• Jake Klausner

NFL Week 14 Games

Updated: Dec 11, 2021

Previews, Predictions, and What Comes Next In The NFL for Week 14



We are starting to get down to the end of the season. The Fantasy Football playoffs begin this week, but I won't be a part of it. I haven't talked about fantasy sports very much this year and for a good reason. I suck at fantasy football. Yes, I won my league last year (I destroyed my dad), but I'm at the bottom this year. Dalvin Cook getting hurt has not helped me, and I'm never drafting DeAndre Hopkins in Fantasy again. Alright, enough about my miseries! Let's get on with the preview!


 

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1) vs. Minnesota Vikings (5-7)

Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET

TV: FOX/NFL NET Line: MIN -3.0



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:


  • On Thursday night, we will bless ourselves with the presence of Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense. This season, after all, is the last one he will have in Pittsburgh, allegedly; hopefully, he retires for everyone's sake. Anyway, I should be talking about T.J. Watt as he is coming off a performance in which he recorded 3.5 sacks. Altogether, Watt has accumulated 16.0 sacks in just ten games. That has to be DPOY worthy.


  • On the other side of the ball, you have the Minnesota Vikings, a team coming off an embarrassing loss to the once winless Detroit Lions. Mike Zimmer has further impacted his job security, as he continues to blow leads late in the game (also, you lost to the Lions). The one upside is that Vikings fans have finally seen some good football out of Kirk Cousins this season. Aside from lining up over his tackle, he's put up solid numbers this season. It also helps when you have Justin Jefferson as a reliable target. Even with counterpart Adam Thielen (ankle) expected to miss extended time, Cousins still has options on offense. The one thing holding them back seems to be the coaching and the defense.


PREDICTION:

This game is a bit of a toss-up for me as both teams aren't great. Kirk Cousins has the capability of picking apart a weak Steelers' secondary, but without Thielen, he's not entirely hurt, but it won't be easy. I probably should take the Vikings, but I think T.J. Watt will be the difference-maker in this game, and I'm taking the Steelers in a tight affair. Even with Dalvin Cook back in the lineup, I'm still expecting the Vikings to do what they do best, and that's choke away games.

Pick: PIT +3.0

Atlanta Falcons (5-7) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-7)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: CAR -2.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • This NFC. South contest is crucial for both teams as they are in the hunt in the Wildcard race, and the loser could see their playoffs' hopes fade.

  • The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a loss at the hands of Tom Brady. You cannot do much when you go up against the GOAT. Aside from that, Matt Ryan is putting up solid, despite not having any receivers besides Kyle Pitts. The one consistent bright spot for the Falcons has been Cordarrelle Patterson. The do-it-all athlete has fit in nicely at running back and is torching good defense with his explosiveness. Even as he's gotten older, Patterson has proven that he can still go.



  • Meanwhile, the Panthers are on the brink of implosion. They are coming off the firing of OC Joe Brady, but was Brady the problem? Brady had to work with Sam Darnold and Cam Newton, not exactly the cream of the crop. Either way, the Panthers are awful on offense despite having a solid season. I'm not sure who the Panthers will start on offense, so we are in for a surprise.


PREDICTION:

Whether Cam or P.J. Walker is at QB, I'm expecting this game to be low-scoring. The Panthers' defense will hold the offense to a minimum, but I still think Cordarrelle will take control of the running game, and the Falcons will get the road win.

Pick: ATL +2.5

Baltimore Ravens (8-4) vs. Cleveland Browns (6-6)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: CLE -2.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Ravens are in trouble. They aren't playing good football, and to top it all off; they aren't even a real football team anymore; injuries have killed them. Marlon Humphrey going down last week is a massive blow to an already depleted secondary. It doesn't get any better on the offense either, as they've had multiple injuries at RB. Lamar Jackson has been their best runner all season, as they haven't had a true identity in the running game. I predicted the Ravens to be in the AFC Championship Game earlier in the season. Now, I'm not sure what to expect.


  • The Cleveland Browns are coming off a much-needed bye, as QB Baker Mayfield had become a liability on offense due to the injuries he was nursing. Now, they are well-rested and looking for revenge against the team they lost to in their last game before the bye. The difference is that the Browns are well-rested, and Mayfield feels better. Not to mention, Myles Garrett is still a beast.


PREDICTION:

I think the Browns will pressure Lamar Jackson and force him into tricky situations early, while Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will get the running game going for Cleveland. I believe that Baker Mayfield will play a smart game, and the Browns will get the much-needed victory at home.

Pick: CLE -2.5

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) vs. Tennessee Titans (8-4)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: TEN -8.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • Urban Meyer isn't showing anything close to resembling success in his first season as head coach. Trevor Lawrence hasn't shown any signs of improvement as the rookie QB continues to have a tough time navigating through his horrible o-line. If I had to sum up the Jags in one sentence, it would be: Their defense isn't bad, but their offense is.


