Here are my NFL Week 14 Picks

(11-4 last week, 117-73-2 for the season)

Bye teams: none


kcchiefsOak @ KC – The Battle for the AFC West is on Thursday Night football, and as a Bronco fan, I’ll be glued to the television.  If the Raiders win, they have a strangle hold on the West, and the Chiefs drop down to a potential tie with the Broncos for a Wild Card spot.  If the Chiefs win, the division is knotted at the top, and Denver still has a chance to pick up some wins and take it back.  Either way, Denver needs to take care of their own game on the road in Tennessee, but we’ll all be watching this game pretty closely.  All that drama aside though, this should be one hell of a game.  Oakland is undefeated on the road this season, while Kansas City is 4-1 at home.  So strength vs strength, and then there’s the Raiders O against the Chiefs D, which is another battle of juggernauts.  Who will win out, that’s the question, and I think I have to give a slight edge to the Chiefs.  Not only because they’re at home in Missouri in December, which is a huge advantage, but also because Oakland’s defense is so bad.  One slip up from the offense, they score a FG instead of a TD and all of a sudden KC has the upper hand.  Should be a great one.


pitsteelersPit @ Buf – Pittsburgh pulled off the  …upset? …last week at home vs the Giants.  Now, a game in Pitt, Big Ben healthy, the Steel Curtain defense in full force, doesn’t sound like a game that the Steelers should lose, but I really though they would.  The Giants were one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and the Stillers hadn’t played well against the NFC all season, nor had they played perfectly at home either.  But they defended their turf and got the victory, a big one too, what with Baltimore still atop  the AFC North.  It’s a tie now, and Pitt might have the easier road, which is good, because if the playoffs were today, the Steelers would not be in.  The Bills would also not be in, and although they are still in contention for a Wild Card spot, their prospects don’t look great.  They need this home win against a tough team desperately, but I can’t see them stepping up when the games get important.  No, that’s what teams like Pittsburgh do, not teams like Buffalo, and I especially can’t see the Bills scoring against this Steeler D.  That the game is in Buffalo is in the Bills favor, but perhaps won’t be quite enough to win them a close game.


denbroncosDen @ Ten – Speaking of desperate wins, the Broncos absolutely had to have what should have been an easy victory in Jacksonville.  And then Siemian got hurt, Lynch started, the offense sputtered, and Denver fans panicked, but they came away with the road win, so all is well.  They’re actually back in the playoffs because Miami lost, so for the Broncos they just need to keep going.  Sure, we’d like to win the AFC West, but that may not happen, we just need to focus on each game individually, and I think this is a good enough team all around to do that.  Does Denver win this week?  I think so, but I also don’t think it’ll be easy.  The Titans are no pushovers, and right now they are actually tied atop the AFC South with a 6-6 record.  They can score points behind Mariota & Murray, that’s for sure, but their defense hasn’t been as solid as it could be, so they need high scores every week in order to stay competitive.  I just don’t think Tennessee will be able to move the ball as well as they’ll need to in order to win this game.  And with Siemian back or Lynch with another start under his belt, I think the Broncos can legitimately score.


phieaglesWas @ Phi – The Redskins predictably had problems with Arizona last week, a club that might have had a worse record but was just the better team.  The ‘Skins have now dropped two in a row and are in danger of losing any playoff hopes.  In fact, if they lose this game, Washington will be 6-6-1 and I don’t think anything short of a miracle will keep them playing in January.  I’ve called this team mediocre all season, and I think they’ve proven it many times; Cousins, Gruden, Norman, none of these guys are phenomenal.  Sure, you can win with consistency, but I think you need a little magic sometimes to get to the next level.  You can’t say too much better about the Eagles, but at least they’re young, have a rookie QB, a new HC, are fighting to improve, and can look toward next season as a probable step up.  Right now though, they’ve lost three in a row, something they’ll look to halt ASAP.  As bad as things have gone recently for Philly, the team is still 4-1 at home on the season, and should still be favored there against anything less than special talent.  Fly Eagles fly, or whatever.


