NFL Week 14 open thread
posted at 12:31 pm on December 11, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
Ed: Whaddaya know? I finally had a good week, going 6-1 in my picks. Only the failure of the Redskins to beat the Cardinals kept me out of perfection in Week 13. That brings my season to 54-39, unless Jazz wants a recount, in which case we’ll find out who won the regular season battle in, oh …. April. I wonder if he’ll raise lots of cash to push his case.
Jazz: Slow and steady wins the race, Ed. Much like in golf, where you play against the course, not the other golfers, I’ve been focused on winning more than I lose. I managed at least that much again last week, once again going 4-3, slowly stretching my season record to 57-36. It just seems like I should be further ahead of Ed than that, so yes… I’ll shortly be announcing the link to my Kickstarter fund for a recount of all of our NFL picks for the season. I think we can get this done for, at most, $6M. So break out the credit cards, guys. This is all about the integrity of the process.
Ed: With the Chiefs managing a small upset at home over the Raiders on Thursday, we should prepare for some surprises. The Steelers visit the Bills in snowy Buffalo today (1 pm ET, CBS), coming in at 3-point favorites. Pittsburgh’s offense has become more revitalized on this three-game win streak, while Buffalo hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record since the Brady-less Pats in week 4. Steelers 24-20 over Buffalo. The Jets travel to San Francisco (4:05 pm, CBS), which has another QB controversy on its hands. Jets will bounce back to beat the Whiners, 19-13. The Vikings travel to Jacksonville (1 pm, Fox) after losing six of their last seven. They should beat the Jags, who have lost seven in a row, but it’ll be a low-scoring affair. Vikings 17-13 over the Jags.
Jazz: This is the time of year when I might pick the Bills for a home game because of the horrible conditions in Buffalo, but the Steelers practice in nearly as bad of conditions on a regular basis. Plus, Pittsburgh has been averaging more than 380 yards on offense over the past few weeks. I’ll take the Steelers in a lower scoring ground game, 17-12. Ed clearly has more faith in my Jets than I do, particularly since we’re turning the offense over to a promising but extremely green rookie QB. Still, I can’t turn my back on the boys. Jets win in a slight upset 13-10. The Vikings are in a strictly defensive battle against the Jaguars so this one won’t be making many highlight reels. Minnesota is a slight favorite, but the Jaguars’ number four ranked pass defense should slow them down. I’ll take another upset here with the home field advantage and take Jacksonville to win it 13-10.
Ed: Let’s pick four more and see whether I can make it to perfection in Week 14:
- Redskins at Eagles (1 pm, Fox) – The line has Washington favored slightly, perhaps because the Eagles have only won twice since week 3. Both of those were home-field wins, and the Redskins don’t play well on the road. Eagles 27-20 over the Redskins.
- Seahawks at Packers (4:25 pm, Fox) – Seattle dominates at home, but are under .500 on the road — and it will be cold and snowy in Green Bay. The Packers seem to have turned a corner in their last two games. I’ll take the Pack in a slight upset, 31-24.
- Cowboys at Giants (8:30 pm, NBC) – I’m not picking against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys until they give me a reason to do so. Cowboys should keep Eli Manning in check long enough to pull out a 28-20 win over the Giants.
- Ravens at Patriots (8:30 pm Monday, ESPN) – This will be one of the few occasions where I’ll be cheering for the Pats, who should have no problem with the Ravens at home. Look for a big score here, 35-17 Pats, and another record for Tom Brady. If Pittsburgh takes care of business, the Steelers could take over first place in the AFC North.
- Redskins at Eagles (1 pm, Fox) – Carson Wentz has overseen the collapse of the Eagles’ passing game in the second half of the season while Kirk Cousins has been averaging nearly 320 yards per game. The air assault is what this one will come down to, so I’ll go with the Redskins 26-20.
- Seahawks at Packers (4:25 pm, Fox) – Asking anyone to play against the Packers at home in December is a tall order, particularly when they come from a rain forest. Still, Seattle has Richard Sherman leading the defense and Russel Wilson is always a wildcard, particularly when he decides to run the ball himself. This could be a nail biter, but I’ll go out on a limb and take the Seahawks 28-25.
- Cowboys at Giants (8:30 pm, NBC) – I’d love to see the Giants pull this one off tonight, but I’m tired of getting burned picking against the Cowboys. Dallas has the tools and the drive, they’re healthy and ready to roll. Cowboys win it 24-17.
- Ravens at Patriots (8:30 pm Monday, ESPN) –Ed’s only picking this game because he knows how much I hate taking the Patriots (well… that and the fact that we always pick the Monday night game), but I’m not falling into that trap. As depressing as it will be to watch, I’ll take the New England Cheatriots 41-27.