5 NFL Games That Will Be Blowouts In Week 14
Week 14 Blowouts
Heading down the stretch of NFL action, with teams desperately trying to play their best to insure a trip to the playoffs and a shot at a Super Bowl run, the action is generally tighter and more hard-hitting as the season's end draws near.
There are plenty of huge divisional matchups across the board, power struggles for division crowns to be had, and well as dogfights for Wild Card positioning. Like they say, it doesn't matter where you end up, as long as you get in the playoffs you have a chance.
It looks to be especially compelling in the AFC, where there is realistically only one playoff spot left to fight for. The AFC East is locked up by the New England Patriots, the AFC North by the Cincinnati Bengals, the AFC South by the Indianapolis Colts, and after a pair of definitive wins, the AFC West by the Denver Broncos. Heck, even the top Wild Card spot appears to belong to the Kansas City Chiefs, who sit at 9-3 in the west. That leaves just one spot for several teams all within a game of one another.
But that doesn't mean that Week 14 will be competitive football across the board. Just as there are established good teams by now, there are also established bad teams, and brother, there are some really bad teams out there to be beaten upon mercilessly. Blowouts are there to be had, it’s just a matter of where and when.
Here’s a look at the five matchups in Week 14 that could turn out to be lopsided blowouts.
5. Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers
For all intents and purposes, the Green Bay Packers are probably out of the playoff race. They may not be technically out, but at 5-6-1, they are on life support with the plug about to be pulled.
Still, they need this game for now and it’s looking more and more like Aaron Rodgers could make his return to the Packers' lineup to face a Falcons team whose season is basically over and is playing for nothing more than pride.
Hmm, an MVP and Super Bowl-winning quarterback needing this game against one of the worst defenses in football for a team that is in the race for the first overall pick as opposed to the playoffs? Nope, this couldn't get ugly at all.
A motivated Rodgers can do ugly, horrible things to the Falcons if he's back in the lineup. This one could be over earlier than anyone might have expected it to be.
4. Cleveland Browns @ New England Patriots
This one almost feels like it goes without explanation. A 4-8, historically bad outfit heading into Foxborough to play one of the best teams of the last decade who is fighting for playoff positioning? Yeesh. Be surprised if this one doesn't get out of hand.
The Pats are hitting their stride since the returns of Rob Gronkowski and Shane Vereen, scoring at a standard Tom Brady pace to make up for an injury-ravaged defense. Gillette Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL regardless of who you are, but being a bad team on your fourth quarterback makes it all the tougher.
Oh yeah, did I forget the mention the Browns are not only on their fourth quarterback due to injuries, but that quarterback is Division III’s Alex Tanney who has yet to take an NFL snap? Nope, no way this gets ugly at all.
Strap yourselves in, Browns fans. Barf bags will be deployed shortly.
3. Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Redskins
The Redskins haven’t had things all that easy this season to begin with, but have seemingly made life more difficult on themselves as things have gone on. Robert Griffin III can’t seem to make a friend in his own locker room (it helps to not blame everyone but you), and critics have been asking “What’s wrong?” in regards to him all season long.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, are looking to bounce back from a pair of losses to the Broncos after trying to show everyone that they could hang. Hang they did, though in the end, they fell short.
If the Chiefs get back their two feared pass rushers, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, RG3 could be in for a long, ugly day and a face full of the FedEx Field grass; that's if he makes it through a full 60 minutes with a tenacious, angry Chiefs defense that ranks near the top of the NFL.
Best of luck, young Griffin. And godspeed.
2. Minnesota Vikings @ Baltimore Ravens
It’s been a hard fall back to Earth from the Vikings. They made an improbable playoff run late last season thanks to the superhuman efforts of Adrian Peterson, who nearly broke the single-season rushing record upon returning from ACL surgery.
This season, their atrocious defense has been a large part of their downfall, but the quarterback carousel has been just as big a culprit. Which mediocre quarterback will it land on this week? Whoever’s healthy! Probably Christian Ponder! I’m sorry Vikings fans!
While the Ravens may not feel like those Super Bowl contenders we’re used to offensively, their defense is still one to be reckoned with. Against a very one dimensional Vikings offense, they are going to tee off on Peterson and are whoever is taking the snaps at quarterback to beat them.
Against a defense that ranks near the bottom in most significant categories, this could be the elixir the Baltimore offense needs to get themselves untracked and get Ray Rice back to doing Ray Rice things.
1. Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos
This portion could be one sentence, two words: Peyton Manning. That’s all the reason you need in order to believe the Titans are getting blown out on Sunday at Sports Authority Field.
At 10-2, the Broncos are an offensive juggernaut. Manning has 41 touchdowns through a dozen games. Sure, the Titans are pretty good against the pass, but that goes out the window against this offense.
It also doesn’t help that the one thing the Titans do sort of well (run the ball) is the Broncos' strength on defense (seventh in the NFL at just a tick over 100 yards per game). The Broncos can’t really stop the pass, but against Ryan Fitzpatrick, you don’t have to be good at that.
It’ll be a race for home-field with the Patriots down the stretch, and Manning is going to be chasing the record books, so look for the Broncos to be motivated and continue their path of destruction.