Week 16 in the NFL Features Great Rivalries as Playoff Fever Strikes

Broncos Face Off Against the Patriots

Trevor Phipps

For the first time this decade and for eight seasons, the Broncos have once again become the talk of the state. Many fans were starting to turn off Bronco games to watch better teams until Denver shocked the world with a five-game winning streak.

And even though the Broncos blew their streak with a big loss against the Houston Texans in Week 13, the team seemed back on track when they easily defeated the Los Angeles Chargers the next week, making them victorious in six games out of seven. (The results of the Detroit Lions game weren’t available, prior to our press time. But in all honestly, these will have little effect on the way they play the New England Patriots this week. All the insiders are saying the Broncs playoff chances hinge on winning all of their remaining games.)

But for Week 16, it is Patriots’ Week, with Denver hosting their formal staunch enemy, New England, on Christmas Eve.

At one time in the NFL, the Broncos and the Patriots were rivals with both teams battling in the playoffs quite often. But the rivalry has died off since both teams have tanked in recent years, until this week.


When the Broncos first started winning a few weeks ago, many thought that their match against the Patriots would be an easy win. However, since then, the Patriots have improved to the point where they are starting to pull some impressive upsets.


But I still think the Broncos should be able to take this year’s Patriot team as long as they keep up the high quality of play exhibited in recent weeks. Even if the Patriots show up playing tough, I just don’t think their offense will be able to score a whole lot against the Broncos’ D.


Prediction: Broncos 31, Patriots 14


Other Games to Watch


Like last week, this week is filled with games on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Seeing as how it is currently do or die time in the NFL, most of the games could make or break playoff chances.


Starting Thursday night, the New Orleans Saints at the Los Angeles Rams is a game worth watching. Both teams are close to getting into the playoffs and they will both be hungry for wins.


The Saints look good some weeks, but then they lose to teams worse than them. I think the Rams will take this one because I like the way they have improved over the last few weeks.


On Saturday, probably the best match to watch will be at 2:30 p.m. when the Cincinnati Bengals play on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This division rivalry means a lot when it comes to the Wild Card matches as the teams are currently neck and neck.


The Bengals have improved the last few games and have shown that they mean business even without their starting quarterback. But I think the Steelers will come out on top just because they are playing at home.


Then on Sunday morning, there are two big matches that will play a vital role in deciding the playoffs. In the NFC, the Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings match means a lot when it comes to Wild Card chances.


The Lions have impressed many this year. And,  if they keep winning, they could take their NFC North Division for the first time in several years. But I think the Vikings will squeak ahead in this one just because I like how they have been playing recently while the Lions seem to be slightly losing their touch.


In the AFC, the Cleveland Browns at the Houston Texans will be another 11 a.m. match to watch on Sunday. Both teams are sitting close in the Wild Card races with the Browns being one game ahead after week 14.


The Texans were looking good, but they recently got riddled with injuries. Personally, I think the Browns will take this one and that they will be a hard team to beat in the postseason.


On Sunday afternoon, the Dallas Cowboys at the Miami Dolphins will be the best game to watch. Both teams have been stellar all year and this matchup will mean a lot when it comes to playoff chances for both teams as the Dolphins and the Cowboys are in running for the number one seeds in the AFC and NFC.


However, even though the Dolphins destroyed the Broncos earlier in the season, they haven’t seemed to be very consistent. I think the Cowboys will come out ahead just because they currently have lots of momentum.


Then on Christmas Day on Monday, the best of the two games to watch will be the Baltimore Ravens at the San Francisco 49ers. These also are two teams that are vying for a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.


Both teams look unstoppable and it’s not completely crazy to think that they could meet again in the Super Bowl. But I am going with the 49ers in this one because they have looked hot lately while the Ravens struggled with the Rams in Week 14.


AFC West Predictions


The first division match takes place on Saturday night with the Buffalo Bills at the Los Angeles Chargers. The Bills struggled mid-season, but I think they may have turned things around. Besides, it is tough to count out a team when they have stars like QB Josh Allen and WR Stefan Diggs on their lineup.


The Chargers have just not impressed me this year, and I think their chances at playoffs are gone.


Prediction: Bills 27, Chargers 18


On Christmas morning starting at 11 a.m. the Las Vegas Raiders at the Kansas City Chiefs will be a good division rivalry match to watch with the family. Although, the Raiders haven’t looked good in their recent matches, the Chiefs also seem to be slightly getting worse.


Most would think this would be an easy game to predict, but I think the score will be close. In the end though, I don’t think the Chiefs will let the Raiders ruin their chances at winning the AFC West.


Prediction: Chiefs 28, Raiders 24