NFL Picks - Week 14

I swear I was going to get this all done last night, but my god damn commisioner didn’t get me the spreads until this afternoon. I’ll stop in later and give a rundown. Here’s a primer, just in case someone wants to jump in sooner.

Sunday Games
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay 12:00pm (Tampa Bay by 4)
Buffalo @ New England 12:00pm (New England by 4½)
Cincinnati @ Carolina 12:00pm (Carolina by 3½)
Cleveland @ Jacksonville 12:00pm (Jacksonville by 1½)
Houston @ Pittsburgh 12:00pm (Pittsburgh by 13½)
Indianapolis @ Tennessee 12:00pm (Tennessee by 2)
N.Y. Giants @ Washington 12:00pm (Washington by 2½)
San Francisco @ Dallas 12:00pm (San Francisco by 4½)
St. Louis @ Kansas City 12:00pm (Kansas City by 5)
Detroit @ Arizona 12:00pm (Arizona by 1½)
New Orleans @ Baltimore 3:05pm (New Orleans by 2½)
Philadelphia @ Seattle 3:05pm (Philadelphia by 3)
Denver @ N.Y. Jets 3:15pm (Denver by 1)
Oakland @ San Diego 3:15pm (Oakland by 3)
Minnesota @ Green Bay 7:30pm (Green Bay by 9½)

Monday Night Football
Chicago @ Miami 8:00pm (Miami by 9½)

OK, so i decided to go out tonite instead of this…does that make me a bad person? Yeah…well screw you!!! I’ll get it done tomorrow, I hope. Please rant and rave a little for me.

My only prediction…

There will be more players and staff on the field and sidelines at the Arizona-Detroit game than Arizona fans in the stands come 4th quarter.

Detroit will win this one.

Hey where the hell is everybody?

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay (Tampa Bay by 4)

Michael Vick goes to Tampa. This should be a defining game for the Buccaneers. The Bucs have a great defense, but there offense drags, not a good thing going against Vick and Co. I’m going with the high-powered offense on this one. Falcons upset the Bucs at home.

Cincinnati @ Carolina

I’ll take the Panthers to win and cover in this contest of bottom-feeders.

Houston @ Pittsburgh

Maddox will be leading the Steelers this Sunday against the Texans, not that it matters much; even Kordell should be able to pull off this victory at home. Steelers to win, but I think the Texans can do better than that nearly 14-point spread.

NYG @ Washington

With the way the Giants are playing, I’m not surprised the Redskins are favored. Still the Giants have an outside shot at still making it to the post season*, and need this game much more than Washington. So I’ll give it to the guys with the motivation to win one. Giants take one on the road.

*Yeah I know, they’d have to win all their final games, and have some unbelievable luck elsewhere in the league, but mathematically they’re still in it.

St. Louis @ Kansas City

Both teams have motivation to win this game, as both teams have to win all their remaining games to stay in contention. Unfortunately for St. Louis fans, they’re just too banged up to compete with KC at home. KC wins and covers.

Buffalo @ New England

The rematch; Again!! This is a must win for Buffalo and a must win for the Patriots. I’m going with the home team. NE wins and covers at home.

Cleveland @ JAX

One of these teams will be eliminated from playoff contention at the end of this game. Somehow I see the Browns taking one home for the fans, but don’t count on it. Browns upset.

Indy @ Tennessee

A win by either team gives them the division. Tennessee took the first game, so Manning and crew need to step up big in this game and pull out a win. That’s precisely why they’ll lose. Titans win and cover.

San Francisco @ Dallas

I only have one question about this game; that being how many points Dallas will score in the second half to pull within spitting distance of putting it into overtime :smack:. What? Is my frustration with the coaching staff of the Niners showing? Niners win and cover.

Detroit @ Arizona

Detroit’s already eliminated and they’ll eliminate Arizona. Enough bandwidth wasted here.

Denver @ NYJ

The Broncos will get blown out in this game…just kidding. I just had a mental image of pepperlandgirl’s head exploding :p. Broncos win and cover, but it should still be close.

