Here are my NFL Week 14 Picks

(10-6 last week, 127-64-1 for the season)

Bye teams: none

iconDalDal @ Chi – Well, I rode Jay Cutler in fantasy football and I failed to make the playoffs.  That may not be entirely his fault; in early rounds I also drafted Adrian Peterson, Monte Ball, & Vernon Davis.  Womp womp.  But anyway, I blame him a little, him and his inconsistent play.  I say all this because it also represents the Bears, a team that has a ton of problems, only one of which is Jay Cutler.  He’s the QB though & will deservedly get a lot of flack, so we’ll see what happens after this year. Oh yeah, this game.  Both these teams looked bad on Thanksgiving and should be looking to rebound.  The Cowboys are 5-0 on the road while the Bears are 2-3 at home.  I’ll go with Murray & the ‘Boys.

iconCinPit @ Cin – Here’s your Weird Statistic of the day; the Steelers are the only team in the AFC North to lose to an NFC team this season.  The division as a whole is 11-2-1 against the NFC, with the Bengals getting that tie and the Steelers getting both those losses.  Also, every team in the AFC North in 7-5 except the Bengals, who are 8-3-1.  But Cinci isn’t the best team in the division, that’d be Baltimore, who scores more, allows less, but lost both head-to-head matchups vs the Bungles.  Anyway, it’s a strange & tight division that this game could go a long way toward deciding.  The Bengals have been very good at home, are on a nice win streak, and should take care of the Stillers.  But man, I wouldn’t put any money on it; you just can’t trust Andy Dalton.

iconInd1Ind @ Cle – Speaking of the AFC North, hello Brownies!  They’re our Cinderella team this season and have played well beyond our expectations.  Although, right now they’re technically in last place and have played inconsistently over the last handful of games.  I like their chances at home vs Indy, a team that’s not exactly scary, but I don’t think I could actually pick them.  First, Andrew Luck is just too zoned in right now.  And second, the Colts just score too many points.  Indy has 44 TDs on the season, 3rd behind Denver’s 45 and Green Bay’s 46.  Cleveland has only scored 27, putting up 130 less points than the Colts this season.  That’s a lot, so as plucky at the Browns are this year, this might be a little too much for them to handle.  Oh yeah, and they just benched their starting QB, played around with Johnny Football, and then re-chose Hoyer.  Not a great way to start the week.

iconDetTB @ Det – The Lions are an almost unrecognizable team compared to the last few years.  For one, they play great defense.  Not kick-you-when-you’re-down defense like under Jim Schwartz, but actual solid defense, the kind they say wins championships.  Detroit has allowed the league’s fewest points so far this season, 207, which is 17 points per game.  And good thing too, because while the defense has played surprisingly well, the offense has been surprisingly quiet.  Stafford isn’t leading his team to the kind of point totals the Lions are used to, but as long as the defense holds up it doesn’t really matter.  Until the playoffs anyway, but definitely not in this game.  The Bucs are bad, plain & simple.  They are 2-10, can’t stop their opponent, and might be just what Megatron & Co. need to get the ball rolling.

iconHou1Hou @ Jax – As odd as this is to say, the Jaguars are actually coming off a win.  That’s right, they won their second game of the season, both at home, and are playing in Jacksonville this week as well.  It’s hard to tell whether that momentum will matter though.  It’s not like the Texans are a terrific team, but they are definitely the better of the two.  Houston is mediocre, with a 6-6 record, an OK defense, an offense that shows up in spurts, and an underwhelming team persona.  I can’t imagine Ryan Fitzpatrick going off for a bunch of TDs again, but it’s not like the Jags have stopped anyone from scoring so far this season.  I’m wary picking the away team in a matchup where neither club is great, but I’ve gotta go Texans here.

iconMiaBal @ Mia – After two tough road games, the Dolphins have shown that they can go toe-to-toe with anyone.  They played the Broncos as hard as they could, and beat a Jets team that had nothing to lose.  Now they get a bit of a break, or at least a home game, and they had better make it count.  It seems like everyone in the AFC is 7-5, including the Dolphins & the Ravens, so this becomes a very important game.  The Ravens are a solid team who can win on the road, but this might prove too much.  Their best defensive player, DT Haloti Ngata, was just suspended for violating the substance policy.  That means more time for Tannehill & more running room for Miller.  That might equal points and a Miami victory.

iconMinNYJ @ Min – In today’s NFL, you gotta score points to win.  The days of the common 9-6 game are over, and if you can’t score you’re done.  That’s not to say that defense is unimportant; look what the Lions have done this year playing better defense than offense.  But you had better have weapons that can score when needed, because you can bet the team you’re playing does.  The Jets lack in firepower, from their QB to their WRs & RBs.  They’ve only scored 190 points this season, that’s 16 per game, and that’s not good enough.  The Vikings are only an alright team, not scoring that much more (233), but they play better D.  And they’re at home.  And they should win.

iconNO1Car @ NO – I can only imagine that the Saints will turn things around in time for the playoffs.  We’ve seen the Giants do this a couple times and win Super Bowls using late season momentum.  It can be done and there’s no reason Brees can’t be the QB to do it.  The Saints can still score, it’s their defense that’s let them down, which makes for a +5 point differential on the season.  The Panthers have a -103.  Not good, and not getting any better either, as they’ve now lost six games in a row.  New Orleans might not be the home field that it sometimes is, but I can’t see the Saints dropping this game to a bad team, not with the division on the line and the postseason looming.

