The NFL regular season is coming to an end and the playoff picture is getting crowded. It seems on one in the NFC wants to move ahead. Every wild card team and the leaders in the NFC East all lost this weekend, meaning it’s still up for grabs. In the AFC, the Bengals are losing and are STILL in the hunt. The Broncos are the story line of the season, and the Texans keep piling up injuries while showing the way in the AFC South. Lookout for the Tennessee Titans though, they could make things interesting. What’s going to happen in week 14? Read on to find out! As always picks are straight up, points are there to show who’s favored.
Cleveland Browns (+14) at Pittsburgh Steelers – Thursday Night
I believe when the NFL scheduled this game at the beginning of the year, they thought the Browns would be contenders and not pretenders, but pretenders is what they’ll get from the Browns. This one won’t be close. Take the Steelers as they continue their roll into the post-season.
Indianapolis Colts (+16.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Colts return to their original Baltimore home for a game against the first place Ravens. Ray Lewis will likely miss this game with his nagging toe injury, but it won’t matter. The Colts played a respectable game against the Patriots last week but fell a bit short. This week, they face a much better defense and I look for the Ravens D to return at least one INT for a touchdown. Take the Ravens at home.
Houston Texans (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals
Tough game to choose. The Texans should be on cruise control right now, but the injury bug has hit them hard. The Texans need to look out for the Titans who are making a pretty strong run for the AFC South crown. The Bengals are in a battle for the last wild-card position with the Jets, Titans, and Raiders. I look for a cool day in Cincy this Sunday but a warm performance by the Bengals. Take the home team.
Oakland Raiders (+11.5) at Green Bay Packers
The Packers had their closest game of the season last week against the Giants. This week, not so tough. The Raiders are in a free fall and that will continue this week. Packers move one step closer to that perfect season.
Kansas City Chiefs (+9) at New York Jets
The Chiefs are coming off a win against my Bears and are actually playing some pretty good football right now. Their defense is playing well and, believe it or not, they’re STILL in the playoff hunt. A win by the Chiefs would go a long way in the AFC West, but it won’t happen today. The Jets are starting to come into form and I like them in this contest. J-E-T-S win by ten at home.
Minnesota Vikings (+7.5) at Detroit Lions
The Lions were strong early in the year but of late have looked more like the most dysfunctional team on the planet. Penalties, penalties, and off the field issues have been the Lions headlines of late. This week, the focus goes back to football. The Lions will stomp the Vikings as they make a push to lock up one of the two wild-card spots in the NFC. Lions win big.
New Orleans Saints (-3.5) at Tennessee Titans
The Titans need this one to keep their playoff hopes alive, and the Saints need it to try and track down that number two seed in the NFC. Chris Johnson is starting to play like Chris Johnson but it won’t be enough. The Saints are too good a team to lose this week. It may be close, but the Saints keep the heat on the 49ers.
Philadelphia Eagles (+3) at Miami Dolphins
If I told you at the beginning of the year that the Eagles would have the same 4 and 8 record as the Dolphins at this point in the season, you would have called me nuts. However, they do have the same record! Mike Vick will be back under center and that might be enough for the upset. I’m going to go with the Eagles on the road here.
New England Patriots (-8) at Washington Redskins
The Patriots offense is in high gear but their defense is still very suspect. The Colts actually accumulated more passing and rushing yards than the Pat’s O did last week. That won’t be the case this week. Take the Patriots on the road.
Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers
There’s no way the Falcons will catch the Saints for the division, but a win today would help propel them to one of the two wild card spots. Carolina is on a two game win streak, the game is outdoors and the Falcons don’t do as well outdoors. I’m going with the upset as the Panthers knock off the Falcons and win their third straight.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Bucs come into this game on a six game losing streak. The Jags have dropped two straight. In a game not many will see, I’m going to go with the upset and take the Bucs on the road. Yeah I know, they’re favored right now, but if you’ve seen the Bucs play of late, you know what I mean.
San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) at Arizona Cardinals
The 49ers have the NFC West wrapped up and are trying to stay ahead of the Saints for the second seed. The Cardinals won a big one against the Cowboys last week. I’m going with the 49ers and their D to shut down the Cards. 49ers on the road.
Chicago Bears (+3.5) at Denver Broncos
This week the Bears get to take on Tebow and company in Denver. Two weeks ago the Bears were looking like serious contenders and a team no one would want to meet come playoff time. Not so any longer. Injuries have piled up and my Bears will lose their third in a row as they complete the AFC West portion of their schedule. Tebow keeps the magic alive as the Broncos whoop up on the Bears.
Buffalo Bills (+6.5) at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers offense finally came to life last Monday night and I look for that to continue this week. The Bills are a team on the decline and their season, like the Chargers, is lost. Tough game to call but I like the Chargers at home.
New York Giants (+3.5) at Dallas Cowboys
The Giants and Cowboys will face each other twice in the final four weeks of the season and the result of these contests may determine the NFC East titles. Last week the Giants gave the Packers all they could handle before losing in the final seconds. The Cowboys coach iced his own kicker in the last seconds as they saw a game winning field goal go for naught and lost to the lowly Cardinals. I keep waiting for the Cowboys to come out smoking, but they just don’t. Tough game to call but I’m going to go with the Cowboys at home in this one. I think it will be close.
Saint Louis Rams (+6.5) at Seattle Seahawks
The Rams are beat up at quarterback, offensive line, most every part of the game. The Seahawks? They’re starting to play decent football. It may sound a bit far fetched, but a Seahawks win and losses by the Giants, Bears, Lions, and Falcons (all very possible) would put the Seahawks into playoff contention. I don’t know if they’ll get there or not, but they take a step in the right direction. Seahawks win big at home.
That’s it for week 14, take it to the bank!