Turkey Guy's Week 14 Picks
Last week I went 11-5, missing on the Redskins, Bears, Lions, Falcons, and Eagles. In my defense two of those could have gone either way. Oh well. That brings my overall record this year to 123-68, assuming I didn't miss any games this year (or miscount, also possible). There's some big games this week, which isn't a big surprise since its the end of the year. It's kind of tough to have big game in Week 1. Anyway, here's the picks:
Saints (9-3) at Falcons (7-5): A big game for Thursday Night, not only within the division, but outside as well. The Falcons are fighting for their playoff lives while the Saints are trying to hold down the NFC South crown. Games between these two are usually pretty good, which isn't surprising since you have Drew Brees on one side and Matt Ryan on the other. The key is whether or not the Falcons can contain Alvin Kamara, who I stupidly released from my fantasy team in Week 1. Yep. Anyway, I usually go with the home team on TNF, because playing 2 games in 5 days puts so much extra strain on the visiting team. Plus, Atlanta has more at stake and is at home.
FALCONS 35 Saints 31
Lions (6-6) at Buccaneers (4-8): Who knows how well Matt Stafford will play with his injured hand. If he plays at his normal level, or close to his normal level, the Lions should win by 10+ But if Stafford's hand bothers him too much, the Bucs may squeak out a win. Detroit lives and dies on the right arm of Matt Stafford, and while I anticipate a sloppy game, I don't think he'll be so ineffective that the Bucs win.
LIONS 22 Bucs 14
Cowboys (6-6) at Giants (2-10): Don't let Dallas' big win over the Redskins fool you, they're done for the year, while the Giants have been done for a long time. Not only that, but they have an interim head coach who has put Eli back in the lineup. Not much to see here, the Cowboys should win mostly because of how ineffective NY's offense is, how much drama is going on in the BIg Apple.
COWBOYS 24 Giants 16
49ers (2-10) at Texans (4-8): The 49ers got their second win of the season last week while the Texans lost to the Titans. I don't really have much analysis here, other than San Fran is still playing for something while Houston isn't. The Texans pretty much gave up on the season when Watson went down, much like Oakland did wit Carr last year, and the 49ers want to keep the Jimmy G train chugging along. Because of that, Niners win.
49ERS 17 Texans 14
Raiders (6-6) at Chiefs (6-6): Two months ago if you would have told me this week's game would be a huge divisional game, I would have laughed at you. But a KC collapse later and here we are. I like to believe the Monday Night game where the Raiders were given 10 tries by the refs to win the game started the KC Collapse, because they seemed to lose some mojo after that game. On paper this should be KC all the way (better offense, better defense, homefield advantage) but with the way they've been playing it'll be close, probably too close.
CHIEFS 27 Raiders 25
Vikings (10-2) at Panthers (8-4): I put the Vikings at #1 this week, which means they'll probably lose in Charlotte. But they've beaten contenders week after week this year (Saints, Rams, Falcons) so what's one more? Meanwhile the Panthers are fake good, as in, they've only beaten one good team all year (Patriots). Just watch, as soon as the Minnesota defense starts beating on Cam Newton, he'll throw temper tantrum followed by 3 INTs. Bank on it.
VIKINGS 30 Panthers 17
Packers (6-6) at Browns (0-12): If there is a week for Cleveland to get a win, it is this week. The Pack are still stuck with Hundley, who is okay at times and bad at others. At the same time, the Packers are still somehow still in the playoff hunt despite losing Rodgers months ago, and probably only need one more week before A-Rod returns. On a personnel level, the Packers obviously are still the better team, but so were the Chargers last year when they lost to the winless Browns. THIS IS YOUR WEEK CLEVELAND, I (don't really) BELIEVE IN YOU!
