It took 13 weeks, but we finally have our first team eliminated from playoff contention this year and to no one's surprise, that team is the Carolina Panthers.
I hate to say this Panthers fans, but it feels like your team is a year away from being four years away, so I'll be sure to look for you down the road at some point when we start talking about the 2028 playoff race.
With the Panthers eliminated from contention, now would be a good time for them to start tanking, but that won't even help because the Bears have their first-round pick in 2024. The Panthers have nothing to play for, and as such, I will not be picking them to win any of their remaining games. Oh no, now that I've told you that, that means I've now spoiled one of my picks for Week 14.
Let's get to the picks before I start spoiling more of them.
Actually, before we get to the picks, here's a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here. If you click over, you'll notice that I had the best against the spread record of any of our experts in any week this season (11-1-1). On the other hand, if you don't click over, I won't be offended. However, I will be offended if you don't sign up for CBSSports.com's NFL newsletter, which I pump out four days per week. I also have a newsletter about what it's like to write newsletters, but I won't ask you to subscribe to that one.
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Alright, let's get to the picks.
NFL Week 14 picks
New England (2-10) at Pittsburgh (7-5)
Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET (Amazon)
On paper, this is easily the worst game of Week 13 and I'm not sure what we all did to deserve this, but we clearly did something. After getting one of the wildest games in Thursday night history last week (Cowboys over Seahawks), we are now getting this. This is like going from winning the lottery one week to finding out you actually owe the lottery $7,000 the next week.
If you were to play a drinking game on Thursday where you take a drink every time one of these teams scores a touchdown, there's a 98% chance you'll end the night completely sober. If you have a toddler who can't sleep, put this game on and they will be out cold within four minutes. The Patriots offense has that effect on people.
We have two of the worst offenses in football getting ready to face each other and the best part is that these offenses might actually be worse than normal.
For the Steelers, Kenny Pickett suffered an injury on Sunday, which means Mitchell Trubisky is likely going to be making his first start of the season in this game and he'll be doing it against a Patriots defense that has only given up an average of 8.67 points per game over the past three weeks. The Chargers were barely able to score six points against the Patriots defense, and now, Trusbisky will be facing that same defense during a week where he'll have just three days to prepare.
Of course, even if the Steelers only score three points in this game, that might actually be enough to win because the Patriots currently have the worst offense in football. Bailey Zappe made his first start of the season on Sunday and led New England to exactly zero points, and somehow, the offense still managed to look better than it did with Mac Jones running it.
The NFL sometimes gives us games that are so bad that they're actually entertaining. I do not think this will be one of those games.
The pick: Steelers 13-10 over Patriots
If you want a more analytical approach to your NFL picks, then I highly suggest that you check out the SportsLine Projection Model, which has been on fire this year. Check it out if you want to know which side to bet for every game in Week 14.
Jacksonville (8-4) at Cleveland (7-5)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
When I see that a team from Florida is playing a team from the Midwest on the road in December, the first thing I usually do is Google the weather for the game, so I decided to Google Cleveland's weather for Sunday, and I have some bad news for the Jaguars: It's going to be cold.
For most teams, it doesn't usually matter what the weather is going to be, but it matters for the Jaguars because no one hates cold weather more than them. The game-time temperature on Sunday is expected to be about 45 degrees, which I'm only noting because since the start of the 2018 season, the Jaguars are 1-12 in any game where the kickoff temperature is below 45 degrees. And that only win came against the 2022 Jets, so I'm not even sure we can technically count that as a win.
I made it through two paragraphs of this pick without mentioning Trevor Lawrence's injury, but that's pretty big, so I'll go ahead and mention it now. I have no idea how long Lawrence will be out after getting injured on Monday night, but I don't think we'll see him in this game, which means that Jags will be rolling out C.J. Beathard.
If Beathard does start, he'll be starting his first game since 2020 and he'll be doing it against a Browns defense that's surrendering just 260.5 yards per game this season, which ranks FIRST overall in the NFL. The Jaguars have faced two other defenses ranked in the top five and they averaged SIX points per game in those contests and that was WITH Lawrence (They lost to the Chiefs 17-9 and they lost to the 49ers 34-3). They might not score a single point against the Browns.
