Week 14 NFL Predictions
By Michelle Jinks @TheSportsJinks
Last Weekâ€™s Record: 7-9
Season Total: 106-76
Buffalo (6-6) at Philadelphia (5-7)
Last Meeting: Oct 9 2011 â€“ Buffalo won 31-24 at home
The Eagles are back in the hunt for the NFC East after upsetting New England last week. Sam Bradford was in the lineup but it was the Eagles special teams that did the dirty work for the Eagles.Â LeSean McCoy returns to the place he once called home ready to take his hatred of Chip Kelly out on his former team. A good game by McCoy adds even more fuel to the rotating backfield in Philadelphia, where McCoyâ€™s replacement is still not happy with his production.
My Pick: BUFFALO
San Francisco (4-8) at Cleveland (2-10)
Series Record: Browns lead 11-7-0
Last Meeting: Oct 30 2011 â€“ San Francisco won 20-10 at home
San Francisco is 2-2 since Blaine Gabbert took over as quarterback. Perhaps his most impressive victory was last week, as he rallied the Niners to an overtime win on the road at Chicago. Cleveland has already been eliminated from the playoffs. Johnny â€œMoneyâ€ Manziel will start for the Browns this week. His performance will either allow him to once again compete for a starting job with the Browns or audition for another team who may want to take a chance on him.
My Pick: SAN FRANCISCO
Detroit (4-8) at St. Louis (4-8)
Series Record: Rams lead 42-40-1
Last Meeting: Sept 9 2012 â€“ Detroit won 27-23 at St. Louis
Is it time to stop believing in Jeff Fisher? There was so much hope for the Rams before the season, yet the Rams have only managed four wins. Fisher fired offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti but they still have a quarterback problem. To say Nick Foles has been a disappointment is an understatement. Detroit was on the verge of another winless season. However, theyâ€™ve managed to go 3-1 over the last four weeks.
My Pick: DETROIT
New Orleans (4-8) at Tampa Bay (6-6)
Series Record: Saints lead 29-18-0
Last Meeting: Sept 20 2015 â€“ Tampa won 26-19 at New Orleans
New Orleans nearly put a halt to the Panthers undefeated season, but fell short to drop their fourth straight game. Meanwhile, the Bucs continue to roll as Jameis Winston is coming into his own down the final stretch. Tampa Bay has an opportunity to sweep the series against the Saints with a win at home. The Saints have won the last three meetings in Tampa Bay.Â
My Pick: TAMPA BAY
Tennessee (3-9) at NY Jets (7-5)
Series Record: Titans lead 24-18-1
Last Meeting: Dec 14 2014 â€“ Jets won 16-11 at Tennessee
Todd Boyles wasnâ€™t able to get a victory over former Jets head coach Rob Ryan but he made up to Jets fans by winning the battle of New York. Darrelle Revis is expected to be back, after a two game absence. Marcus Mariota used his legs to wheel the Titans to victory last week. He may need to run a little more this week with tight coverage on the outside should Revis rejoin the Jets.
My Pick: NY JETS
Pittsburgh (7-5) at Cincinnati (10-2)
Series Record: Steelers lead 56-35-0
Last Meeting: Nov 1 2015 â€“ Cincinnati won 16-10 at Pittsburgh
What better team is there to face than your division rival with an opportunity to clinch the division? Thatâ€™s what at stake for the Cincinnati Bengals when they host the Steelers on Sunday. Not to mention, a win over Pittsburgh would give the Bengals a sweep over the Steelers for the first time in eight seasons. Much will be made about the beef that brewed when Le’Veon Bell went down in the first meeting but Pittsburgh doesnâ€™t need extra motivation for this one.
My Pick: CINCINNATI
Indianapolis (6-6) at Jacksonville (4-8)
Series Record: Colts lead 21-8-0
Last Meeting: Oct 4 2015 â€“ Indy won 16-13 in OT at home
Blake Bortles looked sharp in Jacksonvilleâ€™s loss to Tennessee, throwing for five touchdowns. In fact, Jacksonville has played well over the last six weeks. Bortles will be happy to have Allen Hurns back in the lineup this week. Matt Hasselbeck finally lost a game for the Indianapolis Colts. He was also banged up in the loss to Pittsburgh but is expected to start this week. Indy is tied for first place with Houston in the AFC South. With both Hasselbeck and Luck slowed by injuries, the Colts have to find a way to keep pace with the Titans.
My Pick: INDIANAPOLIS
San Diego (3-9) at Kansas City (7-5)
Series Record: Tied 55-55-1
Last Meeting: Nov 22 2015 â€“ KC won 33-3 at San Diego
Weâ€™re not accustomed to seeing Kansas City go on long win streaks at the end of the season. In most recent years, theyâ€™ve been a team that starts with a bang and fizzle midway through the season. This yearâ€™s version of the Chiefs can win their seventh straight game when they host San Diego and keep their playoff hopes alive. The Chargers could not put together back-to-back wins after a loss to Denver last week. Philip Rivers continues to spend more time on his back than his feet, having been sacked 30 times this season.
