The (Under) Dogs Are Barking: Week 14

Photo credit: USA TODAY Network

We got back to our winning ways last week, thanks to the Packers pulling the outright upset on Sunday night. As you know, it’s a week-to-week league, and while my love for the Pack is as strong as ever, I’m going the other way this week. My other two selections have been favorites of mine lately, and the market hasn’t caught up yet.

Giants +6 ½ vs. Packers

I’d like nothing more than to believe that the red-hot Packers will follow up their biggest win of the year with a dominant takedown of the bottom-feeding Giants. But that’s not likely. The Giants are rested and riding a two-game winning streak, where they’ve taken the ball away and allowed the not-awful rookie QB Tommy DeVito to operate with short fields.

The Pack has not turned the ball over during this three-game streak, and that luck will run out eventually. Led by Wink Martindale, the Giants defense has some playmakers, and one or two key plays could make this one a lot closer than everyone thinks. With Quay Walker out of practice on Friday and questionable, the defense will have their hands full with Saquon Barkley, who tore them up in London last year.

Green Bay is a perfect 16-0 in December under Matt LaFleur. I don’t think the streak ends this week, but I won’t be shocked if it does. Feels like a close game with the Pack pulling it out. Gimme the points.

Bears +3 ½ vs. Lions

Three weeks ago, the Bears had a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter in the Motor City before remembering they’re the Bears and handing the game to Detroit. Since then, they shocked the Vikings on the road and took last week off to rest and heal up.

Now they can follow up that stunner at US Bank Stadium with another divisional win and start to really gain momentum. Their defense is coming together, and they’ll face “outdoors” Jared Goff, which does not even resemble “indoors” Jared Goff. With the weather expected to be cold and windy, the Lions will need to rely on the ground game, and Chicago’s run D is now among the league’s best.

The Lions will be without two of their best players. Defensive lineman Alim McNeill was placed on IR this week, and center Frank Ragnow has missed practice all week with a variety of injuries. I think Chicago wins this one — the three and a hook are a gift.

Panthers +5 at New Orleans

I was on Carolina last week, figuring the change in coaching would supply a boost to competitiveness. Banking on them back to back may be tempting fate, but there are so many things working in their favor here.

For starters, the Saints are terrible covering as a favorite under Dennis Allen. They may get Derek Carr back, he practiced on Friday, but he rarely covers as a favorite, either. And the Panthers defense is getting healthy, with stud corner Jaycee Horn returning last week and pass rusher Brian Burns back as well.

This was a field goal game when the teams met in September, and games within the NFC South have all been low-scoring this season — none reaching 40 points. It will likely end up like the first meeting: something like 20-17.

Last Week: 2-1
Season: 20-18-1

Green Bay Packers
This One Hurt, But the Pain Wasn’t Acute
By Dave Sinykin - Jan 22, 2024
Green Bay Packers
Say Cheese!
By Dave Sinykin - Jan 19, 2024
Green Bay Packers

How ‘Bout Them Packers?!!

Photo credit: USA TODAY Network

I know I’ve had more fun watching a playoff football game over the years. We Packer fans have been blessed to watch some amazing Super Bowls and […]

Continue Reading