"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

NFL WEEK 14 PICKS

I don't have a good feeling for the games today. Looking at the numbers, it equates to some very tough picks. Is that a disclaimer? It sure is. Whatever happens today, I really don't care too much. I'll just come back and keep at it next week.

Pittsburgh (7 - 5) 27 @ Cincinnati (8 - 3 - 1) 24: When I look the numbers on these teams, it doesn't look like a great matchup for the Bengals. But then I look at how poorly the Steelers played at home last week, and I have to look more closely. Upon further review, I'm still going with Pittsburgh.

St. Louis (5 - 7) 23 @ Washington (3 - 9) 28: The Rams are on fire and the Redskins, well...not so much. What's interesting is that Washington moves the ball and plays pretty good defense, not necessarily the attributes of a 3 - 9 team. I've made no secret about my Washington allegiance, so this might look like a homer pick, but it's about time for the Redskins to step up, play a good game and win one.

New York Giants (3 - 9) 31 @ Tennessee (2 - 10) 27: These two teams are just playing out the string, hoping to retain some pride in the process. The difference here is that the Giant offense, at least on paper, has an edge, even on the road, over the Titans.

Carolina (3 - 8 - 1) 27 @ New Orleans (5 - 7) 35: The Saints are big favorites in this game and I have no doubt that they'll win. I just think it will be a little closer than the spread due to the Saints' porous defense.

New York Jets (2 - 10) 23 @ Minnesota (5 - 7) 20: I tend to agree with Jets' coach Rex Ryan that his team is better than their record. In fact, this is a really bad match-up for the Vikes, so I believe the Jets will be able to get a late-season road win in Minneapolis.

Baltimore (7 - 5) 20 @ Miami (7 - 5) 24: The strength of Dolphins is pass defense, but Baltimore is strong on the ground. However, this is a passing league and Miami should be able to move the ball enough to win at home.

Indianapolis (8 - 4) 30 @ Cleveland (7 - 5) 28: The Colts scorched Washington at home last week, but now they go on the road to face a very tough pass defense. I can also understand why the Browns are going to start QB Brian Hoyer, since Indy doesn't possess a particularly stellar pass defense, giving him a chance to make some plays and pull out a win.

Tampa Bay (2 - 10) 17 @ Detroit (8 - 4) 34: The Lions have a great opportunity to win their next three games to set up a season-ending contest in Green Bay against the Packers that could be for the division title. Tampa Bay is just awful, but strange things can happen in the NFL.

Houston (6 - 6) 27 @ Jacksonville (2 -10) 16: Houston runs the ball very well, and the Jags don't defend the rush, or for that matter, the pass with much effectiveness. The Texans are still hanging around the playoff hunt, but can't afford another loss. Jacksonville is continuing to audition for the future London / Los Angeles franchise.

Buffalo (7 - 5) 21 @ Denver (9 - 3) 30: The Bills have the league's fifth ranked pass defense, and it'll be tested this week by Peyton Manning in his house. The Broncos haven't looked as invincible as they did last year, but they should be able to get past Buffalo.

Kansas City (7 - 5) 23 @ Arizona (9 - 3) 20: The strength of the Cardinals' team is its rushing defense. The Chiefs rely primarily on running the ball to win games. But Kansas City leads the league in passing defense, so even with an injured Larry Fitzgerald back in the lineup, is it possible for Arizona to pull out a win? I think so, but they're gong to have to run the ball to do it.

Seattle (8 - 4) 26 @ Philadelphia (9 - 3) 27: This is a potential preview of the NFC Championship game. The Seahawks have held their last two opponents to a field goal. If they do that in Philadelphia today, I'll definitely pencil them in as a Super Bowl team. But the Eagles will present a lot more challenges than the Cardinals and the Forty-Niners.

San Francisco (7 - 5) 27 @ Oakland (1 - 11) 16: I'm not sure how the bay area feels about this match-up and whether there's any kind of rivalry. What I do know is that the Raiders offense is not very good and the San Francisco defense is.

New England (9 - 3) 27 @ San Diego (8 - 4) 28: The Chargers match up pretty well with New England. The Patriots went straight from Green Bay to the west coast, so it wasn't a traditional routine for the Tom Brady and Company. This is a tossup for me.

Atlanta (5 - 7) 20 @ Green Bay (9 - 3) 34: Unless the Packers somehow experience some kind of decrease in ability, they should feast on the league's worse pass defense in a very difficult place for even the best teams to win.