Philly @ Seattle

Seattle can play spoilers in this game, and this is the one they’ll probably do it in. Seattle to upset and give their season some meaning; while screwing up the playoff picture in the NFC.

Oakland @ San Diego

This is the game that’ll show which of these teams is the actual powerhouse in the AFC West. This doesn’t bode well for the Raider Nation. The Raiders have yet to stop a good running attack and they face Tomlinson this week. San Diego won the first game and if they win this one, they’ll have a good chance at the AFC West title and the Raiders could be looking for a wildcard berth. Having said all that, I don’t know who to call in this game, the AFC West gives me heartburn every week.

New Orleans @ Baltimore

The Saints aren’t out of it, and a win here would keep them well in contention for a wild card berth. The Ravens need a win to keep form being mathematically eliminated. I’ll go with the odds-makers and take the Saints, but it’ll be a close thing.
Minnesota @ Green Bay

There’s no such thing as a gimme game between these teams, and the Vikings have the motivation of acting as spoilers in the NFC. But in Green Bay that’s as close to a gimme as you’ll get in these contests. Packers win and, Vikings cover.


Chicago @ Miami

All Miami, all the time. Miami wins and covers.

OK, lets see how many of these I can get done tonite. Sadly I wasn’t able to find time over the weekend, and now it seems likely that most of you won’t read much of this before game time and as such its probably moot. However, I do still need to make my picks tonite, and I’ll think out loud here.

Lots of pretty half-point spreads and off numbers, but its a really tough week of even matchups.

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay 12:00pm (Tampa Bay by 4)
Tough game to call. Tampa hasn’t had a very difficult schedule so far compared to alot of teams, but in the NFL anyone can win any week, so maybe that doesn’t indicate much. should say something that they’ve consistently wonthe games they are supposed to, can’t say that about many other teams. I’m starting to be sold on Vick. Its too soon to crown him king, and I think I recall similar rumblings after Randall Cunningham’s break out. He didn’t exactly end up owning the league. However, I do think Tampa’s defense is good enough to limit his big plays and confuse him downfield. Tampa’s offense has been a long ways from unstoppable and the Falcons have been hit or miss. I won’t be betting on this one, it could go either way, but for the sake of completeness I’ll pick the Bucs to win, Falcons cover.

Buffalo @ New England 12:00pm (New England by 4½)
Woohoo, this should be fun. While these teams have already played, its not nearly the same as when the game is in New England. It was big for the players in Buffalo, but in New England the fans will be into it and emotions will be stirred. I don’t expect another poor Bledsoe outing here, and the Buffalo defense has shown hints of life. Its gonna be close, and I think Buffalo is going to even the score. The game its critical to both squads, and I think the running game with be the difference maker. Bills in a upset.

Cincinnati @ Carolina 12:00pm (Carolina by 3½)
Couple of pigs here. I don’t really think that Cincy is going to lose out, they’ve got Dillon and a few talented guys, so eventually they will probably get enough breaks to win again. Peppers is out for the year now, but I’m not really sure how big of a factor that will be in the overall performance of the Panther D. However, I’ve got to imagine that the deal-breaker is the Cincy defense. Cincy has given up and are already researching for the #1 draft pick. This franchise is the type that might actually try for the worst record. Panthers win and cover, but it won’t be pretty.

Cleveland @ Jacksonville 12:00pm (Jacksonville by 1½)
Interesting article in the Sun Times about the state of Ohio football. Miami’s coaches against Marshall, OSU’s riots, U of Cincy’s brawl, the Bungles, and the unruly Cleveland Browns fans. Whew, ugly stuff for an entire state. Wonder if the Browns will pack it in, or if they’ll manage to somehow salvage some respect this season. They are still alive in the playoff hunt, and if Green continues to show signs and can really make them dangerous. The Jags are banged up, but shockingly Fred Taylor isn’t! Talentwise I’ve got to think the Jags are better, but they just haven’t shown it. Cleveland screwed me last week, and I’ll probably avoid staking anything on them from here on out. Just to illustrate how topsy-turvy the year has been, I’m taking them to win here in the upset.

