2013 NFL Pick ‘Em: Week 14
Picking the NFL's Week 14 Action
It’s Week 14 of the 2013 NFL campaign, and the postseason is only a few short weeks away. Even though it seems like the season started a couple of weeks ago, there are now only four games left for each team to solidify their playoff positioning or send themselves on an early vacation.
As the end of the regular season inches closer, picking each week’s gridiron action grows increasingly difficult. If it was easy, we’d all do it, though.
Things got a little better for me in Week 13, as I ended up with a 10-6 record following Monday night’s exciting showdown. That ups my record to 117-75-1 on the year, a whopping win percentage of 61. While it’s nothing to go bragging about, it’s a solid showing for such an unpredictable sport.
So what can you look forward to in Week 14? Well, there are a number of intriguing matchups between teams jockeying for playoff positioning. Several teams will simply be looking to avoid falling into “mathematical elimination” territory. At this point, there could even be some prideful performances from teams just looking to avoid being embarrassed (again).
Either way, it’s sure to be an exciting week full of more unexpected upsets and blowout wins. We’ve seen plenty of both through the first 13 rounds of NFL action this season, so there’s no reason to expect anything different in Week 14.
With that in mind, here’s my take on what to expect from the 16 games that we’ll see in Week 14.
There will be no more regular-season byes from here on out.
Houston Texans (2-10) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9)
Currently on a ten-game losing streak, it doesn’t look like the Texans will be turning around their 2013 campaign anytime soon. Their locker room is falling apart, while the Jaguars have won three of their last four. Look for Ace Sanders and the Jacksonville passing game to make it 11 in a row.
Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-4)
Despite their win over the Titans last weekend, the Colts still look like a broken team. The offensive line can’t keep Andrew Luck upright and the defense is giving up way too much through the air. Unless they make major adjustments, Andy Dalton and Co. will tear them apart in Week 14.
Cleveland Browns (4-8) at New England Patriots (9-3)
Even with a solid defense, the Browns don’t stand a chance of slowing Tom Brady and the red hot Patriots. Brady has the offense running on all cylinders while the defense is doing enough to keep them in the win column. Barring some catastrophic collapse, New England wins this one.
Oakland Raiders (4-8) at New York Jets (5-7)
For some strange reason, the Jets are sticking with Geno Smith as their starting quarterback. That decision will continue to cost them games until the necessary changes are made. The Raiders have been falling just short recently, but should capitalize on the promising play of Matt McGloin to pull out a win.
Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) at Washington Redskins (3-9)
Riding a three-game skid, Kansas City will be as desperate as ever for a win. Meanwhile, the Redskins are just counting down the days until the season is over. Even with the morale low, Alex Smith and the Chiefs won’t have too much trouble winning in D.C.
Minnesota Vikings (3-8-1) at Baltimore Ravens (6-6)
The Ravens are suddenly starting to look like the defending NFL champions. They’re earning wins consistently and playing like a team who wants a trip to the postseason. With the Vikings in shambles, Haloti Ngata and the Baltimore defense will shut down Adrian Peterson and walk away victorious.
Atlanta Falcons (3-9) at Green Bay Packers (5-6-1)
There’s no way the Packers can go six games without a win, right? At least this week they’ll be matched up against an Atlanta team that has limped its way through the entire season. Even if Aaron Rodgers doesn’t return, Eddie Lacy and Green Bay will still squeak out a win against the demoralized Falcons.
Buffalo Bills (4-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-9)
Apart from their Week 13 loss to the Panthers, the Buccaneers have been cruising in the second half of the season. On the other hand, the Bills have been limping and don’t appear to be in any position to compete. Expect Vincent Jackson to carve up the Buffalo secondary all game long.
Miami Dolphins (6-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7)
With all of their drama behind them, the Dolphins have actually been playing well. The offense is finally clicking, and the defense is taking advantage of opportunities to make big plays. As long as Olivier Vernon and the Miami defense can get pressure on Ben Roethlisberger, they’ll land in the win column.
Detroit Lions (7-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-5)
They might have the NFC North crown in hand right now, but the Lions’ grasp is rather flimsy. They smashed a depleted Packers team, but now face the Eagles, who are coming off a huge Week 14 win. The Detroit defense won’t be able to keep Nick Foles and the Philadelphia pass offense contained.
Tennessee Titans (5-7) at Denver Broncos (10-2)
People continue to question Peyton Manning and the Broncos, who continue to win. With the AFC West in their control, Denver should be able to kick it into high gear and finish out the regular season strong. The Titans aren’t a true contender, and should fall easily to the Broncos’ offense.
St. Louis Rams (5-7) at Arizona Cardinals (7-5)
The only reason the Rams have been competitive since the loss of Sam Bradford is their running game. Unfortunately for them, the Cardinals field one of the best run defenses in the NFL. Unless Kellen Clemons plans on beating Patrick Peterson early and often, Arizona wins this one.
Seattle Seahawks (11-1) at San Francisco 49ers (8-4)
We’re still waiting for the Seahawks to prove they can win on the road against quality competition, and here’s the chance. The 49ers are looking strong as the playoffs draw near, but still need wins to stay afloat. A win isn’t in the cards this week, though, as Michael Bennett and the Seahawks continue to dominate.
New York Giants (5-7) at San Diego Chargers (5-7)
Both of these teams have had down years. One got off to a terrible start while the other continues to choke when it matters most. The Chargers are the better team, and should get just enough spark at home from Philip Rivers to send the Giants packing.
Carolina Panthers (9-3) at New Orleans Saints (9-3)
Who knew it would come to this to determine who owns the NFC South heading into Week 15? The Panthers have won eight straight while the Saints were exposed on Monday night. It’s going to be a great game, but Star Lotulelei and the Panthers defense will hurt the Saints like Seattle did.
Dallas Cowboys (7-5) at Chicago Bears (6-6)
As bad as the Bears have been as of late, they desperately need a win to stay alive in the NFC North race. Even though the Cowboys are coming off a lucky win, Chicago will just throw it to Alshon Jeffery over and over until they have enough points to come away on the winning end.