  • The Titans are coming off their bye, but it doesn't change that they are still without Derrek Henry. Losing Henry at RB changes their offense up completely. I know I keep saying this, but that's how crucial Henry was to this offense. Their running game isn't as effective without Henry, leaving QB Ryan Tannehill to dry.


PREDICTION:

The Titans aren't the same without Derrek Henry, but they are still playing the Jaguars. With that said, I believe Tennessee's defense will force the Jags to turn the ball over, and the Titans get the dub.

Pick: TEN -8.5

Las Vegas Raiders (6-6) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: KC -9.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Raiders are coming off a tough loss to a red-hot Washington team at home. Yes, Derek Carr has shown signs of regression as the Raiders continue to fight for a playoff spot, but they still have a shot of winning their division. However, it doesn't help that they have to face Patrick Mahomes, who torched the Raiders' defense earlier in the season. The Chiefs won that matchup 41-14.


  • While the Chiefs' defense has improved, the offense is underwhelming. Patrick Mahomes continues to turn the ball over while his receivers keep dropping passes. Despite the inconsistencies on offense, the Chiefs sit atop the AFC West, and they are more than capable of flipping the switch on offense at any point.

PREDICTION:

Patrick Mahomes had a field day the last time these two teams met. I don't see this week's outcome being any different. I see the Chiefs winning this one big.

Pick: KC -9.5

New Orleans Saints (5-7) vs. New York Jets (3-9)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: NO -5.0



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Saints have been suspect all season, but it's become clear that they are not a playoff team this season. They are practically playing with their practice squad as the Saints have crucial injuries on both sides of the ball, but mainly on offense. However, they expect RB Alvin Kamara (knee) to return this week after missing the last four weeks.


  • There's not much to discuss regarding the Jets. QB Zach Wilson is not good, and the Jets lack talent on both sides of the ball.


PREDICTION:

If Kamara can return this week, I expect the Saints to run all over the Jets. Even without Kamara, I believe that New Orleans will still win.

Pick: NO -5.0



Dallas Cowboys (8-4) vs. Washington Football Team (6-6)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: DAL -4.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Dallas Cowboys are a talented team, but I still doubt HC Mike McCarthy. Yes, they handled an injury-riddled Saints team last week, but the Cowboys needed that win to keep their significant gap atop the NFC East. QB Dak Prescott finally has all of his receivers healthy. On defense, LB Micah Parsons is putting up a solid case for Defensive Rookie of the Year, while CB Trevon Diggs is making his case for Defensive Player of the Year.


  • Meanwhile, the Washington Football Team is riding a four-game winning streak behind the gutsy play from QB Taylor Heinicke. While Heinicke has given it his all this season, Washington's desire to go to the running game has been their recipe for success. Antonio Gibson has had a mid-season resurgence running the football. Washington is also no-slouch on defense, but they will be without Montez Sweat due to COVID-19 protocol.


PREDICTION:

I like for Washington to keep it interesting, but ultimately, I think Dallas has too much talent, and they will end Washington's winning streak.

Pick: DAL -4.0

Seattle Seahawks (4-8) vs. Houston Texans (2-10)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: SEA -7.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • After their win last week, Seattle believes they still have something to play for. Russell Wilson put together his best performance since coming back from finger surgery, which is a sign of good things to come. Not to mention, they are playing the Texans.


  • The Texans might be the worst team in the NFL. I can't wait for them to play the Texans because that might decide who the actual worst team is.


PREDICTION:

The Seahawks shouldn't have any problems this week. After last week's win, they are determined to stay alive in the playoff race.

Pick: SEA -7.0

Detroit Lions (1-10-1) vs. Denver Broncos (6-6)

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: DEN -7.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Detroit Lions pulled off the unthinkable last week: they won a football game. Despite Dan Campbell almost blowing the game, Jared Goff and the Lions pulled it off. However, the Lions still have no shot at making the playoffs.


  • Like the Lions, the Broncos are not a good football team. I don't see this game being entertaining whatsoever. Denver's offense has been inconsistent all season, as QB Teddy Bridgewater has to deal with a lack of talent at wide receiver. The one thing separating themselves from Detroit is that Denver's defense is legit.


PREDICTION:

I think Denver's defense will be the story in this one. Yes, the Lions have momentum, but they have to travel west to a high-altitude city. I wouldn't say I like the Lions' chances.

Pick: DEN -7.5

New York Giants (4-8) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (7-5)

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: LAC -10.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Giants currently face quite the dilemma; both of their quarterbacks, Daniel Jones (neck) and Mike Glennon (concussion), may miss this week's games. With that said, Jake Fromm would be the starter if they cannot go. From what I can tell, it's looking like Fromm will start for the Giants on Sunday.



  • On the other hand, the Chargers are coming off an impressive road win against the Cincinnati Bengals. Justin Herbert has put together a solid sophomore season in the NFL and has shown terrific composure all year. This week, Herbert will have to play without his best target Keenan Allen, who is among a handful of players to appear on the reserve/COVID list. In other news, DE Joey Bosa is healthy and ready to go.


