10 December 2015

2015 NFL Predictions: Week 14

(AP)
The worst division in the NFL has been thrown into flux yet again. It began with the Giants blowing yet another 4th quarter lead, this time to their intra-suburb rival. Then the Eagles pulled one of the biggest upsets of the season by going into Foxborough and riding 35 unanswered points to defeat the Patriots. The madness concluded with a dreadful Dallas-Washington contest with a bonkers finish that resulted with the Cowboys winning their first game without Tony Romo. Now Washington, New York and Philadelphia are tied for the division lead at 5-7 with Dallas a game back at 4-8.

Only four weeks remain in this season and the playoffs are getting closer. Who will win this week?

Last Week: 9-7
2015: 113-98
Locks: 11-2

Thursday, December 10th
Vikings (8-4) vs. Cardinals (10-2) - NFLN, 8:25

Minnesota Vikings (1966 - 2012)Phoenix Cardinals (1988 - 1993)
Talk about a fun matchup to be buried on NFL Network on Thursday night, one with a lot of NFC playoff implications as Arizona wants to knock down a bye while Minnesota is trying to get back in front of the Packers in the NFC North. They are now back behind Green Bay because they looked bad on Sunday against the Seahawks at home and I think it will be tough for them to turn around on a short week to win in Glendale.
Cardinals 27 Vikings 19

Sunday, December 13th
Bills (6-6) vs. Eagles (5-7) - CBS, 1:00
Buffalo Bills (1970 - 1973)Philadelphia Eagles (1996 - Pres)
Everybody was shocked by how the Eagles went into Foxborough and took out the Patriots last week, and that win when coupled with losses by New York and Washington has put them in a tie for the division lead. Buffalo also got a big win over the Texans on Sunday, keeping them in the AFC Wild Card race as well. LeSean McCoy is continuing his Chip Kelly beef and that's becoming a story but Buffalo has been all over the place this season, and I think that Sam Bradford found some confidence last week.
Eagles 24 Bills 23

49ers (4-8) vs. Browns (2-10) - Fox, 1:00
San Francisco 49ers (2009 - Pres)Cleveland Browns (2003 - 2014)
Johnny Manziel will be the man under center for the Browns once again as he should be, particularly considering the other options. He probably won't be much of an answer for a Cleveland team that is very much in the toilet at this point. Improbably, Blaine Gabbert is doing some decent things for this Frisco club and I like them to get the win here.
49ers 12 Browns 7

Lions (4-8) vs. Rams (4-8) - Fox, 1:00
Detroit Lions (2003 - 2008)St. Louis Rams (2000 - Pres)
The Lions lost such a heartbreaking to the Packers last Thursday thanks to a controversial facemask penalty and then a crazy Hail Mary at the end of the game. The fact that they lost has overshadowed the fact the Lions continue to look pretty good and play pretty well and they did outplay Green Bay, for what it's worth. The Rams, to put it mildly, suck and they have no production from their quarterbacks. Detroit will get the win.
Lions 20 Rams 12

Saints (4-8) vs. Buccaneers (6-6) - Fox, 1:00
New Orleans Saints (2000 - Pres)Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014 - Pres)
The Saints played a good ballgame and gave the Panthers everything they could handle at home on Sunday, and they still lost. That's a tough deal, especially when the team isn't very good. Tampa Bay is keeping their playoff hopes alive by taking advantage of a crappy division and they will continue to do that at home this week.
Buccaneers 26 Saints 17

Titans (3-9) vs. Jets (7-5) - CBS, 1:00
Tennessee Titans (1999 - Pres)New York Jets (1963 - 1963)
The Jets were able to rally late in regulation to force the Giants into overtime on Sunday before winning in the extra period when NYG kicker Josh Brown missed his first field goal of the season. It wasn't an impressive victory but it counts just the same as the Jets are fighting for a playoff spot. Now in a de facto third straight home game, they get the Titans who won a thriller against the Jaguars last week, but also aren't very good.
Jets 19 Titans 10

Steelers (7-5) vs. Bengals (10-2) - CBS, 1:00
Pittsburgh Steelers (1969 - 2001)Cincinnati Bengals (2004 - Pres)
This is a huge game for both as now, the Bengals are in the driver's seat to get the top seed in the AFC right now while the Steelers are right in the mix for one of the Wild Card spots in the playoffs. Both teams are playing well right now, and we should have some fun offense in the mix. But it is an early game and it is in Cincy so I'm leaning towards the Bengals.
Bengals 31 Steelers 28

Colts (6-6) vs. Jaguars (4-8) - CBS, 1:00
Baltimore Colts (1961 - 1978)Jacksonville Jaguars (1995 - 2012)
It looks like Matt Hasselbeck will indeed be starting again for the Colts on Sunday despite suffering a rib injury on Sunday night during the loss to the Steelers. Hasselbeck didn't look good during said loss and he clearly isn't 100%. Blake Bortles is and while his Jaguars lost to the Titans in Nashville, the offense looked really good. I'm feeling an upset.
Jaguars 34 Colts 31

