NFL Picks - Week 14

Sunday Morning

New York Jets @ Buffalo
These teams met one month ago when the Bills embarrassed the Jets 41-10 in MetLife Stadium. And keep in mind this is the Jets we’re talking about, so it takes a LOT to make them embarrassed. Now the Jets get their rematch with one thing on their mind: revenge ... and pride ... and their draft positioning. Ok so there are a few things on their mind, and that last one is in stark contrast with the other two interests. Last week New York wisely blew a (relatively) large lead in a loss to the Titans that helped move them into position for the #3 pick in the 2019 draft if the season ended today. Luckily for all of us, the season does not end today, and we get to see yet another epic struggle between these two squadrons for last place in the AFC East. Will the Jets' desire for retribution outweigh their considerations of the future? Watch Sunday to find out! Just goofing, don’t watch this game, have some respect for yourself, you’re better than that. I’m not though, so I’m going to watch the hell out of this.

Bills 24-20

Carolina @ Cleveland
Last week the Panthers dropped their fourth straight game to fall to 6-6. So after throwing four interceptions and suffering a brutal loss that did further damage to his team’s playoff chances how did Cam Newton show up to the postgame press conference? Like this. “Look, I know I had a terrible game, and our team is in a total downward spiral, but look at my new hat! Isn’t it fun?!?” Don’t you pack a second suit in case of a loss? It’s difficult to appear somber in a suit that fancy. He looks like he’s at Liberace’s funeral. In reality there may soon be a funeral for the 2018 Panthers, and one can only imagine what Newton will wear to that.

Browns 29-26

Atlanta @ Green Bay
The Packers finally suffered their first home loss of the season to ... the Cardinals, a team whose only wins this season prior to last Sunday were over the 49ers. Green Bay now has two things in common with San Fran, as they’re also the only teams in the league that haven’t won on the road. Being in the same boat as the Niners isn’t what the Packers had in mind coming into the season. What did they have in mind? A division title, a deep playoff run, and a bunch of weird, sick thoughts. Like real gross stuff guys, you don’t want to know. The Falcons had similar aspirations before the season began, but without all the messed up junk. Man, you don’t want to know what I’ve seen. Anyway, what we’re left with is the 2018 Disappointment Bowl. And as is tradition with Disappointment Bowls past all of the players’ parents will be in attendance to look on and solemnly shake their heads for the duration of the game. Well ok, not everyone’s parents.

Packers 33-30

Baltimore @ Kansas City
The Ravens are in the driver seat for the last wild card spot in the AFC, but they need to remain very attentive at the wheel and regularly check their rear view mirror, because there are a number of teams chasing them. Baltimore is 7-5 while four other AFC contenders are tailgating them at 6-6. And unfortunately on this AFC freeway tailgating is totally legal. A recent proposition to make it a criminal offense was voted down by a slim margin, so for the foreseeable future chaos will continue to reign. And don’t even get me started on the AFC's lack of a seatbelt law. Look, I normally like to keep politics out of this space, but someone has to say something or else more AFC teams will lose their seasons. In fact, I expect 10 of them to be finished this time next month. Will one of those be Baltimore? Time will tell, but it seems like they’ll be able to drive a lot faster with Lamar Jackson at the helm.

Chiefs 27-23

New England @ Miami
Uh oh Patriots, it’s that week again. That mysterious time of the year when you travel to Miami and inexplicably lose to a floundering Dolphins team. It’s a phenomenon akin to the Northern Lights, tidal patterns, or the movement of the sun in the sky, no one knows what causes it, yet it remains inevitable. Good luck New England! However, as we all know it will take more than luck to overcome this, it will require a cosmic shift.

Dolphins 24-23

New Orleans @ Tampa Bay
The Bucs have won two in a row to somehow remain alive in the NFC playoff picture. The bad news for them is that the Saints are coming to town on 10 days rest, pissed that they just lost to Dallas, and extra pissed that they lost to Tampa in Week 1. Good luck Bucs! They don’t even have Ryan Fitzpatrick to bail them out this time. I expect this to be the first of four straight losses to close out the season for Tampa and leave them with a 5-11 record. That’s not the most consequential prediction to make, but it will be slightly humorous at the end of the year to look back at this moment when they were still technically in the wild card race. This is why when networks show their playoff picture graphic they need a separate designation for teams that are still mathematically alive but who we all know aren’t making it. Maybe “In the Hunt, But C’mon” or “Doubtfuls” or “Buccaneers”.

Saints 41-25

New York Giants @ Washington
Washington’s season has fallen apart and I believe I know the real cause. Head coach Jay Gruden is a big Broadway fan, and as such he instituted a team rule banning players and staff from saying “have a good game” or “good luck,” and forcing them to instead say “break a leg.” This edict has backfired terribly as quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colt McCoy have literally broken their legs. Washington’s starting quarterback is now Mark Sanchez, which means Gruden will keep his Broadway rule in place for now in hopes that it will claim another victim. Why? The other option is actually playing Mark Sanchez. Encouraging a third leg break is probably the wise move.

