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Week 16 NFL game picks: Chargers keep Colts reeling on Monday night

Gregg Rosenthal went 12-4 straight up on his Week 15 picks, bringing his season total to 142-80-2. How will he fare in Week 16? His picks are below.

The lines provided by Caesars Sportsbook are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 22 unless otherwise noted below.


  • WHERE: Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, Fla.)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Packers: +170 | Dolphins: -205
  • SPREAD: Packers +4 | O/U: 50

Look to the ground games. The Packers' defense hasn't proven it can get off the field all season, and Raheem Mostert can balance out a Dolphins passing attack that should feast on Green Bay's soft zone pass defense. Then again, the Packers' offense has turned rather efficient of late. Green Bay ranks sixth in offensive DVOA, led by the ground game, over the last six weeks. This is one of the best games of the week, and the Packers won't leave the playoff race easily.

Russell Wilson is back to face a familiar foe in an unfamiliar situation. Denver's running game has looked better of late with Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack, which is not a sentence I expected to write at the beginning of the season. Los Angeles' offense can't be saved by Baker Mayfield -- and this is a much tougher matchup for him, on a short week, than the Raiders or Packers were. If it makes the Rams feel any better, a loss here only hurts the Seahawks' Broncos-gifted draft pick in 2023.

  • WHERE: State Farm Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.)
  • WHEN: 8:20 p.m. ET | NBC, Universo
  • MONEYLINE: Bucs: -385 | Cardinals: +300
  • SPREAD: Bucs -7.5 | O/U: 40.5

Pity Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth, calling a game on Christmas night between the Trace McSorley Cardinals and the most depressing Tom Brady team ever. Arizona gets my vote for worst team currently, unable to overcome all of its injuries through schematic help. The Bucs played their best half of football all season last week before Brady's turnover parade, and they could still close strong because of a soft schedule. Todd Bowles' defense can handle this one. 


The Colts keep playing hard for Jeff Saturday, right up until they give up 32 straight points. That shouldn't happen on Monday night against a Chargers squad struggling to keep Justin Herbert upright, but L.A. won't need that many points. With Derwin James possibly re-joining an improving Bolts defense, it's hard to imagine the Colts scoring many touchdowns without Jonathan Taylor. (Even if Nick Foles proves to be an upgrade at quarterback.)


  • WHERE: M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Falcons: +235 | Ravens: -292
  • SPREAD: Falcons +6.5 | O/U: 35.5

Lamar Jackson (knee) hasn’t yet returned to practice, and the team is now dealing with the absence of its best defensive player, Calais Campbell (knee), and another wideout, Devin Duvernay (foot). With Tyler Huntley under center, the improved Ravens running game should be enough to control the clock against a Falcons defense that doesn’t have many answers. Desmond Ridder should improve over the stretch run, but Baltimore's defense is stout and sound. Atlanta's receivers are unlikely to be open, and Ridder’s accuracy issues popped up big time in his first start.

  • WHERE: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Lions: -135 | Panthers: +115
  • SPREAD: Lions -2.5 | O/U: 43.5

These teams aren’t exactly what they are portrayed to be. Sam Darnold has provided stability to Carolina's offense, but the pass protection and run game have proven erratic the last six games. Detroit's defense is playing with terrific energy of late, is excellent at tackling and suddenly features a deep pass rush. The Panthers play so close to the vest, while the Lions stay aggressive in all situations. It’s crazy to say about the Detroit Lions, but they can win games in a variety of ways because they are above average at everything.

  • WHERE: Soldier Field (Chicago)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
  • MONEYLINE: Bills: -400 | Bears: +310
  • SPREAD: Bears +8 | O/U: 40.5

The Bills being favored by more than a touchdown seems like too much, considering how the Bears' defense -- healthier after the team's late bye week -- played with better purpose against the Eagles last Sunday. The expected brutal-cold temperatures could be an equalizer here. Buffalo's defensive line needs to show it can slow a physical running game, which Chicago possesses, especially with the return of Khalil Herbert.

  • WHERE: FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
  • MONEYLINE: Saints: +130 | Browns: -155
  • SPREAD: Browns -3 | O/U: 32

Just when the Saints were finally getting healthier, they lost guard Cesar Ruiz, who was having a breakout year, for the rest of the season due to a foot injury. The Saints tried to trade for Deshaun Watson last offseason and are fortunate a deal did not materialize, as he’s been a big drag on the Browns' passing game since returning. Cleveland's offense ranked fifth in passing DVOA with Jacoby Brissett and has been 22nd with Watson. Still, the frigid weather should favor the Browns. They are better coached and have a far more cohesive running game. Cleveland is eliminated from postseason play with a loss, while the Saints are eliminated with a loss and a Bucs win, so consider this the earliest round of the playoffs possible.

