NFL Week 14 Preview
Patriots @ Rams
This Thursday Night matchup features two teams coming off of major victories. The Patriots are staying in Los Angeles after absolutely demolishing the Chargers. While the Rams get to come home licking their fingers after a crucial division win against the Cardinals. This game is set up beautifully when it comes to a coaches battle. Bill Belichick is 2-0 against Sean McVay, but this will be the first time Belichick faces the Rams without #12 under center. McVay has to be the most meticulous coach in the NFL and he knows exactly what he did wrong against the Patriots in the 2019 super bowl. The usage of 11 personnel and a heavy passing attack was disgusting in that game, this week he needs to establish the run with his pair of young running backs, Darrell Henderson and Cam Akers. I expect the Rams to run all over the Pats' 27th ranked run defense and McVay to get his sweet revenge against New England.
What to Watch For: Will McVay adapt from strictly 11 personnel
Player of the Game: Aaron Donald DT Rams
Final Score: Patriots 13 Rams 27
Titans @ Jaguars
The Titans have been one of the most fun, but one of the most inconsistent teams to watch in the NFL. They are brutally inconsistent, but it's hard to take your eyes off the screen when Derrick Henry is in the game. The Titans NEED to throw the ball more on early downs. They are predictably force feeding Henry the ball on first and second down which sets up third and longs. This is why Tennessee finds them in a hole in the first half so often. The Jaguars on the other hand seem like they are trying to lose the game. The Jaguars were up big on the Vikings last week, but they couldn't hold on to the win. It is like when you are trying to take a test, but you can't stop thinking of the beautiful girl who is sitting across from you and you end up failing the test. The beautiful girl in this case is Trevor Lawerence or Justin Fields. Henry acts different against the Jaguars, he runs like it's personal and he will take it 99 yards to the house if you give him the chance. Tennessee is going to have the opportunity to get AJ Brown going this week against a young secondary. The Titans should win by two scores.
What to Watch For: Will we see another vintage Derrick Henry Jaguars game?
Player of the Game: Corey Davis WR Titans
Final Score: Titans 31 Jaguars 16
Vikings @ Buccaneers
The past few weeks, the Vikings have been one of the most entertaining teams in the NFL. They have pulled off back to back comeback victories, but both were against two bad teams. It wasn't too long ago they were trounced by the Cowboys. This week, the Vikings have to face off a well-rested Buccaneers team. The Bucs have had few hiccups in the season, but should be able to have success against this Vikings team. What is Bruce Arians coaching philosophy? No risk it, no biscuit. The Vikings are the 26th ranked passing defense, which means that Tom Brady and Mike Evans are salivating to play this Mike Zimmer led secondary. In order for the Vikings to win this game, Justin Jefferson needs the ball in his hands. Jefferson is the best rookie receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. and he is arguably the best player for the Vikings this year... Even with a healthy Dalvin Cook. This is a really good matchup for Tampa Bay as they should be able to put up a lot of points against a struggling Minnesota defense.
What to Watch for: Is this the week that Antonio Brown has his breakout game?
Player of the Game: Mike Evans WR Buccaneers
Final Score: Vikings 24 Buccaneers 30
Chiefs @ Dolphins
The Dolphins have been disappointing ever since their upset loss to the Broncos three weeks ago. Last week, Tua Tagovailoa didn't look great against the Cincinnati Bengals and this week the Dolphins are playing arguably the best team in the NFL. On paper this game is one of the best defenses (Miami) versus one of the best offenses (Kansas City), but realistically it still feels like the Dolphins are a year away from being able to keep up with the Chiefs. The Dolphins have a very good foundation, great culture, and one hell of a head coach, but the Chiefs are on another level. This week, the big three is coming back to Miami, however this big three consists of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill. The Dolphins are going to play the Chiefs tough, but not tough enough to come through and win the game.
What to Watch For: Can the Dolphins defense limit the Chiefs offensive creativity?
Player of the Game: Frank Clark DE Chiefs
Final Score: Chiefs 27 Dolphins 24
Broncos @ Panthers
This is one of the two super bowl rematches from week 14, but these teams are completely different from when they last faced off. Both teams are young and inexperienced, but have shown flashes. The Panthers are built very well and have a really good core of skill players offensively. This week DJ Moore won't be playing which is going to leave room for both Curtis Samuel and Robby Anderson to step up. The Broncos just lost their best corner, AJ Bouye, to suspension. Teddy Bridgewater is going to play well against the Broncos defense which has really struggled this year. Broncos QB, Drew Lock, has made a lot of bad decisions with the ball this season and Panthers LB, Jeremy Chinn, is going to capitalize on those mistakes. Who ever wins this game will be the team that turns the ball over less. Bridgewater is consistent with the ball and doesn't force a lot of turnovers, which will result in a Panthers win.
What to Watch For: Can Curtis Samuel be the number one receiver in Carolina?
