Close losses last week of the field goal variety, did us in in two of our three losses bringing the season total to 42-23. We did manage to pick our upset of the week correctly, a stunning victory by the Seahawks over Da Bears and the hapless Jets one point win over the pedestrian Cardinals in 1 7-6 snorer… We’re hoping that we get to finish the season out strong as we did last year so here’s our Five Best Bets for week #14…
*Home team in CAPS
Jets over the JAGUARS- Who would have thought we’d go back to the well and pick the anemic Jets twice in two weeks? Well this matchup was just too tempting to pass up. The Jets need to leave the hostile & depressing confines of Met Life Stadium and this this Floriday trip gives them that opportunity. The Jags are a team even worse off than the Gang Green having lost five out of six home games this season. They will be without their best offensive weapon of late in WR Cecil Shorts leaving them with WR Justin Blackman, TE Marcedes Lewis, and fourth RB back up Montel Owens (no relation to Terrell). If they can tighten up their defense again which surrended just 6 points to the lowly Cardinals last week, they should win this one handily.
BROWNS over the Chiefs– This won’t be the same game emotionally driven game the Chiefs played last week immediately following the tragic loss and double murders of Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend. They travel to Cleveland this week to face a much improved Browns team that should easily handle a Chiefs group who basically are playing out the rest of the season and awaiting a top pick in the 2013 NFL draft. We like how QB Brandon Weeden has progressed and were impressed with WR Josh Gordon’s breakout game last week. Not many more accolades we could come up with for RB Trent Richardson who should have a monstrous game this week.
STEELERS over the Chargers- Big Ben is expected to start in this one and that boost alone make the Steelers more of a 6 point favorite to us. The Black & Gold have won 5 of their last seven, (two losses coming with replacements Leftwich and Batch in at QB for the injured Roethlisberger. They are currently sitting in 2nd in the AFC North at 7-5. The Chargers, on the other hand are going in an opposite direction as they are losers of their last four in a row and seven out of eight. Philip Rivers has passed for 300 or more yards just twice all season while RB Ryan Matthews has yet to eclipse 100 rushing yards in an one game. The Steelers would like a win here too because they’ll face the Bengals and the BRowns in their final two.
BUCCANEERS over the Eagles- The Eagles put up a fight last week in Dallas losing 38-33 with Bryce Brown rushing for another big game with 169 yards which follows his 178 rushing game vs the Panthers the week prior. The Sunday night game in Dallas which now is followed by this week’s game in Tampa Bay make the Eagles, losers of their last eight straight games, another team just playing out the string. The 6-6 Buccaneers, currently second in the NFC South, have something to play for at least.Although losers of their last two to Atlanta & Denver by a combined total of 9 points, Josh Freeman should have an easy time in the pocket without any semblance of a pass rush from the Eagles defensive line. RB Doug Martin should also be in beast mode for this one.
BENGALS over the Cowboys- This is the time of year that the Cowboys begin their annual descent from the standings. They stand at 6-6 in second place in the highly contested NFC East but have forgotten how to play defense over the last two games yielding 64 points to the Redskins and Eagles. They will play their final three games against the Steelers, Saints and Redskins; no easy task to be sure. Meantime the high potent offense of Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, BJGE, etc. have won their last four and are 7-5; second in the NFC North. This should be a high scoring affair for a Bengals team already on a roll.