miadolphinsAri @ Mia – The aforementioned Cardinals picked up a win last week at home, but I don’t know how many more they get on the season.  Palmer is pretty much done, David Johnson can’t do everything, and a .500 record won’t be good enough for an NFC team to make the playoffs this year.  Arizona’s defense is still good, but man their offense just isn’t clicking, and I really think that’s because of Palmer’s age and injury history.  The guy’s washed up a bit, and I think it’s showing.  The Cards will miss the playoffs this year, and maybe we’ll see some changes next season.  The Dolphins, on the other hand, seem to have finally made the changes that were necessary for the team to get over the hump and start winning.  Riding a 6-game winning streak last week, they, like the Giants, dropped a big road game and find themselves in need of a turnaround.  Look no further, for while Miami is terrible on the road (2-4), they are excellent at home (5-1).  Also, Arizona has only won a single road game on the season, making it likely that these trends will continue.  Look for the Dolphins to play hard and with a purpose, with the playoffs in sight.


minvikingsMin @ Jax – Is it time to stop talking about a Minnesota postseason?  Have the Vikings injuries finally caught up to them?  Can we say now that Bradford is awful?  I think so, across the board.  First, after a great start, the reality of this team has been realized, and that reality is that they aren’t one of the big dogs to fear when it’s time for a big game.  Secondly, the injuries have come to collect their due, as you can only bandage yourself together for so long.  And lastly, Bradford was never going to be the savior, that was a fantasy, and some of us saw that coming a mile away.  This defense is legit, and basically the only thing holding the team together, but that’s not enough, not when your offense is this terrible.  However, I do think they win this game, which at least gives them the tiniest bit of hope, even if they don’t win many more.  The Jaguars are just that bad; I’m not even sure how they have one win on the season, let alone two.  They showed last week in a home game vs Denver that a good defense can come into Jacksonville and win the game on its own, which is exactly what will happen in Week 14.


indcoltsHou @ Ind – While Houston is tanking, Indianapolis could be peaking at the exact right time, with Tennessee somewhere in the middle of what should be an entertaining race to the AFC South title.  The Texans have now lost three in a row and basically can’t score any points.  Osweiler is a bust; are we ready to say that?  Can we acknowledge that Elway knew what he was doing?  Osweiler is a bust, no one on the team can put it on their shoulders, and the defense is the only thing keeping this team afloat.  Now, they are technically winning the division in a three-way tie, they have yet to lose within the division, and they are 5-1 at home, so all those facts are in their favor, I just don’t think that matters in this game.  On the road, the Texans are 1-5, which is just pathetic, and I think they’ll pick up their first loss in the AFC South in this game.  Did the Jets just wake up Andrew Luck?  Can he get going now that he’s over his injury?  Can the Colts make a playoff run?  I really think so, and I think it officially starts this week.  Indy can score points, they will, and Houston won’t be able to keep up.


sdchargersSD @ Car – The first Who Cares game of the week, and it’s between two teams that should be in the think of things.  Their respective seasons haven’t gone as hoped, and now they find themselves playing these meaningless games.  Who wins is a complete tossup and probably depends on who shows up.  With that in mind, I have at least one good thing to say about Phillip Rivers, a player I absolutely hate; he never gives up.  He always fights, always shows passion, and I don’t think he could possibly let a team he was leading quit while there was still breath in his body.  Might sound dramatic, but I think that’s the kind of guy Rivers is.  I think the exact opposite can be said about Cam Newton, which is why I think the Chargers win this game.  Cam was benched last week for not wearing a tie, which is weird, but which also shows that this team has lost the drive to win, to follow rules, to be professional, to hold their head high.  The Panthers went on to be destroyed in that game, and I can’t see them playing with much fervor here.  Sure it’s at home, but I think desire is completely in San Diego’s favor.