Although I think the Browns defense is going to dominate, that doesn't automatically mean I can pick Cleveland to win and that's mostly because of their QB situation. The Browns are either going to be starting a banged-up rookie (Dorian Thompson-Robinson) or a guy who spent the first 11 weeks of the season at home on his couch (Joe Flacco).
As someone who once sat on my couch for 11 straight weeks in college, I feel like I relate better to people like that. I'm taking Cleveland.
The pick: Browns 20-13 over Jaguars
The pick (If Lawrence somehow plays): Browns 20-17 over Jaguars
Seattle (6-6) at San Francisco (9-3)
4:05 p.m. ET (Fox)
If it feels like you just saw these two teams play, that's because you did. Someone in the NFL scheduling department clearly got a little lazy because this game will mark the second time in three weeks that these two teams have met (Week 12 and Week 14). I mean, I'm pretty sure I still have some leftover green bean casserole from Thanksgiving in my refrigerator that was in there the last time they played, which reminds me, does anyone know how long it takes before green bean casserole goes bad?
The only thing more depressing than my green bean casserole has been the Seahawks' play over the past few weeks. Heading into Week 11, the Seahawks were 6-3 and it looked like they were going to be a shoo-in to make the playoffs. However, they've now lost three straight and things won't be getting any easier with the 49ers this week. They're basically stuck in a must-win game and they're facing a team they can't beat.
Including the playoffs, they've lost four straight to the 49ers. In those four games, the 49ers have outscored the Seahawks by an average score of 30-14 and they've also out-gained Seattle by an average of 490-261.3. A big reason for that is because of Christian McCaffrey, who has averaged 165 scrimmage yards per game in his career against the Seahawks, which is the third-highest total in NFL HISTORY for one player against a single-opponent.
Another problem for the Seahawks is that their defense seems to be broken. In their past five games, the Seahawks are allowing an average of 30.4 points per game (To put that in perspective, they only surrendered an average of 12.5 points per game from Weeks 4 through 8).
So what this comes down to is this: The 49ers are better at almost every position on offense, the 49ers defense is playing much better than Seattle's and the 49ers haven't lost to this team in two years.
If the Seahawks win, I will eat my rancid green bean casserole and enjoy it, but I don't think they're going to win.
The pick: 49ers 31-23 over Seahawks
Buffalo (6-6) at Kansas City (8-4)
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
If there are two AFC playoff contenders that I don't trust right now, it's the Chiefs and the Bills. To give you an idea of how I rate trustworthy things, I also don't trust single-ply toiler paper, people who like mustard or small cats.
Before the season started, the Bills and Chiefs were both viewed as Super Bowl contenders, but right now, they're both in the middle of a midseason collapse. Since Week 8, both teams have gone 2-3 and they haven't looked very impressive.
The Chiefs can't score and a big reason for that is because Patrick Mahomes is looking mortal, but it's hard to blame him for anything because the Chiefs don't really have a lot of receiving talent behind Travis Kelce. On the Bills' end, their defense is a mess and Josh Allen can't stop turning the ball over, but it's hard to completely blame him, because it seems like he's trying to make things happen for a team that has lost all six of its games this year by six points or less.
Despite those struggles on both sides, I still think we're going to get a wild game on Sunday and that's because Mahomes and Allen seem to bring out the best in each other. In four career games against each other, Allen has thrown for 14 touchdowns to go along with just two interceptions while averaging 276.4 passing yards per game. As for Mahomes, he's averaging 306.7 yards per game against the Bills in his career and it feels like there's a very good chance we'll see him top that number this week.
I think what I'm trying to say is that this game feels like it's destined to be a shootout, which is why you're going to want to have your television tuned to CBS at 4:25 p.m. ET and if you don't own a television, then you can stream it on Paramount+. And if you don't have the internet, you can go to a bar. And if you don't live near a bar, then buy a radio. I don't care how you do it, I'd just make sure you're keeping tabs on this game.
Although the Bills can't seem to beat the Chiefs in the playoffs, that hasn't been the case in the regular season. This will mark the third straight year that the Bills have had to play a regular-season game in Kansas City and they won in 2021, they won in 2022, and I feel like they're going to also win in 2023.
