Thursday, December 9, 2010

NFL Weekend Preview: Week 14

Leaping into Week 14.

Just like the Patriots, I am rounding into championship form! Another 13-3 week for me, and I’m feeling good about my picks! As if picking games well wasn’t enough, I don’t have Josh McDaniels to kick around anymore. Yup, Christmas has officially come early. Only four weeks of football remaining, my friends. Savor it, as the offseason is long as it is, and may be even longer if there actually is an NFL lockout. (Just typing those words makes me sad.) Anyway, here is my Nostradamus impression for this week:

Colts at Titans - Peyton Manning may be mired in a slump, but the Titans have fallen off a cliff. Sadly Kerry Collins is healthy enough to go, so no more Rusty, but the Titans are atrocious of late, and despite the recent struggles of Peyton, I’ll be shocked if he can’t take advantage of Tennessee. Colts 27 Titans 17

Buccaneers at Redskins – The Bucs STILL haven’t won a game against a good team, but they tend to pound the crappy teams and the Redskins definitely qualify as a crappy team. Part of me wonders if both Pat Bowlen and Mike Shanahan would like to pretend that the last two years didn’t even happen and start back up with the program in Denver. Between the McDaniels era in Denver and Shanny’s season of fun dealing with Al Haynesworth in the nation’s capital, I am not sure who would say yes faster to a return to the way things were. Bucs take this one and keep their faint playoff hopes alive, they can’t slip at all anymore if they’re going to rally into playoff positioning, although the giant leap forward they have made from where they were a year ago makes the Bucs already winners this year. Buccaneers 23 Redskins 10

Browns at Bills – The Rust Belt Bowl! Even though both of these teams are rather low in the standings, and there is little on the line other than the pride of two fan bases who care way more than their franchises deserve, this may be a sneakily good game. Both of these teams have been entertaining this year, even if they aren’t pulling out the wins at the end. I like a good game to be decided in an extra frame because overtime is fun, and the Bills are the kings of giving away free football to fans. Also, I randomly predicted three weeks ago that a game this weekend will end in a tie. If that is to happen, my money is that it will happen in this game. (Granted they are 0-3 in overtime games this year, but they’re due, says I.) Bills 26 Browns 23 (in OT)

Giants at Vikings – Will the Vikings have to get forceful with Brett Favre if for some crazy reason, he decides to pull his annual Hamlet routine this offseason rather than just riding off into the sunset as he has said he will do? I can envision a scenario in which teammates would by flying down to Hattiesburg to tell Brett that perhaps he should just chill back in Mississippi rather than think about heading back to Minneapolis. I’m not saying Brett Favre has harmed his legacy, but is there any doubt the dude is a first ballot entrant into the douche Hall of Fame? As for the Giants, they are in a decent position right now. They are under the radar, but definitely in the playoff picture. In fact, they’d be the final team in from the NFC right now and can improve with a strong final quarter of the year. This is a game I think they handle with few issues. Giants 30 Vikings 17

Packers at Lions – I really want to be bold and pick Detroit because it feels like they are due to surprise someone and the Pack is due to be surprised. I just can’t quite pull the trigger on that one, especially since Drew “Dougie” Stanton is scheduled to make the start. I’ll say it’s surprisingly close, but the Lions pull one of their trademarked close losses. Packers 20 Lions 17

Raiders at Jaguars – With the implosion of Peyton Manning in Indy, the AFC South is wide open and the Jags appear to be stumbling into the playoff picture by default. We face the very real possibility of opening up the playoffs in a month with both AFC home teams as underdogs in the first weekend. The Raiders aren’t dead, but they need to be very special the rest of the way along with a monumental KC collapse. I don’t believe that the Raiders can be that special with the dead weight of so many recent seasons of misery in their collective conscience. Perhaps they finish at 8-8, which by recent Raider standards is an exemplary season, but I don’t see them making the playoffs simply because I don’t see them winning games like this…even against the eminently beatable Jags. Jaguars 26 Raiders 20