clebrownsCin @ Cle – Oh no, we started a trend, here’s another game that means absolutely nothing.  For the Bengals, who are obviously the better team, this game perhaps means saving their head coach, although you wonder if every single player actually wants him to be saved.  Hey, if Jeff Fisher can get an extension being bad/mediocre, Marvin Lewis can to, and in fact has before, so maybe he’s not going anywhere.  If I were a Bengal player or fan, I’d want him out of town; give me someone with some passion for winning the game, winning the Super Bowl, not someone who is simply fine being fine.  For the Browns, there’s absolutely nothing to lose.  Regardless of who starts this week, the team will be playing with nothing to lose, nothing to prove, and with the knowledge that they can’t possibly look worse.  I always say, never pick the Bengals, because they let you down far too often, and the Browns have to win at some point, so I think I’m going with Cleveland in this one.  It would be a very Bungles thing to do if the Bungles were to lose to the Brownies at this point, something that I can actually see happening.


detlionsChi @ Det – And here we have the biggest blowout and/or the most non-competitive game, at least that’s how it looks on paper anyway, and that’s how I hope it ends up, as I chose Detroit as my Survival Pick this week.  I definitely think that this game will be lopsided, as Chicago is barely even here this season.  They did win last week, raising their record to 3-9, but they’re too bad all around to deserve any credit for a random win.  John Fox should be fired, and what’s more, never hired by anyone again; the guy sucks.  The Bears are also winless on the road this season, so another loss here is almost a given.  The Lions are  5-1 at home, so they deserve consideration against any team in Detroit, let alone against the pitiful Bears.  They’re now two games ahead for 1st place in the NFC North, with a real chance of holding on over the next few weeks.  That would be huge, the Lions hosting a playoff game, and I really think it might happen.  First things first I guess, but this doesn’t feel like a trap game to me, it feels like a one-sided affair that should go as planned, knock on wood.


sf49ersNYJ @ SF – I guess this is what happens near the end of the season, we stumble across a ton of games that have no meaning whatsoever and the TV ratings plummet.  Well, chalk this up as a game no one will watch, not even fans of these two teams; why would they want to?  The Jets were just hosed on national television Monday Night, and who knows what’s going on with that organization or who their QB will be from week to week.  I really thought they had a shot at the division early in the year, with the great season FitzMagic had last year, with Brady being out for a few games, with the door wide open.  Well, so much for that, and now the season is over for the J-E-T-S- Jets Jets Jets.  The Niners don’t have it any better, in fact they have it much worse.  They won their very first game of the season, and that’s been it. Pathetic, and inexcusable too, something that just shouldn’t happen.  Chip Kelly is a moron and needs to leave ASAP.  He really just doesn’t know what he’s doing, and why is that OK?  Fire him if he won’t quit, or better yet, go back in time and never hire him in the first place, idiots.


tbbuccaneersNO @ TB – Finally, now here’s a game that could be pretty good.  The Bucs moved into a tie for first place last week in the NFC South after a fourth-straight win and a Falcons loss.  Now both at 7-5, Tampa & Atlanta look to battle it out for the division, with New Orleans looking on two games back.  The Buccaneers are one of those weird, scary teams that win on the road, don’t look wonderful on paper, but play with an odd abandon that seems to actually be working.  It’s working for the Raiders as well, so maybe it’s a pirate thing, and maybe we’ll see a Gruden Bowl rematch, though that seems unlikely.  For now, the Bucs just keep on winning, which is enjoyable for them, frightening for Falcons fans.  The Saints will look to trip them up, but I’m not sure that momentum is swinging the right way for that to happen.  Brees is coming off a horrendous game, 0 TDs & 3 INTs, and fantasy owners everywhere are panicking.  Not me, I didn’t need a win last week and I have a bye this week, so as long as he returns to form in Weeks 15 & 16 I’m good.  I just have a feeling that Tampa is the team with more to play for.


atlfalconsAtl @ LA – Everyone knew that the Falcons would come down to Earth eventually; they did this same thing last season.  People we actually calling for Matt Ryan to win the MVP, as if he was going to keep the magic going, as if he had ever kept it going for an entire year before.  Amateurs, please.  He cooled down, so did Julio, and now Atlanta is just good, not red hot.  They can still make the playoffs, don’t get me wrong, especially if Tampa were to somehow lose to NO; the Bucs are actually worse at home than on the road, going 2-4 in Tampa.  But let’s assume that they win, then the Falcons will need to win too.  All signs point to that happening, despite the Rams having so much faith in their terrible coach that they rewarded him with a big, new contract.  People make no sense, I don’t know what else to say, I think I need to go live alone somewhere.  How Jeff Fisher still has a job is beyond me; I wonder if he’s got inside info that would ruin someone, if he’s blackmailing someone to stay in the NFL.  Smart move I guess, especially for someone who isn’t talented and can only coach teams to losing seasons.


gbpackersSea @ GB – The loss of safety Earl Thomas will be huge for the Seahawks.  Their defense is the best in the league, better than New England, Baltimore, Minnesota, or Denver.  And with the offense struggling at times, they’ve needed that defense to step up, something it can do at will.  Wilson is healthy now, so is Graham, Rawls is running with purpose, this offense can score, but the defense is the real reason this team is 8-3-1 and is dominating their division.  Without Thomas, the D takes a big hit, and only game time will show how much damage his absence has caused.  I predict that it will have a large impact, and the first team to test out that Seattle coverage without their star & leader is Green Bay.  You do not want to travel to GB in the frigid temperatures right at the exact moment that the Packers are heating up.  You want Rodgers to be ice cold, and right now he is most definitely not.  The Pack have won two straight games, the offense is looking better, and this team still has a shot at the playoffs if they keep winning.  Go with momentum here, and go with the home favorite.


dalcowboysDal @ NYG – What else is there to say about the Cowboys?  Dak, Dez, Zeke, and now the defense; this is a complete-package team, a club with Super Bowl written all over them.  Now, they’re young, they’re unproven, but leaders like Witten will step up and make sure this team is on the right track.  I fully expect the ‘Boys to go deep into the postseason, and so far no one has shown that they can slow Dallas down.  Eleven wins in a row now, undefeated on the road, all cylinders pumping; no team is an equal match at this very moment, not even the Giants, a team I’ve been touting the entire season.  And it had been going well until last week, when Eli was bad Eli and helped the G-Men lose to the Steelers. New York is still fine, they’re still a Wild Card team, but man they can’t afford too many more losses, not with other squads breathing down their necks.  And NYG is great at home, 5-1, they play great D, and Odell shows flashes of greatness.  But overall, this offense isn’t scoring enough to keep up with a team like Dallas, thought I think we’ll have a great game here, one that comes down to the wire.


nepatriotsBal @ NE – Who knew that the Ravens would be right in the think of things come December.  We all thought that the Steelers would be unstoppable this season, that the Bengals would contest, but not that the Ravens would excel.  Here they are though, tied for first place in their division, but probably about to lose that spot, if the Steelers can take care of the Bills and if the Patriots can take care of business at home.  All’s not lost for Baltimore though, even if they were to lose this game, there are still a few games left.  But one of those is in Pittsburgh, not something that they’re probably looking forward to.  Meanwhile, New England just keeps winning, and it’s sure looking like a NEvsDAL Super Bowl, although many teams will have something to say about that in the coming weeks.  The Pats just don’t mess up, and I doubt they’ll drop the ball here.  The Ravens only chance is to sack Brady a ton, be in his face all game, make him dread dropping back to pass.  But you have to imagine that Belichick understands that, that he’ll have a gameplan, like he always does, and that New England will win somehow.