Thursday, 8 December 2011

NFL Week 14 Predictions

Overall record = 52-24

Thursday Night Football

CLE Browns @ PIT Steelers
After a poor prediction last week on Thursday night football, I think this week’s prediction may be a tad easier to get correct.

Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, for the third game in a row their team faces off against an AFC North rival sitting in the playoff standings. Losing their fifth game out of six the Browns now face the difficult task of preparing to take on Pittsburgh after having three days to prepare. After giving up 290 yards to the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland will be hoping to shut down the Steelers run game forcing Big Ben to throw against Cleveland’s number one passing D.

Despite having a 9-3 record Pittsburgh find themselves sitting in a wildcard spot due to their two losses to the Ravens. A comfortable victory over the Bengals last week was helped by 28 points in the second quarter. Pittsburgh may need to rely heavily on Rashard Mendenhall to carry the Steelers to their tenth win of the season.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Steelers to win by 14.

6PM GMT Games

IND Colts @ BAL Ravens
How different things could’ve been for the Indianapolis Colts if Peyton Manning was fit. This matchup would potentially be a playoff preview, but that’s not the case and the Colts continue to remain winless. Despite only losing by 7 points last week to the New England Patriots, the Colts didn’t score a touchdown until the fourth quarter. The only positive I can think of for them is that the season is almost over...

A week after winning a trap game against the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore now faces off against another minnow. With the Steelers hot on their tail, the Ravens need to continue pounding on their opponents with the rushing attack of Ray Rice and Ricky Williams; this allows Baltimore to take pressure off Joe Flacco who seems to be continuing his weekly bad impression of being a franchise QB.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Ravens to win by 21.

ATL Falcons @ CAR Panthers
Despite having the third ranked rushing defence Atlanta were unable to stop the Houston Texans from churning out the yards as they lost to Houston 17-10 and dropped to 7-5 for the season. If the Falcons want to return to the playoffs this season, their run game will need to be more effective when Matt Ryan is under performing and throwing multiple interceptions. 

Cam, just wow. Some people say there is no such thing as a one man team, but Cam has definitely ruined that idea. Unfortunately for Newton and the Carolina Panthers, the fact they’re a one man team has prevented them from winning more than four games so far. If the Panthers want to spring an upset this weekend then their fifth ranked offence will have to overpower the tenth ranked Atlanta defence.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Let’s go with an upset and say Carolina to win by 3.

HOU Texans @ CIN Bengals
Despite being down to their third string QB (let’s be honest he’s better than Matt Leinart), the Texans keep on winning thanks to their potent rushing attack and over powering defence that hasn’t missed a step despite losing Mario Williams. Once again Houston square off against another playoff contender and will look to extend their winning streak to seven games.

Another divisional loss for the Bengals has resulted in Cincy now being in a four way tie for the final wildcard spot in the AFC. Sitting with a 7-5 record the Bengals will need to try and establish the running game of Cedric Benson who has seen his production drop of late. I wonder if Andy Dalton will try and pass over Jonathon Joseph on his return to Cincinnati.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Texans to keep on winning, this time by 7.

MIN Vikings @ DET Lions
Don’t be sad Vikings fans, we all knew your team was going to lose to the Broncos last week because of the inevitable magic during Tebow time (the 4th quarter of every Denver game will now be known as this)! On the plus side at least they managed to score 32 points at the weekend, despite Adrian Peterson not playing for the second straight game. Percy Harvin stepped up to the plate with two long receiving touchdowns perhaps not wanting  to be outshone by his former Florida Gator teammate. If Christian Ponder can improve on last week’s performance, Minnesota could spring an upset this week.  
Someone needs to have a sit down with the Lions and teach them the rules of the games. A costly 11 flags for 107 yards was one of the main reasons Detroit lost to the Saints at the weekend. If the beaten up Vikings defence cover Calvin Johnson like the Saints did (a quick example at the goal line, Matt Stafford and the Lions receiving core should have a field day in one on one matchups! If they remember not to push off this week...
Dbl Coverage prediction: Detroit to get back to winning ways by 10 points.

