Hawk’s NFL Picks: Week 14

 

Back to back weeks of 9-7 records puts me at 106-86 for the year as we enter the final month of the regular season. 

Seattle Seahawks (7-5) at Baltimore Ravens (4-8) (+9.0) 

Seattle had their first signature win of the year against Minnesota last week, dominating on both sides of the ball and for the first time all year looked like the team that has gone to back to back Super Bowls. Hard to believe they started the year 2-4.

Undrafted rookie running back Thomas Rawls started in place of the injured Marshawn Lynch again and continues to impress, running 19 times for 101 yards and a TD. This puts him at 786 yards and 4 Td’s on the year in really only 6 games. He had a total of 15 carries in the other 6. He is a legitimate rookie of the year candidate right now. Rawls and Russell Wilson have sparked an offense that looked pathetic earlier in the year. Wilson has been on fire his last 3 games, completing 77% of his passes and throwing for 11 Td’s, 0 Int’s in that span.

Baltimore is 4-8 and riddled with injuries. They have lost their starting quarterback, Joe Flacco, starting running back Justin Forsett and best receiver Steve Smith for the year. Despite the Ravens struggles, all 12 of their games have been decided by one possession, so underestimating them would be a mistake. As long as Seattle doesn’t, they should win.

Pick: Seahawks
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New Orleans Saints (4-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) (-3.5) (50.5 O/U)

Don’t forget about Tampa Bay who is right on the heels of the Seahawks for that final playoff NFC spot. Not very many people are talking about them. New Orleans is back to their losing ways, dropping 4 straight mainly because of their god awful defense but Drew Brees dropped 38 points on that elite Panthers defense in a 41-38 defeat. If he goes off like that again Winston won’t be able to keep up.

Pick: Saints
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Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (10-2) (-3.0) (50.0 O/U)

Pittsburgh trounced the Colts 45-10 on Sunday Night. Everyone likes to talk about the Broncos, Patriots, and Bengals as a potential AFC champion, but look out for these guys if they make the playoffs. As of right now they are my pick to win the AFC with that ferocious offense.

In the last 4 games the Steelers have scored 143 points. Roethlisberger’s that span has thrown for 1,533 yards (383 yds a game) and 12 Td’s. As for the Bengals, they are 10-2 and would be a 1 seed with a first round bye if the playoffs started today and control their own destiny. This makes it a high pressure game for them and we all know how Dalton does in those situation.

Pick: Steelers
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Buffalo Bills (6-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) (+1.5) (47.0 O/U)

Just in case you didn’t realize how unpredictable the NFL season has been so far this year, Let me break it down for you. At one point the Detroit Lions were 0-5 and looked like the worst team in football. On thanksgiving they stomped the Eagles 45-14, the week before that the Eagles were crushed 45-17 by Tampa Bay and made one wonder if they were maybe the worst team in the NFL.

So of course last week they defeated a New England Cheaters team 35-28 that started the year 10-0 and everyone had already dubbed the 2015 Super Bowl Champion, possibly finishing the year undefeated. Make no mistake either, Philadelphia up until the final 8 minutes dominated them. I Still don’t know if the Eagles are good or not this year so I guess I’ll just pick Buffalo.

                                                            Pick: Bills
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Atlanta Falcons (6-6) at Carolina Panthers (12-0) (-7.5) (46.5 O/U)
Atlanta continues to collapse losing their 5th game in a row and Carolina continues to dominate, remaining undefeated. No brainer here. But it is a division rivalry game so it will probably be closer than people think.

                                                   Pick: Panthers
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Detroit Lions (4-8) at St Louis Rams (4-8) (-1.0) (40.5 O/U)
Detroit did what Detroit does and found a way to lose on Thursday Night. Not only did they blow a 20-0 lead against the Packers but they lost 27-23 on an Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary TD pass. St Louis continues it’s downward spiral and dropped their 5th game in a row behind an inept offense led by a horrible QB in Nick Foles whom was god awful yet again. He completed only 43% of his passes in that game. I really don’t know how Rams Head coach Jeff Fisher still has his job. Hard to pick this game. It will be hard for Detroit to respond after a heartbreaking loss to a division rival that usually owns them, and the Rams can’t score points to save their lives. They are averaging only 11 a game during that losing streak.

