NFL Week 14 Predictions

Week 13 had so many crazy finishes, that the NFL world was left practically speechless. Week 14 gives us plenty of intriguing match ups that should result in a terrific week of football. So let’s get right to it, it’s time to predict Week 14!

Jaguars (4-8) at Titans (6-6) TNF

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Photo Cred: musiccitymiracles.com

At the start of the year, I personally though that this game between the Titans and Jaguars would be a critical matchup in deciding the AFC South. Even further than that, I predicted that these two teams would meet up in the wildcard round of the playoffs. While both teams have disappointed this season and have no chance of winning the division, the end result will remain the same as my preseason predictions- the Titans will come out on top. For some reason, Tennessee has owned Jacksonville over the past few seasons. They’ve won five of their last six against the Jags, with their only loss coming when Marcus Mariota got injured and was replaced by Matt Cassel. The Titans are also playing for their postseason lives – they have a chance to win out with a winnable schedule and would likely earn the #6 seed as a result – while the Jaguars have been dysfunctional all season long. Also in the Titans favor is the fact that they’re strong at home (4-1) this season, while the Jags are just 1-4 on the road this season. Tennessee will keep their playoff hopes alive at least for another week with a big divisional victory, while the Jaguars will continue to fall into irrelevancy despite being 60 minutes from the Super Bowl just a year ago. Prediction: Jaguars 16 Titans 20

Giants (4-8) at Redskins (6-6)

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Photo Cred: giantswire.usatoday.com

Does anyone know what to expect when the Giants and Redskins meet up on Sunday? New York is without Odell Beckham Jr, while Washington is forced to start Mark Sanchez at quarterback. Neither of these teams do anything particularly well, but the Giants are just a little less worse. New York has won three of their last four, including a big win against the Bears last week. Even without Beckham Jr., they have enough offensive weapons to take advantage of the Redskins’ 27th ranked pass defense. Eli Manning may not be the player he once was, but he’s still on a completely different world compared to Sanchez. The Giants have been playing spirited football as of late, and it’s much easier to trust them rather than a Washington team that looks defeated after being decimated by injuries. Prediction: Giants 22 Redskins 20

Saints (10-2) at Buccaneers (5-7)

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Photo Cred; tampabay.com

When these two teams met up in Week one, the Buccaneers dropped 48 on the Saints in New Orleans. The quarterback has changed, but Tampa Bay should put together a similar performance this week. The Bucs have won two straight, while Jameis Winston has been outstanding since being named the starter two weeks ago. Their number one ranked pass offense will do damage against the Saints’ weak pass defense, and they’ll take control of this game as a result. New Orleans struggled last week against the Cowboys, and their offense, particularly Drew Brees, has looked off the last two weeks. It looks like the Saints are slowing down, while the Bucs are trending up. That’ll continue this week as Tampa Bay will sweep the season series between these two teams. Prediction: Saints 32 Bucs 33

Patriots (9-3) at Dolphins (6-6)

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Photo Cred: patspulpit.com

Hey look, it’s the annual Dolphins somehow beat the Patriots game. New England is the far superior team and won 38-7 when these two teams faced off in Week 4. Seems easy, right? Not so much. Despite constantly being the big brother to the Dolphins, the Patriots have lost four of their last five in Miami. Still, it’s hard to pick against a team that has won eight of their last nine in favor of a team that is ranks in the bottom half in almost all statistics. Tom Brady should pick apart this secondary, while New England’s two-headed rushing attack with James White and Sony Michel will dominate against Miami’s 30th ranked rush defense. The Dolphins barely beat the Bills at home and was outgained by more than 200 yards, so how can they be given a legitimate chance to win against arguably the best team in the AFC. Prediction: Patriots 27 Dolphins 20

Ravens (7-5) at Chiefs (10-2)

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Photo Cred: NBC Sports

In a matchup between the number one defense and the number one offense, the Ravens and Chiefs will do battle in what should be a terrific game. Kansas City’s offense is without Sammy Watkins and Kareem Hunt, but their offense still has plenty of weapons for Patrick Mahomes to utilize. Baltimore’s defense has been amazing all season, but they rank last in the AFC in forcing turnovers. The Chiefs will be able to move the ball against anyone, so it’s critical that opposing defenses are able to force turnovers against a team that can be vulnerable to giving the ball away. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens should be able to run the ball against this putrid Chiefs defense, but it’s impossible to trust him to go into Arrowhead Stadium of all places in just his fourth start. This game will be closer than many expect, but the Chiefs are the better team and are at home. Therefore, they’ll come out on top with a huge win over an upstart Ravens team. Prediction: Ravens 24 Chiefs 27

Colts (6-6) at Texans (9-3)

