Sunday, December 9, 2012

NFL Picks - Week 14

Week 13 Results (9-6) – Overall (115-61-1)

It wasn’t 6-7, but that felt like another negative week.  I could use an 11-2 right now.  On to the next one…

Rams @ Bills
The first time the Rams played the Niners, they laid an egg the next week, getting pounded by the Jets 27-13.  Well, it’s post-Niners week again, and this time they head to Buffalo to face a Bills team that has been known to put up some points.  I look for Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller to set the tempo on the ground and for the Rams to lose again after getting up big the previous week for San Francisco

Cowboys @ Bengals
Another week, another NFL tragedy.  Backup defensive lineman Josh Brent killed his teammate, Jerry Brown, in an early Saturday morning drunk driving accident, making it two weeks in a row that an NFL player has killed someone (and almost himself again in this one).  Dallas is undisciplined, and Cincinnati is playing solid football.  I think Jermaine Gresham will make the big plays in this one as the Bengals win their fifth straight.

Chiefs @ Browns
Kansas City snapped an eight game losing streak with a heavy hearted victory over the Panthers.  This week they head to Cleveland to face a hot Browns team that has won their last two and are an OT loss in Dallas from being 4-1 in their last five.  I expect a huge day from Trent Richardson as the Browns look to close out the ’12 campaign on an upswing.

Titans @ Colts
Quick, who has the 5th best record in the AFC behind division leaders New England, Baltimore, Houston, and DenverPittsburgh?  Nope.  Cincinnati?  Nope.  The Jets?  Ha!  Yep, rookie stud Andrew Luck will try to take care of business at home against a 4-8 Tennessee team and keep a tight grip on the 5th seed in the AFC.  I’ll take the Colts to win by a field goal. 

Bears @ Vikings
Last week Major Wright dropped Sidney Rice, but fortunately for Seahawks fans, the receiver fell into the endzone with the winning OT score.  With that loss, Chicago has dropped three of the last four and may end up being a team whose record overstates its true worth.  Now they’re without Brian Urlacher for at least the next two critical games.  If the Vikings have any hopes of making the playoffs, they must win this one.  Expect Minnesota to put forth its greatest effort, even without Percy Harvin.  Adrian Peterson dominates on the ground as the Vikings win a low scoring affair.

Chargers @ Steelers
He’s baaaaaaack!  After three long weeks of Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch, the Steelers get their MVP back.  New England, Houston, and Denver are getting all the hype, but with Ben Roethlisberger under center and the way their defense is playing, Pittsburgh may be the team to beat come the postseason in the AFC.  I see no way the Chargers pull off the road upset, especially with as mentally messed up Philip Rivers has been.  The Steelers make a statement in this one. 

Eagles @ Bucs
One of these teams is still playing for something, and it’s not the Eagles.  Losers of eight straight, Philly has all but packed their backs on the 2012 season.  Nick Foles looked good last week against the Cowboys, and backup rusher Bryce Brown has been absolutely tremendous in LeSean McCoy’s absence, totaling 347 rushing yards and four TDs over the last two games.  Brown gets his toughest test this week when he faces Tampa’s #1 ranked rush defense.  They’ll need another big game from Foles, but I think the Bucs will be too much on offense.  I like Doug Martin to get back on track after two subpar games and for Josh Freeman to continue growing this offense.  Bucs by 10. 

Ravens @ Redskins
Baltimore got beat at home by Charlie Batch, and RGIII shined brightly in the MNF spotlight in a win against the Giants.  Redskins roll right?  Not so fast my friend.  Yes, the Ravens struggle on the road and will be without Terrell Suggs (torn biceps), but I’m expecting them to play like veterans this week.  With games against the Broncos, Giants, and Bengals on deck and a tightening AFC North, Baltimore really needs this one.  The Ravens are the better team, and I think they get a hard fought win.

Falcons @ Panthers
The Atlanta Dangerfields head to Carolina with their NFC leading 11-1 record.  Despite just one mulligan (a four point loss in New Orleans) on the year, the Falcons don’t get no respect.  No, they’re not the 2010 Packers, but 11-1 is still 11-1.  They’re already wrapped up the division, but expecting a letdown would be unwise in my opinion.  Mike Smith wants to win every division game, and by doing so, get one step closer to clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  Michael Turner scores twice, giving him five TDs in his last four games. 

Jets @ Jaguars
Wake me up when this one is over.  How hilarious is that Jets QB situation?  Mark Sanchez continues to shit the bed and was replaced last week by Greg McElroy in that 7-6 snoozefest against the Cardinals last week.  So who starts this week at Jacksonville?  Gotta be Baby Jesus right?  Ha!  The owner wants McElroy, and the coaching staff wants Sanchez.  As pathetic as he’s played, Sanchez gets the start.  I couldn’t have asked for that scenario to play out any “better”.  The Jets win the field position battle and the game because Jacksonville is even more pathetic than they are.

Dolphins @ 49ers
I mentioned what happened to the Rams after their first encounter with the 49ers.  What did San Francisco do the following week?  They stomped the Bears at home 32-7 in Colin Kaepernick’s coming out party.  Expect to see more of the same this week when Miami comes to town.  A focused Niners squad gets back on track in a game that shouldn’t be close.

Cardinals @ Seahawks
Speaking of games that shouldn’t be close, the Cardinals take their eight game winning streak to, possibly, the toughest place in the league to play.  If that wasn’t enough, they’ve got a horrid QB situation that makes the Jets look like the Montana-Young-Bono Niners.  Russell Wilson is playing really good football and is doing a fine job of complimenting a strong run game and stout defense.  The pieces are starting to come together at the right time.  Seattle rolls.

Saints @ Giants
After back-to-back losses the Saints hype has subsided, and if they are to have any hope of making the playoffs, they need to run the table.  The Giants have been playing some ugly football around that trouncing of the Packers, but it’s getting to be that time of year again.  You know, when the Giants go on a run and dominate everyone in the playoffs.  The NFC East has become a tight race, and after this one, the Giants travel to Atlanta and Baltimore the next two weeks.  They take care of business Sunday and maintain their division lead.

Lions @ Packers
The last time these two teams squared off the Packers won a pretty boring game by four points.  The Packers treated that contest like a preseason matchup, focusing heavily on establishing a run game.  Well with James Starks now joining Cedric Benson on the sidelines, the Packers were forced to bring back veteran Ryan Grant to back up Alex Green.  Jordy Nelson is going to miss this one with a hamstring injury, so Detroit gets a bit of help in trying to end their five game losing streak.  During that stretch the Lions have surrendered an average of 32 points per game.  Aaron Rodgers, smelling blood in the water, throws for four scores and runs in another. 

Texans @ Patriots
Grab the popcorn folks.  This should be entertaining television.  Two of the top teams in the game square off in this week’s finale, a game that I think sets up nicely for the home team.  I expect the Patriots to try and make this a high scoring contest and put a lot of pressure on Matt Schaub and the road Texans to keep up.  They’ll stack the box against Arian Foster and take their chances that Schaub won’t be able to match TDs with Brady.  New England gets a win and inches a bit closer to the conferences #1 seed with three weeks of regular season action remaining.  

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