NFL 4-fold: Our top tips for Week 16
The 49ers should win their third successive game with a win over the Jaguars, while the Saints should avenge their Week 14 defeat by the Falcons.
Chicago Bears to beat Cleveland Browns –
The Browns have only got two more chances to avoid becoming just the second team in NFL history to go an entire season without winning a game.
Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, a tricky trip to Chicago means their long wait will likely continue into Week 17.
The Bears aren’t having a great season, but they did beat the Cincinnati Bengals 33-7 on the road a fortnight ago and have won at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers, who are both likely playoff teams.
Chicago rank 12th in the NFL in points allowed per game, and should be good enough defensively to beat the Browns, who are the only team to rank inside the bottom three in both points scored and conceded this season.
Detroit Lions to beat Cincinnati Bengals –
Detroit should manage to keep their playoff hopes alive this week with a win against the struggling Bengals.
Cincinnati have lost three successive games, and have scored just seven points in each of the past two weeks.
Quarterback Andy Dalton threw three interceptions across those two games, and more turnovers should be expected against a Lions defence that has generated the third-most takeaways in the league.
New Orleans Saints to beat Atlanta Falcons –
In a game that could decide who wins the NFC South, expect the Saints to avenge a Week 14 defeat by beating the Falcons.
New Orleans went to Atlanta a fortnight ago after just four days of rest and still came close to beating their closest rivals, with a late Drew Brees interception in the endzone costing them a chance of victory.
Back at the Superdome – where they’ve won six successive games – they should see off a Falcons team that have lost two of their last four on the road.
New Orleans are one of the most balanced teams in the NFL, ranking inside the top 10 in both points scored and allowed, and will prove it on Sunday night.
San Francisco 49ers to beat Jacksonville Jaguars –
The 49ers won their third successive game with Jimmy Garoppolo starting at quarterback last time out, meaning the 26-year-old is now unbeaten in five career NFL starts.
San Francisco look an entirely different team to the one that started the season with nine successive defeats, holding their last three opponents to an average of just 17.6 points.
They now face a daunting task against the Jaguars, who have won 10 games this season and lead the AFC South.
But Jacksonville lost easy games against the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals on the road earlier this season, and could be susceptible to another upset given now they have a playoff berth almost certainly locked up with two games to go.