PREDICTION:

Even without Keenan Allen, I believe that Justin Herbert and the Chargers' offense will be no match for the Giants, and they will prevail at home.

Pick: LAC -10.5

San Francisco 49ers (6-6) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: CIN -1.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • Out of the late afternoon games this weekend, this game stands out the most. These teams match up well on paper, and they stand out on offense. The Bengals are coming off a tough loss at home to a talented Chargers team. Joe Burrow is nursing a finger injury but should be good to go for Sunday's game. As long as Ja'Marr Chase can fend off the dropsies (I have in fantasy, not that it matters), the Bengals should be in the clear. Also, RB Joe Mixon is questionable for Sunday's game due to an illness.


  • Like the Bengals, the Niners lost last week on the road to the Seahawks and a nursing a few injuries themselves. RB Elijah Mithcell is questionable for this week's game due to a concussion, and on the defensive side, LB Fred Warner is questionable due to a hamstring. Still, Kyle Shanahan is optimistic that Warner will play. There's also uncertainty whether or not Deebo Samuel will play this week. The versatile WR/RB suffered a groin injury the week prior and was expected to miss 1-2 weeks.


PREDICTION:

As one might suggest, this game is hard to pick a winner as both teams match up well on paper. The Niners have a lot to prove, but I believe the Bengals are the better team and are playing at home. With that said, I like for Joe Burrow and the Bengals to get the bounce-back win.

Pick: CIN -1.0

Buffalo Bills (7-5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3)

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: TB -3.0



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • While I still think Buffalo will make the playoffs, I think they are in a lot of trouble. With their loss to the Patriots, the Bills have assured themselves a Wildcard spot. To make matters worse, they have to go up against Tom Brady this week, who, as an individual, is 32-3 against the Buffalo Bills. The problem with Buffalo is that they don't have a run game. They can't keep running the ball with Josh Allen and expect him not to get hurt eventually. The RB tandem of Devin Singletary and Zach Moss has not been the answer this season. Oh, and not to mention, their "prolific" run defense got exposed last week by the New England Patriots.


  • Tom Brady is always at his best late in the season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently sit as the third-best team in the NFC and are my pre-season pick to win the Super Bowl. The fact that Brady is throwing up to 50 passes a game at the age of 44 is insane. Not to mention, Leonard Fournette is finally starting to reach his full potential at running back, and he has earned Brady's trust in the passing game. Regarding the passing game, Brady's knack for figuring out which receiver will break out, whether Mike Evans or Chris Godwin. The one constant in the offense is Brady's desire to hook up with Rob Gronkowski regardless of who it is.


PREDICTION:

The Bills Mafia will show out in Tampa this weekend, but that won't stop Tom Brady. I think Brady will continue his dominance over the Bills, and the Bucs will win at home.

Pick: TB -3.0

Chicago Bears (4-8) vs. Green Bay Packers (9-3)

Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET

TV: NBC Line: GB -12.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • Bears fans have seen about enough of head coach Matt Nagy as they will more than likely miss the playoffs yet again. The good news is that rookie QB Justin Fields is cleared from injury and will be the starting quarterback Sunday night.


  • The Packers are well-rested and are coming off an impressive victory in their last outing against the Rams. Aaron Rodgers continues to show why he's a baaad man as he picks apart defenses by throwing it to guys like Davonte Adams and Marquez Valdez-Scantling. RB Aaron Jones will be healthy for Sunday's game, but A.J. Dillion has stolen the show in the running game as of late.


PREDICTION:

Bears fans have to think this is a crime for playing this game on Sunday night rather than in the afternoon. I don't see this game being pretty for them as Aaron Rodgers pretty much owns the city of Chicago at this point. I like the Bears big.

Pick: GB -12.5

Los Angeles Rams (8-4) vs. Arizona Cardinals (10-2)

Monday 8:15 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN Line: ARI -2.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • If you look at all of the Rams' wins, they have all been against inferior opponents. The opposing defenses read right through Sean McVay's offensive schemes when faced with an actual challenge. After a solid start to the season, Matthew Stafford's recent play has raised some red flags regarding his history of not winning the big game. If the Rams want to be the Cardinals on Monday, McVay has to incorporate the ground game while spreading the ball around through the air with Cooper Kupp and OBJ.


  • The Arizona Cardinals currently have the best record in the NFL and are in first place in the NFC West. QB Kyler Murray is healthy, and DeAndre Hopkins is back to catching passes from Murray. The Cardinals' defense has stood out immensely this season, as Chandler Jones is a monster on the interior as he has 8.5 sacks this season.


PREDICTION:

I see this game being much closer than their first meeting, as I believe Matthew Stafford will turn it around. However, I think the Cardinals are the better football team, and with Kyler Murray, they are much more dangerous. I like the Cardinals to win a close contest as they clinch the NFC West.

Pick: ARI-2.5


Jake Klausner covers all things sports for ThePyrrhic.com. Keep your eyes peeled for NFL Analysis, World Series Recaps, and more from Jake.


Follow him on Twitter @jake_klausner


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