Week 10 Predictions Record: 10-5
Season Predictions Record: 90-53
We are back with our week 14 predictions for the 2016 NFL season. With thirteen weeks in the books the 2016 NFL season is already beginning to take shape. We have seen some power house teams emerge and others wither under the pressure. Week 14 begins with a big matchup on Thursday night between the Chiefs and the Raiders, which is also our game of the week. Take a look at the power rankings going into this week to see which times might rise and which teams might fall. I am anxious to get on with predictions, I am hopeful to keep this winning predictions record alive this week. Here are the picks for week 14 in the NFL.
Teams on Bye: None
GAME OF THE WEEK/THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME
Raiders vs. Chiefs
Preview: By far the most important matchup of the week this week in Kansas City as the Raiders come to town in this key AFC West matchup. The winner is in the driver’s seat for the division title and possibly the AFC’s top seed. Both teams have been streaking as of late and peaking at the right time. The Chiefs have had two close victories in a row over top competition, while the Raiders have been cruising past opponents to the tune of a 10-2 record and the current top seed in the AFC. This game is going to come down to whether or not the Chiefs defense can stop the Raiders offense. If that happens, then the Chiefs have this in the bag. This game is too close to call, but if I have to give an edge, I’m going to give it to the Chiefs. I think that luck is on their side and their team is playing well enough to get this done. Plus, after years of seeing that the Raiders have been a flop, I am still not a complete believer. We shall see what happens on Thursday night. Best part about it….COLOR RUSH!!!
Steelers vs. Bills
Preview: This is a must win for both teams. With the Bills virtually out of the playoff race, they will most likely play the role of spoilers for the rest of the season and this game is no exception. The Steelers need to win out to ensure that they win their division. IF they lose this one to the Bills, it makes it even more difficult to make this happen. The Steelers also looked fantastic last week against the Giants, and have begun to show just how talented this team is. If they begin to peak, WATCH OUT, this team will be scary come the playoffs. The Steelers win this one based off of their need for a win and on how well the team is playing right now.
Broncos vs. Titans
Preview: This game looks to be a good one between the Titans and the Broncos. Both teams have plenty to play for as the Broncos have the AFC wildcard (and possibly division) in their sights, while the Titans chance for the playoffs rides on securing their division title. The Broncos obviously tout one of the game’s best defensive units, their offense continues to struggle however behind mediocre quarterback play and a poor rushing attack. While the Titans have been on fire as of late torching defenses with their passing attack and potent rushing attack. I believe that while the Broncos might be a more complete team, this Titans team is growing in confidence and will show this week that they are ready for the prime time. No better week for them to grab a big win because division rivals Texans and Colts square off.
Redskins vs. Eagles
Preview: Yet another great divisional matchup this week as the Redskins go to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. Both teams had bad games in last week’s matchups and are looking to bounce back with a solid divisional win. The Redskins still have an outside shot at the wildcard spot but will have to win out to have an opportunity to capitalize on that , while the Eagles season is about over, and they will serve as the spoilers for teams that they play coming up in their schedule. This game is a little too close to call, being an NFC East showdown the games will certainly almost always be close, so I am going to go with the Redskins in a nail biter on the road. They have more to play for and they boast the better all-around team at the moment.
Cardinals vs. Dolphins
Preview: The Miami Dolphins ran into a wall last week that is the Baltimore defense in route to a horrible loss on the road. This week they face a talented yet inconsistent Cardinals team at home. The Dolphins were looking like one of the strongest teams in the league until last week’s drubbing, but they still have the talent to do some things with the rest of their season. Unfortunately for them, they face the Cardinals, who on many days boast the best defense in the league, and they are still fighting for (false) hope of a playoff spot. I see the Cardinals coming into this game on a high from their win last week and taking this victory on the road.
Vikings vs. Jaguars
Preview: A battle between two horrible offenses and two great defenses. Who will win? I certainly have NO IDEA. This game is probably the hardest to call for this week because of the lack of power on these two sidelines. But I’m going to go by record and say that the Vikings will win this game because their quarterback is playing better at the moment and they need the win more. They are still in the hunt for the division barring a Detroit slip up, and need to grab wins over lesser competition when they can get them. So expect the Vikings defense to totally shut down the Jaguar offense in route to a close win.
Texans vs. Colts
Preview: One of the biggest games of the week. Both teams are part of a three way tie for the AFC South division lead. The Texans have looked good at different points this season. They have the star power on paper to get to the playoffs easily, but things have just not panned out that way for the Texans. They have struggled against the top tier teams in the league this year and are poor away from home. After the Colt’s drubbing of the Jets on Monday Night Football, this team has to be on a high and I believe that will carry through to this coming weekend. The Colts will win this football game because of the arm of Andrew Luck and the momentum that they have been able to build as of late.
Chargers vs. Panthers
Preview: A Battle of the Bads. This game looks to be one that should be competitive, but doesn’t really mean much. Both teams are looking like they will miss the playoffs either way and they don’t have much else to play for. This season, the Chargers have been better overall than the Panthers, but these Panthers still have many of the same players that made that Super Bowl appearance from a year ago. Both teams can compete at a high level on the right day, it is hard to give a prediction here because they are both so hard to predict. But that loss this past week on Sunday Night Football has to hurt for the Panthers. They were absolutely demolished by a mediocre Seahawks offense. I am going to go with the Panthers to win this one solely on the fact that it is at home and they need a bounce back win for confidence.
