What a delicious plate of post-Turkey Day games we have this weekend. It's incredibly hard to pick the best, but here goes ...
All have major playoff implications, but it's quite difficult to gloss over the NFC West battle in the Bay Area between the rejuvenated 49ers and top-ranked Seahawks.
Agreed. There haven't been many 15-1 teams to win it all -- the 1984 Niners and 1985 Bears are it. Wouldn't put Seattle above them, but then again, that's some exclusive company.
Yes, at least eight of them.
Good question, Scott, as this was quite the Power Rankings conundrum. Arizona has been as good as if not better than Philly over the past month. Plus, the Eagles' defense is ranked 31st in the NFL. The Cardinals? Seventh. Arizona is a more complete team than Dallas, which blasted Philly at the Linc, and has a better point differential than both. Head-to-head history only factors in to a point, of course -- otherwise, Indy would be higher than Seattle. It's super close, no doubt. And while I agree with Bruce Arians' decision to send video from the loss to the league office, it was still a great win for Chip Kelly's group.
Take a look below to see how that game will go, as well as our take on the rest of the Week 14 docket. As per the usual, feel free to send your thoughts along ... @Harrison_NFL is the place. I read them when "Battleship" is on HBO for the 8,575th time.
Now, let's get to it.
Elliot Harrison went 7-9 on his predictions for Week 13, giving him a record of 115-77 so far this season. How will he fare in Week 14? His picks are below, with home teams listed second. To make your own predictions on this week's games, click here.
**Luck with Wayne:** Five wins, two losses, completion percentage of 60.7, 7.03 yards per attempt, touchdown-to-interception ratio of 10:3, passer rating of 91.3.
**Luck without Wayne:** Three wins, two losses, completion percentage of 55.2, 6.28 yards per attempt, touchdown-to-interception ratio of 5:5, passer rating of 72.1.
Meanwhile, the Bengals have gotten solid play all year out of their defense, particularly when it comes to Vontaze Burfict. Except for the penalties he's incurred, Burfict has performed at an All-Pro level, and he'll put Donald Brown on his back aplenty. We like this game to be close, but Cincy moves to 9-4. #INDvsCIN
1) Patriots (137)
2) Bears (133)
3) Giants (125)
4) Seahawks (111)
5) 49ers (108)
6) Packers (107)
7) Cardinals (105)
The Browns, of course, have the eighth-most giveaways in the league, which doesn't bode well for them. The much-maligned Brandon Weeden played pretty well versus the Jags in Week 13, and the 30-year-old is a better QB than Timothy Busfield, at least. Of course, because he's recovering from a concussion, Weeden's status is up in the air. Whether we see Weeden or Jason Campbell on Sunday, Cleveland needs to do a better job converting third downs; the Browns are tied for 30th in that category. This would help give the defense a blow, which will be crucial against New England.
Oh, and God help the Browns if Caleb Hanie or Alex Tanney is under center. For those of you scoring at home, Tanney went to Monmouth (Ill.), but not the same Monmouth (N.J.) as Miles Austin. Still, let's hope Tanney doesn't pull a hamstring. #CLEvsNE
***Game Picks Trivia:*** The Chiefs have lost in Washington only once. Their quarterback threw for more than 4,000 yards that season. Who was it? (Hit me up ... @Harrison_NFL.) #KCvsWAS </content:weekly-predictions>
Now, we're sure that the 12th Man is going to blow up Twitter this week, especially after we incorrectly picked the Saints in Week 13. And you can bet a local Seattle writer will retweet this prediction immediately after the game -- if, that is, the Seahawks win -- to seem like a local hero, just like last week.
That said, I'm sticking with my prediction for this week -- and for the whole enchilada, which I called long ago. #SEAvsSF