TB Buccaneers @ JAC Jaguars
With Tampa Bay taking a few steps back from their potential playoff season last year, Raheem Morris may now be in a battle to keep his job. An in-state rivalry matchup against the Jags this weekend could be a make or break game for Morris and the Bucs future.

Despite having a 3-9 record Jacksonville currently have the number five ranked defence in the NFL! No wonder they gave their DC the interim job for the time being! In what can only be described as a poor season for the Jags, Maurice Jones-Drew continues to be a bright spark for the team rushing for more than 1,000 yards for the third straight year.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Jacksonville to win by 6.

PHI Eagles @ MIA Dolphins
Philadelphia Eagles fans who said they will win the NFC East or the Superbowl I need to put this out there...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...Ok I’ll stop because that could’ve gone on for quite a while. Just so everyone knows I said they wouldn’t make the playoffs before the season began. 

Having felt the full effects of Marshawn Lynch in beast mode, the Eagles D now get to face off against Reggie Bush who could give any of the Eagles linebackers in coverage another nightmare game. Michael Vick is expected to return to the line up this weekend and if a few coaches wish to keep their jobs in Philly they’ll be hoping for a big game out of their injury prone QB.

Lately all Miami seem to be doing is winning, now with four wins out of five Miami continue to improve, their latest victory being a 34-14 humiliation of the Oakland Raiders. With Matt Moore, Reggie Bush and Brandon Marshall continuing to lead the Dolphins offence don’t be surprised to see another blowout this weekend.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Miami to win by 17.

KC Chiefs @ NY Jets
In a low scoring affair against the Bears, Tyler Palko and the Kansas City Chiefs managed to out duel Caleb Hanie and the Chicago offence. This week Palko faces off against a Jets defence that will bring pressure to force Palko to throw against their top notch defensive backs. Kansas will look to ruin another teams playoff hopes.

As much as you (Ed: you mean I) want them to lose, the Jets keep on winning! Fortunately motor mouth Rex Ryan seems to be keeping his trap shut this year, but If the Jets want to win comfortably this weekend their offence will need to score more than one touchdown before the fourth quarter.
Dbl Coverage prediction: J-E-T-S! JETS, JETS, JETS to win by 4.

NO Saints @ TEN Titans
New Orleans and Drew Brees continue their hot streak of late over potential playoff opponents and now get to square off against the Titans who are currently in the hunt for a wildcard spot. Currently on pace to obliterate Dan Marinos all time passing record, Drew Brees will be in for a tough game against the highly rated Titans defensive backs. Fortunately with a number of top quality receivers to throw the ball to, Brees will no doubt take advantage of any mismatches for the Titans D.

Chris Johnson has finally decided to start playing like a top paid running back after numerous poor performances at the start of the season. Somehow the Titans are still hanging around the playoffs spots and can still potentially win the AFC South. A win over the second best team in the NFL at the moment would be a huge momentum boost for Tennessee and first year coach Mike Munchak.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Saints to win outdoors by 10.

NE Patriots @ WAS Redskins
Another week, another team getting GRONK’D! I fully expected a blowout last week against the Colts and for three quarters the Pats were on course for a huge victory, then their pass defence pulled a LeBron and stopped performing in the fourth quarter to allow three Indy TD’s. If the Patriots want to return to the Superbowl, their pass D will need to continue performing throughout the whole game.

With Rex Grossman under centre, one of two things is going to happen for the Redskins this weekend. He’s either going to have a ton of yards and a couple of TD’s against the Patriots D or as usual will find a way to take his team out of a game, possibly throwing an interception to big Vince Wilfork. Roy Helu will hope to continue his good form this weekend.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Patriots to win by 17.

9PM GMT Games

SF 49ers @ ARI Cardinals
Now that San Francisco has won the NFC West will they start to rest their offensive starters? Don’t count on it with the Saints hot on their tail for a first round bye in the playoffs. After becoming the 49ers all time leader in rushing yards, Frank Gore only needs 18 more yards to top the 1,000 yard mark for the fifth time in his career.

