Pro Football Pick 'Em Week Fourteen

Unfortunately, a few weeks have passed since I was able to update the contest between Matt Wood and I, but -- thanks to the kindness of a friend who allowed me to keep in touch with Matt via e-mail -- the picks have continued "behind the scenes", as it were, in the last three weeks, and now I am able to again put our predictions out there for you to see.

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The standings between Matt and I couldn't be closer -- literally. Matt, after Indianapolis's victory over Tennessee on Thursday, leads me by exactly one game. As of this Sunday morning-moment, Matt is 121-72 and I am 120-73. So anything is possible, as we head into Week Fourteen...

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Tampa Bay (7-5) at Washington (5-7) -- The inclination for me is to think that the Redskins have a good chance in this game, but Matt and I are both taking the Bucs to win their eighth game of the year. Tampa must be entering desperation mode, though, as Atlanta and New Orleans have separated themselves in the NFC South.

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Green Bay (8-4) at Detroit (2-10) -- The Lions keep finding new ways to lose games -- sometimes with the help of the referees -- but this week both Matt and I see a good old-fashioned Packers win happening as Green Bay tries to keep pace with the Bears.

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Oakland (6-6) at Jacksonville (7-5) -- The Jaguars need this game with a game against the Colts coming up, while the Raiders have fallen two games behind the Chiefs and have to win this one to have any realistic chance to win their division. Both Matt and I think that the Jaguars will prevail in Florida.

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Cincinnati (2-10) at Pittsburgh (9-3) -- The only way the Bengals have a chance in this game is if the Steelers overlook them or have a hangover after their win over the Ravens. Matt and I both go with Pittsburgh.

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Atlanta (10-2) at Carolina (1-11) -- Another game which is an easy pick, barring some unforeseen letdown by the Falcons. Matt and I agree for the fifth time in a row (sixth time counting the Colts' game), and we both take Atlanta.

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Seattle (6-6) at San Francisco (4-8) -- ...and here we disagree for the first time this week. Matt goes with the Seahawks to remain atop the NFC West, while I will go with the Niners -- only because they are home, and still -- at 4-8 -- have a chance to WIN THEIR DIVISION.

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St.Louis (6-6) at New Orleans (9-3) -- The Saints are on a roll while the Rams are in dogfight in the NFC West. This could be a very interesting game, but Matt and I both think that in the end, New Orleans will prevail and stay within a game of the Falcons in the tough, tough NFC South.

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New England (10-2) at Chicago (9-3) -- What a game this could turn out to be! Matt and I disagree on its outcome -- I think that a combination of a hangover for the Pats after their win over the Jets and the fact that the Bears are just good will result in a Chicago win at home, while Matt is going with the Brady Bunch, as we disagree for the second time this week.

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Denver (3-9) at Arizona (3-9) -- Matt and I both think that the Broncos will ride the shift in emotions in having a new coach and will take down the Cardinals in what is essentially a meaningless game...although, believe it or not, the Cardinals are not out of the race at 3-9 in the NFC West.

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Miami (6-6) at Jets (9-3) -- Can the Jets bounce back after losing to the Patriots in an embarrassing fashion last week? That could be tough against the Dolphins, who had their own tough loss last week to the Browns and who have proven to be much harder to beat away from home. This one could go either way, but Matt and I will both take the Jets to move to 10-3.

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Kansas City (8-4) at San Diego (6-6) -- Matt and I disagree for the third time on this one. Matt is going with the Chiefs to win on the road and knock the Chargers out of the postseason picture, while I think that San Diego comes back and stays in the race with a big win at home.

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Philadelphia (8-4) at Dallas (4-8) (Sunday night) -- The Cowboys have been renewed since switching to Jason Garrett as coach, but this should be a game that knocks them down a peg, as the tough, tough Eagles come to Big-D. Matt and I both go with Philly to keep pace with the Giants (or move ahead of them, if the Giants cannot play this week).

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Baltimore (8-4) at Houston (5-7) (Monday night) -- Matt surprises me by taking the Texans to win this one. Perhaps, at home, they can, but I am going with the Ravens to bounce back after their tough loss to Pittsburgh and to stay within hailing distance in the AFC North.

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Giants (8-4) at Minnesota (5-7) -- Whenever this game happens to be played (the where and when is in doubt after the partial collapse of the Metrodome roof) Matt and I agree that the Giants will come out on top. Of course, who knows what is possible when routines are interrupted. Even so, we will both pick the Vikings to lose their eighth game.

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and finally...Cleveland (5-7) at Buffalo (2-10) -- This week marks a first for Matt and I. This is the first time that I take the Browns and Matt picks against them. Up to now, when we have disagreed on a Browns' game, it has been me who has gone with the opponent, But this time, I take the Browns to surpass last year's win total and get their sixth win, while Matt is going with Buffalo at home.

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And there we have it. Fifteen games (or at least fourteen and a postponed game) and five disagreements, There is a chance that after this week, the contest between Matt and myself could be tied. I, for one, would find that amazing after all this time and after over 200 games -- and way cool if it happened.

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