iconNYGNYG @ Ten – At the beginning of the year, this stretch for the G-Men of playing the Jags & the Titans must have seemed like a 2-0 run.  Well, they lost last week in Jacksonville and have lost a league worst 7 games in a row.  The Giants are terrible, especially on the road, and some changes might come next year.  But hey, one more win may be in order, because the Titans are actually worse.  I say it every week; Tennessee is just terrible.  They score less than New York, allow more, have only one win at home this season, and have their own awful losing streak (six games).  This is a matchup of teams who would like to forget this season ever started.  Well, it’s almost over guys, hang in there.

th_Rams_IconSTL @ Was – I find the irony of this situation extremely amusing.  Last week the two top picks of the 2012 Draft (Luck & RG3) would have played each other if Griffin hadn’t been benched for sucking.  This week, RG3 would have played the team that traded out of picking him, getting a boat load of picks from the Redskins in so doing.  Oh yeah, but he’s not because he’s been benched for sucking.  I find that funny.  Anyway, Colt McCoy is the QB for Washington now, womp womp, and they’ve lost four straight.  The Rams are clearly the better team and I doubt the Redskins have much homefield support right now.

iconAri1KC @ Ari – The Cardinals are in danger of losing the major hold they had on the NFC.  With the Seahawks & Niners playing inconsistently, Arizona grabbed the division and didn’t seem like they were going to let go.  Even after Carson Palmer went down, it looked like their defense would step up and Drew Stanton would play good enough.  Well, they’ve lost a couple in a row now and aren’t looking so unbeatable.  And oh yeah here come the other teams right behind.  There is good news though; the Cardinals have yet to lose at home this season.  And with even more good news, the Chiefs aren’t a very good football team.  I thought they might beat the Broncos in KC, but they didn’t, and they don’t look like a very dangerous squad.

iconDen1Buf @ Den – Speaking of Denver, the Broncos proved a lot last week in Kansas City.  They won a tough road game, put up points against a good defense, and established a run game to support Peyton Manning.  Sound like helpful attributes come playoff time?  The Broncos are headed that way, the only question is home or on the road, and right now they’re playing like a team who can win either place.  But first things first; beat the Bills.  Buffalo is, surprisingly, the best defense in the AFC, allowing the fewest points in the league other than Detroit.  So strength vs strength, right?  Well, Denver is undefeated at home, scores 30 points per game, and seems to have fixed a couple problems.  Welcome back to Mile High, Orton.

iconSFSF @ Oak – The Battle of the Bay!  And while I would never put money against the Raiders because they’re so unpredictable, I don’t think this is going to be much of a battle.  Oakland is the worst team in the league by far, scoring the fewest points in the league and allowing the second most.  They’re 1-11, 1-5 at home, and 0-3 against the NFC.  The Niners are only playing alright, but I still think they win this game and make the playoffs.  All they need to do is throw Vernon Davis the damn ball, that’s all that’s missing from their offense; SF can trade Harbaugh to whoever they want and hire me as their coach.  Oh, and when I said this wouldn’t be a battle I meant the Niners should win.  I can’t predict how many penalties the teams will have (probably some sort of record) or how many parking lot and/or stadium fights may result in injury or death.  Talk about the Wild West.

iconPhiSea @ Phi – I can’t live in a world where Mark Sanchez is a brilliantly talented super star quarterback who throws TDs from the high trapeze with the greatest of ease.  I have to know that he’s no good, that he runs into other men’s butts, that he’s got a weird mustache.  This is the Sanchez I want, not the one who’s been winning games left & right.  But alas, even the Cowboys on Thanksgiving couldn’t stop him; I might just have to live with disappointment.  Even the Seahawks might not be a problem.  They play solid D, but they’re not a great road team, and I think they lose this one.  I’m calling for both QBs to struggle, for it to come down to the wire, hopefully for SanChise to suck, but ultimately for the Iggles to win.

iconSDNE @ SD – Here’s the game of the week, the Sunday Night slugfest.  As a Broncos fan, I’m not sure who to root for, the team who might get the #1 seed or the team that’s vying for the AFC West.  Neither I guess, since they’re both a bit hateable.  Can you imagine two more arrogant quarterbacks facing off?  Tom Brady with his models & his watches, Phillip Rivers with his Western ties and his million kids.  I’m not sure I’ll even be able to make it through the game.  So, who’s gonna win, who’s gonna win.  Well, the home team I imagine.  The Pats are 3-3 on the road, the Chargers are 5-1 at home.  New England may be the better team, but this game won’t be easy for them and, sadly, I think we’ll all have to see Rivers’ idiot grin at least one more time.

iconGB1Atl @ GB – At the beginning of the year this probably looked like a hot ticket game, but wow should it be anything but.  The Packers are on fire right now, winning four straight and following Rodgers’ arm to victory each week.  He’s the MVP front-runner and looks unbeatable, especially at home, going 6-0 in Lambeau.  The Falcons, on the other hand, might be winning their division with a 5-7 record, but aren’t a very good team.  They’ve gone 1-7 against everyone outside the NFC South and actually have -8 net points.  Green Bay has +113.  And here’s a stat to blow your mind; Aaron Rodgers has a 4.06 TD/INT ratio through his first 100 starts.  That’s an NFL record; the next highest is 2.13.