N.F.L. Week 14 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread

N.F.L. Week 14 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread


Falcons at Packers, 1 p.m., Fox

Are the last four games of this season a tryout for Joe Philbin to be the permanent head coach of the Packers (4-7-1)? That is certainly a possibility as Philbin, who was previously Green Bay’s offensive coordinator, becomes the team’s first midseason replacement at coach since Gene Ronzani quit (possibly under orders from Green Bay’s executive council) way back in 1953. The Packers have been ice-cold recently, but so have the Falcons (4-8), which leaves this matchup as a bit of a tossup. Pick: Packers -5.5

Bengals at Chargers, 4:05 p.m., CBS

It is easy to pick on the Bengals (5-7), losers of six of their last seven games, but it is worth remembering that those losses came as Cincinnati endured several huge injuries and against some stellar competition — it is not like many teams can stand up to the Steelers, Chiefs or Saints. Now they have to go on the road to face the red-hot Chargers (9-3) with their three most recognizable players (Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert) all on injured reserve and their starting running back (Joe Mixon) questionable with a foot injury. Covering a two-touchdown point spread is a lot to ask, but the Chargers should win, and they should win big. Pick: Chargers -14

Broncos at 49ers, 4:05 p.m., CBS

The Broncos (6-6) are not currently in line for a playoff spot, but the teams ahead of them for the second wild-card spot (Baltimore, Miami, Indianapolis) all seem to be skating on thin ice. Denver can improve its position with an extremely winnable road game against the 49ers (2-10), a team that has been devastated by injuries. How far the Broncos can go beyond that is a more interesting question, as season-ending injuries to Chris Harris Jr., a cornerback, and Emmanuel Sanders, a wide receiver, could hamper them in games against teams more competent than San Francisco. Pick: Broncos -4

Giants at Redskins, 1 p.m., Fox

It has been a swift fall for the Redskins (6-6). They entered Week 11 with a 6-3 record, control of the N.F.C. East, and a belief that the combination of a strong defense and a quietly efficient offense could power them to the playoffs. Alex Smith’s devastating injury was just the start of their problems as they have now lost three consecutive games, have had to watch the Cowboys ascend, and have somehow ended up with Mark Sanchez at quarterback. But hey, if Sanchez gets hurt, or plays like Sanchez tends to play, there’s a chance Josh Johnson gets into a game. If you think Colin Kaepernick would be rusty after two seasons out of the league, imagine the gunk that has built up on Johnson, who hasn’t attempted a pass in the N.F.L. since Dec. 11, 2011. Pick: Giants -3.5

Lions at Cardinals, 4:25 p.m., Fox; Jets at Bills, 1 p.m., CBS

Go out and spend time with your friends or family. If anything interesting happens in these two games the highlights will be easy enough to find. Picks: Lions -3; Jets +3.5


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