PFT’s Week 14 picks

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It wasn’t as bad a week as some of the weeks we had earlier in the year, but 10-6 from MDS and 9-7 from yours truly was more “meh” than magnificent.

This week, we disagree on a pair of games.  And as I cling to a two-game margin, it could go away this weekend, sparking a three-week, dead-heat sprint to the 2014 PFT picks championship.

For the year, I’m at 125-67 (65.1 percent).  MDS has moved to 123-69 (64.0 percent).  To see our picks for all 16 games for the weekend, start reading.  Or keep reading.  Or just scroll and look for the scores.

Cowboys at Bears

MDS’s take: Are the Cowboys going into a late-season collapse?  Despite their ugly showing on Thanksgiving, I don’t think so.  Dallas’s offensive line should control this game against a mediocre Chicago defensive front, and the Cowboys will get back on track.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 24, Bears 21.

Florio’s take:  Last year, the Bears blew out the Cowboys in prime time at Soldier Field.  This year, the Bears are having a harder time scoring points — and the Cowboys desperately need to get their ninth win, avoiding yet another possible 8-8 finish to the season.  With Tony Romo rested and the Bears simply not very good, it’s time for the Cowboys to ensure a winning season.  Finally.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 30, Bears 20.

Steelers at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Bengals have taken control of the AFC North, but the Steelers still have a chance to surpass them. Pittsburgh is so inconsistent, however, that I think I have to take Cincinnati in this one.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 20, Steelers 16.

Florio’s take:   The last time the Bengals were at home, they lost badly to the Browns.  Since then, Cincinnati has won three in a row on the road.  It’s time for a correction, especially with the Steelers feeling their season slipping away.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 27, Bengals 24.

Colts at Browns

MDS’s take: The choice between Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel is less important than the fact that neither can hold a candle to Andrew Luck.  The Colts will put up a lot of points and win comfortably in Cleveland.

MDS’s pick: Colts 35, Browns 20.

Florio’s take:  Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel, both, or neither, the Browns currently don’t have the defense to keep the high-powered Indy passing attack under control.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 30, Browns 23.

Buccaneers at Lions

MDS’s take: Could the Lions collapse again this year like they did last year?  I don’t think so.  Detroit will make a statement that it’s a real contender with a big win over Tampa Bay.

MDS’s pick: Lions 38, Buccaneers 14.

Florio’s take:  The Bucs’ unlikely playoff dream likely died last week when Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis produced his reg flag in the nick of time.  The Lions’ playoff dream remains realistic.  With Reggie Bush potentially back and Calvin Johnson back to being Megatron, it’s time for Detroit to make their final push.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 34, Buccaneers 20.

Texans at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The Jaguars showed a lot of fight in coming back to beat the Giants, and I could see Jacksonville having a bit of a late-season run like it had last season, when the Jaguars played their best football down the stretch.  But the Texans’ defensive front is going to be too good for the Jaguars’ shaky offensive line.

MDS’s pick: Texans 20, Jaguars 10.

Florio’s take:   The Jags have shown they still have some fight, but the Texans are making one last push for the postseason.  They won’t make it, but they’ll make it above .500 this weekend.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 27, Jaguars 20.

Ravens at Dolphins

MDS’s take: This is a big game in the AFC playoff race, and it’s a game I like the Dolphins to win on the strength of their pass defense, which is going to force Joe Flacco into a couple of interceptions and win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 16, Ravens 13.

Florio’s take:  It’s been easy to doubt the Dolphins this year.  But they continue to defy critics, at least when they’re not giving critics more ammunition.  This week, the critics will see a more accomplished Ravens team rolling into town and knocking Miami toward playoff oblivion.  For a change, I’ll break ranks and rely on the team that blasted the Chargers when it had the chance, against the team that recently found a way to lose to San Diego.

Florio’s pick:  Dolphins 27, Ravens 21.

Jets at Vikings

MDS’s take: I liked the Jets’ run-heavy offensive game plan on Monday night, but I don’t think it will work as well the second time around, now that Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has a week to prepare for it. The Jets won’t put many points on the board Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 13, Jets 6.

Florio’s take:  Teddy Bridgewater already is better than Geno Smith will ever be.  And the Vikings have shown an ability to win the games they should.

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 27, Jets 13.

Panthers at Saints

MDS’s take: The NFC South has turned into a two-horse race, with the Panthers fading down the stretch. The Saints should win at home and end any hope Carolina had of winning the division.

