Here are some interesting numbers for you.
- 4 — There are four regular season games left in the 2015 NFL season.
- 3 — There are three weeks left in 2015 altogether.
- 2 — There are two weeks left until Christmas.
- 1 — There is one last bit of nonsense until you get to my Week 14 NFL Game Picks!
It’s crazy how fast time has flown by this season. It feels like yesterday that we were celebrating the draft and salivating over the newly released schedule.
As we enter the final quarter of the regular season there is still so much that can happen. This week will help shape the 2015 Playoff Picture that much more, so let’s stop wasting time and get right to it!
Thursday Night Football: Minnesota Vikings (8-4) At Arizona Cardinals (10-2)
The dance in the desert is on!
On paper this looks like a really tasty matchup between two of the NFC’s top contenders. The Cardinals have a great shot of some serious postseason success, but the Vikings seem like they’re on a trip back down to earth lately.
Minnesota had a nice humbling last week against the Seahawks, and Adrian Peterson wasn’t happy about it. The Vikings are going to respond to AD’s complaints and feed him the ball, but it’s not going to be anywhere near enough. This Cardinals team is good, good I tell ya!
Prediction: Vikings – 13, CARDINALS – 26
Atlanta Falcons (6-6) At Carolina Panthers (12-0)
If you’ve been reading my picks for a few weeks then you know how overhyped I find the Falcons to be.
These dudes were 5-0 (after five easy wins mind you) and have managed to turn that into an ugly 6-6 record. It is actually difficult to implode that much, but that’s why the Falcons are the Falcons.
Matty Ice is going to be no match for Superman in this contest. The Panthers faced their, arguably, biggest challenge of the season last week when New Orleans went blow for blow with them offensively.
You can’t talk me out of Panthers here. They’re just too hot. And the Falcons are too Atlanta.
Prediction: Falcons – 16, PANTHERS – 31
Buffalo Bills (6-6) At Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
I would not want to be in LeSean McCoy’s way on Sunday.
The Eagle-turned-Bill was in a feisty mood when asked about his return to Philadelphia this week. He is going OFF this game. If he doesn’t it certainly won’t be for lack of effort.
Chip Kelly is on the precipice of seeing everything he “built” come crashing down right in front of him. Sure the Eagles picked up a win in New England last week, but rumors right now are that DeMarco Murray wants to run back to the Cowboys.
The Chip Ship is about to sink, and LeSean McCoy is going to love being the one that pulls the plug.
Prediction: BILLS – 20, Eagles – 16
Washington Redskins (5-7) At Chicago Bears (5-7)
This is as interesting of a game as there is in the NFC this week.
The Redskins are in the race for the NFC East and the Bears are on life support in the NFC wildcard hunt. Who wants it more?
Washington hasn’t won a game on the road all season, but Chicago just got beat at home in overtime by something called Blaine Gabbert. My head hurts.
Jay Cutler gets a lot of flack, but he’s played well this season. He just lost Martellus Bennett for the season though, and there just simply isn’t enough firepower on the Bears offense for them to compete. Give me Washington in a close one.
Prediction: REDSKINS – 24, Bears – 23
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) At Cincinnati Bengals (10-2)
Here is the potential game of the week.
AFC North battles are typically slug-it-out low-scoring contests – not this one.
The Steelers have the most dangerous offense in the NFL, that’s without Le’Veon Bell, and the Bengals can put up points with the best of them.
Pittsburgh lost the first matchup, and the aforementioned Lev Bell, in the first meeting between these two. No way that happens twice in one year. No freakin’ way.
Prediction: STEELERS – 33, Bengals – 27
San Francisco 49ers (4-8) At Cleveland Browns (2-10)
Blaine Gabbert v. Johnny Football… who wants it more?!
San Francisco has been such a weird team this year. They’re either disgustingly bad or kind of fun to watch. The Browns on the other hand don’t belong in the NFL.
It’s a joke the way the organization is run in Cleveland. Josh McCown, Johnny Football, Austin Davis, Johnny Football… make up your mind, folks.
Cleveland’s incompetence is the one thing that remains constant in the NFL through December. You can count on it again here.
Prediction: 49ERS – 17, Browns – 9
Detroit Lions (4-8) At St. Louis Rams (4-8)
The Lions have had a long time to sit on their heartbreaking loss against the Packers last Thursday Night – almost enough time for people to start realizing Jeff Fisher isn’t that great of a coach.
The Rams are the same ol story every year under Fisher. They’re kind of interesting for a few weeks, but they always hit midnight and turn back into pumpkins at some point. Not even Todd Gurley can keep this team exciting… that’s how boring they are.
Detroit is a better football team than St. Louis. That’s it. It’ll be proven on Sunday.
