Bing Predicts: NFL Week 16

December 20, 2017 by Steven M. Peters

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If tight end Jesse James had just completed the catch — if he had held on just a little longer, the Pittsburgh Steelers would have edged the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Bing had predicted that the Steelers had a 51% chance of defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots on Sunday. Had that catch gone differently, Bng’s record would have been even better last week. Even so, the search engine’s NFL prediction tool was correct on 13 of the 16 games in Week 15.

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to confound prognosticators. Bing gave the Los Angeles Chargers a 53% chance of beating the Chiefs. Then rookie Kareem Hunt turned on the Jets and the Chiefs pulled out a victory over the Chargers.

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo led the 49ers to a victory over the Tennessee Titans. It was Garoppolo’s third straight start and third straight win. Bing had predicted a 53% edge for the Titans. If Garoppolo continues the winning streak in Week 16, he will prove Bing wrong once again. Bing gave the Jacksonville Jaguars a 70% chance to top the 49ers.

Bing also gives a 75% shot for the Philadelphia Eagles, with Nick Foles at quarterback, over the Oakland Raiders.

Thirteen of the 16 games this week have playoff implications for at least one of the teams involved. It could be a Merry Christmas — at least for a few franchises.

Bing’s NFL predictions use team and player statistics and web activity to build a statistical model that takes into account historical data and real-time information (like injuries, suspensions, and lineup changes). Finally, social sentiment adds a unique wisdom-of-the-crowd factor to the model. Learn more about Bing Predicts. Learn more about Bing Predicts.

Click here to see Bing’s predictions for the NFL week 16.
Click here to see all Bing weekly NFL predictions.

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.

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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.

Source: Leon Halip / Getty Images

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.

Source: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

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.

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Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs
> Bing Predicts winner: Kansas City (70%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Kansas City -10
> Matchup history: Dolphins lead 16-13-0

With a win over the Dolphins, the Chiefs (8-6) will earn a second consecutive AFC West crown. Back-to-back division titles would be a first in franchise history. Kansas City, which has had an up-and-down season, is a big favorite after two straight wins, including Sunday’s 30-13 victory over the Chargers. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt, who went through a small slump this season, had 31 touches for 206 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. He’s second in the NFL with 1,201 rushing yards.

The Dolphins (6-8) are coming off a 24-16 loss to the Bills. Jay Cutler threw three interceptions and zero touchdowns in that game. The $10 million fill-in quarterback has so far thrown 18 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions. No playoff hopes for the Dolphins, who have won just two of seven road games. In fact, they’ve lost the last four road games.

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Source: Justin K. Aller / Getty Images

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
> Bing Predicts winner: New England (75%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: New England -10.5
> Matchup history: Patriots lead 71-43-1

Coming off an epic 27-24 win at Pittsburgh that clinched the AFC East title, the Patriots (11-3) need to get refocused. Not much doubt they will do just that. They’re the favorite for myriad of factors, including the 23-3 win over Buffalo three weeks ago. If New England beats the Bills and the Jets in its final two games, the Patriots could have home-field advantage in the playoffs. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski led the comeback drive Sunday. It’s a duo that is tough to beat. The Patriots defense is ranked 29th in the NFL, allowing 377.4 yards per game. That could hurt them moving forward, but so far Brady has been able to make up the difference.

The Bills (8-6) still have a chance at snapping their 17-year playoff drought. The chance is pegged at 36% by FiveThirtyEight. They are still in play for a wild-card berth. An upset of the Patriots would certainly help. They’ve won two consecutive games, including Sunday’s 24-16 home victory over the Dolphins. They play at Miami in Week 17 to wrap up the season.

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Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints JH DONE MA
> Bing Predicts winner: New Orleans (64%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: New Orleans -6
> Matchup history: Falcons lead 52-45-0

The winner of this matchup clinches a playoff berth, and the loser will still have a good chance at postseason play. The Saints (10-4) have the edge, even though the Falcons (9-5) won their first meeting 20-17 on Dec. 7. The Saints seek a little revenge for that loss, and the fact is they haven’t beaten Atlanta since the final game of the 2015 season in this intense NFC South rivalry. New Orleans is coming off a 31-19 win over the Jets on Sunday. Running back Mark Ingram scored twice and finished with 74 rushing and 77 receiving yards. Drew Brees was Drew Brees, completing 72.2% of his passes with a pair of touchdowns and one interception. It’s no surprise that the Saints have the NFL’s top offense, averaging 401.8 yards per game.

