NFL Week 14 picks: Payments shock Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, Cardinals roll previous Rams in NFC West showdown

In an 2021 NFL season filled with twists and turns, we lastly acquired our largest twist of the yr in Week 13: THE DETROIT LIONS WEREN’T THE FIRST TEAM ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION. 

For those who would have requested me at any level over the previous six weeks who the primary staff to get knocked out of the playoff race could be, I’d’ve wager my first born on the the Lions, and I’ve to say, it is a good factor I did not wager that, as a result of I am fairly positive my spouse would have killed me for shedding our child in a wager. 

As issues stand, the Lions are formally nonetheless alive within the playoff race after beating the Vikings on Sunday, however one staff is now not alive and that staff is the Houston Texans. Houston, you’ve got an issue and your downside is that your soccer staff is horrible. 

I feel I can say with 100% confidence that I cannot be choosing the Texans to win a recreation for the remainder of the season, which implies I’ve already spoiled one in all my picks for Week 14, as a result of now you understand that I am choosing the Texans to lose to the Seahawks. I do not wish to spoil anymore of my picks, so let’s get the Week 14 picks began proper now. 

Really, earlier than we get to the picks, here is a fast reminder which you can try the weekly picks from each NFL skilled by clicking right here. For those who do not click on over, I will not be offended. Nevertheless, I might be offended if you happen to do not join’s NFL publication, which I pump out 4 days per week. I even have a publication about what it is like to jot down newsletters, however I will not ask you to subscribe to that one.

As for the soccer publication, if you wish to subscribe, all you must do is click on right here and enter your electronic mail handle. It takes 8.6 seconds to enroll and if you happen to’re questioning how I do know that, it is as a result of I acquired bored and timed it as soon as. One factor that is not boring is the podcast that I recorded on Monday night time with my loopy companions Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson. We spent 45 extremely entertaining minutes debating who’s going win the AFC East following New England’s win over Buffalo. We additionally talked about the truth that the Patriots received a recreation DESPITE THROWING JUST THREE PASSES. If you wish to pay attention, and also you positively ought to, you are able to do that beneath. 

Alright, I feel that is all of the self-promotion I’ve for the week. Let’s get to the picks. 

NFL Week 14 Picks

Pittsburgh (6-5-1) at Minnesota (5-7)

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (Fox/NFL Community/Amazon)

Newest Odds:

Minnesota Vikings

I will be trustworthy, if you happen to plan on watching this recreation on Thursday, you in all probability do not even want to start out watching it till the fourth quarter and that is as a result of everyone knows how the primary three quarters are going to play out. As I wrote earlier this season, each Vikings recreation goes the identical manner each week: They bounce out to an early lead solely to blow the lead, however then they normally get the lead again earlier than blowing it once more. Half the time, this ends with them shedding, however the different half of the time it ends with them successful, which makes their video games all the time entertaining, however practically inconceivable to foretell.

And proper now, it is particularly inconceivable to foretell what Minnesota’s going to do as a result of the Vikings are the laughing inventory of all the NFL after shedding to the Lions on Sunday. I don’t know if the staff goes to surrender on Mike Zimmer and lose by 40 or if he is going to have the ability to speak them off the ledge. 

If Zimmer’s good, he’ll give one quick speech this week and it’ll go one thing like this, “Guys, we get to play the one different staff within the NFL this yr that performed the Lions and could not beat them, so we really might need an opportunity to win this recreation.”

Though the Vikings loss to Detroit was embarrassing, the Steelers in all probability aren’t laughing at them and that is as a result of THEY ALSO virtually misplaced to the Lions. If the Lions hadn’t missed an time beyond regulation subject aim again in Week 10, they’d have overwhelmed the Steelers, however they did miss, in order that they ended up with a tie. 

I really feel just like the NFL ought to actually embrace the truth that this recreation options the one two groups to play the Lions this yr and never win. For one, they need to let an precise lion deal with the coin toss. I don’t know if that is secure or not, however it will positively be entertaining. 

