Two NFL experts from the Prime Time Sports Talk staff came together to share their picks for Week 14.
These two writers will make their picks for the entire season. (Failure to accurately predict a tie will be treated as a loss.) A record will be listed at the bottom of every article. An archive of all 18 regular-season and four playoff editions can be found here.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Sam: Vikings 20, Steelers 16
Thursday Night Football games have generally been better this year than in years past. However, as the season wears on, teams will become more conservative. This feels like a five turnover game where neither team can capitalize as they lean on the run game. Dalvin Cook (assuming active) and Najee Harris should control the game, but neither team is efficient punching it into paydirt.
Andersen: Steelers 23, Vikings 21
We all know Kirk Cousins hasn’t historically performed well in primetime games. Although he’s looked very good during Sunday afternoon action this year, it feels like he (and the Vikings as a whole) are walking on thin ice. With the national spotlight glowing bright, Cousins will falter on Thursday night.
New Orleans Saints vs. New York Jets
Sam: Saints 27, Jets 13
Against a woeful Jets rush defense that has been gashed repeatedly this season, Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill will run wild. Hill might pull a Mac Jones and only attempt three passes in the affair as the run game takes it to New York in New Jersey.
Andersen: Saints 21, Jets 17
Although this Saints offense is quite sloppy right now, the return of Alvin Kamara bodes well for the overall function of New Orleans. They should sneak out a road win to keep themselves in the playoff conversation.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
Sam: Panthers 31, Falcons 16
There is no denying that the Falcons have been a disappointment on each side of the ball this season overall, last week notwithstanding in a loss against the World Champs. On the other hand, Carolina has shown defensive flashes this season. They play ball-control with Chuba Hubbard and play keep away from Matt Ryan.
Andersen: Falcons 24, Panthers 17
The Falcons looked really solid on both sides of the ball last week. They did lose, but only because they were playing against the powerhouse Buccaneers. Atlanta should prevail against a Panthers team that is dealing with quarterback issues and recently parted with its offensive coordinator.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Houston Texans
Sam: Seahawks 48, Texans 17
Yeah, I said it. Seattle needs something to jump-start themselves after six losses in eight games, and Houston is the remedy. With huge questions in the running game, Russell Wilson has a vintage performance on the ground and through the air, accounting for five total touchdowns in the rout.
Andersen: Seahawks 31, Texans 10
Even after last week’s win, this feels like a get-right game for the Seahawks as a whole, but specifically their passing offense. On the other hand, the Texans continue to trend downwards with Tyrod Taylor’s injury and Zach Cunningham’s release.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sam: Chiefs 30, Raiders 20
Broken record take of the week: It was only a matter of time before the loss of Jon Gruden would catch up to Las Vegas. Aside from an anomaly against the Dallas Cowboys, they had scored a total of 58 points while losing four of five. They get a garbage-time touchdown, but are not even in this game in Kansas City.
Andersen: Chiefs 37, Raiders 31
This is going to be a really good game with legitimate playoff implications. In the end, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will shine against a division rival in the 1 p.m. time slot.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
Sam: Ravens 31, Browns 16
I cannot for the life of me figure out why this Vegas line has moved into favoring Cleveland. Baltimore could field 10 men instead of 11, but as long as one is Lamar Jackson, they should slaughter the Browns. With that said, this is an AFC North divisional battle, so anything goes. Baker Mayfield can barely play, and is one big hit away from being gone for the season. The Browns will lean on their running backs, but Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 36 points in the last game. The lead running back for Baltimore, Jackson, can do that in his sleep. He’s not throwing four picks this time. Ravens roll.
Andersen: Ravens 20, Browns 17
This game really shouldn’t be unappealing to watch, yet here we are. Lamar Jackson threw four picks in Week 12, then threw a costly incompletion on the final offensive play in Week 13. The Browns, on the other hand, went into last week’s bye after picking off Jackson four times and still losing. If neither team gets their act together, we’ll be in for some sloppy play.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team
Sam: Football Team 22, Cowboys 20
‘Tis the time of year for division matchups to get all wonky. Since rattling off six-straight wins early, Dallas has lost three of their last five games. Meanwhile, Washington has logged four-straight victories, allowing only one of those teams to eclipse 20 points. The much-maligned Football Team defense seems to be finding their footing, even without Chase Young.
