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NFL Week 14 Picks: Cowboys Host Vick, Eagles

Sunday's slate of games is capped off with Mike Vick and the Eagles headed into Dallas to take on Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys.

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Week 14 in the NFL doesn't have the most enticing group of games this year, but there's still some solid match ups. Mike Vick leading his Eagles into Dallas headlines Sunday's games along with Tom Brady and the Patriots headed into blizzard-like conditions in Chi-town. The Chiefs look to put the Chargers away in San Diego - but it looks as if they'll be without starting quarterback Matt Cassel

A few days late - and no, nobody cheated with Thursday Night - but here are our Week 14 picks.

 

Colts (6-6) at Titans (5-7) - Is Peyton Manning no longer a top five quarterback? Will the Colts finally miss the playoffs? Are the injuries just an excuse to a team that has glaring offensive and defensive problems? Or are the injuries an excuse for Peyton Manning? Is Joseph Addai really the answer to the running game? Will Randy Moss start or will Kenny Britt start? What did Vince Young score on the SATs? I'm asking questions.

  • Liam Ponting: Colts
  • Maurice London: Colts
  • Christopher Fittz: Colts - Peyton Manning is going to be so mad you guys.
  • Robbie Griffin: Colts - This is suddenly looking like a close game. I can't see Manning having four straight awful games, but I couldn't imagine him having three before this. . .
  • Charley Code: Colts - Poor Peyton. I’ve never seen him look this bad, however, Vince Young has completely disassembled the Tennessee Titans Franchise. What a loser.

Browns (5-7) at Bills (2-10) - Two teams that have both played better than their records, or at least feel better than their records. Eric Mangini might have bought himself another year in Cleveland - the Browns have played hard for him this year and have looked great at times (see: throttling New England). The Bills have had some pretty tough losses and maybe that's for the better - they'll wind up with a higher draft pick.

  • Ponting: Browns
  • London: Bills
  • Fittz: Browns - Peyton Hillis for MVP solely for leading to Josh McDaniels getting fired.
  • Griffin: Browns - How are the Bills favored in this game? What am I missing? Homefield and. . . what else?
  • Code: Browns - There is a place in Chicago called Brown’s Fried Chicken. It’s good.
  • Perryman: Browns - It's the battle of the most depressing football cities in the U.S.!
  • Starkey: Browns - Hillis will run wild, again.

Packers (8-4) at Lions (2-10) - As crazy as it seems, if the playoffs started today, the Packers would not be participating. The Giants have a better win percentage for in conference games than the Packers do and therefore win the tiebreaker between them. If Green Bay is going to make the playoffs, games like these are must-wins; they get a cupcake while the Bears get the Patriots.

  • Ponting: Packers
  • London: Packers
  • Fittz: Packers - It really creeps me out that if the season were to end today, the Packers wouldn't be in the playoffs.
  • Griffin: Packers - Until I read Christopher's comments, I just assumed the Packers were headed for, like, homefield advantage. I need to pay more attention to the standings.
  • Code: Packers - Packers win and cover.
  • Perryman: Packers - Can't pick against GB in conscience.
  • Starkey: Lions - Trap game with the Patriots next week.

Giants (8-4) at Vikings (5-7) - Big Blue are tied for first with the Eagles - but lose out on the tiebreaker currently. The Giants have looked great at times this year and awful at times this year and will need to play well to end the year in what is going to be a close NFC East and wild card race. As for the Vikings, well, I don't want to talk about Brett Favre anymore. 

  • Ponting: Giants
  • London: Vikings
  • Fittz: Giants - Peyton Manning is going to be so mad you guys.
  • Griffin: Vikings - Narrowly, mostly because I think there's a good chance Brett Favre won't play, and I absolutely believe that makes the Vikings a better team at this point.
  • Code: Vikings - Favre needs to head back to Mississippi.
  • Perryman: Giants - I'm picking way too many road teams this week.
  • Starkey: Giants - I can't pick a team with the injured Favre/ Tavaris Jackson platoon at QB.

Bengals (2-10) at Steelers (9-3) - This will likely be the Bengals' Super Bowl, if they can even jack themselves up for that. Pittsburgh took control of the AFC North - and the two seed in the AFC - with a win over the Ravens last Sunday night. This looked as if it could have been a promising showdown in the beginning of the season, but it should be a bland game.

  • Ponting: Steelers
  • London: Steelers
  • Fittz: Steelers -This is the first home team that I have winning. This week is terrible.
  • Griffin: Steelers - I remember Carl Pickens once refering to "the Bengal Way," refering to the hilarious ways they'd find to lose games. Even in down years, they had shaken that recently. I think it's back. I'm excited.
  • Code: Steelers - You’re right TO. You’re horrible.
  • Perryman: Steelers - Just keep the Steelers away from Foxboro and they'll be fine.
  • Starkey: Steelers - Bengals kind of suck.

Buccaneers (7-5) at Redskins (5-7) - The Redskins hired Mike Shanahan last offseason and now have even more of a mess on their hands a year later. Albert Haynesworth has been suspended for the last four games and nobody has forgotten about the Donovan McNabb problems from earlier this year. This is a game the Bucs must win if they want to earn a wild card spot in the NFC.

  • Ponting: Buccaneers
  • London: Buccaneers
  • Fittz: Buccaneers - As long as they keep bringing back the creamsicle unis, I'm totally on board the Buccaneer Bandwagon.
  • Griffin: Buccaneers - All aboard the Freeman train! Woowooooooo!
  • Code: Buccaneers - I was rooting for you McNabb. I like that pizza commercial where gap toof sacks you. Or is it an old spice commercial?
  • Perryman: Buccaneers -  This is the sort of game that TB needs to win if they want to be a playoff team.
  • Starkey: Redskins - I do not believe in the Bucs.

Falcons (10-2) at Panthers (1-11) - The Panthers will win this game just because it's 2010, right? Easily the biggest mismatch of the week, the Falcons should improve to 11-2 and be in the drivers seat for homefield advantage in the NFC.

  • Ponting: Falcons
  • London: Falcons
  • Fittz: Falcons - At least Carolina still has Cheerwine.
  • Griffin: Falcons - I'm very tempted to take this upset. The Falcons' luck has to run out eventually, it has to. Admiral Ackbar is hovering around me screaming about this game.
  • Code: Falcons - Falcons are better than the Panthers.
  • Perryman: Falcons - Carolina pushing Atlanta makes zero sense, so it will probably happen.
  • Starkey: Falcons - I don't think Atlanta is the best NFC team, but they will be the No. 1 seed.
Raiders (6-6) at Jaguars (7-5) - Who knew that these two teams would play each other with playoff hopes on the line for both teams? The Raiders trail the Chiefs by two games in the AFC West, so their hopes are dwindling by the week. The Jaguars still lead the AFC South by a game over the Colts. The Jags still have to play the Colts again, but if they win three of their last four games, they'll have a very realistic chance of unseating the Colts in the AFC South.
  • Ponting: Jaguars
  • London: Raiders
  • Fittz: Raiders - I'm going to ride the Raiders For Playoffs bus until it runs out of gas.
  • Griffin: Jaguars - The Better Than I Thought Bowl. Jags.
  • Code: Jaguars - I like that the Raiders are getting better, but I don’t think I’ve picked them once this year. My streak continues.
  • Perryman: Jaguars -  I still don't think the Jags are that good, but Oakland is too unpredictable to pick them here.
  • Starkey: Jaguars - Jacksonville gets to sit in the drivers seat for at least one more week.

Rams (6-6) at Saints (9-3) - The Saints are quietly 9-3. They haven't looked that great this year, but if you're 9-3 and have Drew Brees at quarterback, you're probably doing ok. The Rams of course are trying to win the anemic NFC West - and this game won't help that cause. If St. Louis is even competitive, it should go a long way to proving their playoff candidacy. 

  • Ponting: Saints
  • London: Saints
  • Fittz: Saints - Maybe this will be the game the Saints decide to play like they won a Super Bowl less than 12 months ago.
  • Griffin: Saints - Every week I look at who the NFC West plays to see how things can shape up. The Rams would look pretty good if they hahahahahaha, yeah right.
  • Code: Saints - Saints are good. Whoop a dee doo. It was fun last year.
  • Perryman: Saints - No way the Saints lose an important game to an average team at home in December.
  • Starkey: Saints - Shouldn't be close.

Seahawks (6-6) at 49ers (4-8) - It's still possible the 49ers can make the playoffs. That is all.

  • Ponting: 49ers
  • London: Seahawks
  • Fittz: 49ers - The winner of this game might win the NFC West or get like the 12th pick in next year's draft.
  • Griffin: 49ers - This is the 49ers last chance to claw back in to the race. They lose this they're done. Thanks to the Rams playing the Saints, the Seahawks can probably actually afford to lose.
  • Code: 49ers - I refuse to pick this one. Fine. Niners.
  • Perryman: Seahawks - Since it's in San Fran, this is basically a toss-up.
  • Starkey: Seahawks - I will not pick SF to win another game.

Patriots (10-2) at Bears (9-3) - Can we all agree the Patriots are the best team in the NFL and Tom Brady is the MVP? Ok, good. Now that we've got that out of the way, this has the feelings of a trap game for the Pats. Chicago is a good but not great team that will be really pumped up for this game and the Patriots are riding an emotional high after dismantling the Jets. The Pats also host the Packers next week. Bill Belichick won't let his team look ahead or behind, but they did lose to the Browns after all.

