Here are my week 14 NFL picks.
49ers @ Cardinals: 49ers, 19-16. This will be another game David Akers wins for the Niners. Over the last three weeks Arizona’s red zone defense (36 percent opponent TD percentage) has been nearly as stout as San Francisco’s (33 percent opponent TD percentage). Both teams offenses will score one touchdown a piece on “shot plays” from outside the red zone. Akers makes an average of three and three quarters field goals per game this season. He’ll make four this Sunday, and the Niners will win by three.
Rams @ Seahawks: Seahawks. These two teams played each other in St. Louis three weeks ago, and the Seahawks won 24-7. They should win this one by much more.
Raiders @ Packers: Packers. The Raiders seem like they’re unraveling. They’re still missing their top-three offensive weapons – Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford – plus their defense has no chance of stopping Aaron Rodgers.
Saints @ Titans: Saints. The Saints have lost two of their last three road games, and they’re typically weak against the run. So, playing Chris Johnson and the Titans in Tennessee will be tough for them. But the Saints are still improving, they’ll win this game, and they’ll show the league they’re becoming an elite team both at home and on the road.
Falcons @ Panthers: Panthers. Carolina’s poor run D held LeGarrette Blount to 19 yards on 11 carries last week, so perhaps they’re getting better. Carolina’s offense can move the ball on the ground and through the air, and they’re deadly in the red zone – they’ve converted 83 percent of their red zone trips to touchdowns over the last three games.
Texans @ Bengals: Bengals. Cincinnati bounces back from a big loss to the Steelers last week and beats rookie QB T.J. Yates and the Texans this week.
Colts @ Ravens: Ravens. Blow out.
Vikings @ Lions: Lions. Another blow out.
Eagles @ Dolphins: Eagles. Michael Vick comes back from his rib injury and plays his best game of the season.
Buccaneers @ Jaguars: No opinion.
Patriots @ Redskins: Patriots. Chris Mortensen thinks Washington can pull off the upset, but I don’t.
Chiefs @ Jets: Jets. Tyler Palko isn’t about to win two games in a row.
Bills @ Chargers: Chargers. I don’t like picking the Chargers, but the Bills have lost five games in a row, and San Diego just won big last Sunday.
Giants @ Cowboys: Cowboys. The Giant’s defense can’t stop anybody anymore. Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and the Cowboys offense will get back on track at home this Sunday and end the Giants season.
Bears @ Broncos: Broncos. The Bears have as good of a shot as any defense as stopping Tim Tebow. But they don’t have serviceable quarterback themselves, so they’re going to lose.