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NFL Picks & Pans: Week 14

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A decidedly average week 13 for me in picking NFL winners, as going out on limbs picking upsets is just not going to end up helping out my record. Then again, who would have expected the Dallas Cowboys to lose to the Arizona Cardinals either? Two of my four 'Upset Special' picks came in, and of course it helped to have our Baltimore Ravens dominate the Cleveland Browns. However, let's hope for a much better week and while we started off with a Pittsburgh Steelers win over the Browns, it was a lot closer than expected and we would have rather it had been a huge upset.

Bengals over Texans: Strange feeling to root for Cincinnati to win a game against anyone other than the Steelers. However, Houston is more of a playoff threat to the Ravens goal of a #1 or #2 seed, so we'll hope the home-field advantage plus T.J. Yates at QB drops the Texans back in the post season race to a playoff bye.

Patriots over Redskins: Last week I tried the upset pick of Washington over the New York Jets and that didn't work out too well for me or the 'Skins. Now, I just have a hard time seeing them pull off another upset although I will be rooting like a Hog to see it happen and prove me wrong!

Panthers over Falcons: This would obviously be an "Upset Special Pick of the Week" and I just am beginning to be a firm believer in Cam Newton as not just a fast, athletic QB like Michael Vick was as a rookie, but as a good passer as well. I like Carolina at home and think Atlanta s having problems and are in danger of missing the post season.

Lions over Vikings: Detroit finally gets a break after being forced to play the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints in consecutive games. Minnesota should be a breeze after those two losses and while Vikes QB Christian Ponder is looking pretty decent, he is no Matthew Stafford - yet.

Jaguars over Buccaneers: Not too sure why I am picking Jacksonville twice in a row after getting bombed by the San Diego Chargers at home on MNF, but the inconsistency of Tampa Bay, especially on the road, combined with the same questions about who will be their QB, makes me go with the one sure thing, which is Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew. Another qualifying "Upset Special Pick of the Week."

Dolphins over Eagles: Philadelphia's free-fall and nightmare season continues as they now have to face a rejuvenated Miami team that all of a sudden, is beating almost everyone. This game is no longer even considered an upset, as the Dolphins are actually now favored over the "Dream Team" epic failure of the 2011 season.

Jets over Chiefs: New York is still hanging on to possible playoff berth and Kansas City is just another step for them. At home and against an injury-riddled Chiefs team, the Jets should be able to win this one rather easily.

Saints over Titans: Many thought that once the Texans lost their starting QB for the season, Tennessee would come from two games down to catch Houston for the AFC South title. That appears to be a fading dream as the Texans continue to win and the only chance that the Titans have may rest on upsetting New Orleans, who are just too good offensively to slow down and I just can't see the Saints losing a shoot-out to anyone other than the Packers.

49ers over Cardinals: This game will be a lot closer than most people think as despite the difference in records, this is a division game and it is in Arizona, so if San Francisco thinks the Cards will lay down, this could end up another upset like what happened to the Cowboys last week vs. Arizona, although I still like SF.

Broncos over Bears: The Tim Tebow fantasy season continues, as Denver gets a QB-challenged Chicago team that couldn't beat Oakland two weeks ago and this shouldn't be much different. Tebow proved last week that he can throw the ball and this makes the Broncos a dangerous team with former Ravens RB Willis McGahee having a great season and the ears offense having to virtually rely on a Devin Hester kickoff or punt return for a TD to win.

Packers over Raiders: If Oakland couldn't win at Miami last week, there is no way they can go into Lambeau Field and come close to upsetting an undefeated Green Bay team that appears on a path to destiny with a QB who might be having one of the best seasons in NFL history.

Chargers over Bills: San Diego is back in the hunt for the AFC West and another win will set up a tough Sunday Night Football game between them and the Ravens next week. Meanwhile, the thumped we've all heard over the past few weeks has been Buffalo come crashing down to earth and out of the playoff race.

Giants over Cowboys (Sunday Night Football): Another "Upset Special Pick of the Week" as I like New York to find a way to win as much as I like Dallas to find another way to blow a close and important fight for supremacy in the NFC East.

Seahawks over Rams (Monday Night Football): This could end up being one of, if not the lowest rated MNF game in history, with two pretty bad teams on prime time while there were so many other solid possibilities to schedule in this slot. Oh well, not worth writing about, but I like Seattle's recent play, especially the toughness of Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, over a hapless St. Louis team on the road.

Last Week: 8-8

Season Record: 118-73