With the NFL playoff race heating up this December, there'll be no shortage of high-stakes matchups for fans to enjoy in Week 14.
More than half of the league will be in action on Sunday afternoon while the day's evening and night action will be headlined by two massive NFC division clashes as the Seahawks hit the road to battle the 49ers and the Panthers visit the Superdome to take on the Saints.
With kickoff right around the corner, here's a look at my picks for every remaining Week 14 matchup.
|Cincinnati Bengals (-5)||Indianapolis Colts|
|Green Bay Packers||Atlanta Falcons|
|New England Patriots (-10.5)||Cleveland Browns|
|Oakland Raiders||New York Jets (-3)|
|Philadelphia Eagles (-3)||Detroit Lions|
|Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)||Miami Dolphins|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5)||Buffalo Bills|
|Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5)||Washington Redskins|
|Baltimore Ravens (-6)||Minnesota Vikings|
|Denver Broncos (-11.5)||Tennessee Titans|
|Arizona Cardinals (-6)||St. Louis Rams|
|San Diego Chargers (-3)||New York Giants|
|Seattle Seahawks||San Francisco 49ers (-2.5)|
|New Orleans Saints (-4)||Carolina Panthers|
|Chicago Bears (-1.5)||Dallas Cowboys|
Lines according to VegasInsider.com
Cincinnati Bengals Over Indianapolis Colts
The Bengals are one of only five teams in the NFL that will enter Week 14 with a perfect home record. But Cincinnati has done much more than just hold serve at home; the Bengals have dominated.
Expect the AFC North leaders to turn in another impressive performance at Paul Brown Stadium against the Indianapolis Colts this weekend.
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The Colts have been slow starters of late, and that doesn't bode well against an opponent of Cincy's caliber. After all, the Bengals' average margin of victory at home in 2013 is 16.4 points. Therefore, a sluggish start similar to previous ones against St. Louis and Arizona could have Indy buried by halftime.
On top of the Bengals' brilliance at home, Cincinnati has built tremendous momentum over the past few weeks following back-to-back overtime losses. After their Week 12 bye, the Bengals picked up a signature win over the Chargers out West in which they forced three turnovers and held San Diego to just 10 points.
Meanwhile, the Colts have been unable to develop a rhythm since shocking the Denver Broncos in Week 7 and haven't won two or more games in a row since Week 5.
Philadelphia Eagles Over Detroit Lions
Unlike the Bengals, the Philadelphia Eagles have been anything but reliable at home in 2013. But that won't stop Chip Kelly's surging squad from knocking off the Detroit Lions this weekend.
The reason: Turnovers.
Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has yet to throw an interception since taking over the starting job while Lions signal-caller Matthew Stafford has tossed 14 picks through 12 games. He threw four in Week 12's home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
|Eagles +5||Eagles +10||Eagles +15|
As a team, the Eagles have done a much better job of taking care of the ball. Philly ranks sixth in the NFC heading into Week 14 with a plus-7 turnover differential, while Detroit ranks 13th in the conference at minus-8.
Keep in mind that Foles isn't just handing the ball off to LeSean McCoy and managing games, but he's helping win them. The second-year passer has 19 touchdown passes this season and will continue to light it up against Detroit's 26th-ranked pass defense.
Seattle Seahawks Over San Francisco 49ers
It's hard to believe, but the streaking Seahawks will be slight underdogs when they head to Candlestick Park to battle the division-rival 49ers in Week 14.
If there's an underdog to bet on this weekend, though, it's Seattle. The Hawks have won seven in a row and are coming off a 27-point win over a nine-win New Orleans Saints team.
While it would be silly to expect Sunday's rematch to unfold exactly the same way Week 2's meeting did, there are sure to be some key similarities. Watch for Colin Kaepernick and San Francisco's aerial attack to once again struggle against Seattle's top-ranked secondary.
Offensively, look for the Seahawks to protect the ball as they've done all year and establish the run early en route to surpassing the 100-yard mark on the ground again as they did in Week 2.
The team that has out-rushed the other has won all five previous 49ers-Seahawks match-ups... http://t.co/bhBdlf37Ks— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) December 2, 2013
The rematch will be much closer with both teams playing well and the Niners playing at home. But Seattle is clearly the more dangerous team on both sides of the ball right now and should be expected to continue its march to secure the NFC's No. 1 seed.
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