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NFL 2018 SQ Insiders: Week 14

Austin Taliaferro

Our insiders pick the Week 14 games to help you beat Vegas and your pick’em league.

There is a big NFC East match-up this week, and it’s not the one between Mark Sanchez and Eli Manning. No, the Philadelphia Eagles will go into Dallas and try to avenge the loss they suffered a few weeks back on their home field. Our insiders are split on this game, but on aggregate expect the Cowboys to win by a score of 22-21. However, with the game being so tight, they like the Eagles +4.5 to cover in the game. Check out the rest of the games and picks below.

Matchup

Max V

Hunter B

Matt F

Adrian N

Jacksonville at Tennessee
NY Jets at Buffalo
LA Rams at Chicago
Carolina at Cleveland
Atlanta at Green Bay
Baltimore at Kansas City
New England at Miami
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
NY Giants at Washington
Indianapolis at Houston
Cincinnati at LA Chargers
Denver at San Francisco
Philadelphia at Dallas
Detroit at Arizona
Pittsburgh at Oakland
Minnesota at Seattle
Total Record

119-71113-77124-66126-64



Matchup

Conglomerate Score

ATS Winner

Pick’em Winner

Why the home team will win

Why the away team will win

Jacksonville at Tennessee10-15TEN-3.5Tennessee has the decisive edge at quarterback in this game with Marcus Mariota under center rather than Cody Kessler. The Titans are at .500 and still alive in the playoff picture. They are playing at home and will be highly motivated to win this game.Jacksonville’s defense has finally shown the elite strength that they did in 2017. They held a Colts team that was averaging 30+ points over their last five to zero. That kind of effort will be needed if the Jags are to get away with a win under Cody Kessler.
NY Jets at Buffalo20-20NYJ+3.5TiedThe Bills’ defense is one of the few bright spots for this Buffalo team, and the Jets are not a great offense. Even with the potential return of Sam Darnold next week, the Bills stand a good chance to limit the Jets’ offense at home. Josh Allen’s return to the lineup for Buffalo has been a welcome addition to a stagnant offense. Allen’s ability to make a few plays could be the key to a Buffalo win.The return of Sam Darnold to the lineup could spark a team that’s trending in the wrong direction. Impact players like Darnold, Isaiah Crowell, and Jamal Adams will need to step up and make plays for the Jets this week. Luckily, Buffalo is not a good team by any stretch of the imagination, giving the Jets a great chance to get back in the win column.
LA Rams at Chicago28-21LAR-3.5The Bears have been dominant at home this season and have combined their fourth-ranked defense with a spectacular second season for QB Mitch Trubisky. If they can keep a lid on LA’s run game and force Rams QB Jared Goff to make a few bad throws, they can pull off the upset.The Rams have the No. 2 offense and sole possession of the best record in the NFL. They will face a stellar defense on the road in cold weather for one of their biggest tests of the season. If the Rams can keep making plays like they have all year, they should be able to score enough points that Chicago won’t be able to catch up.
Carolina at Cleveland26-22CAR-1.5The Browns are a good team at home and the Panthers have lost four straight. Baker Mayfield should bounce back from his worst game as a pro, giving the Browns a solid chance to win. The Panthers sport one of the worst passing defenses in the league, and Cleveland is home to one of the best receivers in the league in Jarvis Landry. Look for Cleveland to try and exploit that mismatch, while letting Nick Chubb carry the load on the ground.The Panthers have the talent to be a playoff team and Cam Newton is in that tier of quarterbacks that gives their team a chance to win every week. It’s do or die time for the Panthers after losing four straight games, and a date with the Browns provides a great opportunity to bounce back and save their season. McCaffrey presents a mismatch opportunity for Carolina’s offense.
Atlanta at Green Bay27-32ATL+5.5After firing longtime head coach Mike McCarthy after 13 seasons, the Packers look to distance themselves from the disappointing team of the first 12 games of the season. Joe Philbin would serve himself well by letting Aaron Rodgers do what he can do, especially against one of the worst defenses in the league. Expect a shootout and if the Packers have any hopes of making the playoffs, they have to win this game.The Packers are not a good team outside of Aaron Rodgers, and the Falcons need to exploit that. Atlanta has the chance to put up a crooked number against a below-average Green Bay defense and salvage whats left of a disappointing season. The Packers’ corners are young and can be exposed by the likes of veterans Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu.
Baltimore at Kansas City23-30KC-6.5When comparing these two teams on offense, it’s not even close. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes II could win the MVP award this season, and the Chiefs have been perfect at home. Rookie QB Lamar Jackson has come off the bench to start his NFL career 3-0. If the Ravens’ stellar defense keeps doing its thing, Baltimore can pull off an upset. Kansas City’s only notable win this season came against the Chargers in Week 1. Since then, they have yet to beat a team above .500.
New England at Miami27-20MIA+8.5Miami held on for a much-needed win against the Bills and now finds itself at 6-6 and in the thick of the AFC Wildcard race. Ryan Tannehill has looked good since his return and was a non-factor in their first meeting with the Patriots. If he can keep from turning it over, the Dolphins can steal a game at home.New England already squared off against this Dolphins team and utterly dominated. Miami came in with a 3-0 record and left with their tails between their legs after losing 38-7. Now 10 weeks later with the Pats’ offensive pieces starting to click, it could be disastrous for the Fins.