Anyway, each the Steelers and Vikings defenses have really been surprisingly unhealthy this yr. There are solely six groups within the NFL giving up greater than 130 yards per recreation on the bottom and the Vikings and Steelers are two of these groups, so I really feel like this recreation goes to return all the way down to which offense can make the most of the opposite staff’s protection

The truth that the Vikings have a foul rush protection is sweet information for Massive Ben, as a result of it means the Steelers ought to be operating the ball rather a lot and I’ve to suppose that is what he needs, as a result of there is a good likelihood he is barely going to be practical enjoying on three days relaxation. The truth that the Steelers have a foul rush protection is sweet information for the Vikings, as a result of it means they need to be operating rather a lot on this recreation, which implies it will not be within the arms of Kirk Cousins. Look, I am not a Kirk Cousins hater, however I’ll say that he is positively the final man you wish to depend on in a prime-time recreation. Keep in mind how unhealthy Andy Dalton was in prime time? Properly, Cousins is worse. In his previous 5 prime-time begins alone, Cousins is 1-4 and a type of losses got here towards a Cowboys staff led by Cooper Rush earlier this yr.

This recreation seems like a coin flip, however there may be one factor that has me leaning Minnesota: The Steelers are 0-3 towards the unfold in video games versus NFC North groups this yr they usually have not been a lot better straight-up (1-1-1). I have never missed a Steelers decide since Week 3 and I will be placing that streak on the road by not taking them to win on Thursday night time. 

The decide: Vikings 23-20 over Steelers

Baltimore (8-4) at Cleveland (6-6)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Newest Odds:

Baltimore Ravens

If it feels such as you simply noticed these two groups play, that is since you did. Somebody within the NFL scheduling division clearly acquired a bit of lazy as a result of this recreation will mark the second time in three weeks that these two groups have met (Week 12 and Week 14). I imply, I am fairly positive I nonetheless have some leftover Thanksgiving turkey in my fridge that was in there the final time they performed, which jogs my memory, I ought to in all probability go test on that as a result of there’s a moderately disagreeable odor coming from my fridge. 

Talking of the NFL scheduling division, I really feel like somebody there should actually hate the Ravens as a result of they’re positively getting the quick finish of the stick right here. The Browns have principally had three weeks to organize for Baltimore whereas the Ravens will simply get just a few days. 

How are the Browns getting three weeks you ask? Properly, that is their second recreation in a row towards Baltimore. They performed the Ravens in Week 12, then had a bye in Week 13 and can now be enjoying them once more in Week 14, which implies the Browns have principally been prepping for Baltimore because the day after their Week 11 recreation ended, which was on Nov. 22.

That is the primary time in 30 years {that a} staff has gotten to play two straight video games towards the identical staff. The final time it occurred, the Ravens did not even exist, and for that matter, neither did Baker Mayfield and that is as a result of he wasn’t even born but. 

I am undecided what the Browns did throughout their bye week, however I am guessing they threw Mayfield in an ice tub and let him sit there for 12 straight days. There is not any one within the NFL who wanted every week off greater than Mayfield, who’s coping with so many accidents that if I did not know any higher, I’d have although he acquired in a automobile crash with a tractor. 

The one factor about this recreation is that it is a dream matchup for anybody who hates the ahead go. Within the fashionable NFL, standard knowledge says that you simply want to have the ability to throw the ball ahead to win, however these two groups have each thrown standard knowledge out the window this yr. The Browns and the Ravens have two of the top-four speeding assaults within the NFL and the loopy half is that they’ve rushed for the EXACT identical quantity of yardage this season (1,765). 

That being stated, I don’t know what both of those offenses are going to appear like this week and that is as a result of they’ve each been unhealthy recently. As a matter of truth, it has been MORE THAN A MONTH since both of those groups scored 20 factors in a recreation, so it seems like the primary staff to twenty goes to win and I’ll say that staff goes to be the Browns, however solely as a result of I feel the Ravens protection goes to wrestle a bit of bit of their first recreation with out Marlon Humphrey. 

The decide: Browns 20-17 over Ravens

Dallas (8-4) at Washington (6-6) 

1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Newest Odds:

Dallas Cowboys

I feel the NFL forgot that these two groups had been enjoying this week, as a result of that is the one option to clarify how an NFC East showdown acquired caught within the early window on Sunday. For so long as I can keep in mind, the NFL has been forcing horrible NFC East video games upon us in prime time, however the one time I WANT to observe an NFC East recreation in prime time, the league as a substitute decides to have it kick off at 1 p.m. and it’ll seemingly solely be proven to three% of the nation, which implies I’ll have steal my brother’s DirecTV password. Simply kidding, I’ve my very own. 

Does the NFL know it is allowed to flex video games? How are we caught with Bears-Packers on “Sunday Night time Soccer” this week when THIS GAME was accessible? I feel even Bears followers would moderately watch this recreation on Sunday night time. 

Between the Browns getting two straight video games towards the Ravens and Washington-Dallas being at 1 p.m., it hasn’t been a superb week for the NFL schedule maker. I am considering that going ahead, the NFL ought to ask me to vet the schedule earlier than releasing it yearly. 

Anyway, if you happen to would have requested me 5 weeks in the past who I assumed was going to win this recreation, I in all probability would’ve picked the Cowboys by seven touchdowns. I am undecided why you’d have requested me about this recreation again then, however simply play alongside. After eight weeks of play, Washington was 2-6 and it seemed like they had been going to duke it out with the Giants for the title of worst staff within the NFC East. As for the Cowboys, they had been 6-1 after eight weeks they usually seemed like they had been going to run away with the division, however then November occurred. 

Throughout that month, Washington went 3-0, making them the one NFC staff to go undefeated in November. General, Washington is now on a four-game successful streak, which is the longest within the NFC and the fourth-longest within the NFL. Often, that may be sufficient to persuade me to choose them and I in all probability would this week in the event that they weren’t dealing with Dak Prescott. 

If there’ s one staff Dak has completely owned in his profession, it is Washington. Since his rookie yr, he is 7-1 towards them and he is received these seven video games by a mean of 13.7 factors. And if you happen to take a look at the one factor this Washington protection would not do nicely, they can not cease the go. They’re giving up greater than 263.9 yards per recreation by way of air this yr, which is the third-worst quantity within the NFL. Dak would possibly throw for 700 yards. 

The decide: Cowboys 30-23 over Washington

Buffalo (7-5) at Tampa Bay (9-3)

4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Newest Odds:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I am undecided if the NFL has an equal of the Washington Generals all the time shedding to the Harlem Globetrotters, but when they do, it is in all probability the Buffalo Payments towards Tom Brady. Over the course of Brady’s profession, he has confronted the Payments 35 instances and in these 35 video games, he is gone 32-3, which is probably the most wins that any quarterback has towards one other staff in NFL historical past. 

The Payments media information would possibly say that the Pegula household owns the staff, however in actuality, everyone knows it is Tom Brady. 

In principle, I ought to be everywhere in the Buccaneers right here. Nevertheless, I am horrible with theories: I nonetheless do not perceive string principle, I fell asleep as soon as making an attempt to grasp quantum principle and the one principle I considerably perceive is chaos principle, which says the Payments ought to even have an opportunity to win, or perhaps it would not say that, I am undecided. Like I stated, I am unhealthy with theories. Nevertheless, I do sort of just like the Payments right here, even after watching them lose on Monday night time. 

The one purpose I just like the Payments is as a result of they’ve really been surprisingly good towards Brady since hiring Sean McDermott in 2017. Though the Patriots went 6-0 towards the Payments in that interval (2017-19), they had been principally successful due to Invoice Belichick’s defensive recreation plans, not due to Brady. In these six video games, Brady threw extra interceptions (5) than touchdowns (4) whereas averaging simply 225.5 yards per recreation.

Belichick all the time figures out a option to shut down Buffalo’s offense and he did it once more on Monday. As for Brady, he all the time appears to wrestle towards McDermott’s protection and I am anticipating that to proceed this week. 

The largest upside for the Payments going into this recreation is that the Tampa space shouldn’t be anticipating 60 mph gale drive winds this week, which implies I feel the Payments offense would possibly really mild up the scoreboard after solely scoring 10 factors on Monday. There’s positively an opportunity the Payments get blown out after imploding towards the Patriots, however I’ll assume that is not going to occur. 

The decide: Payments 30-27 over Buccaneers. 