BROWNS 13 Packers 9
Bears (3-9) at Bengals (5-7): John Fox is done in Chicago, or at least he should be. Honestly, never understood why the guy was so highly regarded. He's like a less-celebrated Jeff Fisher (hell, they have the same initials). The Bengals also have a head coach that probably coaching his last season in Cincy, especially after yet another meltdown against the Steelers in primetime. Honestly, does either team really want to win this game?
BENGALS 21 Bears 14
Colts (3-9) at Bills (6-6): Both were beaten soundly by division rivals last week, although only one still has a shot at the postseason. I wouldn't be surprised if the Colts ended that dream for Buffalo this week, but at the same time, I don't see Indy putting up much of a fight. After coming close so many weeks in a row (3 losses by 8 points combined) they decided it wasn't worth the fight anymore.
BILLS 20 Colts 10
Redskins (5-7) at Chargers (6-6): So spoiler alert, I've always liked the Chargers. Because of that, and because my team (Miami) isn't going anywhere, I'm rooting for San Dieg-Angeles pretty hard. Also, I'm waiting for them to slip up, because one more loss will probably doom them this year. While I still think the Chargers win based on being better in every facet of the game, the Redskins most years are pretty good at playing the spoiler.
CHARGERS 23 Redskins 22
Jets (5-7) at Broncos (3-9): Not much to say here. As long as the Broncos have Vance Joseph as their head coach, they'll lose.
JETS 37 Broncos 13
Titans (8-4) at Cardinals (5-7): I've watched both teams play a couple times this year, and I don't have much to say other than the Titans put me to sleep and the Cardinals make me sad. Larry Fitzgerald is one of the greatest WRs ever and he's wasted his whole career in the desert. I get loyalty and respect the hell out of it, but damn.
TITANS 27 Cardinals 18
Seahawks (8-4) at Jaguars (8-4): I think a lot of people are wondering whether the Jags are for real, and it's a valid question. After all, they play in the traditionally terrible AFC South, they are the Jags, and Blake Bortles is their QB. This week should sway us one way or the other, because the Seahawks are on fire right now and Russell Wilson should get more MVP talk (seriously, dude is their whole team). Here's the thing, I usually don't trust Seattle on the road, especially when they go to the East Coast. If they played in Seattle I'd say "sure, them" but for whatever reason, the Seahawks (and many other WC teams) struggle playing in the eastern time zone, like last year against Tampa where they couldn't even score a TD. Methinks much of the same, though the Seahawks will get a Bortles authored pick six.
JAGUARS 29 Seahawks 16
Eagles (10-2) at Rams (9-3): This very well could be the NFC Championship game in a month, as both teams are having great seasons. The Eagles just lost their second game of the season last week to the Seahawks, and looked out of sorts in the process, whereas the Rams have been crushing it since losing the Vikings. I'm thinking lots of points in this one, not as an indictment of the defenses, but out of respect for the offenses. Plus the NFL is gonna want lots of points in this one, so don't be surprised if the refs throw some bullshit penalties to keep drives alive. RAMS 33 Eagles 31
Ravens (7-5) at Steelers (10-2): There's plenty of rivalries in the NFL, but I can't think of one that has been going on consistently for as long as this one has where the games actually matter. Steelers/Ravens bouts are usually hardnosed, down to the wire affairs, and although Pittsburgh has the division all but locked up, there is still plenty at stake here with playoff seedings. Here's the thing, I think the Ravens defense is going to rattle Big Ben and stop LeVeon, but will Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense put the game away? That's the question, and I say "maybe?" RAVENS 21 Steelers 19
Patriots (10-2) at Dolphins (5-7): Historically Belichick and Brady have trouble playing in Miami, especially late in the season, but there's a lot of reasons to take the Patriots Monday Night. Better offense. Better defense. Better coach. Better Special Teams. Miami is also terrible in primetime, whereas the Pats are the Pats. But there is one awesome, undeniable reason why anyone would pick Miami to beat the Patriots in this particular game: pure, unadulterated bias.
DOLPHINS 27 Patriots 24