NFL: Week 14

By: S. Davis

As much as I love football – and it’s by far my favorite sport – the game in Washington a few nights ago made me want to cry. I pushed through it, barely, and I got the reward of seeing the final five minutes. I needed that jolt as I was real close to bailing on the season. Just joking there.

Odd how the NBA got their playoff seeding correct after many years while the NFL continues to shit the bed concerning theirs. It’s a simple solution: Winning a division grants you a playoff berth but not a right to host a playoff game when your opponent has a better record. Is that too difficult a concept to grasp? It is about winning games isn’t it? Personally, I’m all for complete seeding by win-loss record, to hell with divisions – and conferences for that matter. Since divisions must mean something then division winners should get a ticket punched to the tournament only if their record is .500 or better. Period. I don’t like nine, 10 and 11 win teams sitting home when they won the majority of the 16 contests they played…while a squad that managed to tread water in a horrid division gets a postseason game on their turf. Bull. Shit.

These weird occurrences are no longer anomalies anymore; we have as a frame of reference the 2010 Seahawks, 2014 Panthers and (almost certainly) the 2015 NFC East winner. They are happening too frequently for the wild-card team with the better record to be penalized for actually going on the field to win games…only to go on the road, in a playoff contest, to play an inferior home team that stumbled their way to a division title.

If you came here for enlightenment for your betting fancies then last week constituted a lost batch of selections as I went 7-9 and laughed myself into a frenzy on Sunday. This week should be better.

Week 14:

Minnesota 17 @ Arizona 30: The Cardinals get up on the Vikings early and should breeze away with this one. The Vikings aren’t built to play from behind as it nullifies their  best weapon – Adrian Peterson – and the running game in favor of a passing attack that’s entrenched in its infancy.

Buffalo 26 @ Philadelphia 17: I’m so happy that the Eagles put a loss on the Patriots but I just like Tyrod Taylor and LeSean (Shady) McCoy to do a bit more than the Eagles who seem to be searching for their identity each and every week.

San Francisco 20 @ Cleveland 17: I just picked a team lead by Blaine Gabbert, on the road, to win a professional football game. Who dares, wins, right?

Detroit 24 @ St. Louis 17: I have no clue what’s going on with the Rams.

New Orleans 28 @ Tampa Bay 30: The Saints cannot defend so it should be a big passing day for Jameis Winston.

Tennessee 19 @ NY Jets 26: I’ll take the Jets.

Pittsburgh 30 @ Cincinnati 34: I picked the Steelers to win the Super Bowl this year so this game is a tough one because they need to get it. However after this one is complete they have the Broncos, Ravens and Browns (and I think they prevail in all three to get to 10-6). Ultimately I’m going with the Bengals who are just so complete right now whereas the Steelers are week-to-week considering what type of shape Ben Roethlisberger happens to arrive in on game day.

Indianapolis 23 @ Jacksonville 21: This score is entirely dependant on whether Matt Hasselbeck starts (and is healthy). If that isn’t the case then flip the scores in favor of the hosts.

San Diego 17 @ Kansas City 29: Chiefs.

Washington 21 @ Chicago 26: This is a pick solely based on what I want to see. A team from the NFC East will host a playoff game.

Atlanta 20 @ Carolina 24: If Cam Newton and Carson Palmer aren’t the leaders for NFL MVP, then voting for the award is broken.

Seattle 30 @ Baltimore 12: I see no reason to think the Seahawks will drop this game.

Oakland 17 @ Denver 24: Last week I picked the Broncos to lose to the Chargers because I felt that Denver’s defense has been tasked with carrying too much of the load this year. Even though I was wrong I feel slightly validated, or will be soon, because there’s going to be a game when the Broncos are going to need to score 27 points (or more) on a day when the defense is leaking everywhere – and they won’t.

Sadly, I do think that game will surely take place in the knockout round(s).  The defense cannot be expected to be elite every week.

Dallas 13 @ Green Bay 34: Packers. A team from the NFC East will host a playoff game.

New England 27 @ Houston 20: I’m not sure I’d want to be the Texans this week but I think they keep the game closer than most expect considering the Patriots are on a two-game skid.

NY Giants 24 @ Miami 16: Maybe? Did you know that a team from the NFC East will host a playoff game? That’s not a typo, next month one of the four teams will actually be at home.

Last Week: 7-9
Season: 117-74

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