NFL Picks: Week 14

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans — Sunday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m.


You really have to give credit to Houston. After losing Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, T.J. Yates was able to bring the Texans to a win against the formally streaking Falcons. I don’t know if that game says more about Houston’s resiliency or Atlanta not being able to get over the hump in 2011. Either way, the Texans’ defense continues to be outstanding — they are ranked No. 2 in points and yards allowed per game.

The Bengals are sinking and they absolutely need to have this game in order to stem the tide, because they still have a game against Baltimore looming on the schedule. Believe it or not, Houston is in position to have a bye in the playoffs over the Ravens and Steelers.

The Pick: Houston

Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints — Sunday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m.


Drew Brees is on fire and I don’t care who they play in what venue — the Saints can’t be touched right now. New Orleans already had their we-overlooked-a-far-inferior-opponent game against St. Louis, and don’t expect a dud against a Tennessee pass defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league.

The Pick: New Orleans

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants — Sunday, Dec. 11, 8:20 p.m.


It will be a playoff atmosphere in prime time when the Giants match up against the Cowboys. The NFC East title is wide open after the Cowboys squandered a chance to go up by two games when they fell to the then 3-7 Arizona Cardinals.

The Giants and Cowboys have both had streaks in the last month. The Giants lost four straight after their most recent loss to the Packers, and the Cowboys had a four-game winning streak before their loss to the Cardinals. But the Giants lost these games to teams with a combined record of 35-13 and the Cowboys beat teams with a combined record of 18-30.

The Pick: New York