2016 NFL Predictions Week Fourteen
The regular season is just a quarter of the way through and the Dallas Cowboys is the only team that has clinched a playoff spot. There will still be some sorting out to do for the next few weeks before anything can be finalized. Strap yourselves in.
Raiders @ Chiefs: The AFC West may as well could be decided on Thursday night. The Chiefs have already beaten Oakland back in October and have a meeting with the Broncos on Christmas day. The Raiders have Denver to end the regular season at Mile High Stadium. It was mostly defense, accompanied with special teams play, that has gotten Kansas City this far winning 7 of their last 8 games.
Steelers @ Bills: The Steelers offense has gotten the ball rolling in the last month and the defense has helped out during their current three game win streak. Of the six wins Buffalo has so far this season, there really isn't one you can hang your hat on. They also let some games slip away that they shouldn't have.
Broncos @ Titans: Since October, Marcus Mariota has thrown for 2275 yards, 21 touchdowns, four (FOUR!) interceptions and a passer rating of 110.9. There is no doubt Tennessee can win this game because of the play of their quarterback. What could prevent that from happening, however, is Trevor Siemian's return under center for Denver after missing last week's game and of course the defense.
Redskins @ Eagles: Washington has lost two in a row partly due to their struggles in the red zone. There is not a doubt that they can score off of big plays but they will have to find ways to get six points in the opponent's territory to keep their postseason hopes alive. Despite their 5-7 record, Philadelphia has a shot at the playoffs, but will need plenty of help.
Cardinals @ Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill and the Miami offense fell flat on their face last week in Baltimore after winning their last six games. For the visiting Cardinals, their defense held their own and Carson Palmer strung some drives to get them a big win last week at home. Defending David Johnson, NFL leader in scrimmage yards, will be a tough task for Miami's defense. Should be a fun game but Arizona's inconsistency this season will be the deciding factor.
Vikings @ Jaguars: Hanging on by a thread, the Vikings need this game to have a chance at the playoffs. Turnovers, both giving away the ball and the lack of taking it away, has been the norm in Jacksonville. Turnovers is what the Vikings defense have done best all season. The offense just needs to get more than a field goal off of them. The second half surges by Blake Bortles and the rest of the offense have caused some scares to opposing teams. It will be a close game.
Texans @ Colts: A fairly tough schedule ahead the rest of the season for both teams, so it is safe to say the loser will be scratched out of the playoff picture. The Colts have been in this AFC South race for a little over a month and look to get revenge over the collapsing Texans who beat them in mid-October. A miracle will need to happen for Houston offensively to salvage their disappointing season.
Chargers @ Panthers: All the talk was focused on a wardrobe malfunction and hardly at how Carolina got destroyed on Sunday night. That was probably the craziest start to a game that we've come across recently. Cam Newton's talent alone should be enough to give the Panthers a victory over a lesser opponent.
Bengals @ Browns: In the Battle for Ohio, Robert Griffin III could make his return on the field in what would be some entertaining football. The Bengals and their better roster won't make it easy for Hue Jackson, their former offensive coordinator.
Bears @ Lions: Both squads were sitting at 1-3 the last time these two met in early October. Detroit couldn't stop Bryan Hoyer and Jordan Howard while Matthew Stafford threw two drive killing interceptions to give Chicago the win. Since then, the Bears have won two more games while Detroit has a two game lead on the NFC North. The loss of cornerback Quandre Diggs could be a problem down the line for Detroit's defense.
Jets @ 49ers: The Jets have been eliminated from playoff contention due to the drubbing they took on Monday night. Rookie quarterback Bryce Petty will start for the remainder of the season for what could be considered an audition for next year. It wasn't a good performance for Petty coming in at the second half already down 21 points, but it wasn't the best of situations. With a full week of practice ahead, Petty should have a better performance in San Francisco with more help. The Jets defense struggled getting to a mobile quarterback in Andrew Luck and it won't get easier facing Colin Kaepernick.
Saints @ Buccaneers: There is a possibility that Jameis Winston can one-up, future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees with the defense he will be facing. There is a definite possibility that Mike Evans will see more targets and post better than 38 yards receiving on Sunday. Outside of California, New Orleans hasn't found a win on the road. Tampa Bay can almost smell it. We'll have to see if they can take advantage and grab it.
Falcons @ Rams: A loss that Atlanta couldn't afford with the Bucs nipping at their wings. A meeting with Jared Goff could be the perfect remedy. Matt Ryan could be without his top men in Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones, which should lead to the offense riding on Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in the backfield. Meanwhile, Jeff Fisher is probably preparing for Roddy White, Alge Crumpler and Warrick Dunn.
Seahawks @ Packers: With Earl Thomas out for the rest of the season, Seattle's defense lost a bit of their poison and it should get more interesting in the league for the rest of the season. Aaron Rodgers will look opposite of Richard Sherman and will keep an eye on whomever will take Thomas's spot. Russell Wilson could eat up the Packers defense.
Cowboys @ Giants: The New York Giants haven't swept the Dallas Cowboys in the regular season since 2011, they year they won the Super Bowl. In the season opener, Dak and Zeke were getting acquainted and didn't have the impact as they are having now. Last week's nail biter gave a glimpse on how to stop Dallas' run game. With the Giants defensive line (even without Jason Pierre-Paul) and Landon Collins, my x-factor in this game, Elliott will struggle again running the ball. This is a big game for Eli Manning.
Ravens @ Patriots: Joe Flacco and Tom Brady have provided us some entertaining games when they face each other, with Brady getting the best of Flacco with a 5-3 record (including playoffs). The performances the two quarterbacks had last week should present an edge-of-your-seat finish. In the past month, the Ravens defense have been allowing 13.6 points per game and 288 total yards per game. This will be the best test for the Patriots without The Gronk.
2016 Season: 89-71-2
Last Week: 11-4