Cohen’s Corner Week 14 NFL Picks

Here’s the truth folks, Mike McCarthy should’ve been gone years ago…if not later than last offseason. His conservative playcalling in Green Bay has stifled the offense for years…and when you have an all-time talent at the QB position in Aaron Rodgers, more than one Super Bowl appearance is a must. After Green Bay’s playoff choke jobs in 2015 and 2016 (yes both were on the road – Seattle and AZ), a change should’ve strongly been considered. 2017 was a disaster without Rodgers and 2018 arguably has been worse with him!

mccarthy

I appreciate as a Packers fan that McCarthy brought a Super Bowl championship to Titletown (Green Bay)…but I’m overjoyed that he’s now gone. My first choice to replace him would be John Harbaugh of the Ravens assuming he gets canned in January. Not likely but I think he has the motivational tools necessary to get the most out of Rodgers.

And hey Cardinals fans…congrats on your win in Lambeau Field last week. But that definitely did not do anything for your future success as I outlined last week in this space…

Week 14 NFL Picks
Last Week: 10-6 Straight Up (SU),  6-10 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 129-61-2 SU, 99-93 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; home teams in caps)

TENNESSEE 23, Jacksonville 16 (ATS: Titans -4.5)
Do you really trust the Jaguars to win a road game…against a good defense…with Cody Kessler at quarterback? Neither do I.

BUFFALO 23, New York Jets 17 (ATS: Bills -3.5)
I may have been very sour on him throughout the draft process…but Josh Allen has shown me quite a bit as a scrambler in his rookie season. More than 200 yards rushing combined in the last two games. The Jets best option right now is to lose so give me Buffalo in a fairly close one.

CLEVELAND 28, Carolina 26 (ATS: Browns +1.5)
The Panthers are in an absolute free-fall and I suspect that coach Ron Rivera will be a Black Monday casualty this year. The Browns are on the rise and playing hard for interim coach Baker Mayfield. I’m riding the current momentum wave for this pick.

GREEN BAY 31, Atlanta 28 (ATS: Falcons +5.5)
I’m excited to see what Aaron Rodgers can do without being bogged down by Mike McCarthy’s ridiculously conservative playcalling. Still, the Packers’ D has been decimated by injuries and with that knowledge, I expect this game to be very close throughout.

KANSAS CITY 30, Baltimore 25 (ATS: Ravens +6.5)

Lamar Jackson is 3-0 as a starter for Baltimore…bet the Ravens wish they made the move earlier in the season. I wouldn’t be stunned to see Baltimore control the ball for 35+ minutes…but how can anyone pick against phenom Patrick Mahomes at home?

NEW ENGLAND 23, Miami 17 (ATS: Dolphins +8.5)

The Dolphins ALWAYS play the Patriots tough in Miami…I expect this one to be no different. New England wins but I really like the Dolphins getting more than a touchdown as an underdog.

NEW ORLEANS 34, Tampa Bay 24 (ATS: Saints -8.5)

The Bucs have won two-in-a-row at home and look halfway decent with Jameis Winston at the helm. But New Orleans must have this game to have a shot at the #1 overall seed in the NFC and they will do just that.

New York Giants 24, WASHINGTON 10 (ATS: Giants +1.5)

Poor Washington players and coaches. They’re now down two competent QBs for the season and stuck with freakin’ Mark Sanchez! If the Redskins win again this year, it might be a minor miracle considering their injury situation. Eli Manning may stink…but he should still win this one on the road.

HOUSTON 27, Indianapolis 16 (ATS: Texans -4.5)

Houston continues to motor on…having won a ridiculous NINE in a row. Don’t sleep on the Texans as sleeper Super Bowl contenders out of the AFC. Their win streak makes it to double digits this Sunday against Andrew Luck and company.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 32, Cincinnati 19 (ATS: Bengals +14.5)

Philip Rivers’ team will win this game with or without star RB Melvin Gordon…but giving 14.5 to the Bengals seems a bit much.

Denver 24, SAN FRANCISCO 17 (ATS: Broncos -5.5)

I have to give Broncos coach Vance Joseph a lot of credit…he was a loss to the Cardinals away from being fired in October. Now his team has a legitimate shot at being the AFC’s #6 seed in the playoffs. Heck of a turnaround. 

DALLAS 31, Philadelphia 23 (ATS: Cowboys -4.5)

The Cowboys have caught fire while the Eagles continue to muddle along in a hangover state. Last offseason I predicted that Dallas would make the playoffs and after this win, it’ll be fairly close to a lock.

PITTSBURGH 34, Oakland 20 (ATS: Steelers -11.5)
I give the Raiders a lot of credit for playing KC tough last Sunday…but their defense should put up next to no resistance to Ben Roethlisberger and his receiving weapons.

Detroit 26, ARIZONA 16 (ATS: Lions -2.5)
Matthew Stafford usually stinks it up in the desert…but the Cardinals know they need to keep losing to ensure a top-5 draft pick. OK…maybe they don’t want to admit that…but their fans should. Lions win fairly easily which makes last week’s AZ win look more stunning as a 14.5 point road ‘dog.

Los Angeles Rams 30, CHICAGO 23 (ATS: Rams -3.5)
I have to admit…I’m surprised the spread on this game is as close at it is. I would probably have made the Rams a 6 point favorite or so…as even the Bears defense shouldn’t be able to slow down LA’s potent attack.

Minnesota 27, SEATTLE 24 (ATS: Vikings +3.5)
Here’s my stunning upset of the week…the Vikings NEED this game to stay in the playoff picture which is a stunning fall from my preseason expectations for them (Super Bowl champs). Look for a game winning FG by Dan Bailey with zeroes on the clock to keep Minnesota plenty alive for both the NFC North champion and Wild Card spots.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Guidance

‘Boom & Crush’ Record (15+ PPR fantasy points from a non-must start player)
Last Week: 1-2
Overall: 22-17

‘Be Careful’ Record (12 or less PPR fantasy points from a top-15 player)
Last Week: 1-2
Overall: 22-17

Boom & Crush:
QB: Matt Ryan (ATL at GB)
RB: Dalvin Cook (MIN at SEA)
WR/TE: Amari Cooper (DAL vs. PHI)

Be Careful:
QB: Andrew Luck (IND at HOU)
RB: Leonard Fournette (JAX at TEN)
WR/TE: Brandin Cooks (LAR at CHI)

 

To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @eacohen83.

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