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Photo Cred: indystar.com

Back in Week 4, the then 0-3 Texans pulled away with an overtime win over the then 1-2 Colts. Who would’ve guessed how crucial of a game that would be for both teams. Houston has now won nine in a row, while Indianapolis is fighting for their playoff lives and would’ve been a front-runner for either a wildcard spot or to be at top of the division  if they would have found a way to win that game. Just like they did in Week 4, the Texas will put a dent in the Colts’ season this week. Indianapolis just got shut out last week against the Jaguars, and took a clear step back last week. They have an even tougher task against the Texans defense, but if they can’t put up points in this game, Houston will blow them out. Led by the third ranked rushing attack and an efficient Deshaun Watson, Houston has put on a show in recent weeks. Against a Colts defense that has had its moments but is still young and inconsistent, Watson and co. will do just enough in order to win. The Texans know that a first round bye is on the line, so they’ll keep rolling this week Prediction: Colts 20 Texans 24

Falcons (4-8) at Packers (4-7-1)

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Photo Cred: FOX Sports

After an abysmal home loss last week against a Cardinals team that hadn’t beaten anyone besides the 49ers at the point, the Packers decided enough was enough and fired head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy had been scrutinized for his poor play calling and game plans, and many argued that he was holding back Aaron Rodgers. With McCarthy gone, Rodgers now has a chance to prove that McCarthy, not him, was the problem. Will he answer the bell? Of course he will. Not only is Rodgers still the most talented quarterback in football, he’ll go up against a Falcons defense that can’t stop anyone. Also, with McCarthy gone, Green Bay probably will utilize Aaron Jones more, which will give the offensive balance they’ve lacked. Atlanta is extremely one-dimensional on offense towards the pass, but they’ve struggled recently. The Packers are a top ten team against the pass, and with their young corners playing well, they’ll hold Matt Ryan and the Falcons just enough for a rejuvenated. Rodgers to do his magic. Prediction: Falcons 24 Packers 30

Panthers (6-6) at Browns (4-7-1)

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Photo Cred: allevents.in

Can the Panthers get back on track? Carolina has lost four straight games, three of them by one possesion, and desperately needs to win this game. Usually,the Browns would be a perfect team to play in a must-win game, but these Browns are not the old Browns. Cleveland has played teams tight this season, and have been significantly improved since Hue Jackson was let go of head coach. Therefore, Cleveland is a popular pick to win this game. Let’s not kid ourselves though, the Panthers are the playoff contender, and they’ll find a way to win this game. Carolina has the second best rushing offense, and they’ll cotninue to find success running the ball against the 28th ranked rush defense. Carolina has struggled to win close games, but the Browns are the kings of finding ways to lose, so this may be the week where the Panthers finally put it together to get back into the win column. There’s alot more on the line for them, and they’ll pull away with a close victory on the road to put them back in the driver’s seat for a wildcard spot. Prediction: Panthers 28 Browns 24

Jets (3-9) at Bills (4-8)

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Photo Cred: thejetpress.com

Usually, a matchup between a 3-9 and 4-8 team would excite no one, but this game is a little different. This is the first ever matchup between Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. Both were selected in the top ten in last year’s draft, and are expected to go against one another two times a year for atleast the next decade. For now though, Buffalo is the better of these two awful teams. When these two teams met up in Week 10, the Bills came out on top in a blowout 41-10 victory. Now, the two quarterbacks in that game were Matt Barkley and Josh McCown, but Allen is currently performing at a higher level than Darnold anyway. While the Bills have been in a lot of close games and are playing with a lot of fight and passion, the Jets have quit on this season and head coach Todd Bowles. Buffalo has also played much better at home, and they’ll continue to do so this week with a win over their division rival. Prediction: Jets 13 Bills 20

Broncos (6-6) at 49ers (2-10)

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Photo Cred: 104.3thefan.com

Are the Broncos going to pull this off? Denver has won three straight games after being 3-6, and are now in a great position to earn a wildcard spot. Facing arguably the worst team in the league, they should continue to roll. A big reason for the Broncos’ recent surge has been their rushing attack led by undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay. Considering the Seahawks just ran over the 49ers last week, it’s easy to imagine that Lindsay will continue his story book season with another terrific performance. On the other side of the ball, the Broncos defense will be able to succeed this weekend for two reasons. Denver’s pass rush is one of the league’s best, while San Francisco has struggled to protect whoever is starting at quarterback. The 49ers also have the league’s worst turnover differential, while the Broncos have been extremly opportunistic defensively all season long. Still, this is Denver’s first game without Emmanuel Sanders and Chris Harris, so it may take them a while to get going. Once they get going, however, there’s no question they’ll come out on top. Prediction: Broncos 26 49ers 23

Bengals (5-7) at Chargers (9-3)

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Photo Cred: cincyjungle.com

It what may the largest blowout of the week, the Chargers will host the Bengals in a game that has been practically decided already. Los Angeles looks like a top five team in football, especially after a big primetime win on the road in Pittsburgh. Phillip Rivers is having a career year, while the defense is coming together ever since Joey Bosa came back from injury. Cincinatti, on the other hand, has lost four straight games and looks lost without Andy Dalton and AJ Green. They have one of the worst defenses in league history, and their offense isn’t much better with Jeff Driskel now under center. Rivers and the Chargers’ explosive offense will score enough points while the defense will shut Driskel down to the point that this game will be over by happen. The most exciting part of this game may be for those betting on this game; the Chargers being favored by 14 points, which is vulnerable for a backdoor cover. Still, this game is simply a tune up game for Los Angeles with the division leading Chiefs in store in Week 15. Prediction: Bengals 16 Chargers 31

