Week 14 NFL Predictions

Let’s see if Max can keep his streak going and keep is record positive.

Week 14 NFL Predictions

NFL week 13 lived up to the hype. Joe Burrow and the Bengals pulled out a close win over Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, A.J. Brown and the Eagles crushed the Titans, the Vikings narrowly beat the Jets, the Commanders and Giants tied, DeShaun Watson stunk it up in his return, and the 49ers blew out the Dolphins. Excluding the tie, I went 9-5 on my predictions, bringing my record to 111-82 on the year. Hopefully I can keep it up this week. I won’t joke around in the power rankings this week, but I do think that Georgia would have a legitimate chance of beating the Texans if they were to face off.

Each team’s record and rank from last week are listed in parentheses.

In full tank mode:

#32. Houston Texans (1-10-1, NA)

The best of the worst:

#31. Los Angeles Rams (3-9, 30)

#30. Denver Broncos (3-9, 31)

#29. Chicago Bears (3-9, 27)

#28. Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1, 26)

#27. Carolina Panthers (4-8, 28)

The scrappy underdogs:

#26. Atlanta Falcons (5-8, 23)

#25. New Orleans Saints (4-9, 29)

#24. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8, 20)

#23. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7, 25)

#22. Cleveland Browns (5-7, 17)

#21. Arizona Cardinals (4-8, 18)

The non-serious contenders: these teams are fringe playoff contenders, but none are likely to go on a Super Bowl run.

#20. New York Giants (7-4-1, 24)

#19. Green Bay Packers (5-8, 22)

#18. Las Vegas Raiders (5-7, 21)

#17. Washington Commanders (7-5-1, 14)

#16. New England Patriots (6-6, 15)

#15. Baltimore Ravens (8-4, 9)

#14. Los Angeles Chargers (6-6, 12)

#13. Seattle Seahawks (7-5, 13)

#12. Tennessee Titans (7-5, 10)

#11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6, 11)

Young teams on the rise:

#10. Detroit Lions (5-7, 19)

#9. New York Jets (7-5, 16)

Super Bowl contenders:

#8. Miami Dolphins (8-4, 4)

#7. San Francisco 49ers (8-4, 6)

#6. Minnesota Vikings (10-2, 8)

Super Bowl favorites:

#5. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3, 1)

#4. Cincinnati Bengals (8-4, 7)

#3. Buffalo Bills (9-3, 2)

#2. Philadelphia Eagles (11-1, 5)

#1. Dallas Cowboys (9-3, 3)

Week 14 predictions:

Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Rams:

The Raiders surprisingly picked up their third straight win last week, beating the Chargers 27-20. The defense had their best game of the season, while the offense continued to roll. The Rams put up a good fight last week against the Seahawks, but they fell just short 27-23. It may have been their last gasp of fight as they are now guaranteed to finish with a losing record and miss the playoffs. Interestingly, they claimed quarterback Baker Mayfield off waivers after the Panthers released him, and he could start for Los Angeles this week. Either way, the Raiders should easily win this one.

Prediction: Raiders 30, Rams 17

New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills:

Mike White and the Jets nearly pulled off a stunning comeback against the Vikings in week 13, but they came up empty in the red zone on their final two possessions. Although their defense is great, they couldn’t keep the high powered Vikings in check. The Bills rolled over the Patriots last Thursday night, winning 24-10. The Jets won the first meeting between these teams five weeks ago, but Josh Allen and the Bills will not let that happen again.

Prediction: Bills 27, Jets 20

Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals:

Although the Browns won last week, DeShaun Watson did not have a good game in his first NFL action since 2020, as he lead Cleveland’s offense to just six offensive points. Their three touchdowns came via a punt return, a pic six, and a fumble six. The Bengals are gaining momentum for the playoffs, as they picked up their fourth straight win by prevailing over the Chiefs 27-24 last week in a marquee matchup. Joe Burrow has put himself firmly in the MVP conversation during this stretch, and the defense has also played much better since defensive tackle D.J. Reader returned from injury. The Browns shocked the Bengals 32-13 back on Halloween, the last time Cincinnati lost. However, they have clearly turned things around since then, making them clear favorites in this one. It won’t be close unless Watson takes a huge step forward.

Prediction: Bengals 30, Browns 20

Houston Texans @ Dallas Cowboys:

The Cowboys forced five turnovers in a 54-19 demolition of the Colts on Sunday Night Football last week. The Texans are far worse than the Colts. Honestly, why even bother playing this game? You might as well give Dallas the automatic win and avoid any potential injuries in a game that has no chance of being close. Houston certainly wouldn’t object.

Prediction: Cowboys 41, Texans 17

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions:

This is a sneaky good game. The Vikings continued their winning ways last week, holding off the Jets 27-22. The Vikes continue to get lucky in close games, as all but one of their wins have come by single digits. Detroit is playing their best football in years, as they have won four of their last five games. They crushed the Jaguars 40-14 last week in their most impressive performance yet. Minnesota needed a fourth quarter comeback to best Detroit earlier this season, and I think the Lions have a real shot of winning this one. They are playing much better complimentary football, are at home, and have done a much better job of closing games of late.

Prediction: Lions 30, Vikings 28

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans:

Both these teams are coming off blowout losses. A week after upsetting the Ravens, the Jags made a complete 180 and were dismantled 40-14 by the Lions. The Titans were dominated by A.J. Brown and bythe Eagles 35-10 last week in their second straight loss. I think this is a great opportunity for the Titans to rebound. They are better than Jacksonville and are still favored to win the AFC South. They won’t be winning the Super Bowl this year, but they are still a good team who is in the midst of a rough patch. The Jags aren’t as bad as last week’s performance indicates either, but they do have a 4-8 record for a reason.

Prediction: Titans 26, Jaguars 17

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants:

The Giants played hard and fought the Commanders to a standstill in a 20-20 tie last week. They are feisty, but the Eagles are on an entirely different level. They made quick work of a good Titans team last week. A.J. Brown dominated his former team with over 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns. This one probably won’t be close.

Prediction: Eagles 34, Giants 24

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers:

The Ravens barely held off the Broncos last week, winning 10-9, after Denver missed what would have been a game winning 62 yard field goal. Lamar Jackson injured his knee in the first quarter, and Baltimore’s offense struggled until a go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. Jackson is expected to miss 1-3 weeks, so Tyler Huntley, one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league, will get the start this week. The Steelers are playing much better lately. The defense has come together since T.J. Watt returned from injury and Kenny Pickett has developed into a quality starter at quarterback. Those things continued last week when Pittsburgh held off the Falcons for a 19-16 win. I think the Steelers will win this one. Baltimore’s offense struggled without Lamar, and things will be worse with Huntley under center. The Steelers have a great home field advantage and are playing well right now.

Prediction: Steelers 20, Ravens 16

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos:

The Chiefs lost to the Bengals last week, but this game won’t be close. Last week showed that KC may not be the Super Bowl favorite many believed them to be, but they are still right in the mix. The Broncos haven’t been in the mix since 2015.

Prediction: Chiefs 28, Broncos 16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers:

This is a fascinating matchup. The Bucs’ offense struggled for much of their week 13 game against the Saints, but Tom Brady flipped a switch with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter and led Tampa Bay on back-to-back touchdown drives to pull out a 17-16 win. Their defense played well, but New Orleans’ offense isn’t anything special. The Niners impressively beat the Dolphins 33-17 last week. Their pass rush had a much greater impact than I expected. However, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo broke his foot early in the game and will likely miss the rest of the season. Brock Purdy, the last pick in the 2022 draft, played well in relief, but it is unclear if he can play consistently against tougher defenses and when teams have time to prepare for him in practice. With that being said, I’m still going to take San Francisco to win this one. Their pass rush will be problematic for the Bucs since Brady lacks mobility and their offensive line is banged up. Although he may have his ups and downs, I think Purdy will be able to do enough with a plethora of great playmakers at his disposal to get a close, low-scoring win.

Prediction: 49ers 20, Buccaneers 17

Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks:

The Panthers are playing well and are coming off their bye week. Back in week 12, Sam Darnold got his first start of the season at quarterback, and he led Carolina to a 23-10 win over the Broncos. Darnold has shown flashes throughout his career, but he has been unable to maintain any semblance of consistency. The one thing that has been consistent for the Panthers this season is their defense. They have lots of young talent on that side of the ball, especially on the defensive line. The Seahawks rebounded from back-to-back losses by beating the Rams 27-23 last week. Their offense has been great all season but their defense is one of the worst in the league. I think Carolina will make this one close, but I’ll still take Seattle to win. Their offense is too good, and Carolina’s offense is too bad. However, if their defense can put up a good fight and if Darnold plays well, an upset could be possible.

Prediction: Seahawks 24, Panthers 23

Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers:

Both these teams are coming off disappointing losses. LA’s offense surprisingly struggled against the Raiders last week, as they only managed 20 points in a 27-20 loss. Their defense is no more than average so their offense has to be great if they hope to be serious contenders. The Dolphins had a rough day last Sunday against the 49ers. Their defense struggled, and Tua Tagovailoa was uncharacteristically inaccurate. However, I still think they are one of the premier teams in the AFC, and they should be able to beat the Chargers in a shootout. Justin Herbert will probably make it close, but Miami has more firepower in their receiving core.

Prediction: Dolphins 31, Chargers 27

New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals:

The Patriots lost to the Bills last week 24-10. Their offense has been very inconsistent of late, as they have gone from three points in week 11, to 26 points in week 12, and back down to 10 points in week 13. Some players spoke about their frustration after the loss to Buffalo, saying that they need to “scheme up better” and “be more aggressive.” We’ll see if the coaching staff takes their players’ advice into consideration when making this week’s game plan. As I’ve said every week, their defense is well coached but lacks the talent and athleticism to slow down elite offenses. The Cardinals don’t have an elite offense, but Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, and Marquise Brown can make some plays. Either team could win this game, but I’m going to have to take the Pats. I think their offense will be better this week, and the defense should be able to hold the Cards in check. Arizona’s offense has more talent than New England’s defense, but Bill Belichick thoroughly out-classes Kliff Kingsbury in coaching ability.

Prediction: Patriots 23, Cardinals 21