Week 14 Picks
Last weeks record: 6-10 (ouch)
Season record: 26-20
Broncos at Raiders – Broncos, Something that might surprise you? The Raiders have the 8th best offense in the league. Something that might not surprise you? The Broncos will win this game.
Ravens at Redskins – Redskins, Washington has been absolutely on fire since their bye week (3-0 during that time). RGIII looks fantastic and I have picked against him enough to have learned my lesson. The Redskins have the perfect team to exploit the Ravens defense. Washington has a great running game complemented by fantastic play action sets. This will be enough to beat a Baltimore team that will struggle with the loss (most likely) of defensive player of the year Terrell Suggs.
Cowboys at Bengals – Bengals, Tony Romo has silently crept back into top-ten quarterback status. Dez Bryant has played ridiculous, and their offensive line has stepped up as well. However, Dallas’ defense has been lackluster, and their running game has been non-existent. Those are two areas that the Bengals have been fantastic at this season, and I believe they pull this one out with the help of home field advantage.
Rams at Bills – Rams, St. Louis has actually looked like a serviceable NFL team since getting trounced by the Jets two weeks ago. They have put together back to back wins against divisional opponents, including an impressive overtime victory against the 49ers. The Rams seem to be hitting their groove, which is good news for them now, but bad news when April rolls around and they are stuck in the middle of the NFL draft.
Eagles at Buccaneers – Buccaneers, Maybe the Bucs will finally win a game when I pick them? However, after 2 tough games against the Falcons and Broncos, Tampa Bay gets a cupcake game against an Eagles team fighting for the number 1 overall pick in the draft. The Buccaneers get a much needed win here to improve their playoff chances.
Falcons at Panthers – Falcons, This game is pretty much self explanatory. Atlanta is 11-1 and can secure a first round bye this week, while Carolina is 3-9 and just lost to a terrible Chiefs team. Atlanta has also had extra rest for this game, as they have not played since last Thursday. Interesting fact: the Panthers are 0-13 this season on coin tosses (they lost one in overtime as well). I’m not sure how you can lose 13 coin tosses in a row, but I guess when you are a bad team, anything can happen.
Chiefs at Browns – Browns, Both of these teams won last week because their opponents were even worse. I give the edge to the Browns in this one because of home-field advantage and they have Trent Richardson wearing their colors. Let’s just say this game will not be get the highest ratings on Sunday.
Chargers at Steelers – Steelers, Pittsburgh pulled out an extremely clutch win last week against the Ravens. It is still not certain whether Ben Roethlisberger will play on Sunday, but even with Charlie Batch, I like the Steelers to win this one while fighting to stay in the playoff race.
Titans at Colts – Colts, The Andrew Luck factor. That is pretty much all you need to know. He threw for 4 touchdowns last week including a game winner to Donnie Avery as time expired, keeping the Colts at the top of the AFC wildcard picture. The Titans are done, and they’ll play like it against a “Chuckstrong” Colts team. Side note: This rookie quarterback draft class COULD end up becoming the best of all time. With the way Luck, RGIII, and Russell Wilson, it is not inconceivable that they could turn out to be better than the class of ’83 with Elway, Kelly, and Marino. Okay maybe they wont be that good, but this might be as close as we get.
Jets at Jaguars – Jets, Oh boy, this game will turn out to be a slugfest, much like the one the Jets played in last week. I believe that Sanchez will respond well to his benching and come out with a quality game this week, only to go back to the real Mark Sanchez next game.
Bears at Vikings – Bears, Both of these teams suffered losses last week, but the Vikings loss hurt much more. They are now 6-6 and holding on to playoff contention by a thread. They need this game more than the Bears, but Chicago is too good of a team to let this game, and a chance at a bye, slip away.
Dolphins at 49ers – 49ers, The Dolphins gave the Patriots a tough fight last week, but the better team eventually won. I believe the same will happen in this game, with the Niners bouncing back from an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Rams.
Cardinals at Seahawks – Seahawks, Russell Wilson’s home stats: 62.2 completion percentage, 11 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and a sparkling 122.0 quarterback rating. The Seahawks record at home this year? 5-0. The Cardinals have lost 7 straight games. I rest my case.
Saints at Giants – Giants, New Orleans saw their playoff hopes vanish last week against Atlanta, while New York saw RGIII move one step closer from taking the division away from them. Which team responds better to last weeks defeat in this game is the question, and I believe the Giants are that team in this contest.
Lions at Packers – Packers, Green Bay is starting to find their groove lately, and they should continue rolling against a poor Lions team. However, Calvin Johnson has a chance to break Jerry Rice’s long standing record for receiving yards in a year at some point, so his yardage will be watched closely in this game. Ndamakong Suh will have to pull some more of his shenanigans for the Lions to win this win.
Patriots at Texans – Patriots, The perfect way to finish a football week, with two of the best teams playing on Monday Night Football. This game will be entertaining from start to finish, but there are a few reasons why the Patriots will win. 1) New England has outscored their opponent by 126 points in their last five games while Houston has outscored theirs by 42. That disparity comes with the fact that the Texans have played bad teams such as the Titans, Lions, and Jaguars over that span. 2) It’s fun to say that the Patriots have a bad defense, but if you look closely, their defense is actually quite good. They are one of the best at stopping the run in the NFL, and they have forced 32 turnovers this season, second best in the NFL. If you force a team to pass, and then get turnovers off those passes, I’d say that is a somewhat stout defense. 3) Not only do the Patriots get takeaways, they hardly ever turn the ball over as well. They lead the league with a +24 turnover differential. While the Texans mark of +14 is good, it does not compare to New England’s number. 4) The Patriots have home-field advantage in this one, which could make all the difference on a cold December night.