NFL Week 14 Quick Picks
The NFL season is winding down with just four games to play. The Kansas City Chiefs are the only team to clinch a playoff spot. Division titles are still up for grabs and so are playoff spots. This last quarter of games will determine who gets to play at least one extra game and be a partner in the big dance while others will find out that they will be spending the playoff season in front of their home televisions.
New England at Los Angeles Rams: This will be a difficult task for Cam Newton as he faces Aaron Donald and outstanding defense in Los Angeles. It would be something if the Patriots can sneak into the playoffs and they still might. But they will need to win this one which just won’t happen. Prediction: Rams 28 Patriots 17.
Arizona at New York Giants: The Giants might be the surprise team of the year as without their star running back and injuries to their starting quarterback, they are right in the thick of the division title race. A huge upset over Seattle in week 13 is followed up by a struggling Cardinals team. Prediction: Giants 24 Cardinals 21.
Dallas at Cincinnati: Two teams that lost their starting quarterbacks for the season due to injuries. Both are playing just to get to the end of the season. Prediction: Bengals 34 Cowboys 27.
Denver at Carolina: Which team will win only its fifth game? Both are 4-8 and far from a playoff possibility. The Panthers have quietly played their games this season while the Broncos have been in the news for COVID-19. A game here just like the Cowboys/Bengals game. Prediction: Panthers 35 Broncos 24.
Houston at Chicago: One of these teams has their franchise quarterback and the other team has been spending years looking for one. The ones seeking a long-term QB are the Bears. Mitch Trubisky does not seem to be the answer and Nick Foles has been no better. After a 5-1 start Chicago has lost six in a row and sits at 5-7. The Texans are a work in progress. Prediction: Bears 23 Texans 21.
Kansas City at Miami: The Chiefs have been mauling nearly every team they have played on their way to an 11-1 record. They are scoring the second-most points in the league averaging 30.8 per game. Miami on the other hand is second best at keeping the opponent’s score low just behind the Steelers by .1 with a 17.7 percentage. Do the Dolphins have the goods to stop Kansas City? I think not. Prediction: Chiefs 31 Dolphins 17.
Minnesota at Tampa Bay: Both teams are in the top seven playoff spots for the moment. At 6-6, the Vikings are just ahead of the Arizona Cardinals. The Bucs won’t win their division so it’s a wild card spot or bust for Tom Brady and his new team. Tampa’s schedule is very favorable the rest of the way (at Atlanta and Detroit, home for a rematch with the Falcons) so they should get in. It begins with this victory. Prediction: Buccaneers 38 Vikings 20.
Tennessee at Jacksonville: After 11 straight losses, does anyone think the 8-4 Titans are heading to Jacksonville to lose? Prediction: Titans 35 Jaguars 24.
Indianapolis at Las Vegas: The Raiders are on the cusp of making the post-season with a 7-5 record and will need some losses by Miami and Indianapolis to get in. But they have to take care of their own house and it begins with a game against those Colts. Prediction: Raiders 27 Colts 24.
New York Jets at Seattle: If the New York Jets want to avoid only the second winless 16 game season in NFL history they will have to find a way to either defeat the Seahawks in this game or beat the Rams on the road next week. If they fail in both those games it will come down to playing the Browns at home and the Patriots on the road. It doesn’t look good. Prediction: Seahawks 41 Jets 9.
Atlanta at Los Angeles Chargers: With Joe Burrows sidelined, rookie Justin Herbert is heading for the Rookie of the Year award. His numbers are impressive (3,224 yards passing, 64.8 completion percentage, 23 touchdowns, 9 interceptions). He’ll get to pad those numbers for sure in this game. Prediction: Chargers 28 Falcons 24.
Green Bay at Detroit: The Packers will be in the playoffs. The question is, what will their slot be in the playoff picture? Currently, they are one game behind New Orleans with Carolina, Tennessee, and Chicago looming ahead. The Saints play the Eagles in week 14 then close the season with games against the Chiefs, Vikings, and Panthers. This should be an easy one for the Pack. Prediction: Packers 37 Bears 13.
New Orleans at Philadelphia: It should be Jalen Hurts behind center again for the Eagles who are in complete disarray. The Saints need to keep winning to get a first-round bye in the playoffs. Prediction: Saints 27 Eagles 17.
Washington at San Francisco: One game after pulling a big upset The Washington Football Team stays on the road where the 49ers still have a shot at the postseason and Washington trying to win their division with a losing record. It gets worse in this game for the visitors. Prediction: 49ers 23 The Washington Football Team 17.
Pittsburgh at Buffalo: Easily the AFC Game of the Week and a stern test for the Bills while the Steelers try to get back to playing a complete game. This was a game I thought the Steelers would lose but after finally giving up an “L” last Monday, it’s rare that Mike Tomlin’s teams playing badly twice in a row. The Steelers like playing on the road and it will show. Prediction: Steelers 27 Bills 24.
Baltimore at Cleveland: AFC Game of the Week #2. The Ravens crushed the Browns in the season opener 38-6 but Cleveland is much improved since then and it appears the rest of the NFL has begun to figure out last year’s sensational M.V.P. Lamar Jackson. Baltimore is fighting for their playoff lives as are the Browns. Cleveland could inch closer to their first playoff appearance in 17 years with a win here but something tells me the Ravens have their number and will come out with a punch to the face of Cleveland. Prediction: Ravens 27 Browns 17.