NFL Week 14 picks, how to watch, stream: Colts shock first-place Texans, Rams top Bears in 'SNF' thriller
Wondering which NFL teams are going to win in Week 14? You've come to the right place to find out
I'm starting this week's picks with a late birthday shoutout to Aaron Rodgers.
Now, I'm not going to sit here and say Rodgers had the best birthday ever on Sunday, but it had to come close. Not only did he get his boss fired, but he also got a birthday shoutout from Ellen DeGeneres, which I'm guessing took some of the sting off that loss to the Cardinals, because how could it not.
Ellen has definitely never sent me a tweet for my birthday. However, I did once get a Paul Blart DVD once, so I guess it all evens out. Also, that DVD got some serious use. On the other hand, one thing that won't be getting any use anytime soon is Mike McCarthy's office.
Look, if you lose to the Cardinals as a 14-point favorite at home in December, that's practically enough to justify a firing on its own, and when you combine that with that fact that the Packers offense has been a disaster nearly the entire year, it was pretty clear that a change had to be made.
Speaking of disasters, that kind of describes my picks from Week 13. Let's hurry and get to this week's picks so I can stop thinking about what happened last week.
Actually, before we get to the fun stuff this week, here's your weekly reminder to check out the picks from all our other CBS Sports NFL writers, which you can do by clicking here. Also, if you've ever wondered what my voice sounds like -- and who hasn't -- you can click here and subscribe to the Pick Six Podcast. I team up with Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough every week for an NFL recap show that you can download each and every Monday morning during the season. The other four days of the week, you don't get me, but you do get Brinson interviewing fun guests like Brady Quinn and Pete Prisco.
Alright, that should be enough brownie points for the week. I'll stop shilling for the company so we can get to the picks.
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NFL Week 14 Picks
Indianapolis (6-6) at Houston (9-3)
Texans fans should probably give Frank Reich a standing ovation when he takes the field this week and that's because Houston's nine-game winning streak never would have started if not for an insane call Reich made back in Week 4.
Just to refresh your memory: The Colts and Texans were tied at 34 in overtime with just 24 seconds left to play when Reich decided to go for it on fourth-and-four. The problem with his decision was that the Colts were at their own 43-yard line, which meant if they failed on fourth down, the Texans would almost immediately be in field goal range to win the game.
Long story short: The Colts failed on fourth down and the Texans kicked a game-winning field goal two plays later.
Going into the game, the Texans were 0-3. The 37-34 win over Indy basically kickstarted Houston's nine-game winning streak and it all happened because Reich apparently hates ties and he refused to play for one. Look Frank, I hate ties too, but I like math and the math says that 6-5-1 would be a better record now than 6-6 and having the Texans at 8-3-1 would be better for Indy than Houston's current record of 9-3.
Basically, since the tie didn't happen, the Colts are now three games back with four to play and if they lose on Sunday, we can probably just wrap up the AFC South, put a big bow TIE on it (you see what I did there, I made a tie pun for Reich) and give it to the Texans. However, I don't think that's going to happen. The Colts are the only team this season that's been able to move the ball at will on the Texans and I think we'll see them do it again this week.
Sure, the Colts just lost to a team quarterbacked by Cody Kessler and the Texans haven't lost since mid-September. And yes, this pick should probably be obvious, but I hate doing the obvious thing.
The pick: Colts 27-24 over Texans
L.A. Rams (11-1) at Chicago (8-4)
8:20 p.m. ET, NBC (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
When I see that a team from California is playing a team from the midwest on the road in December, the first thing I usually do is Google the weather, so I decided to Google Chicago's weather for Sunday, and I hate to tell you guys, but global warming is definitely over, because it's supposed to be 30 degrees there. (For the record, I only took one science class in college and I got a "D," so you should not cite my global warming opinion as fact the next time you get in a climate debate on the internet).
The thing about cold weather is that it's horrible for everyone and I don't think it's going to give either team an advantage. Both teams have played exactly one game this season in temperatures under 35 degrees and they both won their only game (The Rams won in Denver in Week 6. The Bears won a home game against Minnesota in Week 11).
The best part about this game is that we get to see the second-highest scoring offense in the NFL (the Rams) go up against a Bears defense that has smashed every team they've played this season at Soldier Field.
Of course, the biggest problem for the Bears has nothing to do with their defense and everything to do with their quarterback situation. The Bears are either going to have to go with their struggling backup (Chase Daniel) who threw two interceptions and fumbled four times against the Giants last week, or they can start Mitchell Trubisky, who's been battling a shoulder injury and hasn't played in three weeks. If I'm a banged up quarterback, the last player I want to go up against is Aaron Donald, especially after watching Daniel get sacked five times against the Giants. To be honest, I feel kind of sorry for whoever ends up under center for Chicago this week.
If the Bears want any chance at stopping Donald on Sunday, their best option is probably going to be putting Knickers the cow at left tackle.
My understanding is that he's a free agent.
The pick: Rams 26-23 over Bears
Seahawks special -- Minnesota (6-5-1) at Seattle (7-5)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
First, let me start off here by personally thanking Bobby Wagner for keeping my Seahawks streak alive. I'm now 12-0 on the season picking Seahawks games and as you probably know by now, this section will exist as long as my record stays perfect. It's almost like Wagner knew about my streak, because he did everything in his power to make sure the Seahawks won in Week 13.
Since a stat sheet can read like Spanish to some people, I'll go ahead and interpret that for you: Wagner had 12 tackles, two quarterback hits, two tackles for a loss, two passes defended, one sack, one interception return for a touchdown, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery against the 49ers. I mean, I'm pretty sure you could create your own "12 Days of Christmas" song with that stat line. Wagner was a big reason the Seahawks beat San Francisco 43-16.
Of course, everyone expected them to win that game, so getting the pick right wasn't really a big deal. On the other hand, not everyone is going to be picking the Seahawks this week, and that's because they're playing the Vikings. While eating some meat loaf over the weekend, I made a list of all the teams the Vikings have beaten this season that currently have a winning record and I'm going to share that list with you.
Here's the list: XXXXXX.
The reason there are a bunch of X's there isn't because my editor hates me and edited all the team names out so I'd look dumb, nope, it's because the Vikings haven't beaten a single team with a winning record.
Now, that's not to take anything away from Minnesota's six wins, because it's not like they make their own schedule, but I think what I'm saying that I can't in good faith pick the Vikings to win, especially on the road and especially against a Seahawks team that's practically unbeatable at home in prime time (They're 15-2 since hiring Pete Carroll). The Seahawks are also apparently wearing their Color Rush uniforms on Monday and there's just no way I'm picking against a team that's crazy enough to wear radioactive jerseys on the field.
The pick: Seahawks 30-20 over Vikings
Blowout of the week -- Cincinnati (5-7) at L.A. Chargers (9-3)
Somehow, there are only THREE out of 16 games on the NFL schedule this week involving teams that both have a winning record (Rams at Bears, Seahawks at Vikings, Ravens at Chiefs), which means we're probably going to see multiple blowouts in Week 14. With that in mind, I've decided to add a section this week where I try to predict the biggest blowout. There's a good chance this will fail miserably, but at least I'll be able to say I tried, which is more than I can say for the Bengals over the past few weeks.
Although this game has all the ingredients for a giant blowout, there are two things that concern me. For one, this has all the makings of a trap game. The Chargers just came off a huge prime-time win over the Steelers, and after they play the Bengals, they have a huge prime-time showdown with the Chiefs on Thursday. It's not crazy to think that the Chargers might overlook the Bengals in the same way that everyone in L.A. kind of doesn't pay attention to the Chargers. The other thing that concerns me is how is Philip Rivers going to have any energy left to play football.
I get tired chasing around three nephews, how does Rivers ever have any energy if he's spending time with eight kids. By the way. I'm actually half convinced that the Chargers have no business plan for L.A. and that they're just banking on Rivers and his wife having enough children to fill up the entire stadium there.
