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RJ’s NFL Picks, Week 14

RJ Elliott

New England will lose this week. You read it here first.

I went 7-9 last week. (Hey, it happens.) That puts me at 118-74 for the season. For a comparison, check out the “experts” over at ESPN.

Here are my picks for the NFL’s Week 14:

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*Thursday, December 6, 2007*

Chicago 5-7 at Washington 5-7 – 8:15 pm (Sheridan’s line: Washington by 3)

Both teams need a win in order to stay alive in the race for an NFC Wild Card spot. The Bears are 3-3 on the road this season, while the Redskins are 3-3 at home. Washington has lost four straight, and I think last week’s heart-breaker was a back-breaker as well.

RJ’s Pick – Chicago by 3

*Sunday, December 9, 2007*

Carolina 5-7 at Jacksonville 8-4 – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s line: Jacksonville by 10.5)

Carolina is 4-2 on the road this season, but they have yet to beat a team with a winning record. Jacksonville is 4-2 at home, and nearly pulled off the upset at Indianapolis last week.

RJ’s Pick – Jacksonville by 14

Dallas 11-1 at Detroit 6-6 – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s line: Dallas by 10)

Dallas has won six straight and is undefeated on the road. Detroit has dropped four in a row, but is 4-2 at home this season. Only a barking madman would pick the upset.

RJ’s Pick – Detroit by 1

Miami 0-12 at Buffalo 6-6 – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s line: Buffalo by 7)

The Dolphins are four losses away from the worst regular season in NFL history. Buffalo really needs to win this one if they are to have any chance of making it to the postseason. (Their last three games are against Cleveland, the Giants, and Philadelphia.)

RJ’s Pick – Buffalo by 11

New York Giants 8-4 at Philadelphia 5-7 – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s line: Philadelphia by 3)

The Giants are 5-1 on the road. Philadelphia has dropped two straight and is just 2-4 at home. I smell an upset.

RJ’s Pick – New York Giants by 4

Oakland 4-8 at Green Bay 10-2 – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s line: Green Bay by 10.5)

Oakland has won two in a row, but they are still terrible. The Packers lost last week, but they are still one of the top five teams in the league. (The others being Dallas, New England, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh – in no particular order.)

RJ’s Pick – Green Bay by 16

RJ’S THIRD-BEST GAME OF THE WEEK: San Diego 7-5 at Tennessee 7-5 – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s line: Pick ‘em )

San Diego has won two in a row, but they are just 2-4 on the road this season. Tennessee is 4-2 at home, and is battling for an AFC Wild Card spot.

RJ’s Pick – Tennessee by 4

RJ’S LAME-GAME OF THE WEEK: Saint Louis 3-9 at Cincinnati 4-8 – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s line: No line)

The Rams have won three out of four since their bye week, and almost won the other game, too (against Seattle). Cincinnati has had a disappointing season, but is a respectable 3-3 at home. This is a tough call.

RJ’s Pick – Cincinnati by 5

Tampa Bay 8-4 at Houston 5-7 – 1:00 pm (Sheridan’s line: No line)

Tampa Bay has won four straight, but they are just 3-3 on the road this season. Houston’s season pretty much ended with their loss last week at Tennessee, but they are 3-2 at home.

RJ’s Pick – Houston by 1

RJ’S SECOND-BEST GAME OF THE WEEK: Arizona 6-6 at Seattle 8-4 – 4:05 pm (Sheridan’s line: Seattle by 6.5)

If the season ended today, the Arizona Cardinals would be in the playoffs as a Wild Card. A win here would not only help solidify their position as a potential Wild Card, but would place them just one game behind Seattle for the division lead, and would give them the head-to-head tiebreaker as well. But the Seahawks are no pushover. They have won four in a row and are 5-1 at home. A win here, and they have pretty much wrapped up the NFC West.

RJ’s Pick – Seattle by 10

Minnesota 6-6 at San Francisco 3-9 – 4:05 pm (Sheridan’s line: Minnesota by 8)

The Vikings slaughtered the Lions like lambs last week, 42-10. Detroit’s pathetic secondary made Tarvaris Jackson look almost like a credible NFL quarterback, as he was able to pass for multiple TDs for the first time in his career. Rookie running back sensation Adrian Peterson is healthy again, and the very presidential Chester Taylor is more than adequate in a backup role. Meanwhile, San Francisco sucks.

RJ’s Pick – Minnesota by 6

Cleveland 7-5 at New York Jets 3-9 – 4:15 pm (Sheridan’s line: Cleveland by 3.5)

Neither team has much defense, but at least Cleveland has a potent offense. That’s why the Browns look playoff-bound, and the Jets are a joke.

RJ’s Pick – Cleveland by 9

Kansas City 4-8 at Denver 5-7 – 4:15 pm (Sheridan’s line: Denver by 6.5)

Kansas City has lost five in a row. Denver has dropped two straight. I see no reason why Denver shouldn’t win, but I predict it will be low-scoring and close.

RJ’s Pick – Denver by 2

RJ’S NUMBER-ONE GAME OF THE WEEK: Pittsburgh 9-3 at New England 12-0 – 4:15 pm (Sheridan’s line: New England by 10.5)

Pittsburgh has won two straight, and has the best defense in the NFL, by far. They have allowed the fewest points, the fewest total yards, the fewest passing yards, and the second-fewest rushing yards. They’ve also recorded two shutouts so far this season. However, they are only 2-3 on the road. New England is four wins away from an undefeated regular season. But they have, frankly, looked like crap in their last two games. They won both games, of course, but just barely – by three points each. And both those games were against a sub-par opponent. I don’t know if it’s the colder weather, or the wear-and-tear of a long season, or what, but this team has simply lost some of its mojo. Unless they can get their act together in a short week, a quality team like the Steelers (who are still fighting for a possible playoff bye) is going to end their hopes of going 16-0.

RJ’s Pick – Pittsburgh by 3

Indianapolis 10-2 at Baltimore 4-8 – 8:15 pm (Sheridan’s line: Indianapolis by 9.5)

Indianapolis got a huge win last week over Jacksonville, and has now won three straight. They are 5-1 on the road for the season. Baltimore threw everything they had at New England on MNF last week, and it still wasn’t good enough. They shot their wad and came up short, and then we all got to watch their defense in total meltdown mode. Heh. That team used to be good once, too. Like, just last season.

RJ’s Pick – Indianapolis by 13

*Monday, December 10, 2007*

New Orleans 5-7 at Atlanta 3-9 – 8:30 pm (Sheridan’s line: New Orleans by 4.5)

New Orleans has lost three of their last four. Last week’s loss was particularly painful, as division-leading Tampa Bay came from behind to get the win. Now the Saints only have a slight chance of making the postseason as a Wild Card. Atlanta has lost three straight. They’ve benched Joey Harrington again (lol) in favor of Chris Redman. I predict Tony Kornheiser will spend a significant portion of the third quarter rambling on about Bobby Petrino’s coaching future. I further predict that a sizable percentage of the viewing audience will be watching the game on mute during said third quarter.

RJ’s Pick – New Orleans by 2

(If you’re interested, you can check out the full list of Danny Sheridan’s Odds and ESPN’s NFL “Expert” Picks.)

2007 Weekly Results
Week One – 11-5
Week Two – 9-7
Week Three – 10-6
Week Four – 7-7
Week Five – 9-5
Week Six – 10-3
Week Seven – 9-5
Week Eight – 10-3
Week Nine – 9-5
Week Ten – 7-7
Week Eleven – 10-6
Week Twelve – 10-6
Week Thirteen – 7-9

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