Andersen: Cowboys 24, Football Team 20
The Washington offense and defense are both definitely on the up-and-up, but the Cowboys aren’t your average opponent. Dallas can deliver blows in all facets of the game and should edge out Washington on Sunday afternoon.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans
Sam: Titans 34, Jaguars 13
This is it for Urban Meyer. Jacksonville cannot do anything to move the ball against a defense that is not exactly the best in the NFL but is coming into their own. The Jaguars need a head coach that is good at mentoring a quarterback. Turns out, Joe Brady (formerly of LSU) is available, and should be an ideal fit.
Andersen: Titans 28, Jaguars 9
The Titans are limping right now due to a plethora of injuries, but that won’t stop them from beating up on Jacksonville. The Jaguars look like the worst team in the NFL right now, and their horrendous coaching is the main reason why. Urban Meyer needs to go if this team ever wants to succeed.
New York Giants vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Sam: Chargers 20, Giants 16
Inconsistency is the name of the game for Los Angeles, who are 3-3 after the bye, but still sit at 7-5 and firmly in the playoff hunt in the crowded AFC. They are going to get a scare from the backfield in New York, and possibly Jake Fromm. In the end, this is a must-win for LA, and they’ll do just that… but barely.
Andersen: Chargers 31, Giants 9
The game plan on Sunday is going to feature a lot of Saquon Barkley. That’s because quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Mike Glennon are both injured, giving the starting job to Jake Fromm. The Chargers can get exposed in the run game, but not enough to be concerned about New York’s game script. Los Angeles by three scores is a safe bet.
Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos
Sam: Broncos 20, Lions 17
Yeah, take the under. Javonte Williams is gonna have a healthy workload, but be wary of Denver’s ability to actually punch it into the end zone. Regardless, the home team does just enough to keep a mild Detroit squad from paydirt at the end after a ton of field goals from Brandon McManus.
Andersen: Broncos 14, Lions 13
The Lions finally won a game! That’s where the fun ends, though. Javonte Williams will run all over them on Sunday before Brandon McManus nails a long field goal to win the game as time expires. Detroit is no stranger to his type of heartbreak.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Sam: Bengals 22, 49ers 20
In a curious move, Zac Taylor’s Bengals go for a two-point conversion while up 13 in the fourth quarter. Pretty much par for the course. The fact that the score is even this high (Vegas got it wrong) is miraculous; The 49ers will lean on the run, as will Cincy considering Joe Burrow‘s busted pinky. It will be boring football, culminating in a thrilling finish.
Andersen: 49ers 24, Bengals 23
This could shape up to be a very good game. San Francisco lost a close game to the Seahawks last week while the Bengals were manhandled by the Chargers. Expect Kyle Shanahan to outcoach Zac Taylor.
Buffalo Bills vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sam: Buccaneers 27, Bills 24
Each of these teams are viewed as offensive juggernauts, but each have a defense capable of shutting down an opponent on any given Sunday. The Bills have lost four of their last seven, as Tampa Bay has scored 30-plus points in seven of their games this season. The return of Rob Gronkowski is huge for this offense (four catches for 58 yards with two touchdowns last week) and opens up the offense. Buffalo will make a run at it late, but the game was never in doubt.
Andersen: Buccaneers 28, Bills 23
It’s so hard to predict what the Bills will do on a weekly basis, and last Monday’s rainy conditions only add further confusion to the equation. On the other hand, Tom Brady is Tom Brady. A proven winner and confirmed GOAT, Brady will lead Tampa to a win.
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
Sam: Packers 42, Bears 16
I honestly have almost nothing to say about this. Put whomever you want under center in Chicago, and it won’t matter. Green Bay is out to prove they are the class of the NFC, so the Bears don’t stand a chance. Even after last week’s performance, Andy Dalton is the better option at quarterback for this season.
Andersen: Packers 34, Bears 20
Justin Fields returns just in time for a challenging matchup against Green Bay. The Packers are getting reinforcements back from the injury report and remain one of the most dominant teams in football. Fields will have plenty of chances to win in Lambeau throughout his career. This one goes to the home team.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals
Sam: Cardinals 26, Rams 20
Los Angeles is hard to figure out. The defense has looked All-World, and then completely collapsed. Arizona is getting healthier and looking to put the NFC (and NFL) on notice. Matthew Stafford tosses a late touchdown (he’s familiar with that from his time in Detroit), but the game was never in doubt for Arizona.
Andersen: Cardinals 24, Rams 21
Case of the Mondays? Just tune in to ESPN for this potential game of the year. Arizona is surging and welcomed back Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins in Week 13. On the other hand, the Rams can be dominant, but it’s hard to rely on the injured Matthew Stafford and Darrell Henderson right now.
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