• Pigskin Pundit’s Picks: Struggling Coaches — and Everyone Else — Face NFL Week 14

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    Surge Summary:  National Football League week fourteen reminds fans that not a few head coaches are likely heading for the career chopping block. Pigskin Pundit offers some predictions along those lines – and for the outcomes of all the upcoming games.

    by Pigskin Pundit

    Well, it’s time for a look ahead at which head coaching jobs will be vacant by season’s end.  Everybody knows that Adam Gase is dead man walking in NY, and with the certain addition of Trevor Lawrence next year, that job will become a plum assignment.  The Chargers’ top slot will also likely be open, as Anthony Lynn has taken that team from 12-4 to what will probably be 4-12, in three seasons.  Everyone on Planet Earth knows the Chargers are much better than Lynn has them playing, and that team is an attractive landing spot for a new coach.  Matt Patricia made people miss Jim Caldwell in Detroit, which isn’t easy.  Raheem Morris has the Falcons playing better, but HE may want a different opportunity come February.  The two Dougs, Marrone in Jacksonville and Pederson in Philly, have dug themselves pretty deep holes, and may find that they buried their careers.  Bruce Arians is probably gone from Tampa at season end, by mutual consent.  The Texans’ talent search is already staffed and underway.  Will Matt Nagy get Bear-hugged goodbye after this aimless season in Chicago?  Time will tell.  I went a respectable 12-3 last week, so I’m safe for the time being (whew!).  Here’s the picks.

    Patriots at Rams – I love the way Belichick continues to scheme with what sparse ingredients he has, cooking up some recipe to combat each team he faces.  No other NFL coach I can think of has ever done it so well for so long.  That said, this is the Rams, and they are home on a mission to clinch the NFC West.  Their 3rd-ranked defense will strangle New England’s weak passing game, forcing them to rely even MORE on the run.  Goff is no Dan Marino, as the Pats’ defense will demonstrate, but LA should win this low-scoring grapple.  Aaron comes tearin’ after scootin’ Newton, as LA stays abreast in the West.

    Vikings at Buccaneers – Tampa was expected to contend for the division, but at 7-4 they have been whacked by mediocrity and a lack of cohesiveness.  Their vaunted D has been slipping for several weeks, not a good trend down the stretch.  In their favor this week is the fact that Minnesota’s D isn’t even in the Top 20.  Still, the Bucs will have their hands full keeping Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson from gashing them for big gains.  In a punchers’ bout, the Jolly Rogers outlasts the Purple Pounders.

    Cardinals at Giants – Red Team, Blue Team.  Both need a win to protect playoff hopes.  The Cards are struggling at the wrong time, while the NYG’s are rapidly becoming the defense nobody wants to play.  If a healthy Danny-boy returns under center, it could be Giant for division-leading (yup) New York’s chances this week.  Still, let’s face it; Arizona is a better team all around, and they need the win more.  Blue state turns Red…this week.

    Chiefs at Dolphins – This is actually a really interesting game.  KC has shown signs at times of being vulnerable at run-stopping (10th overall defense), and being contained by stubborn secondaries that don’t allow open real estate for Mahomes to throw at.  Miami comes in with the 4th overall ranked defense, so this game boils down to OFFENSE.  We know what the Chiefs can do…at any time…without warning.  We don’t know what Tua can do-ah when his team needs points in a hurry.  Should be a great game, but with Andy’s Arsenal of Weapons of Mass Reception, it’s still only a question of when…not if.  Phins get skinned agin’.

    Titans at Jaguars – Tennessee confuses me as to why every other game has to be a ‘statement game’ about who they really are…after laying an egg the week prior.  Be Titans or be frightened, but FIGURE IT OUT, dangit!  This is your ‘get right’ game here, and you better thank the schedule gods for that, and go beat Slacksonville like a rented mule.  Otherwise, you are Minnesota Lite.  Knock it off, and knock ‘em off.

    Cowboys at Bengals – Dear God, what a dreary game.  This zombie apocalypse got flexed to earlier Sunday because the NFL wanted to sell some beer after 6:00 PM, and this flea-infested dog of a game couldn’t compete with Barney reruns on Sunday Night.  Dallas is horrible on D, but they face zero offense from rudderless Cincy since Burrow went down.  The Red Rerun’s Return home spells a V for Big D.

