Older AFCE

AFC North Week 14 Predictions

AFC North Week 14 Predictions
class="post-date-wrap left relative post-date-mob">

Both defenses were swarming like bees in game 1, but in the end it was a big Andy Dalton TD pass that made the difference on the scoreboard.
 
 
 
Welcome to the AFC North predictions page!
 
Each week, our AFC North feature writers will list their picks for that week and be forced to explain why they voted as they did. Keep in mind that these picks are for entertainment purposes only, and in no way should be used to influence gambling or illegal activity, unless you’re smart enough to recognize that we know more than you because we publish things.
 
Week 12 AFC North games:
San Francisco 49ers (4-8) @ Cleveland Browns (2-10), Sunday 1pm, FOX
Cincinnati Bengals (10-2) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5), Sunday 1pm, CBS
Seattle Seahawks (7-5) @ Baltimore Ravens (4-8), Sunday 1pm, FOX
 
Steelers/Bengals gets the obvious AFC North game of the week honors. The Steelers still have a slim chance at a division title if they win this one, and they are fighting off three teams for the two wildcard spots. The Bengals are guaranteed the AFC’s #1 seed if they win out.
 
Last week the writers had a clean sweep for the first time this season, going 12-0. After performing extensive calculations, thesidelinereport found that there were no changes in the standings this week. However, polling has suggested that the writers added more street cred to their game-picking status.
 
On to the games:
 
 
Jack Crawford (record 23-17):
 
49ers 17, Browns 21
That’s right. Troubled QB Johnny Manziel actually wins his start against a 49ers team that been on rapid decline since the end of last season. The Browns’ defense has enough to force QB Blaine Gabbert into many of his trademark mistakes.
 
Seahawks 31, Ravens 10
As is becoming the norm, the Ravens simply don’t have the talent to contend with a Seahawks team that has been coming on strong lately and appears poised for a deep playoff run. The Ravens may start QB Jimmy Clausen. It won’t matter.
 
Bengals 31, Steelers 28
Close contest here, but the team with the better defense – and home field – will ultimately hold on for the win. Expect the Bengals to exploit the same pass defense that allowed Seahawks QB Russell Wilson to throw for five TDs. The Steelers may be prolific at scoring points, but they’re not well-equipped to prevent others from doing so, particularly on the road.
* * * * *
 
 
Paul Johansson (record 25-15):
 
49ers 27, Browns 23
The 49ers haven’t been playing too poorly recently, but the Browns certainly have. They’ve been outscored 189-75 over their past six games. Fortunately for the Browns, they have one wildcard: Johnny Manziel. It is uncertain if he will be a playmaker or completely inadequate. Maybe he ends up a combination of the two. Either way, any positives will likely be offset by their horrendous running game and coaching staff (according to at least one ranking, the Browns staff is dead last in coaching decision making).
 
Seahawks 34, Ravens 13
The Ravens currently have four of 11 original starters practicing on offense this week. Aiken, Juszczyk, and their two guards. If Ravens thought Schaub was bad, imagine what a much lower rated Clausen will do against the Seattle D, throwing to almost zero talent at WR or TE, while the Seahawks pass rush flies past two over-matched offensive tackles. Even if the Ravens D continues its decent play, the Seattle offense will be working with a short field early and often. Expect an ugly one in Baltimore, as the Seahawks continue on their annual late-season run.
 
Bengals 24, Steelers 23
This should be a great game as long as both teams are firing on all cylinders. The Bengals have more talent on defense, but the Steelers D has shown flashes of its own. There are many variables that could sway the final score: Big game Dalton, a Ben injury, conservative play calling, place kicking, poor coaching decisions, A BAD PENALTY… but I’ll go with the consistency of the Bengals defense (they have given up more than 10 points just once in six games), and that the game starts at 1pm and not 8:30.
* * * * *
 
 
Michael Thompson (record 26-14):
 
49ers 27, Browns 10
Browns will do everything they can to get Blaine Gabbert paid at the end of the season by yielding just the lower end of the number of points they typically surrender. Johnny Manziel is not a good pro quarterback. All of his off-field antics and the annoyance that fans have toward Mike Pettine have distracted from this simple fact, but it will be on display this Sunday against a still-good 49ers defense surrounded by teammates who know the drill and are quietly making their off-season travel plans to Aruba and the Bahamas.
 
Seahawks 28, Ravens 7
I would like to see the Ravens stand up and fight in this game, but they are being led now by either Schaub or Clausen. Both of them are pretty terrible and the Seahawks are looking more and more like the Seahawks with every passing week.
 
Steelers 14, Bengals 24
Even with Big Ben in there, the Bengals are still the class of the AFCN and will not lose at home with a chance to clinch the division on the line. The Steelers might clinch a wild card berth, but they will struggle to get there with tough tests over the next two weeks. They have a much better chance of taking out the 10-2 Broncos at home.
* * * * *
 
 

Wernike Korsakoff (record 19-21):

 
Seahawks 30, Ravens 16
The Seahawks take on an ailing Ravens team that is all but packed up for the season. Baltimore will put up a fight, but Seattle is just far more talented and in need of a late season win.
 
49ers 23, Browns 21
While this game features Blaine Gabbert versus Johnny Manziel, it should be an entertaining one. Look for a Manziel turnover to be the deciding factor.
 
Steelers 27, Bengals 31
While the Bengals’ secondary is patchwork right now, they’re the more complete team. Both offenses will have big days. The Steelers’ secondary and anemic pass rush will let them down this week.
* * * * *
 
 
“League Sources” (3-4):
 
Currently studying for the NFL ref tryouts

More in Older AFCE

The Josh Allen Report: Week 4

Brian GrothOctober 6, 2020

Ranking the AFCE Offenses

Archer AllenMay 12, 2020

Slick’s 2019 Week 15 Overreactions

Brian GrothDecember 18, 2019

The Josh Allen Report

Brian GrothDecember 16, 2019

Tank it, to the Limit

finfan5357December 13, 2019

Not Much to be Tankful For

Chris ChambersDecember 6, 2019