- Kenneth Cotterill
Top 5 Games To Watch - Week 14
Season Record (38-27)
Only four weeks remain in the NFL season and it is getting down to the nitty-gritty. There is no longer an undefeated team in the NFL after Pittsburgh fell to Washington at home. This past week also saw the New York Giants, led by Colt McCoy, knock off the Seattle Seahawks, surprising many. And in the shock of the week, Cleveland blew Tennessee out of the water in the first half and took the game 45-38. This week features just one notable division game, which means some inter-conference matchups have some major playoff implications.
5. New England Patriots (6-6) vs. Los Angeles Rams (8-4)
Patriots nation are feeling revitalized after two straight wins, the last of which was a 45-0 crushing of the Los Angeles Chargers. They had a special teams score and two rushing touchdowns by Cam despite him only throwing for 69 yards in the game. The Rams, on the other hand, took care of business in their divisional game with Arizona, which ties them with Seattle for the division lead. Their three-headed rushing attack was effective once again, as both Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson got into the end zone last week.
New England's luck will run out here as they will fall to the other Los Angeles team tonight. Aaron Donald upfront will be too much for the Patriots O-Line to contain, which means Cam will have to beat this team with his arm. That will not happen though, as the Rams will be looking to avenge their Super Bowl loss to the Patriots from a couple years ago. The Rams will cover the 4.5 spread, winning by a touchdown and both teams will cross the 44 point total line as well.
Los Angeles 27 - New England 20
4. Minnesota Vikings (6-6) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)
The Minnesota Vikings are riding high and back in the playoff hunt after their 1-5 start to the season. The Viking's overtime win over the Jaguars may not have been very impressive, but a win is a win and they will keep on rolling behind the play of Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook. Tampa Bay is coming off a much-needed, late-season, bye week and will be refreshed for this game. Their last outing was a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24, but they will be looking to keep pace in the NFC playoff picture.
This game is my upset of the week, as the Bucs come in as 6.5 point favorites. The Buccaneers still have the best rush defense in the league, giving up just 74 yards per game, so I anticipate that Dalvin Cook will have a quieter day than usual. This means that Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen could be in for some productive days, so start both in fantasy for sure. I am taking Minnesota to win on a last-second field goal that not only wins the game but covers the 52 point spread as well.
Minnesota 28 - Tampa Bay 26
3. Kansas City Chiefs (11-1) vs Miami Dolphins (8-4)
I did not think that the Miami Dolphins would be featured this many times this year, but they are a complete football team. Their defense is one of the very best in the league and they have two competent quarterbacks that they can plug in any given week. The Dolphins have won two in a row coming in, but they will take on the reigning champs who show no signs of slowing down. Kansas City won 22-16 over Denver at home last week, but they scored just one touchdown in that game so they will need to improve this week.
With only one playoff team getting a bye week this year, I think Kansas City desperately wants to keep pace with Pittsburgh and will pull out the victory this week. Patrick Mahomes also wants to keep pace with Aaron Rodgers in the MVP conversation, so he will be looking to throw more touchdown passes this week as well. The Chiefs are seven-point favorites, so while I think they will win, Miami will cover and both teams will hit the 50 point spread.
Kansas City 30 - Miami 24
2. Baltimore Ravens (7-5) vs. Cleveland Browns (9-3)
Huge AFC North showdown as two potential wild card teams will do battle. Cleveland and Baltimore would need a lot of help from Pittsburgh to take the division crown, but both of these teams still have postseason aspirations. Baltimore handled the Cowboys 34-17, despite still battling COVID cases within their locker room. Then the Dawg Pound took care of Tennessee early and coasted to a 45-38 victory. Baker Mayfield was slinging it, throwing four touchdowns which could be huge for Cleveland moving forward if he can continue playing at a high level.
This is more so a must-win for Baltimore, which is why I am taking the rat birds to win this game. Baltimore did beat Cleveland in week one 38-6, so while I think this game will be much closer, Baltimore may just have the Browns number. Lamar will get a rushing touchdown in this game and throw for at least one more. The 47 point line may seem low, but both teams have solid defenses so take the under here.
Baltimore 24 - Cleveland 20
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (9-3)
What a tough week for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They dropped their first game of the season to the Washington Football Team at home. The Steelers were fine passing the football, but they managed just 21 rushing yards. James Conner should be back, which means the offense will have more balance now. The Bills won fairly comfortably against San Francisco last week as well. Cole Beasley had 130 yards and a touchdown as Josh Allen tries to re-enter the MVP discussion.
Two AFC giants will do battle on Sunday and the Steelers will be the team that comes out on top. They have the better defense and a ton of weapons on offense, despite being on the road. This game will be incredibly close though, as Vegas currently has Buffalo favored at -2.5, despite Pittsburgh opening as 2.5 point favorites. The 46.5 point line will also be crossed, as I anticipate that Allen and Roethlisberger will be dueling. Take the over and Pittsburgh by a field goal.
Pittsburgh 27 - Buffalo 24
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