MDS’s pick: Saints 31, Panthers 14.

Florio’s take:  The Saints somehow has lost three games in a row at home.  None of those opponents, however, were as bad as the Panthers currently are.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 33, Panthers 16.

Giants at Titans

MDS’s take: The Giants are really bad, but the Titans are even worse. I’ll take the Giants to win and the fans stuck watching this game to lose.

MDS’s pick: Giants 16, Titans 12.

Florio’s take:  The Giants continue their AFC South tour.  If they can’t beat the Titans, co-owner Steve Tisch may have to accelerate his timetable for evaluating the coaching staff.  Again.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 24, Titans 13.

Rams at Washington

MDS’s take: The Rams are playing excellent football right now, while Washington is cratering. I’ll pick the Rams to win another blowout.

MDS’s pick: Rams 27, Washington 10.

Florio’s take:  St. Louis has developed an ability to beat non-contenders to go along with its ability to beat contenders.  Washington isn’t a contender.

Florio’s pick:  Rams 27, Washington 17.

Chiefs at Cardinals

MDS’s take: This is a huge game for both teams. In Arizona, a loss would raise real questions about whether the Cardinals can avoid a downward spiral all the way out of the playoffs. In Kansas City, a loss could be a death blow to their wild card hopes. It’s hard to get a read on this one, but I have a little more faith in Alex Smith than in Drew Stanton, and that’s why I’ll go with the Chiefs.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 24, Cardinals 21.

Florio’s take:  Both teams have lost two in a row.  Both teams desperately need to turn things around.  Injuries finally have caught up with the Cardinals, and the rest of the league has caught up with Drew Stanton.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 27, Cardinals 17.

Bills at Broncos

MDS’s take: The thing I like about the way the Broncos are playing right now is that they can win with defense and the running game: Peyton Manning doesn’t need a big game for Denver to win. On Sunday, I expect the Bills’ great front four to pressure Manning all day, but the Broncos to win anyway, thanks to the defense and the running attack.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 28, Bills 20.

Florio’s take:  Kyle Orton returns to Denver, after Tebowmania gave way to Peyton Manning.  The Broncos are simply better in every phase of the game.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 42, Bills 20.

49ers at Raiders

MDS’s take: Things aren’t looking good for the 49ers right now, but nothing cures a slump like facing the Raiders. The 49ers will cruise to an easy win.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 28, Raiders 7.

Florio’s take:  Jim Harbaugh gets an early look at the stadium he could be calling home in 2015.  Hopefully he likes raw sewage and dead rats.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 34, Raiders 17.

Seahawks at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Seahawks are finally playing the kind of football we’ve been waiting to see them play, but winning in Philadelphia is a tall order. I like the Eagles to take this one.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 24, Seahawks 20.

Florio’s take:  Pete Carroll knows Mark Sanchez well enough to outscore him.  Sure, the Eagles looked great in Dallas.  But the Seahawks have looked even better in their last two games.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 30, Eagles 27.

Patriots at Chargers

MDS’s take: This is a great game between a team that earned a hard-fought win last week and a team that suffered a hard-fought loss last week. The Chargers are in control in the AFC wild card race, but their schedule is so tough that I just don’t see them making the playoffs. A loss to the Patriots will be the first loss in what is going to be a disappointing December in San Diego.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 28, Chargers 21.

Florio’s take:  The Chargers once went 32 years without beating the Patriots.  Currently, it’s been six years.  The streak will move to seven as the Pats get past last Sunday’s disappointing loss at Green Bay.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 34, Chargers 21.

Falcons at Packers

MDS’s take: The Falcons had an impressive win over the Cardinals last week, but the way the Packers are rolling right now, I wouldn’t pick anyone to beat them at Lambeau Field.

MDS’s pick: Packers 31, Falcons 17.

Florio’s take:  Four years ago, the Packers rolled into the Georgia Dome and blasted the top-seeded Falcons in the playoffs.  So this is Atlanta’s chance . . . to endure a similar outcome at Lambeau Field.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 48, Falcons 20.

62 responses to “PFT’s Week 14 picks

  1. Falcons and Packers will be closer than anyone thinks with the Falcons even having a chance to beat the Pack. Falcons offense will light up Greenbay. This will not be a route by any means!!

