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Each week this season, OutKick will get you primed for an NFL Sunday on the couch by telling you which games deserve the most attention. For Week 14, here we go…
NFL Sunday Games Worth Watching From Opening Kick Until Final Whistle
- New York Jets (7-5) at Buffalo Bills (9-3), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main storyline: If you told me at the beginning of the season that the New York Jets would make back-to-back appearances in this tier in Weeks 13 and 14, I’d have said “please stop talking to me, Jets fan.” But here we are! This came down to which East matchup between potential playoff participants do we want, and ultimately I landed here. Why? Revenge.
The Jets beats the Bills in Week 9 and Buffalo hasn’t had a real home game in nearly a month. They lost that game, too, by the way (the crazy Vikings game that went to overtime). I think Bills Mafia will be riled up, and I think the points will be flowing in a game expected to be defensive. That’s why I’m betting the over. And why this game is getting “main TV” treatment.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) at San Francisco 49ers (8-4), 4:25pm (FOX)
Main storyline: OutKick’s Armando Salguero wrote a detailed piece on why this is the Game of the Week, which you can read here.
- Miami Dolphins (8-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (6-6), 8:20pm (NBC)
Main storyline: After not flexing the Dolphins into this spot last weekend, NBC finally got it right and moved this contest into Sunday Night Football. The previously scheduled game, Chiefs/Broncos, does not figure to be as interesting as it seemed in the preseason.
Here, we get quite the subplot. Arguably the biggest decision made in the 2020 NFL Draft was Miami picking Tua Tagovailoa at #5 overall instead of Justin Herbert. Herbert, of course, was taken by the Chargers with the very next selection. Much has been written about that, so there’s no need to completely rehash here. But the way we work in the media is “what have you done for me lately?” Thus, winner of this game equals that player should have been picked higher. Is that right or wrong? Who cares!
Game To Flip To During Commercials Of Better NFL Sunday Game
- Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) at New York Giants (7-4-1), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: This game just missed the top tier and it has a lot more to do with the situational differences between this game and the Bills/Jets match. These teams haven’t met this year. The Eagles have a four-game lead over the Giants in the NFC East. Plus, Philly has a two-game lead over Dallas; no matter the result of this contest, they will remain in first place. The Bills have just a one-game lead over Miami, who currently holds the tiebreaker.
That said, this is still a game worth paying attention. Despite their record, the Giants have gotten no respect from Las Vegas. They were home underdogs last week against Washington and they’re touchdown dogs in this game at home. Is Jalen Hurts for real? Not sure we know that yet. Winning a divisional game on the road in December goes a long way in showing who he and this team can and will be.
- Cleveland Browns (5-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-4), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: Deshaun Watson played BAD in his Browns debut. Cleveland scored 24 points — three touchdowns came from the defense and special teams. And this was not a tough matchup because Houston is BAD. But you know what the Bengals aren’t? The Bengals are not BAD. The Bengals, in fact, are quite GOOD. I suspect Watson will be better in this spot and there will be points to be had in this one. I think I just talked myself into the Over. Stay tuned with OutKick for my piece on that!
I Guess It’s OK If These Games Show Up On NFL RedZone
- Baltimore Ravens (8-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: Tyler Huntley vs. Kenny Pickett. OK, then. I don’t have much to say here but I kept this game up here because it’s a Ravens/Steelers game and I love rivalries, as ALL of my regular readers know (hi Dad!). I’m backing the Ravens plus the points here because I don’t think Huntley is THAT big of a downgrade from Lamar Jackson. I know, I know. But I don’t care what you think, nameless person reading this and shaking your head.
- Minnesota Vikings (10-2) at Detroit Lions (5-7), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: The Lions have been playing very well and absolutely lambasted the Jags last week. The Vikings, despite being 10-2, are basically an average NFL team. The Over/Under for this game is set at 51.5, second-highest on the slate (Dolphins/Chargers, 52.5). Expect some POINTS. Plus, this is a revenge spot for Detroit, who lost by 4 in Minnesota earlier this year. That was the start of a seven-game winning streak for the Vikings, who have started a new streak since losing to the Cowboys in Week 11.
If You’re A Fan Of These Teams, I Guess You Might Care. But I Don’t.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) at Tennessee Titans (7-5), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: This game is interesting just from the “which Jacksonville team is going to show up?” perspective. They lost 40-14 at Detroit last NFL Sunday. The week before, Trevor Lawrence led a game-winning drive against the Ravens. They lost to the Texans — the only team to do so — and beat the Chargers by 28 points. They also lost to the Broncos and Colts. So, what’s it going to be this week, Jags?
- Houston Texans (1-10-1) at Dallas Cowboys (9-3), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: There is no bigger disaster than the Houston Texans. They held the Browns to three offensive points last week and still managed to lose by two touchdowns. They find new ways to lose each week. Which, I suppose, is interesting in and of itself. The Cowboys, meanwhile, dropped 54 points on Sunday Night Football last week and are on a roll. Because of that, this game features a point spread of 17 points.
By the way, since 1996 there have been 32 teams who have been 17+ point underdogs in the NFL. ONE of them won the game: the 2020 Jets beat the Rams. Those Jets are one of two 17+ points dogs in the last 10 seasons to even cover the spread. Favorites of 17 points or more are 12-2 against the spread since 2013. Fun facts!
- Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) at Denver Broncos (3-9), 4:05pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: This game, as mentioned, was scheduled to be played on Sunday Night Football but was mercifully moved out of that spot. The Broncos stink. Their coach is on the hot seat. Denver’s quarterback might be playing himself out of the Hall of Fame. Kansas City, meanwhile, is seeking to reach the AFC Championship for the fifth consecutive season.
Talk about franchises who have swapped places. Ready for this stat? From the start of the 2012-13 season to the first meeting in the 2015-16, the Broncos beat the Chiefs seven consecutive times. That game — played on September 17, 2015 — was the last time Denver defeated Kansas City. Yes, the Chiefs have beaten the Broncos 13 consecutive times. And, as 9.5-point favorites, it looks like win #14 is coming this NFL Sunday.
- Carolina Panthers (4-8) at Seattle Seahawks (7-5), 4:25pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: So, Carolina shipped out Baker Mayfield and he promptly led one of the best fourth-quarter comebacks of the NFL season with his new team, the Los Angeles Rams. Panthers fans had to be like “C’MON!” Fear not, Carolina faithful: Sam Darnold is back! And he’s 1-0 as a starter this season! OK, I tried. Enough about this game.
If This Game Shows Up On My TV, I’m Punting It Off My Back Deck
Believe it or not, I don’t have any games here for the first time this season! Every game on the slate has at least ONE redeeming quality. A peek ahead at Week 15 shows that likely won’t be the case next weekend, so enjoy a fun NFL Sunday everyone!
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