clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Picks, Week 14: Seahawks at 49ers, Rams at Ravens, Eagles at Cowboys, and more

The 49ers, Cowboys, and Eagles could secure playoff spots this weekend if things go their way.

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Six of Sunday’s 12 games feature division rivalries, including the Seattle Seahawks vs. the San Francisco 49ers in Round 2 of their NFC West series.

In the morning slot, we’ve got the 6-6 Atlanta Falcons hosting the 5-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 4-8 Chicago Bears hosting the 9-3 Detroit Lions, and the 5-7 New Orleans Saints hosting the 1-11 Carolina Panthers.

The afternoon lineup includes the 6-6 Denver Broncos visiting the 5-7 Los Angeles Chargers, plus the aforementioned rematch between the Seahawks and 49ers in Santa Clara.

The nightcap has the 9-3 Dallas Cowboys looking to extend their 14-game home win streak against the 10-2 Philadelphia Eagles with the lead in the NFC East hanging in the balance.

Those are some pretty exciting games, right?

Let’s dive in.


10 AM Games

The NFL’s early slate includes seven games. In addition to the three divisional games highlighted in the intro, there’s also:

One guess which one we’re going to focus on here at Field Gulls . . .

Jacksonville at Cleveland, it is!

Not!

Although that IS the game that CBS is choosing to show us here in the Seattle area.

In fairness to CBS, it will probably be a pretty interesting game with former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco (age 38) looking to become the fourth Cleveland quarterback to win a game this year, and Trevor Lawrence potentially sitting it out for the Jaguars (due to a high ankle sprain he suffered last weekend).

That said, the morning game we care about here at Field Gulls involves two teams that have given the Seahawks half of their losses this year.

Rams at Ravens, 10:00am, FOX, O/U 40

The Seahawks were 5-2 when they went to Baltimore in Week 9.

We all know how that game went.

A similar result for the home team this week would be wonderful since the Rams enter the game with the same 6-6 record as the Seahawks and are a game ahead of Seattle in the playoff chase courtesy of the head-to-head tiebreaker they secured in Week 11.

The good news, from Seattle’s perspective, is that the Ravens are favored by 7-1/2 points and have had success against the Rams in the past.

In fact, Baltimore leads the all-time series 5-3, including a 39-point win four years ago.

The Rams won the last meeting though (by a single point) and were holding the Lombardi trophy and planning a parade six weeks later.

Of course, the Rams and Ravens are completely different teams now than they were two years ago, four years ago, et cetera . . .

To determine who might win this week’s game, we could look at each team’s record (9-3 vs. 6-6), where the game is being played (Baltimore), the offensive rankings (Baltimore is higher in both yards and points per game), the defensive rankings (again, Baltimore is ahead of L.A.), or any number of other things and reach the same conclusion: Ravens > Rams.

Then there’s this . . .

The Ravens are 2-0 against the NFC West this season and haven’t lost to an NFC team since Week 6 of the 2022 season.

Expect the Ravens’ recent dominance over NFC teams to continue on Sunday.

__________

The Pick: Baltimore to win and cover, Over 40 points.


Afternoon Games

DraftKings Sportsbook thinks three of the four afternoon games will be close contests with each having a spread of 3 points or less.

Those games include:

Each of those three games has a fun storyline, potentially highlighted by the return of Minnesota WR Justin Jefferson who spent the last two months on IR.

Some 12s might care about what happens in Las Vegas (since Minnesota is competing with Seattle for a playoff spot) . . .

And/or what happens in L.A. (RW3 attachments being what they are) . . .

But . . .

The game we’re covering here on Field Gulls is obviously going to be the one that’s taking place in Santa Clara.

Seahawks at 49ers, 1:05pm, FOX, O/U 47

Two weeks ago, the 6-4 Seahawks had a chance to take the lead in the NFC West when they hosted the 7-3 Niners at Lumen Field.

Yeah, um . . .

The first half ended with San Francisco holding a 225 to 56 lead in yards and a 16 to 3 advantage in first downs.

The Niners had the ball three times longer than Seattle (22:31 to 7:29).

Geno Smith threw an interception, DeeJay Dallas muffed a punt, Jason Myers missed a field goal . . .

The score at halftime was 24-3, and it didn’t get much better from there.

DraftKings Sportsbook is expecting a similar result on Sunday with the home team favored by double digits.