  • Ponting: Patriots
  • London: Patriots
  • Fittz: Patriots - This is inexplicably the best match up of the week.
  • Griffin: Patriots - I'm starting to think about Tom Brady for MVP.
  • Code: Bears - In this Super Bowl XX rematch, The Bears and Brian Urlacher come away with the victory. Urlacher sacks Brady somewhere between 12 and 47 times. Brady begins to like being sacked by Urlacher. Brady shows signs of Stockholm Syndrome, when he instructs his offensive linemen to "stop touching Brian, he didn’t do anything to you." Urlacher parties like Lawrence Taylor after the game. With Chuck Norris.
  • Perryman: Patriots -  Like I'm going to pick against the Pats at this point.
  • Starkey: Patriots - Sounds like a blizzard in Chicago tomorrow. Tom Brady is pretty good in the snow.

Dolphins (6-6) at Jets (9-3) - This should be a nice bounce back game for the Jets - but the keyword is should. Sometimes these gigantic losses can really set a team back, and as much as Rex Ryan talked about the game being big, it might be a tough loss to recover from. The Dolphins are holding onto whatever vague playoff hope they have left, but they simply don't have a capable quarterback to take them there.

  • Ponting: Jets
  • London: Jets
  • Fittz: Jets - Rex Ryan is going to be so jovially mad you guys.
  • Griffin: Jets -  Dolphins are closer to the Jets than the north east media thinks, but I think they still lose.
  • Code: Jets - The Jets bounce back after taking an absolute beating from Belichick and Brady. Literally, the two of them beat the Jets. The Pats are the best team with moderate talent in the NFL. Back to the Jets, they’re better than Miami.
  • Perryman: Jets - I guess we learn just what kind of frauds the Jets are this week.
  • Starkey: Dolphins - The Jets implode.

Broncos (3-9) at Cardinals (3-9) - What a mess both these franchises are in. Adios to Josh McDaniels with only four weeks left in the season - does that make any sense? Whether he deserved to be fired or not, it seems like an odd time to fire a head coach. Arizona should be allowed to fire their quarterbacks. I'd bet Larry Fitzgerald would make for a better QB at this point than the ones on their roster. Seriously.

  • Ponting: Cardinals
  • London: Broncos
  • Fittz: Broncos - BAHAHAHAHAHHA Josh McDaniels. haha.
  • Griffin: Broncos - New coach boost activated!
  • Code: Broncos - Disgusting match up. At least the Broncos fired that little dooshbag doosher.
  • Perryman: Broncos - Interim coach bump!
  • Starkey: Broncos - Only because they have a quarterback with more than a pulse.

Chiefs (8-4) at Chargers (6-6) - Kansas City is a nice position, they can lose and still be in the drivers seat. It'll be an uphill battle in San Diego - and even more uphill with Matt Cassel likely missing the game due to his appendectomy. Still, this is one of the better match ups of the day  - and one of the few with legitimate playoff implications.

  • Ponting: Chargers
  • London: Chargers
  • Fittz: Chargers - A December KC/SD game is not only watchable, it's probably the second most watchable game of the week.
  • Griffin: Chargers - The Chargers remain an enigma. They can't decide if they're awesome or not. I think this is awesome week, right? Because last week they sucked?
  • Code: Chiefs - I know, it’s sort of a reach, but I like the Chefs.
  • Perryman: Chargers - The Chargers have basically every motivation possible to win this. KC can lose and still be ok.
  • Starkey: Chargers - Brodie Croyle is not a capable quarterback.

Eagles (8-4) at Cowboys (4-8) - Jason Garrett faces yet another tough test this weekend on Sunday night when the Cowboys play host to Mike Vick and the Eagles. The Eagles don't need the win, but 10 wins might not guarantee a playoff spot in the NFC this year - so the Eagles need to make sure they beat the bad teams. 

  • Ponting: Eagles
  • London: Eagles
  • Fittz: Cowboys - I can't pick the Eagles over the Cowboys. I just can't. You can't make me.
  • Griffin: Eagles -  I'm really bad at picking Cowboys games this year. Unlike last week, I'm not torn on this game. I would love nothing more than to beat the Eagles. I think they're just too good, though.
  • Code: Eagles - I want Mike Vick to prove that he’s for real and in the meantime prove that the Cowboys are not.
  • Perryman: Eagles -  This is the biggest challenge Jason Garrett has faced in his month on the job. 
  • Starkey: Eagles - Vick will make a couple of gaffes, but the Eagles still win.

Ravens (8-4) at Texans (5-7) - Can we all agree that the Texans are frauds? OK, good. The Ravens are perpetually overrated, but they're still a pretty solid football team. Good defense, Ray Rice and an above average quarterback. Much like all contenders, these guys (Hello Gruden) need to beat the bad teams. 

  • Ponting: Ravens
  • London: Ravens
  • Fittz: Ravens - The Ravens are a pretty good NFL 2010 football team. The Texans are cursed. I'll go with Baltimore.
  • Griffin: Ravens - Bold Prediction: Joe Flacco has his best passing day ever, and it begins his march to Canton.
  • Code: Ravens - Texans, you’re lame. I still like my T shirt.
  • Starkey: Ravens - Houston, you suck.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.