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NFL WEEK 14 Picks

1pm games:

 

Miami Dolphins (0-12)

vs. Buffalo Bills (6-6)

Location: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, NY

 

The Bills pulled of a good win last Sunday from a field goal

by Kicker Rian Lindell

with 0:04 left in the game against the Redskins.  The Dolphins, all they do is lose, so there’s no need to go into

what they did last weekend.  I’ll just

give you a hint:  they didn’t beat the

Jets. 

 

The Bills are in the #8 spot in the AFC for the moment and

after Sunday, their next 3 games will be the test that shows whether or not

this team is a few moves away from being a contender. The Bills have the

Browns, the Giants and the Eagles after this Sunday. Dolphins have a world of

work ahead of them and this game is the best chance for them to avoid going

defeated for the season. The Dolphins have the Ravens, the Patriots, and the

Bengals after this Sunday.  It will be

interesting to see which path these two teams take with 3 weeks left in the

season.

 

The Bills have the better numbers across the board.  The Dolphins, collectively, is a team that’s

banged up and incomplete.  With a chance

for a playoff spot a stake, the Bills will come into Sunday’s game looking to

continue their campaign for the post season.

 

My Pick: Bills

 

St. Louis Rams (3-9) vs. Cincinnati

Bengals (4-8)

Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati,

OH

 

The Rams

season may have been over by Week 8, but they will not die.  The winners of 3 of their last 4 games, it

looks as though the Rams have decided to go out with their guns-a-blazing.  The Bengals just stink.  With 8 teams sitting with a record of .500

or better in front of the Bengals, their season is all but done.  So, why wouldn’t I make this game my “I

Could Care Less” game for the week? 

That’s because both teams have very explosive offenses and very weak

defenses.  This just may be one of the

highest scoring games, combined, for the season.

 

This

game is not for the defensive minded fan. 

Throw that out of the window right now. 

Both teams like to look for the shootout.  But, the win will go to the Bengals.  The reason why, Marc Bulger is out, Gus Ferrotte is

out.  In order for the Rams to be

explosive, they need their complete team and with Bulger out, the leadership of

on team is in question.

 

This is

the Bengals’ game to win.  The defense

on both teams are banged up and depleted. 

With that in mind, the Bengals offense is much better than the Rams

defense and will take to the air on every opportunity to put numbers on the

board.  As impressive it has been to

watch the Rams duke it out with their opponents for the last 4 weeks, this is

the weekend where the Rams will go down for the count.

 

 

My

Pick: Bengals

 

Dallas Cowboys (11-1) vs. Detroit Lions (6-6)

Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI

 

The

Lions are ranked 18th in offense and 31st in defense

overall.  The Cowboys are ranked 2nd

in offense and 8th in defense overall.  You do the math.  The

Lions have been in a decline for the past month and their chance for a playoff

spot is all but gone.  The Cowboys are

the winners of 6 straight games and they have a chance of winning their

remaining 3 games before the playoffs. 

The Cowboys’ offense is too balanced for the Lions.  The real story behind the game is the war of

word between QB Jon Kitna and CB Terence Newman

 

Kitna

called out the Cowboys’ defense last season after a 4 TD performance in a 39-31

win over the Cowboys in the teams’ season finale last season.  Newman didn’t forget. 

 

“Basically what it boils down to is you’ve got to watch what you say.

Your mouth can’t write checks that your (expletive) can’t cash. That’s what it

comes down to; everybody’s going to see those quotes. He better just hope I

don’t blitz off the edge, because I’ve got 15, 25, 30 (thousand dollars),

however much it would be for a fine. I’ve got that much for one fine. Revenge

will be sweet definitely.”

 

Ray Anderson,

Executive V.P of Football Operations for the NFL, responded to Mr. Newman’s warning:

 

“Be advised that your comments will now compel us to carefully monitor

your activities in this weekend’s Cowboys-Lions game.  As you know, flagrant fouls may subject a player not only to

fines, but to suspension as well. So conduct yourself accordingly.”

 

I don’t

know about you Mr. Anderson, but I don’t think your response will make any

difference in this Sunday’s game.  The

Lions’ O-line is weak and with the way the Cowboy’s defense has been playing

lately, Mr. Kitna may find himself on his back for the majority of the game. 

