Week 16 NFL picks: Breaking down Thursday's battle of draft position
• Last week: 12-4; Season: 150-73 (.673).
• Best pick in Week 15: Seattle 27, San Francisco 17 (Actual score: Seahawks 17-7).
• Worst pick in Week 15: Cleveland 24, Cincinnati 20 (Actual score: Bengals 30-0, Thanks, Johnny).
The NFL has a rule that every team in the league -- no matter how unsightly -- has to make at least one appearance in primetime each season. So here you go: 2-12 Tennessee at 2-12 Jacksonville, Week 16. Just think of it as if NFL stood for Northside Football League, and this is the night they hand out participation trophies for everyone who makes it through the year. “Way to go, Titans and Jaguars! We are so proud of you. Don’t forget, there will be punch and cookies served right after the game, so don’t go anywhere."
Even the television promos for this game have been, shall we say understated? The NFL Network flashes the two team logos for like a split second -- it’s almost a case of reverse subliminal advertising -- and quickly moves on to shilling for the doubleheader that it has on tap for Saturday. They don’t even try to play up this Thursday night matchup as the fierce and riveting battle for draft position that it will be. The loser wins and the winner loses, you know the familiar story at this time of year. At stake, at least at the moment, is the No. 2 draft slot, and I suppose that could mean dropping this game is the key to Tennessee making a massive mistake on Jameis Winston? (Relax, I’m just making stuff up. There will only be another 57,000 mock draft permutations to come between now and the night of April 30.)
Just admit something to yourself if you build your Thursday night around this three-hour heaping of quality sports entertainment, putting off doing the last of those Christmas cards you mail to your more-distant friends and family members: You really, really like listening to Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. That’s really the only reason I can come up with if you choose to invest in this one.