The NFL’s 14th week arrives, with less drama than usual. The NFC South race is over (Atlanta). So is the AFC East (New England) and the AFC West (Denver). And virtually the AFC South (Houston). Even the wild cards figure to have less theatrics, since Indy and the Green Bay-Chicago runnerup figure to have slots secured.
Broncos at Raiders: Denver 29-17. A Thursday night dud. The Broncos are playing for homefield advantage and a first-round bye. The AFC West schedule helps. It helps a bunch.
Ravens at Redskins: Baltimore 23-20. The battle of the Beltway. The Ravens and ‘Skins have played just four times. Most of those times, the Redskins stunk. Not so now.
Chiefs at Browns: Cleveland 27-10. A Kansas City letdown seems almost certain. Not that the Browns know how to handle a blowout possibility.
Chargers at Steelers: Pittsburgh 19-16. I’d be tempted to sit Ben Roethlisberger another week. If Charlie Batch can beat the Ravens in Baltimore, he can beat the San Diegos in River City.
Titans at Colts: Indianapolis 26-21. This is turning into a totally cool story. The Colts are 8-4 and would be bucking to play the AFC’s weakest division winner in the playoffs. Except all the AFC division winners look formidable.
Jetropolitans at Jaguars: Jacksonville 20-13. It all comes crashing down on Rex Ryan. The gig is up here, for Mark Sanchez, for Ryan, for GM Mike Tannenbaum. The music dies in front of 30,000 in Jacksonville.
Bears at Vikings: Minnesota 17-16. The Vikes keep their season alive with a home upset, with a little help from Adrian Peterson, who has the NFL rushing lead by more than 300 yards.
Falcons at Panthers: Atlanta 24-20. Win this game, and the Falcons can breeze to homefield advantage the rest of the way.
Eagles at Buccaneers: Tampa Bay 31-16. The Bucs are a great story. The Eagles are not.
Rams at Bills: Buffalo 15-13. The Bills refuse to die. They also refuse to prosper. Will Chan Gailey be back? Will Ryan Fitzpatrick remain the quarterback? Should Buffalo make those decisions on these four games that mathematically still have meaning but realistically don’t.
Cowboys at Bengals: Dallas 20-19. The Dallas Teasers return. Tony Romo plays well enough to keep the Cowboys’ hopes alive.
Dolphins at 49ers: San Francisco 31-21. Colin Kaepernick appears to have a long leash as the 49er quarterback. But Jim Harbaugh is not a by-the-book coach.
Saints at Giants: New York 27-24. I’m not counting out New Orleans, even at 5-7. Lose this game, and I’m counting out the Saints. But not until then.
Cardinals at Seahawks: Seattle 24-0. How did this happen to Arizona? No quarterback. No offensive line? In a league built around quarterback and offensive line play.
Lions at Packers: Green Bay 38-30. Detroit is the best 4-8 team in the NFL. Heck, the Lions might be the best losing record team in the NFL. New Orleans, St. Louis, the Jets, Buffalo, Miami. I’d take Detroit, with the possible exception of the Saints.
Texans at Patriots: New England 33-24. Houston can still get the No. 1 seed, even with a loss, but loses its wiggle room. Beat the Patriots here, and it might hear Houston an AFC semifinal match against New England. Maybe the Texans are better off losing.
Last week: 11-5. Season: 119-74-1.