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2014 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 14 Picks

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14 of the NFL brings on more intense playoff race. I am at 80 losses on the season, and one of my goals is to always avoid reaching more than 100 regular season losses. To do that, I'll have to average an 11-5 record over the final four weeks, so I've got my work cut out for me.

Week 14 Games Explanation Pick
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Disappointing Turkey Day: Is it a bit unusual that both of these teams are playing on Thursday for the second week in a row? Last week came on Thanksgiving, where both teams lost. This also marks the first CBS/NFL Network Thursday nighter of the year that isn't a divisional game, if I'm not mistaken. Neither team excels defensively, but the Cowboys are much better at staying focused and consistent. Cowboys 24, Bears 21

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Significant Blow for Ravens: The news of Haloti Ngata's suspension is a significant blow to the Ravens' playoff aspirations. Their secondary has played poorly, but they could at least still rely on their guys up front. The outcome of this game will either hurt the Browns' divisional or wildcard chances. I see Miami rolling comfortably at home behind their stout pass defense. Dolphins 21, Ravens 17

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A Glimmer? While the Panthers have continued on sucking (six straight losses, two blocked punts returned for touchdowns last week), the Saints showed their offensive firepower on the road against the Steelers last week. If they can channel that energy the next couple of weeks, a division title is in their future. Saints 28, Panthers 20

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Tough Situation: As a fan, the Texans are in a tough situation. 6-6 typically keeps you in the playoff hunt, but this year, it seems like they'd have to go 10-6 to get a wildcard spot. Facing the Jaguars twice over the next four weeks helps, but their other opponents are Indianapolis and Baltimore. They'll get by the Jaguars, but what about Indy next week? Texans 24, Jaguars 6

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My Goodness: The Giants have lost seven games in a row and collapsed to the Jaguars last week. Now, they get a team that is playing just as bad in the Titans, who have lost six straight. The Titans give up the most points in the NFL; the Giants aren't much better. Someone's streak has to end, and I'll go with the Giants because of their more stable quarterback position. Giants 24, Titans 17

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Something to Build On: It's pretty astonishing how bad the Jets' quarterback situation has been. They could sign a quarterback off the street and probably get better productivity. The Vikings are at least trying to build something, and Teddy Bridgewater can get a little more confidence with another win this week over the hopeless Jets. Vikings 20, Jets 14

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Division Setter: These two teams face off for the first time in Week 14 and will meet again in Week 17, so there is no doubt these matchups will help determine who wins the AFC North. For the Browns, an ideal scenario would be for the two teams to split the series. Andy Dalton is coming off of a three-pick performance (in victory), but Pittsburgh will make up for their home loss to the Saints with a better defensive performance on the road. Steelers 21, Bengals 13

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Clicking Better: It's a terrible sign for Robert Griffin III when the Redskins' offense looks 100 times better with Colt McCoy under center. St. Louis has been playing well for over a month now, including a 52-0 win over the Raiders last week. Therefore, this is a bit of an upset special against a Rams team that has lost three of their last four road games. Redskins 23, Rams 17

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With an Offense, Look Out: The Packers have scored 380 points this season. The Lions have scored 231 points. Detroit has been winning with defense, but their offense hasn't reached its prime potential yet. They showed some glimpses last week, scoring 34 points against the Bears on Thanksgiving. They'll ride that momentum and put 25+ points on the board for just the third time this season. Lions 28, Buccaneers 14

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Not Enough Offense: A defense like Buffalo is good enough to win a game like they did against Cleveland last week, but Kyle Orton remains a game manager in a very pedestrian offense at the end of the day. Even if the Bills' front four gets after Peyton Manning, he'll have his moments and the Bills won't be able to fire back. Broncos 21, Bills 18

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The Cushion is Thinning: The Cardinals built up a big cushion in the NFC West earlier this season, and right now, they are cashing in: with two straight losses and two straight Seahawks wins, they still lead the division by one game. Arizona has had trouble scoring the past two weeks, but they are 6-0 at home and the cracks are forming in Kansas City. Cardinals 20, Chiefs 10

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Game of the Week: I was stunned how well the Eagles handled Dallas on Thanksgiving, and over in Seattle, they are starting to look like a Super Bowl caliber team again. One of these teams will be set back, and a loss would certainly be more costly to the Seahawks. I've been ragging on Mark Sanchez for weeks, and I'll do it again here: let's see Sanchez try to beat Richard Sherman and company. Seahawks 27, Eagles 20

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Phoning it In: Colin Kaepernick and the flow of the 49ers offense is so ugly right now that they could easily lose to a team like Oakland. I'll give the 49ers the benefit of the doubt defensively as Phil Dawson wins an ugly game of field goal kicking. 49ers 12, Raiders 6

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Humbled: The Patriots and the Packers were the hottest teams in the NFL last week, but it was the Patriots who ended up on the losing end. The Chargers have gutted out three straight wins by the skin of their teeth, and now face an incredibly difficult schedule to cap off the season. The Patriots will prevail here. Patriots 31, Chargers 21

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Shootout of the Week: We saw how many yards of offense the Falcons gave up to the Browns a couple of weeks ago. Just imagine what Aaron Rodgers is going to do them...yikes! With that said, the Falcons are in the playoff hunt, motivated, and are coming off a big win over the NFC's top seed. They'll put up a fight before the Packers pull away. Packers 42, Falcons 28

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Hitting the Reset Button: The Browns hit the reset button at quarterback after last week's loss to Buffalo...and it's still Brian Hoyer. The Colts have a porous defense, but their offense is guaranteed to put up points. Can Cleveland get the upper hand at home? My full preview and prediction will be posted on Saturday.

TBA



Pokorny's Week 13 NFL Picks Record: 8-8
Pokorny's Record w/ Browns Games: 5-7
Pokorny's 2014 NFL Picks Record: 111-80-1

Survivor Pick: I am on a six-game winning streak after the Dolphins beat the Jets last week. The teams I've used are NE, CIN, SEA, SD, IND, and MIA. This week, I'll go with the Lions over the Buccaneers.