2009 NFL Week 14 Picks & Predictions

Saints (12-0) at Falcons (6-6), 1:00PM ET
Matt Ryan and Michael Turner are listed as questionable, but if you actually believe they have any chance of playing on Sunday then you must have dipped into Jonathan Babineaux’s personal stash. The Falcons are a mess, the Saints have their sights set on perfection and Drew Brees won’t sleep Saturday night thinking about how many yards he’s going to rack up against Atlanta’s brutal secondary.
Odds: Saints –10.
Prediction: Saints 34, Falcons 10.

Packers (8-4) at Bears (5-7), 1:00PM ET
The Packers are hot after rattling off four in a row and they’ll face a Bears team on Sunday that might be the biggest disappointment in the NFC. That said, if the NFL has taught us anything over the years is that parity has a way of bringing teams back to earth. Call this my small upset special of the week: Bears get up for this one and beat their division rivals in frigid Chicago temperatures.
Odds: Packers –3.
Prediction: Bears 20, Packers 17.

Broncos (8-4) at Colts (12-0), 1:00PM ET
I thought the Colts’ best chance at losing was two weeks ago when they played an inspired Texans team at home. But they didn’t – even when they trailed by double digits in the first half. Last week, I thought the hot Titans would put a scare into Indy in an AFC South grudge match. But they didn’t. I’m not going against Peyton Manning this week, even though logic says the Broncos should keep this game close with their solid defense. Indy won’t run away with this won, but the game won’t be in doubt.
Odds: Colts –7.
Prediction: Colts 24, Broncos 16.

Bills (4-8) at Chiefs (3-9), 1:00PM ET
Things haven’t gone too well for first-year head coach Todd Haley and I’m afraid they won’t get much better this week when the lowly Bills knock the Chiefs off at Arrowhead (which was a place teams used to fear).
Odds: Bills –1.
Prediction: Bills 13, Chiefs 10.

Bengals (9-3) at Vikings (10-2), 1:00PM ET
This ought to be the game of the week, but I’ve got a bad feeling that it won’t be as close as people think. The Bengals are good – damn good. But they’re playing an unfamiliar opponent in unfamiliar territory in a hostile environment. Something tells me that this will be a statement game for Brett Favre and company after the Vikes lost to the Cardinals last Sunday night on prime time.
Odds: Vikings –7.
Prediction: Vikings 28, Bengals 20.

Panthers (5-7) at Patriots (7-5), 1:00PM ET
The Patriots are a mini mess right now after losing two straight games. Earlier in the week Bill Belichick had to send a couple of players home earlier after they showed up late to a team meeting, with one of those players being Randy Moss. But just when you think New England is primed for the picking, they come out shellac a poor, helpless team 40-7 on a blistery Sunday at Foxboro. Meet the Panthers, a.k.a. “Shellac victims.”
Odds: Patriots –13.5.
Prediction: Patriots 40, Panthers 7.

Jets (6-6) at Buccaneers (1-11), 1:00PM ET
If Mark Sanchez were playing, I might have different feelings about this game. But with Kellen Clemens starting, this is actually an even match up and I’ll take the home team Bucs to earn their second win of the season.
Odds: Jets –3.
Prediction: Bucs 16, Jets 13.

Dolphins (6-6) at Jaguars (7-5), 1:00PM ET
The Jaguars have been a completely different team at home than on the road this year, posting a 5-1 record at the friendly confines of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Everyone is back on the Dolphins bandwagon after they knocked off the Patriots last week, but the inconsistent ebb and flow of the NFL season will victimize Miami. The Jags win a close one and move further to making their postseason dreams a reality.
Odds: Jaguars –1.
Prediction: Jaguars 27, Dolphins 24.

Lions (2-10) at Ravens (6-6), 1:00PM ET
Once anyone else surprised about the overall lackluster effort the Ravens displayed on Monday night in Green Bay? I was. I’m not calling for an upset here, but I’m willing to bet that the Lions keep things somewhat close again like they did last week in Cincinnati.
Odds: Ravens –13.5.
Prediction: Ravens 24, Lions 14.

Seahawks (5-7) at Texans (5-7), 1:00PM ET
The Seahawks have been atrocious on the road this year (1-5), but they’ve played with confidence the past two weeks. In the end, Houston has too much offensive fire power to lose this game but Seattle keeps it close in a shootout.
Odds: Texans –6.5.
Prediction: Texans 33, Seahawks 30.

Rams (1-11) at Titans (5-7), 4:05PM ET
Whether Vince Young plays or not, the Titans are going to be a run-heavy team on Sunday against the Rams. With VY limited, expect Chris Johnson to put on a show – much like he always does. Tennessee gets back into the win column this week, but it won’t be pretty.
Odds: Titans –13.
Prediction: Titans 20, Rams 10.

Redskins (3-9) at Raiders (4-8), 4:05PM ET
For the first time since 2002, the Raiders were actually fun to watch last week when they knocked off the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Bruce Gradkowski wasn’t afraid to throw vertical and test the defense down the field. I know Washington hung with the Saints last week, but they suffered a tough loss and now have to go cross-country. I like the Raiders to scoop up their fifth win.
Odds: Redskins –1.
Prediction: Raiders 17, Redskins 16.

Chargers (9-3) at Cowboys (8-4), 4:15PM ET
The Bolts have been a small juggernaut over the past couple months, winning seven in a row to run their record to 9-3 on the year. The Cowboys meanwhile, are coming off a tough loss in New York last week and are licking their wounds a bit. Things may be setting up nicely for San Diego to win their eighth straight, but I actually like the ‘Boys to surprise this week with a great defensive effort. Dallas hasn’t been a great December team in the past, but something tells me they get it done Sunday.
Odds: Cowboys –3.
Prediction: Cowboys 24, Chargers 17.

Eagles (8-4) at Giants (7-5), 8:20PM ET
Don’t let Philadelphia’s big win last week in Atlanta go to your head: The Falcons were playing with their JV squad. The Eagles have struggled more on the road this season than their 4-2 record would indicate. The G-Men will build off the confidence they gained last week in a home win over Dallas and knock off the Eagles in the most physical game of Week 14.
Odds: Eagles –1.
Prediction: Giants 16, Eagles 14.

Cardinals (8-4) at 49ers (5-7), 8:30PM ET
I would fear a small letdown for the Cardinals this week after they knocked off the Vikings last Sunday night at home. But Arizona has another division title in its sights and has been outstanding on the road this season. They won’t take the 49ers lightly this time around.
Odds: Cardinals –3.5.
Prediction: Cardinals 28, 49ers 17.

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