Giants 24-17

Indianapolis @ Houston
The Colts were on a five game winning streak and looking like a good bet to make the playoffs until they went to Jacksonville last week and scored zero points. It’s literally impossible to win a game in the NFL when you score zero points; trust me I went back through the record books and checked, it’s never happened. In fact it’s never happened across all of sports. If Indy wants to work their way back into playoff position they’ll have to do better than that. In fact they’ll have to win this game in Houston if they want any shot at a division title, because a Texans win or tie clinches the AFC South for the team from the Lone Star State. It will be a difficult task for the Colts seeing as how the Texans have won 9 in a row and scored points in every single one of their games this season. Indy will have to improve fast if they want to keep up with that pace.

Texans 30-23

Sunday Afternoon

Cincinnati @ Los Angeles Chargers
Every team in the league has played 12 games, meaning we’ve now entered the fourth quarter of the regular season. So now everybody can put four fingers up in the air like they’re the only team that does it. In years past those fingers have been a harbinger of calamity for the Chargers, however this season they’re keeping it together in the final period of games. In fact, last week they mounted a second half comeback managing to make the Steelers more closely resemble the Chargers of old. But maybe this macro fourth quarter of the season is where LA will flounder this time; a more grand, next level collapse that tops their single game meltdowns of the past. The good news for the Chargers? They’ve almost clinched a playoff spot as is, and even if they win out there’s a possibility that they’ll still be a wild card at 13-3. So Philip Rivers and Co. can feel free to get real sloppy over the next month without much consequence. Have fun you bumbling fools!

Chargers 38-10

Denver @ San Francisco
The Broncos continue to stampede their way back from the brink of oblivion and toward a possible playoff berth. Unfortunately they’ll have to keep stampeding, because traveling through the air is unrealistic now that their leading receiver Emmanuel Sanders will miss the rest of the season with a torn Achilles. That leaves Denver with a corps of wide receivers that have a combined 37 receptions on the season. 37! And 28 of those belong to Courtland Sutton! The passing game was never going to be the strength of this team, but now it’s likely a liability. It’s like they brought a knife to a gun fight only to have the event organizers say, “Sorry, were gonna need to take the knife. It’s against the rules.” I can’t say that I blame those officials, I mean they were clear when they told everybody it was a gun fight, but if all the Broncos have is a knife you should at least let them try to defend themselves.

49ers 23-20

Philadelphia @ Dallas
Normally I suffer from a major case of NFC East fatigue, but this time the game  really matters, so it actually makes sense to have it shoved down our throats. I’ve always said you can shove whatever you want down my throat, as long as I agree with the reasoning. With a win the Cowboys can take a stranglehold on the division, and need only one more victory to clinch the division (I’m not factoring Washington in at all because I don’t think it’s necessary to at this point), whereas a loss would split the season series with Philadelphia and pull the Eagles even with Dallas at 7-6. Some might consider the Cowboys losing laughable after their monumental win over the Saints for their fourth straight victory, but if you look at the winning margins you’ll see that each game in that streak was decided by one score. Look, a win is a win, and Dallas deserves credit, but they haven’t necessarily been dominating teams. My point being that the Eagles have a shot in this one. That being said, Philly has been the picture of mediocrity at 6-6 with a -8 point differential on the season. So I guess that means we’re in for another one score win from Dallas. Wow, sometimes this is easy.

Cowboys 24-19

Pittsburgh @ Oakland
This Steelers team seems like it’s on the verge of blowing itself up. So it’s good for them that they’re visiting the Defuser himself Jon Gruden. If you have a squad on the verge of destruction turn to the Defuser and he’ll get you out of trouble. He follows his simple two step method: 1. Let you play his team 2. Get beaten by 20+. Before you know it your team will be back on track and ready to go up against actual competition. But don’t send the Defuser a thank you note, all he asks in return is that you dole out a career ending injury to his quarterback.

Steelers 38-28

Detroit @ Arizona
Tickets to this game can be found online for as low as $15, which I can only attribute to the fact that it's being played in doors in Arizona. If this were in a cold weather city these tickets would be free. The only scenario in which I can imagine someone buying tickets to this is if they promised their kids that they’d take them to a game this year, and then the parent shrewdly bided their time until the end of the season when they could take the whole family for under $100. Of course this move will totally backfire when the children are so pissed that they were forced to watch a Lions/Cards game that the parent in question then has to compensate by over-spending on Christmas presents in a (most likely) futile attempt to win back the kids’ love. God bless you Zona dad, you tried, sort of.

Cardinals 23-21

Sunday Night

Los Angeles Rams @ Chicago
It's a real humdinger in the Windy City and Cris Collinsworth will be there to cover the blow-by-blow. Let's check in with him and see what he thinks about this match-up:

I would watch that show.

Rams 30-24

Monday Night

Minnesota @ Seattle
There are a lot of similarities between these teams. Each has 5 losses, they’re both in wild card position, neither has beat a team with a winning record, yet neither has been defeated by a team with a losing record. Oh wait, the Seahawks beat the Cowboys (7-5) and the Vikings lost a miserable home game to the Bills (4-8). So never mind, the Seahawks have the better resume by leaps and bounds. And the good news is, I’m hiring baby! I can’t offer you a salary, but you guys get paid a bunch already anyway, right? Great, you can start Monday ... What do you mean you’re busy?!?

Seahawks 27-20 

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