NFL Picks - Week 14

Sunday Morning

Indianapolis @ Cincinnati

Both teams come into this game at 8-4 and the winner will have the inside track for the coveted #3 seed in the AFC. Coveted only due to the fact that they get to play whichever team wafts to the top of the stinky heap that is the battlefield upon which the AFC's second wild card battle is presently being fought. The Colts have been stumbling as of late but have managed to keep moving somewhat forward, like a drunk man headed to the bathroom. Meanwhile, the Bengals seem to have overcome their struggles on the road, like a drunk man driving home. Cincinnati should win what promises to be a sobering contest.

Bengals 24-21 

Atlanta @ Green Bay

This is a tough one to pick, mainly because neither option is very appealing. It's like choosing between a two and a half men marathon, or watching multiple episodes of the show with the same name. The Falcons have yet to win a true road game, with their lone win coming in Toronto against the Bills. The Packers haven't won a game since Aaron Rodgers got injured, going 0-4-1 and hitting their nadir last week in a blowout loss to Detroit. Both defenses have been awful, but without their QB1 Green Bay's offense has been poor as well. I'm ever so reluctantly taking Atlanta. I'll live to regret this.

Falcons 30-27

Cleveland @ New England

This week the Browns signed Caleb Hanie. On purpose. That should tell you all you need to know about how the 2013 season is going for Cleveland. The Patriots nearly faltered at Houston but they escaped with a win and Tom Brady got two security guards fired in the process, so all's well that ends well.

Patriots 31-10

Oakland @ New York Jets

I've really enjoyed watching Matt McGloin play for the Raiders, if only for the opportunity to tag all of his negative plays by grunt shouting "McGloin!" a la George C. Scott when he got hit in the groin by that football. I've also enjoyed Geno Smith's recent performance because it's a reminder that not all rookie quarterbacks can come into the league and dominate. His QB ratings over the last three weeks (all losses) have been 10.1, 22.3, and 8.3, respectively. If he remains the Jets starter I have no choice but to pick against him.

Raiders 16-14

Detroit @ Philadelphia

This one could be a barn burner, and Pennsylvania's Amish country has plenty of barns. It would be lame and disrespectful of these teams to go burn down Amish folks' barns though, so hopefully they stick to the football field in this one. Obviously Nick Foles has been exceptional as of late, but the Eagles' defense is what has really been carrying them. Philly hasn't given up more than 21 points in their last eight games, going 6-2 in the process. The Lions' offense is certainly capable of topping that mark, but I think they will be contained just enough.

Eagles 27-24

Miami @ Pittsburgh

The Steelers lost on Thanksgiving despite Mike Tomlin's best efforts. You have to admire a coach that's willing to do anything to win. Whether that be countless hours in the film room devising the perfect scheme or standing on the field as an opposing player is streaking for a touchdown. It's about dedication, and this guy's got it. Kudos to you coach Tomlin; hopefully you continue to not allow common sense, integrity, or the rules hold you back in the future.

Steelers 23-16

Buffalo @ Tampa Bay

I've got bad news for ya Bills, you don't just walk into Raymond James Stadium and beat Mike Glennon. He's 2-3 at home, that's almost .500, so good luck. Tampa took a step back last week in a blowout loss, but for every step backward that Mike Glennon takes, he takes two giant, gangly strides forward. 

Buccaneers 28-21

Kansas City @ Washington

After they've dropped three straight, I have serious reservations about picking the Chiefs over the Redskins. Then again, Washington has lost four in a row and have perhaps the most toxic locker room in the league. Not literally, of course, entering Tampa's requires a haz-mat suit. Kansas City's once vaunted defense has given up 103 points over the last three weeks after only surrendering 109 in the first nine. I think they'll be strong enough to get the win here though. Also, shame on anybody who buys entry into this game from someone who's re-selling tickets at a marked-up price. Really insensitive.

Chiefs 26-20

Minnesota @ Baltimore

These Vikings just love playing football. Over the past two weeks they've been on the field for an extra 28 minutes of game time, managing a win and a tie in those prolonged tilts. It's not going to get them to the playoffs, and it isn't helping their draft position, but don't tell this team that they should just roll over and die. Seriously, don't say that to them, you'd probably face legal action if you called up the Vikings' headquarters and told them to "roll over and die." Unfortunately for Minnesota, this game is being played on the road, a scenario in which they haven't won this season. So they'll lose, and they probably won't be too happy about it happening in regulation.

Ravens 27-13

Sunday Afternoon

Tennessee @ Denver

If you can only watch one game this Sunday, don't make this one it. This mediocre mismatch is definitely one to be missed. However, if you are forced to watch just this one game I would recommend asking your captor why he (or she) is inflicting such an odd form of punishment upon you. It's just flat out weird. They kidnap you and this is what they choose to do? And it's like, really, they have Sunday Ticket too? Who is this person? Anyway, the Broncos will struggle to put up their normal gaudy point total due to the weather, but it would take a cold day in Hell, not Denver to get the Titans the win.

Broncos 27-17

St. Louis @ Arizona

The Cardinals fell just short last week at Philadelphia but now return home where they have played very well, going 5-1 overall so far, including 3-1 against likely playoff teams. The Rams are not a likely playoff team, in fact, this will be the ninth straight time they've failed to reach the postseason and the tenth consecutive season that they haven't topped .500 (most likely). I bring this up because it means that Arizona is going to win, and it's fun to laugh at the Rams.

Cardinals 26-18

New York Giants @ San Diego

Eli Manning says he "can't remember" why he refused to play for the Chargers prior to the '04 draft. Really? That's all you've got? You can't remember? I mean at the time it sort of seemed like the move was meticulously calculated by him, his father, and a number of other people in his camp. But hey, the guy just can't recall what the real reasoning was behind the most pivotal decision of his life. We should cut him some slack. Or he's just full of shit. That's more likely, and for that you lose.

Chargers 28-24

Seattle @ San Francisco

The Seahawks have dominated the 49ers in their last two meetings, but it can't be said that they're dominating the rivalry until they go into San Francisco and beat them in their building. On Sunday at Candlestick: commence dominance.

Seahawks 24-6

Sunday Night

Carolina @ New Orleans

These are two of the best teams in the NFC when they're allowed to score more than 7 points; or so I hear. The Panthers have a dominant D that will most likely have some success against the Saints dynamic (home) offense. On the flip side, I would expect New Orleans' supposedly improved defense to perform better than last week, because it'd be hard not to. Carolina's eight game win streak has been very impressive, and handing New Orleans their first home loss of the year would qualify as the biggest feather in their cap to date. However, I think they'll fall just short against what should be a Saints team looking to regain some dignity.

Saints 23-21 

Monday Night

Dallas @ Chicago

It's a risky proposition to pick the Cowboys to win on the road since they only have two wins away from home this year. If you'd like some added perspective to that number, consider that that's less than the Jags (they have three). But with McCown still under center for the Bears, and the team looking downright crummy lately I may not have a choice. One thing working in Chicago's favor is a kickoff temperature that is expected to be in the single digits. Romo may find it hard to get the passing game going in those conditions, but with the Bears' rushing D as porous as it's been, moving the ball probably won't be too much of an issue.

Cowboys 24-20 

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