 

My

Pick: Cowboys

 

Oakland Raiders (4-8) vs. Green Bay Packers (10-2)

Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

 

The

Raiders could have had a decent team this year if they had an offense.  Although their record is 4-8, they have the

19th best defense overall and the 5th best passing

defense in the league.  Too bad their

offense is ranked 30th overall in the NFL. 

 

Packers

QB and 2007 S.I. Sportsman of the Year, Brett

Farve, did practice this week and is scheduled to go this Sunday, after

suffering an elbow injury at the hands of the Cowboys in the Thursday Night

Game last week.   

 

The

Packers defense is ranked 15th in league, but that doesn’t

matter.  With the Raiders’ weak offense,

the Packers should be able to shut down anything the Raiders throw at

them.  The thing to look for in this

game is how the Raiders will shut down the Packers’ passing game.  The Packers have the 2nd best

passing defense in the league. 

 

This

Sunday, the Packers have to incorporate the run game into the offense to give

Farve’s arm a rest and not focus on the passing game so much.  But, if the Raiders can force the Packers to

run the ball, they have a good chance for the win because the Packers have the

31st ranked rushing offense. 

It’s time for the Raiders’ rush defense to step up this weekend just

like they did last weekend in the win against the Broncos.

 

The

Packers haven’t played since Nov. 29th.  They’ve had 10 days to rest and to give Farve’s arm an

opportunity to heal. A Farve at 80% is still dangerous and since the Raiders’

offense isn’t the greatest, the Packers have this game won    

 

 

My

Pick: Packers

 

San

Diego Chargers (7-5) vs. Tennessee

Titans (7-5)

Location: LP Field, Nashville, TN

 

Both the

Chargers and the Titans are sitting at 7-5 with the playoffs in sight.  This would have been the “Game of the Week”, but there’s

something going on at holds precedence over this game.  We’ll get to that later.  The Chargers have the lead in the AFC West,

their offense is clicking and the defense is starting to earn their keep.  The Titans are 1-3 in their last 4 games and

slowly fading out of the playoff picture. 

 

The team

that wins this game will have to be the team with the better defense.  The Chargers’ defense is ranked 20th

while the Titans’ defense is ranked 5th in the NFL. The Chargers’

offense is ranked 21st while the Titans offense is ranked 22nd.  Although the Chargers have the better

players on offense, the Titans defense has been relentless this year and they

have the better ability and coaching on the defensive side of the ball to shut

down the Chargers’ offense.

 

My

Pick: Titans

 

NY Giants (8-4) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)

Location: Lincoln

Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA

 

The Eagles were the

2nd team to feel the wrath of the G-men when the Giants started

their 6 games win streak early this season. 

The Giants won the first match-up, 16-3.  That was back in Week 4 in the Sunday Night Game when the G-men

went “sack happy” and tied an NFL Record of 12 sacks.  Both teams are 2-2 in their last four games. The Giants’ playoff

chances are getting greater each week due to the weakness of the NFC.  The Eagles are pretty much out of the

playoff picture and are now in the role of spoiler.

 

The match-ups to pay

attention to in this game are the O-lines vs. the D-lines for both teams and

the run game for both teams.  The

Eagles’ offense hasn’t forgotten about the Week 4 match-up, so they’re looking

to shut down the Giants D-line immediately. The Giants’ O-line has been very

inconsistent and hasn’t allowed QB Eli

Manning time to execute the play.

It’s important that the Giants’ O-line plays smart football and avoids any

mistakes that can result in a penalty. 

 

Eagles’ RB Brian Westbrook did not play in the first meeting, so he’s looking to make up for that

absence in this match-up.  Unfortunately

for the Giants, RB Derrick

Ward is out for the year and

Brandon Jacobs is listed as probable.  So their run offense is a little shaky.  Only time will tell if the Giants rush

offense will heal up in time for the playoffs.

 

Although the defense

for each team is solid, the Eagles’ O-line seems to be more reliable than the

Giants.  This weekend, the Eagles get

their revenge.