Chargers executive one: "Sir, how are ticket sales going at Stubhub?"
Chargers executive two: "Poorly."
Chargers executive one: "Hmmm. That's not good. Tell Rivers to have three more kids. That should solve all of our attendance problems."
Chargers executive two: "I'm not sure I agree with that, but I'll do it."
The one thing I will say here is that you're definitely not falling for a trap game if you have eight kids. It's just not possible because you're automatically ready for everything. Rivers has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in the NFL all season and now he gets to go up against a Bengals defense that's so bad, they're on track to give up the second-most yards in NFL history.
I mean, as far as mismatches go, Rivers against the Bengals secondary is basically the same as me going up against Meryl Streep in a game of charades where we're only acting out scenes from Meryl Streep movies. I would have no chance and that's kind of how I feel about the Bengals secondary trying to stop Rivers.
If this game were just Rivers and his eight kids going up against the Bengals, I would think about taking Cincinnati, but there are no kids involved, so I'm definitely taking the Chargers.
The pick: Chargers 37-17 over Bengals
NFL Week 14 picks: All the rest
Packers 27-20 oer Falcons
Chiefs 30-23 over Ravens
Giants 22-16 over Redskins
Broncos 24-13 over 49ers
Steelers 27-24 over Raiders
Cardinals 19-16 over Lions
Best pick: Last week, I predicted the Broncos would score 24 points in a win over the Bengals and then the Broncos went out and scored 24 points in a win over the Bengals. Now, I have to say, after nailing this game, I'm starting to think that I should probably stop calling this the "best pick" section and just name it after Hue Jackson since my entire strategy for picking games basically revolves around picking against him. When Hue was with the Browns, I picked against the Browns, and now that he's with the Bengals, I'm picking against them, and it has worked like a charm. When Jackson was hired by the Bengals three weeks ago, they were a 5-4 playoff contender. Since his hiring, they've gone 0-3, and I'm not sure they're going to win a game for the rest of the year. At least he won't be back in Cincinnati next year, right?
Worst pick: My worst pick in Week 13 wasn't an actual game, it was my decision to start Matt Ryan in fantasy football even though I knew he was going up against the NFL's top defense. The decision destroyed my fantasy season and I'm pretty sure part of my family is going to disown me, which could make things kind of awkward when we get together for Christmas. As everyone knows, there are literally only three rules to fantasy football: Always propose one-sided trades to the person who knows the least about football, never draft Blake Bortles and never start a quarterback with two first names.
If you follow those three rules, you're basically a lock to win your league every year. The joke's on me though because I didn't follow that all-important third rule in Week 13. Matt Ryan has two first names, but I started him anyway against the Ravens and I think you already know what happened: The decision blew up in my face.
Ryan only scored eight points in a game I lost 91-89. In related news, I also picked the Falcons to beat the Ravens last week and that decision also blew up in my face. However, I have to say, it definitely could have been worse. Instead of starting Ryan on my fantasy team and missing the pick, I could have lost $330,000 betting on the Falcons.
I only have one rule when it comes to gambling and it's "Never bet money on a team that once blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl."
Finally, if you guys have ever wondered which teams I'm actually good at picking, this is the part where I tell you, but you already know since I never stop talking about it. Through 13 weeks, I only have a perfect record picking one team: The Seahawks (12-0). Also, I'm 11-1 picking the Rams and 10-2 picking the 49ers. Apparently, you should only be paying attention to my NFC West picks.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, my three worst teams are all in the NFC. I'm just 5-7 picking the Cowboys, Panthers and Eagles. Two of those teams have been to the Super Bowl recently, so maybe that means that this will finally be the Cowboys year. I'm guessing it doesn't mean that, but it could.
Straight up in Week 13: 8-8
SU overall: 122-68-2
Against the spread in Week 13: 7-9
ATS overall: 89-98-5
Exact score predictions: 2
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