My Pick: KANSAS CITY
Washington (5-7) at Chicago (5-7)
Series Record: Redskins lead 24-23-1
Last Meeting: Oct 20 2013 â€“ Washington won 45-41 at home
The Redskins had a chance for a small lead in the NFC East but they let it slip away with their loss Monday night to arch rival Dallas. But like the other three teams in the division they are still very much in the hunt and are tied for first place with New York and Philadelphia. Unfortunately for Washington, most of their remaining schedule is on the road, where they are 0-5 so far this season. For Chicago, the loss to San Francisco hurt their slim chances of a playoff spot.Â The good news is they may have help on the offense as both Eddie Royal and rookie Kevin White are now practicing. If White is able to play on Sunday, it will be his first game of the season.
My Pick:Â CHICAGO
Seattle (7-5) at Baltimore (4-8)
Series Record: Tied 2-2-0
Last Meeting: Nov 23 2011 â€“ Seattle won 22-17 at home
Either Matt Schaub or Joe Flacco or Jimmy Clausen will start for the Ravens, who are in danger of finishing below .500 for the first time under John Harbaugh. Seattle has won three in a row largely due to the outstanding play of quarterback Russell Wilson. Yes, the defense has been stellar at times, but Wilson has put this team on his back and refuses to let them lose. Through the last three games, Wilson has 12 touchdowns (1 rushing) and zero interceptions.
My Pick: SEATTLE
Atlanta (6-6) at Carolina (12-0)
Series Record: Falcons lead 24-16-0
Last Meeting: Dec 28 2014 â€“ Carolina won 24-3 at Atlanta
Carolina has already clinched the NFC South division, their second consecutive division title. Last season they defeated Atlanta in the final game of the season to clinch division. This week, however, the Panthers are playing to maintain a lead for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Atlanta has nothing else to do but spoil the Panthers undefeated season. Their playoff hopes were dashed with last week’s loss. Since starting the season 5-0, Atlanta is 1-6 and on their way to an epic meltdown to finish the season.
My Pick: CAROLINA
Oakland (5-7) at Denver (10-2)
Series Record: Raiders lead 56-50-2
Last Meeting: Oct 11 2015 â€“ Denver won 16-10 at Oakland
Denver controls its own destiny for home field advantage in the playoffs. With the Patriots loss to Philadelphia and their head-to-head meeting, Denver and Cincinnati are the top seeds at this point. Brock Osweiler has won three straight and is 3-1 since taking over for Peyton Manning. The Raiders played well in their first meeting against the Broncos in October. But like most of their losses, turnovers led to their downfall. Derek Carr has struggled in the last six weeks, which has led to a 1-5 record.
My Pick: DENVER
Dallas (4-8) at Green Bay (8-4)
Series Record: Tied 16-16-0
Last Meeting: Jan 11 2015 â€“ Green Bay 26-21 at home
We all remember the last time these two met. Yes, the infamous catch, err non-catch by Dez Bryant in the divisional playoffs last season. Aaron Rodgers was ailing but still managed to lead the Packers over the Cowboys. But the Packers have dropped two straight games at home and Rodgers has struggled in both. This time around the Cowboys are without quarterback Tony Romo. On the bright side for Dallas, they won their first game this season without Romo in the lineup, as Matt Cassel and Dan Bailey led the Cowboys to a win over Washington. The win kept the Cowboys slim hopes alive for a chance at the NFC East title.
My Pick: GREEN BAY
New England (10-2) at Houston (6-6)
Series Record: Patriots lead 5-1-0
Last Meeting: Dec 1 2013 â€“ New England won 34-31 at Houston
Can the Patriots really lose three straight games? Itâ€™s possible. If that happens, it will be the first time since 2002.Â Tom Brady has struggled since losing Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. Houston has a major injury as well, as J.J. Watt broke his hand in practice. Watt is expected to play Sunday.Â Bill Oâ€™Brien and the Texans reeled off a few wins and now sit in a tie with Indianapolis for the AFC South title. Oâ€™Brien may downplay this game but he would like nothing better than to defeat his former boss.
My Pick: NEW ENGLAND
NY Giants (5-7) at Miami (5-7)
Series Record: Giants lead 5-2-0
Last Meeting: Oct 11 2011 â€“ NY won 20-17 at home
New Yorkâ€™s loss to the Jets was somewhat nullified by the Cowboys win over Washington last week. With the constant rants about firing coach Tom Coughlin, the Giants are still tied for first place in the NFC East. The Dolphins ran the ball more under new play caller Zac Taylor but overall the offense struggled in the win over Baltimore. This is a perfect game for Taylor to dial up more run plays against the Giants weak run defense.
My Pick: NY GIANTS
See you next week!