    Texans at Bears – DaBears are broken.  Their D is D-cent, but what are they playing for?  They keep giving their offense Da Ball, and the offense keeps giving it back to Da other guys.  Houston has issues, but they should have no problem adding a Bearskin rug to their bunkhouse floor this week.  The Chicago fans will be Nagging Matty after this loss.

    Broncos at Panthers – What is 4-8 and looking for vindication?  BOTH of these teams.  Denver’s D has earned the league’s respect, as does the groundwork of Mel Gordon, when those dreads get to flying out behind his helmet on a long scamper into open space.  The difference in this game is Christian McCaffrey IF HE PLAYS…and Drew ‘Duckball’ Lock, whose wobbly passes appear to spin in three directions at once.  Lock is the liability here, and it’s a huge one.  As James Taylor sang, ‘In my mind I’m goin’ with Carolina…’

    Jets at Seahawks – The Jets fly into Boeing-town appropriately this week, and Pete Carroll will be singing carols of thanksgiving for a critical win, after his team got bested by the Giants last week.  Russell Wilson took a turf dive five times in that match, not a good recipe for post-season prep.  This game won’t be a bye for Seattle…but it will be a win.  GangGreen gets thumped by Day-Glo Green.

    Colts at Raiders – Good matchup.  Two slingers, a handful of aggressive receivers, and some solid defense.  Look for Indy’s pass defense to set the tone in this one, and hold the fort in the late going.  No Gregg Williams to flub the final call this week, so give the narrow edge to Indy.  In Vegas, Horseshoes are lucky.

    WFT at Niners – Mr. Smith goes from Washington…back to the old neighborhood.  He lost his job in San Fran to Colin Kaeperkneel…then lost his job in Kansas City to Patrick Mahomes.  This current job is his as long as he wants it, since neither of the other two QBs look like long-timers in the NFL.  Shanahan’s gold panners have recovered much of their roster from injury, and hope to get Jimmy ‘GQ’ Garoppolo back maybe this week…in which case, Washington will promptly place him BACK on the Injured list as their Sackenstein’s monster, Chase Young, chases him down.  I like the FT in this matchup, even though Frisco has more talent.  Niners get ‘Skinned (get it?) at home.

    Saints at Eagles – I like easy ones.  Philly is ‘Free Fallin’ as Tom Petty sang, while the Saints are going for the NFC clinch.  Hurts will, when the Saints go marching in.

    Falcons at Chargers – Two vastly underperforming teams come together to combine their lack of ability to finish a game off in this matchup.  At the end of the day, Raheem Morris is a better coach than Anthony Lynn, and his team more seasoned where it matters.  Old gunslinger lays the young gunslinger in the dust, as the Falcons soar.

    Packers at Lions – Well, the Lions didn’t let me down last week, proving my assertion that regime change usually gives a team a bump in performance.  This week that bump becomes a crater, as Green Bay’s highway to the playoffs runs through Detriot.  The Lambeau Express is about to remind these toothless cats that they are still the Lions, for now.  Meow.

    Steelers at Bills – Pittsburgh was overdue to lose, and will be seen as one of the worst 11-0 teams ever due to weak offense.  The Bills blasted through San Fran like the great earthquake of 1906 last week, as Josh Allen improved to a solid 9-3.  The Steelers will make him pay for holding the ball, but he is also highly mobile and happy to throw it long, versus Timelessburger’s short zips.  It’s classic blue-collar, smashmouth football on tap in Orchard Park this week!  Gimme a bratwurst…and the Bills by five.

    Ravens at Browns – THIS…is the game.  The two best running teams in the league, division rivals who already played one, two solid defenses, what more could you want?  The NFL flexed this baby into prime time SNF and dumped the dumpster fire Cowboys/Bengals game into 1:00 to run against the other games.  This is a statement game for the Browns, and a stay-alive game for the Ravens.  If Cleveland wants to settle for more than just a winning record, they need to win games like this against hungry, worthy opponents.  My guess is they are going to find out they are not only a good team, but a…contender.  Orange is the new black…and Cleveland is finally back.

    Enjoy the games!

    -PP (Nate Clark)

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Image: By Mcdermottk48 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54698884

    Nathan Clark is a conservative commentator who resides with his wife in New Hampshire. He is passionate about preserving the vision of our nation’s Founders and advancing those tried and true principles deep into America’s future. His interests range broadly from flyfishing, cooking and shooting to pro sports, gardening, live music and fine-scale modeling.

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