Last-Minute Remarks on SNF Week 14 Picks

Week 14 (December 13):

  • Tentative game: Seattle @ Baltimore
  • Prospects: 6-5 v. 3-7. Not looking good.
  • Likely protections: Steelers-Bengals (CBS, confirmed) and Cowboys-Packers or Falcons-Panthers (FOX).
  • Other possible games mentioned on Monday’s Watch and their records: Falcons (6-5)-Panthers (11-0), Patriots (10-1)-Texans (6-5), Bills (5-6)-Eagles (4-7), Colts (6-5)-Jaguars (4-7), Raiders (5-6)-Broncos (9-2), Washington (5-6)-Bears (5-6), Saints (4-7)-Bucs (5-6).
  • Impact of Monday Night Football: A Ravens win gives Seahawks-Ravens a decent, though not overwhelming, chance of keeping its spot, with only a two-game gap and the Ravens with an outside shot at a wild card; a loss probably makes a flex certain, assuming the decision hasn’t already come down by game time. In any case I’ve already seen a tweet indicating the decision’s already been made to flex it out.
  • Analysis: Despite the long list of games above I felt Falcons-Panthers and Patriots-Texans were really the only options, and both are massively lopsided; even considering that, Racial Slurs-Bears and Raiders-Broncos are the only two of the remaining games that avoided involving a 4-7 team, and only the latter even comes close to overcoming the tentative game bias and is still a game worse on both sides than Patriots-Texans. This would be much easier if both undefeated teams lost or won, or even if the Panthers were the unbeaten that lost; as it stands the league would have to determine whether to go for Patriots-Texans’ name value and less lopsided nature or Falcons-Panthers’ unbeaten team. Factors to keep in mind: Fox has the doubleheader this week, so the NFL would prefer to take a game from CBS and give it a national audience, and the Panthers-Falcons return match has much less competition to be flexed in Week 16. On the other hand, Texans-Colts seems like a more likely choice to be flexed in next week than a lopsided Panthers-Giants matchup that would leave the Giants maxed out on primetime appearances with Giants-Vikings Week 16 and Eagles-Giants Week 17 both potential flex possibilities. Still, that hasn’t stopped the NFL before, so it hardly outweighs the factors in Patriots-Texans’ favor. Still, I make this prediction with the caveat that if Falcons-Panthers isn’t protected this week but is protected Week 16 (which, note, is also a Fox doubleheader week), I would be far from surprised to see it picked this week, and I’m not sure I agree with not waiting for MNF to see if the Ravens win if the NFL can wait. Even then, though, the name value might still give the edge to…
  • Final prediction: New England Patriots @ Houston Texans.
  • Actual selection: New England Patriots @ Houston Texans (matches prediction).

1 thought on “Last-Minute Remarks on SNF Week 14 Picks

  1. As I thought would be the case two weeks ago when the Colts and Texans were 4-5 provided the Texans won last and this week.

    As for Week 15, with the Texans not only tied with the Colts for first in the AFC South but actually holding the #6 seed as the second Wild Card (Colts have the #4 seed and Chiefs have the #5 seed on tiebreakers), Colts-Texans could very well give the Texans a second straight flex into SNF, especially if both win next week as that suddenly could be also a playoff meeting. Bills-Redskins is likely second if both win next week since depending on what happens elsewhere, that game would have impact on both the AFC Wild Card AND the NFC East. Packers-Raiders is also still possible if the Raiders win next week (and especially if the Packers lose to the Lions on Thursday) because that would create the least amount of headaches for the NFL since it’s then a simple swap of the Bay Area games.

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