Scully's Week 16 NFL picks: Cardinals will bounce back at home
An exciting conclusion to the regular season is building, and most games in Week 16 have playoff implications.
Let’s finish the season strong, starting with three winning selections this week!
Colts vs. Cardinals
Sun, December 26 2021, 1:15 AM
It’s now or never for Arizona, and Indianapolis won’t bring the same emotion after holding on to beat New England.
A top-five quarterback in most metrics before being sidelined, Kyler Murray has been flat in back-to-back weeks since returning from an ankle injury. The dynamic playmaker will shake off the rust this week, regaining his footing at the most opportune time for the talented Cardinals.
After keeping New England scoreless for three quarters, Indianapolis should have won comfortably. The Colts' defense (two interceptions), special teams (blocked punt touchdown) and ground game (226 rushing yards) were outstanding, resulting in a low-scoring game, but Carson Wentz threw a second-half interception to make things interesting.
Wentz completed only five passes for 57 yards last week. That works if teams can’t slow down Jonathan Taylor, but Arizona has a good defense.
Carson Wentz 5 of 12, 57 yards— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) December 19, 2021
5 completions tied for 3rd fewest by Colt QB in a win
Defense played a major role in the Cardinals winning 10 games this season, as they held 10 consecutive opponents under 30 points, and they will make Wentz beat them through the air.
Wentz remains the biggest liability for Indianapolis’ postseason chances, and we’ll side with Murray in a bounce-back spot for Arizona.
Buccaneers vs. Panthers
Sun, December 26 2021, 6:00 PM
Too many points to lay with Tampa Bay, which is reeling after losing Leonard Fournette and Chris Godwin last week. Mike Evans is also banged up, and while the Buccaneers may get Antonio Brown back, they’re looking to get through this game unscathed.
Tampa Bay will try to control the clock in a low-scoring contest against Carolina.
The Panthers have lost four straight, but the offense performed better the last two weeks, averaging more than 300 total yards and 20 first downs per game. We liked their defensive effort most recently against Buffalo, recording four sacks and holding their opponent in check most of the first half.
It would have been a closer game if Carolina didn’t lose its kicker in warm-ups.
Tampa Bay won’t have the same offensive efficiency we’re used to seeing, and while the Buccaneers can ultimately prove best, Carolina will do enough offensively to cover an inflated point spread.
Broncos vs. Raiders
Sun, December 26 2021, 9:25 PM
After slumping badly, Las Vegas got some much-needed confidence back by beating Cleveland. Denver has been held to 10 points or fewer in two of the last three games, and its quarterback situation is a mess.
The Raiders will make it two straight wins.
Las Vegas effectively bottled up Nick Chubb, Cleveland’s main offensive weapon, holding the Browns to only 89 yards rushing last week, and Denver figures to heavily rely upon the ground game after losing Teddy Bridgewater to a concussion.
The Broncos are a low-scoring team, producing less than 20 points in seven of the last 11 games, and their confidence is low after being held to 10 points against Cincinnati.
The Raiders will have too much offensive firepower at home, keeping their playoff hopes alive for at least another week.