New Orleans at Tampa Bay39-27NO-8.5Tampa Bay is one of the only two teams that have been able to best New Orleans this season. They were able to do so because they are loaded with explosive offensive weapons. They will need to rely on those again in order to get a win.New Orleans left the Lone Star state stunned after one of the league’s premier offenses was only able to manage 10 points. The Saints should be highly motivated to win and keep pace with the Rams and will get to do so against one of the worst defensive units in the league.
NY Giants at Washington24-20NYG+0.5Washington still sports one of the better defenses in the league, even if their troubles on offense are hard to ignore. If Washington can slow down Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham, it stands a good chance of winning this football game. Mark Sanchez needs to take care of the football and keep the ball in the hands of playmakers to help Washington stay in the playoff hunt.The Giants are playing well as of late and are meeting a Washington team during arguably its worst stretch of the season. Sanchez shouldn’t be able to move the ball, as seen in the Monday night loss to the Eagles. If the Giants can put up some points, there’s no way Washington can keep up. At this rate, 10 or 13 points could be enough to defeat Washington.
Indianapolis at Houston24-27IND+4.5Indy scored a grand total of zero points last week. They now face Houston’s third-best rushing offense on the road, and the Colts aren’t exactly known for having a dominant front seven. Nowhere to go but up! Andrew Luck and the Colts’ offense can strike at any moment. The Colts are fighting for a possible wild card spot. Their backs are against the wall and they will give Houston (comfortably in first place) their best effort. The Texans are very good, but let’s be honest - they’re not 9-3 good.
Cincinnati at LA Chargers19-33CIN+14.5The Chargers are coming off of their best game of the season in Pittsburgh. Traveling home with that much momentum and going against one of the worst defenses in the NFL should lead to another big day for Philip Rivers and the offense.Jeff Driskel played fairly well considering the low expectations he had going into last week. If the Bengals are going to win this game, they are going to need to run the ball with Joe Mixon far more in order to keep the Chargers’ offense off the field.
Denver at San Francisco22-17SF+5.5The 49ers have played their worst two games of the season the last two weeks, but returning home is going to help this team. Nick Mullens played two very good games at home and is going to be facing a Denver defense without Chris Harris. If Mullens can play turnover-free football, the 49ers can keep this close. Denver is a hot football team right now and has an excellent chance of running the table to secure a Wild Card spot. If they are going to do so, they can’t let the 49ers hang around. They are without Matt Breida and have been blown out back-to-back weeks. The Broncos should put them away early and ride Philip Lindsay in the run game to victory.
Philadelphia at Dallas21-22PHI+4.5Dallas is coming off of their biggest win of the season, snapping New Orleans’ 10-game win streak. The Cowboys’ fifth-ranked defense will come out swinging against a division rival. With four weeks left, the NFC East is still open. The Eagles will be pushing all of their chips in against Dallas. They have a great roster and a lot of film on Dak Prescott and the Cowboys.
Detroit at Arizona19-17ARZ+2.5Josh Rosen didn’t play that well last week, but he did just enough to beat the Packers in Green Bay. Returning home against a Detroit team traveling across the country gives them an excellent opportunity to win another game. The defense must play well again while Rosen and the offense convert in key situations.Detroit played the Rams close for most of Sunday’s game but in the end couldn’t pull it out. They likely get back Kerryon Johnson this week, and if they can feed him the ball early and often, they can control the clock and get out of Arizona with a win.
Pittsburgh at Oakland31-23OAK+11.5The Raiders are coming off a game where they hung in there with one of the best teams in the NFL. The Steelers’ defense hasn’t been great as of late so the Raiders can take advantage of that and move the ball, but the defense can’t give up 40 like it did last week against Kansas City. This is a game the Steelers know they cannot lose. With games against the Saints and Patriots looming and the Ravens hot on their tail in the AFC North, the Steelers will take care of business in Oakland even without James Conner.
Minnesota at Seattle19-23SEA-3.5Despite owning a very similar record to the Vikings, the Seahawks have been much more impressive over the course of the season. They hold a +60 point differential compared to Minnesota at +5. Russell Wilson is balling out and has a team without many stars functioning at a high level on offense.Minnesota’s defense has looked good as of late. They are giving up only 19 points per game over their last four against a good list of quarterbacks that includes Stafford, Rodgers, and Brady. They will need to similarly stifle Wilson in order to have a chance in this one.


Edited by Emily Berman.

SQuiz
What percentage of defending Super Bowl champions have failed to make the playoffs the next year
Created 12/5/18
  1. 12%
  2. 23%
  3. 31%
  4. 40%

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