NFL Week 14 Roundup and MNF Preview

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NFL WEEK 14 ROUNDUP

Before the season started we sure didn't think sitting here in NFL Week 14 there would be seven teams out there with better won/loss records than the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos (see 8-5) but that's the deal and now you wonder if the Mile High City gang's even gonna make it back to the post-season a few weeks from now - NBC studio analyst Tony Dungy for one doesn't think they will!

And, while we're 'fessing up, who knew that the Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks and aforementioned Broncos each would score 10 points or less in NFL Week 14 setbacks? Hey, in our most recent article we even harbored thoughts of a "shootout" in Sunday night's game at MetLife Stadium but cold weather, lots of dropped passes and some shoddy quarterback play on both sides conspired all around in the New York Giants' 10-7 often-yawn-inducing win against the 3.5-point favored 'Boys.

Yet another case of the "wise" TV folks playing a night game in a freezing Northeast environment and then getting a really sloppy show (in other words, they deserve it!) ... there had to be a dozen dropped passes combined in that prime-timer plus Giants QB Eli Manning was awful and Cowboys' rookie QB Dak Prescott wasn't much better.

As it turned out, the Cowboys basically copied the same script that three other NFL teams followed earlier in the day and, this is, they were all "broomed" by a divisional opponent ... as in swept:

The big picture with the Giants sweeping Dallas - remember the 20-19 road win back in Week 1 - is that it really elevated Ben McAdoo's club in the wild card chase and it shined some light on Cowboys' issues namely America's Team has scored 17 points or less now in three of its last four games.

As far as the other sweeps, Houston (+ 6.5) stunned Indianapolis 22-17 - remember the Texans came from way back to beat the Colts 26-23 in OT back in Week 6 - and even with 14 picks this year from QB Brock Osweiler it's Houston (7-6) sharing first place with Tennessee in the AFC South;

Cincinnati (- 5.5) ruined another Sunday for the winless Cleveland Browns and thus the Bengals (5-7-1) are still kicking-and-screaming before what appears to be an inevitable boot from the post-season (with PK Mike Nugent missing another PAT and another gimme FG); and Washington (7-5-1) swept its season series from Philadelphia thanks to a gigantic 81-yard TD pass play from QB Kirk Cousins to "Willie Mays-like" WR DeSean Jackson as the Redskins' nasty 27-22 at 2.5-point pup Philly meant a clean sweep in that NFC East rivalry for Jay Gruden 's guys (see 27-20 win against the Eagles back in Week 6).

Finally, let's examine a couple of Week 14 items:

It appears the Miami Dolphins have lost QB Ryan Tannehill (195 yards passing and 3 TDs in eventual 26-23 win against Arizona) for the year with a major knee injury - now we better see Cardinals DL Calais Campbell get suspended for his low hit (yes, he also went at QB Cam Newton's knees a few weeks ago and said "sorry");

And let's just say that Week 14 losses by Buffalo, Jacksonville and San Francisco probably were the final nails in the proverbial coffin for those head coaches - the Bills' Rex Ryan, Jaguars' Gus Bradley and 49ers' Chip Kelly should not be allowed any more excuses. Finish out the year, gather your office valuables and don't let the door hit you in the backside on the way out!

 

Tonight, it's ...BALTIMORE (7-5) at NEW ENGLAND (10-2) - 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Just wanted to fill y'all in on recent NE Patriots home results:

The perennial AFC East winners are a collective 54-9 SU (straight-up) in their own backyard since the start of 2010 and the last time they played the Ravens in Foxboro it turned out to be a wild 35-31 non-cover win in the AFC Divisional Playoff round in 2014 - remember how Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh was bent out of shape by those oddball/illegal formations?

Now, you never know what the man in the "hoodie" - a/k/a Bill Belichick -- is gonna pull here but the bottom line is the TD-favored Patriots figure to throw a batch of defensive looks at QB Joe Flacco who has thrown 16 TDs and 8 INTs against QB Tom Brady-coached teams.

The Ravens finally have all hands on deck when it comes to Flacco's pass-catchers - if WRs Steve Smith/Mike Wallace/Breshad Perriman can move the chains here, this could be a doozy.

Spread Notes - New England is a sizzling 9-3 ATS (against the spread) this season and overall the Patriots are 22-10-2 spreadwise at home since the start of the 2013 season. Baltimore, meanwhile, is a better-than-you-think 7-4-1 against the odds this year and the Ravens are a decent 10-7-1 ATS as underdogs the past two-plus seasons.