 

My Pick: Eagles

 

Carolina Panthers

(5-7) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4)

Location: ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville, FL

 

Despite

the loss to the Colts last weekend, the Jags are still in good position for the

playoffs as a Wild Card team.  The

Panthers won their 1st game at home this season in a win against the

49ers.  With each team coming in this

game on a win, momentum is riding high. 

Unfortunately, the Jags need this win more than the Panthers and it will

show this Sunday.

 

Whichever

team can run the ball effectively will win this game.  By the numbers, the Jags have the edge.  The Jags are ranked 2nd in rushing offense and their

defense is ranked 9th against the run.  The Panthers are ranked 13th is rushing offense and

their defense is ranked 17th against the run.  Bottom line, the Jags have the better RBs

with Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew and with Drew on Special

Teams, the Panthers chances of winner this game are very slim.

 

 

My

Pick: Jaguars

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-4) vs. Houston Texans (5-7)

Location:

Reliant

Stadium, Houston, TX

 

The Bucs have the NFC South on lock.  The rest of the teams in the NFC South are

struggling and it’s the Bucs’ division to lose.  The Texans’ flame burned out back in Week 6 and is 2-5 for their

last 7 games.  It’s time for the Texans

to start thinking about the off-season. 

Their year is done.  Bucs’ QB Jeff

Garcia sat out of last week’s game with a back injury.  He’ll be a game time decision.  Texans QB Matt Shaub is still out

with an injured shoulder, so Sage Rosenfels will get the start. 

 

The Texans defense is beat up and their offense is just as

worse.  The Bucs defense is similar to

that of the Cowboys because they keep improving each week as we head into the

post season.  The Bucs’ defense is

ranked 4th overall in the NFL. 

This game will be a test for that defense since the Texans are ranked 10th

overall in offense.

 

All signs are pointing to Garcia playing this Sunday.  With the Bucs’ offensive catalyst returning

this Sunday, the Texans defense will have a difficult time trying to slow down

this high-powered offense.

 

My Pick: Buccaneers

 

 

 

4pm games:

 

Minnesota

Vikings (6-6) vs. San Francisco 49ers

(3-9)

Location: Monster Park, San Francisco, CA

 

The

Vikes are currently holding on to the last playoff spot in the NFC.  The winners of their last few games, the

Vikes got stronger last weekend with the return of RB Arian Peterson.  Peterson tore up the Lions weekend.  He ran for 116 yards on 15 carries and

scored 2 TDs.  He picked up right where

he left off before his injury.  With 3

games to go before the post season, he couldn’t have come back at a better time

for the Vikes. 

 

After

giving the Panthers their first home win for the season last weekend, the 49ers

season is all but done.  Although the

NFC is weak overall, there’s no way they could possibly think about the

playoffs and need to start thinking about the off-season.  Just a suggestion: the “Alex Smith”

experiment is not working.  It’s time to

move on.

 

There

are numerous match-ups to look at in this game.  The one I’m looking forward to will be the Vikes’ offense vs. the

49ers’ defense, especially Peterson vs. LB Patrick Willis.  Both players have been standouts for their

team in their respective positions. 

We’ve seen what Peterson can do, but did you know Willis leads the

league in tackles?  He has a total of

128 tackles this season.  100 of the

tackles are solo.  Not bad for his

rookie year.

 

The

Vikes lead the league in rushing and the 49ers are ranked 27th

against the rush.  Unless everybody on

the 49ers’ D-line morphs into Willis, Peterson and the Vikes will run up and

down on the 49ers for the win.

My Pick: Vikings

 

Arizona Cardinals (6-6) vs. Seattle

Seahawks (8-4)

Location: Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

 

Believe

it or not, this is a big game for both of these teams.  If the Seahawks win, they will extend their

lead in the NFC West.  If the Cards win,

then they would have won the season series between themselves and the

Seahawks.  That win will the deciding

factor if both teams finish the season with the same record in the NFC

West. 

 

The

Cards need to win this game and the thing to watch is the Cards’ run game

against the Seahawks’ rush defense.  QB Kurt

Warner and his top WRs, Anquan

Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, are banged up

with Boldin and Fitzgerald as game time decisions this Sunday.  That’s going to force the Cards to run the

ball against the Seahawks’ 14th ranked rush defense.  By the way, the Cards are ranked 25th

in rushing the ball.  Vengeance will

belong to the Seahawks this Sunday.

