NFL Week 14 Predictions

Ok, so I’m still in pretty decent shape with my pickem record this season. I’ve been average these last few weeks. I’m going to try and finish this season out strong. We have a full slate of games as the playoff picture continues to unfold. This is the trickiest time to pick games because some lesser teams tend to show up to play spoiler and the lower playoff teams can knock off the top dogs because they’re desperate. This is a time when upset picks are a good choice, you just have to pick the right ones.

Pickem record: 104-86

TENNESSEE TITANS (6-6) VS JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (4-8)

I think we’ll see an upset here. This one will be very close, as are most games between these AFC South rivals. The Jaguars are coming in off a win against the Colts, and the defense is looking very solid. The Jags held the Colts to 0 points and completely stuffed the run. Not very often you see a team led by a top 10 season QB and a pro bowl WR, and they get held under 275 yards and 0 points. This defense is very special and they won’t have too daunting of a task ahead of them as they’re facing the 28th ranked offense in terms of total yards and points. The Jags will simply need to get Fournette going and help Kessler manage this game. However, on the other side of the field is possibly one of the best game-managing QBs in the league and a tough RB tandem. The Titans have an extremely balanced team and will look to right they ship as they fight to stay in the fight for the playoffs. JAGS 13  TITANS 10

CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-7-1) VS CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-6)

Man it’s only the second game of the pickem and the second straight upset pick. This one is a bit easier to pick though. The Panthers are on a heavy downward spiral, as they’ve lost 4 in a row now. This team looks awful and the defense just can’t keep the opposing offense out of the endzone. The offense racks up lots of yards but then fails to score. This team needs to figure out and fix their issues in the redzone on both sides of the ball if they’re going to make the playoffs. The Browns are also coming off a rough game against the red hot Texans. In that game Baker Mayfield threw 3 INTs and the team had 31 total rushing yards. They need to get things going to finish strong and prove they’re not the same bad Brownies we’re accustomed to. They need to keep Mayfield in rhthym and prevent McCaffrey from getting going. Mayfield had a rough game last week, but I feel like he will right the ship this week and reassure everyone why he is the savoir. BROWNS 23 PANTHERS 17

BUFFALO BILLS (4-8) VS NEW YORK JETS (3-9)

Well, I guess the streak of upsets had to end at some point. This week, Josh Allen makes enough of a difference to give the W to a team just looking to prove it’s not a joke. Allen has silenced some doubters as he might not be prolific and gun-slinging, but he runs wild and does enough to help his offense win games. They actually have the 12th ranked rush offense and are playing the 30th ranked offense in the Jets. Look for the Bills to utilize McCoy and Allen in the rush as much as possible. The Jets are in trouble and this season has been full of dysfunction for them. They have been talking about firing Bowles, which isn’t sitting well with some players, and they just sat a healthy Darnold because “the timing was just too short notice after a 3 week layoff”. There’s a lot going on in this Jets locker room and it will continue to be a distraction to the team. BILLS 20 JETS 10

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (10-2) VS BALTIMORE RAVENS (7-5)

This game is actually going to be much closer than people think. The Chiefs right now look incredibly dangerous and like no AFC team can stop them at this point. The offense is on fire and Mahommes has been absolutely masterful this season. He’s on pace to break a number of records and is at the helm of the best scoring offense in league. They will be missing Hunt as he was released from the team in the midst of his recent character issues. This team has the 2nd worst defense in the league and just so happen to be playing the best defense in the league. Lamar Jackson has come in and taken over this Ravens offense and has made them very dangerous. He needs to pass the ball a little bit more this week and take advantage of the leagues worst pass defense. For a team that has put up over 200 yards rushing in 3 straight weeks, can they do enough on both sides of the ball to beat the Chiefs. The answer is no, but it will be close and Mahommes will look the most vulnerable we’ve ever seen him. CHIEFS 24 RAVENS 20

GREEN BAY PACKERS (4-7-1) VS ATLANTA FALCONS (4-8)

