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The Oratory's NFL Picks for Week 14
by John Canton (NFL)
Posted on December 11, 2009, 4:18 PM

John: Welcome to week fourteen of the Oratory's NFL Picks. I am John Canton joined as always by my fellow prognosticators James Deaux and Matt Henry. I went 10-6 last week for the second week in a row, which is fine, but I would love a 13 or 14 pick week as we head into the final four weeks. Starting out 0-1 thanks to the Steelers losing doesn't help, though.

Matt: I always write the intro last because I use it to sum up my thoughts on the week. I just heard the Steelers lose to the Browns. My thoughts on the week arenít fit for printing. Maybe I can salvage my predictions season with the handful of upset winners Iím seeing this week.

Last week's results:
John 10-6
James 9-7
Matt 9-7

The standings for the season:
James 135-57 (.703)
John 124-68 (.646)
Matt 120-72 (.625)

All game times are Eastern.

New Orleans at Atlanta 1:00 PM
James: Atlanta is all but dead in the water right now. No team in the league has suffered more devastating injuries this year than the Falcons, and Iíll hear nothing to the contraryóMatt Ryan, Michael Turner, Bryan Williams (this one was the death knell of the defense), Peria Jerry, Harvey Dahl, Todd McClure, the list is nigh endless. New Orleans destroys Atlanta en route to 13-0. New Orleans 39 Ė Atlanta 14

Matt: I donít recall what I was smoking last week when I picked the Falcons. Rest assured, I will make it a point not to do it again. Saints roll. Saints 30-10

John: Too many injuries to roll with the Falcons. To beat the Saints you're going to need to put up 30 or more and they can't do that with Chris Redman at QB. The Saints continue their incredible run. Saints 34-14

Green Bay at Chicago 1:00 PM
James: Green bay is on a roll right now and I canít see the mediocre-as-hell Bears beating them at this stage. Green Bay 30 Ė Chicago 20

Matt: Could be a good game despite the disparity of the records. Factor in the cold and possible snow and you have all of the makings of a classic December NFC North rivalry game. Iíd love to see the Bears keeping this one close, but Green Bay is on a roll right now. I suppose the Bears can patch some of the holes they have with the draft next year. Packers 24-10

John: This is a tough game for Green Bay because it's a divisional road game against a team coming off a win. The Pack were my Super Bowl pick, though, so I'm not going to turn on them while they're on a 5 game win streak. Notice how I mention that almost every week now, but when they struggled I never did? I'm shameless like that. Anyway, I think the difference will be the Packers defense, which has sprung to life and proven that they can keep the team in games. That's all that awesome Aaron Rodgers-led offense needs. Packers 21-13

Denver at Indianapolis 1:00 PM
James: This matchup presents a daunting challenge to the Colts because of Denverís strong running game. I think the Colts eke out another close one. Should be very entertaining. Indy 31 Ė Denver 27

Matt: Go Colts. Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I find that this might be one of the tougher games to predict. Indianapolis is starting to get to the point where they could be thinking about resting some of their starters. They have a three game lead over the rest of the AFC with four games remaining. Iím thinking that they donít make the effort to go for an amazing come from behind victory if it comes to that. The Broncos seem to be putting things back together after their mid season slump, but there are still way too many questions about this team for me to pick them over the Colts on the road. Colts 24-17

John: I like Indy too much to pick against them right now at home. Especially with Kyle Orton on the road. Yeah, he's been better, but am I going to pick him to beat an undefeated Peyton Manning team? No thanks. I'll also state here that if Indy sits starters while they are undefeated then they will probably regret it in January. I'm just saying. Colts 27-13

Buffalo at Kansas City 1:00 PM
James: Last week, Buffalo returned to doing what they do bestócollapsing with a whimper. I think the Chiefs will win pretty much because they have a better QB and the home field. Kansas City 23 Ė Buffalo 14

Matt: To those of you that get to watch this, Iím sorry. Good chance for these teams to start evaluating talent for the offseason decision making process. The Bills are a bit better than the Chiefs. Not saying that they are good, more like comparing a vomit burger to feces pie. Bills 18-12

John: I pick the Bills. It's probably foolish on my part because KC's actually good at home with some of the best fans in the league. Not like the game really matters aside from sorting out draft position. Bills 17-16

Cincinnati at Minnesota 1:00 PM
James: Possibly the game of the week here, but that really depends on which Brett Favre shows up. Last week, he showed exactly what he began to do late last year. The other thing you have to consider here is Adrian Peterson. What has happened to this guy??? 13 carries for 19 yards? Thatís putrid. They have got to keep him in the game plan and stop having Favre throw it 40-50 times. I think Minnesota rebounds here in a slugfest. Minnesota 31 Ė Cincinnati 27

