Week 14 NFL Picks: Will the Vikings Clinch the North?
We’ve arrived to the final countdown of the 2022 NFL regular season. Only five weeks remain, and that means time is running out to get a winning record on this year’s picks. Week 13 brought a losing slate after a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend, and now we need a winning week with the Week 14 NFL picks. Before we get into them, here’s a reminder of how last week turned out:
- Patriots +3.5 (L)
- Bills/Patriots U43.5 points (W)
- Vikings -3 (W)
- Titans +5 (L)
- Chiefs/Bengals O53 points (L)
- Dolphins +4 (L)
- Dolphins/49ers O46.5 points (W)
Season Record: 42-46-3
Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions
- Spread: Lions -2
- Vikings ML: +102
- Lions ML: -122
- O/U: 43 points
Frey’s Picks: Lions -2, O43 points
The Minnesota Vikings have a chance to clinch the NFC North with a victory over the Detroit Lions this weekend. Because of that, expect the Lions to come out firing in this game. Additionally, Vikings wide receiver Jalen Reagor guaranteed that the Vikings would come away with a win in this game, and that almost always ends disastrously.
Additionally, it feels like the point total is a touch low for this game. At full strength, both these offenses have some of the best firepower in the NFL, and neither one of these defenses has been particularly great this season. The Lions keep their playoff hopes alive in a high-scoring game.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
- Spread: Eagles -7
- Eagles ML: -305
- Giants ML: +255
- O/U: 44.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Eagles -7
The New York Giants got off to a hot 6-1 start this season, but since that time, they’ve gone 1-3-1 in their last five games. This includes a 13-point home loss to the Detroit Lions. In each of their last three games, they’ve allowed over 160 rushing yards to their opponents, and continuing to do that is a death sentence against an Eagles offense that has ranked among the top five rushing offenses all season.
Compound that with the fact that the Eagles seem to have awoken from their midseason slumber, kicking the snot out of the Tennessee Titans last week, this game should be easily handled by Philadelphia.
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bengals
- Spread: Bengals -5.5
- Browns ML: +205
- Bengals ML: -245
- O/U: 47 points
Frey’s Picks: Bengals -5.5, U47 points
If you’ll recall, the Cleveland Browns put a beatdown on the Cincinnati Bengals back on Halloween night. Since that time, both teams look very different. Ja’Marr Chase is back at wide receiver for the Bengals while the Browns are now starting Deshaun Watson at QB.
Put simply, only one of these things feels like a positive right now. Last week, Watson looked worse than Jacoby Brissett has throughout the season, and it was the Browns defense that allowed Cleveland to beat the Texans. A full-strength Bengals offense on the other hand will be a problem for the entire league for the rest of the year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers
- Spread: 49ers -3.5
- Bucs ML: +160
- 49ers ML: -180
- O/U: 37.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Buccaners +3.5
On Monday night, I assumed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were dead to rights when they fell behind the New Orleans Saints 16-3 in the fourth quarter. Then, Tom Brady turned in another vintage Brady performance, capped off by his latest last-minute touchdown drive to defeat their division rivals and pull ahead in the NFC South standings.
With Brock Purdy now set to be the starter at QB for the 49ers, I have some doubts that the 2022 Draft’s “Mr. Irrelevant” be able to lead this offense mistake-free. This pick is more “feel” than “analysis”, but this really feels like the spot where Tom Brady goes on a run heading into the playoffs.
Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers
- Spread: Dolphins -3.5
- Dolphins ML: -180
- Chargers ML: +160
- O/U: 51.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Dolphins -3.5
The blueprint to beating Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins is out there. If you can put exuberant amounts of pressure on the QB, he’s going to struggle to win games. With Terron Armstead trending towards missing another game, it looks like they could be at risk of that happening again.
However, the Chargers have been horrendous in the pass rush all season long. They rank among the bottom five NFL teams in terms of pressure rate, and they’ve recorded a total of one sack over the past two weeks. In fact, they haven’t had a multi-sack game since Week 9 against the Falcons. If the Dolphins can keep Tua upright on a consistent basis, they’ll win this game.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.