Wednesday, December 9, 2009

NFL 2009: Week 14: No Time for Losers or It's Over

Baltimore and Pittsburgh fans have something more in common than their contempt for each other. They’re both looking at their teams at 6-6 all but out of the playoff chase seeing Ochocinco and the Cincinnati Bengals running off to the playoffs as the Northern Division champs. Does anyone expect the Bengals will lose their last four games? Not likely, but didn’t the Tennessee Titans lose their first six? Warning Ravens fans, don’t use this as something to provide hope. Something else they have in common, they both play teams they should surely beat convincingly with Pittsburgh travelling to Cleveland for the NFL Network’s Thursday night game. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions come to Crab City.

Two of this week’s most interesting games in the AFC feature Denver playing at Indianapolis. Will Indy play full strength to preserve their perfect season or will they let up a little in preparation for post season? Meanwhile, Miami visits Jacksonville with its faint hopes of playoff action, but for any of the 6-6 teams to have playoff hopes, Jacksonville must lose.

Week 14 has a very interesting inter-conference game with San Diego visiting Jerry Land to play the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys still haven’t proven capable of winning in December. San Diego just rolls along.

Finally, the Sunday night match up has great stakes for the NFC East especially if Dallas loses. Philadelphia is tied for first but visits the New York Giants one game behind them.

This week’s toilet bowl matchup features Buffalo visiting Kansas City. The Ravens can look at the Washington Redskins travelling to Oakland as mine canaries for their final game of the season.

Here are this week’s picks:

Pittsburgh (-10) at Cleveland
Is there any way the Steelers can screw this up?

Detroit at Baltimore (-13)
A much needed easy win for the Ravens.

New Orleans (9 ½) at Atlanta
Atlanta is fading fast while New Orleans continues to pursue perfection.

New York Jets (-3 ½) at Tampa Bay
The Jets are one of those 6-6 teams holding on for dear life. They’ll win.

Green Bay (-3) at Chicago
Only a three point favorite? Green Bay should annihilate “da Bears.”

Seattle at Houston (-6)
Wasn’t the young Mora supposed to bring changes to the Seahawks? Wasn’t Houston supposed to contend this year? Houston has this one.

Denver at Indianapolis (-7)
The Colts express will continue to roll on.

Miami at Jacksonville (-2 ½)
Jacksonville has the edge though Baltimore fans pray for the upset.

Buffalo at Kansas City (pick ‘em)
KC should have the edge. Both miserable teams have some great upsets to their credit.

Cincinnati at Minnesota (-7)
Go get ‘em Brett!

Carolina at New England (-13 ½)
Charlotte will be too busy buzzing about Danica Patrick coming to town next year to even realize there’s a football game. The Fox/Delholme era is winding down.

St. Louis at Tennessee (-13)
The Titans got a taste of ugly against the Colts, but their 0-6 start will be even more of memory after they clobber the Rams.

Washington (-1) at Oakland
If the Redskins that almost beat New Orleans is the same team that travels to Oakland, this game will be a blowout. Otherwise, it could be way too close.

San Diego at Dallas (-3)
A Dallas loss almost guarantees the end of Wade’s World unless somehow the Cowboys go deep in the playoffs. There’s just something very basically wrong with the Dallas Cowboys. When will the Cowboys figure out Tony Romo is more interested in the star his celebrity status than the star on his helmet.

Philadelphia at New York Giants (-1)
A game couldn’t be much more closely matched but the Eagles could make this a strong win that with a likely Dallas loss will give them the lead of the NFC East.

Arizona (-3 ½) at San Francisco
Arizona’s strong victory over Minnesota proved they are truly a playoff contender ready for all comers in the 2009 post season. San Francisco continues to go through growing pains as Mike Singletary tries to find the right pieces.

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