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Week 14 Early Game Picks: Texans Continue Streak

The Playoff race is heating up, but how competitive will the AFC be when the playoffs arrive? Here are our picks for today’s games.

The Texans at Reliant Stadium by Ed Schipul is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Week 14 Early Game Picks: Texans Continue Streak

Estimated Reading Time: 9 Minutes

If you had Derrick Henry and actually started him on your fantasy team, well good for you. If you didn’t, then boy that sucks.

Henry rushed for 238 yards and FOUR touchdowns, and pretty much single-handedly torched the Jaguars. After their 30-9 blowout win on Thursday night, the Titans move to 7-6 and are certainly in the hunt for a wildcard spot.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars suck, but what sucks even more is that Leonard Fournette posted only 5 points for one of my fantasy teams. You can’t go out suspended for a game throwing punches and then come back and give me five points. A complete fantasy team killer right there.

The Jaguars are so bad though. How many teams can we say fired their offensive coordinator, benched their QB, suspended their running back, and lost to the Buffalo Bills all on the same day? I’m pretty sure we have never seen anything like that in the history of the league, and Joe Flacco is looking pretty good in a Jaguars uniform right about now. Although that would be bad news for Leonard Fournette, because he would never get the ball.

Big Games Are Ahead

This is a big week for a lot of teams, especially in the AFC where three teams are 6-6. The Broncos, Colts, and Dolphins will be looking to get above .500 and keep pace with the Titans and Ravens for the second wildcard; and I say SECOND wild card because there is no way in hell any of those teams are going to catch the Chargers.

Don’t act like there aren’t any big games in the NFC either. Philly at Dallas might be the game of the week quite frankly. They will be fighting to the death in Jerry World for the NFC East crown. The Cowboys are hot on a four-game winning streak, including a shocking win against the Saints last Thursday night. Philly has been playing better lately as well, and Carson Wentz could be playing his best ball of the season thus far. This game will be a treat.

But for now, let’s just get to the early Sunday games, shall we?!:

Last Week Record: 7-9 (Yuck)

Season Record: 79-50 (Yay!)

Jets at Bills

Remember the last time these two teams played each other? The Bills absolutely demolished the Jets. It was so bad that Damien Woody couldn’t wait to leave the MetLife Stadium parking lot before saying this:

Sam Darnold will be back for the Jets, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I’m not quite sure it will be an annihilation like the first meeting between the two teams, but I do like the Bills to get the season sweep on the Jets. I just think Buffalo has the better defense, and Josh Allen is starting to play better and looks more comfortable in the offense.

This will not be an easy game for Darnold to come back to, as the Bills have the #1 pass defense in the league. Bills win 23-10.

Panthers at Browns

The Panthers have lost four in a row and are fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive, while the Browns have a little playoff pulse going for themselves.

Cleveland has played much better at home this season, and while Baker Mayfield was dreadful last week in Houston, I think he bounces back and has a nice game this week; leading the Browns to a close upset win over Carolina. Browns win 23-20.

Falcons at Packers

Aaah it’s the NFC Underachievement Bowl! Mike McCarthy has left the building for Green Bay. Will Dan Quinn be next for Atlanta?

This matchup pits two quarterbacks who love to sling it, so this could be a heck of a shootout; or at least we would think, right? I like Green Bay’s defense a little more here, and I think Aaron Jones will have a big day running, because this Falcons defense couldn’t stop their own noses if they were running. Not to mention, Green Bay plays much better at Lambeau. I mean…MUCH better, as the Pack still haven’t won a road game this season. That absolutely blows my mind.

The Packers only have two more road games left against the Bears and the Jets. I would have to imagine that the will at least win the Jets matchup, but we’ve seen crazier things this season.

Give me the Packers to rebound against Atlanta before they have their showdown against Chicago next week. Packers win 28-23.

Ravens at Chiefs

If there was a time to give your first-round pick and potential future quarterback a test run, I think the Ravens absolutely nailed it. There really could not have been a better time.

Lamar Jackson is 3-0 as a starting QB with the Ravens, but he has played the 26th, 28th, and 32nd ranked defenses. Now he gets the 31st ranked defense in Kansas City. It’s like the stars had completely aligned for Lamar Jackson to shine and take this job away from Joe Flacco, who once led this Ravens team to a Super Bowl win.

