NFL Picks - Week 14

Sunday Morning

Pittsburgh @ Buffalo
Quite often the Steelers, and in particular their offense, are referred to as "dangerous" or "scary." I wasn't really sure I understood these descriptors, until I looked into it a bit further and found out that the Pittsburgh offense has, in fact, murdered at least 6 opposing players so far this season. No wonder nobody wants to play them in the playoffs! Lookout Buffalo, no one is safe! Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan should start running now. Just kidding, there's no way that's physically possible. So instead maybe he should get in his car or a golf cart, I don't know some sort of conveyance. Just don't be around when the scary, dangerous, murderous Steelers offense shows up. Good news for the Bills: murder is illegal in Buffalo.

Bills 24-22

Denver @ Tennessee
It seems more so now than even last season the Broncos' offensive philosophy is just to not screw it up. That mindset proved fruitful once again last week when a pick six propelled them to a 20-10 win in Jacksonville. So here's my question, if you were the opposing team and the Broncos approached you with an arrangement that they'd play all-time defense and you could start every possession on the 20 yard line would you take it? Of course. But I think Denver would too! The bad news for the Broncos this week is that their run defense is ranked 28th in the league while the Titans rush offense is 3rd. Will that mismatch be enough for Tennessee to get the win at home on Sunday? Yes...?

Titans 20-17

Washington @ Philadelphia
In bird culture, which I'll admit is merely a field of interest for me and not my expertise, there comes a moment when the mother must force the young ones out of the nest to teach them to fly. Some soar off effortlessly, some plummet to earth, and then there are the ones in the middle. The ones that start out flying pretty well and don't try to do too much, but eventually start to struggle and end up falling fast. When they get to the ground they decide that not all is lost, but that their opportunity this time around is gone and it's time to start concentrating on the draft. You know, the gust of wind that will help them fly back up to the nest. At which point they just hope they can stay healthy and see what happens next season. They'll definitely need more help at wide receiver though. I mean Dorial Green-Beckham as your #2? That ain't gonna work. That being said, the Eagles are at home this Sunday, so they don't have to worry about leaving the nest.

Eagles 27-23

Arizona @ Miami
This is an interconference match-up that comes but once every four years, so you might assume that these teams and their fans wouldn't have much of a beef with each other. Well that's where you'd be wrong. You see what we have here is the West coast/East coast battle for retirees. Bragging rights for the septuagenarian set are on the line and it should be intense. Unfortunately most of the folks in question won't actually be able to watch the game because their grandson Cody programmed some new universal remote control for their entertainment system that was supposed to "streamline everything," but now they can't for the life of them figure out how to get the damn thing to work. Ya know it used to be that you could just go up and change the channel right there on the set. But noooo, I guess that was too easy. Better to go and make everything a goddamn ordeal. It's like how they're making us all buy reusable bags for our groceries. When will it stop?!?

Dolphins 23-19

San Diego @ Carolina
Many a pundit had a problem with Panthers coach Ron Rivera sitting Cam Newton for the  first series of their Sunday Night game because of a dress code violation. I, on the other hand, believe Rivera is a hero. Someone had to stop Newton, because he clearly wasn't going to stop himself. His outfits are atrocious, and maybe this was less about Newton not wearing a tie and more about Rivera just being sick of his shit. And if that is the case I say Ron Rivera should win yet another coach of the year award. Then again, his team looks to have totally quit, so maybe give the trophy to someone who's closer to .500.

Chargers 31-26

Cincinnati @ Cleveland
Many are saying that based on their remaining schedule this game is the Browns' best chance to avoid an 0-16 season. And I think that's accurate. Not because they'll be able to beat the Bengals on the field, but because Cincinnati travels to Cleveland for a game every season and the Browns know which hotel the Bengals stay at. Now all they have to do is barricade the Bengals in their rooms on Sunday morning and when none of the team shows up in time for kickoff the Browns should be all set! Though their may be a slight hang up. NFL rules state that if the other team doesn't show up for a game it's not an automatic forfeit, the team who's present and accounted for still has to play the game. So there's a chance that even though there won't be another team on the field the Browns could still lose.

