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NEWS | Dec. 11, 2009

National Football League: Week 14 predictions

By Airman 1st Class Patrick McKenna Capital Flyer sports writer

Each week I'll give a brief preview of every game. I'll make my picks and keep a running tally as the season progresses to see how well (or terrible) I'm doing. Anyone who would like to email me their picks is more than welcome. For all those interested in submitting their picks, please email by Sunday at noon.

New Orleans @ Atlanta
- While the Saints have clinched their division, they can't go on cruise control just yet. The Saints next goal should be to clinch the number one seed in the NFC, thus giving them home field advantage throughout the playoffs. To do that, they'll need to stay sharp as the Vikings are only two games behind them.
Pick: Saints

Green Bay @ Chicago
- The fact that the Packers offense, 7th in points per game, has been solid all year should surprise no one. What should, however, is that the Packers' defense has been as good as it has been. The Packers' defense surrenders the fewest yards per game and is tied for second in interceptions; two stats that don't bode well for the Bears' Jay Cutler.
Pick: Packers

Denver @ Indianapolis - Is this the week where the Colts get a little sloppy and lose a winnable game? It's doubtful. The Colts are as mentally tough as any team in the league and they are well aware that the Broncos are a dangerous team they could very well see again in the playoffs. If Joseph Addai can keep up his great play of late, the Colts will be too much for the Broncos.
Pick: Colts

Buffalo @ Kansas City - Neither of these teams' rushing defenses are anything special, so the key to winning this game comes down to which team can at least move the ball a little bit through the air. Matt Cassel has looked horrible in recent weeks, so the edge goes to the Bills.
Pick: Bills

Cincinnati @ Minnesota - This game features two of the best run defenses in the NFL against one another, so don't expect either Adrian Peterson or Cedric Benson to have great games; apologies to their fantasy football owners. If the Bengals can follow the same offensive philosophy the Cardinals used Sunday night, spreading out the Vikings defense with multiple wide-receiver sets, they have a shot at the upset. But Laveranues Coles is not Anquan Boldin, and therefore, the Bengals will lose in a tight game.
Pick: Vikings

Carolina @ New England - The Patriots have almost squandered a huge division lead and another loss would put their playoff chances in serious jeopardy. Carolina's lone bright spot has been their rushing game, but with the inexperienced Matt Moore behind center, the Patriots will load up the line of scrimmage to slow down DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
Pick: Patriots

New York Jets @ Tampa Bay - This is a great matchup for the Jets. Their number one ranked pass defense will be licking its chops as it faces off against the Bucs' rookie quarterback Josh Freeman, and New York's running backs should find plenty of holes in Tampa's rush defense that surrenders more than 160 yards per game.
Pick: Jets

Miami @ Jacksonville - Jacksonville relies on Maurice Jones Drew to set the tone for their offense. When he's finding holes and breaking tackles, David Garrard has a much easier time in the passing game. Miami is due for a letdown after last week's big time win over the Patriots.
Pick: Jaguars

Detroit @ Baltimore - Baltimore looked horrible Monday night versus the Packers and needs a win badly to stay in contention in the wild card race. Expect Ray Rice to have a huge game as the Ravens get back to basics against the young Lions.
Pick: Ravens

Seattle @ Houston - The Texans haven't played up to their potential in recent weeks and their coach Gary Kubiak is now in the hot seat. Expect a big game out of Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson.
Pick: Texans

St. Louis @ Tennessee - The Titans second half resurgence hit a minor road bump last week versus the Colts. They should get back on track this week against the Rams, who are in a dogfight with Cleveland and Tampa Bay for the number one pick in the NFL Draft.
Pick: Titans

Washington @ Oakland - The Redskins have played better these last few weeks despite missing their top two running backs. If the Redskins' defense can force a couple of turnovers, they should win this road game easily.
Pick: Redskins

San Diego @ Dallas - The Chargers have been lighting up the scoreboard lately and are playing as well as any team in football. This has the makings of a high scoring game and the edge goes to the Chargers thanks to their multitude of weapons.
Pick: Chargers

Philadelphia @ New York Giants - Kudos to the powers that be in selecting this game as the Sunday night game. The Giants get the nod due to the team being a little healthier than the Eagles as well as having this game at home.
Pick: Giants

Arizona @ San Francisco - On Sunday night, the Cardinals reminded the football world how they made the Super Bowl last season. They have an elite passing attack and a decent enough running game to keep defenses honest. With a victory against the 49ers, the Cardinals will clinch the division, so expect them to play well.
Pick: Cardinals

Last week's record: 9-6
Season record to date: 127-61