NFL Preview: Week 14

Four games left, four TDs for Decker and with the exception of three or four divisions, it's all still to play for. Week 14 kicks off with the brown note that is the Jags hosting Houston, but don't let that throw you off. As usual, week 14 offers some blockbuster match-ups...


Houston 20 - 24 Jacksonville (Thursday, Sky Sports @ 1am)

The Texans hosted this game two weeks ago and the good folks of Jacksonville were only delighted to see a road win. I expect they'll experience a similar ecstasy with a home win on Thursday night football. (Live on Sky Sports)

Buffalo 10 - 27 Tampa Bay

Anyone see Toronto mayor Rob Ford at the Bills game last week? Those chicken wings didn't stand a chance and neither do the Bills this week. Home win for Tampa, who have pulled themselves together nicely in the past few weeks.


Kansas City 31 - 17 Washington

Kansas have lost their last three games to Denver (twice) and San Diego. Three loses are bad in any case, but Washington aren't at that same standard. Seemingly RG3 isn't on the same page as his OL, so I expect Kansas to capitalise in the capital.

Atlanta 21 -27  Green Bay

If Aaron Rodgers plays, then I have no doubt in my mind that the Packers will dominate this home tie. Even if he doesn't play, I still expect them to win this one for the simple reason that they can't afford another loss. The NFC north is still anyones, including Green Bay.

Detroit 38- 34 Philadelphia (Sky Sports, Sunday @ 5.30pm)

This is a big game. Both sides need wins to keep in contention to win their respective divisions. Detroit had a sticky patch briefly before dominating Green Bay on Thanksgiving. Philly impressed on Sunday with a win over Arizona, so it's hard to go against them, but it's even harder to go against Megatron. Foles may well be, in some pundits eyes, an MVP candidate, but let's see if he can outscore the dynamic offence of Detroit first.


Miami 17 - 24 Pittsburgh

Miami are 6-6 and while it may not be the glory days of Dan Marino, they're still pushing for the last AFC wildcard spot. So are the Steelers an after a narrow loss at Baltimore, their confidence may be low. Close game to call but Big Ben has been one of the best QBs in the AFC in recent weeks, where as Miami don't sport such a luxury.

Indianapolis 10-31 Cincinnati

Another big game in the AFC, this time with two division leaders from the south and north. I thought highly of the Colts for much of this season, but recently I've lost faith. It's another close one but I have a feeling the Bengals will run away with it.

Cleveland 10 - 38 New England

The Pats have come from behind from double digits at half time in their last two matches. I can't see them getting into hot water this week, though. Big win for Brady and the boys.


Oakland 21-19 New York Jets

I read earlier this week that if Nick Foles were to throw 50 interceptions, he would still have a better QB rating than Geno Smith. Rex Ryan has had another season of insecurity at that key position and Oakland look like a galvanised side at times. An Oakland road win here, one for the books.

Minnesota 20 - 27 Baltimore

The Vikings got their win against Chicago in week 13, after many close calls prior to it. Peterson is still the number one running back but I don't think that's enough to beat the Ravens. They're in poll position to snatch the AFC 6th seed and another win will keep them there.

Tennessee 17 - 34 Denver

Granted, Peyton Manning doesn't like playing in the cold, but he does play for the Broncos, so he can't avoid it. The MVP likely lad threw five touchdown passes in week 13 in an impressive win over Kansas and I expect them to repeat that this Sunday.


St. Louis 20-24 Arizona

I expected the resurgent Cardinals to win in Philly last week, but Palmer didn't really show up. The Rams weren't as close to the Niners as their score indicated in week 13, either. Both sides show promise and maybe next year, they'll be closer to the playoffs, but for now, we can enjoy a good contest in Arizona and a home win, too.

Seattle 21 - 20 San Francisco (Sky Sports, Sunday @ 9.30pm)

There's very few people that will argue with Seattle making the Super Bowl this year. They made quick work of the Saints on home turf in week 13 and did likewise with the Niners earlier in the year. This contest is intriguing, though and I think the Niners could cause some problems. They're starting to piece it together and this is one of the last games Candlestick Park will host before the Niners move into their new stadium. It's hard to look past Seattle, but if the Niners make the playoffs, they might be one of few teams who could stop them.

New York Giants 23 - 27 San Diego

Both teams are 5-7 and both have an outside chance of sneaking into the playoffs. More so San Diego. Rivers has done great things with a solid OL this year, where as Manning has suffered with a poor one. A tough game to call, but unless New York's defence shows up, San Diego will win.

Carolina 19 - 20 New Orleans (Channel 4, Sunday/Monday @1am)

What happens when the best defence in the league comes up against Drew Brees? The second best held him to seven points in Seattle, but this week, Brees is back in New Orelans. This is another big game in terms of seeding. Both teams are 9-3 in the NFC South. Both teams have 3-0 division records, so somethings got to give. Saints to win this, but Panthers to win the return tie in two weeks.

Dallas 24-27 (OT)  Chicago (Eurosport, Monday @ 1am)

Romo isn't choking as often this season. The Cowboys don't look like a Superbowl winning side, but a road win here might get people talking. The NFC East is still up for grabs, as is the NFC north. Much like the Detroit - Philly game, the result will have major implications on both divisions. Chicago have the home turf, so I expect the NFC North sides to clean sweep the East this week.


Matt Carolan
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