Just like the game I went to in Dallas, we had a close game at the half…
…but this time, it was the Cowboys who pulled away in the second half. After a pretty boring game through the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Cowboys exploded for 3 TDs and 2 INTs of Eli “That’s my Quarterback” Manning. I won’t go into crazy detail on this, but I think that the Cowboys have a greater chance to make the playoffs than the less than 10% chance they are being given. We all know there will likely be an upset along the way, but if favorites win every game involving these NFC teams in the hunt, except one of the Falcons games (Week 15 at Bucs or Week 17 vs. Panthers), the Cowboys will end up as the 6th seed. The Cowboys will be favored the next two weeks, and if the Eagles win their next two (which they are favored to do), they won’t be playing for anything Week 17, and the Cowboys could therefore be favored in that one as well (I just convinced myself the Cowboys are going to the Super Bowl).
As for the picks in Week 14, let’s just say it was like the NBA- a game of runs. After an amazing start which saw me at 8-1 against the spread and 7-2 straight up after the early games, the late games absolutely killed me. I ended up with a winning record, but things could have gone so much better. I went 9-7 both straight up, and against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):
Saints at Falcons (-2.5)
Cowboys (-4) at Giants
Colts at Bills (-4)
Vikings at Panthers (+2.5)
Bears (+6.5) at Bengals
- Bears 33, Bengals 7- Well, I was right about the Bengals being banged up, but I could have never imagined it being that bad. The Bears put together as complete of a performance as it gets, and the Bengals clearly played their Super Bowl 6 days earlier.
Packers (-3) at Browns
49ers at Texans (-3)
- 49ers 26, Texans 16- Has the next Joe Montana arrived in San Fran? What a great performance by Jimmy G to lead the Niners to their second straight win in his second start.
Raiders at Chiefs (-4)
Lions (-2.5) at Buccaneers
Titans (-3) at Cardinals
- Cardinals 12, Titans 7- Talk about a shitty game. The Titans still have a great shot to make the playoffs, but they are clearly no threat whatsoever.
Jets (-1) at Broncos
- Broncos 23, Jets 0- Josh McCown getting hurt helped, but where has this Denver team been for the last 8 weeks? The Jets now have an opportunity to lose out and get a better draft pick after their surprisingly okay season.
Redskins (+6) at Chargers
- Chargers 30, Redskins 13- The Redskins looked like the Redskins of the previous week, and the Chargers returned to their form from Thanksgiving in Dallas.
Seahawks (+2.5) at Jaguars
- Jaguars 30, Seahawks 24- Even week Jags, WTF? I was so sure Seattle would win this one, but Jacksonville came to play and the Seahawks comeback effort was too late. I have no problems with the Seahawks on offense and I like Russell Wilson a lot, but (sorry Bert) the Seahawks defense continues to be a bunch of sore losers, especially one of the two people I hate in the NFL more than anyone, Michael Bennett (you can probably guess who the other is, hint: same last name). However, I loved that we nearly had a Malice at the Palace 2.0.
Eagles at Rams (-2.5)
- Eagles 43, Rams 35- What an amazing game and performance by the Eagles. Even though the Rams lost, the Eagles are the ones keeping their heads down after this one. Can Nick Foles have another magical run as Eagles backup QB?
Ravens (+5) at Steelers
Patriots (-11.5) at Dolphins
- Dolphins 27, Patriots 20- Games like these commonly happen when a team is shorthanded on the road. Just not usually for the Patriots. The Dolphins had their best performance of the season by far, and the exact opposite can be said about the Pats. Special shoutout to anyone who had Over 48, as the Pats had 1st and Goal at the 1, and ended up settling for a field goal, pushing the total to 47.
2017 Straight-Up: 136-72, 2017 Vs. Spread: 104-98-6
It’s hard to believe it’s already Week 15.
Broncos at Colts (+2.5)
- Based on last week, the Broncos should easily win this one. But that Broncos team had not been seen since Week 2, and they have yet to win on the road this year. The Broncos will return to their losing ways, the Colts will get the upset win at home on Thursday night.
Bears (+5.5) at Lions
- The Bears looked extremely sharp last week, and I like that train to keep rolling this weekend in Detroit. However, the Lions have more to play for here, and they are the home team. I think the Lions edge out a close win, but the Bears cover.