Prediction: LIONS – 24, Rams – 10
Tennessee Titans (3-9) At New York Jets (7-5)
Marcus Mariota valiantly led his Titans to a victory last week! …against the Jaguars. Yay.
These Jets are feeling good. They beat their in-town rival Giants last week for the first time since 1993. Do you really think they are at all threatened by the Tennessee Titans? They probably had to be reminded that they were a real team.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker… the three best friends that anyone could have. This trio is going to score a lot of points on Sunday at the expense of the Titans. What else is new?
Prediction: Titans – 17, JETS – 34
Indianapolis Colts (6-6) At Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8)
The Matt Hasselbeck feel good ride is out of gas, ladies and gentlemen.
The savvy veteran had enjoyed a nice run of wins while starting for the Colts this year, but against some pretty inferior competition. When Hasselbeck stepped under the lights last Sunday Night against the Steelers reality set in and it wasn’t fun for him.
The Colts are arguably the most disappointing team in the NFL season. They were thought not only to be a Super Bowl contender, but an offensive juggernaut.
Ultimately though… they are, by virtue of common sense, better than the Jaguars.
Prediction: COLTS – 23, Jaguars – 14
San Diego Chargers (3-9) At Kansas City Chiefs (7-5)
I feel really bad for San Diego Chargers fans, man.
Most of their star players have gone down to injury, what’s left of the team has been terrible, and they could be losing their team soon. That’s tough cookies.
On the flip side of things the cookies are nice and tasty in Kansas City as there doesn’t seem to be a team hotter than the Chiefs right now.
It is beyond me why the fans in Philadelphia never appreciated Andy Reid. Look at what he’s doing… with Alex Smith as his quarterback! And no Jamaal Charles!
Prediction: Chargers – 13, CHIEFS – 28
New Orleans Saints (4-8) At Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6)
In case you missed the news yesterday, Mark Ingram is out for the remainder of the season. Sad face.
In the battle of teams that should have lost to the Cowboys earlier this season, it’s hard to pick against Famous Jameis.
The Buccaneers are feeling good right now and just vanquished the Atlanta Falcons. While Drew Brees is still going to find a way to get his against them, Jameis is going to announce his team as the better one on Sunday.
Prediction: Saints – 27, BUCCANEERS – 33
Seattle Seahawks (7-5) At Baltimore Ravens (4-8)
The Legion of Boom.
That’s all you need to know.
Prediction: SEAHAWKS – 26, Ravens – 12
Oakland Raiders (5-7) At Denver Broncos (10-2)
Earlier in the season when these two teams squared off I took the Raiders. I think this team has a lot of young and explosive playmakers, and they have a quarterback who gives them a chance to win.
If you do something twice, it’s a tradition.
Let the tradition be born! I love the Raiders in this game. The Broncos have caught an unbelievable number of breaks this season and there’s no way that Brock Osweiler is going to just jump in and take them on the ride of their lives. His ride ends here.
Prediction: RAIDERS – 20, Broncos – 16
Dallas Cowboys (4-8) At Green Bay Packers (8-4)
If you’re living by Plan IV for this game then you know what’s at stake.
The Cowboys, miraculously, are only one game back of first place in the NFC East. They know that just as much as you do.
It’s hard to call this a total revenge game for last year’s playoff loss because Tony Romo won’t be playing, but this one means a lot.
The Cowboys have the most momentum going into a game that they’ve had all season. Couple that with the poor play of the Packers over the last six games and you’ve got a recipe for a great game.
Dez Bryant is going to do something special in this game. Mark my words.
Prediction: COWBOYS – 23, Packers – 20
Sunday Night Football: New England Patriots (10-2) At Houston Texans (6-6)
The whole world thought that the Patriots were going to respond to their first loss of the season with a drudging of the Philadelphia Eagles. Turns out that sometimes the whole world can be wrong.
However angry you think the Patriots were after their loss to the Broncos you can quadruple it. They are out for blood. Those poor Texans.
Houston still has a great shot at winning the AFC South, but they needed that game against the Bills last week. They drew the Patriots on a week where they are going to obliterate someone, and not even JJ Watt is enough to stop that.
Prediction: PATRIOTS – 27, Texans – 17
Monday Night Football: New York Giants (5-7) At Miami Dolphins (5-7)
Get ready to see a ton of pregame footage of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry making catches in sweatpants on the Worldwide Leader in sports.
ESPN has been waiting all year to hype up the battle of former LSU wide receivers, who would have thought that they’d both be 5-7 and needing a win more than ever?
The Giants are on a terrible skid right now. They had to have the Jets game and they know it. After the battle in Miami they have to take on the Panthers and Vikings. That’s no bueno.
Tom Coughlin seems like he has one more hurrah left in the tank. This is it. Enjoy it, New York.
Prediction: GIANTS – 22, Dolphins – 17