PFT’s Week 14 picks

AP

The tie has been broken. Unfortunately.

Last week, MDS got lucky with the Packers over the Lions and I didn’t get as lucky as I should have with the Saints over the Panthers and I foolishly trusted the Raiders over the Chiefs. He’s now up three with four weeks to go.

The good news is we disagree on three more games this week, which gives me a chance to tie things up. The bad news is that there’s a chance I’ll be down six soon.

For the year, MDS is at 122-70 (63.5 percent), and I’m at 119-73 (61.9 percent).

For this week’s picks, keep reading.

Vikings at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Vikings are probably going to make the playoffs, but I think they’re trending in the wrong direction. The Cardinals, however, may just be the best team in the NFC, the Panthers’ undefeated record notwithstanding. Arizona should win this one comfortably.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 31, Vikings 17.

Florio’s take: The Seahawks exposed the Vikings on Sunday. The Cardinals will expose them even more. And it doesn’t help that four starters are missing on defense.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 41, Vikings 13.

Falcons at Panthers

MDS’s take: A couple months ago, the two late-season Falcons-Panthers games looked like they’d be two of the marquee games of the year. Instead, the Falcons have gone into free-fall, and this looks like a blowout.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 35, Falcons 20.

Florio’s take: This game would have been a lot more compelling if played when both teams were 5-0. Now? Not.

Florio’s pick: Panthers 24, Falcons 14.

Washington at Bears

MDS’s take: Washington has played some ugly football on the road this year (and at home on Monday night) and I see that continuing in Chicago on Sunday. Someone has to win the NFC East, but Washington looks like it’s poised to botch a golden opportunity.

MDS’s pick: Bears 27, Washington 24.

Florio’s take: Washington is 0-5 on the road. Make that 0-6.

Florio’s pick: Bears 24, Washington 17.

Steelers at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Steelers look to me like they’re poised to become the best team that misses the playoffs. A Cincinnati win will make it that much harder for Pittsburgh to reach the postseason.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 24, Steelers 17.

Florio’s take: It’s a key game for both teams, but for reasons unrelated to the AFC North crown. The Steelers’ offense is more diverse than it was when they last met, and the Cincinnati defense is a bit banged up. Since they may not cross paths in the postseason, let’s give the edge to the team that needs the win in order to even qualify for the playoffs.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 24, Bengals 21.

49ers at Browns

MDS’s take: Johnny Manziel vs. Blaine Gabbert. Can you feel the excitement? I think Johnny Football will make a couple big plays with his legs and a couple big plays with his arm, and that should be enough.

MDS’s pick: Browns 21, 49ers 20.

Florio’s take: Eric Mangini returns to Cleveland, with a team that just stole a win in Chicago against a much better Bears team. Johnny Manziel or not, the Browns simply aren’t good enough, and the dysfunction the organization once again is displaying will make it hard to win another game this year. The good news is that they’ll finally be able to screw up another No. 1 overall draft pick.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 20, Browns 13.

Colts at Jaguars

MDS’s take: A 40-year-old backup quarterback isn’t going to keep playing at a high level forever, and the Colts found that out the hard way last week in Pittsburgh. I think it’ll happen again on Sunday in Jacksonville.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 24, Colts 14.

Florio’s take: The Jaguars have slid out of contention in the AFC South, but they’re not dead yet. And they could be good enough to finish what they started earlier this year, when the Jaguars nearly beat the Colts in Indianapolis.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 27, Colts 21.

Chargers at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Chiefs are playing some of the best football in the league right now, and the Chargers are playing some of the worst. This should be easy.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 42, Chargers 17.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs, winners of six in a row, won’t be losing to a Chargers team that has fallen apart as the season has gone on.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 30, Chargers 20.

Titans at Jets

MDS’s take: Marcus Mariota’s development has been impressive this season, but the Jets’ defense is going to give him a lot of trouble. The Jets should win this one comfortably.

MDS’s pick: Jets 34, Titans 21.

Florio’s take: It’s a trap game for the Jets, like the one they nearly blew to the Jaguars earlier this year. It would be fitting if the Jets find a way to blow it, but with a playoff berth within their grasp, they should be able to beat a team that is inferior at every position — except perhaps the most important position on the field.

Florio’s pick: Jets 27, Titans 20.

Bills at Eagles

MDS’s take: Are the Eagles the team that got blown out in back-to-back weeks by the Buccaneers and Lions, or the team that won at New England? I’m going to bet that last week’s win was an anomaly, and the Eagles will be back to their losing ways on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Bills 20, Eagles 17.

Florio’s take: LeSean McCoy returns to Philadelphia, and coach Rex Ryan loves to indulge players with a chip on their shoulders. McCoy undoubtedly will be a captain for the game, and he surely will be a major part of the game plan. If the Eagles can shut him down, the Eagles can win the game.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 27, Bills 23.

Lions at Rams

MDS’s take: Neither of these teams is going anywhere, but the Lions have been showing more fight than the Rams, so I’ll go with Detroit in a game you won’t want to watch.

MDS’s pick: Lions 14, Rams 13.

Florio’s take: The Rams are closing in on a potential departure from St. Louis. The Lions are trying to recover from one of their most deflating regular-season losses in years. Most importantly, Detroit currently is the better team.

Florio’s pick: Lions 24, Rams 20.

Saints at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: It’s mid-December, and the Bucs are right in the thick of the NFC playoff race. That’s a credit to Lovie Smith’s ability to get his defense going, and Jameis Winston’s development. I expect Winston to have a big game against a bad Saints defense.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Saints 20.

Florio’s take: The Bucs beat the Saints in New Orleans, and it won’t be easy for the Saints to recover from nearly knocking off the Panthers. Especially with the Bucs looking at a potential playoff berth.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 30, Saints 24.

Raiders at Broncos

MDS’s take: The Raiders have the better young quarterback in the Derek Carr vs. Brock Osweiler matchup, but the Broncos have the better defense, and that’s why they’ll win this game.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 20, Raiders 10.

Florio’s take: This will be the only apples-to-apples comparison between Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. Manning beat the Raiders, but played poorly. Osweiler could move another step toward keeping the job by beating the Raiders, and playing well.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 31, Raiders 21.

Cowboys at Packers

MDS’s take: Give the Cowboys credit for finding a way to win ugly in Washington, but they won’t be able to do it in Green Bay.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Cowboys 13.

Florio’s take: The Packers dodged a cannonball last Thursday night, and they should be able to close out the season with another division title, especially against a Cowboys team that lucked into a Monday night win in Washington.

Florio’s pick: Packers 28, Cowboys 17.

Seahawks at Ravens

MDS’s take: The Seahawks’ offense is playing some excellent football with Russell Wilson’s passing and Thomas Rawls’ rushing. They shouldn’t have much trouble beating Baltimore.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 35, Ravens 14.

Florio’s take: Question . . . Matt Schaub or Jimmy Clausen? Answer . . . Does it matter?

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 27, Ravens 9.

Patriots at Texans

MDS’s take: The injuries to Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman have made Tom Brady look human, but on Sunday Bill Belichick should have a good game plan to stop Brian Hoyer, and the Patriots should win a close one.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 23, Texans 17.

Florio’s take: Whether Bill Belichick was outcoached or simply outcoached himself against the Eagles, Belichick won’t let it happen again — especially against a former Belichick assistant and in prime time.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 27, Texans 20.

Giants at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The Giants have found a way to lose games they should have won so many times this year that I can’t be confident picking them. But I will pick them, in a close game that they somehow don’t throw away late.

MDS’s pick: Giants 17, Dolphins 16.

Florio’s take: Eventually, Tom Coughlin may be retiring in Florida. His retirement (or otherwise) could be hastened in Florida. Assuming they can hold a fourth-quarter lead (which could be a stretch), the Giants should be able to outscore the Dolphins.

Florio’s pick: Giants 23, Dolphins 16.

60 responses to “PFT’s Week 14 picks

  1. Florio’s take: This game would have been a lot more compelling if played when both teams were 5-0. Now? Not.
    ……………..
    Well done on the subtle Seinfeld reference there, Florio. Love it.

  2. McCoy smokes the Eagles defense for 150 on the ground and 50 in the air. Eagles are going DOWN!!!!

  3. The Raiders have the better young quarterback in the Derek Carr vs. Brock Osweiler matchup,
    …………………
    Whole heartedly disagree with that

  4. slvrnblk72 says:
    Dec 10, 2015 10:40 AM
    Raiders 27 Denver 17..guaranteed..book it.. do it.. now

    Never listen to kids that end with ” book it”, or “just sayin”.