The Falcons, coming off a Monday night 24-21 win over Tampa Bay, will have one less day to prepare. Running back Devonta Freeman had a big game with 22 carries for 126 yards and a touchdown, plus he had a team-high five catches for 68 yards. The Falcons will clinch at least a wild-card berth by beating either the Saints or the Panthers in Week 17.

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Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets
> Bing Predicts winner: Los Angeles (72%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Los Angeles -7
> Matchup history: Chargers lead 21-14-1

Even after a 30-13 loss to the Chiefs, the Chargers (7-7) have slim chances of earning a wild-card berth. They need some help and can help themselves with a win over the Jets. Running back Melvin Gordon finished with 169 all-purpose yards (78 rushing) and a touchdown against the Chiefs. He fared better than Philip Rivers, who threw three interceptions and one touchdown pass. The playing status for Chargers tight end Hunter Henry for Sunday is up in the air because of a laceration to his kidney.

There is no postseason for the Jets (5-9). Even though this game would give them a reason to get a better look at quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Coach Todd Bowles said he’ll stick with Bryce Petty, who had one touchdown and two interceptions in the 30-13 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday. It’s the third season for Petty, who got the nod after starter Josh McCown broke his hand a few weeks ago.

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Source: Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Denver Broncos at Washington Redskins
> Bing Predicts winner: Washington (55%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Washington -4
> Matchup history: Broncos lead 7-6-0

The Redskins, who are without doubts about their quarterback at least for the next two games, get the nod in this game, which is one of three this week with zero playoff implications. The Redskins (6-8) just beat the Cardinals 20-15. Much was expected this season, but they could never turn it around after a 3-4 start. Kirk Cousins, who had two touchdown passes in the 20-15 win over the Cardinals on Sunday, has not been the main issue. It’s been spotty play from the defense, which has turned a season of hope into another one of disappointment and missing the postseason for the second straight year.

The Broncos, who beat the Colts 25-13 last Thursday, do not have a starting quarterback. It’s been an issue since Week 1. With Trevor Siemian out with a shoulder injury, Brock Osweiler could get another start, while Paxton Lynch is expected to see some playing time. Denver could be a good landing spot for Kirk Cousins, who is in his final year of his contract with the Redskins. That possibility could add a little sizzle to what could be a blah game.

Source: Grant Halverson / Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
> Bing Predicts winner: Carolina (70%)
> Kickoff time: 1:00 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Carolina -9.5
> Matchup history: Panthers lead 21-13-0

Carolina (10-4) can capture a playoff berth with a win over the Bucs, who are out of the postseason picture. The Panthers are coming off a 31-24 win over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Here are two reasons the Panthers are favored — quarterback Cam Newton and a defense that’s ranked fifth in the NFL, allowing just 307.9 yards per game. Newton threw four touchdown passes on Sunday to spoil Rodgers’ return from a broken collarbone. Plus Newton gets big assists from running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Greg Olsen.

The Bucs (4-10), who have lost four straight, fall in the disappointment category once again, extending their streak of missing the playoffs to 10 seasons. Quarterback Jameis Winston (shoulder) hasn’t been at peak health and it shows.

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Source: Sam Greenwood / Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars at San Francisco 49ers
> Bing Predicts winner: Jacksonville (70%)
> Kickoff time: 4:05 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Jacksonville -5
> Matchup history: Series tied 2-2-0

The Jaguars (10-4), who have won three straight, clinched their first playoff spot in 10 years with a 45-7 win over the Texans. It’s clear why they’re favored. In the past three games, quarterback Blake Bortles completed 71.4% of his passes for 903 yards, seven touchdowns, and zero interceptions, and Jacksonville has scored at least 30 points in each of those games. He is the definition of red-hot. It’s not all Bortles. Jacksonville has the NFL’s best rushing offense (149.1 yards per game). The Jaguars’ defense is ranked first in the league in points scored per game (14.9) and is tops against the pass, giving up a measly 168.9 passing yards per game.

