2021 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 16

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images /
7 of 16
NFL picks and predictions, Week 16
NFL picks and predictions, Week 16 Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images /

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-4) at Carolina Panthers (5-9)

Sunday, December 26, 1PM ET

Yes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a surprising shutout at the hands of the New Orleans Saints. It was an eye-opener for one of the NFC’s top teams, but that doesn’t mean they can’t bounce back — remember, “any given Sunday” means anything can happen.

Tom Brady is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and the Tampa Bay is still capable of shutting down opponents. We’ll see that firsthand on Sunday when the Buccaneers take on the Carolina Panthers, a team that has been downright awful after starting the season 3-0.

Cam Newton clearly isn’t the answer at quarterback for Carolina, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see any less of him in Week 16. That’s good news for the Buccaneers defense, which shouldn’t have too much trouble limiting the Panthers in the scoring department. The Carolina defense deserves some respect of its own, but Brady will be eager to prove Week 15 was a fluke.

Tampa Bay gets the easy win, and gets back on track after an ugly loss. It also puts to rest any hopes the Panthers had of making a late push for the playoffs. It’s a divisional showdown, but don’t expect any surprise outcomes in this one.

Prediction: Buccaneers win 32-13 | Spread: Buccaneers (-11)