  2. Its not that hard to figure out… Steelers play a good team, they win. A bad team, they lose.

    I actually don’t believe that because I think the Saints are a better team than their record indicates but for the most part its true.

    Steelers have a hard time getting up for some games. This one against a division rival with their playoff hopes on the line isn’t one of them.

    Steelers 35-20

  3. I hope you guys are right about my niners finally putting some damn points up, but I feel like I’ll have to see it to believe it. Even against the lowly raiders. :/

  4. I actually think that the Charges can beat the Patriots on Sunday. For some reason the Charges play good against good teams and suck agains average teams.

  5. Buffalo will lose, without a doubt. But Florio, you give no respect to their defense. Their front 4 is disgustingly good and will not give up 42 points. The Broncos are not better in every phase- the Bills have a much, much better defense. Unfortunately for them the Broncos have Peyton, who’s better than any defense.

    Broncos 31 Bills 20

  6. I disagree that the Broncos are better than Buffalo in every phase of the game. Buffalo defense might be the best in the league right now, but the multi-faceted offensive attack that CJ Anderson allows Denver to employ will be too much for Buffalo to overcome and they will win.

  7. The Seahawks are going to skunk the Eagles on Sunday.

    The only time the Vikings have ever defeated the Jets was 1975, and the quarterbacks were Joe Namath and Fran Tarkenton. Win #2 in this series for the Vikings comes on Sunday.

  8. Wouldn’t surprise me to see the St. Louis team beat the Redskins by more than that this week. St. Louis is playing well right now. Apparently they needed the spark from the QB coming back from his injury.

  9. The Bucs will give the Lions a run for their money, and may pull off the upset.

    The Vikings are so hard to predict, looking like one of the worst teams in the league on some days, and looking like the absolute worst team in the league on others; so you can’t really count out the Jets in this game.

    The Packers at home haven’t lost this year.

    Rodgers should begin claiming the December Offensive Player of the Month on Monday Night.

  10. Rivers has an 86% win record in Dec / Jan…if you think he’s going 0-4 to miss playoffs you’re insane….9ers are struggling, KC isn’t what they were and SD could steal a game against NE or Den

  11. About that one Chargers win vs. New England in the past 48 years:

    It was during the Matt Cassell season.

  12. Seahawks and Eagles will be a great game. Either team’s defense will dominate the other team’s offense. Saying that, Eagles squeak out a win because the are at home and on the strength of their special teams.

  13. Hawks are 3-0 vs the 3 teams that beat the Eagles.

    Eagles defense <<>> SF or Cardinals.

    Eagles will score more than 3 – say 17 or so.

    Hawks will score more than 19, say 24 or so.

    24-17 Hawks.

  14. I don’t think San Diego will beat New England this weekend, but I do think it will be a very good game. Both teams have a lot to play for, if SD wins then they’re in the drivers seat for the 5th seed, and NE is still fighting for home field advantage throughout. Also, if you think San Diego will lose 4 straight you’re out of your mind. If they go 2-2 they will make the playoffs, which isn’t something that’s out of question. Go Bolts!

  15. higheriqthanyou says:
    Dec 4, 2014 11:59 AM
    Hawks are 3-0 vs the 3 teams that beat the Eagles.

    Eagles defense <> SF or Cardinals.

    Eagles will score more than 3 – say 17 or so.

    Hawks will score more than 19, say 24 or so.

    24-17 Hawks.
    Guess we will just ignore the fact that the Eagles played the 49ers down 3 starting O linemen and down 2 starting O linemen against the Cardinals, on the road, and across country. Guess we can just ignore thoes facts huh?

  16. Rams at REDSKINS

    The Rams are playing pretty well but I don’t expect them to be able to run the ball as effectively against the REDSKINS defense as they did last week. We’ll have to see how McCoy plays for the REDSKINS this week. The REDSKINS offense got off to a slow start, but lit it up through the air in the second half last week. The REDSKINS also have some weapons in Garcon, Reed and Morris even if Desean Jackson doesn’t play. The Rams-REDSKINS game should actually be pretty entertaining, and I think the REDSKINS will put up a fight.

  17. darkneptune73 says:
    Dec 4, 2014 12:23 PM
    Bridgewater > Geno Smith

    Prove me wrong.


    Can’t. Also can’t prove Bridgewater < Geno Smith.

    That's minnesotas problem.

  18. higheriqthanyou says:
    Dec 4, 2014 11:59 AM
    Hawks are 3-0 vs the 3 teams that beat the Eagles.