                                                            Pick: Lions

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San Francisco 49ers (4-8) at Cleveland Browns (2-10) (-1.5) (41.0 O/U)
The NFL has been so bizarre this season that there has never been a clear cut best team in the league, nor a clear cut worst team in the league, but at 2-10 I think we can safely say the Browns have the title of worst now. Johnny Manziel will start in this game and try to change that but probably won’t.

                                                   Pick: 49ers
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Washington Redskins (5-7) at Chicago Bears (5-7) (-3.5) (44.0/U) 

Last year I had fun picking on the terrible NFC south division all season as the eventual division champ was the 8-7-1 Panthers. This year it is the NFC (L)East that is a joke. Currently there is a 3 way tie between the Eagles, Redskins and Giants for first place at 5-7 with the Redskins currently having the tiebreaker advantage over the other 2 for whatever reason. 6-10 could win the division mathematically, but I think 7-9 clinches. all 4 of those teams are terrible and up until the final couple of minutes in that Monday Night matchup between the Cowboys and Redskins it was painful to watch. It appeared like neither team wanted to win it. Chicago is just an average team but they have less issues than the Redskins.

Pick: Bears

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Tennessee Titans (3-9) at New York Jets (7-5) (-7.0) (43.0 O/U)
Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota led his team a high scoring 42-39 victory over the Jaguars. Mariota had one of his most complete and balance games of the year throwing for 268 yards and 3 Td’s and running 9 times for 112 yards, most of which were picked up on an 87 yard Td scamper midway through the 4th quarter. In the battle for New York, the Jets would defeat the Giants 23-20 in overtime and currently sit as the final AFC wildcard seed. Jets are the smart pick here but the way the year has been I am going against the grain.

Pick: Titans

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Indianapolis Colts (6-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) 
Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck looked his age for the first time all year against the Steelers and left in the 4th quarter with neck pains and the Jaguars QB Blake Bortles is having an impressive sophomore season. He is currently 7th in the league with 3,274 yards and 3rd in the league with 27 TD passes.

Pick: Jaguars
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San Diego Chargers (3-9) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) (-10.0) (45.0 O/U)
San Diego was only able to muster up 3 points against Denver in week 13 and have lost 7 of their last 8 games and the Chiefs extended their win streak to 6 games. look for that to go to 7
Pick: Chiefs
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Oakland Raiders (5-7) at Denver Broncos (10-2) (-7.5) (43.5 O/U)
In his 2nd career start last week against the Chargers, Denver QB Brock Osweiller didn’t look nearly as impressive as he did in his first start against the Patriots. He only threw for 166 yds, 1 TD, and 1 INT. On the other side of the ball Oakland QB Derek Carr had a complete 4th quarter meltdown against Kansas City throwing 3 interceptions that led to 3 Chiefs Td’s which doesn’t bode well considering he is going against the league’s best defense.
Pick: Broncos
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Dallas Cowboys (4-8) at Green Bay Packers (8-4) (-7.0) (43.5 O/U)
Dallas finally won a game without Tony Romo, and Green Bay won in dramatic fashion against the Lions when Aaron Rodgers tossed a time expiring Hail Mary. While Rodgers has been struggling in the last month or so he is still far and away a better quarterback than Matt Cassel and it’s a passing league.
Pick: Packers

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New England Cheaters (10-2) at Houston Texans (6-6) (+3.0) (45.0 O/U)  
New England somehow lost to the Eagles last week, Their second loss in a row and Tom Brady is clearly struggling without Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. It won’t get any better in this game as he will be facing the league’s leading sacker, J.J Watt. I’m looking forward to watching Watt pop him a lot, which will lead to Brady throwing bitching and throwing temper tantrums all game.
Pick: Texans
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New York Giants (5-7) at Miami Dolphins (5-7) (+1.5) (46.5 O/U)
It has been absolutely mind boggling watching the Giants find new and inventive ways to lose games. Last week For the 5th time this year they had the lead with 2 minutes or less to go and lost. Lucky for them the NFC EAST is a joke this year and Eli Manning seems to plays better in December. Especially when his back is against the wall.
Pick: Giants
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