Player of the Game: Teddy Bridgewater QB Panthers
Final Score: Broncos 21 Panthers 27
Texans @ Bears
This has to be one of the most anticlimactic game all season. The Bears, coming off of a terrible loss to the Lions, are one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Texans on the other hand aren't good enough to make it to the playoffs, but not bad enough to have a top draft pick. Houston is stuck in the mediocre category. Mediocre is better than bad which is why the Texans should be able to come up with a sloppy win over the Chicago Bears. While this has nothing to do with the game, Allen Robinson could be watching his future quarterback. Robinson who is entering free agency, would be an awesome fit with Deshaun Watson in Houston. The Texans are going to be able to throw on the Bears defense and will come up with an ugly win in the Windy City.
What to Watch For: Will Deshaun Watson pick back up at his MVP pace?
Player of the Game: JJ Watt DE Texans
Final Score: Texans 26 Bears 20
Cardinals @ Giants
This is quietly one of the best games on the week 14 slate. The Giants are red hot right now, they have won four straight and now are facing the Cardinals who seem to be getting worse every week. I never thought that I would be saying this, but the Giants defense is playing lights out and with Daniel Jones active, the Giants have a chance to make a run in the playoffs. With all that being said, I still have faith in Kyler Murray. Murray is one of the most talented players in the NFL and he could even make a run at the MVP award next year. The Cardinals have a good shot at sneaking into the 7 seed in the NFC which means that every game from here on matters. There is a good chance that both these teams are playing on wildcard weekend and this should be a sneaky good game. I don't think the Giants have enough offensively to keep up with Arizona and I expect the Cardinals defense to force Daniel Jones into making turnovers.
What to Watch For: Can Arizona's defense force Jones into making bad decisions?
Player of the Game: Budda Baker S Cardinals
Final Score: Cardinals 23 Giants 17
Cowboys @ Bengals
This is the game that everybody has been waiting for, the Andy Dalton revenge game. Kidding of course, both of these teams are poised to have top ten draft picks and have bright futures. Both teams are playing without their franchise quarterbacks who each had devastating injuries. Dallas and Cincinnati both desperately need offensive lineman in next years draft and both defenses are terrible. This is a game that I wouldn't feel comfortable putting money on, but the Cowboys are the better team. It should be a turnover heavy contest with at least one defensive touchdown. If I had to make a bold prediction, it would be that there are more defensive and special teams touchdowns in this game than offensive. The Cowboys will win this game by feeding CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliot.
What to Watch For: Can the Cowboys play mistake free football?
Player of the Game: Ezekiel Elliott RB Cowboys
Final Score: Cowboys 20 Bengals 10
Colts @ Raiders
This game is a must win for both teams. Both the Raiders and Colts are fighting for seeding in the AFC wildcard picture and can't afford to take losses. The Raiders have played back to back underwhelming games and while they did beat the Jets last week, the game shouldn't have been as close as it was. If it wasn't for a horrendous defensive call by Gregg Williams, the Raiders lose to the winless Jets team. The Colts on the other hand just came up with a huge win against a division rival. The Colts should be able to get the run game going against the Raiders 19th ranked run defense. Jonathan Taylor is finally starting to sprout and this could be his breakout game. The Colts also will be able to get TY Hilton the ball against the Raiders struggling secondary. Overall, this is a really good matchup for Indy and they should be able to come up with a big time win for AFC playoff seeding.
What to Watch For: Is this the Jonathan Taylor breakout game we've been waiting for?
Player of the Game: Jonathan Taylor RB Colts
Final Score: Colts 23 Raiders 17
Jets @ Seahawks
What in the world is going on with the Seahawks? You would think it had to do with their defense, but it's their offense that is struggling. Last week, the Seahawks defense held the Giants to just 17 points, but Seattle was only able to score 12 points. The Jets came close to upsetting the Raiders last week and have finally gotten rid of Defensive Coordinator, Gregg Williams. Am I saying the Jets will upset the Seahawks? No chance, but if you're a bettor this could favor the Jets. Jamal Adams is going to play with vengeance and is going to absolutely ball out on Sunday. The Seahawks need to get back on track, especially with the Rams pulling off a Thursday Night win.
What to Watch For: Will the Jets defense play better without Gregg Williams?
Player of the Game: Jamal Adams SS Seahawks
Final Score: Jets 20 Seahawks 26
Packers @ Lions
For every great quarterback, there is one team they love to beat up on. Drew Brees and the Falcons, Tom Brady and the Jets, or Patrick Mahomes and the Broncos. For Aaron Rodgers' case, he has two. He loves beating up on both the Bears and the Lions. Detroit looked much better last week without Matt Patricia coaching the team, and they could catch Green Bay in a trap game. In order to upset the Packers, the Lions must feed D'Andre Swift and keep Rodgers on the sideline. This Packers defense is not very good and it is the only thing holding them back from being true super bowl contenders. Last time these two teams played, Davante Adams absolutely blessed Jeff Okudah and the Lions secondary. Adams needs to be doubled all game. With all of the attention on Adams, running lanes will be wide open for Aaron Jones. This should be a classic Rodgers victory against his division rivals.
