Welcome to week 16 of the NFL season. After this week, the playoff picture will look more set in stone than it is now. At the moment in the NFC, the four seed is the only seed with some sort of lock in place, as we know it’s going to the winner of the NFC East. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers will face off in a game that potentially decides the NFC North. Finally, the Buffalo Bills face the New England Patriots in a game where the Bills are looking to make a statement. So without further ado, let’s preview the biggest NFL week 16 games.
Previewing The Three Biggest NFL Week 16 Games
Cowboys vs Eagles
At this point, it’s been talked about ad nauseam how bad the NFC East is. But both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles are 7-7, and one of them will be the four seed. When you look at some statistics, not much is separating these teams. Both teams are 2-3 in their last five games. Both are 4-3 at home and 3-4 on the road, and both teams are also coming off of offensive breakouts in week 15, where Dallas scored 44, and the Eagles scored 37. Neither team’s defense has played incredible this season, although Philly is third in the league in rushing defense. That advantage could prove beneficial against the backfield of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, who combined for 248 against the Los Angeles Rams. However, injuries have massacred the Eagles in 2019 and if Nelson Agholor can’t play, that leaves two healthy wide receivers for Philly.
Health will play a big role in determining who wins this game.
Bills vs Patriots
Congratulations to the Bills for clinching their second playoff birth in three years. After an impressive defensive outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bills now face their biggest game of the year. Since they played the Patriots last, the Bills have found an identity in their defense. They’ve benefited from breakouts from Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds, along with TreDavious White playing at an all-pro level. They only allow 15.9 points per game (PPG) and 291.9 yards per game (YPG). This is good for second and third in the NFL, respectively.
Josh Allen and the offense have found what works for them, relying on the ground game (134.9 YPG), and throwing to breakout star John Brown. On the flip side, the Patriots have been more the same as they’ve been all 2019. The offense continues to be far below average, thanks to a rushing attack that ranks 27th in yards per catch (YPC). The offensive line hasn’t been able to open up holes in the run game, and Tom Brady simply lacks the arm he once had. In Foxborough, the Patriots are nearly unstoppable, but this game has the makings of a 17-14 type of a nailbiter game.
Packers vs Vikings
Heading into their week 16 clash, the Packers hold a one-game lead over the Vikings in the NFC North and are in the two seed. Should Green Bay win this game, it clinches them the division. But Minnesota is not going to be an easy out, especially in their home building. The Vikings hold one of the best home-field advantages in football, with records of 7-1 in 2017, 5-3 last year, and 6-0 so far this year. The health of Dalvin Cook is going to play a massive role in who wins this game. With 13 touchdowns and 4.5 YPC on the year, Cook has played as well as any running back in football. Right now, nobody is really sure of Cook’s status for the game as it’s too early. Luckily for them, Kirk Cousins has played well this year, Adam Thielen is back in the lineup, and their defense is coming off of a game where they forced seven turnovers.
For Green Bay, their offense has been the same all year. Aaron Jones has 17 touchdowns, but the passing game leaves a lot to be desired. Their second and third-leading receivers are running backs, and Jimmy Graham is fourth on the team with 382 yards. If Green Bay is to win this game, Aaron Rodgers needs to take more check-downs and be more efficient at moving the chains (The Packers rank 26th in third-down conversions).
The Biggest Week 16 Games Will Be Chaotic
As mentioned in the beginning, this week is do or die for a lot of the division races. Depending on the results, the playoff picture won’t be able to fully be resolved until after week 17. But these three games are the biggest week 16 games that everyone should be watching and focusing on. This is what the season has been building up to, so enjoy the chaos, excitement, heartbreak, and celebration that comes with the final home stretch of the season.
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