I am going to give this one to the Packers as they have a new temporary head coach and we might see a rejuvenated team following the firing of Mike McCarthy. Aaron Rodgers isn’t having a bad season statistically. The one area where he’s been rough is his completion percentage. He has 1 interception this season and this coaching change could help boost his effectiveness. I look for this offense to play with a motivated sense of renewal. They should be able to hang with Atlanta if they give Rodgers time and slow down the Falcons passing attack. The Falcons are coming off a tough loss against the Ravens. The Ravens suffocated the Falcons offense the whole game and Jackson and company capitalized on the opportunities the defense gave them. I look for the Packers to slow them down just enough and get Rodgers in rhythm. PACKERS 17 FALCONS 13

HOUSTON TEXANS (9-3) VS INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-6)

This pick was sort of an easy pick. This will surely be a close, competitive game but i look for Watt and the defense to overwhelm Luck while Watson and Nuk keep their rhythm going. This Texans team is absolutely on fire right now and are looking deadly as the playoffs draw closer. Lamar Miller is averaging 117 yards in his last 3 games and Watson has been very efficient, especially in games where Miller runs for over 100 yards. When Miller and Watson both get comfortable, it’s as if there’s no stopping this offense and i certainly wouldn’t want to play them right now. Too bad for the Colts, because they have no choice. Luck and company have been pretty solid up until last week. They got held to 0 points and Mack was held to just 27 rushing yards. They’re going to be reeling from their recent shut out against the Jags and looking to stay in the playoff race, but this is not the team to recover against. TEXANS 27  COLTS 21

MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-6) VS NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-3)

This game doesn’t need much explaining but I’m going to do my best anyway. The Patriots are going to walk out of Miami with a win and sustain their hold on the 2 seed in the AFC. Brady will look to this as an easy game, but can’t get too complacent because Tannehill is no slouch. While Tannehill is a very capable QB, this is the playoff Patriots that we’re beginning to see and no team wants to face them when they’re playing like this. I look for Brady to try and get comfortbale and get enough time to pick the Dolphins 29th ranked defense apart. The Dolphins are going to try their best to pressure Brady and throw off his timing and also get the running game going. I look to see Brady have better chances of success here as they get a comfortable win. PATS 31  DOLPHINS 20

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (5-7) VS NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-2)

This game will also be closer than many people are expecting. The Bucs have a pretty decent passing attack that’s actually ranked #1 in the league. That might partially be because they have to come from behind in alot of games, but with Winston and Fitzpatrick, that’s a very surprising stat. They have a good amount of receiving weapons in Evans, Godwin, Jackson, and Brate, but they lack a running game. Peyton Barber is a solid back that will develop into a very good talent one day, but this offensive line isn’t good enough right now to help him it. Especially not against the best rushing defense in the league and the hot arm of Drew Brees. They just got surprised by the streaking Cowboys last week and I don’t see that happening again. SAINTS 34 BUCS 27

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (6-6) VS NEW YORK GIANTS (4-8)

This game has heavy implications on how the playoffs could shake out. We have the Giants, who are virtually out of the playoff race, and the Redskins, who are just outside the 6 seed. This is must win territory for the Redskins and they face a tall task. Normally for a healthy Skins team id probably pick them easily. However, they’re missing a handful of offensive linemen and they’ve got Mark Sanchez under center. The Giants offense is finding its new Barkley/Beckham fueled offense and putting the pieces together. I think they’ll handle the Redskins in this one. GIANTS 26 SKINS 17

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-10) VS DENVER BRONCOS (6-6)

Believe it or not, the lowly 49ers have an opportunity to help damper the Broncos playoff hopes. The Broncos are clawing to stay in the hunt for the last wildcard spot but they must win and hope Baltimore doesn’t upset the Chiefs. If all things infold in their favor, they could wind up being tied for the spot. They need to find a weapon in the pass game with Sanders out and they must get to Mullens. The 49ers season is pretty much over and right now they’re just trying to spoil other teams’ playoff chances and find their niche. I could see Mullens keeping this close but I don’t see them winning….if the Broncos has Sanders that is. Without Sanders, I believe the 49ers pull it off. 49ERS 23 BRONCOS 16

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (9-3) VS CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-7)

