And down the stretch we come, thinking we know more about the NFL by now but being reminded you just never know what can happen.
The Colts lost by 35 points in back-to-back weeks. That’s never happened before. Like ever. Now they return home for one presumably final opportunity to claim a third consecutive AFC South Division crown.
The Houston Texans are early 1.5-point favorites at Lucas Oil Stadium, which is saying something about the plight of the Colts considering the Texans have never won in Indianapolis in 13 trips. Like never.
An uninspiring week saw the spread picks (9-7) better than the straight ups (8-8). Much like the Colts, just hasn’t been my year.
(Odds by Oddsshark.com)
Buccaneers +2.5 at Rams — Some teams are full of surprises. The Rams do that twice a year, which means they’ll get the nod and cross me up. Pick: Rams 26, Bucs 23.
Jets -3 at Cowboys — Don’t know if someone thinks the Jets will take the week off or what. Dallas is a lost cause with no reason to think they will win. Pick: Jets 23, Cowboys 16.
Chiefs -7 at Ravens — Maybe Baltimore can make a game of it, but the trendy pick has been to take the opponent and give the points. So be it. Pick: Chiefs 22, Ravens 13.
Texans +1 at Colts — The home team is running out of quarterbacks and confidence is fading. But the Texans have never won in Indy. Ever. Pick: Colts 20, Texans 17.
Falcons +2.5 at Jaguars — Jacksonville has figured out its offense, so there’s no reason to stumble against a team that didn’t score a point last week. Pick: Jaguars 30, Falcons 20.
Bears +5 at Vikings — Why is it Chicago is so lousy at home but capable of pulling off upsets on the road? Sorry, but Minnesota won’t let that happen. Pick: Vikings 31, Bears 24.
Titans +15.5 at Patriots — As much as New England is banged up, a convincing double-digit win in primetime at Houston reaffirms AFC No. 1 seed status. Pick: Patriots 38, Titans 17.
Panthers -4 at Giants — The NFL’s last unbeaten team is bound to stumble sooner or later, right? And Eli Manning was near perfect Monday. Not so fast. Pick: Panthers 34, Giants 27.
Bills -1 at Redskins — Buffalo usually plays everybody tough on the road, but hasn’t won of late. Washington is best at home. But going with hunch here. Pick: Bills 27, Redskins 24.
Packers -3 at Raiders — It’s real tempting to take the home team, considering Green Bay has been unpredictable. But Oakland has been even more. Pick: Packers 27, Raiders 23.
Browns +16.5 at Seahawks — How in the world can two games in one week be giving so many points? It’s ludicrous not taking the points. Pick: Seahawks 38, Browns 17.
Broncos +7.5 at Steelers — This just in, Pittsburgh is rolling along on offense while Denver has problems scoring. Broncos defense won’t be enough. Pick: Steelers 26, Broncos 20.
Dolphins Even at Chargers — Which team still cares enough in a lost season? Good question. When in doubt, go with the home team. No clue why. Pick: Chargers 30, Dolphins 27.
Bengals -5.5 at 49ers — San Francisco returned to reality in a loss at Cleveland. Cincinnati is reeling after losing quarterback Andy Dalton. Pick: Bengals 20, 49ers 17.
Cardinals -3.5 at Eagles — Arizona is clearly the better team, but the Eagles are home for a second consecutive week. Smelling an upset here. Pick: Eagles 23, Cardinals 20.
Lions +2.5 at Saints — New Orleans won at Tampa Bay, which shouldn’t have come as a surprise considering Drew Brees will never pack it in. Pick: Saints 38, Lions 16.
Last week: 8-8 (.500).
Overall: 128-80 (.615).
Last year after week 14: 134-73-1 (.647).
Last week: 9-7 (.563).
Overall: 104-97-7 (.517).
Last year after week 14: 107-98-3 (.522).
Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.