The pick: Bills 30-27 over Chiefs
Philadelphia (10-2) at Dallas (9-3)
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
For the second time in a month, we're getting a showdown between the Cowboys and Eagles, and this time, the stakes are even higher: The winner of this game will take over first place in the NFC East with just four weeks left to play in the season.
When two division rivals play each other for the second time in a season, I usually throw the results of the first game out the window, but there are no windows around me right now, so I can't do that, which might actually be a good thing, because I think that first game kind of gives us a small hint of what's going to happen this time around.
Although the Eagles won the first meeting 28-23, I've watched that game roughly 19 times and it feels like a game that Dallas should have won by two touchdowns. The Cowboys had THREE different possessions in the fourth quarter where they drove inside of Philadelphia's 30-yard line, but didn't manage to come away with any points.
The Cowboys led at halftime, they out-gained the Eagles by more than 100 yards (406-292) and they looked like the better team for three of the four quarters, but the Eagles inexplicably won the game because there is no team in the NFL better at inexplicably winning games than the Eagles.
That being said, I don't think they're going to win this week. As we all know, I love to pick against the Eagles and I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't pick against them. There are two big things I don't like for Philly this week. For one, this game is being played in Dallas. Although the Cowboys are very beatable on the road, they're undefeated at home this year and they've been destroying everyone. They're 6-0 at Jerry World and they've AVERAGED 41 points per game in those wins.
Also, let's not forget that Dak Prescott always seems to save his best games for when he's playing Philadelphia. In his past four meetings with the Eagles, Prescott has thrown 14 touchdowns compared to just one interception. He's also completed 74% of his passes in those games while averaging 313.5 passing yards per game. When these two teams played last month, Dak threw for 374 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cowboys almost always seem to choke when they face a good team, so I always get nervous whenever I pick them to win in a big spot, but they were my preseason pick to get to the Super Bowl out of the NFC, which means they're going to have to win a big game at some point and I say they do that here.
The pick: Cowboys 34-24 over Eagles
NFL Week 14 picks: All the rest
Lions 30-23 over Bears
Bengals 27-24 over Colts
Saints 20-13 over Panthers
Texans 24-13 over Jets
Falcons 23-20 over Buccaneers
Ravens 27-20 over Rams
Raiders 23-20 over Vikings
Chargers 23-16 over Broncos
Dolphins 34-20 over Titans
Packers 27-17 over Giants
Best pick: Last week, I said the 49ers would beat the Eagles by at least a touchdown and guess what happened? The 49ers beat the Eagles by three touchdowns. Now did I know that a giant fight was going to break out on the field involving someone named 'Big Dom?' Of course, I did. If I've learned one thing from watching every Rocky movie multiple times, it's that you always have to be ready to throw hands with an Italian guy when you're in Philadelphia.
That being said, my first rule of fighting is to never fight anyone who has the words 'Big' and/or 'Dom' in their name, so Dre Greenlaw is much braver than me.
Worst pick: I only missed ONE pick against the spread in Week 13, but I won't be taking a victory lap and that's because the dumb Texans got me again. I'm starting to think that for the rest of the season, the "worst pick" section is just going to be me venting about how I always get my Texans picks wrong. To be honest though, I don't even blame the Texans for ruining my pick, I blame Russell Wilson. He had not thrown an interception SINCE OCTOBER 12, which is one reason why I picked the Broncos to upset the Texans, but of course, Wilson then promptly fell flat on his face by throwing three interceptions on Sunday. As if that's not bad enough, the Broncos didn't convert a SINGLE third down. I expect that type of ineptitude out of the Jets or the Panthers, but not Russell Wilson and the Broncos.
Speaking of the Jets, the Texans are playing them this week and if I get that pick wrong, I might just have to retire from making Texans picks.
Finally, if you guys have ever wondered which teams I'm actually good at picking, here's a quick look at my best and worst teams when it comes to picks this year.
Teams I'm 11-1 picking this year (Straight up): Panthers, Jets
Longest winning streak: Jets (Six straight wins)
Team I'm 2-10 picking this year (Straight up): Texans
Longest losing streak: Bengals (Four straight losses)
Every other team is somewhere in the middle.
Straight up in Week 13: 9-4
SU overall: 118-75 (2-10 picking the Texans, 116-65 picking everyone else)
Against the spread in Week 13: 11-1-1
ATS overall: 97-89-7