Stepping into Week 14 there are several teams hoping to put a wedge between themselves and those battling for the division lead as well as others looking to make a run at a playoff berth any way they can achieve it. The Minnesota Vikings travel to the Carolina Panthers which couldn’t be more important for the Panthers as they trail the New Orleans Saints by a half-game for the NFC South lead.
This is a possible game of the week candidate, but there are more that could give it a run for its money. Surprising 10 weeks ago, isn’t surprising anymore as the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Rams are entering Week 14 with 8, and 9 wins respectively and sitting atop their divisions.
The Jaguars host the Seattle Seahawks and the Rams will welcome in the Philadelphia Eagles who are among the league’s best in the NFC and are in a fierce battle for the No. 1 seed at the moment. These two games are also in contention for the game of the week honors and should lend some excellent matchups for the late afternoon games. As you’ll see, our staff is divided on these two games as well.
There are also 4 divisional games, but unfortunately some potential exists for a stinker or two in this lineup. The Oakland Raiders haven’t looked like the same team as of late and neither have the Kansas City Chiefs who’ve lost 4 straight. Similarly, the New England Patriots should have a decided edge on the Miami Dolphins regardless of the venue, and nobody knows quiet what to think of the Baltimore Ravens matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, there is one game that has me wondering about its potential. The Dallas Cowboys could be getting an Eli Manning coming back from an embarrassing situation that led to the firing of his former head coach and could add some real intrigue to a matchup that would normally look to be a one-sided affair.
Another game that could be quite interesting is the Washington Redskins heading west to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers who are as hot as anyone winning 3 straight, and have won 6 of their last 8. The Chargers could quiet possibly run away with the AFC West with the rest of the teams struggling as of late.
Finally we get to the Indianapolis Colts heading to the snowy confines of Buffalo to take on the Bills. This one could be either very fun to watch as the area is expected to see upwards of 10 inches of snow, or it could be the worst thing you see all day. Both are quite possible.
At any rate, the Colts are long overdue to put a full 4-quarter effort together and may be saved from having to defend Tyrod Taylor, instead getting Nathan Peterman who had the notoriously rough first start of his career with 5 interceptions.
This week the following contributors voted on each game: Brett Mock, Matt Danely, Stephen Reed, Chris Shepherd, Chris Blystone and Jake Arthur. Again, our group voted ‘winners’ which have been bolded, with the vote counts in parenthesis and unanimous predictions were noted by an asterisk (*). Also with an even amount of voters, ties go to the home squad.
Thus far the staff’s numbers are: Faraz Majid – 68/105 (64.8%) | Brett Mock – 116/180 (64.4%) | Chris Blystone – 109/180 (60.6%) | Matt Danely – 107/180 (59.4%) | Andrew Aziz – 113/180 (62.8%) | Jake Arthur – 101/152 (66.4%) | Jared Malott – 106/167 (63.5%) | Stephen Reed – 98/168 (58.3%) | Chris Shepherd – 101/167 (60.5%) | Josh Hudgens – 87/135 (64.4%)
Sunday @ 1:00 ET
Lions (6) @ Bucs – Contrarian: Stephen Reed
Vikings (6) @ Panthers – Contrarian: Matt Danely
Colts @ Bills (5) – Contrarian: Jared Malott, Danely
Cowboys (5) @ Giants – Contrarians: Chris Shepherd, Reed
Packers (5) @ Browns – Contrarians: Reed, Danely
Raiders @ Chiefs (5) – Contrarians: Jake Arthur, Shepherd
49ers (5) @ Texans – Contrarian: Brett Mock, Malott
Bears @ Bengals (5) – Contrarians: Shepherd, Reed
Sunday @ 4:05 ET
Jets (6) @ Broncos – Contrarian: Reed
Titans (6) @ Cardinals – Contrarian: Danely
Redskins @ Chargers*
Sunday @ 4:25 ET
Seahawks (4) @ Jaguars – Contrarians: Reed, Arthur, Blystone
Eagles (4) @ Rams – Contrarians: Danely, Mock, Arthur
Sunday @ 8:30 ET
Ravens @ Steelers (6) – Contrarian: Shepherd
Monday @ 8:30 ET
Patriots* @ Dolphins
Leave us your Week 14 picks in the comments!