Dec 5, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen (83) hauls in a touchdown pass in the second quarter as New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) defends at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Week 13 of the NFL season has come and gone and now week 14 is upon us. As the end of the season nears, each game has an increasing impact and implication on the playoff picture. Each game becomes more and more important as teams try to close out their divisions. Each game then becomes more crucial to the outcome of season. Week 14 promises to be full of intense matchups and bitter rivalries as teams fight for a playoff spot and the season nears it finale.
Each week the cover32 national content team will give you their picks for five of the week’s best and most challenging NFL matchups. A running tally will be kept to see which of the team’s writers knows the most about the NFL and can pick’em the best.
Picks: Lions, Falcons, Patriots, Colts, Bengals
The Lions should have little trouble earning their fifth straight with a win over the Bears who are in complete disarray. The Falcons will be looking to rebound against the Rams after they disappointing loss to the Chiefs last week. Though the Ravens have been on a roll lately, they will hit the wall with a matchup against the Patriots this week. The Texans have managed a lone win on the road this year and that doesn’t figure to change when they travel to Indianapolis to do battle with the Colts. The Bengals should earn back-to-back wins after taking on the hapless Browns in week 14.
Last week: Patriots, Broncos, Redskins, Raiders, Packers; (4-1)
Justin Ekstrom (23-10)
Picks: Patriots, Packers, Lions, Falcons, Bengals
After finally gathering a five-win-week, hopefully success can pour over to this week. This week, the lines are a little scarier than last week; not too many teams stick out as sure-fire victors. That being said, New England, Green Bay and Detroit all hold their own at home even though their opponents are all coming off convincing wins. Atlanta and Cincinnati will both have tougher sledding on the road but they come up with wins nonetheless. Hopefully this week, I will get back to my 4-1 ways as it is definitely crunch time in the season and our friendly competition.
Last week: Cowboys, Patriots, Seahawks, Broncos, Packers; (5-0)
Brandon Scott (21-13)
Picks: Colts, Bengals, Chargers, Vikings, Falcons
Following a rough week of picks, the slate of games for Week 14 provides even more difficult choices. Currently, only two teams are favored by over a touchdown, Detroit and New England.
Why didn’t I pick those?
Anyway, the Colts continue a push to win their division with a win over Houston. Until last week’s performance by the Bengals I had Cleveland in this game. No more, Browns lose again. Both the Chargers and Panthers have struggled, but San Diego is in a better state of mind despite traveling across the country. Minnesota remains in the playoff picture another week with a win over Jacksonville and the Atlanta Falcons respond from a difficult home loss on the road in Los Angeles.
Last week: Patriots, Broncos, Falcons, Saints, Chargers; (2-3)
Michael Jaycox (18-15)
Picks: Browns, Lions, Colts, Redskins, Buccaneers
With the NFL season nearing its close, it’s time for each division to begin tearing each other apart. The league’s schedule makers have done a fantastic job of increasing drama in Weeks 13-17 by jamming as divisional games into the schedule as possible. Not only does this lead to a few heated contests between hated rivals, but it allows for the playoff picture to shift at a moment’s notice.
It’s hard for me to believe Cleveland actually goes 0-16 — they’re a better team than that — and this might be their last legitimate opportunity to squeak out a victory. I think they take it.
Last week: Bills, Packers, Saints, Ravens, Steelers; (3-2)
Austin Erwin (18-15)
Picks: Chiefs, Browns, Colts, Eagles, Vikings
Week 14 brings an ever important set of matchups into play. There a many teams in dire need of a win just to stay alive in playoff hunt. To start, the Raiders will be visiting the Chiefs in Kansas City. With as loud as Arrowhead stadium is, Oakland will have no easy task. Not to mention, the Chiefs lead the NFL in takeaways. One huge play could heavily swing things in the Chief’s favor. In Cleveland, the Bengals will be traveling on the road to battle for Ohio. Look for the Browns to get their first win at home to a struggling Cincinnati team. The Texans will also be on the road in Indianapolis this week. The Colts and Texans will square off an a major AFC showdown. The outcome of this game will have a lot do with figuring the AFC South champion as well. Now look to Philadelphia where the Eagles will be taking on the visiting Redskins. The Redskins are in danger of losing playoff hopes. There margin of error is next to none. The Minnesota Vikings find themselves in a similar position. They are currently a game out of the wildcard and win could propel them back into striking distance.
Last week: Chiefs, Bengals, Rams, Raiders, Steelers ; (4-1)