NFL

NFL Week 14 – Matchup Statistics, News and Notes

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As we head toward the playoff stretch, there are plenty of pivotal match-ups in the Week 14 slate.  Find out some interesting morsels with a breakdown of NFL statistics, news and notes.

Detroit Lions vs. St. Louis Rams 

Lions: Detroit has played the Rams seven times since moving to St. Louis. This weekend’s game marks only the second time the Rams have played host to Detroit.  In their first meeting at the Edward Jones Dome, the Lions lost 41-34. Minor in the grand scheme of things, this could mark the only opportunity the Lions have to defeat the Rams in St. Louis. Heavy rumors swirl around St. Louis with the Rams potentially moving back to Los Angeles.

Rams: Prior to Thursday’s kickoff, St. Louis had an identical twin in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings. The Rams are 31st in total offense and the Vikings are 30th. On the opposite side of the football, Minnesota is 15th in total defense, while St. Louis ranks 18th overall. The only way to tell these two NFC teams apart in the statistical category is by their overall record, with Minnesota at 8-4 and St. Louis at 4-8.

 

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

Falcons: Atlanta started 5-0 and now are 6-6.  Going 1-6 over their last seven games makes this weekend’s match-up against the undefeated Panthers a little lackluster. Early in the season, both teams were atop the NFC South standings at 5-0 and it looked like this Week 14 match-up was going to decide the division. Obviously, that is not the case due to the Falcons meltdown.

Panthers: Cam Newton is 4-4 in his career against the Falcons. The MVP candidate will aim to take the Panthers to 13-0 overall on Sunday. In the previous eight match-ups with Atlanta, Newton has thrown 12 touchdowns passes and 10 interceptions.

 

Washington Redskins vs. Chicago Bears

Redskins: Alfred Morris has disappeared from the Washington playbook in the red zone, along with the running game. Morris scored 28 rushing touchdowns from 2012-14 that translated into 54 percent of all Redskins rushing touchdowns (51). After 12 games this season, Morris has zero rushing touchdowns and Washington as a whole has only six.

Bears: Five players on the Bears defense have at least one interception and none have more than one.  Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has been turnover prone on the road so Chicago will try and improve upon those numbers.

 

Buffalo Bills vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Bills: Chip Kelly vs. LeSean McCoy! How is this game not on primetime? McCoy spoke all week about his distaste for his former head coach and now gets the opportunity to help his Bills stay in the playoff chase while keeping Philadelphia from making the playoffs. Expect Rex Ryan to make Shady a captain and give him plenty of opportunities to seek revenge of his former Eagles teammates and more importantly Coach Kelly.  

Eagles: The Eagles are 5-7 and were the fortunate souls to catch New England on an off weekend which saw the Patriots surrender 21 points off special teams returns and an interception return.  In Chip Kelly’s first season (2013) in Philadelphia, the Eagles were 3-5 before going 7-1 down the stretch to finish 10-6 and win the NFC East. The Eagles will need to finish strong if they’re going to win the division title.

 

San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns

49ers: Blaine Gabbert started 27 games in Jacksonville and won a total of five over his three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Gabbert was eventually traded to the 49ers (in 2014) and there he sat patiently awaiting another opportunity to display the traits that made him the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. After four games in San Francisco, he is 2-2 and threw the game-winning touchdown in overtime last week to receiver Torrey Smith in the 49ers 26-20 victory over Chicago.

Browns: Cleveland once was a terrific organization with some of the best talent ever to play in the NFL, but those days are long gone. I’ll explain by letting you know that the Browns began play in 1946 and from that time until 1995 they only lost 10 or more games, just six times. Previous owner Art Modell proceeded to move the team to Baltimore after the 1995 season. Football finally returned to Cleveland in 1999, but the wins have not. Since that time the Browns have had an astonishingly disgraceful 13 seasons with at least 10 losses. The Browns are currently 2-10.

 

New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Saints: The Saints aren’t a very good team, but the remaining schedule should offer a glimmer of excitement for competitive football. New Orleans has four games left on their schedule and none of those four opponents currently hold a winning record. The teams include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6), Detroit Lions (4-8), Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8) and Atlanta Falcons (6-6).

Buccaneers: Rookie quarterback Jameis Winston has played very well against his NFC South rivals. His record versus the division is 3-1, with two wins over the Atlanta Falcons, and another against this week’s opponent, the New Orleans Saints.  He hopes to double-down against the Saints this weekend. The only NFC South loss is against the Panthers, who are 12-0.

 

Seattle Seahawks vs. Baltimore Ravens

Seahawks: Pete Carroll and his Seahawks are getting hot at the right time. The team is 5-1 over their last six games and three of their next four opponents have losing records. Seattle takes on Baltimore this weekend, followed by the Cleveland Browns then St. Louis Rams. Their final game of the season is against the Arizona Cardinals, who clinched a playoff spot with a win over the Minnesota Vikings. It will be interesting to see how that game plays out if Arizona has home field advantage prior to kickoff on the final week of the regular season when hosting Seattle.