 

My

Pick: Seahawks

 

Kansas

City Chiefs (4-8) vs. Denver

Broncos (5-7)

Location: Invesco Field, Denver, CO

 

I’m going to say it right know so you don’t have to wait

until the end of this, the Chiefs will lose. 

You don’t need numbers for this one. 

The bottom line is that the Chiefs have been playing the “QB Shuffle”

all year along and it hasn’t worked. 

Just ask the Falcons. 

 

I don’t

believe in constant QB changing in the middle of the season.  In one of the previous posts, I mentioned

that a team should “dance with who got them to the prom.” The Chiefs

have gone from QB Damon Huard, to QB Brodie Croyle, back to Huard and now we’re back to

Croyle.  Enough already. 

 

Football

players are creatures of habit and when a coach keeps switching the teams’

leaders the same amount of times they change their socks, it throws off the

consistency.  Without chemistry, the

Chiefs will not win this game.

 

My

Pick: Broncos

 

Game of the Week:

Pittsburgh

Steelers (9-3) vs. New England Patriots

(11-0)

Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

 

This

game will feature the #1 defense (Steelers) against the #1 offense (Pats).  This just may be the best game of the season

right here.  Both the Eagles and the

Ravens gave football fans an idea on how to beat the Pats, but that theory is

not conclusive due to both of those teams losing their respective games.  No matter what any of the previous teams

have thrown at the Pats, they have continued to find ways to pull out the win.  Well that ends this Sunday. 

 

Let’s be

honest, both of these teams have been squeezing out wins for the past few

weeks.  The Steelers have won 3 of the

last 4 games and the Pats have won…well you know what the Pats have done, just

look at the record. 

 

The

Steelers have seen what the Eagles and the Ravens did in the last 2 weeks.  Now they have to take that and multiple it

by 20.  They have to keep blanketing

Randy Moss and keep going after Brady. 

The difference between the Steelers and the previously mentioned teams

is that the Steelers have the weapons to turn up the defense and bring it to

the Pats. 

 

This is

going to be a great game and it can go either way. As much as I have wanted to

see the Pats go undefeated for historical purposes, it looks like it’s the end

of the road for immortality.

 

My

Pick: Steelers

 

Cleveland Browns (7-5) vs. NY Jets (3-9)

Location: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford,

NJ

 

Both of

these teams’ defenses are in the bottom of the NFL.  So this game is going to come down to the offenses.  With that in mind, the Browns have this game

won.  Considering the fact that the Jets

are out of the playoffs and the Browns are in the middle of a playoff chase,

this is a perfect time for the Jets to play spoiler and get back into the good

graces of the N.Y. fans.  But that’s

easier said than done against the Browns’ high scoring offense.

 

The

reason why the Jets will lose is because they do not have the players on

defense that can hang with the Browns’ offensive weapons through the passing

game.  The Browns are ranked 4th

in points, averaging 28 points a game. 

This is from a team who averaged 14.9 points last season.  What a difference a year makes.

 

The

Browns have the last playoff spot in their sights and this weekend, the Jets

will be victims of the Browns’ Bomb Squad. 

 

My

Picks: Browns

 

 

 

Sunday Night Game:

 

Indianapolis Colts (10-2) vs. Baltimore Ravens

(4-8)

Location: M&T Bank

Stadium, Baltimore, MD

 

What do the Colts

and Ravens have in common? They both lost to the Pats.  Other than that, there is nothing else

similar between these two teams.  Both

teams have gone in different directions this season.  But the Colts will win because they are a complete team.

 

The Colts are

similar to the Pats and other great teams because they know how to fill in the

gaps.  The Colts have been plagued with

injuries like most of the league, and have adjusted well with solid, “lunch

pail” players.  Players like WR Reggie Wayne, who has had to step up in the absence of WR Marvin Harrison, the reason

why the Colts have been successful this season.  Those are the type of guys who will keep making this team a

contender each year. 

 

The Ravens defense

is weak this year.  They haven’t played

to their potential this year and they know it. 

On offense, the team is banged up and it’s too late in the season for any

repair. With the Colts being the complete team that they are, the Ravens can’t

blame anyone but their selves in this lose.

 

My

Pick: Colts

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