NFL: Week 14 Thoughts and Predictions as Playoff Push Begins

With a few weeks left, we have to brace ourselves for the big playoff push. Here are my Week 14 NFL predictions.

Thursday, December 10th

(6-6)New England Patriots at Los Angeles Rams(8-4) at 8:20 PM ET on FOX

I think the Rams defense will be able to keep Cam Newton in check. The Patriots come back down to earth after a dominant performance against the Chargers. 31-24 to the Rams as Jared Goff throws two NFL touchdowns. 

Sunday, December 13th

(3-9)Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati Bengals(2-9-1) at 1:00 PM ET on FOX

Andy Dalton returns to Paul Brown Stadium against his old team. The story will be Ezekiel Elliott finishing with 150 yards rushing. Dallas escapes with a 23-13 result despite a putrid run defense. However, with Washington and the New York Giants getting separation in the NFC East, the Cowboys are playing out the string for this season. 

(6-6)Minnesota Vikings at Tampa Bay Buccaneers(7-5) at 1:00 PM ET on FOX

The Buccaneers come off the bye fresh for the stretch run. I think Ronald Jones is the key to how well things go for Tampa Bay. Tom Brady has to make plays, but Jones can make it that much tougher on opposing defenses. Tampa Bay seems to be strong against the run in contrast with the pass and the Vikings are a ground and pound NFL team. Buccaneers 33 Vikings 23 in Florida. 

(6-6)Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants(5-7) at 1:00 PM ET on FOX

Two NFL teams going in opposite directions. I was very impressed with the pressure the Giants showed by getting in Russell Wilson’s face and getting right coverage on the Seahawks’ wide receivers. New York gets three takeaways to aid them to a 24-20 win. 

(11-1)Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins(8-4) at 1:00 PM ET on CBS

There will be several lead changes, and I really like Brian Flores’s Miami team to limit the deep passes and keep everything in front of them defensively. They do force some drives to end in field goals, keeping the game right. Because the Dolphins use the clock properly, they chew up time and score a late touchdown to stun the Chiefs 34-31 in my upset pick. 

(8-4)Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars(1-11) at 1:00 PM ET on CBS

The Jaguars have been competing hard in recent times and will do so again. That said, I don’t think that Tennessee will let Jacksonville get comfortable after yielding forty-one. Titans 24 Jaguars 20 in this AFC South match-up. 

(4-8)Houston Texans at Chicago Bears(5-7) at 1:00 PM ET on CBS

These teams do not face one another often, but the Texans have had their number. I look for that trend to continue. They let one get away against Indianapolis, but DeShaun Watson throws for a touchdown and runs one in. Houston 24 Chicago 14. 

(4-8)Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers(4-8) at 1:00 PM ET on CBS

Denver can take some comfort knowing that they played well against the NFL champions, despite the losses piling up. The Panthers have had two weeks to think about this game as they have dropped several close decisions. I will take Carolina 30-27 on a last-second field goal by Joey Slye after Teddy Bridgewater helps orchestrate a two-minute drill. 

(8-4)Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders(7-5) at 4:05 PM ET on CBS

The Raiders ride their NFL momentum of the Henry Ruggs game-winning touchdown last week. Las Vegas will play with the lead early and win a high-scoring contest, 38-27 to get themselves back in the playoff chase. 

(0-12)New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks(8-4) at 4:05 PM ET on CBS

Seattle was pressured all day last week versus the Giants. They know how to rebound after NFL losses. I expect the offensive line not to look lethargic Sunday. Seahawks 38 Jets 14 out west. 

(10-2)New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles(3-8-1) at 4:25 PM ET on FOX

With Jalen Hurts playing, I still think the Eagles offensive line will continue to struggle particularly against the New Orleans defense. Philadelphia plays hard, but Taysom Hill, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas are too much for the Eagles. Saints 38 Eagles 20. 

(5-7)Washington Football Team at San Francisco 49ers(5-7) at 4:25 PM ET on FOX

Washington will use J.D. McKissic through the air as they did repeatedly in Pittsburgh in their big NFL victory Monday. Chase Young will get ten tackles to help his team stay tethered to the New York Giants with three games left. It just has not been San Francisco’s year, and they will have to wait until 2021 to see if the band gets back together to replicate the success from 2019. Washington 28 San Francisco 17 a half-hour past seven in the east. 

(4-8)Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Chargers(3-9) at 4:25 PM ET on FOX

The Falcons did not get the upset win last Sunday but those games with the Saints are usually pretty tight. They go up against a Charger side that has come up short too many times to count. Los Angeles is going to fare better than last week, but I pick Atlanta to get their fifth NFL win, 24-21. 

(9-3)Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions(5-7) at 4:25 PM ET on FOX

Detroit is in transition and I don’t see them putting up much of a fight against Green Bay. The Packers get the season-sweep to stay in pursuit of the top spot in the NFC. Packers 37 Lions 13 in the Motor City. 

(11-1)Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills(9-3) at 8:20 PM ET on NBC

Like Washington, I like Buffalo’s defensive front to cause Pittsburgh some problems. The Bills’ offense is getting it done. They will be a tough out the rest of the way. The Steelers will have another week of adversity to overcome, Buffalo 27 Pittsburgh 23. 

Monday, December 14th

(7-5)Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns(9-3) at 8:15 PM ET on ESPN

Even against the Cowboys, the ground game was in sync for Baltimore. I think they will be able to consistently do what they do, but on the night, the Browns offense has a score to settle after getting embarrassing in the first meeting. Cleveland 27 Baltimore 24 thanks to a balanced offense, and Myles Garrett creating a game-sealing turnover in the final minutes. 

Works cited: maps and message forums, NFL app, FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network, Twitter, NFL YouTube highlights

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