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NFL Picks, Week 14: Falcons-Panthers, Bears-Broncos, Giants-Cowboys And More

It's the last month of the season, and all becomes clear: your team's postseason chances, your fantasy squad's possible run at a championship, and how much you're going to have to wager to end this year in the black. Week 14 lines are here!

The picks:

Atlanta (-2 1/2) @ Carolina. For the second year in a row, I'm in Charlotte to see the Falcons play in the land of that awful neon blue. But while last year was a rainy, $5 scalped ticket-affair starring Jimmy Clausen, this might garner a little more interest from the Carolina semi-faithful. Cam Newton hosts the Falcons for the first time, but he won't be looking at his defense with kindness. And no, that's definitely not a hosanna for Atlanta's offense - it's just that Carolina's D is that bad. PICK: Atlanta

Indianapolis @ Baltimore (-18). Last week, the Colts proved they can really step up in the fourth quarter of a game they have no chance of winning, so why can't they spin that magic again? Ravens go up big, Colts score late for a back-door cover. 21-6, or some such garbage. PICK: Indianapolis

Houston @ Cincinnati (-1 1/2). TJ Yates looked like a fully-functioning quarterback last week against the Falcons, so Atlanta fans are hoping that was for real and not just a Dunta Robinson-induced fever dream. Nevertheless, the Bengals will probably limit the amount of soul-murdering blunders that allowed Houston to grab it's most recent win. At the very least, AJ Green catches a last-second bomb that hits his numbers, if it comes to that. Dammit. PICK: Cincinnati

Minnesota @ Detroit (-12). Something about this just reeks of low-scoring, so a double digit spread makes me nervous. One Stafford-to-Johnson touchdown will be the difference, not two or three. PICK: Minnesota

Tampa Bay (-1) @ Jacksonville. Two rabid NFL fanbases clash in north Florida to see who can snore the loudest while watching their team play. It's trickier than you think, because the winner usually knows to use the empty seats as an opportunity for loud echoes. Will these fans be that savvy? PICK: Jacksonville

Philadelphia @ Miami (-2 1/2). The Dolphins have spent the last few surprising weeks beating the likes of Buffalo, Kansas City and Oakland, but they may find their easiest win today against "the dream team." The Eagles seemed to throw up their shoulders in last week's 17-point loss at Seattle, and you won't find a group of guys who'd rather be farther away from an NFL stadium today. And that counts the paying fans of Tampa Bay @ Jacksonville, which is saying a lot. PICK: Miami

Kansas City @ NY Jets (-12). If you feel comfortable trusting Mark Sanchez with double digits, well then, God speed. Yes, it has happened before. And yes, it's KC on the road. I'd just like to give you this piece of ad - oh, ok, I can see your mind is already made up. Mark Sanchez (-12). Give me a hug first, though. Ok, good luck. PICK: Kansas City

New Orleans (-3 1/2) @ Tennessee. As a Falcons fan, it will again feel good to unapologetically root against the Saints, unlike last week's NO victory that went Atlanta's way on a playoff technicality. Not sure how long we'll actually be cheering, though. PICK: New Orleans

New England (-9) @ Washington. Fantasy football playoffs have started, and I have to imagine that's the rooting interest of most of this game's viewers. There's Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis, and, um, I'm, really searching for a Redskin here. Roy Helu? Ick. PICK: New England

San Francisco (-3 1/2) @ Arizona. PICK: Arizona

Chicago @ Denver (-3 1/2). When I realized how much I was disappointed to miss this game, I finally admitted to my full Tebow conversion. I'll be spending the majority of it driving home from Charlotte, and I just can't stomach missing out on the 40 best QB sneaks of the week. I wonder if ESPN will show any highlights. PICK: Denver

Oakland @ Green Bay (-12 1/2). PICK: Green Bay

Buffalo @ San Diego (-9). Modern technology is amazing. I'm actually writing this paragraph about a San Diego game, for an Atlanta audience, from a Charlotte bathroom. No surprise, I guess - "Buffalo-San Diego" was just the game that popped into my head when I sat down here. PICK: San Diego

NY Giants @ Dallas (-4). As down as I am on my Falcons right now, I'd get VERY excited if we went to New York or Dallas in the first round of the playoffs. PICK: Dallas

St. Louis @ Seattle (-?). This Monday night game is still "off the board" as of Sunday morning - not because of injury or late-breaking news, but because Vegas probably just forgot about it. For the pick, check me out on Twitter on Monday (@joshmassey1). PICK: ?

For the rest of the season, the Thursday game pick will be posted that day to Twitter: follow @joshmassey1

Last week: 4-12-0 (give me a break - my first sub-.500 week all season)
Yearly total: 103-85-4

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.