Gerry Dulac's NFL Forecast: Week 14

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Last week: 11-5 (.687)

Season record: 120-72 (.625)

THURSDAY

Houston Texans (2-10) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9), 8:25 p.m.

The Skinny: No matter what they do or who they play, the Texans just can’t manage to win a game. The losing streak, now at 10 games and counting, could swell even more against the Jaguars, who have won three of their past four games. However, none of the Jaguars’ victories have been at home, including the 13-6 win in Houston two weeks ago.

Prediction: Jaguars, 24-21

SUNDAY

Miami Dolphins (6-6) at Steelers (5-7), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Despite having their three-game winning streak ended in Baltimore, the Steelers played well in a lot of areas against the Ravens. Big plays, though, continue to torment them. However, they can put themselves back in the wild-card picture with a victory against one of the two teams in front of them.

Prediction: Steelers, 23-16

Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-4), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: No AFC team has more road wins than the Colts (4), who have suddenly struggled to score points. They are averaging 17.7 points in their past four games. The Bengals have won two in a row, are unbeaten at home and have the look of a division champ.

Prediction: Bengals, 20-18

Minnesota Vikings (3-8-1) at Baltimore Ravens (6-6), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Ravens have won two in a row and have control of the second wild-card playoff spot in the AFC – at least for now. However, the Ravens’ continue to struggle on offense, especially with the run. This will be the easiest of their remaining four games.

Prediction: Ravens, 23-13

Cleveland Browns (4-8) at New England Patriots (9-3), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: After a 3-2 start, the Browns have lost six of their past seven games, a stretch ignominiously highlighted by last week’s loss to the Jaguars. Despite their hopes, they are headed for another season of at least 11 losses, which would be their sixth in a row.

Prediction: Patriots, 30-17

Oakland Raiders (4-8) at New York Jets (5-7), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Jets have lost three in a row, four of their past five and scored just 29 points in those four defeats. Nonetheless, they will stick with rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who was benched last week. The Raiders don’t travel well (1-5 on the road), but they are competitive.

Prediction: Jets, 17-16

Detroit Lions (7-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-5), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Since replacing Mike Vick, quarterback Nick Foles is 19-0 – 19 touchdowns, 0 interceptions – and is the top-rated passer in the league. And, after losing 10 in a row at home, the Eagles have won their past two games at The Linc and past four overall. They will need to rediscover their firepower to beat the Lions.

Prediction: Eagles, 31-28

Buffalo Bills (4-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-9), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: Tampa Bay’s bounce-back from an 0-8 start was derailed by the hottest team in the league, Carolina. But that won’t stop them from starting another streak against the Bills, who have lost four of their past five games.

Prediction: Buccaneers, 28-19

Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) at Washington Redskins (3-9), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: After being the only team this season to start 9-0, the Chiefs have lost three in a row – two of those to division-rival Denver. That puts them in a precarious position to win the AFC West. But they are 4-1 on the road and 4-0 against NFC teams this season. And the Redskins give up the second-most points in the league (362).

Prediction: Chiefs, 27-23

Atlanta Falcons (3-9) at Green Bay Packers (5-6-1), 1 p.m.

The Skinny: The Packers are not doing a good job of staying afloat till Aaron Rodgers gets back, if he gets back. That much was apparent in their 40-10 loss in Detroit on Thanksgiving. The Falcons momentarily halted their embarrassment, and avoided having the league’s worst record, by beating the Bills in overtime.

Prediction: Falcons, 21-20

Tennessee Titans (5-7) at Denver Broncos (10-2), 4:05 p.m.

The Skinny: The Broncos are 13-1 at home since Peyton Manning became their quarterback, and no wonder. He has more yards (4,125) through 12 games than any quarterback in history and his 41 TDs are second only to his own 12-game record of 44 in 2004. More important, he has two wins against the Chiefs in three weeks.

Prediction: Broncos, 34-20

St. Louis Rams (5-7) at Arizona Cardinals (7-5), 4:25 p.m.

The Skinny: Unlike the AFC, where 9-7 or even 8-8 might get a team a wild-card spot, the NFC has higher standards. That’s why this is an important game for the Cardinals, who had their four-game win streak ended in Philly. They need a win to stay in the hunt for one of the two wild-card spots.

Prediction: Cardinals, 24-18

New York Giants (5-7) at San Diego Chargers (5-7), 4:25 p.m.

The Skinny: With four of their final five games at home, the Chargers looked like as good a bet as anyone to make a run for the second AFC wild-card spot. But, after a loss at home to Bengals, and with games in Denver and against Kansas City remaining, that prospect doesn’t look so good right now.

Prediction: Giants, 31-30

Seattle Seahawks (11-1) at San Francisco 49ers (8-4), 4:25 p.m.

The Skinny: The 49ers are too far behind at this point to catch Seattle for the division title, especially because the Seahawks have two more games at home – and they haven’t lost at home since the 2011 season. The 49ers have won two in a row and can’t afford to lose grasp of a wild-card spot.

Prediction: 49ers, 16-14

Carolina Panthers (9-3) at New Orleans Saints (9-3), 8:30 p.m.

The Skinny: The Panthers have won a club-record eight in a row and forged into a tie at the top of the NFC South with the Saints, who were embarrassed in Seattle. This game won’t decide the division title because the teams meet again in two weeks in Carolina. But it could set the tone for the rematch.

Prediction: Saints, 34-30

MONDAY

Dallas Cowboys (7-5) at Chicago Bears (6-6), 8:30 p.m.

The Skinny: Like the Packers, the Bears are trying to stay relevant and tread water in the NFC North until Jay Cutler returns. Conversely, the Cowboys are staying relevant at the top of the NFC East with back-to-back victories. But can they improve on their 2-4 road record?

Prediction: Cowboys, 23-21


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