Assuming DraftKings is right, it would be Kyle Shanahan’s fifth straight win against Pete Carroll and would pull him within a game of Carroll overall which is quite an accomplishment considering that Shanahan was 2-8 against the Seahawks from 2017 to 2021.

Conversely, an upset by the Seahawks would push Pete’s record vs. Shanahan to 9-6, improve his record vs. the Niners to 19-11, and give Seattle some much-needed momentum heading into the final month of the season.

I’m going to skip the usual analysis and state that IF Seattle’s offense plays like it did in Dallas, and IF the defense can get a few stops (or at least make San Francisco settle for field goals), the Seahawks have a fighter’s chance of beating the Niners on Sunday.

If not, they don’t.

The End.

For those that are curious, YES, the Seahawks could still win the NFC West. ESPN puts Seattle’s chances at 1-in-1,000 though (aka 0.1%) so don’t hold your breath.

Note: The Rams’ chances of winning the division are currently 8x better than Seattle’s, and the Niners’ chances are 991x better.

Even if the division title is out of reach, a win is a win is a win, and the Seahawks need all the wins they can get since they currently sit at No. 9 in a 7-team field.

For what it’s worth, the Niners would secure a playoff spot with a win over Seattle + a loss by either the Vikings or the Packers (or ties by both teams).

__________

The Pick: Seattle to win (yes, really), Over 47 points.

Go Hawks!


Sunday Night Football

Eagles at Cowboys, 5:20pm, NBC, O/U 52

The 7-1 Philadelphia Eagles hosted the 5-2 Dallas Cowboys in Week 9.

The Eagles led that game by 11 points in the fourth quarter and held on for a 5-point win that gave them a 2-1/2-game lead in the NFC East.

A month later, Philadelphia’s lead is one game, and Dallas can take the division lead away from the Eagles with a win on Sunday night.

In addition to securing the division lead, it’s possible for the winning team to clinch a playoff berth with the right combination of results from other games around the league.

So, who holds the advantage in this one?

DraftKings says it’s the Cowboys.

I tend to agree.

As mentioned in the intro, the Cowboys have an active 14-game win streak at home.

Their home win streak dates back to Week 1 of the 2022 season and includes a 6-point win over the Eagles last Christmas Eve.

Comparing the two quarterbacks is interesting . . .

This season:

Dak Prescott leads in most of the statistical measures, including passing yards (3,234 vs. 2,995), completion rate (70.1% vs. 66.5%), touchdown to interception ratio (26:6 vs. 19:10), QBR (75.4 vs. 61.4), and passer rating (108.3 vs. 93.8).

Jalen Hurts has the advantage on the ground though with 121 carries for 430 yards (3.6 average) with 12 touchdowns. Prescott has a higher average (4.2 per carry) but only 1/3rd as many carries (41), less than half as many yards (174), and a fraction of the touchdowns (2).

Head-to-head:

Dak Prescott is 56 of 79 (70.9%) for 721 yards with 6 TDs, 1 INT, and a passer rating of 119.2, and has added 55 yards on 12 carries in his last two games against the Eagles.

Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts’ last two games against the Cowboys have resulted in a combined stat line of 32 completions on 48 attempts (66.7%) for 362 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, and a passer rating of 116.84. Hurts has added 63 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in those two games.

Note: For what it’s worth, Prescott and Hurts have only faced each other once over the last 3 games between these teams with Cooper Rush getting one start vs. Hurts and Gardner Minshew getting one start vs. Prescott.

Offensively, the Cowboys are No. 5 in yards per game (380.4) and No. 1 in points (32.3) while the Eagles are No. 9 in yards (361.7) and No. 4 in points (27.4).

Defensively, it’s another story.

Both teams were expected to field top-10 defenses this year.

Through the first 12 games, the Cowboys have delivered while the Eagles have not:

  • Yards allowed: Dallas is No. 3 (287.1); Philadelphia is No. 22 (350.6)
  • Points allowed: Dallas is No. 4 (18.3); Philadelphia is No. 24 (24.0)

All things considered, the biggest differentiator between these two teams might be points scored and points allowed.

The 10-2 Eagles have a point differential of +41, with 329 points scored and 288 allowed, while the 9-3 Cowboys are +168 with 388 scored and 220 allowed.

Keep in mind that this game is in Dallas where the Cowboys have scored 40+ points in four consecutive games, and where they hold an insane 151-point advantage this year, having outscored their opponents 246 to 95.

__________

The Pick: Dallas to win and cover, Over 52.


Here are the picks from the Field Gulls staff for all of Sunday’s games: