PFT’s Week 14 picks

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Tie, apparently, is the operative word this week in the NFL. As in Cam Newton didn’t have one. And as in the PFT picks competition does.

With MDS prevailing 4-3 in a whopping seven disagreements, it’s all knotted up with four weeks left.

For the week, MDS generated an 11-4 record, and I was 10-5.

This week, the tie will be broken based on the outcome of the game involving the guy who didn’t wear a tie. For all takes and predictions, scroll baby scroll.

Raiders at Chiefs

MDS’s take: This is one of the best Thursday night games we’ve ever had, as the winner will have the inside track in the AFC West and perhaps even home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. I think the Raiders will just freeze, baby, on a cold night in Kansas City, and the Chiefs will win a defensive struggle.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 17, Raiders 13.

Florio’s take: It’s tempting to look at Oakland’s record and assume that 10-2 will become 11-2, especially since the Raiders play so well away from home and have become an NFL darling with their best year by far since 2002. But the Chiefs have an opportunity to swipe the division, given their 26-10 win over the Raiders from October. It will be cold and it will be loud and the Chiefs have an opportunity to position themselves to make a Super Bowl run.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 24, Raiders 21.

Steelers at Bills

MDS’s take: The Bills’ running attack gives them the chance to play a ball-control offense and beat the Steelers on the ground. But I see the Steelers getting a couple big plays from Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown and winning a close one.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 24, Bills 23.

Florio’s take: The Steelers are surging and the Bills are shell-shocked after last Sunday’s 24-9 lead quickly became a 38-24 loss. The only question now is who’ll stay and who’ll go after the Bills once again fail to make it to the playoffs.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 30, Bills 20.

Broncos at Titans

MDS’s take: The Titans’ surprisingly good offense against the Broncos’ unsurprisingly great defense will be a lot of fun to see. I think the Broncos’ offense will struggle and Marcus Mariota will do just enough with his arm and his legs to win a close game.

MDS’s pick: Titans 14, Broncos 13.

Florio’s take: If the Titans only could handle the teams in their division, they’d be a lock for the postseason. As it stands, they’ll need another signature win to even have a shot at the postseason. With an extra week to get ready and with the Broncos struggling (relative to 2015), give the home team the edge.

Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Broncos 17.

Washington at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Eagles are cratering down the stretch after showing a lot of promise early on. Washington needs a win here, and will get one.

MDS’s pick: Washington 27, Eagles 20.

Florio’s take: Seasons of promise for both teams have disintegrated, but Washington still has hope. And more talent. And a chance to still make it to the playoffs.

Florio’s pick: Washington 27, Eagles 23.

Cardinals at Dolphins

MDS’s take: A week ago I would have said the Dolphins were the much better team here, but the Cardinals turned in a good performance last week while the Dolphins turned in a miserable game. Still, I think the Dolphins have more to play for and should bounce back.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 24, Cardinals 20.

Florio’s take: It may not be easy for the Dolphins to forget what happened in Baltimore. But the Cardinals just don’t have the horses this year, and the Dolphins continue to have an unlikely window of opportunity to get to the postseason.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 27, Cardinals 23.

Chargers at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Panthers looked terrible on Sunday night and I’m tempted to declare that they’ve written off the season. But I have a feeling Ron Rivera will have his team focused for a much better game this week, and they’ll pull out a win at home.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 28, Chargers 21.

Florio’s take: Philip Rivers returns to North Carolina, the state where he played college football. (Hopefully, he’ll pick his bolo tie.) That reality coupled with pride and a desire to save Mike McCoy’s job could be the difference in this one, especially with the Panthers simply playing out the string in the hopes of a reset to 0-0.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 27, Panthers 20.

Bengals at Browns

MDS’s take: With each passing week it gets harder to justify picking the Browns to win. They appear to be holding a one-way ticket to 0-16.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 30, Browns 17.

Florio’s take: If the Browns don’t win this one, they may not win at all this season. The Bengals bounced back against the Eagles, and the Bengals realize the stakes involved: The last thing they want to do is to be the first team to lose to the Browns since the 49ers nearly one year ago to the day.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 26, Browns 17.

Bears at Lions

MDS’s take: This is one of those games where a Lions choke isn’t out of the question: It’s a game they should win, but the Lions aren’t a team with a great track record of winning the games they should win. And yet I have a feeling that they’ll manage to pull this game out, even if I also have a feeling it’s going to be closer than expected.

MDS’s pick: Lions 20, Bears 17.

Florio’s take: The biggest mystery about this game is how did the Bears beat the Lions when they met the first time?

Florio’s pick:  Lions 30, Bears 20.

Texans at Colts

MDS’s take: After falling behind the Texans early in the season, the Colts now look like the team that should win the AFC South. They’ll take a big step in that direction on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Colts 31, Texans 21.

Florio’s take: The Texans historically don’t play well in Indianapolis. More recently, the Texans haven’t been playing well anywhere. In the quest to lose at home in the wild-card round or get blown out in the divisional round, the Colts have the edge. Hooray?

Florio’s pick: Colts 24, Texans 20.

Vikings at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The Vikings have struggled mightily after getting off to a hot start, but playing the Jaguars should cure what ails them.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 20, Jaguars 10.

Florio’s take: If the Vikings can’t beat the Jaguars, the Vikings have no business being in the playoffs. Then again, the Vikings arguably already have no business being in the playoffs.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 27, Jaguars 17.

Jets at 49ers

MDS’s take: This might be the ugliest game of the year. Both teams looked terrible last week, but the 49ers at least still seem to be trying to win, while the Jets are openly talking about planning for next year. That gives the 49ers the advantage this week.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 24, Jets 10.

Florio’s take: The only important question regarding this one is whether there will be more people on and around the field than there are in the stands.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 13, Jets 9.

Saints at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Saints were still in the NFC South race until they laid an egg against the Lions last week. The Buccaneers are now fighting for a playoff spot, and they’ll get a big win on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Saints 17.

Florio’s take: At a time when the Raiders are the best they’ve been since making it to the Super Bowl in 2002, the Buccaneers are the best they’ve been since they won the Super Bowl in 2002.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Saints 27.

Falcons at Rams

MDS’s take: The Falcons’ defense isn’t very good, and it could cost them the division. But the Jared Goff-led Rams offense won’t be able to take advantage.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 24, Rams 14.

Florio’s take: “We don’t make excuses, [insert latest excuse].”

Florio’s pick: Falcons 28, Rams 17.

Seahawks at Packers

MDS’s take: This is the most intriguing game of the week to me. Is Aaron Rodgers all the way back and ready to attack a Seahawks secondary that’s missing Earl Thomas? Can the Packers’ defense slow down Thomas Rawls and a good Seahawks running game? I think this will be a higher-scoring game than most expect, with the Seahawks coming out on top.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 34, Packers 31.

Florio’s take: Green Bay’s last two wins were, in hindsight, not very impressive. The Eagles have slumped to 2-7, and the Packers didn’t exactly steamroll an overmatched Texans team. The Seahawks have the pass rush to overcome the absence of safety Earl Thomas, and the offense to take pressure away from the defense.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 24, Packers 20.

Cowboys at Giants

MDS’s take: The injury to Jason Pierre-Paul will hit the Giants hard, and the Cowboys’ offense should have a big night as they march toward clinching home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 30, Giants 20.

Florio’s take: Yes, the Giants beat the Cowboys in Week One. But the Cowboys have gotten a lot better since then, and they realize the importance of not giving the Giants an opening to swipe the division.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 20, Giants 17.

Ravens at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Patriots’ offense will slip without Rob Gronkowski, but I see New England’s defense doing a good job against Joe Flacco in a hard-fought and close game.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 20, Ravens 17.

Florio’s take: The Ravens give the Patriots fits in New England in the postseason. During the regular season, the Pats know how to take care of their rivals from Baltimore.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, Ravens 21.

63 responses to “PFT’s Week 14 picks

  1. Vikings beating the Jags…….HAHAHAH! How do the Vikings plan on scoring? They can’t run. Jags pass D has actually been very good as of late. Better hope for a couple D/ST scores like every other game. Man – that offense is soooooooooooooo bad.

  2. NFL should not have a big division match up on Thurs, unless both teams are coming off bye….very unfair to road team….no way Carolina beats Chargers, cant score or defend, Ravens are not good, just that everyone else sucks, Pats destroy them, Browns get a win this week….

  3. You both picked the Titans over the defending Super Bowl champs… I’m a Titans fan and I think that’s insane. Titans will lose a close one because of a late Mariota fumble or interception. That’s not even a bold prediction – this is the Broncos’ defense we’re talking about here… Also the Titans are playing at home, so that gives them a great probability to lose.

  4. jvw1982 says:
    Dec 8, 2016 11:25 AM
    Browns get a win this week….
    _________________

    If the Niners played and won before the Browns game that might be true but they aren’t likely to risk the first overall pick on a maybe.

  5. “Florio’s take: The Ravens give the Patriots fits in New England in the postseason.”
    _________________________________

    Not that last game when Julian Edelman had a QBR of 100.

  6. “Gonna be a great game tonight.”

    Which I won’t be watching. No NFL fan should watch these horrible Thursday night games.

  7. The Titans are not beating the Broncos and Carolina is not beating the Chargers…….Bills fan……

  8. As a Pats fan, I am very wary of the Ravens. I think it is the toughest game of the year. No Gronk, no Amendola, Bennett at about 50%. You could see their offense struggle against the Rams. Ravens are better than the Rams everywhere, well except punter.

  9. As a Giants fan I want to Giants to lose a close game. They aren’t winning the division. Going far into the playoffs would mean they playing Dallas a third time. You don’t beat a team three times in one year. Lose now and win later.

  10. Tough matchup for the Packers. With Matthews playing hurt and Perry out, its hard to see how they can put enough pressure on Wilson to make up for the depleted secondary. Will be interesting to see what the offense can do against a really good defense though. My guess is whatever it is – it wont be enough.

  11. The Titans aren’t beating the Broncos, I mean they could, but why would you pick them too? They’ve got no WR’s and even if they did, the Cos’ secondary would give Mariota fits and running into the teeth of the D, while it might work, you’re not scoring 28 on them.
    I don’t see it happening.

  12. ariani1985 says:Dec 8, 2016 11:21 AM

    The packer trolls will be in a frenzy!

    ————————————————–

    Anyone see any irony in this being the first post?

  13. This is going to be a tough game for the Pats, they’re still trying to figure things out on defense and on offense now that Gronk is done. I like their chances better if they meet again in the playoffs than I do Monday night, unfortunately.

  14. johngaltwho says:
    Dec 8, 2016 12:02 PM

    Tough matchup for the Packers. With Matthews playing hurt and Perry out, its hard to see how they can put enough pressure on Wilson to make up for the depleted secondary. Will be interesting to see what the offense can do against a really good defense though. My guess is whatever it is – it wont be enough.

    ITS AT LAMBEAU THO, SO YEAH, THE REFS ARE GONNA BE XTRA GOOD TO GB

  15. If any team could squander away the second overall pick, it’s the niners. Kaep and fro will win a close game, further setting back the franchise.

  16. Win or lose tonight, the Chiefs as constructed are not a Super Bowl built team. They are just good enough to come up short of any real run.

  17. Every team plays up for the Cowboys so it won’t be that much of a shoot out. The Cowboys will win 27-10 and pretty much have home field advantage. The Super Bowl road will go through Dallas.

  18. Unfortunately I think the Steelers will beat the Bills. The Steelers are a cold weather team too. I think AB will be the difference.

    I think the Patriots who had to settle for 4 field goals against a bad Rams defense will do less against a good Ravens defense. Miami will win to keep the division race interesting and the Jets will win to hurt their draft position.

  19. Thank you for the encouragement. Titans are going to win on Sunday. Picking us simply adds fuel to our fire, coming of our bye week.

  20. Both picking Titans over Broncos, eh? I’m a Cowboys & Chiefs fan with no rooting interest in Denver, and I still think that’s a wacky pick.

    The Chiefs have to be looking around and realizing that this year is a prime Super Bowl opportunity for them. Pats lost Gronkowski, Broncos are more iffy than last year, they’ve already beaten the Raiders, the AFC North teams are inconsistent. And in the NFC, the Seahawks lost their best defensive player and the Cowboys are led by rookies.

    What the Chiefs need now is big-play-making and lots of it. The Berry plays last week are EXACTLY what this team needs to make happen now. Every other team around them is inconsistent but has big play ability. We saw in the Pats playoff game last year where “game managing” will get them.

  21. .
    The bad weather is upon us and will be a factor in all games played up north. The game time temp tonight in KC will be 20° (wind chill 10°). That’s a big advantage for the Chiefs. If the game were played Sunday with temps in the 50’s, it would be a different ballgame.

    Early forecasts call for questionable weather in Tennessee, Cleveland, GB, NYC and Buffalo this Sunday. Don’t forget to factor that in before making your picks.
    .

  22. As a pats fan the Chiefs are the scariest team in the league. But I am definitely worried about baltimore this week. The Ravens are the only team in the NFL that knows how to win at Foxborough consistently.

  23. If Ravens play NE the way they played last week they will win. Ravens are every playoff teams’ worst nightmare. Raiders, NE, KC and whomever from the South are all praying that the Steelers win the AFC North. No one wants to play the Ravens in January.

  24. So Florio keeps on saying the Packers have the inside track to with the NFCN, yet he predicts them to fall behind the Lions by three games after this week with three to play. When is he going to realize Detroit is finally going to win the North? (Packers should continue to be in third place after this week.)

  25. The Jets are bad, but I don’t think anyone is bad enough to lose to the Niners. Jets 9 (missed extra point), Niners 3.

  26. I like all the recent love for the Ravens. But as a fan, I’m still not sold that they aren’t average to below average. They just have so many older and often injured players. And, of course there is the incosistency that is Joe Flacco. It’s not January yet, so I’m not sure which Joe shows up. Last week was very encouraging, and Joe has a history of getting hot late. You also have to give Harbaugh credit for holding the team together through the down time. Like him or hate him, his teams always improve from Week One to Week 17.

    Still – Steve Smith, Yanda, Sizzle, Dumervil, Jimmy Smith. All important players. When healthy, this team is a contender. They are all healthy right now. I just wouldn’t bet on them all staying that way. And the depth isn’t there to withstand a few of these guys going down, as seen in their four game losing streak (which included a loss to the freaking Jets!)

  27. Did the Vikings really trade a 1st round draft choice for Sam Bradford? No, really….did they seriously do that? Oh, now I see why the trophy case is and always has been barren.

  28. Us 2012s know that Aron Rogers may be a greet cornerback, but our cornerback Richard Wilson is going to outplay him.

  29. Us 2012s know that Aron Rogers may be a greet cornerback, but our cornerback Richard Wilson is going to outplay him.

  30. So if this week’s picks pan out, the Lions will be 3 games up on the Packers with 3 games to go, but yet the Packers STILL somehow own the inside track to the division … Or not.

  31. Giants match up extremely well with Dallas. One of the few teams that do. We have a DL (even minus JPP) and CBs who can man up Dez and Co.

  32. Broncos 23 Titans 10 their defense gets a pick six and a turnover to help their offense out. The Titans haven’t faced a defense as good as the Broncos yet no way Denver loses to the Titans. Dolphins 30 Cardinals 17 Jay Ajayi runs over the Cardinals and their defense will make Palmer look like crap as the Cardinals are a terrible on the east coast. Patriots 24 Ravens 20 this will be the toughest game the Patriots have had yet besides the Seahawks. However I think quick passing to Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman will open up some big plays to Hogan and the defense forces a mistake from Flacco to seal the game. The Patriots vs Ravens games, with the exception of the 2009 AFC Wildcard game, 2012-2013 AFC Title Game and 2013 regular season game at Baltimore have all been close slug fests this will be no different.

  33. As a Cowboys fan I am still amused at how much love and adoration was showered upon Wentz early on. The superlatives piled up so fast it was nauseating. Well, now all they can say is “he is trying real hard to deal with the losing”. We will bash them last game of the season in a game that will mean nothing to either team.

  34. Wow, a couple weeks ago the Pack had the “inside track” to the NFCN. Now, you’re predicting their 7th loss, no NFCN or wild card.

  35. Man, the Cowboys have been irrelevant for so long that I almost forgot how annoying their “fans” are. Can’t wait till they’re eliminated at home.

  36. schmokes says:
    Dec 8, 2016 11:44 AM
    Apparently a few people forgot that the Seahawks, with Earl Thomas, got absolutely embarrassed by the Bucs just 2 short weeks ago.

    _______________________

    I could’ve sworn that was the game Earl watched on television in Portland. It appears more than “a few” people forgot about that based on all the thumbs up your comment garnered.

  37. I like how giving up 2 early TD’s then not allowing another point is getting destroyed. The only thing destroyed in that bucc’s game was Seattle’s rookie back up center, and 2 other rookies on that o-line. I love how people say teams get destroyed when its less than 10pts. What Seattle did to Carolina last week is getting destroyed.

  38. Bills will lose by at least 20 however Bills FANS will win when it causes Rex Ryan’s (and his brother Blob’s) dismissal on January 2nd.

    Fast forward to January 3rd…Let me be the first to welcome new head coach Tom Coughlin to Buffalo.!!!

  39. I don’t like the Packers chances this week but you never know. Even so, we’re two weeks into December AND, they are very much alive, much to the dismay of Lions and Vikings fans. Even if the Packer lose to the Seahawks, they’ll still have a shot IF the Lions lose two and the Vikings once, before they play. It’s not out of the question, the Cowboys will beat the Lions, and the Giants might. The Vikings may not win another game this year.

  40. I love my team, but I swear Florio is starting to turn me into A Redskins fan w/ all this PC Political stances journalists should stay away from. It’s one of the few things that sours me about the NFL is all the political stuff – and that’s just one example of many.

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