NFL Week 14 Picks & Week 13's Biggest Takeaways
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Straight To The Extra Point this week, we would first like to start off today's thoughts by acknowledging the newest partnership for our Sports Network.
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Week 14 Spreads & Over/Under Point Totals
By Brandon Caputo & Miklos McMaster
Now onto the "juicy" stuff with the Week 14 picks.
Just like his Raiders against the winless Jets, Miklos avoided a near disaster of epic proportions by coming away with an over .500 record for his Spreads & an Even rating with his Over/Unders,
while Brandon continued to do what his Atlanta Falcons wish they could do: come away with back-to-back positive weeks.
No unordinary Tuesday or Wednesday Football (as of yet) so it's time to get back to a regular NFL schedule,
at least for 1 week!
Houston Texans(-2.0) vs Chicago Bears O/U 46.0
Miklos: Houston under 46.0
Brandon: Houston under 46.0
We still don't trust Chicago's offense despite the amount of points that they put up on Detroit with Mitchell Trubisky back under centre. With no Will Fuller as a deep threat Wide Receiver & Running Back David Johnson out with a positive COVID test, we are both concerned about Houston's offense but thinks they can pull this one off by at least a field goal. THE BEARS ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE: not very good.
Photo Credit: National Football League / Youtube
Tennesse Titans(-7.5) vs Jacksonville Jaguars O/U 52.5
Miklos: Tennessee over 52.5
Brandon: Tennessee under 52.5
Coming off a shocking loss against the Browns the Titans & their defense need to bounce back in this divisional matchup against the 1 in Jaguars. Mike Glennon have shown his stuff as the Jaguars fill-in Quarterback,
but this will be a get right game for the Titans who are looking to keep the division title lead & King Henry will look to feast on the Jags once again in the run game, as he has historically done throughout his career.
Denver Broncos vs Carolina Panthers(-3.0) O/U 45.5
Miklos: Carolina over 45.5
This has the makings of being a sneaky good game as both teams are undermanned but under terrific coaching have played well above their talent levels. Denver's performance last week was probably boosted by playing against a division rival and as the Panthers at home in Charlotte, look for them to edge the Broncos in what should be a very exciting game.
Brandon: Denver under 45.5
With Panthers all-world running back Christian McCaffrey listed as Doubtful for 1 more week, this is a perfect opportunity for the also injury plagued Denver Broncos to ride the momentum from their valiant showing against division rival & Super Bowl Champion: Kansas City Chiefs last week.
QB Drew Lock & the Broncos come out East & get it done in a low scoring affair with both offenses being undermanned.
Dallas Cowboys(-3.5) vs Cincinnati Bengals O/U 43.0
Miklos: Cincinnati under 43.0
Andy Dalton done admirably as the cowboys Starting quarterback since Dak Prescott went down but three and a half is very rich for a chronically underachieving Dallas Cowboys team. The Bengals have been very undermanned since Joe Burrow went down but should be able to hang tight with America's team.
Brandon: Dallas under 43.0
In what looks like one of the ugliest games on the Week 14 calendar due to both Dak Prescott & Joe Burrow's seasons being over due to horrific injuries as the Franchise Quarterback's for their respective franchise's,
this game is going to be a good old fashioned "slop fest."
Ezekiel Elliott may have his best game of the season with all-purpose yards & QB Andy Dalton gets revenge on the team where he spent his entire NFL career up until the 2020 season.
Dallas' defensive Front should be able to carve up the Bengals horrific offensive line. Cowboys win in another low scoring & hopefully low rating as far as viewers with plenty of better games to choose from to spend your Football Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs(7.0) vs Miami Dolphins O/U 50.0
Miklos: Kansas City over 50.0
Brandon: Kansas City over 50.0
This is an exciting AFC match up with Tua taking on Patrick Mahomes in Miami. While this may be a primetime match of the future, Tua is still very young and the Dolphins led by their rising star at Head Coach Brian Flores, are still coming along. So while they may keep it close, the Chiefs will probably prevail at the end of the day & all but solidifying the Buffalo Bills as AFC East Champions with another respectable Dolphins loss.
Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals(-2.5) vs New York Giants O/U 45.0
Miklos: New York over 45.0
This is a very intriguing matchup an after the game that they played against the Seahawks it should be interesting to see how the Giants defense handles Kyler Murray. the job Joe Judge has done has been impressive and he is ready to shock another NFC West team.
Brandon: Arizona under 45.0
Although the Giants had a shocking upset victory on the road in Seattle last week against MVP Candidate Russell Wilson, this now Colt McCoy led offense (with the injuries to starting QB & RB combo Daniel Jones & Saquon Barkley) still hasn't proven that they can move the ball down the field consistently.
Their defense has stepped in recent weeks, propelling them to 1st in the abysmal NFC East, but the Cardinals have been reeling and are now barely clinging onto the final wildcard spot in the NFC.
Arizona gets it done & gets back on track after what was such a great 1st half of the season, which has quickly trended sour.
Minnesota Vikings vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers(6.5) O/U 52.5
Miklos: Tampa Bay over 52.5
Brandon: Tampa Bay over 52.5
This is a must win game for Tampa Bay and Minnesota for that matter if they want to stay in the playoff race.
Despite strong performances by Minnesota in past weeks who have miraculously gotten themselves back into playoff contention after an atrocious start to their season, Tom Brady and Co had better start to put it together sometime soon if they really want to compete for another Super Bowl & make it in as one of the 3 wildcard teams in the NFC with the NFC South division all but claimed by New Orleans at this point.
Indianapolis Colts(-3.0) vs Las Vegas Raiders 0/U 51.5
Miklos: Indianapolis over 51.5
Brandon: Indianapolis over 51.5
This is a huge game for both teams. The Colts need a win in order to stay in the hunt for the AFC South division title race with the Titans and the Raiders need a win if they want to stay in the hunt for an AFC Wildcard playoff spot. Based on the performance against the Jets who almost had their winless season ruined, we're skeptical of what the Raiders will bring to the table against a very good Colts team after 2 very bad performances in
New York & Atlanta the past 2 weeks.
Wide Receiver T.Y Hilton has now found the endzone in back-to-back games accumulating 191 yards receiving during those games for the Colts, after being held out of the endzone for the first 11 weeks of the 2020 season.
New York Jets vs Seattle Seahawks(-13.5) O/U 47.5
Miklos: Seattle under 47.5
Brandon: Seattle over 47.5
Photo Credit: Andy Vasquez / northjersey.com
This is a get right game for the Seahawks as they take on the second team from the Meadowlands in back-to-back weeks. Could be time for the Seahawks disappointing defense to gain some confidence vs a horrible Adam Gase led offense, who continue their crash course plan to the #1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Giants are a much better team than the Jets, so look for Pete Carroll's team & that explosive offense to bounce back in a big way to write the ship after their 17-12 loss last week & keep pace with the Saints in the race for the #1 seed in the NFC.
Gregg William is now OUT as Defensive Co-Ordinator for the Jets after last week's collapse vs the Raiders,
so that means there's only a few more games before his now-former boss Adam Gase joins him on the coaching unemployment line.
Green Bay Packers(-8.0) vs Detroit Lions O/U 55.0
Miklos: Green Bay over 55.0
Miklos: Green Bay over 55.0
Despite their win over the Chicago Bears, the Detroit Lions still were in a position to lose that game most of the way. Green Bay is continued to be dominant on route to an NFC North division title win and hopeful another Super Bowl push with the all-world play of QB Aaron Rodgers. Anything can happen in divisional matchups though, so it may be closer than expected with the Lions playing motivated football in the
Post-Matt Patricia Era.
Atlanta Falcons(-1.5) vs Los Angeles Chargers O/U 49.5
Miklos: Atlanta under 49.5
Brandon: Atlanta over 49.5
Incredibly The Falcons are favoured in a game and that says more about the Chargers than it does the Falcons in this case. After their pathetic performance against the Patriots, the Chargers look like they're ready to close up shop for the season and looking forward to next year.
Both of these offenses can put up points despite their inconsistent & disappointing tendencies, which have them mirrored & compared to one another in that regard as talented rosters who consistently underachieve year in & year out.
No all-world Wide Receiver Julio Jones for Atlanta, but Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, Christian Blake, &
TE Hayden Hurst have all stepped up in the passing game during Julio's multiple absences again this season.
New Orleans Saints(-7.0) vs Philadelphia Eagles O/U 43.5
Miklos: New Orleans over 43.5
Brandon: New Orleans over 43.5
With Drew Brees potentially coming back in Week 15, this is an important last showcase at Quarterback for Taysom Hill & should be an incredibly interesting matchup with the newly starting Jalen Hurts leading the Philadelphia Eagles, who is finally taking over for the 100 Million Dollar Underperforming Man: Carson Wentz. Unfortunately for Jalen Hurts he's going against one of the top teams in the NFL and the results will be predictable, as his putrid Eagles offensive line will do nothing to help in that regard by this Saints loaded defensive front. New Orleans rolls & continue their mission for the #1 seed in the NFC.
Washington Football Team vs San Francisco 49ers(-3.5) O/U 43.5
Miklos: Washington under 43.5
Brandon: Washington under 43.5
This is an incredibly interesting NFC matchup for two teams on the outside looking in for the seventh playoff spot. The Washington football team has impressed in recent weeks and despite how well San Francisco has been playing, Washington is going to make a statement here with a win over the injury decimated Super Bowl runner ups. Both of these defenses are to be feared, which should trend towards a low scoring affair especially with star Running Back Antonio Gibson being out for Washington.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills(-2.0) 0/U 47.5
Miklos: Buffalo over 47.5
This is a huge game with very big playoff implications in the AFC. The Steelers were stunned on Monday night by the Washington football team and are now tide with the Kansas City Chiefs with one loss apiece.
This is a title match between two of the best teams in the AFC right now and is an opportunity for the Bills to send a message to the rest of the NFL that they're gunning for a Super Bowl berth.
Photo Credit: Philip G. Pavely / USA TODAY Sports
Brandon: Pittsburgh under 47.5
In a battle of 2 of the best teams in the AFC at the moment, this one is very tough to call. With the betting lines moving towards Buffalo's favour, it is going to be tough to see the Steelers not bouncing back from their 1st loss of the season last week to Washington.
Pittsburgh has something to prove here as the doubters of their weak schedule will be in full-force if they lose in back-to-back weeks & on the big stage of Sunday Night Football.
In what could be a Defensive battle all the way to the end, Brandon is picking the Steelers to cover the 2 points,
much to the chagrin of his father (a diehard Buffalo Bills fan) who more than likely will be very upset reading this.
Baltimore Ravens(-2.0) vs Cleveland Browns O/U 47.0
Miklos: Cleveland over 47.0
Brandon: Cleveland over 47.0
An intriguing Monday night match up between two teams that we thought would be in opposite roles in the AFC North. Baltimore is struggling to get back into the playoff picture and the changing of the guard maybe in order, at least for the 2020 season for 2nd place in the AFC North.
It's an opportunity for the Browns & QB Baker Mayfield to cement their playoff spot moving forward, who are riding high off their offensive explosion vs the Titans last week and who have secured their 1st winning season since 2007...
Dynamic Tight End Mark Andrews is back for Baltimore after coming off the COVID list, so look for this to be one of the highest scoring games on the Week 14 slate.
