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NFL Picks & Pans: Week 14

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Even with the disappointing loss by my Baltimore Ravens to the Pittsburgh Steelers on last week's Sunday Night Football, we still had a great week picking the winners. My two "Upset Specials" came in 1-1, as the Jaguars "upset" the Titans and the Buccaneers should have done the same to the Falcons but Atlanta's "Matty Ice" did it again. I had the Indianapolis Colts winning a lot bigger than they did over the Tennessee Titans but they still held on. Let's get with it for this week and hope there are some upsets that help the Ravens in their playoff push with four weeks to go in the regular season.

Bills over Browns: Two teams playing for next year and while Cleveland is improving on both sides of the ball, Buffalo continues to find ways to lose. I like the Bills to win one at home, perhaps their last win of the season.

Steelers over Bengals: If this game were in Cincinnati, I'd take the Bengals in an upset. However, the question should not if Pittsburgh will win, it should be on the over/under on both illegal hits and "The TOcho Show" antics!

Falcons over Panthers: Atlanta keeps on winning and is absolutely a Super Bowl contender, as they currently hold home field advantage in the NFC, which is huge, and there probably will be as many Falcons fans in Carolina as Panthers fans. It's just a matter of time before Carolina coach Joh Fox is canned and Bill Cowher goes home!

Packers over Lions: Don't disregard Detroit, as this in-division game will still be a battle, but Green Bay has way too many weapons for the Lions to keep up with and should continue their fight for the NFC North chase.

Jaguars over Raiders: Here's hoping Jacksonville stays on its winning ways to stay atop the AFC South and keep Indy out of the post season. They should be able to do so today as Oakland has to travel east, which is tough.

Vikings over Giants: One of my three "Upset Special Picks of the Week" as I like Minnesota at home, regardless of who QB's for the Vikings. Eli Manning is due for a clunker and this is the perfect time for the New York to tank!

Redskins over Buccaneers: I was surprised to see Tama Bay the favorite in this game on the road, so I like McNabb to lead Washington at home in the cold and even the rain over a tough, but young Bucs team.

Saints over Rams: Take the 'over' in this one, as St. Louis has been a pleasant surprise and QB Sam Bradford is a shoo-in as Rookie-of-the-Year. However, in New Orleans against the Ravens' next opponent is a task they just won't overcome.

Seahawks over 49ers: I actually am going to go with an unprecedented 3rd "Upset Special Pick of the Week" as I like Seattle to beat their hosts in San Francisco, as Matt Hasselbeck has had success against the 49ers, and although I was rooting for Troy Smith to succeed (Smith is reportedly not playing), no one is missing him here in Baltimore.

Broncos over Cardinals: Arizona seems to have mailed it in for the year and Denver's players seem to have responded to the coaching change, for now.

Patriots over Bears: Should be a very good game with two division leaders duking it out. However, I like the precision of Tom Brady over the brash, inconsistency of Jay Cutler, and hence, my pick of New England even though the game will be in the cold of Chicago.

Jets over Dolphins: New York should rebound over a Miami team virtually gutted with injuries to stay within distance of the Patriots, who embarrassed them this past Monday and the Dolphins will pay the price.

Chargers over Chiefs: I would have taken San Diego even if Matt Cassel's appendix was fine and healthy. Without him, they will be challenged offensively and the Chargers have weapons galore and should close the gap in the AFC West.

Eagles over Cowboys (Sunday Night Football): Michael Vick will continue his surge as a legitimate MVP candidate, while Dallas flounders with injuries and off-the-field issues that make most NFL fans happy with their terribly disappointing season that originally had them a Super Bowl contender and now will end with a high draft pick.

(NOTE: I'll pick & pan the Baltimore Ravens at the Houston Texans Monday Night Football match-up on Monday morning.)

Last week:  11-5

Season record:  116-74