer9 on December 24, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Man, y’all are really harshing on Ed!

Have some respect before he squnches up his face and sends you to the cornfield!!

cane_loader on December 24, 2012 at 2:50 AM

……Or, sends you a signed photo of his painted head. Lay off the Captain….after all it’s Christmas!

Rovin on December 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM

i dislike steelers, go Ravens.

bengals win, yeah.

losarkos on December 25, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Ed. Only one comment – Opps! Not to worry, I didn’t do any better.

georgeofthedesert on December 26, 2012 at 10:25 AM