Chargers at Chiefs (+1)
- If this game were to have been played last week, I probably would have taken the Chargers. Not to base too much off last week, but the Chiefs looked good, and we know what they are capable of. Now as a home underdog, I think the Chiefs get the home win over the Chargers.
Dolphins at Bills
- Note: This spread has not been announced yet due to the Bills QB situation. I will choose this game once the starter is announced, and reveal what my pick was next week.
Packers at Panthers (-3)
- R-E-L-A-X Packers fans, #12 is back. The Packers are capable of beating anyone with Aaron Rodgers, but in order to make the playoffs, they will need to win out in 3 tough games. And I don’t think they get in done in this one. The Panthers are coming off a great win over the hottest team in the NFC, and I think they keep cruising towards the playoffs with a home win in Rodgers’ first game back.
Ravens at Browns (+7)
- The Ravens played great last week, but it has to hurt to do all of that in a losing effort. The Browns are coming off what should have been their first win, and they know this could be their last chance in their last home game. The Browns will do enough to cover, but the Ravens will get the win.
Texans at Jaguars (-10.5)
- If the even week Jags can get a win, I don’t think the Texans can come close to competing with the odd week Jags. The Jaguars will keep this train rolling into the postseason and crush the Texans at home.
Bengals at Vikings (-10.5)
- Another big spread, but another game in which I like the favorite to cover. The Bengals looked decimated last week, and I think the same happens this week. The Vikings will get back to their winning ways and easily win at home over the Bengals, and cover as well.
Jets at Saints (-15)
- Big spreads? No problem. The Jets QB situation is horrific now without Josh McCown, and now I think they will look like the team everyone expected them to be coming into the season. The Saints will win big at home over the Jets.
Eagles (-7.5) at Giants
- The Eagles have one of the best backup QB situations in the league in Nick Foles, someone who has succeed in that role before for the same team. However, I think this game will be close and low scoring at the half just like the Cowboys game against the Giants. However, just like the Cowboys, the Eagles will pull away late to win and cover.
Cardinals at Redskins (-4)
- If you were to ask someone who was having a better season of these two teams, they would probably say the Redskins. The Cardinals are not making the playoffs, but they are very low key 6-7, one game ahead of the 5-8 ‘Skins. The Cardinals have been playing better of late, and I think it will be a close one. However, the Redskins will score late to get the win and cover at home.
Rams at Seahawks (-2)
- The up and coming Rams get their first test on the road against the previous Alphas of the NFC West. While I think the Rams end up winning the division, I’m taking the Seahawks at home in this one. The Seahawks looked great defending their home turf when the Eagles came to town two weeks ago, and the Rams are coming off of a tough loss to those same Eagles. Wilson and the Seahawks will survive in this one.
Patriots at Steelers (+3)
- After watching the Steelers on prime time the last 3 weeks, I’m starting to feel that they are a team of destiny this year. Losing on the road to the lowly Dolphins may just be the pre-playoffs wake up call that the Pats needed, but I’m sticking with the Steelers in this one. I could see the Pats winning, but I cannot believe they are 3 point favorites on the road against a team with a better record. I’m going with the home ‘dog Steelers in this one.
Titans at 49ers (-2)
- The Niners are hot, and the Titans are not. Jimmy G has lead the Niners to back to back wins on the road, and now he returns to SF for his first home start. I think he succeeds and the Titans come out flat on the West Coast again, and the Niners get the win and cover at home.
Cowboys (-3) at Raiders
- Super Bowl LII five weeks early? It does not look like that will be happening. However, this is a big game for both teams. And with the Cowboys knowing Zeke will be back next week, I think they go in knowing they have to win this game. Their defense looked significantly better with their MVP Sean Lee back in the lineup to make 18 (EIGHTEEN!) tackles, as well as an interception. I think this will be a close one, but the Boys will edge it out on Sunday night to keep their hopes alive.
Falcons (-6.5) at Buccaneers
- The Falcons have been playing competitive football at the right time as they hope another playoff run is near. And it think that will show on Monday night. The home team Bucs will keep it close, but the Falcons will pull away late to win and cover.
That’s it for this week, be back for Week 16. Can Chris Boswell hit a winning field goal for a FIFTH straight week?