Houston @ Pittsburgh 12:00pm (Pittsburgh by 13½)
Nearly 14? That seems high considering the QB situation in Pittsburgh. Maddox will start and probably have a short leash, Bettis will play. Houston has stayed in just about all of their games, with a few exceptions. No reason to think they’ll fall apart here, and Pitt has had trouble in the red zone. That looks to me like circumstances for a Steelers win and a Texan’s cover.

Indianapolis @ Tennessee 12:00pm (Tennessee by 2)
Before the season started this looked like it might be a marquee matchup. Then both teams sputtered, and it looked like it might be a pig. However, they’ve both scrapped and rallied. No one is really picking these guys as a powerhouse, but they’ll both probably be in the mix come playoff time. Tricky game to pick, both teams are awfully even, and I think that 2 point spread is solely based on home field. The Colts have been playing well on defense, as shocking as that sounds. And with McNair’s list of aches and pains, it could be a tough day for the Titans offense. I’m going to take the points and run, and pick Indy to edge out the Titans at home.

N.Y. Giants @ Washington 12:00pm (Washington by 2½)
The Giants have been impossible to pick this year. They seem to show up occasionally, and even when they don’t they find ways to mess up the spread. The thing I’m going to hang my hat on is all tehinjuries in the Giants defense. I think that Washington will score just enough at home to win this one, but I won’t be betting it.

San Francisco @ Dallas 12:00pm (San Francisco by 4½)
Another tough call. The 49ers are dinged up in alot of places and the Cowboys seem to be clicking on offense finally. I’m not sure I’m ready to pick this upset, but its tempting especially in Dallas. The Cowboys haven’t shown any consistency, and the 49ers have at least found ways to win the games they are supposed to, though they’ve look really iffy. I guess this will tell the tale if SF is a real player in the NFC picture. I’m going to guess that Dallas beats the spread, and that they upset them at home, though that last part is far from confident.

St. Louis @ Kansas City 12:00pm (Kansas City by 5)
I’ve been wondering to myself who’d I’d wather have to build a team around, Priest Holmes or LaDanian Tomlinson. I can’t decide, both are flat out awesome. Holmes stats are better, but LT seems to take over games a little better. Close race though, they both go 1-2 in most fantasy leagues next year. It makes me happy to say this, but the Rams are dead. If Bulger were starting, maybe i’d take them, but not Martin in KC. I don’t think KC will explode offensively here, St Louis’ D has been quietly effective. For some reason I think the Rams will be really feisty in this match up, and I’m tempted to pick them to cover, but the Chiefs just has so much more to play for at home. Chiefs win and cover, but it’ll be a game.

Detroit @ Arizona 12:00pm (Arizona by 1½)
Eh, who really cares about this one? The Lions are better than their record, thanks to Morningwood. Thats not a compliment, by the way. I haven’t watched an Arizona game yet this year, and as such can’t really speak intelligently. I have a feeling they might roll over. They won’t run, but the Lions will. If Harrington can manage to not turn the ball ovber, they win this one in the mild road upset. You know, the thought of Plummer in a Bears uniform doesn’t sound too bad.

I’ll try and get back with the late games in a bit.

Lets see if we can’t follw through here for once. First kickoff in 7 hours.

New Orleans @ Baltimore 3:05pm (New Orleans by 2½)
I’m really suprised that this spread is so low. Brooks and McAllister look to start I believe, and the B’more D hasn’t been the force it once was. They’ve lost alot of pieces, and besides Jamal Lewis they don’t have much in the way of consistency. They haven’t exactly blown the doors of anyone lately. New Orleans has also struggled and they’re coming off a big win, could be a let down game I suppose. However, all that said, I expect the Saints to come together and win here by plenty.

Philadelphia @ Seattle 3:05pm (Philadelphia by 3)
Just 3? Sorry, but the Seahawks aren’t scaring me that much here. Sure its on the road, and sure its AJ Feely. But I just don’t know that I really believe Seattle will be able to move the ball on them. I won’t be putting money on a 3rd string QB, but I won;t put money against the Eagles D. Eagles win and cover.

