2013 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 14 NFL Picks

Scott Cunningham

After my worst week of the season in Week 13, I rebounded a little bit with a 10-6 record in Week 14, bringing my my overall record to 116-75-1 (60%). My Week 14 NFL picks are below. Feel free to share your general thoughts on this week's games in the comments section.

Week 14 Games Explanation Pick
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Battle for the Final Wildcard Spot: True story: if either of these teams run the table, they are still mathematically alive for postseason contention (snickers). There's no way in hell I would predict that to happen, but, given the sad state of affairs of the AFC's wildcard competition, it's not as unrealistic as you might expect. Ultimately, what this game really helps determine is the upper order of the NFL Draft. The Jaguars have won three of their past four games, so they're not trying to phone in the rest of the season. Jaguars 23, Texans 14

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Trying to End the Season Strong: The Bills have a commitment to E.J. Manuel, but they want his development to move along as quick as possible for next season. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are trying to use this time to make a major decision at the quarterback position come draft time. Does the success of Mike Glennon make them stay away from drafting a quarterback? Tampa Bay was hot before running into the hotter Panthers, so I like them to pick up where they left off two weeks ago. Buccaneers 20, Bills 17

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Pivotal Non-Division Game, Part I: Even though these teams don't play in the same division, this is a pivotal game in both the NFC East and the NFC North. The Lions currently lead their division by one game, but a loss could get the Packers and Bears right back in the hunt. The Eagles are still tied with the Cowboys for the division lead. This is a tough game to pick, but I'll stick with Nick Foles' unbelievable interception-free streak, since the Lions have had way too many turnovers themselves. Eagles 27, Lions 24

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First-Round Bye Possibilities: With the Colts sweeping the Titans last week, they are virtually a lock to win their division. The Bengals could still be caught by the Ravens, so a little more pressure is on them to win. What these teams are also fighting for this week in a shot at a first-round bye. Both teams have 8-4 records, one game behind the Patriots. Both offenses have underachieved recently, but the Colts' lack of a running game will continue to hurt them, as Andrew Luck continues to miss Reggie Wayne. Bengals 23, Colts 16

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Still a Sizable Cushion: How luxurious is it for the Chiefs to have lost three straight games, yet find themselves still having a three-game lead in the wildcard race? The Chiefs do need to get back on track if they are going to make a serious postseason run without the luxury of being at Arrowhead, and they can start with a dominant performance against the deflated Redskins. Chiefs 28, Redskins 13

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Mike Wallace Returns to Pittsburgh: Overall, the Mike Wallace signing for Miami has not been a very big hit. This week, he returns to Pittsburgh to face his former team. Ike Taylor has been burned quite a bit the past few weeks, so the question is, "will it happen again?" The Steelers are still very much alive in the playoff race, too, and despite a tough loss against the Ravens on Thanksgiving, I think they will pull out all of the stops for a comfortable win at home. Steelers 24, Dolphins 17

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Tempting to Take the Vikings: For a second, I was actually hoping that the Bears-Vikings game would end in a tie last week, because it would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see an NFL team finish with tie games in back-to-back weeks. This week, they battle a Ravens team that has done themselves a big favor in the AFC wildcard race by beating two wildcard contenders (Jets and Steelers) the past two weeks. Matchup-wise, I think the Vikings' ground game could give the Ravens problems, but the Ravens are 5-1 at home while the Vikings are 0-5 on the road. Ravens 27, Vikings 21

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Smith Gets the Start Again: Over his last four starts, Geno Smith is 29-of-74 (39%) for 374 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. I didn't know the productivity of a passing game could be that bad in the NFL, even if someone tried to be that bad. Smith was pulled in last week's game, but is supposed to start this week. I don't know if he can channel any of the success he had earlier this season, but if he can't, the Jets' wildcard hopes will be officially over. I originally picked the Raiders here in spite of Smith, but because Oakland has been pretty poor too, I switched my pick to the Jets, who will win a close one...in spite of Smith. Jets 16, Raiders 10

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Running Into a Powerhouse: The Titans have had a tough break -- they've lose two games in the past three weeks to the Colts, despite appearing ready to be in control of each game. Now, they want to keep their wildcard hopes alive, but will have no shot against the powerhouse Denver Broncos, who should be able to steamroll right through them like it's practice. Broncos 42, Titans 20

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Survival of the Fittest: The Giants' NFC East playoff hopes are still alive, and they continue to reduce the number of mistakes being made each week and have taken advantage of a softer schedule. The Chargers are 5-7 as well in the AFC, despite having played much better football this season. If the Browns are going to be out of the playoff hunt and if we don't want the Ravens or Steelers to grab the final wildcard spot, San Diego is a team I could get behind as an entertaining postseason team. The decision this week is a coin flip. Chargers 23, Giants 20

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Game of the Week, Part I: With their decisive 34-7 win over the Saints last week, the Seahawks became the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff spot. I'm taking the 49ers to win this week, but it won't even do much damage to the Seahawks, who would still have a two-game lead on their division rivals. San Francisco lost 29-3 to the Seahawks earlier this season, but they are in need of a statement game. If they lose, they could very well find themselves out of the playoffs (temporarily), even to a team like Arizona. 49ers 20, Seahawks 17

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Mapping Out to Week 17: The Cardinals face the Rams and Titans over the next two weeks. If they win those two games, their record will be 9-5 heading into the final two games of the season against Seattle and San Francisco. The final game of the season could very well be San Francisco vs. Arizona for a wildcard spot (flexed NBC game possibility). For that to happen, the Cardinals need to continue their solid play, as their defense will get after Kellen Clemens enough for the win. Cardinals 24, Rams 14

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One More Week: Matt Flynn is expected to start again this week, and my guess is that we are one week away from the return of Aaron Rodgers. This is a good week for the Packers to try to get by with Flynn, who will be going up against one of the worst overall defenses in the NFL. Green Bay can count on their running game more, taking some pressure off Flynn. Packers 31, Falcons 21

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Game of the Week, Part II: When the Falcons and Buccaneers looked awful to start the season, the Saints had to feel pretty comfy. The Panthers were 1-3 at one point. New Orleans has only lost three games this season, but I bet they never expected Carolina to rip off eight straight wins. Both teams are tied at 9-3, so this game will temporarily determine the leader in the NFC South -- I say "temporary" because both teams square off again in two weeks in Carolina. I'll go with the Saints in round one and (spoiler alert!) likely the Panthers in round two. Saints 24, Panthers 20

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Pivotal Non-Division Game, Part II: The NFC has a lot of intriguing matchups this week. The week will be capped off with another game that could help determine the outcome of two separate divisions. We're still waiting word on whether Jay Cutler will play or not, and Tony Romo has been delivering for the Cowboys. I think Cutler plays and we're treated to a very competitive, back-and-forth game that sees Chicago prevailing, unlike last week's collapse to the Vikings. Bears 23, Cowboys 21

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Not Stacked in Cleveland's Favor: Upsets happen; heck, the 2-10 Texans played the Patriots tough last week, falling 34-31. However, a lot is stacked against Cleveland: a shaky quarterback situation, two defensive players done for the season, and losing six of their last seven games. The Patriots, meanwhile, are 6-0 at home. My full preview and prediction for this game will go live on Saturday, so stay tuned to DBN.

TBA

Pokorny's Week 13 NFL Picks Record: 10-6
Pokorny's Record w/ Browns Games: 5-7
Pokorny's 2013 NFL Picks Record: 116-75-1

Survivor Pick: I am 10-3, with a three-game winning streak that has seen me use up SEA, NO, and NE. This week, I'll go with the Broncos to take out the Titans.

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