Saturday, December 12, 2009

NFL Picks: Week 14

2-1 last week
20-19 overall

Miami +2 over Jacksonville
Miami's offense changed a lot last week with Chad Henne having to throw the ball 52 times. The fact that he could do that and beat the Patriots says something. Without Ronnie Brown, the Dolphins are playing a more conventional offense, and that's a good thing here. Jacksonville is porous against the pass, and while Miami would love to run the ball, Henne gives the Dolphins a bigger passing threat than they've had all year. I said earlier in the week Miami had a 40% chance of winning this game. But Mike Sims-Walker is doubtful for the Jaguars, who are an enigmatic team. Tony Sparano will get his defense to shut down Maurice Jones-Drew, and without Sims-Walker, the Jaguars don't have the playmakers to take advantage of the Dolphins weak secondary. I also like the under in this game (44).
Dolphins 20, Jaguars 17

Cincinnati +7 over Minnesota

The Bengals are back to being disrespected, and I don't trust Brett Favre in December. Some chinks started to show in the armor last week, and the Bengals' secondary might be able to get him to turn the ball over a couple times. Cincinnati wants to run the ball, and Minnesota has the Williams Wall up front, but they do lose MLB EJ Henderson. This Bengals team was able to run the ball on Baltimore and Pittsburgh when both were closer to the tops of their games. They're good enough to win this one, so it's hard to pass up 7 points.
Vikings 24, Bengals 20

Carolina +13.5 over New England
There are some questions about Tom Brady's health. He missed practice for the first time all year this week and he had to leave the game last week briefly after getting hit. Carolina has a good enough secondary to not let the Patriots' receivers kill them, and if Brady is off, they could make a few plays. The Panthers are vulnerable against the run, but even though Lawrence Maroney has played better this year, that still isn't the Patriots' strong suit. DeAngelo Williams is back for the Panthers, so Carolina will test the Patriots' run defense, which will be missing Adalius Thomas. Jake Delhomme won't be playing, but is that really a bad thing? Carolina probably won't win, but they can keep it close.
Patriots 24, Carolina 13

And in Jets news, they signed OT Ryan McKee from the practice squad to the active roster.

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