Week sixteen is here and only one more week remains until the 2013 NFL regular season wraps up and the 2014 NFL playoffs get started. This week will realign the playoff standings drastically and almost every game has major implications on the season. 19 NFL teams will come out of week 16 with a winning record. Seven of those teams will not make the playoffs so the playoff race is going to be very tight.
Week 16 key games include: Every game except for the Buccaneers vs. Rams
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22nd
1:00 PM ET
DOLPHINS (9-6) AT BILLS (5-10) = Dolphins
SAINTS (9-6) AT PANTHERS (9-6) = Saints
COWBOYS (10-5) AT REDSKINS (9-6) = Cowboys
BUCCANEERS (5-10) AT RAMS (8-7) = Rams
BEARS (8-7) AT EAGLES (7-8) = Eagles
BROWNS (2-13) AT JETS (3-12) = Browns
COLTS (8-7) AT CHIEFS (8-7) = Chiefs
VIKINGS (8-7) AT BENGALS (7-8) = Vikings
Game of the Week
There is one week left until the NFL Playoffs and with three teams tied for first place in the AFC it is safe to say that there will not be one team taking the final week to rest players. When the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans face off in week 16 the loser will be out of the running for first place in the AFC. The third team is the New England Patriots who face off against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens this week.
The Denver Broncos are widely regarded as the team to beat in the AFC this year. They had the best record coming into the playoffs a season and have seemed to do nothing but improve. Wes Welker will fit perfectly with Manning and should keep his 100 reception seasons alive even in only his first year with the team. The addition of Wes Welker should also give receiver Demaryius Thomas better match ups allowing him to be a big weapon for Denver this season. The strange situation that led to the departure of the Broncos linebacker Elvis Dumervil will prove costly at first. The team has such a well-rounded game however that the loss will be shortly missed.
The Houston Texans are also in a similar position from a year ago. As of now they are in third place in the AFC and were the third seed last season. With Matt Schaub still looking to be respected as a quarterback in this league the Texans still have something to prove. The Houston Texans are a dangerous team on both sides of the ball with defensive stars such as JJ Watt, Brian Cushing and the newly added Ed Reed. On offense they have big weapons in Andre Johnson and Arian Foster. If the team can stay healthy they can be as good as any team in the league.
With a guaranteed bye week on the line for the winner I believe that Peyton Manning will do what he has always done best and dominate the regular season. Now with a bye week locked up the Broncos hope to gain the number one overall seed and translate the good regular season play into the playoffs.
BRONCOS (11-4) AT TEXANS (10-5) = Broncos
TITANS (3-12) AT JAGUARS (3-12) = Titans
4:05 PM ET
CARDINALS (4-11) AT SEAHAWKS (9-6) = Cardinals
GIANTS (8-7) AT LIONS (9-6) = Giants
4:25 PM ET
RAIDERS (2-13) AT CHARGERS (7-8) = Chargers
STEELERS (5-10) AT PACKERS (11-4) = Packers
8:30 PM ET
PATRIOTS (11-4) AT RAVENS (7-8) = Patriots
MONDAY, DECEMBER 23rd
8:40 PM ET
FALCONS (12-3) AT 49ERS (11-4) = 49ers