Jackson and the Ravens have the Buccaneers and Browns left on their schedule, and those are the 27th and 30th ranked defenses, respectively. By the end of the season, he will have played some of the worst defenses in the league and will probably have a 5-2 record.One of those losses, however, will be to the Chiefs.

As bad a Kansas City’s defense is, I don’t think Jackson can lead Baltimore’s offense to outscore the Chiefs’ offense. Baltimore may hang around early, but look for Mahomes and the Chiefs to pull away late for the win. Chiefs win 33-22.

Patriots at Dolphins

There’s…something in the water…some-thing….in the water…in Miami! (In my best William Shatner voice).

Really though, is there something in the water, and does Tom Brady and the Patriots drink from it? Because every time New England goes to Miami, the Dolphins turn into the 1972 Dolphins and make life miserable for Bill Belichick, and that’s something not a lot of teams can do, even though Belichick looks miserable all the time. Patriots could be thrashing the Jets by 50 points and Bill will stand on the sidelines with a look on his face like he pooped his pants and threw up on his sweater.

Miami has Been a Pest

The Patriots have lost 4 of their last 5 games in Miami. Dolphins sit 6-6 and if they want to get into the playoffs, this is probably a must-win game.

Miami doesn’t have a great defense, but interestingly, they are tied for 5th in the league in turnover differential (+8) and are 2nd in the league in interceptions. Brady has 8 interceptions on the year but most of them have actually been at home in Gillette.

The Patriots smacked the Dolphins back in September 38-7 but Brady threw two picks. Down in Miami, maybe he’ll be able to limit his turnovers, but this seems to be Miami’s annual Patriots Super Bowl at home, so they will come out ready to go, just like the Jaguars when they had their “Super Bowl” beating New England 31-20 earlier this season. Yeah, Florida has a thorn in New England’s side.

So here we are! I think Miami will shock New England again because, well, why not?! And unfortunately for me, this shock will come right before the Patriots march into Pittsburgh next week and probably destroy the Steelers by 40 points. We’ve seen this kind of story before.

Thanks Miami…thanks a lot. Dolphins win 26-21.

Saints at Buccaneers

I think the Bucs are in trouble here. They get the New Orleans Saints on a 10-day rest coming off a disappointing loss to the Cowboys. Not only that, but the Bucs took down the Saints 48-40 in Week 1, so I am sure the Saints will be out for blood here.

In that game by the way, Brees threw for 439 yards and 3 TDs on 37/45 passing. Ryan Fitzpatrick pretty much had the game of his life and the Bucs still almost lost.

This time around it will be a different story. No more FitzMagic, and I don’t think Jameis Winston will be able to do enough to keep up with the Saints offense. The Bucs have zero running game too, so Winston will probably be forced into a shootout with Brees, and that can’t be a good thing for Tampa Bay

Give me the Saints to get their sweet revenge on the Bucs. Saints win 36-23.

Giants at Redskins

Washington is so decimated by injuries, they’re starting to look like a Division II football team. Even with Odell Beckham Jr. out for the Giants, I just don’t see Mark Sanchez leading Washington to a win here. Giants win 26-14.

Colts at Texans

The Colts looked miserable last week and the Texans could be playing their best football right now. Houston is at home and Deshaun Watson looks to be back to the form he was in early last season when he was destroying defenses.

I am excited to see the matchup between the Texans’ defensive line and the Colts’ offensive line, but I think Watson will do enough to wear down the Colts’ defense and lead this Texans team to their 10thstraight win. All of a sudden, the Texans are in the conversation for a bye in the playoffs, and perhaps even a #1 seed in the AFC. Crazy. Texans win 24-17.

Enjoy the games and stay tuned for my afternoon and evening game picks!

Matt lives in Newnan, Georgia but was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Celtics. At the collegiate level, he is a Notre Dame and Syracuse fan (yeah he can root for both, and what?!) He must, however, find a soccer team to root for. So him out there. All suggestions are welcome. You can catch Matt on the Turf mostly covering NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Horse Racing (that is not a typo, he practically grew up on a racetrack). It's nothing's strictly sports.

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