Chargers (3-9) vs. Chiefs (7-5) - CBS, 1:00
San Diego Chargers (1961 - 1973)Kansas City Chiefs (1972 - Pres)
While the Chargers returned to their losing ways in a convincing way at home against the Broncos, the Chiefs were busy winning their seventh straight in a convincing way against the Raiders. Even in a rivalry game, this one is too easy as San Diego is just too banged up to pull the road upset at Arrowhead.
Chiefs 31 Chargers 17

Washington (5-7) vs. Bears (5-7) - Fox, 1:00
Washington Redskins (1965 - 1969)Chicago Bears (1992 - 1998)
A battle of futility here in Chicago. How so? As John Breech points out, Washington is 0-6 on the road while Chicago is 1-5 at home and both are coming off bizarre losses to Dallas and San Francisco, respectively. Washington is also at the disadvantage as they are on a short week after falling at home. I think that Jay Cutler will look better and the Bears will ride his performance to victory.
Bears 21 Washington 17

Falcons (6-6) vs. Panthers (12-0) - Fox, 1:00
Atlanta Falcons (2003 - Pres)Carolina Panthers (1995 - 2011)
Matt Ryan continues to throw picks week-in and week-out and the Falcons continue to lose. Now it is six out of seven contests that they have lost, including five in a row. At this rate, say goodbye to the playoffs. And now they get to go to Charlotte and take on the Panthers who continue to win, win, win. Anybody out there willing to take the upset here? Didn't think so. The Panthers are my Lock of the Week.
Panthers 30 Falcons 9

Seahawks (7-5) vs. Ravens (4-8) - Fox, 1:00
Seattle Seahawks (2002 - 2011)Baltimore Ravens (1996 - 1998)
There is a reason that this matchup was going to be on Sunday night when the schedule came out, and there is a reason why it is now being buried in the early slot. Baltimore being terrible, and now struggling with injuries across the roster, certainly plays a part in that. What also played a part in that was the Seahawks starting the season as a disappointment but now they have won three in a row. Seattle is starting to shape up as we close on in the playoffs and they will get a relatively easy win here.
Seahawks 31 Ravens 20

Raiders (5-7) vs. Broncos (10-2) - CBS, 4:05
Oakland Raiders (1963 - 1963)Denver Broncos (1993 - 1996)
Should we be surprised that through three starts by a competent quarterback, the Broncos are 3-0? We know that their defense is terrific, arguably the finest unit in the NFL, but now that their offense has awoken of late, now this team is looking good. Meanwhile, the Raiders continue to kiss any hopes of returning to the playoffs goodbye after their fourth loss in five weeks on Sunday. At home against a sliding team, I like Denver.
Broncos 28 Raiders 16

Cowboys (4-8) vs. Packers (8-4) - Fox, 4:25
Dallas Cowboys (1964 - Pres)Green Bay Packers (1980 - Pres)
Green Bay made out like bandits this past Thursday in winning a game they had no business winning thanks to a controversial facemask penalty against the Lions and then a crazy Hail Mary. I don't think that escape job will solve all of the problems that this team has had of late, but I think that Dallas's wacky win in Landover was even more fluky on Monday night. At home, the Packers will win it.
Packers 24 Cowboys 14

Patriots (10-2) vs. Texans (6-6) - NBC, 8:30
New England Patriots (1993 - 1999)Houston Texans (2002 - Pres)
The Patriots have now lost two in a row following a stunning home loss to the Eagles on Sunday and it is clear that the injuries that have ravaged the skill positions are having an impact. Now they get to go on the road to take on a Houston team that did come back to Earth with a loss in Orchard Park, but still has won their last three home games. Even then, there is no way the Pats and Tom Brady will lose three in a row, right?
Patriots 23 Texans 21

Monday, December 14th
Giants (5-7) vs. Dolphins (5-7) - ESPN, 8:30
New York Giants (2000 - Pres)Miami Dolphins (1997 - 2012)
Just when we thought that the Giants were done in the NFC East race after yet another fourth quarter collapse, a Washington loss is keeping them alive. It must be so good to be lucky, eh? Miami isn't really going anywhere and while they did win against a hobbled Ravens team, they still did not look very good while doing so. The superior club, and one with something to fight for, will come out on top.
Giants 19 Dolphins 13

4 comments:

  1. Hi Ben
    My LOTW was shot down in flames when the Eagles pecked the Pats to death but I am (fairly) confident the Jets will take heart from last week's comeback win and deflate the Titans.

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  2. I think as a fan of a team NOT in the NFC East want to see someone win it that's below .500 with a record at 7-9 for a second time in NFL history or maybe even 6-10 for the 1st time in league history ;)

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  3. Cowboys will upset the Packers on Sunday, take it to the bank. How About Them Cowboys! !

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  4. you picking against my team Ben what else is new

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