The playoff push is now kicking into high gear around the NFL with some teams facing must win games from here on out while others jockey for a higher seeding. Every team would like that coveted first round bye when the postseason begins.
Let’s take a look at the best Week 14 matchups:
A big game that both teams need to win. The Ravens struggle to stop the run and the Redskins have the NFL’s best rushing attack that averages 167.2 yards per game.
The Ravens were torched at home by 38-year old Charlie Batch last week as he led the shorthanded Pittsburgh Steelers to a big 23-20 win. That was a bad loss for the Ravens and could end up biting them in the rear in more ways than one.
Now they get to face QB RG3 and the surging Redskins offense.
My Pick: Redskins 34-24
A must win game for both teams! The Saints are coming into this game with their season on life support. They must find a way to run the table and win their last four games, but I don’t think that will be enough to get them into the NFC Playoffs. They started 0-4 and that’s a tough thing to overcome when the NFL regular season is only 16 games.
The defending Super Bowl Champion Giants are clinging to a one-game lead in the NFC East. There’s a possibility this team could miss the postseason, but its way to early to write these guys off because we’ve seen this act before. Then the next thing you know Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin are holding a Lombardi Trophy and smiling.
My Pick: Giants 31-27
Both of these teams are sitting just outside of a Wildcard spot and need to win. The Cowboys do have RB DeMarco Murray back and need to get the ground game going to help take the pressure off QB Tony Romo or this game could get ugly.
The Bengals defense has really played well during their four game winning streak holding opponents to an average of 279.3 yards and 10.5 points. The Bengals are tied for the NFL lead with 39 sacks.
My Pick: Bengals 27-24
This game could be just a primer for another clash in the AFC Playoffs sometime next month. It will also help determine home field advantage and the Texans come into this game with a two game lead.
The Texans are 6-0 on the road this season and the Patriots are 4-1 at home. The Texans have one of the NFL’s best defensive units, but have struggled against the pass recently as injuries have taken a toll. They have allowed an average of 352 passing yards in the last three games. Now they will be facing QB Tom Brady and the Patriots on the road.
My Pick: Patriots 30-24
A big showdown between NFC North rivals that are both in the postseason hunt. The Vikings are 5-1 at home and can’t afford another loss to the Bears this season because at 6-7 their season would be pretty much over. Even if they win I don’t see them making the NFC Playoffs, but they’re in the hunt and anything can happen in the crazy world of today’s NFL.
The Vikings must press on without WR Percy Harvin who was put on IR with an ankle injury. It’s all going to fall on RB Adrian Peterson to lead the way on offense.
The Bears have lost three of the last four games and must get this win to get back on track. The defense has been hit with some injuries and will be without LB Brian Urlacher for the last four games.
My Pick: Vikings 23-21