NFL Week 14: Niner Noise straight-up predictions around the league

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 5: A pass intended for tight end Jared Cook #89 of the St. Louis Rams is incomplete with defensive back Nolan Carroll II #23 of the Philadelphia Eagles defending on the play in the second quarter on October 5, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 5: A pass intended for tight end Jared Cook #89 of the St. Louis Rams is incomplete with defensive back Nolan Carroll II #23 of the Philadelphia Eagles defending on the play in the second quarter on October 5, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Niner Noise takes a look around the NFL in Week 14 and dishes out straight-up predictions for each contest. Who wins and who loses? Let’s take a look.

It’s Week 14 of the 2017 NFL season, and the playoff picture is starting to take shape.

Earlier today, we took a look at the postseason landscape and made our own predictions which teams are for real, which teams are out and who goes all the way to victory in Super Bowl LII.

This week’s slate of games provides some interesting contests. The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints battle it out on Thursday Night Football — a matchup that could very well decide the fate of the NFC South.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

Meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs are set to square off in a contest in the not-so-intimidating-anymore AFC West.

Many teams will be eliminated this weekend, while others will secure playoff berths. So, as we often do, let’s take a look at who comes up victorious in Week 14.

Saints 27, Falcons 24

Getting cornerback Desmond Trufant (concussion) back is crucial for Atlanta’s chances, but this game is still likely to be a shootout between two potent offenses. But CB Marshon Lattimore (ankle) offsets Trufant’s return, so the aerial battles remain enticing.

The Saints have more momentum right now, though, and that carries a key road win, jeopardizing the Falcons’ playoff hopes.

Cowboys 24, Giants 14

What a mess the whole situation in New York has turned out to be. Quarterback Eli Manning is back starting, which is the best situation for the Giants. But he alone isn’t going to carry what has been an awful New York team over 2017.

The Cowboys seem to have rediscovered their winning ways, and they’ll come away from this contest easily.

Lions 17, Buccaneers 16

Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s hand injury is concerning. But with Detroit’s playoff hopes hanging by a thread, I think he winds up gutting it out and starting.

He might not be that efficient, and Detroit’s ground game isn’t enough to shoulder the burden. But the Buccaneers pass defense has been terrible this year, so that’s enough for Stafford and Co. to wiggle their way to a win.

Raiders 35, Chiefs 27

Who needs defense? Chiefs head coach Andy Reid elected to suspend his best cornerback, Marcus Peters, after his tantrum last week versus the Jets. And just in time for the visiting Raiders, who welcome back wide receivers Michael Crabtree (suspension) and Amari Cooper (concussion).

Not the best timing.

49ers 21, Texans 17

The 49ers have a good quarterback now, Jimmy Garoppolo, who effectively ran an offense versus the defensively solid Bears last week. That’s promising for the Niners’ road chances against a banged-up Texans squad this week.

No, we don’t see Houston QB Tom Savage carving up a questionable San Francisco secondary.

Packers 19, Browns 13

Cleveland has flashed moments this NFL season, but it’s still a very, very bad team. And firing executive VP Sashi Brown isn’t going to change things anytime soon.

True, the Packers are still without quarterback Aaron Rodgers, continuing to start Brett Hundley instead. That makes the game a bit more winnable for the Browns, but it’s not enough to close the gap.

Bills 21, Colts 14

Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor might have escaped a serious knee injury last week, but he’s still questionable. And starting rookie QB Nathan Peterman isn’t a promising option.

Run, run, run the ball will be the Bills’ MO this game.

Bengals 28, Bears 14

All Cincinnati has to do is shut down Chicago running back Jordan Howard. If the Bengals do this, forcing Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to throw, the Bengals win easily.

Vikings 21, Panthers 17

It’s time we give Vikings quarterback Case Keenum some credit. He’s been great this season. But Minnesota is here because of its defense, and Panthers QB Cam Newton is having one of those up-and-down seasons where it’s hard to gauge what we’ll expect out of him.

Defense wins out, though, and the Vikings’ hot streak continues.

Chargers 27, Redskins 10

Washington’s offensive line is banged up, and that spells trouble going up against Los Angeles pass-rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

To make things worse, the Chargers offense is playing at a very high level right now. With an AFC North title on the line, L.A. comes out firing on all cylinders.

Jets 21, Broncos 9

The quarterback situation in Denver is a mess right now, and it’s carrying over to the rest of the team.

Meanwhile, the Jets have been feisty all year. A road win is in the works.

Titans 24, Cardinals 21

Tennessee hasn’t had a lot of signature wins this year, unless it’s come against bad teams.

The Cardinals are bad, especially with Blaine Gabbert under center, but the defense is good enough to keep things interesting at first.

That is until Titans tight end Delanie Walker begins to create problems for Arizona.

Eagles 27, Rams 24

This should be a game you’ll want to watch. Both teams have a shot at a first-round NFL playoff bye, and it’s impossible to overlook both teams’ prolific defenses.

I like the Eagles’ weapons a bit more, though, and they come away with this must-watch road win.

Jaguars 21, Seahawks 17

Seattle plays well when quarterback Russell Wilson plays well (duh), but that Jags defense. Whew.

At home, Jacksonville has a nice advantage here making Wilson’s life hell behind a penetrable offensive line. As long as the Jaguars don’t ask their own quarterback, Blake Bortles, to do too much, they should be fine.

More from Niner Noise

Steelers 25, Ravens 16

Earlier this season, we were able to quickly write off Baltimore’s inept defense. But this group has averaged 30 points scored over its last three games, and the Ravens defense is playing at a playoff-caliber level.

Is that enough to offset the Steelers’ dangerous offense and suddenly good defense? No.

But we’ll still be watching this classic NFL rivalry on Sunday Night Football.

Patriots 35, Dolphins 17

The Patriots don’t lose to the Dolphins, especially on prime time. And head coach Bill Belichick’s once-questionable defense hasn’t given up more than 17 points since way back in Week 4.

Next: Niner Noise exclusive interview with 49ers' Solomon Thomas

This Monday Night Football contest will be pretty one-sided, putting it lightly.