Matt: The Vikings got a wake up call last week. I think this might be the least predictable game of the week. I think the oddsmakers are giving the Vikings too many points here. Farve tends to try to do too much after a bad game, and Iím fairly confident in the ability of the Bengals to shut down the running game. Actually, the more that I look at this, I tend to think that the Bengals get the upset in here. Iíd be happier if they lost, but I think that the Bengals defense is the deciding factor here. Bengals 21-18

John: The Vikings looked like shit last week. The Cards beat them in every way possible. The Bengals have their division pretty much locked up although they're fighting with the Chargers for the 2 seed and the playoff bye, so they definitely care about wining this one. The thing is, they don't have the offense to really expose the Vikings weak secondary. They really only have WR in Chad Johnson and we know you can't run on the Vikes, so how are they going to beat them? Their best chance is to slow down the Vikes offense. I think that's hard for a non-conference team to do because the Vikes can beat you in a lot of ways. I think Minny gets the job done. Vikings 24-10

Carolina at New England 1:00 PM
James: I canít deny loving watching the Patriots collapse right before our eyes, but there is no way they are losing to the pitiful Panthers in Foxboro in December. New England 34 Ė Carolina 20

Matt: The Patriots are on a two game losing streak, they have lost three of the last five. I donít think that makes any difference here, but it felt really good to type that out. The Patriots secondary has been exposed as the weak point in this team. Luckily for them, the Panthers are not equipped to take advantage of this. Patriots 24-10

John: Matt Moore on the road? No thanks. I think the Pats are due to absolutely destroy somebody and make everybody realize they are still dangerous at least as an offensive unit. The Panthers should be able to run, though. I see a lot of points here. Patriots 37-20

NY Jets at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM
James: The Jets donít impress me in the slightest, but surely they can beat maybe the worst team in football. At least they know Mark Sanchez wonít throw any interceptions this week. New York 28 Ė Tampa Bay 17

Matt: Easy game for the Jets who suddenly and unexpectedly find themselves back in contention for the playoffs. They should be able to keep their playoff hopes alive this week before matching up with the Colts and Bengals to close out the season. Jets 30-6

John: This won't be pretty to watch. I'm not picking the Bucs although they are competitive sometimes at home. It's not like the Jets can kill them with their offense. Jets 21-17

Miami at Jacksonville 1:00 PM
James: Very tough game to predict here because Jacksonville is so tough at home. If this were in Miami, itíd be easy as pie to decide a pick. Iím still going with Miami, but itíll be a nail-biter for Dolphins fans. Miami 24 Ė Jacksonville 20

Matt: Iím not very good with the playoff scenarios and such, but Iím thinking that a win here puts the Dolphins in the #6 slot for the AFC. Jacksonville has been tough at home this year, but the Dolphins should be able to run on this defense enough to pull this one out. Dolphins 18-14

John: Gotta love Jacksonville, eh? They're 7-5 right now, the 5th seed in the AFC and they can't even sell out a game against a rival Florida team. Move that team to a city that will actually go to meaningful games since JVille doesn't seem to care. I'm going with the Dolphins because I think they're coming off a high in beating the Pats and they will carry that momentum into this game.

Detroit at Baltimore 1:00 PM
James: Poor Detroit. They have a brutal schedule this year, and going on the road to a foaming-at-the-mouth Ravens team is about as bad as it gets. Baltimore 34 Ė Detroit 10

Matt: Lets go Lions, lets go. No chance that the Ravens lose this one unless they forget to show up. Ravens 32-17

John: Hey Baltimore, draft a big play WR. You need it. Somebody to stretch the field and run some reverses. Aside from Ray Rice it's a very methodical offense. Go find a playmaker. The Lions show spunk, but this isn't a favorable matchup for them. Ravens 24-10

Seattle at Houston 1:00 PM
James: Houston just does not ever want to make it to the playoffs, it seems. They lose critical games each and every year despite always being a sexy pick to go to the postseason. Seattle, on the other hand, is godawful in almost every aspect. Houston wins here and keeps their microscopic playoff hopes alive. Houston 28 Ė Seattle 21

Matt: This should be a good week for the Texans to get back on the winning side of things. Seattle has shown some improvements in the past few weeks, but the Texans wonít be beaten five times in a row. Texans 22-18

John: Seattle at home? Competent. Seattle on the road? Trash. Of course, I have a strong dislike for Houston and their roller coaster like play. I guess I'll go with the Texans although I have little confidence in this one. They're way too erratic. Texans 23-20

St. Louis at Tennessee 4:05 PM
James: Meaningless game here, but Chris Johnson might rack up over 300 all-purpose yards here. Tennessee 35 Ė St. Louis 14

Matt: I just got done listening to the Steeler game, now I know what it feels like to be a Rams fan. Titans keep their slim playoff hopes alive since they should have no problem defeating the hapless Rams. Titans 30-17

John: The Titans are coming off a tough loss, which they should be able to bounce back from. As for my Rams? I'd rather they bench Kyle Boller to see what rookie Keith Null can do because it's already proven that Boller is useless. I have one name for the future: Ndamukong Suh. Look him up. Defensive tackle from Nebraska. Need a run stuffer. Please. Plus, I want to cheer for a guy named Ndamukong for the next decade. Titans 27-10

