NFL Betting Predictions: Week 16 Opening Line Report and Picks
We’re not used to hearing this or seeing this, but the New England Patriots will not be in the postseason after former quarterback Tom Brady left the team for a new start in Tampa Bay.
It’s time to rebuild the Patriots. It’s honestly pretty amazing that the Patriots won some games this season. When you look up and down the roster, you can compare the roster to a Jets or Jaguars team.
Coach Bill Belichick has never drafted a quarterback in the first round in his 26 years as an NFL head coach. He’s had Tom Brady for most of his career, but it’s rare that a head coach hasn’t drafted a franchise quarterback in 26 years. He’s been solid at development and likes guys who have been there and done it before.
Cam Newton, who is the Patriots starting quarterback this season, hasn’t cut it. He’s become a turnover nightmare, which is something Belichick rarely had to worry about when Brady was his quarterback.
The Patriots, for once, have a Top 16 pick in the NFL Draft, and there’s plenty of quarterback talent that will be on the board by the time they’re selecting. The Patriots could ultimately look at trading up, although, I’m sure the Jets wouldn’t be their partner in such a trade.
Quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence of Clemson and Justin Fields of Ohio State will ultimately be gone after the first two picks of the draft. If not the first two, then at least the top five.
Zach Wilson, quarterback out of BYU, is the wild card and has an extremely strong arm that should excite the Patriots. Ultimately, he’s the third best quarterback prospect in the upcoming draft, just like Justin Herbert, quarterback of the Los Angeles Chargers, was. Herbert, by default of injury, has had the best season of the top three quarterbacks in the draft.
The Patriots have developed talent so well throughout Belichick’s tenure. But the development won’t matter unless this team has a reliable quarterback.
We won’t see the Patriots this season in the playoffs, but New England will absolutely make moves to get back in contention next season. Whether it’s keeping Cam Newton, bringing in Sam Darnold, or drafting Wilson, the Patriots will be much better next season. Don’t count on the Patriots dynasty finishing just yet.
Bills vs Patriots (+6.5, 45.5): The Patriots have been known for their defense throughout the years. Even when they struggled on offense, they’d win games thanks to a fantastic defense. This season, that defense lost a lot of talent and hasn't performed at all. Meanwhile, the offense has also lagged and struggled behind Cam Newton, who is just a runner. Someone who isn’t just a runner would be Josh Allen of the Bills. The addition of Stefon Diggs proved to be crucial, and Allen has this offense rolling. They’ll continue to roll on Monday night against that Patriots team that won’t be playing in the postseason. Pick: Bills
Bears vs Jaguars (+7.5, 46.5): With the Jets win against the Rams, the Jaguars are now in the lead for the first overall pick. They’d win the tie-breaker with just one win. That would mean Trevor Lawrence to the Jaguars. The Jets hurt their chances at Lawrence after their win against the Rams, and now people are wondering if the Jaguars will end up beating the Bears. The Bears defense does not look like a usual Bears defense, but their offense is starting to click with Mitch Trubisky back under center along with David Montgomery, who missed most of the season due to injury. The Bears offense should do enough to win this game. They’re still fighting for a playoff spot. This isn’t a game where the Bears won’t show up. Pick: Bears
Browns vs Jets (+9.5, 46.5): Any other season this game would be the laughable game of the year. Instead, the Browns are now a 10-win team and have an offense that looks increasingly good week-by-week. The Jets offense might pick it up a little bit behind Darnold, but they won’t be able to stick around against the Browns whatsoever. We’ll wait for Week 17 to see if the Jets or Jaguars end up winning to ruin their chance at Trevor Lawrence. Pick: Browns
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