    Eagles defense <> SF or Cardinals.

    Eagles will score more than 3 – say 17 or so.

    Hawks will score more than 19, say 24 or so.

    24-17 Hawks.

    Interestingly enough, The Eagles beat both teams they played that Seattle lost to. Cowboys and Rams.

  19. Steelers vs Bengals will be fun to watch but, I gotta go with the Bengals to beat the Steelers. Also, I don’t think the Bears have lost to the Cowboys in the Cutler era so I’m going to go out on a limb and say Chicago pulls off the upset. I am nervous about the Dolphins vs Ravens and the Patriots vs Chargers games as those could go either way. Go Pats!

  20. Don’t wanna get ahead of myself here but I will. Miami gets the w and sd bests ne. I believe that means week 15 miami -ne is for Afc east crown. Who woulda thought all you dolphin haters????????phins up

  21. hartcarluncarlunm, base on what fantasy? The Falcons beat a Cardinals team at home that has no offense. The Falcons have been pathetic all year, what makes you think that dome team is going to do in Lambeau Field what the Patriots couldn’t do? Only if the Packers completely take it for granted, which they will not. The Packers may score over fifty again this week against the 32nd ranked defense in the league.

  22. Interestingly enough, The Eagles beat both teams they played that Seattle lost to. Cowboys and Rams.


    What’s even more interesting, the Hawks straight up blew out ALL the teams Philly has lost to. And those defenses weren’t even comparable to Seattle’s. If you can’t get by AZ or SF…you sure as crap aren’t beating the Seahawks.

  23. I have a call out to Elias Sports Bureau to see if this is true, but did the NY Giants lose to Jacksonville last week?

    I’ll let you know when I get a response. For those of you who may already know, I apologize, but you can see my predicament with all the other games distracting me.

  24. Baltimore and Pittsburgh continue their slide to the basement of the AFC North this Sunday.

    The Bengals win this week, but follow that with three straight losses.

    The Cleveland Browns smash the Colts this week, and win out the season and head into the playoffs, as the sole representative of the mighty AFC North.


  25. The view from the Chargers fan:

    Ravens @ Dolphins. Either way it helps the Chargers. If Ravens lose they are out for good. The Dolphins are the team that gives me the most worries because they have an easier final four when compared to other AFC teams in the wild card race. We would rather the Dolphins lose. If they do, they are not out for good, but it helps.

    Chiefs @ Cards. Chiefs lose, they are out of the playoff hunt for good. The Chiefs lost to Raiders, then Denver basically “played” with them. Something tells me KC wins one more game this year, and that is against the Raiders.

    Steelers @ Bengals. Once Bengals are not the AFC N champs, they are probably out of the playoff race for good. The Chargers want Bengals to lose here because it removes the Steelers from the playoff hunt and puts the Bengals down too many spots to matter.

    Pats @ Chargers. What can I say except to mention “December Rivers”. Chargers can win this one, and of course we would like them to, but it isn’t the end if they don’t. Over/under for the game could top 80 points. I just hope the Chargers can hang with the team I think will eventually be the AFC champs.

  26. As an Oregon alum I’m a huge fan of Chip Kelly, but I see about eight sacks in three quarters turning Sanchez into the same quivering mass of ineptitude he was in NYC. Blowout for the Hawks.

  27. Interestingly enough, The Eagles beat both teams they played that Seattle lost to. Cowboys and Rams.


    What’s even more interesting, the Hawks straight up blew out ALL the teams Philly has lost to. And those defenses weren’t even comparable to Seattle’s. If you can’t get by AZ or SF…you sure as crap aren’t beating the Seahawks.


    Damn, someone from the Cowboys and Rams did not get this memo from this Seahawks comment. They probably have front office people right now going “Oh wait, we were supposed to lose to Seattle because we couldn’t beat the Cardinals or 49ers. Sorry Seattle, we’ll make sure we lie down for you the next time. Philly, make sure you guys don’t offend those Seattle fans. Also Philly, you can lie down for this one and still make the playoffs. That poor little Seattle team needs this much more than you.”

  28. Where’s all the loud mouth blow hard bungle fans NOW!!!! Huh? where are all you losers, i told you the score would be 42-17 and i was damn close…when will the cinci fans realize that we Steelers are on a whole other might get there some day, who knows…maybe next year….or not……..

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