Bing Predicts: NFL Week 16

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Source: Kirk Irwin / Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens
> Bing Predicts winner: Baltimore (73%)
> Kickoff time: 4:30 PM EDT (Saturday)
> Game spread: Baltimore -12.5
> Matchup history: Colts lead 10-4

If the Ravens (8-6) win their final two games, they’re in the playoffs no matter what any other team does. They’re a huge favorite over the Colts (3-11). Since their bye in Week 10, the Ravens have won four of five games. Joe Flacco threw for a touchdown and no interceptions in the 27-10 win over the Browns on Sunday. It helps that the Ravens’ defense is the fourth stingiest in the NFL, allowing just 18.3 points per game.

The Colts have lost five straight, including Sunday’s 25-13 loss to Denver. Their season was over before it started, and there can be no redemption now. They didn’t have a strong backup for quarterback Andrew Luck, who has missed the entire season, and it is a decision that has haunted them since their 46-9 loss to the Rams in the season opener.

Source: Adam Bettcher / Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
> Bing Predicts winner: Minnesota (55%)
> Kickoff time: 8:30 PM EDT (Saturday)
> Game spread: No line
> Matchup history: Packers lead 60-52-2

This could have been a game with huge divisional playoff implications, but because of the broken collarbone to Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers that kept him out for eight weeks, it is not. The Vikings (11-3), who are a big favorite, clinched the NFC North title on Sunday with a 34-7 beatdown of the Bengals. With such a lead, they had the luxury of letting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the game late. He had missed two seasons with a severe knee injury. Quarterback Case Keenum was sharp, completing 20 of 23 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns in that game.

The Packers (7-7) were eliminated from the postseason after a 31-24 loss to the Panthers. The last time they failed to make the playoffs was 2008. But they have pride and they are playing at Lambeau Field where the fans expect the best. However, they have placed Rodgers on injured reserve now that they are out of playoff contention. No sense risking further injury to the franchise quarterback. Brett Hundley will start his eighth game this season. Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and three picks, completing only 57.8% of his throws in the loss to Carolina.

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Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears
> Bing Predicts winner: Chicago (64%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Chicago -6.5
> Matchup history: Browns lead 9-6-0

So this is the Browns’ last good chance to win a game this season. Obviously the Bears (4-10) have no intention of rolling over here. The Bears — who have beaten the Steelers, Panthers, and Ravens — should notch this win easily. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has matured through his rookie season and he gets help from running back Jordan Howard, who was held to 37 yards when the Bears lost 20-10 to the Lions on Saturday.

The Browns (0-14) play at the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17 so that can be ruled out as a potential win. It’s not all on quarterback DeShone Kizer, but he is not helping matters. In the 27-10 loss to the Ravens on Sunday, he threw two interceptions and no touchdowns, completing just 54.1% of his passes. After the game, Coach Hue Jackson indicated it might be time for a quarterback change, but on Monday he said Kizer will start against the Bears. If they don’t win one of these last two, the Browns will become just the second team in NFL history to finish a season 0-16 along with the 2008 Detroit Lions.

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Detroit Lions at Cincinnati Bengals
> Bing Predicts winner: Detroit (67%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Detroit -3.5
> Matchup history: Bengals lead 8-3-0

It’s simple — the Lions need this game to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. If they win these last two games, they’ll still need some help, but first things first. Detroit (8-6) is the favorite after winning two straight, including Sunday’s 20-10 win over the Bears. Matthew Stafford has completed 81.8% of his passes in the last three games. More passing, less running has been the motto the last two weeks and it has worked. Cornerback Darius Slay, who leads the NFL with seven interceptions, picked up two Sunday and will represent the Lions in the Pro Bowl.

Mixed reports have Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis moving on after his 15th season with the Bengals (5-9). They are wrapping up their second consecutive losing season. They were 6-9-1 in 2016. Maybe a shakeup is what this bunch needs, but talent and discipline is also in short supply. In Sunday’s 34-7 loss to the Bears, Andy Dalton threw two interceptions and completed just 50% of his passes for 113 yards to earn an abysmal 27.3 quarterback rating (158.3 is perfect). Abysmal also describes Cincinnati’s rushing offense, which is last in the NFL with 77 yards per game. The rushing defense is also wanting, allowing 131.5 yards per game, last in the league.

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Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee Titans
> Bing Predicts winner: Los Angeles (75%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Los Angeles -6.5
> Matchup history: Rams lead 7-5-0

The heavily favored Rams (10-4) need one win or a Seattle loss to clinch the NFC West title. This is a determined team coming off a 42-7 rout of the Seahawks at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. Running back Todd Gurley didn’t finish the game — he didn’t have to — after four touchdowns and 180 all-purpose yards (152 rushing). The defense sacked Russell Wilson seven times, with defensive tackle Aaron Donald picking up three of those. Don’t bet against this bunch.

Tennessee has lost two straight road games (Cardinals and 49ers), but the Titans (8-6) still have a shot at the playoffs. They need to win this game, along with next week’s contest against the Jaguars to punch their ticket for at least a wild-card playoff berth. Still, that is no easy task starting with the Rams. The Titans are 5-1 at home. They haven’t been to the postseason since 2008.