Bengals 30-16

Chicago @ Detroit
The Lions have surged to a two game lead in the NFC North and will now be treated to a home match-up against the Bears. Then again, is there a chance Chicago could play spoiler? In my text thread with all 32 NFL head coaches John Fox told me what happened on the finale of Westworld even though I had previously explained to him that I WAS WAITING UNTIL THE SEASON ENDED SO I COULD BINGE IT! So yes, I'd say the precedent is set, the Bears could definitely be spoilers. In related news, I happen to know that Matthew Stafford has never seen The Sixth Sense. Look for Bears defenders to get in his head early on by blabbing about the big twist to him. Stafford will be so shocked when he hears that Haley Joel Osment never fulfilled his potential that it could seriously affect his play. The Lions' defense should keep Chicago in check though, and Detroit will pull away in the second half, while the Bears lose their grip, just like Leo as he sinks to his death in Titanic. Oh, shit SPOILER ALERT!

Lions 26-13

Houston @ Indianapolis
It's a pivotal showdown in the AFC South as two of the three teams tied atop the division with a 6-6 record square off in Indy. As you, dearest loyal reader, know a time traveling 13 year old from 1998 named Trevor Finch has been terrorizing Texans QB Brock Osweiler to ensure that Houston does not go on to win Super Bowl LI, as they originally did in what is now an alternate timeline. Finch has used a laser pointer and Smashmouth music to distract Osweiler in past weeks, so one can only wonder what he'll come up with to alter history in this very important divisional clash. However, I may have some inside information. Sources tell me that Finch was spotted in the Indianapolis area throwing a whistling Vortex ball some 60 yards in a local park. Who was on the other end of these passes? Finch, of course. He's a time traveler! My guess is that he'll either simply deflect a key Osweiler pass with a perfectly timed throw from the stands, or he'll sneak down to the sideline during pregame warm-ups and start whistling that V down the field, making Brock extremely self conscious in the process and leading to yet another horrendous performance. Then again, there's only one man who knows for certain what Trevor Finch will do, and that's Trevor Finch, because he's already done it. He's a time traveler!

Colts 27-17

Minnesota @ Jacksonville
The most shocking thing about the Vikings' near miss against Dallas last Thursday wasn't that the refs missed a clear illegal hands to the face call on Minnesota's 2 point conversion attempt, it was that Minnesota had the attempt at all. Sam Bradford deftly drove the Vikings 65 yards in a do or die scenario for a touchdown. Judging by the look on his face it was a turn of events that surprised even him. Oh wait, that's just his resting face. In other Vikings news, Adrian Peterson says he should be healthy enough to return to the field soon but will only do so if the Vikings are in playoff contention. This is perhaps the most blatant case ever of a fair weather player. Peterson is like one of those fans who left the game early but will come running back to the turnstiles if he hears that the home team is mounting a comeback. How about this AP, you're being paid handsomely to play this season, if you're healthy and your team wants you to play then you play. It's not like you have a torn scrotum or anything. It's this sort of hubris that makes me really want to pick against the Vikings this week. I just wish they weren't playing against Blake Bortles.

Vikings 19-17

Sunday Afternoon

New York Jets @ San Francisco
While they were admittedly a bit skewed by the fact that the Niners were consistently behind by multiple scores, Colin Kaepernick's numbers over the last month or so had been surprisingly impressive. Then last week happened. Apparently Kaepernick doesn't like snow, because the strange, frozen precipitation combined with (I guess) the Bears D resulted in his stat line being 1/5 for 4 yards. That's not his first series, that's three FULL QUARTERS! Maybe he would've gone off in the 4th, but unfortunately we'll never know because he was replaced by Blaine Gabbert, who proceeded to go 4/10 for 35 yards. Meanwhile the Jets were just embarrassed at home 41-10 on Monday. So the question has to be asked, are we headed towards the most unwatchable game of the season? I have to believe the answer is yes. At least during Browns games there's the novelty that they may get their first win. With these two it's a just a slow march toward a merciful end. In other words, if this is the only game on in your area and you've ever pondered what it would be like to dump a bottle of hot sauce directly into your eyes, I'd say Sunday at 1:05p is the perfect time to find out. I'll take the Jets in this one only because their coach seems more fired up about being terrible. It's possible that Chip Kelly is also fired up on the inside, but we'll never know because he is a stone-faced frogman.

