Let's take a peek around the NFL wires, just a few hours before the early Sunday games get underway, then I'll get into making some picks.
- Bengals coach Marvin Lewis called today's game with Houston the biggest game EVER, but then backtracked a bit when he was asked about some of the other big games he's been involved in, like the 2000 Superbowl.
- Calvin Johnson faced some pretty weird coverage from the Saints last Sunday, and the NFC's leading touchdown-grabber should expect more of the same down the stretch.
- Colt McCoy's father is not too pleased about the way the Brown's handled their QB after he had his cage rattled by Jame's Harrison on Thursday night. I don't blame him.
- A nice story about Jets' intern Mike Smith's role in the resurgence of OLB Aaron Maybin's career this year. Maybin has six sacks and four forced fumbles in nine games. Must-click.
- Is Tony Fiammetta really the key to Dallas' success in tonight's huge game with the Giants? ESPN's Brandon Mendoza thinks so.
- Don Shula isn't exactly rooting for the Packers to go 19-0, but he says if they do, the 1972 Dolphins will call and congratulate them. Isn't that nice?
- Matthew Stafford is on pace to become the most prolific passer in Lions history, writes ESPN's Kevin Seifert. That said, the Lions haven't scored first quarter points in their last four games. By not allowing his defense to play with a lead, he's doing the team an injustice.
- Will Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck both be Colts next season? If they are, Luck won't mind at all.
Week 14 Picks:
Jets 22, Chiefs 11: The Jets are good down the stretch and the Chiefs have scored two touchdowns since October. Need I say more?
Bucs 19 Jags 17: Two teams that are going really badly right now. Who cares.
Pats 38, Skins 14: The Redskins will be outclassed, particularly at QB.
Falcons 28, Panthers 21: Can the Panthers pull the upset at home? Cam will get them close, but I think Atlanta is starting to peak as a team and will get it done in quarter 4.
Ravens 20, Colts 6: The colts aren't just sucking for Luck. They truly suck.
Eagles 23, Dolphins 17: A very intriguing battle sans playoff implications. Will Michael Vick's return spark a late attempt for the Eagles to save face and Andy Reid's Job? I think so.
Detroit 31, Minnesota 17: Without Ponder and AP, the Vikes are severe underdogs vs. the Lions. My, how things have changed in the NFC North.
Titans 26, Saints 24: Upset special, as the Titans ride CJ2K to 38 minutes possession and a hard-fought win.
Bengals 21, Texans 16: Andy Dalton is better than you think. T.J. Yates is as good as you think. It bodes well for Cincy.
Broncos 17, Bears 14: Who would have predicted that Tim Tebow vs. Caleb Hanie would be the highly anticipated matchup of week 14?
49ers 20, Cardinals 19: The 49ers will be without Patrick Willis, and they need to get their red zone issues straightened out. My guess is that they will win, but not convincingly.
Chargers 31, Bills 18: I think the Chargers will put up a good performance to honor Norv Turner, who will surely be fired after the year.
Packers 31, Raiders 20: The Raiders are desperate to win, but who isn't this time of year?
Giants 27 Cowboys 21: This oughtta be fun. And crazy. And chaotic.
Seahawks 23, Rams 15: Seattle is a solid team, maybe better than their 5-7 record indicates. The Rams, meanwhile, are atrocious. You do the math.