Don’t look now but the equipment managers in Foxborough are still picking up pieces of the Jets after the Patriots reduced the trash-talking Jets to just trash. The 45-3 drubbing was the worst loss of the Rex Ryan regime, and the fifth largest blowout victory in New England Patriots history.
The Jets talked a big game but the Patriots came out on Monday Night Football and showed the world how much talk is worth in the NFL: nothing. Bill Belichick and the Patriots exemplified their supreme ability to manage and author a strategy that was fully prepared for whatever Ryan and the Jets threw at them.
Following the victory, Tom Brady filed one of the more memorable quotes of the NFL season that your LIPressPicks guru is taking heart for Week 14.
“We don’t listen to the hype,” Brady said. “I don’t think we ever have. We really take after our coach [Bill Belichick], and he says, “When you win, say little. When you lose, say less.”
In the spirit of saying less and knowing more, here are my picks for Week 14 in the NFL.
Percentages taken from fan voting on LI Press Picks Football Pool. Picks indicated in bold.
Indianapolis (6-6) 90% picked @ Tennessee (5-7) 10% picked
Is that Peyton Manning playing for the Colts these days? During the Colts’ current three-game losing streak, Manning has thrown 11 interceptions with back-to-back 4 INT games occurring for the first time in his storied career. But the Titans are winless in their last three meetings with the Colts as Manning threw for 5 TDs and just one interception. With the Colts still in control of their playoff destiny, expect Manning to right the ship in a must-win game on the road.
Cleveland (5-7) 74% picked @ Buffalo (2-10) 26% picked
Buffalo is horrid at defending the run, and Cleveland’s featured back, Peyton Hillis, is averaging 4.4 yards per carry with a habit of running over defensive backs. The Bills allowed three Adrian Peterson rushing touchdowns and 210 yards on the ground (5.3 yards per rush) in their 38-14 loss in Minnesota last week.
New England (10-2) 76% picked @ Chicago (9-3) 24% picked
After the Patriots’ dominant win against the Jets last week, I’m hard pressed to go against a red-hot Patriots team even on the road against an equally hot Bears team. In the last seven games, Tom Brady has thrown for 260.9 yards per game with 17 touchdowns and no interceptions. All hail the MVP.
Tampa Bay (7-5) 81% picked @ Washington (5-7) 19% picked
Tampa Bay came up short again against the Falcons last week but match up with a Redskins team that was embarrassed by the Giants, 31-7. The Redskins have suspended DT Albert Haynesworth without pay for four games for “conduct detrimental to the club” although his presence has made little difference for the 5-7 Redskins.
Atlanta (10-2) 99% picked @ Carolina (1-11) 1% picked
For a brief moment in Seattle last week, the Panthers had a 14-0 lead, but then allowed the Seahawks to rattle off 31 straight points after being blanked in the second half. Two of Atlanta’s last four games come against the hapless Panthers, which should secure home-field advantage for the NFC’s elite.
Oakland (6-6) 24% picked @ Jacksonville (7-5) 76% picked
Which Oakland Raiders team will show up this week? After falling flat on their faces against the Steelers and the Dolphins, the Raiders spit on the 12.5 spread against the Chargers and ran for 251 yards in route to a win over the Chargers.
Green Bay (8-4)95% picked @ Detroit (2-10) 5% picked
The Lions have been a staple of misery in the NFL for the past decade: The Lions have lost 10 or more games in nine of the last 10 seasons.
NY Giants (8-4) 75% picked @ Minnesota (5-7) 25% picked
The Giants enter Minnesota licking their chops with an opportunity to avenge a 44-7 loss to the Vikes in their previous meeting in January. Brett Favre has been starting games with the Vikings but has had trouble staying on the field. Last week, after one play against the Bills, Favre was removed after taking a shot that derailed him with a strained shoulder.
Cincinnati (2-10) 3% picked @ Pittsburgh (9-3) 97% picked
The Steelers took advantage of some questionable play calling towards the end of their game with the Ravens, and squeaked out a tough, 13-10 victory in Baltimore. The Bengals are looking more and more like the “Bungles” each week.
For the afternoon games, we’re moving fast to wrap up this week’s picks with Week 15’s speed round.
Picks indicated in bold.
St. Louis (6-6) 4% picked @ New Orleans (9-3) 96% picked
Seattle (6-6) 48% picked @ San Francisco (4-8) 52% picked
Miami (6-6) 6% picked @ NY Jets (9-3) 94% picked
Denver (3-9) 64% picked @ Arizona (3-9) 36% picked
Kansas City (8-4) 44% picked @ San Diego (6-6) 56% picked
Baltimore (8-4)93% picked @ Houston (5-7) 7% picked
Philadelphia (8-4) 76% picked @ Dallas (4-8) 24% picked