What to watch for: Can the Lions offense keep up with the Packers offense?
Player of the Game: Aaron Jones RB Packers
Final Score: Packers 30 Lions 24
Falcons @ Chargers
Last week, the Chargers may have played their worst game in franchise history. More specifically, their worst special teams game in franchise history. Anthony Lynn has carried a burden the entire season, but now he has to call both the offense and special teams. This week, the Chargers are going against a much weaker defense. Both of these teams are incredibly inconsistent and I would not put any money on either, the Chargers or the Falcons. Both of these teams are known for blowing games and if this is a one score game late, crazy things can happen. If I had to pick a winner, I would pick the Chargers. Despite having his worse game of the season a week ago, Justin Herbert has been one of the best surprises all season. This game is really a coin toss, but I'm going with the Chargers.
What to Watch For: What happens if this game is close late?
Player of the Game: Keenan Allen WR Chargers
Final Score: Falcons 27 Chargers 30
Football Team @ 49ers
Last week, the Washington Football Team pulled off the upset of the year against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Washington is 3-1 in the past four games since Alex Smith took over at starting QB and have been playing lights out lately. The 49ers are one of the most inconsistent teams with Nick Mullens at QB. Mullens looks flustered against a strong pass rush which is why this is such a terrible matchup for San Francisco's offense. However, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are two absolute playmakers. If Mullens is able to get the ball out of his hands fast the 49ers are going to be in a good position to win. The biggest mismatch of this game is Chase Young against Mike McGlinchey. Young should be able to have another dominant performance if he lines up on the right side. Kyle Shanahan is going to be calling this game with vengeance. He is going to coach is butt off and I say the 49ers upset the red hot Washington Football Team.
What to Watch For: Does Shanahan change up his coaching style?
Player of the Game: Brandon Aiyuk WR 49ers
Final Score: WFT 20 49ers 23
Saints @ Eagles
This has to be one of the most exciting games to watch this weekend. This is the first time we get to see Jalen Hurts as a starter in the NFL. Hurts was one of my personal favorite players in the NFL Draft this year and I genuinely believe he can be the next big star in Philly. It would be so awesome to see him come in for Carson Wentz against one of the best teams in the NFL and upset the New Orleans Saints. He is going to be running a lot, especially with Cam Jordan and Trey Hendrickson rushing at him. He may even have more rushing yards than Taysom Hill. Either way this game should be a whole lot of fun with two mobile quarterbacks. For New Orleans' offense, this is Michael Thomas' week to quiet the haters. Thomas is facing Darius Slay who has given up quite a few big games in recent weeks. This is going to be an amazing game where Jalen Hurts upsets the New Orleans Saints in his first ever start!
What to Watch For: Does Hurts provide a spark in Philly?
Player of the Game: Jalen Hurts QB Eagles
Final Score: Saints 17 Eagles 20
Steelers @ Bills
GAME OF THE WEEK! This game is freaking beautiful. Two of the best offenses and defenses are going head to head on Sunday Night Football. You can't ask for anything better. The Steelers are coming off of their first loss of the season and the loss of Bud Dupree has really hurt this defense. The Steelers also have absolutely zero running game and the playing calling in third and fourth and short is horrendous. Pittsburgh needs to start calling QB sneaks and converting. It will lose them games, and they can't mess around especially against the Bills. Buffalo had arguably their most impressive victory all season last week. Josh Allen looks like he's back to his early season self and the Bills look like true contenders. For some reason, the Steelers love to drop their linebackers into coverage way more than any team which leaves both the tight ends and slot receivers wide open for opposing offenses. This is the recipe for Cole Beasley to have another great game. This game is a really good matchup for Buffalo and I think they finally put themselves in true contender position after a victory today.
What to Watch For: Can anyone on the Steelers contain Cole Beasley?
Player of the Game: Cole Beasley WR Bills
Final Score: Steelers 26 Bills 31
Ravens @ Browns
Once again, this is another awesome Monday Night Football game. The Browns have played really, really good football lately and this matchup is completely different than what it was in week one. Week one was Kevin Stefanski's first game as head coach with practically no offseason. Now, Stefanski is looked at as one of of the best young coaches in the NFL and he is leading Cleveland to a potential playoff berth this year. The Ravens looked really good last Tuesday, but now they have to play one of the hottest teams in the NFL. I expect Cleveland to keep the train moving and pound the ball in this game. It has been a while since the Browns last beat the Ravens, but it is going to happen on Monday Night Football this week.
What to Watch For: What happens if the Browns take away the Ravens run game?
Player of the Game: Myles Garrett DE Browns
Final Score: Ravens 24 Browns 26