The 49ers (4-10) have come to life since Jimmy Garoppolo was handed the reins. He’s 3-0 as a starter, including the 25-23 win over Tennessee in Week 15. No playoff hopes for this bunch, but next year is looking much brighter if they bring back Garoppolo. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin has averaged 106 receiving yards with Garoppolo as a starter.

Source: Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys
> Bing Predicts winner: Dallas (60%)
> Kickoff time: 4:25 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Dallas -2.5
> Matchup history: Cowboys lead 10-7-0

This matchup has postseason implications for both teams. The loser will be eliminated from playoff contention, while the winner will have a chance at a wild-card spot, but will need help. The favored Cowboys (8-6) have won three straight, including Sunday’s 20-17 win over the Raiders. Over those three games, the Dallas defense yielded just 41 points. Running back Ezekiel Elliott will return following a six-game suspension. It’s uncertain how much action he will see. In the eight games prior to his suspension, he had 783 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He averages 97.9 rushing yards per game and leads the NFL. Elliott has been missed and could provide a spark, which is exactly what the Cowboys need.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks (8-6) have lost two straight and three of their last five. They were routed by the Rams, 42-7, on Sunday. Quarterback Russell Wilson completed 14 of 30 passes for a paltry 142 yards, but it is amazing he accomplished that considering he was sacked seven times. Certainly they have a shot at topping the Cowboys. Wilson can never be counted out.

Source: Patrick Smith / Getty Images

New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals
> Bing Predicts winner: Arizona (64%)
> Kickoff time: 4:25 PM EDT (Sunday)
> Game spread: Arizona -5
> Matchup history: Giants lead 80-43-2

Postseason? Not for either of these teams. The Cardinals (6-8) are making a switch to Drew Stanton at quarterback from Blaine Gabbert after a 20-15 loss to the Redskins. Coach Bruce Arians said Stanton gives the Cardinals the best chance to win. It will be Stanton’s third start this season.

The woebegone Giants (2-12) only drew headlines this season when former Coach Ben McAdoo benched Eli Manning for what turned out to be McAdoo’s last game as coach. The last time the Giants lost as many as 12 games in one season was in 2003. The Giants did give the Eagles a game on Sunday before losing 34-29. In fact, the Giants led 23-21 at the half. Manning threw three touchdown passes and one interception to bring his season total to 18 touchdowns and 10 picks.

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Source: Joe Sargent / Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans
> Bing Predicts winner: Pittsburgh (77%)
> Kickoff time: 4:30 PM EDT (Monday)
> Game spread: Pittsburgh -10
> Matchup history: Steelers lead 3-2-0

No NFL team would want to take Houston’s place in this matchup. The Steelers (11-3) are still reeling from their 27-24 loss to the Patriots on a controversial no-touchdown call followed by a hurried-up play when Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception in the end zone to end the game. The Steelers can clinch a playoff bye with a win over the Texans by topping Cleveland in Week 17. The Steelers, always a tough team to face, are also playing for their fallen teammate Ryan Shazier, who suffered a severe spinal injury in Week 13 against Cincinnati. Plus, the game against Houston will be played on Christmas night. A little emotion can go a long way.

The Texans (4-10) have lost seven of their last eight. They gave up their playoff hopes months ago. They miss quarterback Deshaun Watson and defensive end J.J. Watt. Who wouldn’t?

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Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles
> Bing Predicts winner: Philadelphia (75%)
> Kickoff time: 8:30 PM EDT (Monday)
> Game spread: Philadelphia -9
> Matchup history: Series tied 6-6-0

The favored Eagles (12-2) are in the playoffs, and with one more win or a Vikings loss they could clinch home-field advantage. Even without injured quarterback Carson Wentz, the Eagles are favored. A capable Nick Foles filled in last week in the 34-29 win over the Giants. Foles threw four touchdown passes and no interceptions. The defense, though, needs to tighten up after allowing the woeful Giants 504 total yards. The Eagles have the best run defense in the league, allowing just 71.5 yards per game.

The Raiders (6-8) have slim playoff hopes, but other teams could wreck their Christmas. Oakland needs to win and also needs the Chargers, Bills, and Titans to lose. If one of those three teams wins on Sunday, the Raiders are out of the playoffs before they kick off on Christmas Day.