  5. The Eagles are not beating the Bills. Winning a game by getting 2 special teams TDs and a defensive TD is a complete fluke. The Bills have the better QB, RB, WRs, TE, and defense.

    Bills 34-20.

  6. This week’s game really worries me as a Bills fan. Rex has been silly and relaxed in press conferences, Shady story is taking up way too much press time. It’s a game on paper they should win. They need to win to stay in the race. With everything considered how it’s gone this year, and every year for the Bills, this is the perfect week for them to blow it in heartbreaking & painful fashion.

  7. Uh…Belichick outcoached himself with that stupid on-side kick…punt..whatever debacle. He couldn’t make up his mind what to do with the ball at the end of the first half and the special teams were horrid and Brady just forced too much.

    There are at least five plays from the Eagles game that when they happened I absolutely shook my head. I’m used to that many in a year with this team.

    Let’s start by playing good fundamental football and making good decisions. Geez…I can’t believe I’m writing this…

  8. The Niners will win in Cleveland. And I saw a mistake that I’ll correct for you: you left out “Redskins” after Washington. Figured I’d help you out.

  9. “Last week, MDS got luck with the Packers over the Lions and I didn’t get as lucky as I should have with the Saints over the Panthers…”

    I see we’re back to insulting the Panthers again. Did you have lunch with Rodney Harrison or something?

    Exactly what part of those 5 TD passes Cam threw were luck instead of skill? How much of that gross overthrow by Brees on the last drive was luck?

    I’ll answer for you – NONE.

  10. That Dallas defense against a banged up Packer oline and slow receivers?

    Maybe if our defense remembers how to intercept passes and return them to the house for TDs.

  11. The Colts are raising a “we participated in a game last week ” banner so they should be pretty inspired to keep it tight with the Jags in that firestorm of a division they play in.

  12. “slvrnblk72 says:
    Dec 10, 2015 10:40 AM
    Raiders 27 Denver 17..guaranteed..book it”

    Lolz whenever someone uses the phrase “book it” in the comment section here they are invariably wrong.

  13. whereyaat says:
    Dec 10, 2015 10:46 AM
    Cardinals 93, Vikings 6.

    Steelers 8, Bengals 109.

    You can take it to the bankkkkkkkkkk!

    ———————————————

    Put loyalties aside, because this is just furnny sturff.

  14. The Skins can’t win on the road and the Bears can’t win at home (1-5 this year). Something’s got to give. As a Bears fan I’m hoping that loss to the Niners last week woke them up. They only have 2 more games at home and I would hope that winning at least those two is a pretty high priority for them.

  15. The Browns have only had the overall number 1 pick 3 times. Besides Courtney Brown I’m not sure the “screwed them up too bad” Now first round picks in general………

  16. Steelcurtain. It’s disrespect like you show that really makes me dislike Steeler Fans. I respect the team itself and it will be a tough game. We don’t need the win as badly as your team does, but I reeeaalllly would enjoy our BENGALS knocking Pittsburg out of the playoff hunt more than anything.

  17. This will be the first time in a month that New England will play a team that does not have extra rest. Will it make a difference? Hope so.

  18. Gee I think the loss against the Packers wasn’t even the worst loss this year for the Lions…you do remember the BS up in the land of the 12th man don’t you?

  19. slvrnblk72 says:Dec 10, 2015 10:40 AM

    Raiders 27 Denver 17..guaranteed..book it.. do it.. now
    ———————————————
    Hope it happens but if I am going to “book” something, it won’t be that.

  20. packer4life4ever says:

    Seahawks at Ravens — Walt Coleman is the ref … nuf said …

    ___

    Hahaha!!! Ironic when Packer fans complain about the refs!!!

  21. I think the league wants Pittsburgh to win. If the game stays close, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t, the officiating will ensure a Pittsburgh win. Lots of postseason playoff money at stake here.

  22. Steelcurtain. It’s disrespect like you show that really makes me dislike Steeler Fans. I respect the team itself and it will be a tough game.

    Whats so disrespectful about it. Its just a prediction on a team you root for. Try relaxing a little bit.

  23. I’m also wondering how it’s possible that Vikings and Bears fans like ariani are still coming to the comments section of this website and talking trash on the Packers when they’ve absolutely owned you for years?
    I will readily admit that the Packers also own my team and as such I couldn’t imagine coming here and talking trash about them them because I realize that I have no right to do so.
    You should really consider checking yourselves.

