Week 14: Lion Lowdown NFL Picks

James Gullett ((Last Week 2-3) This Season 27-17)

Lions at Buccaneers
Pick: 
Lions 27-20
Reason: The Lions would lose to about 25 teams this week in my opinion with the injury to Stafford (he will play but not at 100%). Wagner, Abullah, and Agnew are all out. However, Tampa Bay is not one of those 25 aforementioned teams. Their defense is a joke and they have allowed the 31st most yards to receivers out of the 32 teams. The Lions have a trio of amazing WR’s with Jones, Tate, and Golladay. They should have a field day against Tampa Bay.

In addition, the Bucs defense has LESS sacks on the year than the Lions defense, and people around town have been laughing at the Lions lack of pass rush.

Packers at Browns
Pick: Packers 17-14
Reason: This is the Browns best chance at getting a win all year. That being said, they don’t get it. Green Bay’s run game will be the difference in this one I think, Green Bay will take the ball out on Hundley’s hands. Both defenses are bad but the Browns are going to be without the likes of Peppers, which will impact them a lot more then people think. He has had a bad season, yes, but anytime you lose your kick and punt returner, it’s a big deal.

Also, Green Bay in in the playoff hunt and know Rodgers is on his way back soon. They should play with a lot of fire knowing this season is not lost.

Bears at Bengals
Pick: Bengals 21-14
Reason:  The Bears are on the road and are not a good team– to put it simply. There is no real stars you have to watch out for on either side of the ball. Howard is very good but they have been giving him less touches in favor of Cohen. The Bengals have some star players like AJ Green. I expect the Bengals to win this one.

Vikings at Panthers
Pick: Vikings 10-9
Reason: This will be a close game. After the Panthers traded away their best WR, this game should be a lock for the Vikings. Rhodes is a dominant CB who now only has to take on Devin Funchess. This is a game with two teams both built around defense. It could be a low scoring game, but Diggs and Thielen will give them enough to win.

Ravens at Steelers
Pick: Steelers 24- 17
Reason:  The Steelers have been on a tear and with the thoughts of star LB Shazier in their head, they will explode in this one. Bell and Brown are  the best 1-2 punch in the NFL and even for the Ravens defense, will be too much.

Jace Osborn-Sweet ((Last Week 2-3) This Season 25-19)

Lions at Buccaneers:
Pick: Lions 31-28
Reason: This Bucs defense is just not good so far into the season and their corners continuously get burnt. Combining that with the Lions absolutely needing to win this, I think Stafford pulls it out in a close one with either defenses being able to really stop the other.

Packers at Browns:
Pick: Packers 24-14
Reason: This Browns team is destined to go 0-16. After 1-15 last year, I don’t see them winning a game. However, with that said, don’t expect a blow out. The browns D is better than it’s shown credit. Expect Hundley to force passes and create some turnovers.

Bears at Bengals:
Pick: Bengals 27-17
Reason: This Bears team is really underrated but the Bengals are just better in my opinion. I expect a close one and a huge game from Jordan Howard. The Bengals will still pull it out.

Vikings at Panthers:
Pick: Vikings 21-13
Reason: The Vikings are on a tear and I don’t think anyone saw that coming, but this Panthers offense is something to worry about. Expect Cam to be hurried and possibly to have a big game on the ground. I still think the Vikings pull it out behind case Keemun & Co.

Ravens at Steelers:
Pick: Steelers 31-17
Reason: The rivalry, gritty play is to be seen here. This game could go either way but I will go with the more talented team here. I expect it to be close but not too close with Star CB Jimmy Smith out. Expect a big game from Brown.

Tyler Bantle ((Last Week 1-4) This Season 7-9)

Lions at Buccaneers
Pick: Lions 27-17
Reason: Both the Lions and Bucs come in fresh off of tough losses and are looking to bounce back. The Buccaneers have been riddled with controversy, injuries, and falling well below the team’s expectations this season. Matthew Stafford is playing despite his hand injury and will be taking on a Bucs secondary that is 31st in the NFL. WR Mike Evans will be blanketed by Darius Slay, who has performed well versus the best receivers this year. The matchups point to Detroit, so they should win. I emphasize the word “should.”Packers at Browns
Pick: Browns 23-21
Reason: Why not, right? In Cleveland, GB is without Rodgers still, the Browns receiving core is one of its strongest assets, while the Packers’ secondary is the 7th worst. GM change in Cleveland (an annual scenario it feels like) and another week for Josh Gordon with Deshone Kizer makes this Cleveland’s best chance to upset Green Bay in a long time.

Bears at Bengals
Pick: Bengals 24-14
Reason: Bengals looked like a playoff team through 2 1/2 quarters last Monday night until the Steelers came roaring back. Cincinnati is the AFC’s version of Detroit. Win games that they should, cannot finish games they could win. This is a game they should win, as their pass rush is relentless on young QBs. Jordan Howard is the Bears’ ticket to victory, but he’s been too inconsistent this year to rely on him.

Vikings at Panthers
Pick: Vikings 24-17
Reason: Over the last 4 weeks, Minnesota have controlled and beaten teams that are in the playoffs or fighting for the playoffs. Carolina is improving, but their loss versus NO last week reminded us how unreliable this team is. Minnesota’s defense is gonna put the pressure on Cam and force him to make the right reads quickly. The Vikings are the better team, so if they play like they’re supposed to, they’ll win this one as well.

Ravens at Steelers
Pick: Steelers 24-20
Reason: Two straight nasty AFC North games in prime time is what December football is all about. Steelers nation will be loud and passionate after the tough loss of young LB Ryan Shazier, as cleats are already being made in his support. Additionally, the Ravens’ high point total versus Detroit was not thanks to a high powered offense, but a weakened defense of Detroit. Steelers should handle this one.

Walker Kelly ((Last Week 3-2) This Season 7-4)

Lions at Buccaneers
Pick: Lions 28-25
Reason: Against most teams, I would pick against the Lions this week given their injuries and recent poor play. The Bucs are not most teams. Tampa’s secondary is awful, which should lead to big games for Detroit’s receivers. The Lions do enough on offense to scrape by in this one.

Packers at Browns
Pick: Packers 24-17
Reason: Cleveland is a bad team. This pick is more about the Browns being poor than the Packers being any sort of good. The only way Green Bay loses is if Josh Gordon puts up something like 150 yards and two scores, which is unlikely in just his second game in almost three years. The Packers will run the ball effectively enough to escape Cleveland with a win.

Bears at Bengals
Pick: Bengals 22-14
Reason: Chicago appears to have given up on the season, and Cincinnati has played better as the season has progressed. The Bears have no answer for A.J. Green, and their offense is nowhere near strong enough to make up for it. The Bengals should take this game comfortably.

Vikings at Panthers
Pick: Vikings 24-10
Reason: Carolina got lucky to beat the Jets and were comprehensively beaten by the Saints in their last two games. I’m not convinced the Panthers are a particularly good team. Conversely, the Vikings have won eight games in a row and appear to be legitimate contenders due to their outstanding defense and ball control offense. In my opinion, Minnesota is clearly the better team, and they will dominate this matchup accordingly.

Ravens at Steelers
Pick: Steelers 20-16
Reason: First things first: prayers to Ryan Shazier. I hope you make a full recovery. Regarding the game, I expect a tough defensive battle between these two rivals. Pittsburgh simply has more offensive talent with Brown and Bell, and that gives them the advantage in this contest.

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