Bet On It: Week 14 predictions
Cam Newton and Eli Manning will both continue their recent hot streaks this week
Cardinals' offense won't get it done against the Seahawks, but their defense will
The Redskins, Dolphins and 49ers will all have big days on the ground in Week 14
Last week: 3-7; Season record 47-73 (.392)
It's not my fault I'm smarter than most NFL coaches, and wouldn't abandon the run game the second the other team jumps out to a lead (I'm looking at you, Greg Schiano). What happened to smashmouth football?
I've learned my lesson. This week, I'll get with the times and bet on the quarterbacks. The good quarterbacks. And I'm not taking the easy out and going against the Jets QBs.
1. Cam Newton throws for at least 225 yards against Falcons
Newton has been criticized a lot his in sophomore season, but he's still putting up decent numbers. He actually has an 85.8 passer rating, compared to 84.5 last season. He threw for 215 yards against the Falcons in Week 4 and his confidence should be up after stringing together two strong performances (albeit against Philly and Kansas City).
2. Drew Brees and Eli Manning combine for at least 5 TDs
After breaking out of his mini-slump two weeks ago against the Packers, Manning had a big yardage game, but just 1 TD in a loss to the Redskins last week. The Giants probably regret not taking more downfield shots against Washington, and they'll air it out against the Saints. Meanwhile, Brees is going to be fired up in another must-win game coming off of his disastrous Thursday night against the Falcons.
3. Andy Dalton and Tony Romo throw for at least 450 yards and four TDs
The Bengals and Cowboys both have solid pass defenses. But both quarterbacks have been putting up good numbers of late and should push each other in a very interesting matchup that has playoff implications for their teams.
4. Bucs win the turnover battle against the Eagles
The Eagles offense showed up last week against the Cowboys, and teams can move the ball against the Bucs. But the young Eagles players still make key mistakes. Philadealphia ranks 31st in the NFL with a -18 turnover differential.
5. Chris Johnson runs for at least 100 yards
The Colts have the 22nd-ranked run defense in the league. Johnson ran for 99 yards against them in an overtime win on Oct. 28. He's been bottled up lately, with just 131 yards in his last two games combined, but is due a breakout.
6. Arizona doesn't score two offensive TDs against the Seahawks
The Cardinals actually beat Seattle in Week 1, but that seems like years ago. Now they're lost offensively, no matter who's playing quarterback (it'll be John Skelton this week, after the failed Ryan Lindley experiment. That being said, Arizona could make this interesting with its defense, which leads us to ...
7. Russell Wilson's streak of four games without an interception ends
Wilson hasn't been picked off since Week 8. The Cardinals are tied for seventh in the NFL with 13 interceptions this season. Arizona has a fast defensive front that could give Wilson trouble when he rolls out, forcing him into bad throws.
8. Browns continue their win streak by beating the Chiefs
Hard to believe, but Cleveland is going for its third straight win. Now they'll have to beat a couple of their former players, Brady Quinn and Peyton Hillis, to bring it to four. The Chiefs had an emotional win last week and are ripe for a letdown on the road.
9. Colin Kaepernick and Ryan Tannehill combine for fewer than 450 yards
Both young quarterbacks have shown they're capable of moving the ball in the air. Still, neither one will have success in a game that will be won or lost on the ground. The 49ers have the second-ranked rushing offense in the league.
10. Redskins run for over 125 yards againt the Ravens
The Ravens have allowed 125.8 yards per game on the ground (23rd in the NFL). Washington has to establish its potent ground game in a must-win game in what should be an emotional atmosphere as the Skins vie for regional superiority.
NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings
NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets