NFL Week 14 Predictions: Breaking Down Games with Biggest Playoff Implications
With just four more weeks to go in the 2012-2013 NFL campaign, teams are jostling for playoff position, whether it be a divisional race or battle for a wild-card spot.
There are some big-time matchups with playoff implications in Week 14, including a game featuring Robert Griffin III's Washington Redskins, who stunned the New York Giants last week.
Let's take a look at each matchup, complete with my predictions.
Dallas Cowboys (6-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)
The Cowboys are trailing the 7-5 Seattle Seahawks for the NFC's No. 6 seed, along with the 6-6 Washington Redskins. The Seahawks and Redskins currently would win a tie-breaker over the Cowboys based on head-to-head record.
The Bengals have the same record as the Pittsburgh Steelers (who hold the AFC's No. 6 seed) but currently would lose the tie-breaker based on head-to-head record.
Cincinnati figures to win this game due to its defense, which has allowed 13 points or fewer in each of its last four games, including a 31-13 thumping of the New York Giants.
Prediction: Bengals 28, Cowboys 24
Chicago Bears (8-4) at Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
Due to their victory in Week 2, the Green Bay Packers currently hold the tie-breaker over the Bears for the NFC North.
The Vikings are one game behind the Seahawks for the NFC's No. 6 seed, but they have some work to do based on their head-to-head record against other NFC opponents.
The Vikings actually have a shot in this one, given the Bears' troubles against the run this season, but second-year quarterback Christian Ponder is going to have to step up in some regard.
If I had any faith in Ponder at this point, I would actually think about giving the game to the Vikings, but I don't have any faith in Ponder at this point. He's thrown all 11 of his interceptions in his past eight games.
Prediction: Bears 24, Vikings 17
Baltimore Ravens (9-3) at Washington Redskins (6-6)
Who will win?
The Ravens are sitting pretty atop the AFC North, but they are just behind the 10-3 Denver Broncos for the conference's No. 2 seed, which would give them a bye in the playoffs.
The Redskins, winners of three straight, have surged into the playoff hunt and currently hold the NFC's No. 7 seed.
This is a scary game for the Ravens, given that they are facing an explosive offense and their own offense has been stumbling the past three weeks.
Coming off a 23-20 loss to a Steelers team without Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and the Ravens must get back on track against the Redskins.
The good news for Baltimore is that the Redskins have allowed 7.5 yards per pass attempt this season (23rd in the league).
The bad news is that this passing game is all over the place and Flacco has generally been worse away from home. Also, Terrell Suggs is battling injury.
Prediction: Redskins 24, Ravens 21
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