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Week 14 Predictions

Steelers at Bills: The surging Steelers (7-5) travel to the Bills (6-6) in a matchup of two teams attempting to secure a spot in the AFC playoff picture. The difficult part for the Bills will be attempting to shut down the triplet of Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Ben Roethlisberger. We shall see what Rex Ryan has in store with his defensive game plan. While the Bills offense is based on their ability to run the ball through LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor , the Steelers have been stout against the run in recent weeks, not allowing a team to record over a 100 yards in three straight weeks. I believe the Steelers will finally shut down the Bills run game and stuff their way to a victory. Prediction: Steelers 27, Bills 10

Broncos at Titans: Yet again we have a matchup of two potential AFC payoff teams, with the Broncos (8-4) and Titans (6-6). While the Titans defense has held back their offense so far this season, it is the Broncos offense that has held back their defense. Whether Trevor Simeon plays in this matchup could be the difference in the Broncos winning this game, by the looks of how Paxton Lynch played last week. On the other hand, Marcus Mariota has been a thrilling playmaker using his weapons of DeMarco Murray and Delanie Walker. If the Broncos’ defense can keep up their dominance, it may not matter who is at quarterback against this poor Titans’ defense. Prediction: Broncos 23, Titans 14

Redskins at Eagles: The Eagles (5-7) downfall might be in too deep to stop now. Per usual, the Philly media and fans has been questioning their quarterback, Carson Wentz, and their coach, Doug Pederson . As the Eagles fall, the Redskins are looking to remain in place for a playoff position. Kirk Cousins has been magnificent as of late and should have many opportunities to pick on this porous Eagles’ secondary. If the Eagles want to play with this dangerous Redskins’ offense, they must match their playmaking ability and aggressiveness, but this is going to be difficult to do if they keep playing the way they have in the past few weeks. Prediction: Redskins 33, Eagles 17

Cardinals at Dolphins: Two not so good teams that are still in contention for a playoff spot. The Cardinals (5-6-1) are benefactors of a wide open NFC playoff race, yet are not a legitimate contender, unless they can sustain offensive success. The Dolphins dropped a game last week, after having a six game winning streak, but do not appear to be a team that can contend without a quarterback that is anything more than a poor game caller. Ryan Tannehill could be the scapegoat for this Dolphins’ squad, as they are relatively strong in every other aspect. The key for the Cardinals is stopping Jay Ajayi. Prediction: Cardinals 20, Dolphins 17

Chargers at Panthers: Finally a matchup of two teams that do not seem to have great chances of making the playoffs. The Chargers (5-7) have an offense that can score points at will, but struggle to hold teams and simply win games. Unfortunately they are in the toughest division in football right now and have to play six games this year against teams that are Super Bowl contenders, just in their division. On the other hand, the Panthers (4-8) have been dreadful, including disappointing performance against the Seahawks last week. This team may have given up all the fight they once had. If the Panthers could not contain the Seahawks last week, their defense will struggle mightily this week. Prediction: Chargers 33, Panthers 21

Bengals at Browns: Another matchup of two teams not close to playoff contention.  The Bengals (4-7-1) are attempting to remain respectable this season and could come by an easy win this week against the winless Browns (0-12). If the Browns want to win this game they need to stop the Bengals running  game and be consistent in their own running game. For the Bengals Andy Dalton needs to step up and take command and dominate this Browns’ defense. Prediction: Bengals 30, Browns 10

Bears at Lions: Even though the Bears (3-9) are coming of a win last week, they should be no

match for a Lions’ (8-4) team that is attempting to secure its spot as the division leader through a high-powered offense. The Bears, without Jay Cutler, are also going to have fits against a Lions’ defense that has been good when it counts this year. This matchup should not be close, as Mathew Stafford continues to make his case for the MVP award. Prediction: Lions 37, Bears 17

Texans at Colts: Surprisingly, one of the more important match-ups  of the week, considering playoff implications. The winner of this game will become closer to winning the division, while the loser may have a hard time digging themselves out of a hole. Also, we have two teams going in opposite directions, with the Texans (6-6), losers of three straight, and the Colts (6-6), winners of three of the last four. The Colts have looked great as of recently, due to the play of Andrew Luck, who seems to be returning to form as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Even a good Texans’ defense will not be able to stop him today. Prediction: Colts 30, Texans 13

