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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
- Ponting: Jaguars
- London: Raiders
- Fittz: Raiders - I'm going to ride the Raiders For Playoffs bus until it runs out of gas.
- Griffin: Jaguars -
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 -
- 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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
- Code: Ravens - Texans, you’re lame. I still like my T shirt.
- Starkey: Ravens - Houston, you suck.