Jets 18-14

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay
The Saints' season is likely over seeing as how they can't afford another loss but three of their last four are on the road where the only teams they've beaten this season are the Chargers in a classic San Diego bungling, and the 49ers, a win that needs no explanation. Now they're traveling to Tampa to meet a hot, young team. Not to be confused with traveling to Tampa to meet a hot, young teen, which was the basis for at least half of the To Catch a Predator episodes. Look for the Bucs to politely welcome the Saints to their house, invite them to have a seat, and offer up some lemonade or iced tea. Once New Orleans gets comfortable the Bucs will pounce and read off all of the lurid online convos they've been having with supposed underage girls. Wait, now I confused myself. Anyway, Tampa should win.

Buccaneers 29-19

Atlanta @ Los Angeles
It was announced this week that Jeff Fisher's contract has stupefyingly been extended. Keep in mind this is a man that couldn't find his challenge flag last week. The only explanation I can one up with at this point is that this is the result of a My Fair Lady style bet between Rams owner Stan Kroenke and his owner buddies. He said he could get to a Super Bowl with Jeff Fisher. The other owners laughed and said they would have bet him even if he'd said playoffs. Now it's a matter of pride for Kroenke, so he keeps him around refusing to admit defeat and cut his losses. If this is the case then it's fitting that with a loss this Sunday Jeff Fisher will not only fulfill his dreaded destiny of finishing, at best, 7-9, but also move into a tie for most coaching losses on NFL history. Or should I say "istory"?

Falcons 21-10

Seattle @ Green Bay
With Earl Thomas out the Packers will look to exploit the deep middle of the Seahawks' defensive backfield. And shame on them. I thought we were finally in a place as a society where we wouldn't feel the need for such exploitation. Pfff, Trump's America, am I right? Well the Hawks will not stand for these bullying tactics. And what an example for the children watching at home. And if you're reading this now boys and girls remember to always stand up to the Aaron Rodgerses of the world. Don't let them determine your happiness, because in reality it's Aaron Rodgers who is the unhappy one.

Seahawks 27-20

Sunday Night

Dallas @ New York Giants
The Cowboys can clinch the NFC East title with a win in this sizable Sunday Night match-up. So important is it that I hesitate to even turn over the analyst duties to SNF color commentator Cris Collinsworth. He's been anything but focused on the actual games in weeks past, but something tells me this one will jar him back into providing relevant insight. Take it away CC:
Well I was wrong. He's further off the deep end, and from the sound of it about to commit multiple acts of vandalism. 

Cowboys 35-25

Monday Night

Baltimore @ New England
In his career Joe Flacco has a 3-5 record against the Patriots. While that may not seem too impressive at face value it should be noted that two of those wins were playoff games in Foxboro, and all but one of his losses were one possession games. So it's clear that Joe Flacco isn't afraid of Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Which begs the question, what IS Joe Flacco afraid of? The answer: spiders! FlaccMan hates those eight-legged freaks and the Pats recently found this out. They're planning to bombard Flacco with Jumbotron images of tarantulas, black widows, and goliaths until a petrified Flacco becomes a sitting duck who will be sacked regularly. Fortunately for the Ravens he'll undergo successful hypnotherapy during halftime to cure his phobia. As a result Baltimore will mount a comeback that will eventually be derailed when someone in the crowd snaps their fingers during a potential game winning drive and Flacco crumples to the ground.

Patriots 24-21

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