TheDC sports columnist Andy Hayes: Week 14 NFL picks

Andy Hayes Contributor
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Ok, 8-8 again last week. 102-90 overall.

  • Indy @ Tenn (+2.5). For you Peyton Manning haters, relish the opportunities you’ve had recently to watch Manning play like crap. He has been unbelievably bad. But it won’t last. He’s too much of a perfectionist for it too last. Unless something is just wrong that we don’t know about (his right elbow? maybe some personal matter?), the real Peyton Manning will work extra hard to overcome this bout of incompetence. Speaking of incompetence – what’s going on with Chris Johnson? Can’t imagine that will last either. Both should have some nice stats this week. Indy 27, Tenn 21.
  • Cleve @ Buff (-1.5).  Stat you didn’t know: the #2 ranked team in the NFL in interceptions? The Cleve with 18 (led by outstanding rookie CB Joe Haden with 5). Eventually people will learn that the Browns are about more than just Peyton Hillis…though they are mostly about Peyton Hillis. Cleve 26, Buff 20.
  • Atl @ Caro (+7.5).  Why did Carolina keep John Fox on as coach for the whole year when the team has been so bad. I just don’t understand the “let’s not change coaches during the season” mentality. You fall behind other teams in the race to recruit a better coach and you lose an opportunity to see if someone in the organization (Jason Garrett, Leslie Frazier) may have what it takes to be successful. Atl 34, Car 17.
  • GB @ Det (+6.5).  The Lions’ DT Ndamukong Suh was apparently just fined by the NFL for THINKING about tackling Aaron Rodgers this weekend. The NFL is calling it their new “preemptive fining” system. Suh was then fined for thinking about appealing the fine. GB 38, Det 16.
  • Oak @ Jax (-4.5).  Crack pick alert. Taking Oakland to win outright. Despite their recent quality form, it just seems in the cards for Jax to falter, if for no other reason than to live up to their pattern of inconsistency under Jack Del Rio. Oak 23, Jax 20.
  • NYG @ MN (+3.5).  Will Brett Favre throw this game? This seemingly preposterous question is actually somewhat legit when considering Favre could play a very direct role in determining the Packers’ playoff future. Favre does still hate the Packers and Ted Thompson. If he tanks the games, the Pack could have a tougher time making the playoffs. If he steers MN to victories this week over the NYG and then next week over the Bears, he would be greatly assisting Green Bay. And he has to know this. Could be some irony here. MN 24, NYG 23.
  • Cincy @ Pitt (-9.5). Pitt 48, Cincy 10. Seriously.
  • TB @ Wash (+2.5).  According to this website, Albert Haynesworth makes (not earns) $2 and 6 cents per…second. $7440 per hour. $59,523 per day. Yes, per day. Nice investment Wash. Reminds me of one of my favorite lines from Airplane: “they knew what they were getting into…I say, let ’em crash”. But can Wash turn things around now without the (almost literal) elephant in the room? Wash 23, TB 20.
  • StL @ NO (-8.5).  Last week, we started to see the NO defense hemorrhage some yards (nice spelling of a word by the way, hemorrhage). I’ve been trying to tell folks that their defense is not very good and that the 2010 defensive stats are more a reflection of NO playing a weak schedule. The Rams meanwhile, have something to play for after several years of amazing futility. They also have a young QB in Bradford who is playing like a quality 10 year veteran…despite the limited talent around him. NO 25, StL 23.
  • Sea @ SF (-4.5).  Not sure how much sense it makes to bench a QB (Troy Smith) who is 3-2 this season in favor of the guy who is 1-6 (Alex Smith). This game may shut the door on SF owner Jed York’s prediction that the 49ers will still make the playoffs. On the other side, Seattle knows a win this weekend could move them into 1st place alone in the NFC West. Sea 24, SF 21.
  • Den @ Ariz (+3.5).  Denver likely wins here because of “New Coach Momentum”. Wouldn’t want to watch this one. Den 31, AZ 23.
  • NE @ Chic (+3.5).  Toughest call of the week. For some, taking the Pats seems obvious. They are white hot at the moment. But you also have to understand the mentality of the Bears. They have a permanent chip on their shoulder and they don’t like talk about them not being elite…even though they’re not elite. It would be like the Bears to impressively take down the mighty Pats Sunday in an emotional, hard-fought victory, only to get leveled next week at Minnesota. Bears 24, NE 20.
  • Miami @ NYJ (-6.5).  Tempted to take the team that is 5-1 on the road here – actually, both teams are 5-1 on the road. So, let me be clearer – tempted to take Miami here, so I will take Miami. Miami 20, NYJ 17.
  • KC @ SD (-6.5).  Wow, did Champ Bailey do a number on Dwayne Bowe last week. He totally shut down the league’s hottest WR. Amazing effort from the potential free agent. Unfortunately for Bowe, if Matt Cassel can’t play this week (just had an emergency appendectomy), I’m not sure Bowe or any other Chiefs will do much through the air for the second week in a row. While it’s tempting to take KC because they have a tenacity about them, I just think they’ll be overwhelmed this week. SD 31, KC 19.
  • Phil @ Dal (+3.5).  Ugh. Suddenly this is not an easy game to pick. While most are impressed with Jason Garrett so far, I have to say the difference in this game could be in coaching…and Andy Reid is the better coach. His scheming will help Philly pull out a win, but Dal should still cover. Phil 30, Dal 27.
  • Balt @ Hou (+3.5).  Will Houston play majorly inspired ball because their slim playoff hopes are still alive or will they crap out somewhat early in the game and lose to a better team – essentially sealing the fate of Gary Kubiak? On the other side, will Balt come out hungry and focused, ready to start a massive winning streak that takes them deep into the playoffs or will the heartbreak of last week’s loss to Pitt affect their focus? I picked Balt for the Super Bowl this year, so I have to go with them here really out of sheer stubbornness (if they lose, they could very well miss the playoffs) – though I do think Houston at least makes this a game. Balt 27, Hou 23.
Tags : nfl
Andy Hayes