Washington at Oakland 4:05 PM
James: Oakland should have lost last week if not for Pittsburgh somehow managing to be more inept than them. Bruce Gradkowski threw two passes that my grandmother could have intercepted, but somehow the Steelersí secondary dropped both. I think Washington wins here, but who honestly gives a damn? Washington 23 Ė Oakland 13

Matt: I donít know how the Raiders arenít favored here. The Redskins are horrid on the road, and the Raiders seem to be getting things together since the QB switch. Iím fairly certain that this is the first time all year that the Raiders have come into a game with a better record than the opposition. All things considered, they are still the Oakland Raiders and maybe Iím just underestimating their power to lose football games. Raiders 17-10

John: Bad teams, bad game. Bad all around. Hey, at least the Raiders have a QB that can actually complete a pass over 5 yards now. That's something. Four weeks till Zorn gets fired. How fast after the year will it be? I got the over/under on one hour after the last game. Raiders 20-17

San Diego at Dallas 4:15 PM
James: Could this matchup be any more of a game between polar opposites? San Diego does nothing but win in December while the Cowboys find every imaginable way to lose in said month. Philip Rivers deserves to be in the MVP discussion for how utterly ridiculous heís playing right now. During the Chargersí win streak, heís completing over 75% of his passes!! Thatís just absurd. Chargers continue their roll here. San Diego 34 Ė Dallas 24

Matt: This has a ton of potential to be game of the week. These two teams match up very well. Chargers are strong on the road, Dallas is strong at home. Dallas has a very balanced offense, while the Charger run game has been improving to take pressure off of rivers and the receiving group. I am going strictly based on the Cowboy tendency to fall apart in December here. Chargers 27-20

John: We all know about Dallas' tendency to collapse in December while we also know that the Chargers have been hot in December the last couple of years. All this means go against logic and pick the Cowboys, right? No, I don't want to. Chargers are playing too well. Remember what I said, though. Going against logic this season has been gold. I might regret it. Chargers 24-20

Philadelphia at NY Giants 8:20 PM
James: The Giants still havenít shown me any reason to make me believe theyíre a playoff-caliber team. Philly, meanwhile, is getting Desean Jackson back and I think heís going to leave the Giantsí awful secondary in a cloud of dust. Philly 35 Ė New York 20

Matt: Key game for the Giants. The Eagles destroyed this team a few weeks back. I have yet to see the kind of improvement in the Giants to make me think that switching fields is going to change the outcome that much. Typical NFC East parity right now rules the day here. The Cowboys canít beat the Giants who canít beat the Eagles, who canít beat the Cowboys. The Giants still have to play the Vikings after this. Stick a fork in them, they are done. Eagles 28-17

John: Ah, the Giants. My enemies in the prediction game all season. I believe in them and they lose. I go against them and they win. Who knows what Giants team will show up week to week? I'm going with Philly because I think they're the better team with a more consistent offense. It'll probably be a turnover game too, so with Eli Manning in a cold weather game that makes me like the Eagles just a bit more. Eagles 20-17

Arizona at San Francisco 8:30 PM (Mon)
James: Arizona beat the crap out of the team I considered to be the best in football last week. San Francisco is barely hanging onto a thread in the playoff race. Combine this with the Cardsí impressive road record and I canít pick the 49ers here. Arizona 28 Ė San Francisco 17

Matt: The 49ers own a week one victory over the Cardinals. Since that game, these teams have been going in opposite directions. San Francisco is still going through some rebuilding and the youth of this team shows from time to time. The Cardinals may be even better this year than they were last. This is a team that can keep pace with the Saints and may find themselves playing spoiler to the dominant NFC team down the road in the playoffs. Cardinals 27-18

John: The Cards are a good road team. They should be fine here even though it's the biggest game of the Niners season. I think the Cards defense has stepped it up a notch that makes it hard for me to believe a pedestrian offense like the Niners is going to be able to do much against them. Plus, Warner's looking really sharp and he should be able to lead them to the win here as they try to fine tune their machine heading into the playoffs. Cardinals 24-13

JC's Money Picks
Every week I'll pick four games against the spread or using the over/under. I was 1-3 last week. That sucks. I really want to get back to that .600 win percentage mark in these last four weeks of the regular season, so hopefully I can go on a bit of a run. These odds come from pinnaclesports.com as always.

Season: 31-24-1 (.554)

Chargers +3 over COWBOYS.
Cardinals -3Ĺ over 49ERS
TITANS -13 over Rams
VIKINGS -6Ĺ over Bengals

Thanks for reading. We'll see you next week for week fifteen.

Enjoy the games.

Contact James at xenomaster_17@yahoo.com
Contact Matt at Kane_matthews@hotmail.com
Contact John at oratoryjohn@gmail.com

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