Week 16 NFL Picks: Colts Desperate, But Dolphins Will Win Sunday

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 8:21 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015 8:21 PM UTC

The Indianapolis Colts have to win Sunday in Miami  to keep their AFC South Division hopes alive, but Indy might have to beat the Fins with third-string QB. Check our NFL pick here.

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NFL Picks: Dolphins Pk -125 & Under 44
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


How Colts Can Win South
Indianapolis lost control of its own destiny by losing at home to Houston in Week 15, 16-10. That was Indy's third straight loss and also third in a row scoring 16 points or fewer. Starting QB Matt Hasselbeck was questionable for the game with a rib injury, among other issues, but he gutted it out for most of it. He finished 17-for-30 for 147 yards, one touchdown and one pick. The Colts managed only 190 total yards in losing for the first time in 14 home meetings with the Texans -- and Houston did it with third-string QB and Cowboys castoff Brandon Weeden playing the entire second half due to a torn ACL suffered by T.J. Yates. Houston was down 10-0 when Weeden took over late in the first half.

Hasselbeck is literally beaten to a pulp from head to toe so Whitehurst might have to play. He attempted two passes vs. Houston when Hasselbeck  had to leave for a few plays following a big hit and is 7-for-18 for 72 yards with a pick on the season. Andrew Luck already has been ruled out again. The Colts think Hasselbeck will start as of now, but he hasn't finished the past three games. No reason to think he will here.

So now the Texans (7-7) lead the Colts (6-8) by a game and Jacksonville (5-9) by two. If the Colts win this game and then next week at home vs. Tennessee and Houston loses this week at Tennessee and next week  home to Jacksonville, then Indy wins the South. So Zach Mettenberger will have a big say in who wins the division as the Titans' backup QB will start the final two games with star rookie Marcus Mariota out with a knee injury. If the Texans lose out, the Colts could get in with just a win over the Titans in Week 17. Both teams would finish 7-9 and the Colts would win the tiebreaker based off a better divisional record (4-2, 3-3). The Colts would also win the AFC South at 7-9 if the Texans and Jaguars joined them there. Indy would win the tiebreaker again on divisional record.

Houston can clinch the division this week with a win and Colts loss or tie. Indy is 6-8 against the spread on NFL odds this season and 7-7 'over/under.'


Dolphins Already Thinking Offseason
The Dolphins (5-9) are simply playing out the string under interim head coach Dan Campbell -- there's some talk that Miami could be interested in hiring the Colts' Chuck Pagano as its next head coach if Pagano leaves Indianapolis as expected. Both the Fins and Colts also are thought to be interested in the Saints' Sean Payton.

Miami looked totally flat in a Week15 30-14 loss at San Diego (had been 3-10) in perhaps the Chargers' final game ever in that city. To be fair, it was a short week for the Dolphins after a Monday night loss to the Giants. The Bolts led 23-0 at halftime and it was over. The Dolphins had 49 total yards of offense until moving 28 yards on the final-seconds possession gave them 77 for the half. They finished with 13 first  downs for the game against a bad defense and only 231 yards. In a puzzling move, the Dolphins started one of their best players, safety Reshad Jones, as a kickoff returner. Why subject him to injury there in a meaningless game?

They are guaranteed to have a losing season for the first time since 2012. The only bright spot from Sunday's loss was Jarvis Landry, who set the franchise single-season record in catches. He now has 97. Miami lost center Mike Pouncey to a season-ending foot injury against the Chargers. Landry is also beat up. Running back Lamar Miller suffered a quad injury and played only 18 snaps vs. San Diego. He wasn't happy in getting just two second-half carries, giving way to rookie Jay Ajayi. Miller doesn't sound like a guy who will be re-signing as a free agent this offseason.

Miami is 4-10 ATS on NFL picks and 7-7 O/U.


Last Meeting
In Week 2 of the 2013 season, Miami visited Indianapolis and won 24-20. Ryan Tannehill was 23-for-34 for 319 yards with a touchdown. Miller rushed 14 times for 69 yards and a score. The Colts had 448 yards of offense and Luck was 25-for-43 for 321 yards, one touchdown and one pick. T.Y. Hilton caught six balls for 124 yards. Maybe the Fins show some fire at home. Indy's QB situation is just a mess and the Colts are trending the wrong way. The Colts are 2-6 ATS in their past eight following an ATS loss. The 'under' has hit in 12 of the past 15 Colts games in December. The 'under' is 11-5 in  Miami's past 16 in December.

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