Ravens: Baltimore has 14 players on their IR which includes Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Steve Smith, Breshad Perriman, Dennis Pitta and Terrell Suggs. Those injuries have put the Ravens on course to tie their worst record in franchise history (4-12), that occurred in their inaugural season in 1996.

 

San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Chargers: A little over one year ago (November 14th, 2014), Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon set the FBS single-game rushing record with 408 yards against over Nebraska. One week later his record was broke by Oklahoma freshman running back Samaje Perine with 427 yards. After 12 games into his rookie season, Gordon has 565 rushing yards on 155 carries for an average of 3.6 yards per carry. In his record setting game versus Nebraska, he averaged 16.3 yards per carry.  This again demonstrates no matter how productive or good any player looks at the collegiate level, the NFL is an entirely different beast.

Chiefs: Winners of their last six games and in the thick of the AFC wildcard playoff race, the Chiefs have a very winnable schedule with four games remaining. Their final four opponents (San Diego Chargers 3-9, Cleveland Browns 4-8, Oakland Raiders 5-7 and Baltimore Ravens 4-8) are a combined 14-34 overall. Hard to imagine at the time that Kansas City was 1-5, that they would have a perfect opportunity to finished 11-5.

 

Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Colts: Since 2002, the Colts have won their division 13 times. The only team other AFC South team to claim the division crown in the period of dominance by Indianapolis is the Houston Texans. The Colts and Texans are both 6-6 and in the middle of an intense race for the AFC South title.

Jaguars: Blake Bortles has thrown a touchdown pass in every game this season. He has 27 touchdowns on the year and does appear to be the quarterback of the foreseeable future in Jacksonville. His overall record is 7-18, and that reveals the troubles on the Jaguars roster that exceed the talents of Bortles.

 

Tennessee Titans vs. New York Jets

Titans: In the Week 14 preview, there are a few teams listed playing losing teams over the course of their final four games. Unfortunately, Tennessee faces all teams without losing records. The New York Jets (7-5), New England Patriots (10-2), Houston Texans (6-6) and Indianapolis Colts (6-6) could make it very difficult for the Titans to improve on their three wins on the 2015 season.

Jets: First-year head coach Todd Bowles can set a personal best this weekend by guiding his Jets to their third win in a row. New York are winners of two straight games for the second time this season.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Steelers: Pittsburgh lost to the Bengals earlier this season which is very interesting if you look at the recent history of the division clash. The Steelers have not lost both regular season games to Cincinnati since 2009, and prior to that it has not happened since 1998.

Bengals: Remarkably, Cincinnati has only two players listed on Injured Reserve. It goes hand in hand why they are also 10-2 and in first place in the AFC North.

 

Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos

Raiders: Oakland went 8-8 in 2010 under former head coach Tom Cable. One year later, new head coach Hue Jackson went 8-8 and was also fired. Cable went 5-11 his first season, and then climbed to 8-8 before being relieved of his duties. Current head coach Jack Del Rio is 5-7 and possibly entering Bermuda Triangle for coaches to get axed. Del Rio easily could reach 8-8 this season or next… This is where the Alfred Hitchcock “Twilight” theme music begins to play.

Broncos: Check this one out! Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert has 12 receiving touchdowns this season and Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson has 11 touchdown receptions. Each of those to players have more touchdowns than all of the wide receivers combined on the Broncos roster. Emmanuel Sanders (4), Demaryius Thomas (3), Andre Caldwell (2) and Cody Latimer (1) have totaled 10 as a unit.

 

Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers

Cowboys: Disgruntled Philadelphia Eagles running back led the league in rushing last year with 1,845 rushing yards. The Cowboys showed little effort to retain his services and for both parties the results are less than desirable. Nine different players have rushed the football for the Cowboys this season. They have combined for 1,363 yards, while Murray had 1,427 rushing yards alone at the same point last season. This season in Philly, Murray has 569 rushing yards.

Packers: 12 players in the NFL which includes quarterback Jameis Winston (5), have more rushing touchdowns than the Green Bay Packers running back unit. The Packers have four rushing touchdowns on the season.

 

New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans

Patriots: Bill Belichick has only lost three games or more in a row twice since taking over in New England in 2000. The last time a four-game losing streak occurred on Belichick’s watch was in 2002. The Patriots are losers of two straight and head to Houston to take on the Texans.

Texans: Former Houston receiver Andre Johnson played 12 years for the Texans. As great as Johnson was, he was never a touchdown catching machine. He never had one season with more than 10 touchdown passes. Second-year Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins has 10 touchdowns catches already this season with four games remaining.

 

New York Giants vs. Miami Dolphins

Giants: Monday night, the Giants take on the Dolphins. New York leads the all-time series 5-2, and if history indicates anything it is that the score should be low. No team has scored more than 23 points in the series and the average total points per game is 29.8 combined, which leads one to believe if history repeats itself you might want to take the under.

Dolphins: Quietly, the Miami Dolphins are one of the storied franchises that fly under the radar of being ruined. George Wilson (4) and Don Shula (26) accumulated 30 years (1966-95) of coaching experience on the Miami sidelines as the teams head coaches. Since 1996, the Dolphins have had nine different head coaches and only eight winning seasons.


About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates College2Pro.com. He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.