Bengals at Steelers – The Steelers are upper-echelon in the league, and the Bengals are barely going through the motions at this point. Is there any reason to expect an upset? I don’t see it. Steelers 33 Bengals 13

Falcons at Panthers – What I just said about the previous game, just replace Steelers with Falcons and Bengals with Panthers. Done! I’ll even keep the score the same to save you any additional trouble. Falcons 33 Panthers 13

Patriots at Bears – After the beat down the Pats put on the fraudulent Jets, I can’t pick against New England, but I get a funny feeling about this game. The Pats are rolling, but this game here feels like the classic letdown game. I still can’t believe the Bears are good, but there they are, sitting in playoff bye position at the moment. I’ve got to think they falter at home against the Pats, but I won’t be shocked if they manage to keep their shockingly good season going. Make mine Patriots, but not by much. Patriots 20 Bears 19

Seahawks at 49ers – What I do know: Both of these teams stink. What I don’t know: Which one will stink more on Sunday. I don’t trust or believe in either of them, so I’ll take the home team with zero confidence. 49ers 17 Seahawks 14

Rams at Saints – The Rams are the great hope for the NFC West to field a non-losing team in the playoffs, and yet I could easily see them losing their remaining games on the schedule. At Saints, hosting the Chiefs and 49ers, and finishing up in Seattle. The Saints have a bad trend of losing these late season home games to teams they are better than, but I think they manage to get it done versus the Rams. Saints 30 Rams 26

Broncos at Cardinals – As a devoted Broncos fan, I will be watching this game to see how the team does light one boy-genius coach. As a fan of good football, I will be constantly questioning my sanity as I do so. The Broncos are so terrible that the man in charge of creating this mess has been dropped during mid-season, and yet, I still feel like they are going to win this game for two reasons: Firstly, Interim head coaches have been doing well in the weeks immediately following the ax of the former head guy this year in the league. Secondly, and more importantly, the Cards are just a miserable wreck of a football team that I legitimately think my dreadful Broncos are better than. I’m not expecting a thing of beauty, but I do sort of expect a Bronco win. Broncos 23 Cardinals 17

Dolphins at Jets – The Dolphins often give the Jets trouble, but I think that Sanchez and company will be eager to prove that the 45-3 drubbing at the hands of the Patriots was a fluke. Plus, the Dolphins are perhaps the most average of average teams. They aren’t great, they aren’t terrible, and if they aren’t 8-8 at the end of the year, it’ll be an upset. The Jets are frauds, but they are good enough to make the playoffs this year and then get beaten by a legit good team. Jets 20 Dolphins 12

Chiefs at Chargers – The Chargers had been rolling, and got tripped up at home by the…wait…is this right??? The Raiders?!? Yeah, it says here they lost to the Raiders at HOME in December. Weird. Talk about a game I didn’t see coming, I took the Chargers minus 13.5 points on Sunday. Oops. As for the Chiefs, this is a good team, but FAR from a great one. A great team doesn’t get held to 10 points by the Broncos at home. They should make the playoffs, but it’ll be a short stay. I think the Chargers are the better team, and will show as much on Sunday. Chargers 28 Chiefs 19

Eagles at Cowboys – The Eagles appear to be legit, but they’ll need to win games like this if they are. This Cowboys game looked like it was going to be a cakewalk a month ago for Philly, but since dropping Wade Phillip’s dead weight, they have found a bit of their stride. Granted, too little too late, but they can be dangerous in a game like this that is way more important to Philly than it is to them. Eagles 30 Cowboys 27

Ravens at Texans – Are the Texans even trying anymore? In the past six weeks this team is winless against teams NOT quarterbacked by a guy named Rusty. They may be able to summon a little something here on Monday Night Football at home, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to defeat a Baltimore team that I consider one of the three AFC powerhouses. Ravens 24 Texans 13

Week 13: 13-3
Season to Date: 117-75

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