  • WHERE: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Mo.)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Seahawks: +360 | Chiefs: -480
  • SPREAD: Seahawks +10 | O/U: 49.5

I fear for the Seahawks' defense. The unit, with its lackluster pass rush and suspect secondary, is set to get cooked by Patrick Mahomes at the peak of his powers, with his second MVP in sight. Fortunately for Seattle, Geno Smith’s dream season can get back on track against a Chiefs defense that's had its own issues consistently rushing the passer and is showing its inexperience on the back end. Points!

  • WHERE: U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Giants: +180 | Vikings: -220
  • SPREAD: Giants +4 | O/U: 48

It’s the “Worse Than Our Record” Bowl! Two of the most resourceful teams in football with a penchant for close finishes should result in a good game, but the Vikings' offense is still the most reliable group here. Minnesota's tackle combo of Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill should neutralize the Giants’ peaking edge-rush duo of Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux, allowing the talent on the Vikings' offense to shine through. Then again, Kirk Cousins is graded 36th out of 39 qualifiers against the blitz this year, according to PFF. Call this a high-variance game where almost anything feels possible. 

  • WHERE: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
  • MONEYLINE: Bengals: -160 | Patriots: +135
  • SPREAD: Bengals -3 | O/U: 41.5

I feel for New England's defense. If Bill Belichick paired this group of playmakers with last year’s Josh McDaniels-led offense, the Patriots would probably be 9-5 right now. Instead, Belichick hired his buddies to run the offense, and the unit is among the most poorly coached in football. Cincinnati is too sound to give up consistent drives to this team, and the mismatches on the outside for the Bengals' receivers will be too much for the Patriots to overcome. With the win, Cincy clinches its second straight postseason berth.

  • WHERE: Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
  • MONEYLINE: Texans: +143 | Titans: -170
  • SPREAD: Texans +3 | O/U: 35.5

Ryan Tannehill is out with an ankle injury. Even if the Titans' QB1 were active, though, this would've been a dangerous game for Tennessee, considering how Houston has competed the last two weeks. Not to mention, the 2021 Titans, who wound up nabbing the AFC's No. 1 seed, suffered a home loss to the Texans. Malik Willis looked better in a tiny sample size last week and he did start Tennessee's defense-dominated win over Houston in Week 8, yet I can't shake the feeling the Texans are playing better football over the last month.

  • WHERE: Levi's Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.)
  • WHEN: 4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
  • MONEYLINE: Commanders: +260 | 49ers: -335
  • SPREAD: 49ers -7 | O/U: 37.5

Perfect matchup for San Francisco. The Commanders' defensive front will be a stern test for Brock Purdy and a San Francisco offensive line that could use challenges before the playoffs. But the Commanders shouldn’t threaten the 49ers’ quest for the No. 2 seed largely because Taylor Heinicke is likely to force the issue and turn the ball over against this defense. A Carson Wentz sighting wouldn’t shock me. Use him like Jeff Driskel!

  • WHERE: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
  • WHEN: 4:25 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Eagles: +192 | Cowboys: -235
  • SPREAD: Eagles +5 | O/U: 46.5

Gardner Minshew is a great backup, but his presence hurts the biggest game left on the NFC schedule. The Eagles have so many ways to win that they could still pull this off, making the five-point spread too much. Dallas' defense is giving up big plays lately -- biting hard on misdirection -- and could be pushed around by Philadelphia's offensive line. The Eagles' pass rush will make life very difficult on a reshuffled Cowboys line. It's a coin flip, with the 'Boys getting the slightest of edges because they are home and need the game more.

  • WHERE: Acrisure Stadium (Pittsburgh)
  • WHEN: 8:15 p.m. ET | NFL Network
  • MONEYLINE: Raiders: +115 | Steelers: -135
  • SPREAD: Steelers -2.5 | O/U: 38.5

This Pittsburgh team is playing exactly how Mike Tomlin wanted coming into the season. The Steelers are running the ball well and stopping the run. They are shortening games and mostly limiting mistakes. That's a great recipe against the Josh Jacobs-led Raiders. Kenny Pickett returns to the lineup in place of Mitch Trubisky, which raises the Steelers' floor, but lowers their ceiling. (Trubisky played very well in last week's win over the Panthers.) On the 50th anniversary of "The Immaculate Reception" in the week we lost the great Franco Harris, how could this be anything be a wild, close Steelers win?


This was the hardest game to pick of the week and a great showcase between two of the most improved, fascinating squads of this season. The quarterback mismatch is stark, with Trevor Lawrence balling out and Zach Wilson trying to build on a performance against the Lions where he at least flashed his skills between curious misfires. The weather looks rainy, windy and rough, which should favor the better defense. These Jets aren’t done.

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