Vikings at Jaguars: Upset alert!!! Neither team is a complete squad this year, with the Vikings (6-6) having the inability to score points and the Jaguars (2-10) just an uninspired team with little to offer. However, there is some hope here for the Jaguars, as the Vikings cant score points against anybody. So, if Blake Bortles can manage a few decent drives here-and-there, the Jaguars might be able to outscore the Vikings. The Vikings defense might not let this happen though, and may be the ones scoring all the points for their team this week. Prediction: Jaguars 20, Vikings 17

Jets at 49ers: This game should amass a ridiculously low amount of attention, as these a two of the worst teams in the league. The Jets (3-9) have a defense that is much worse than expected and lots of quarterback problems, even though it seems they have countess threats of the both sides of the ball. The 49ers (1-11) showed they are really not a respectable team with their game against the Bears last week, in which they got run out of the building. The team that wins this game is the team that plays harder, as there is not much to play for at this point. I think Chip Kelly can at least scrap together a few pieces in this poor game. Prediction: 49ers 17, Jets 16

Saints at Buccaneers: A rivalry game between two teams that can score. This was a Saints’ (5-7) offense that fell flat on its face last week, but has a chance to rebound in a game that could be a shootout. The Bucs (7-5) are making a push for the playoffs, and might be getting hot at the right time. The Saints’ defense is going to have lots of problems stopping the triplet of Mike Evans, Doug Martin, and Jameis Winston. While Drew Bress might throw for 400 yards today, in a bounce back effort, it will not help stop the Bucs’ offense. Prediction: Buccaneers 35, Saints 28

Falcons at Rams: The Falcons (7-5) need to win now. They get the benefit of a matchup with a poor Rams (4-8) team, led by number one overall pick Jared Goff. Goff has been inconsistent, coming off of a game where he was shutdown against a good Patriots’ team.The Falcons need to make Goff uncomfortable, like the Patriots did, and force him to make turnovers, as this should help their offense even more. The Falcons should have no problem securing this game early, through the air, and then pounding the ball on the ground late. This offense could be too much to handle for a Rams’ defense that is questioning itself. Prediction: Falcons 37, Rams 20

Seahawks at Packers: After the Seahawks (8-3-1) dismantling of the Panthers last week, it is apparent they are a Super Bowl contender, but they will have to move forward without Earl Thomas from here on out. In a wide open NFC, the Packers (6-6) are not yet out of it, but have a brutal schedule in the upcoming weeks, and it starts now. The Packers’ defense could be shredded apart by Russell Wilson, and it could be up to Aaron Rodgers to match his ability. However, the Packers’ offense is still not where it needs to be and the Seahawks’ defense should not help that fact. Prediction: Seahawks 30, Packers 21

Cowboys at Giants: The Cowboys (11-1) only loss this year was in week one against the Giants (8-4). Since the first week of the season, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have prospered into two of the best players in the league. The Giants will be without one of the best pass rushers in the league, in Jason Pierre-Paul, but still have a defense that may have the ability to stop Elliott. That should be the Giants’ focus: completely shutdown Elliott. If Prescott throws for 300 yards and beats you, so be it. If the Giants’ offense can find itself, and use all of their many weapons to their best ability they could outscore the Cowboys and hand them another loss. That is gonna be hard to do, and would be a complete 360 for their struggling offense. The Cowboys need to make sure Odell Beckham Jr. does not beat them by himself. Prediction: Cowboys 21, Giants 14

Ravens at Patriots: As the Ravens (7-5) attempt to secure their position in the playoffs, the Patriots (10-2) are preparing for a Super Bowl run. Brady has not been great recently, and could struggle without Rob Gronkowski against this passionate Ravens’ defense. This is going to be a close, hard fought battle, between two of the best coaches in the game. It will be interesting to see what two of the best minds in football have in store for us. Also, if Joe Flacco can emulate his performance of last week, expect the Ravens to pull off the upset. However, it was more than likely just a fluke, and in that case, the Patriots remain atop the AFC. Prediction: Patriots 27, Ravens 21

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Ryan Green
Co-founder of First and Fan