Most confident picks of the week
Gold Pick: New Orleans over Philadelphia
Silver Pick: Seattle over NY Jets
Bronze Pick: Cleveland over Baltimore
Gold Pick: Tennessee over Jacksonville
Silver Pick: Green Bay over Detroit
Bronze Pick: Dallas over Cincinnati
Takeaways from Week 13
By Miklos McMaster
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac
1. Raiders vs Jets: What On Earth Was That?
I try not to be biased on this show, but we do have to talk about the Raiders again this week. What a wild and bizarre game that was as the Raiders tried desperately hard to give the Jets a win but unfortunately they could not overcome the bonehead play calling by Gregg Williams and the play by the Jets defense. I have to say as a Raiders fan, I could not believe my eyes whenever The Jets went zero coverage and blitzed with 13 seconds left and the Raiders needed a touchdown to win . Not to mention that a field goal would do nothing for them so literally there was never a better time to play full prevent defense. This goes to show how dysfunctional the Jets organization is and I really feel sorry for Jets fans. Next year will hopefully bring a brand new coaching staff an front office and hopefully a brand new franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence.
I think this game also highlighted a couple things on the Raiders defense:
1. they still have a long way to go and are very susceptible to both the run in the pass still.
2: they're very thin on defense.
With Damon Arnette and Jonathan Abram both out the pass defense really struggled and it's obvious that the drop off from the starters is great. It is something that definitely needs to be addressed in the offseason. 2 bright spots for the Raiders were in Clelin Farrell who had a couple of Saxon a forced fumble and also the absolute clinic that Darren Waller put out. He is truly a top tight end in the League and as the receivers continue to grow around him this Raiders offense is only going to get more dangerous. Finally I think Josh Jacobs missing was also a big factor because even though Devontae Booker put together a decent performance it is clear that he is not ready to take on the full workload or provide the same kind of running attack that Jacobs brings to the table.
2. Are the Browns legit?
Can you believe it because I can't. Despite what the score says this game was an absolute demolition of a playoff team. This might have been the Browns toughest challenge to date and they passed with flying colors. The running game was dominant Baker Mayfield was dealing to multiple wide receivers and the defense was swarming and stout until it did not matter anymore. it is concerning that the Titans put up so many points in the second half but by then the lead was so great that it did not matter. I think Kevin Stefanski has really gotten through to this team and it should definitely be in the conversation of coach of the year candidates.
The Browns are now quietly 9-3 Sitting at 4th in the NFL with only the Steelers, Chiefs, and Saints being the only teams with a better record than them! I can safely say I did not expect this at all whenever the season started and I have been greatly impressed in recent weeks with how Cleveland has been playing. They are going to be in the playoffs and the question isn't about how the rest of the season is going to go the question is how will they perform in the big games. And if Stefanski keeps coaching the way he is it's going to be well because they have all the recipes of what it takes to win in the playoffs. A strong running attack and a stout defense. Those two pieces along with a mistake free Baker Mayfield is a recipe for a deep playoff run.
3. The effect of GOOD coaching
Speaking of Kevin Stefanski and the job that he is done in Cleveland I want to highlight two other incredible coaching jobs that have been going on in the NFL. It is incredible to see the effect that good coaching can have on an organization and how it can turn things around and two obvious places where it may not have been obvious at the beginning but is now having an effect is in Washington and with the New York Giants. Ron Rivera has done a masterful job turning around one of the most dysfunctional franchises in the NFL and they have become a dangerous team. While their record still doesn't reflect it in recent weeks they have beaten some serious opponents including the once undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers.
Photo Credit: Jeff Lange, Akron Beacon Journal
Antonio Gibson has found his place as their bell cow running back and Alex Smith has cemented his comeback player of the year award. That combined with probably the best defensive line in all of football has meant that they are now in the hunt for the 7th wild card spot. Also in the NFC East the Giants have put together a string of strong games an even despite all of their injuries Joe judge has managed 2 keep the offense steady and effective under Daniel Jones well turning the defense loose. In their upset win over Seattle Russell Wilson and the rest of the Seahawks offense was barely able to move the ball and we're under pressure the entire game . The Giants front 7 is also no joke and they continue to hold onto the lead in the NFC East. Considering all the crap that we have given this division it is incredible that at the end of the year they could have two teams end up making the playoffs.
Both excellent examples of how anything is possible on any given Sunday and how much coaching matters in today's NFL.