Steelers (7-4-1) at Raiders (2-10)

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Photo Cred: goldengatesports.com

After starting 7-2-1 and looking like one of the favorites to secure a first round bye, the Steelers have lost two straight heartbreakers and now have just a 0.5 game lead in their division. They’ve definitely fallen, but they still haven’t fallen enough to lose to the worst team in the AFC. Pittsburgh has a prolific offense that easily dropped 30 last week against the Chargers, so they’ll have no trouble moving the ball against the Raiders, who have allowed 30.6 points per game. Oakland has the least amount of sacks in the league, so one could imagine the damange Ben Roethlisberger could do with all day to throw. The Raiders also haven’t protected Derek Carr all season long, and they’re in for a long day against the Pittsburgh, who leads the league in sacks. The Steelers’ dreaded east coast to west coast trip may lead to this game being closer than possible, but they’ll have no problem putting away a Raiders team that’s looked lost all season long. Prediction: Steelers 26 Raiders 21

Eagles (6-6) at Cowboys (7-5)

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Photo Cred: www2.philly.com

In a game that may decide the division, the Eagles will try to shock the world and go on the road and upset the upstart Cowboys. Dallas is currently on a four game winning streak that started with a Week 10 road win against these Eagles, and their defense has emerged as arguably the league’s best. Meanwhile, Philadelphia has been decimtaed with injuries and has struggled to beat the Giants and Redskins at home in the past two weeks. While divisional rivarly games are always close, there’s just too much in the Cowboys favor for them not to win this game. Just look at the last game against these two teams. Ezekial Elliot dominated, while the Dallas’ defense came up with plenty of clutch stops. Since that game, the Cowboys have gotten better with reciever Amari Cooper now incoportate in this offense while the Eagles have been hit with even more injuries. With this game being in Dallas, a place where the Cowboys have dominated, why should we expect a different result? The Cowboys know they can practically wrap up the division with a win, so they should be expected to do what it takes to come out on top. Prediction: Eagles 17 Cowboys 21

Lions (4-8) at Cardinals (3-9)

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Photo Cred: cardswire.usatoday.com

In the annual game of the week that no one will watch, the Lions and Cardinals will match up in a game that has more draft implications than anything else. Detroit has struggled as of late, putting them in prime position to secure a top five pick. Arizona, on the other hand, was the front runner to earn the number one pick, but that is no longer the case after a road win at Green Bay last week. So who will win and hurt their draft position? Despite all their struggles, the Lions are still the much better pick. Detroit has the more experienced quarterback in Matthew Stafford, who will outduel rookie Josh Rosen in a game that should be close. The Lions have done a solid job defending the pass this season; they even kept the Rams in check. Against the league’s worst pass offense, they should hold their own just enough to give Stafford a great chance to win this game. That’s exactly what he’ll do, coming away with a close road victory. Prediction: Lions 23 Cardinals 21

Rams (11-1) at Bears (8-4) SNF

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Photo Cred: nbcboston.com

In what is the game of the week, the Rams and Bears will do battle in a matchup between the two best teams in the NFC, in my opinion. Los Angeles locks up a first round bye with a win, while Chicago has chance to put the NFC North in their hands completly with a win. So who will come out on top in what may be one of the best games of the year? That would be the Bears. As a passionate, young team, the Bears have excelled at home and are 2-0 in primetime home games this season. They also have the perfect defense to hold the Rams’ potent offense in check just enough, where the now healthy Mitchell Trubisky can do his magic against a mediocre Rams defense. Matt Nagy has done a great job calling the plays this year for the Bears offense, which has averaged an impressive 28.7 points per game. These two teams are so evenly matched that it’s a coinflip on who wins this game, so I’ll take the home team with the better defense in a very close game. Prediction: Rams 27 Bears 28

Vikings (6-5-1) at Seahawks (7-5) MNF

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Photo Cred: seattletimes.com

On Monday Night Football, the Vikings and Seahawks will go head to head in a game with so much on the line. With a win, Seattle may lock up a wildcard spot. Meanwhile, the Vikings may be on the outside looking in with a loss. Minnesota is the more talented team, but there is one big issue with them: they can’t come away with big wins. The Vikings are 1-3 in primetime, and haven’t beaten one team with a record over .500. Kirk Cousins has a reputation for losing big games, and that has carried over this season. Minnesota’s offense is also too one-dimensional towards the pass to win big games on the road, especially in a tough environment in Seattle, where weather is always a possible issue. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have the league’s best rushing attack, which means they’ll likely win the time of possesion battle. In a game that should come down to the wire, who has the ball more may be the deciding factor, so I’ll ride with the Seahawks to win what is easily so far the biggest game of their season. Prediction: Vikings 22 Seahawks 24

 

 

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