After knocking off Dallas in overtime, the Cards now find themselves in the unusual position of a  two game winning streak and improving to 5-7 for the season. With Beanie Wells running the ball well, Andre Roberts having a huge game against Dallas and Larry Fitzgerald doing what Larry does best, the Cards could spring a surprise in this matchup now about pride instead of division titles.
Dbl Coverage prediction: 49ers to win by 3.

CHI Bears @ DEN Broncos
Cutlers out, Fortes out, when it comes to the playoffs will the Bears miss out? You know you’re season has been turned on its head when there’s rumours that you may be signing Donovan McNabb or trying to entice Brett Favre and his Wrangler jeans out of retirement. If the Bears want to stay competitive in the NFC their defence will need to carry the Bears over the finish line and hope that their offensive weapons can return by the playoffs.

Being a member of the Gator nation I always believed that Tim Tebow could be a good player in the NFL and with a 6-1 record since becoming the starter, a lot of the so called experts seem to be eating their words. The passing game of Tim Tebow, the re-emergence of Willis McGahee and the continually improving Broncos defence led Denver to a 35-32 victory over Minnesota and the top spot in the AFC West. If you don’t believe in Tebow magic or the fact he’s a winner just watch this video from his gator days! 
Dbl Coverage prediction: Broncos to win by 3.

OAK Raiders @ GB Packers
Despite getting humiliated by the Dolphins last week, the Raiders and their rushing game could end the Packers unbeaten run this week. Dropping down to second place in the AFC West, the Raiders will need their decision to trade for Carson Palmer to pay off in December, especially as crunch time approaches for teams with playoff aspirations. The Raiders offence, defence and special teams will need to be on top form to silence the Lambeau crowd.

The Packers managed to survive a scare from the Giants last weekend with a final minute game winning drive. With the latest news that the Packers have activated third string QB Graham Harrell from the practice squad, we need to start wondering if the Pack will go for the sacred 16-0 or pull an Indianapolis and start benching starters early.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Packers to win by 10.

BUF Bills @ SD Chargers
Oh Buffalo...once 5-2, now 5-7. A five game losing streak has ended the Bills hopes of making the playoffs and now they may end up back at the bottom of the AFC East with Miami starting to find their groove. The loss of Fred Jackson seems to be more costly than people thought it would be.

San Diego finally ended their six game losing streak over the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars on MNF and now have a real shot of starting an extended winning streak (San Diego don’t lose in December that often). I wonder if the Chargers only played well in their last game as they were playing in front of next year’s potential head coach John Gruden.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Chargers to win by 6.

NY Giants @ DAL Cowboys
They might not have won the game against the Packers last weekend, but the Giants can take heart from the fact they could hang around with Green Bay for so long and had a real chance of beating the Pack (how different it would’ve been if Ballard’s TD was given). If Ahmad Bradshaw has returned to full health the Giants run game may open up the passing game for Eli to continue his good season so far against a hurt Cowboys D.

Jason Garrett, you iced your own kicker? You do realise you had enough time and time outs to call another play and potentially move ten yarders closer, which would have made it easier for your kicker right? Well...anyway, this poor decision meant young Bailey missed his field goal and then the Cowboys went on to lose in overtime...Jason Garrett you receive the inaugural Dbl Coverage Muppet of the week award! Hope you enjoy it.
Dbl Coverage prediction: Giants to win by 7 and return to the top spot in the NFC East.

1pm MNF Game

STL Rams @ SEA Seahawks
Really? Really? This is what the schedulers put as the MNF game this week? C’MON MAN! What a dreadful game! Just like last year, somehow this matchup has been the designated late game towards the end of the season. Unlike last year the NFC West title isn’t on the line as the Rams and Seahawks are 2-10 and 5-7 respectively.

For the Rams their season just continues to get worse and now looks like Sam Bradford may miss his second straight game. At least the can restore some sort of pride with a win this week.
With a long rest you’d think the Seahawks will dominate the Rams just like they did with the Philadelphia Eagles. If Marshawn Lynch continues to pound on opposing defences like last season, the Hawks could ruin a few teams’ playoffs hopes as we head towards the post season.
 Dbl Coverage prediction: Seahawks to win by 13.

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