NFL Predictions : Week 14 odds, Previewing Sunday’s slate

NFL Predictions : Week 14 odds, Previewing Sunday's slate

NFL Predictions : Many NFL fans say it’s the games in December that matter the most. I’m not certain I totally agree with that, but there is no denying they do take on an added degree of importance as the regular season draws closer to an end.

Here are five teams who must win their Week 14 games:

1. Arizona Cardinals

Just a few weeks ago, the Arizona Cardinals looked unbeatable. At 9-1, it looked like this team was going to make a run at the No. 1 seed in the NFC and have home-field advantage in the postseason. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they’ve lost their last two games and are in danger of missing the playoffs. The Seattle Seahawks are one of the hottest teams in the league, and could very well win the NFC West again. The Cardinals face the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14 at home. A three-game losing streak doesn’t help the Cardinals’ chances at a wild card spot. Cornerback Patrick Peterson is struggling a lot with his coverage assignments lately.

2. New Orleans Saints

Even though the New Orleans Saints have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league this season, they still control their own destiny. The Saints are currently tied for the NFC South lead with the Atlanta Falcons at just 5-7. Drew Brees and the Saints will play the three-win Carolina Panthers at home this week. The Panthers haven’t won a game since Week 5, against the Chicago Bears. The Saints and Drew Brees know time is running out, and this is a must-win game if they want to win the division.

3. San Francisco 49ers

There’s been a lot of drama surrounding the San Francisco 49ers and the future of head coach Jim Harbaugh lately. The 49ers lost their last home game to the Seattle Seahawks, thanks to Colin Kaepernick throwing two interceptions to cornerback Richard Sherman. The 49ers will face their interstate rival Oakland Raiders on the road, who are just 1-11 this season. The 49ers are 7-5 this season, and a division title is pretty unlikely. If the 49ers are going to grab a wild card, they need this win. Frank Gore and Vernon Davis have to get the ball more often.

4. Dallas Cowboys

All of a sudden, pressure is starting to mount in Dallas. The Dallas Cowboys have quietly lost three of their last five games and December is here at last. In recent history, the Cowboys have struggled to close the season on a good note in the month of December, for whatever reason. The Cowboys will play the 5-7 Chicago Bears on “Thursday Night Football.” Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten have to show up for the Cowboys to avoid dropping to 8-5 overall. Although the Cowboys have a much-improved defense compared from last season, the Cowboys are just 2-2 against NFC East opponents. Last season, the Cowboys were 5-1 against NFC East teams.

5. Detroit Lions

It must be tough playing in a division with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Lions haven’t won the NFC North since 1993. Think about that; Bill Clinton was President of the United States of America then. The Lions are currently 8-4, and their Week 14 matchup is against the 2-10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. A loss against the Buccaneers would be devastating for Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. The Lions should be able to take care of business at home against the Buccaneers, but can they defeat the Packers at Lambeau Field in Week 17?