The Houston Texans haven’t looked back since starting the season 0-3.
By: Elias McMillan
Last Week: 10-6
Big Five Games of the Week
Baltimore @ Kansas City – Rookie QB Lamar Jackson hasn’t lost since being inserted into the starting lineup for an injured Joe Flacco. But really, Baltimore’s current success is due to the play of their defense. That defense will be tested in a huge way Sunday in Kansas City. Even with the absence of RB Kareem Hunt, I still expect this Chiefs offense to not miss a beat. KC doesn’t really have a dominating defense and Baltimore has been able to hold their own against quality opponents this season. So, I think this could be a surprisingly contested game. But a road win in Kansas City maybe to tall of a task for this rookie QB. Winner: Chiefs
Indianapolis @ Houston – I didn’t expect the Colts to get shutout like they did last week. But that was not a great showing from them with another divisional showdown on the road looming. Houston hasn’t lost since starting the season 0-3. I don’t think they’ll win out going into the post season but it is starting to look that way. I could be wrong but I think QB Andrew Luck has a good track record against Houston. Either way, it doesn’t look like Indy is ready to upend the streaking Texans. Winner: Texans
Philadelphia @ Dallas – This will be a big test for Dallas in terms of not being tied to the “moment”. The Cowboys shocked everyone last week with a home victory over a quality opponent but they have to move on. This Sunday, a new challenge will present themselves in the form of the desperate Philadelphia Eagles. A good thing going forward from last week for Dallas is that the team must be feeling really encouraged about the defensive side of the ball. But Dallas should know that let downs can happen and they can’t afford to be victims to that in the middle of the playoff race. Philadelphia has won two straight against NFC East opponents despite not playing well recently. The Eagles are just not healthy enough to make a late push this season for the playoffs. I think they’ll play Dallas tough though. These games are usually “drag ‘em out” fights until the end. But if Dallas can play like they know they can defensively, I think they’ll roll at home. Winner: Cowboys
LA Rams @ Chicago – The Bears have struggled without QB Mitch Trubisky but luckily their entire division is on the struggle bus as well. They’ll get Trubisky back in time for Sunday night, as Chicago will host the current top seed in the NFC. The strength vs. strength matchup in this game is an intriguing one. On one hand, the Rams are able to score at will with all their weapons. But on the other Chicago’s defense is pretty stout, led by LB Khalil Mack. This game could turn on the defender playing for the visiting team. DT Aaron Donald is the league’s leader in sacks and is on pace for a second straight defensive player of the year award. Chicago will welcome the return of their starting QB but he will not be so please to see 99 lining up across from him. Winner: Rams
Minnesota @ Seattle – The secret is out on Seattle. They were supposed to fall off this year but they look like they could be the team that no one wants to play in the post season. Minnesota, despite their early struggles, could still make the post season. They are currently in a rough stretch in their schedule but they getting healthy at the right time. That being said, I don’t see them being able to produce big plays offensively on the road against this Seahawks defense. QB Russell Wilson has shown plenty of big play ability this season and I think we’ll see that again Monday against a struggling Vikings secondary. Winner: Seahawks
The Rest of Week 14
Titans over Jaguars – Tennessee is still in the playoff race and they always seem to just have Jacksonville’s number.
Bills over Jets – Buffalo is a safe bet at home in December.
Browns over Panthers – Carolina has issues. Cleveland can attack their secondary through the air on offense and their pass rush should be able to rattle a Cam Newton who may not be at 100%.
Falcons over Packers – Green Bay is usually good at home but they lost their last week against Arizona. Atlanta is holding on to slim playoff hopes.
Patriots over Dolphins – Miami can be tough at home especially with Ryan Tannehill back in the lineup. This one could be close.
Saints over Buccaneers – New Orleans will be anxious to bounce back after last week’s nightmare.
Giants over Washington – Washington is one game out of first place but they refuse to better their situation at QB. They would rather lose than try to put a better player at the QB position. What kind of message does that send to the locker room? I hope New York wins by a million. Dan Synder and Jay Gruden are gutless, cowards.
Chargers over Bengals – Things are looking up in LA. The playoffs look likely as they were able to get a huge road victory last week without Melvin Gordon.
Broncos over 49ers – Denver is going to have to get it done through the run game because of the injuries at the WR position.
Steelers over Raiders – I know everyone is talking about Pittsburgh’s recent history in Oakland and the James Connor injury. It doesn’t matter. Oakland stinks.
Lions over Cardinals – Who’s going to watch this game? Just a brutal matchup. Worthy of Thursday Night Football.
Fantasy Football Picks of the Week
QB: Phillip Rivers (Chargers) – After a big victory last week, Rivers faces the second worst secondary in the league at home.
RB: Christian McCaffery (Panthers) – Carolina is struggling but the little RB out of Stanford has been their saving grace recently.
WR: Michael Thomas (Saints) – Thomas didn’t do much last week in Dallas. He’ll bounce back against Tampa’s secondary.
TE: Jared Cook (Raiders) – Cook is quietly having a nice season in Oakland.
DEF: New York Giants – Mark Sanchez is starting in a NFL game on Sunday. Hahahahahahhaahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahaha.