Poupart's picks: Week 14

Every football fan outside of four cities would love nothing more than the flexible schedule to be in place this year so we could have something better than Detroit-Green Bay and New Orleans-Atlanta in prime time this weekend. But that's for next year at the earliest. There are, however, some good games on Sunday. Here are this week's predictions.

Sunday, December 11

New England (7-5) at Buffalo (4-8): Buffalo has played pretty well at home this season, but it's also a team that always finds a way to lose. The Pats, meanwhile, could be ready to get on a roll heading into the playoffs. New England, 20-16.

Tampa Bay (8-4) at Carolina (9-3): The Panthers can just about slam the door shut on the division in this one, and we're thinking they're playing much better football than the Bucs these days. Carolina, 20-10.

Cleveland (4-8) at Cincinnati (9-3): The Bengals can all but wrap up the AFC North here, and this really should be an ugly game. Big day for Carson and Co. Cincinnati, 35-13.

Indianapolis (12-0) at Jacksonville (9-3): Yes, the Jaguars have played Indy tough in recent matchups, but we're thinking the streak isn't ending just yet. Jacksonville just didn't have enough offense to win. Indianapolis, 23-16.

St. Louis (5-7) at Minnesota (7-5): Yes, the Vikings have won five in a row, but check out who they've beaten other than the Giants -- and they won that game because of three returns for touchdowns. The Rams stop the streak. St. Louis, 24-21.

Oakland (4-8) at N.Y. Jets (2-10): Marques Tuiasosopo takes over at quarterback for the Raiders, so it will be a Tuiasosopo-Brooks Bollinger battle. Wow! Who's going to score. N.Y. Jets, 13-10.

Chicago (9-3) at Pittsburgh (7-5): The Steelers offensive line is banged up, which isn't good news against a tremendous Chicago defense. On the flip side, Bears rookie QB Kyle Orton has been awful and is on the verge of getting benched. As usual with a Bears game, not a lot of scoring. Chicago, 10-9.

Houston (1-11) at Tennessee (3-9): The Titans are bad; the Texans are worse. Tennessee, 24-17.

Washington (6-6) at Arizona (4-8): The Redskins need this game to cling to their playoff hopes and they're coming off a strong performance at St. Louis. Washington, 23-17.

N.Y. Giants (8-4) at Philadelphia (5-7): The Eagles can't possibly play worse than they did last Monday, but now they're also without Brian Westbrook, to go along with McNabb and T.O., so how do they score? N.Y. Giants, 16-6.

San Francisco (2-10) at Seattle (10-2): A monumental mismatch. Seattle, 37-7.

Kansas City (8-4) at Dallas (7-5): The Cowboys currently hold the No. 6 spot in the NFC playoff race, but their offense is in a big-time slump. But it's the defense that wins this one. Dallas, 17-16.

Baltimore (4-8) at Denver (9-3): Another ugly mismatch as the Broncos rebound. Denver, 34-10.

Miami (5-7) at San Diego (8-4): Somehow, we get the feeling the Dolphins will play the Chargers tough. But they just don't have the ammunition to win this game. San Diego, 27-20.

Detroit (4-8) at Green Bay (2-10): Is anybody going to be watching this Sunday night dud? We're thinking Brett Favre is due for a big game and it's probably going to be cold, which favors the Packers. Green Bay, 23-16.

Monday, December 12

New Orleans (3-9) at Atlanta (7-5): The Falcons haven't played particularly well lately, but the Saints just aren't a very competitive team. Atlanta, 27-14.

Last week's record: 13-3

Season record: 133-59


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