North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

NFL Week 14 Picks

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Ugh.

I’m not impressed with my showing last week. Or with the Steelers showing, either. It was a weird week with more then a couple upsets and some odd finishes.

Who would have thought the Raiders would have three touchdowns against Pittsburgh – in the fourth quarter? That officials in Washington would overturn a call – after a timeout was called to give the replay booth a chance to review said call – in overtime with sketchy (at best) evidence? Or that Indianapolis could get held to three points in the second half – and still win by double-digits?

Let’s put it this way. It was a weird week last week. I went an ugly 7 and 8. Not impressed.

Still, it could be worse. I could be Army’s offense, which seemed to have two or three plays today against Navy, all of them involving a lob pass to a Alejandro Villanueva, regardless of the triple coverage that surrounded him at all times. Like them, I’m plunging ahead with my week 14 picks, with no remorse. Home team in CAPS.

New Orleans over ATLANTA: The Falcons are still sans Matt Ryan, which is a bigger blow then I thought it would be. They seemed crippled without him against the Eagles. And while the Saints seem to play around the level of their opponent – close games against St. Louis, Atlanta and the Redskins – I still like them here.

INDIANAPOLIS over Denver: The Broncos seem iffy to me. I can’t back them, especially after their mini-collapse a few weeks ago. Plus, things seem to be breaking in the Colts favour, anyway.

HOUSTON over Seattle: Both teams seem worse then their 5-7 records to me, though the Hawks keep surprising me. But I feel like Houston has another win in them, and this is as likely as anywhere: at home, against a subpar defence to a team 1-5 on the road.

NEW ENGLAND over Carolina: Again, an iffy pick. The Pats have been laying eggs the last few weeks and – as Simmons said on his podcast this week – like a team coasting on prior results, not on how they’ve played. They’re 7-5 but feel like they’re under .500. A win here would help get them back on course to the AFC East championship.

Buffalo over KANSAS CITY: Buffalo has looked not awful the past few weeks. They’ve won one and kept it close in two others… But Kansas beat Pittsburgh a couple weeks ago. The week before, they beat Oakland (who also beat Pittsburgh). I’m not sold on this, but I’m willing to extend some credit Buffalo’s way.

BALTIMORE over Detroit: Say what you will about Flacco – two TD passes, four interceptions and eight sacks in his last three games – I’d still trust him to have a good game against the Lions.

Cincinnati over MINNESOTA: Okay, the Vikings are at home. They just came off a loss. And I’m sure Brett Farve likes the dome. But the Bengals are sneaky good. They have the best run defence in the league (only team to give up under 1000 rushing yards thus far) and are solid against the pass, too: 14 interceptions, 29 sacks and just a shade more then 2500 yards allowed, 12th in the NFL. With a solid defence like that, who cares that they don’t have a ‘flashy’ reciever or whatever nonsense Simmons was blathering about.

NY Jets over TAMPA BAY: The Bucs are bad, like really bad. Instead of those orange throwbacks, maybe they should just bring back Tony Dungy.

JACKSONVILLE over Miami: Okay, sure the wildcat is fun to watch. But the Jags are a quiet 7-5, and 5-1 at home. And with a solid run defence, they should be able to shut down Miami’s running attack and come away with a win.

Green Bay over CHICAGO: Are the Packers a playoff team? They could use a win here to boost their chance at a NFC Wild Card.

TENNESSEE over St. Louis: With the Rams really bad and the Titans looking, well, like another team in the past few weeks (their loss against the Colts notwithstanding), this isn’t likely to be too close.

OAKLAND over Washington: Well, the Raiders won last week. And with a newish QB, they look a bit better. They should take one at home.

San Diego over DALLAS: It shouldn’t seem this close. The Chargers are hot, coming off seven straight wins while the Cowboys aren’t and coming off a bad loss. But Rivers can pass (it’s pretty much the only thing the Chargers can do right now) and Dallas can’t defend it. Home field advantage or not, the Chargers come up big here.

NY GIANTS over Philadelphia: Sure, the Eagles just demolished the Falcons. But Atlanta was missing Ryan and looked lost. It wasn’t something where the Eagles dominated another good team. But the Giants manhandled Dallas. They did everything, including returning a punt for  touchdown (which was seen live on NFL Red Zone, a channel that is amazing on every level). I like the Giants to win here and make a play at the NFC East lead.

Arizona over SAN FRANCISCO: The Niners look finished. Forget about Alex Smith and how he’s a pretty good fantasy QB. They’re done. Finito.  Yes. Plus the Cards are looking okay, too. Warner’s rebounded nicely from his concussion and both Fitzgerald and Bolid are looking nice. Things are rolling the Cards way.

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Written by M.

December 12, 2009 at 9:24 pm

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