NFC Week 14 Match Ups & Predictions

Jeff SmithCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2009

The Saints survived their closest game yet when Washington all but handed them a 33-30 overtime win in a game they should have lost. Irregardless, the win moves them to 12-0, clinches the NFC South, and pretty much hands them home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Minnesota, the second best team in the Conference, took a step backwards on Sunday when they were pasted by Arizona 30-17. Cardinal’s QB Kurt Warner was back in action and clearly was the better man against another venerable veteran QB, Brett Favre. With this win Arizona now has a three game lead in the NFC West with a chance to lock things up with a win against San Francisco this week.

The 10-2 Vikings lead in the NFC North was cut to two games with Green Bay beating Baltimore 27-14 on Monday night. The Packers moved to 8-4 on the year and firmly in place for at least a wildcard spot in the playoffs.

The NFC East is still very much up for grabs after Philadelphia beat Atlanta 34-7 to go to 8-4 and the New York Giants beat Dallas 31-24, raising their record to 7-5 and dropping the Cowboys back into a tie with Eagles at 8-4.

Moving onto week 14 in the NFC, the key match ups we will be reviewing are; Green Bay @ Chicago, Philadelphia @ N.Y. Giants, and Arizona @ San Francisco.

Green Bay Packers (-3 ) @ Chicago Bears Current Over/Under 41

With their 27-14 win over Baltimore on Monday night, Green Bay has now won four games in a row and will look to make it five against a Bears team that is already making plans for next season.

The main thing in Chicago’s favor in this game is the fact that they are 4-2 at home and that Jay Cutler has played far better in front of the home town crowd than on the road.

The Packers main advantage is the fact that they are ranked seventh in the league in points per game going up against a Bear’s defense that is ranked 21st in points allowed. Despite being the most sacked QB in the league, Aaron Rodgers has shown incredible ability to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball down field as well as the ability to escape the pressure and create some big plays with his feet. He actually leads all QB’s in rushing with 277 yards.

Green Bay’s offense will be just too much for Chicago’s defense to handle so I’m going with the Packers and the OVER.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants (-1 ) Current Over/Under 46

In a crucial NFC East match-up an Eagle’s win would maintain at least a share of the division lead while a Giant’s win would put them right back in the division race. Both teams are coming off solid victories last week as Philadelphia slammed Atlanta 34-7 and New York used a couple of long touchdowns to race past Dallas 31-24.

In the first meeting between these two teams, Philly jumped out to an early lead on some big plays and never let up rolling to a 40-7 win. This time I expect them to rely on a solid ground game with RB LeSean McCoy and FB Leonard Weaver to try and attack a Giant’s run defense that has slipped a bit lately.In their last three wins they have gone with a much more balanced attack running the ball almost as much as passing it.

The Giants running game has struggled a bit the last few games so it will be up to QB Eli Manning to use his arm to puts enough points on the board to keep up with Philadelphia’s high scoring offense.

I like the Eagles and the OVER in this one.

Arizona Cardinals (-3 ) @ San Francisco 49ers Current Over/Under 44.5

Arizona is coming off a huge 30-17 win at home over the Vikings that moved their record to 8-4 giving them a three game lead over San Francisco in the NFC West. The 49ers are coming off another tough loss on the road, falling to Seattle 20-17.

The good news is that the ‘Niners are 4-2 at home, but the bad news is that the Cardinals are 5-1 on the road and with a win on Sunday would virtually lock up their second straight division title.

Arizona has way too much fire power on offense for San Francisco to keep up in this game. When QB Kurt Warner is on, there isn’t a defense in the world that will be able to take away all the offensive weapons he has at his disposal especially a 49er’s defense that is ranked 27th against the pass.

If the Cardinals can get an early lead this one is all but over as San Francisco does not play well from behind and is only averaging 20.4 points per game. I’m going with the Cardinals and the UNDER.