This game is almost irrelevant for the Chargers as they are the 5th wildcard spot and not much of a threat to be bumped from the playoffs. The key word was almost though as they are only one game behind Kansas City for the division. If Baltimore pulls out the huge upset, they could have a big shot at the AFC West crown. This is their best shot with a dynamite season from Rivers, Gordon, and Allen and Gordon is healthy as has Bosa been for a week or two. The Bengals are missing AJ Green and Andy Dalton. I don’t see them putting up the firepower to stay close at all, let alone threaten to pull off the upset. CHARGERS 37 BENGALS 13

DALLAS COWBOYS (7-5) VS PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (6-6)

This game has enormous importance for the NFC East. The Eagles and Cowboys are fighting for the divisional lead and the loser takes a step down out of the wildcard potentially. An Eagles loss would practically put them in a position where making the playoffs would be a miracle. The Eagles have been playing decent lately and are doing enough to win games behind the arm of Wentz and their intimidating front 7. The Cowboys have been hot lately as they have gotten Elliott in a nice groove as he leads the league in rushing. They’re also getting Prescott managing the games expertly while the defense gets key stops. I look for the Boys’ recent win against the Saints to help motivate them to win in a very close game here. COWBOYS 24 EAGLES 23

ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-9) VS DETROIT LIONS (4-8)

This game is a tough pick because both teams are bad and inconsistent. Which team can win? That’s a good question because these teams have beaten tougher teams like the Panthers and Rosen went 11-26 passing last week and still beat Aaron Rodgers. These teams will surely be up for top 5 picks in the draft. A game like this though is more or less to show who’s not as bad as the other. The Lions have a decent team, they just don’t manage the games very well and make mistakes when the plays matter most. The Cardinals are still trying to develop a rookie QB and are struggling to do so to this point. I think the Lions are slightly better right now, let’s give them the win here. LIONS 20 CARDS 16

OAKLAND RAIDERS (2-10) VS PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-4-1)

This is a nice little trap game that’s actually hard to choose. The Steelers have lost 2 in a row, one being against the Broncos in Denver where the Steelers have a history of struggling. This game has a similar historical feel to it because the Steelers haven’t won in Oakland since 1995. They don’t play well in Oakland and history tells us when the Steelers don’t exactly overcome those history trends, why question it now? The Raiders are coming off a game in which they played closely with Mahommes and the Chiefs and that team is a bit better than Pittsburgh. The Steelers are missing Conner and that could really hurt their chances here. The Steelers don’t just lose 3 in a row though and let the division crown slip through their fingers. Steelers edge them out in a very close game. STEELERS 23 RAIDERS 21

CHICAGO BEARS (8-4) VS LOS ANGELES RAMS (10-1)

This is the game I have to watch. If there’s any game, aside from my favorite team, worth watching, it’s most definitely this one. The Bears get Trubisky back and the defense is still a dangerous, pass-rushing nightmare. Can the Bears slow down this crazy Rams offense? Can the Rams play well against the QB crushing front 7 of the Bears? This could be a glimpse of the NFC championship game here and when it all comes down to playoffs or even a matchup like this. The hungrier team and defense usually win out. Defense wins championships and I think Mack, Hicks, and Floyd can beat this offensive line just enough to throw Goff off a little. Watch the matchup of Andrew Whitworth vs Khalil Mack. That will be a huge matchup that determines the outcome. BEARS 30 RAMS 27

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (7-5) VS MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-5-1)

This game is actually of huge importance as well. The losing team in this game could very well be pushed from their wildcard spot. With the playoffs on the line for both teams, I look for both to come out with a purpose and will fight tooth and nail until the last whistle. One team has a solid passing attack and the other boasts the best rushing attack in the league. The Vikings however have the tougher, more stout defense. The question here though will be is the defense good enough to beat the excellent football minds of Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson? This time around I say no, I’m giving the edge to the home team in this one. The Seahawks win and the Vikings loss give the birds a nice cushion for the playoffs and opens the door for other teams like the Eagles, Redskins, or Panthers. SEAHAWKS 24 VIKINGS 16

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