L.A. Rams (8-4) at Arizona (10-2)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Newest Odds:

Arizona Cardinals

When two division rivals play one another for the second time in a season, I normally throw the outcomes of the primary recreation out the window, however I am in a room that does not have any home windows proper now, so I am unable to do this, which might be for the very best, as a result of I feel that first recreation provides us a small trace of what is going on to occur this time round. 

In that first recreation, the Rams could not cease Arizona’s speeding assault, they could not cease Kyler Murray and now that I am fascinated with it, I do not actually suppose they stopped anybody in a Cardinals uniform. Additionally, Matthew Stafford threw an interception on the Rams’ second possession and the wheels fell off the wagon for Los Angeles after that. 

Since that loss to the Cardinals in Week 4, the Rams are 5-3, however there’s sort of enormous catch there: They’re 5-0 towards groups which can be presently below .500 and 0-3 towards groups which can be .500 or higher. The 5 groups they’ve overwhelmed since Week 4 have a mixed report of 13-46-1. 

For those who’ve adopted Stafford’s profession, you will have seen that he virtually all the time struggles towards good groups and sadly for him, the Cardinals are a superb staff. Additionally, after I say wrestle, I imply he is 9-70 towards groups with a successful report and he is by no means overwhelmed a staff that is not less than 5 video games above .500 when he faces them. The Cardinals have a successful report they usually’re not less than 5 video games above .500, which makes this really feel like a horrible matchup for Stafford.  

The Playing cards have Kyler Murray again, they will be at full power and I am nonetheless not satisfied that Stafford has what it takes to beat a superb staff late within the season. Within the first assembly between these two groups, the Playing cards beat the Rams 37-20 and though I feel it is going to be barely nearer this time round, I feel Arizona nonetheless wins… except Kliff Kingsbury quits midweek to take the teaching job at Oklahoma. Nevertheless, Oklahoma has already employed a brand new coach, so I’ll go forward and assume that is not going to occur. 

The decide: Cardinals 37-27 over Rams

NFL Week 14 picks: All the remainder

Titans 27-13 over Jaguars
Chiefs 31-20 over Raiders
Saints 20-16 over Jets
Falcons 24-17 over Panthers
Seahawks 24-16 over Texans
Broncos 34-20 over Lions
Bengals 27-24 over 49ers
Chargers 33-23 over Giants
Packers 30-20 over Bears

BYES: Colts, Dolphins, Patriots, Eagles

Final Week

Finest decide: Final week, I predicted that the Steelers would upset the Ravens and guess what occurred? The Steelers upset the Ravens. Now, did I do know {that a} Ben Roethlisberger retirement story was going to leak out the night time earlier than the sport? In fact I did. That is basic Massive Ben: You leak out a retirement story after which watch because it evokes your staff to a win. He does this not less than as soon as a season.

I will not be shocked in any respect if Ben leaks a narrative about Mike Tomlin presumably retiring between now and Thursday night time.

Worst decide: Final week, I actually spent two paragraphs explaining why it’s best to by no means decide towards the Chargers in odd weeks and apparently, I do not know what an odd quantity is, as a result of I picked towards them anyway regardless that their recreation towards the Bengals was in Week 13. For those who want a fast refresher, the Chargers at the moment are 6-0 this season in odd numbered weeks and are averaging 34.3 factors per recreation. 

I am undecided if I am allowed to do that, however I’ll go forward and pre-pick them for wins in each Week 15 and Week 17. 

Lastly, if you happen to guys have ever questioned which groups I am really good at choosing, here is a fast look: 

Groups I am 10-2 choosing this yr: Texans, Rams, Steelers (9-2-1), Colts (11-2)
Longest present streak of choosing a staff’s video games appropriately: Steelers (9-0-1 since Week 3)

Groups I have been the worst at choosing this yr: Washington (3-9), Saints (4-8). 
Longest energetic streak of choosing a staff’s video games incorrect: Panthers (0-3 over their previous three video games)

Picks Report

Straight up in Week 13: 10-4
SU total: 118-75-1

In opposition to the unfold in Week 13: 6-8
ATS total: 93-98-3

Precise rating predictions: 3
Precise rating, incorrect winner: 2

Yow will discover John Breech on Fb or Twitter and if he is not doing a type of issues, he is in all probability cleansing out his fridge as a result of one thing does odor, nevertheless it’s not the outdated turkey. 


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