Denver @ N.Y. Jets 3:15pm (Denver by 1)
Where the hell did the Jets come from? Think the Broncos will get shredded on the ground again? I just don’t see it happening, but then again the Broncos are a completely different team on the road. Don’t forget, it looks like Greise and Sharpe will both be back here too. The Jets haven’t exactly been great on defense. I’m taking the Broncos to make a serious run at the AFC playoffs starting here. Broncos win and cover as much as I hate saying it.

Oakland @ San Diego 3:15pm (Oakland by 3)
I’m suprised the Raiders are favored in this game. I mean come on, its in San Diego and LT owned the Raiders last time they played. I’m expecting more of that here. The Raiders will score too, but just not quite enough to win. San Diego upsets the nursing home.

Minnesota @ Green Bay 7:30pm (Green Bay by 9½)
Hmm, this isn’t the cozy Metrodome, and Favre isn’t going to have happy fet on the tundra. 9½ points is a ton, especially in the cold. The Packers aren’t going to let down, they’ll win. The Vikings will be without TD machine Moe Williams, and Moss hasn’t shown a knack for playing in the cold. If Ahman Green plays and is at 100%, the Packers will roll and cover. If the running game struggles, then it’ll be tight and the Vikes lose, but cover.

Monday Night Football
Chicago @ Miami 8:00pm (Miami by 9½)
Do I really have to do this? Could I be more pissed at last weeks showing? Fiedler is back in, and the Bears running game is out. Ricky is going to have a field day if Urlacher sits, but I don;t think he’ll miss MNF. 9½ is alot of points, and the Bears have shown spunk, but I can’t see a scenario where they win here excepting a big injury to Miami. If Miami’s D is firing on all cylinders (like it probably will be) they’ll cover.

Well, here’s the **OMNI-**picks.

Not feeling real good about them, almost took the Eagles, Chargers and Dolphins instead of the Bills. Hell, I still might change 'em. The rest I feel good about

Buffalo +4.5
Indianapolis +2.0
Detroit +1.5
New Orleans -2.5
Denver -1.0

Its so stressful!

Bandwagon picks (this week’s theme: It’s the most wonderful time of the year…when it’s late in the season but not quite crunch time, and we still don’t have any idea who’s actually going to make the playoffs, so I’m just going with the winners, which, come to think of it, really make these bandwagon picks):

1. Eagles
I enjoy watching Michael Vick as much as anyone else, but isn’t it great to have a team that shows that you need more than a quarterback to win? Seahawks are, and always will be, Seahawks; no reason to think they’ll steup up here.

2. Packers
Revenge! Okay, it “means nothing” at this point, but don’t doubt for a second that the Pack is pumped to win this one. (Gee, Vikes fans, guess it wasn’t all the old coach’s fault after all…)

3. Broncos
Cuz. I gotta root for them again at some point. Plus they deserve it more.

4. Steelers
Finally pulling it together, and with a kicker who isn’t a chump to boot. C’mon, Steeltown, lock it up already!

5. Browns
Long overdue for some good news. A playoff spot is a good place to start.

Top 10 standings:

  1. 17 - Bills, Eagles
  2. 14.5 - Buccaneers, Packers
  3. 12 - Dolphins
  4. 11 - Panthers, Steelers
  5. 10 - 49ers, Cardinals
  6. 8 - Broncos

Still pretty tight at this late stage. Just goes to show you what kind of season it’s been, I guess.

OK, I think that might be the most shocking stat I’ve ever seen:

Houston 47 total yards
Pittsburgh 442 total yards

Houston 10 yards passing
Pittsburgh 294 yards passing

Final score:
Houston 24
Pittsburgh 6


Too bad Houston’s defense is a free agent in the fantasy league, wonder who’s gonna pick them up today.

Yeah, possibly the most lopsided yardage/score thing in the history of the NFL.

Well, its the lowest yardage total for a team that won. I’m curious where it rates in the list of lowest totals all time.

Well, not only that, but if you can figure in the fact that they won by a score of something like 4:1…

Er, factor it in.