I am definitely rolling now as two more winners for Week 14 pushes by record to 4-0 over the last two weeks. I am staring to see some fortunate luck as well, something that hasn’t happened a whole lot throughout the course of the year, however sometimes you have to be lucky to be good and vice versa. Last week it was the Colts and Browns playing to the UNDER 50 that won me one of my picks, and as expected the Houston Texans took down the Jacksonville Jaguars by a 27-13 score, therefore capping a 2-0 week for my picks.
The Colts and Browns played one of the more interesting and close games of the week. I actually liked the Browns here as an upset pick and it too looked like that would have been the right selection, right until Andrew Luck marched the Colts down the field and hit T.Y. Hilton for what would stand to be a game winning 1 yard touchdown pass. Where we caught some good luck in this one was when the Colts attempted a two-point conversion on that score to try and get ahead by three points and ensuring themselves overtime in case Cleveland got in to field goal range. The two-point conversion failed and the score remained 25-24 in favour of Indy. Fortunately that would end up being the final score, totalling 49 points and thus going UNDER the 50 point total.
The Houston Texans kept their playoff hopes alive on Sunday by going in to Jacksonville and knocking off the Jaguars by 14 points despite being down 13-10 at the half. A game that didn’t really seem like a lock throughout gave us some breathing room after Arian Foster punched in a 1 yard touchdown run on fourth down to go up two scores. It originally looked as if the Texans were going to kick the field goal and go up 10, however Bill O’Brien trusted his offensive line and his Pro Bowl Runningback to punch the ball for the seven points and that is exactly what went down. The two-win Jags continue to show some improvement as this game was probably closer than the final score would tell you.
With just three weeks left in the NFL season the playoff picture is taking shape, but there are still plenty of games to keep an eye on as teams do their best to secure themselves a postseason berth.
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
Lines – New England -9 (+110)
OVER 48 (-110)
My Pick – OVER 48 (-110)
It’s certainly desperation time in this divisional tilt between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots as Miami needs a win to stay alive in the AFC playoff race, while the Patriots will attempt to win the AFC East Division title once again. The Patriots could also have some sort of revenge on their minds as they were dealt a season-opening loss at Miami by a 33-20 score, but that was before Tom Brady found his 2014/15 groove. The future Hall of Fame Quarterback as thrust himself right in to the MVP race alongside Aaron Rodgers and others thanks in large part to a spectacular second half of the season. Brady has 30 touchdowns against just three interceptions this season and appears set to eclipse the 4,000 yard mark once again this season as he currently sits with 3,560. The Pats defence looked stout against the San Diego Chargers last week, but one cannot forget the 478 yards they surrendered against the Packers a couple of weeks ago. I realize that game was at Green Bay and against his Brady’s counterpart in the MVP race in Rodgers, however it is noteworthy that this Patriots defence can be exposed if they are not on their game. Miami does come to town with a good, young Quarterback who continues to show promise and is capable of putting up some points this Sunday in Foxborough. Ryan Tannehill’s 21 TD passes against nine interceptions is not Brady-like by any means, however it is certainly nothing to balk at. He will likely have a tough time surpassing his 3,913 yards form last season as he would need at least 300 per game for the remainder of the season to do that, however the stat that stands out to me is the 17 interceptions he threw last season. His game has matured, he is taking better care of the football and extending possessions rather than turning the ball over. On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins defence better be prepared for this Sunday more than they have for their previous three contests. The Miami defence has surrendered 407 yards per game over their last three games and 661 yards worth of rushing over the same span. New England has plenty of runners to throw at you as well as Lagarette Blount, Shane Vereen, and Jonas Gray have all had their time in the sun this season and can all beat you on the ground at any point. Finally, lets just mention Rob Gronskowski because you can’t talk about a Pats game and not mention the best Tight End (pass catcher?) in the NFL. Gronk has ten touchdowns this season and is three yards shy of 1,000 on the campaign. The duo will once again connect on Sunday afternoon and both teams will exchange blows, with the Pats likely wrapping up a division crown in a high-scoring affair.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Line – Seattle -10 (+100)
OVER 38 (-110)
My Pick – 49ERS +10 (-120)
Now, more than ever is time for Colin Kaepernick to prove his is worth all that money San Fran threw his way and worthy of any sort of bragging rights between these two fierce NFC West rivals. Kaepernick and the 49ers were beat on their home turf by Seattle on Thanksgiving by a 19-3 score, with Seattle’s defence clearly flexing their muscle to hold the 49ers to a single field goal on the evening. The 49ers are on tough times right now as a loss knocks them right out of playoff contention for the first time in four years and they were dealt a blow last week by the lowly Oakland Raiders. However as mentioned, now is the time when professional athletes have the opportunity to show their character and that is exactly what this 49ers team will do this Sunday. Their numbers offensively rank right with the Seahawks in terms of throwing the ball, however the 49ers will have to take care of Marshawn Lynch in order to have success. Lynch is dealing with a back problem and has been for several weeks now, so it will be interesting to see if he can hold up against a 49ers defence that allows only 97 yards on the ground per game. This will no doubt be a low-passing game as both QB’s throw for right around 200 yards per game, and as usual between these two clubs it will be whoever plays better defence that comes out on top. Seattle is not the type of team who will overlook an opponent, and especially this opponent, but they do have a week 16 matchup against the Cardinals on tap that will likely decide their playoff fate. They have a cushy two-game lead on the 49ers as it stands so they are not going to be the more desperate team this Sunday, but whether that shows on the field or not remains to be seen. I wrote about these two teams before their meeting on Thanksgiving, taking the Seahawks as a pick’em successfully, but I mentioned that there are no statistical separations between the two teams that points in one direction or the other. Having said that, receiving ten points on the 49ers in this game gives me some breathing room in case the Seahawks come out on top again. I will gladly take ten points in the majority of divisional games, and I will do so with confidence that this 49ers team will show up to play. Take San Fran plus the ten this Sunday at Centurylink Field in Seattle.