NFL PICKS WEEK 14

Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans

Nothing feels better than a Colts losing streak. Every morning I wake up, think about Peyton Manning failing, and I’ll have a bounce in my step for the rest of the day. The Colts rush defense failed to contain Mike Tolbert and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but they’ll get the week off here with Chris Johnson. Oh wait.

The Titans have strung together an even more impressively bad losing streak, despite the leadership of Rusty Smith. The drama-filled quarterback controversy should finally be settled when Kerry Collins comes back, and as long as he doesn’t throw 3 INTs they’ll have an upgrade over ol’ Rusty.

With the Colts’ inability to stop the run and the Titans getting their quarterback back, the stars seem to be aligning for a Titans victory in front of their home crowd. If someone can get audio of Peyton Manning crying himself to sleep after, I’m willing to spend any amount of money. For real.

Pick: Tennessee Titans

New England Patriots @ Chicago Bears

How good are the Patriots?! I was a skeptic at the beginning of the season but they have more than proven to be the best team in the NFL.

Green-Ellis has stepped in as the “as good as the line in front of him” back and has given the Patriots a reliable option in the backfield. The Pats offense has the best “tiny white guys who works their ass off” tandem in the league with Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead —where did he come from?! — and Brady is still the best QB in the league.

In case you don’t check the statistical leaders as much as I do, Jerod Mayo is blowing the rest of the league out of the water in the tackles department. He’s got 132 already and has been the anchor of the defense all year.

Sorry. Sometimes I just like typing about how good the team I root for is.

The defense is still young, and although it has shown great potential, it’s very inconsistent — see the first half of the Thanksgiving day game vs. the second half.

As I write this, the Jets-Patriots rematch of the century has yet to happen. But when the Patriots dismantle the Jets and Rex Ryan has a pissed off press conference that will be on SportsCenter all week I want textual proof that I saw it coming.

The Bears are also in this game.

Pick: New England Patriots

 

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers

How good are the Chargers?! That’s the last time I’ll do that.

It turns out having an elite offense and elite defense will result in winning some games. The Chargers picked up their first two road victories of the season against the Texans and Colts, the latter being their breakout game that made people realize the Chargers might be a force to be reckoned with.

The Chiefs have been one of the surprise stories in the NFL. Coming into the season, if you had said Kansas City would be 7-4 and leading their division, I would’ve looked at you like you said Arian Foster would be a top running back.

Indeed, the great rushing tandem of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones has given the Chiefs a way to move the ball downfield and Matt Cassell hasn’t been screwing up. Weird stat: Dwayne Bowe has 14 touchdowns. He had 16 his first three years combined.

This is what it boils down to: The Chiefs are not a very good road team (2-4) and the Chargers are a great home team (4-1). The Chiefs can run the ball and have trouble stopping the pass, the Chargers can stop the run and have an elite passing offense. This just isn’t a very good matchup for the Chiefs.

But boy are they cute!

Pick: San Diego Chargers

 

Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans

Are the Texans forever doomed to be mediocre?

Going into their bye week, Houston was 4-2 with high hopes for finally getting into the playoffs. A 1-5 stretch and a shot at the playoffs no longer a reasonable hope, the Texans stand at 5-7 coming into this game against the arguably best team in the NFL. Not good.

With the rest of their schedule, the Texans are looking at another 8-8 or 7-9 season. They’ve got all the offensive pieces, they just have to somehow give a boost to their pass defense — 287.4 yards/game — if they ever want to vault into the elite.

If you haven’t been checking, the Ravens are still great. And, as is the Ravens way, they’re led by a stout defense. Unlike in past years, however, Baltimore has a formidable offense. An 8-3 team on the rise vs. a 5-7 team on a downward trend? Hmm…

Pick: Baltimore Ravens