NFL Week 16 picks: Saints have a new QB question, and this one is harder to figure out
Drew Brees looked like he came back too soon. The worry is whether he should have come back this season at all.
Brees looked away when he returned from an injury, and that's understandable. He had 11 broken ribs. He will be 42 years old on January 15th. He threw incomplete on his first six passes, the first time in his great career that has ever happened, and was once 7 out of 24 bosses on his return against Kansas City. He didn't look like himself and he didn't deny it.
"I still have a little way to go, I'll be honest," said Brees after the game. "There are some things I'm still working on, but it is what it is."
There have been some good moments. His 51 meter deep pass to Emmanuel Sanders in the first half was his longest completion in three years. He got into a rhythm in the fourth quarter. Maybe it was just a case that he was a little rusty after four games, and he was starting to get it back late in the game. Happens.
But when the Saints play a game against the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Day, they are largely unknown. It doesn't help that Superstar recipient Michael Thomas is in an injured reserve with an ankle injury and Tre'Quan Smith sustained an ankle injury while losing the Saint. The biggest question, however, is Brees, and we just don't know if he's jumping back or if a serious injury is too much to overcome for the rest of the season.
The Vikings are a 7 point underdog, and while they have problems of their own, I'll pick Minnesota and the points for the Christmas showdown. I don't know if Brees can bounce back, and not having Thomas is another big problem. Brees has had a great career all time and it would be a fantastic story if he could lead the Saints through a playoff run after a broken rib, but until we see that happen, it's a big question for the rest of the season in New Orleans.
Can Drew Brees bounce back after a tough return against the Chiefs? (Photo by Chris Graythen / Getty Images)
Here are the rest of the tips for Week 16 with Point Spreads from BetMGM:
Buccaneers (-9.5) over lions
Matthew Stafford is seriously ailing. According to NFL.com, Lions could do without multiple trainers due to exposure to COVID-19. Detroit was bad to start with and one of the teams that just want the season to end. I don't know I love Tampa Bay, but it's impossible to choose the Lions.
Cardinals (-5) over 49ers
The 49ers have lost another quarterback (though I don't know the loss of Nick Mullens is a downgrade), their injury list continues to grow elsewhere, and their tough season has taken a toll. Losing to the Cowboys and never really threatening to win this game is a signal that you don't want much to do with San Francisco for the rest of the season.
Raiders (+3) via Dolphins
If it's Marcus Mariota, I'm intrigued by the raiders. I could see them gather around Mariota, who was playing very well against the chargers from the bench. It's not a blow to Derek Carr, it's just that Mariota's ability to run adds another dimension to Las Vegas. The dolphins may not have enough healthy skill skills to take advantage of poor raiders' defenses. Give me the excitement.
Browns (-9.5) over jets
The jets have been a lot better lately. But one has to wonder how the urge to avoid 0-16 motivated them. That's gone now that they have a win. Maybe it's a team that wants to finish well, a win actually gives them more confidence and they play well again. But I like what the Browns have been doing lately and they're still trying to officially get a playoff spot.
Bengals (+8) over Texans
I won't be fooled by the Bengals who are making a phenomenal effort against the Steelers. This is still a really bad team. But the Texans shouldn't put more than a touchdown on anyone.
Colts (-2) over Steelers
It was worth asking yourself before Monday night if the offensive plan was the problem or if the coaches felt they could just play a short passing game. We found out on Monday. Ben Roethlisberger appears to have physically hit a wall. I can't bet on a rebound against a very good Colts team.
Bears (-7.5) over jaguars
Who would have thought a few weeks ago that you would consider the Bears to be more than a touchdown against anyone? But Chicago has found some confidence, and the jaguars are just terrible right now. I'm not buying that the players care about making first choice and Trevor Lawrence, but now it's hanging around in the team too. The bears are still alive in the playoff race and this has to be an easy win.
Ravens (-10.5) over giants
Maybe the giants were running out of gas. But the combination of them fades and the ravens come to life - and I have to keep winning to make it to the playoffs - means I'll put up a big number.
Falcons (+10.5) over chiefs
The chiefs haven't covered a spread for a long time. Given the positive attention they get for their 13: 1 record, which is warranted, you'd also think they were great for know-it-alls, but it wasn't. It's hard to hold out against the Chiefs, but I'm going to do this series.
Washington (-2) over Panthers
An odd line. The panthers haven't looked good in a long time. Washington wasn't great against Seattle, but they are not as good as the Seahawks and still managed to close in the end. This is a huge game for Washington's NFC East title hopes, and I have to take it on.
Chargers (-3.5) via Broncos
The chargers have a little more quiet to get well and look energized to finish well. The Broncos looked bad against the Bills and I'm not sure if they have another win in them this season.
Aries (+1.5) over Seahawks
Erase the loss of the jets from your mind. That was a look-ahead game for the Rams and not that important to their playoff picture. They're also an inconsistent team. We knew that. The Rams were the much better team when they first met, and I think the loss to the Jets will keep them motivated even more, which is probably equivalent to an NFC West championship game.
Adler (-2.5) over cowboys
Jalen Hurts was great in last week's loss. The Cardinals are just a better team than the Eagles. The Cowboys are a bad team whether or not they beat the 49ers last week, and I think Philadelphia continues to play better for their fascinating rookie quarterback.
Titans (+3.5) above packers
This is a fun game. The Titans should be able to play the ball and they are a very good team when Derrick Henry is rolling. Touching a field goal is enough for me in a close game.
Bills (-7) about patriots
The only thing I worry about is that the bills are losing focus. They packed the AFC East. You're not going to catch the Chiefs goodbye in the AFC. New England isn't doing well and Buffalo doesn't have to score a lot to cover. The chance to assign a large number to a team that she and the AFC East have owned for more than a decade could be her motivator.
Last week: 9-6-1
Season to date: 108-111-4
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