Bengals vs. Browns
Preview: An interesting AFC North matchup between the Bengals and the Browns. This has not been a good year for either of these two teams, the Bengals have had injuries virtually destroy their season, and the Browns have had pretty much everything go wrong. This game comes down to the talent on both sides of the ball, and the Bengals have a lot more of that. The confidence of the Browns is waning and they will not be able to put up enough of a fight to put away this Bengals team. Expect that the Browns are one more game closer to an unvictorious season.
Bears vs. Lions
Preview: The Lions and the Bears square off in a key NFC North contest between the best and the worst team in the division. The Lions need a win to keep their lead in the division, they are trying to close out their season on a high note and win the Division (which looked out of reach five games into the season). The Bears have had a huge injury bug this season which has ended all hope of a positive year. They will be in full re-build mode this offseason. They had a solid win over the 49ers last week, so their confidence should be higher, but the Lions led by Stafford are too good for this Bears team to beat this week.
Jets vs. 49ers
Preview: Another battle between bottom dwellers. The Jets go to San Fran to take on the 49ers this week in what looks to be a boring matchup that everyone should avoid like the plague. The only interesting headline for this game is that Bryce Petty will be starting the last four games of the season for the Jets (I doubt he will start the remaining four games, they will switch it up again). The Jets have been better overall this season and have playoff talent on their team, so I am going to go with the Jets to close this one out and grab a win away from home. The 49ers will be one week closer to earning that number two overall pick.
Saints vs. Buccaneers
Preview: A great NFC South divisional matchup this week as the Saints take on the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. Surprisingly, the Buccaneers lead the NFC South at 7-5 with the team streaking as of late to contest for a playoff spot. At the beginning of the season I labeled the Buccaneers as the Builders because it looks like they are building something special with all of the young talent on that roster. This week they face a tough challenge in the Saints. The Saints played horrible last week in their loss to the Lions in what would have been possibly a turnaround game for the Saints, instead it put them in a large hole. A two game hole to be exact. The Saints need some magic to get a playoff berth and it starts on Sunday with a win over the Buccaneers on the road. Unfortunately for the Saints, this week will be the week they officially bow out of the playoff race as the Buccaneers look to take care of business at home.
Falcons vs. Rams
Preview: A Big time offense takes on a big time defense. That is the story in Los Angeles this week as the Falcons come to town to take on the Rams. Both teams are excellent on one side of the ball this season and it has been evident by their respective records. The Rams have simply not been able to score this season, while the Falcons can put up numbers for days, but their defense still needs some work in the consistency department. This game looks like it will be largely in the Falcons favor. They are playing for the division title, which by head-to-head matchups they are in the lead. But that can go away easily with a loss to the lowly Rams. The Rams look to play the role of spoilers this week and the weeks to come if they decide to show up in a few games. Should be an interesting and boring game (the Rams D will make sure of that) but the Falcons will ultimately come out victorious.
Seahawks vs. Packers
Preview: The NFC West leading Seahawks take on the Packers this week in a matchup between two teams trying to show their playoff pedigree late in the season. The Seahawks are currently the NFC’s number two seeded team going into this game, they have had an up and down season as far as storylines. With their offense not putting up the numbers this season consistently, the Seahawks have had a couple of games where they did not score an offensive touchdown, but then, on weeks like the last, they explode for 40 points against a good defense. On the other hand, we have the Packers who are the model of inconsistency this season. Rodgers has not looked himself at all this entire season and the team’s record is a direct reflection of that. This game will come down to how many times the Seahawks can stop Rodgers and that offense. I believe it will be quite often. Packers lose this one.
Cowboys vs. Giants
Preview: Almost considered the game of the week, this matchup between the Cowboys and Giants will be the final test for the Giants to see their progress for this season. They rode a six game winning streak into Pittsburgh, only to be stopped dead in their tracks by that Steelers team. This week they have the Cowboys who are riding an eleven game winning streak. What’s great for the Giants is that they had the winning formula for the Cowboys in week one, but anyone with a brain can recognize that this is a different Cowboys team from that first game. I truly believe that this game will not be as close as many expect it to be. I believe that the Cowboys have something to prove in this game and are going to do what they can to completely expose this Giants team. The Giants will need a perfect game, and many mistakes from the Cowboys to win this one. Zeke is going to EAT A LOT in this game.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME
Ravens vs. Patriots
Preview: Another huge candidate for game of the week as both teams are trying to push for the post season. Both teams are division leaders from within the AFC. The Patriots look like they will lock up the AFC East with just one more victory, but first, they must dispose of this Ravens team. The Ravens are trying to fend off the surging Steelers and will need a win in New England to secure their spot at the top of the division before their showdown next week with the Steelers which should be the deciding game. This game will come down to whose offense can do more against the opposing defense. The Ravens have the better defense (not by much) but the Patriots have the MUCH better offense. But there has just been some magic missing for the Patriots as of late. Many thought the return of Brady would mean MONSTER numbers for the quarterback, but he has been quietly putting up solid numbers in route to getting WINS which is the most important stat in the game. Expect the Patriots to take this game at home in a close one.