Week 14 of the NFL season has kicked off and The Stack is here with a preview of this week's games. 12-4 last week. Hope to duplicate it again this week. Not off to a good start after I went with the Texans last night. They lost to the Jaguars 27-20. Matt Schaub came in for relief of Case Keenum and played pretty well, but threw a pick late with just over two minutes left to seal the deal. The Texans were also hurt by their 14 penalties for 177 yards. 177 yards! Ouch. No wonder they've now lost eleven in a row. Quietly, the Jaguars have won four of five. Now though, it's time to get to some previews and predictions for Sunday's games in "the stack" for today, Friday, December 6:
Minnesota Vikings @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM ET FOX
The Vikings will start Matt Cassell this week. He gives them a much better chance of winning than Christian Ponder much to the shagrin of Vikings fans who want the team to lose out and get a good draft pick so they can find Ponder's replacement. Cassell will play fine, but the Ravens are fighting for their playoff lives. They'll play more desperate.
Preview: Ravens 26 Vikings 16
Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM ET CBS
The Bengals surprised me last week with how their defense shutdown the Chargers offense. The Colts have gotten off to slow starts and five field goals in the first half won't do the trick this week as it did last week against Tennessee. The Bengals need to keep winning to stay atop the AFC North.
Prediction: Bengals 27 Colts 19
Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers 1:00 PM ET FOX
This one is easy. If Aaron Rodgers is cleared to play, the Packers win. If he doesn't, then I'm not sure. I think the Packers have enough to beat a bad Falcons team ravaged by injuries. It's going to be cold. Southern team playing in the cold? Don't see it happening.
Prediction: Packers 31 Falcons 17
Cleveland Browns @ New England Patriots 1:00 PM ET CBS
Two teams going in completely different directions. The Patriots are starting to put it all together on offense. 34 points in back-to-back weeks. Browns have a good defense, but they don't have enough to completely shut down Tom Brady and that offense. Plus we don't know who is going to start for the Browns at quarterback. Both Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell have concussions. If you don't know who your quarterback will be against the New England Patriots, you have no chance.
Prediction: Patriots 27 Browns 13
Oakland Raiders @ New York Jets 1:00 PM ET CBS
Jets head coach Rex Ryan said the Jets offense had a great day of practice Wednesday. It's easy to have a great practice when you've been so bad for the last month. The Raiders played the Cowboys tough last week. I think they find a way to go cross-country and beat the Jets. Then again, this pick is probably one of the many reasons why my picks have not been so good this year.
Prediction: Raiders 23 Jets 13
Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles 1:00 PM ET FOX
Lots of points in this one! Lots of points! Both defenses aren't great against the pass and both teams can sling the football. Both teams have fast running backs (Reggie Bush and LeSean McCoy). So who has the edge? Because the game is not played on turf, Bush will be slightly more ineffective. Stafford throws picks. Nick Foles does not. That may be the difference in this game.
Prediction: Eagles 34 Lions 31
Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00 PM ET CBS
The Dolphins are right in the thick of the race for the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. They had a good road win last week against the Jets. The Steelers have an injury-riddled offensive line. They're practically plucking guys off the street. Yet, for all of the attention that Mike Tomlin's actions on the sidelines last week have been given this week, I think the Steelers rally and hand the Dolphins another disappointing loss.
Prediction: Steelers 24 Dolphins 20
Buffalo Bills @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM ET CBS
Two teams with no chance at the playoffs playing in a stadium that will be lucky to be half full. Yawn!
Prediction: Bucs 27 Bills 20
Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Redskins 1:00 PM ET CBS
While most people view this as a game for the Chiefs to get well, be learly of the upset. Washington may be slightly dysfnctional, but they still have talent and will give the Chiefs more of a game than they may be ready for. Still, I think the Chiefs get the win though it would not shock me if Washington wins.
Prediction: Chiefs 30 Redskins 20
Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos 4:05 PM ET CBS
Peyton Manning is not a good cold weather quarterback and it's going to be cold in Denver on Sunday. But they're not playing the Patriots, Bengals or Seahawks. They're playing the Titans. Enough said.
Prediction: Broncos 31 Titans 17
St. Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals 4:25 PM ET FOX
Both teams play solid defense so this will be a low-scoring game. Arizona's offense is slightly better right now, mostly because Kellen Clemons is quarterbacking St. Louis. No offense. Arizona's playoff hopes will remain alive.
Prediction: Cardinals 23 Rams 9
New York Giants @ San Diego Chargers 4:25 PM ET FOX
Eli Manning comes to the city that he never wanted to play for. Guessing there will be a few boos from the fans, what few fans come out to see the game. Maybe that's why there's still a chance this game won't be blacked out. People want to see Eli and say, "Philip Rivers is better than you this year." Then Eli will show them his two rings and they'll be quiet.
Prediction: Chargers 34 Giants 20
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM ET FOX
Another big clash in the NFC. The 49ers are starting to come together and play really good football, but nobody is playing better than the Seahawks. The 49ers have declared this a "statement game." If they win, they will pretty much be a wild card team. If the Seahawks win, it further cements them as the team to beat for the Super Bowl. Great game. Toss up game. I like...
Prediction: Seahawks 20 49ers 16
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints 8:30 PM ET NBC
The Saints are coming off of a short week, shorter than they anticipated thanks to airplane issues after Monday night's debacle in Seattle. That puts them behind the eight ball, but they are playing at home and their fans will bring it. Carolina better be ready. They haven't experienced an atmosphere like this yet this year. Carolina winning wouldn't be shocking, but it would be a little surprising. Need a little more proof before I believe they are a legit threat in the NFC. Winning in New Orleans would be proof.
Prediction: Saints 34 Panthers 24
Coming up Monday: NFL Week 14 reaction plus MNF preview