Week 15 was a memorable week in the NFL. We once again re-visited the catch rule after a controversial incompletion at the end of the exhilarating Steelers and Patriots game. In another wild game, the Dallas Cowboys stayed alive by the margin of an index card. NFL Week 16 lines promise to give us some more memorable moments with huge matchups that have major playoff implications.

 

Seattle Seahawks vs Dallas Cowboys (-5) Sunday at 4:25 PM ET

This is an elimination game for both teams. The winner will keep any playoff hopes they have alive, while the loser will be eliminated from playoff contention.

These two 8-6 teams are trending in opposite directions. The Dallas Cowboys are riding a three-game winning streak, while the Seattle Seahawks are on a two-game losing streak including a humiliating 42-7 loss at home to the Los Angeles Rams last week. Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards and 3 touchdowns in the victory. With Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott returning from a six-game suspension, this depleted Seahawks defense could see another star running back run wild on them.  

 

Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints (-6) Sunday at 1:00 PM ET

The 9-5 Atlanta Falcons are only one game behind the 10-4 New Orleans Saints for the NFC South lead; however, the Falcons are still fighting for a playoff spot. If the Falcons lose their next two games and the Dallas Cowboys or Detroit Lions win their next two games, the Falcons will miss the playoffs. 

The Saints will provide a stiff challenge for the Falcons. The Falcons narrowly defeated the Saints 20-17 just two weeks ago in their first meeting of the season, but that game was in Atlanta. Now Atlanta will play on the road and the Saints have a 6-1 home record. With the NFC South still up for grabs and the Falcons just trying to hang onto a wild card position, this game is critically important for both teams.

 

Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots (-13) Sunday at 1:00 PM ET 

The 8-6 Buffalo Bills currently hold the sixth and final playoff position in the AFC. Unfortunately, they have to travel to Foxborough to face the AFC’s top seed, the 11-3 New England Patriots. The Patriots won a thriller last week over the Pittsburgh Steelers to take the AFC lead. If the Patriots win their next two games, they’re guaranteed the No. 1 seed. The Bills kept ahead in the wild card race with a big victory over the Miami Dolphins. 

Since the beginning of the millennium, the Patriots own a 30-5 record over their divisional rival Bills. This is probably not the matchup the Bills would hope for as they cling to their slim lead for the final wild card position. The 8-6 Baltimore Ravens and 7-7 San Diego Chargers are ready to pounce if the Bills falter down the stretch.

 

*Odds as of December 22, 2017