Scully's Week 14 NFL Picks: Browns will bounce back against injury-riddled Ravens
Last week didn’t offer the most competitive slate of games, as only three matchups were settled by a field goal or less, and six teams covered while favored by a touchdown or more.
We have a better schedule set for Week 14.
Our picks will focus upon an important pair of divisional matchups and a playoff contender in rebound-mode.
Let’s bet some winners in Week 14.
Ravens vs. Browns
Sun, December 12 2021, 6:00 PM
After being embarrassed by Baltimore two weeks ago, held to 40 rushing yards in a 16-10 loss, Cleveland gets an immediate chance to make amends. Look for the Browns to take advantage against the sagging Ravens.
Baltimore’s offense has not scored more than 19 points in the last four games, and the Ravens are headed in the wrong direction defensively, surrendering 17 fourth-quarter points in a home loss to Pittsburgh last week.
The loss of top cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who went down with a season-ending injury last week, appears significant for injury-ravaged Baltimore.
We have placed DB Marlon Humphrey on IR.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 8, 2021
We have activated DB Kevon Seymour from Reserve and designated T Ja'Wuan James to return to practice.
The bye came at the right time for the Browns, who have lost two of their last three games, and their formidable ground game can get back on track.
Lamar Jackson has five interceptions since returning from a one-game absence two weeks ago, and his struggles will continue against Cleveland’s defense.
This is a get-right spot for Cleveland, which remains a serious playoff contender, and Baltimore’s issues will continue to plague them.
Bills vs. Buccaneers
Sun, December 12 2021, 9:25 PM
The one constant surrounding Buffalo has come after losses — that’s when the Bills are at their best offensively, averaging more than 36 points per game, as they’ve outscored opponents by a 137-34 combined margin following four previous defeats.
After a low-scoring loss to New England, Buffalo is poised to rebound against Tampa Bay, which ranks in the bottom half of the league in pass defense (248.4 yards allowed per game) and scoring defense (22.5 points allowed per game).
Arians calls Josh Allen and the Bills' offense a big challenge for the Bucs' defense thanks to Allen's ability to run with the ball on top of the high caliber receivers that he can 'sling it' to.— Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV) December 6, 2021
The back half of Tampa Bay’s defense is vulnerable, but many opponents have lacked the firepower to expose its deficiencies. Despite winning the Super Bowl, the Buccaneers have played the 29th softest schedule (based on opponent win percentage).
Good teams have been competitive against the Bucs. Tampa Bay is 3-1 straight up against teams with a winning record, but 1-3 against the spread in those games. With four games remaining against bad teams, Tampa Bay could benefit from a stiff test late in the season.
Buffalo’s dynamic offense will give Tampa Bay all they can handle. Grab the points in a favorable bounce-back spot.
Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team
Sun, December 12 2021, 6:00 PM
WAS Football Team
Washington enters as one of the league’s hottest teams, winning four straight as an underdog. The Football Team rediscovered their defensive identity, holding the last five opponents to 21 points or fewer, and Dallas has been inconsistent since opening 6-1.
The points are attractive in a game that could easily be settled by a field goal or less.
Dallas has been getting healthier, but the offense wasn’t sharp against turnover-prone New Orleans in Week 13, converting on only two of 13 third downs, along with five three-and-out possessions. The Cowboys no longer run the ball like they did earlier in the season, putting a lot of pressure on the passing game.
Dallas’ defense continues to force turnovers, but opponents have been able to attack it on the ground, piling up 715 rushing yards over the last five games.
Look for Antonio Gibson, who has been a key contributor out of Washington’s backfield during the team's win streak, to have another big game. It’s easy to envision a low-scoring slugfest between these divisional rivals.
Give us the hot home team.