Friday, December 5, 2014

NFL - Week Fourteen Preview

There are many key games for the playoff picture this weekend, particularly in the AFC where no less than five games feature teams going head-to-head that will impact the AFC Playoff picture this winter.
The Sunday Night Football Game is a huge game as the New England Patriots travel to face the San Diego Chargers. This is almost always a great match as these teams feature quarterbacks Tom Brady and Philip Rivers (both pictured left) and they are no strangers to facing off in the post-season in years past.
New England went on the road and surprised the Chargers back in 2006 season playoffs and ended the dream season for the 'Bolts with a stunning 24-21 win. The following season, the undefeated Patriots battled to a 21-12 AFC Championship Game win on their home field against the same team from San Diego.
This year, the Patriots are coming off a 26-21 setback in Green Bay last week and are not happy with the fact they and the Denver Broncos both have the same 9-3 records to top the AFC standings. The Chargers, meanwhile, have shaken off a mid-season slump (three straight losses) and have reeled off three straight wins, including last week's 34-33 last second upset win at Baltimore to improve to 8-4 for the season.
Prior to this game, the AFC West division leading Denver Broncos will host the surging Buffalo Bills (7-5) as Peyton Manning and company seek to knock off former Broncos' QB Kyle Orton and the Bills. Also going on will be the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens (both 7-5) squaring off in Miami. This game figures to be a smash mouth style game with both teams featuring tough defenses and solid running games. Baltimore has a slightly better air attack entering this game.
The Indianapolis Colts (8-4) will travel to take on the suddenly slumping Cleveland Browns, who have lost two of their last three and now sport a 7-5 record with some calling for rookie QB Johnny Manziel to get the nod over Brian Hoyer for the starting spot in this one. The Colts are red hot and riding the arm of QB Andrew Luck, who will be looking for his eleventh straight game with 300 or more passing yards in addition to having passed for over 4,000 yards to this point of the season.
In the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals are the top cats at 8-3-1 and will be hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5), a team that has lost two of it's last three games and will need this game to get back into the race in pro football's toughest division.
Over in the NFC, the big game will see the Seattle Seahawks, who suddenly have their mojo back on defense, traveling to face the high flying Philadelphia Eagles, fresh off their 33-10 whooping of the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
Philly is 9-3 and tied with Arizona and Green Bay for the top record in the NFC. The Seahawks (8-4) have won three in a row and will look to continue their quest to overtake the slumping Arizona Cardinals (hosting Kansas City) in the NFC West.
The Cards will indeed face the Chiefs, who have also been in a recent slump, losers of two games in a row to drop to 7-5 and third-place in the AFC West division.
One other game with some marginal interest for playoff implications will feature the Atlanta Falcons (5-7) taking on the red-hot Green Bay Packers (9-3) in the Monday Night Football Game in Lambeau Field. The Falcons actually lead the NFC South division with that putrid record (New Orleans Saints are also 5-7) and will face a stiff test with the Packers in a road contest.

The Heftyinfo picks for Week Fourteen  . . .     (Home teams are listed in BOLD type and Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS

Dallas over Chicago
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
St. Louis over Washington
Tennessee over NY Giants
New Orleans over Carolina
Minnesota over NY Jets
Baltimore over Miami
Indianapolis over Cleveland
Detroit over Tampa Bay
Houston over Jacksonville
Denver over Buffalo
Arizona over Kansas City
Seattle over Philadelphia
San Francisco over Oakland
San Diego over New England
GREEN BAY over Atlanta

Last Week's Record:  13-3

SEASON RECORD:  129-62-1

Lock of the Week Record:  11-2

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