  24. iloveagoodnap says:
    Dec 10, 2015 10:49 AM

    The Raiders have the better young quarterback in the Derek Carr vs. Brock Osweiler matchup

    I agree with this statement. Osweiler will prove to not be any good. HOWEVER the Broncos are at home and have the defense to win another low scoring game. Denver 17-10

  25. I’m a Texan fan. We will likely get crushed again this weekend by Patriots. 2009 was a long time ago.

  26. mjd08501 says:
    Dec 10, 2015 10:52 AM
    “The Eagles are not beating the Bills. Winning a game by getting 2 special teams TDs and a defensive TD is a complete fluke. The Bills have the better QB, RB, WRs, TE, and defense.”

    There have been three times that Def/Spec Teams has scored an INT TD, punt return TD, and blocked kick TD. All three times have been the Eagles.

    Once is a fluke, twice is coincidence, three time? Legit.

  27. “…let’s give the edge to the team that needs the win in order to even qualify for the playoffs I root for.”

  28. “Anyone ever met a Texans fan?”

    I am from South Jersey and NO… I haven’t. The funny thing is… it makes perfect sense as they are in TEXAS!!! Why would you root for a team in Texas unless you lived there?!?!?!

    Two swear allegiance to a City/Team over a thousand miles away from where you call home is kind of silly – no? Especially when you have a local team.

  29. You are being very conservative with your margin of victory in the Seahawks/Ravens game. The Ravens have too many injuries and not enough depth to hang at all with these guys.
    It’s going to be a shambles. I’m not sure the Ravens could beat Michigan State right about now. Ugh!!

  30. spartyistheclassofthenationinfootballandbasketball says:
    Dec 10, 2015 12:14 PM

    I’m also wondering how it’s possible that Vikings and Bears fans like ariani are still coming to the comments section of this website and talking trash on the Packers when they’ve absolutely owned you for years?
    I will readily admit that the Packers also own my team and as such I couldn’t imagine coming here and talking trash about them them because I realize that I have no right to do so.
    ___________

    You might want to familiarize yourself with a little document called The Constitution. You have every right to say whatever you want to say about the Packers. Try it, it’s fun.

  31. With only 3 games as a starter, yes, Derek Carr is the better QB compared to Osweiller BUT Carr has 20+ game experience on Osweiller. WAY too soon to tell if Osweiller is a keeper. I know Florio wants Denver to give Osweiller $19 million/yr already but we won’t know how good he’ll truly be for another year or two.

  32. What constitutes “years”? Very vague time frame. In the history of the NFCNorth/Central the Vikings and Bears both have more division titles than the Packers.

    Since the lions are the only team in the division with fewer division titles it makes sense you cower from the packers and envy them. The Bears and Vikings don’t sweat the Packers, their luck of having back-to-back HOF QB’s doesn’t make them a franchise worthy of either fear or envy.

  33. “It would be fitting if the Jets find a way to blow it, but with a playoff berth within their grasp, they should be able to beat a team that is inferior at every position — except perhaps the most important position on the field.”

    Except for the part where Fitzpatrick has a higher QBR and more yards and touchdowns than Mariota, not to mention more completions of 20+ and 40+ yards.

    When Mariota plays for a competent team, he’ll have the advantage. Until then, no.

  34. Miami celebrating 50 YEAR Anniversary Throwback night the 50 Greatest Dolphins of all time will be at this and all the alumni no way they lose this game

  35. the way Teddy has been “running for his life” this year behind our terrible OL, you’d think the Vikings would get fined for Workplace Safety violations from OSHA…

    Just being honest, tonight will be hard to watch.

  36. I see the REDSKINS are at the Bears. I’m not a REDSKINS fan. I wonder if the REDSKINS will beat the Bears. I wonder if the REDSKINS will win the NFL east. I don’t think the REDSKINS will win the NFL east. I wonder when is the last time the REDSKINS played the Bears. If the REDSKINS vs Bears is on tv by me I might watch the REDSKINS. go REDSKINS

  37. slvrnblk72 says:
    Dec 10, 2015 10:40 AM
    Raiders 27 Denver 17..guaranteed..book it.. do it.. now
    —————————————————
    2 things:

    1) lost 8 straight to Denver

    2) No Peyton Manning

    Nice try. Maybe next year. Maybe!

  38. The only way “Baby hands” Bridgewater gets the Vikings on the score board is mop up duty late in the 4th quarter! Teddy check down has been exposed!

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