NFL Week 14 picks and predictions: Rams will beat Cardinals

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, right, tries to wrap up Cardinals running back James Conner.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, right, tries to wrap up Cardinals running back James Conner during the Rams’ loss to Arizona on Oct. 3.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 8-6 (.571); season 117-76-1 (.606). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-8 (.429); season 92-100-2 (.479).

Off: Indianapolis, Miami, New England, Philadelphia. Times Pacific.


Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (5-7)

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passes against the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 5.
(Winslow Townson / Associated Press)

Thursday, 5:20 p.m. PST

TV: FOX, NFL Network, Amazon.

Line: Vikings by 3. O/U: 32½.

Analysis: No Adam Thielen, no Dalvin Cook and they just lost to Detroit — not looking good for Minnesota. Pittsburgh is nothing special, but the Steelers are getting healthier on defense and that’s enough.


Prediction: Steelers 27, Vikings 23


New Orleans Saints (5-7) at New York Jets (3-9)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill throws against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 2.
(Tyler Kaufman / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: DirecTV: 705.

Line: Saints by 5½. O/U: 43.

Analysis: The Jets can surprise, but the Saints might have too much for them. Taysom Hill brings a different dynamic at quarterback, and that Saints front seven can bring heat and stop the run.

Prediction: Saints 27, Jets 14


Baltimore Ravens (8-4) at Cleveland Browns (6-6)

Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb carries the ball against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 21.
(Ron Schwane / Associated Press)


Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: DirecTV: 706.

Line: Browns by 2½. O/U: 42.

Analysis: Baltimore just can’t seem to get that running game revved up. The Browns are getting healthier in their ground game, and between Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt they control the clock in this one.

Prediction: Browns 23, Ravens 17


Las Vegas Raiders (6-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes passes against the Denver Broncos on Dec. 5.
(Ed Zurga / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: CBS. DirecTV: 707.

Line: Chiefs by 8½. O/U: 7½.

Analysis: Hard to know which Raiders will show up. The Chiefs offense is struggling but that defense is playing great. The Raiders can rush four, but the secondary is meh. Go with team that’s won four straight.

Prediction: Chiefs 28, Raiders 24


Roundtable: Chargers almost blew a 24-point lead but got their biggest win of the season in Cincinnati. The Rams ended a skid with a blowout of Jacksonville. What’s next for these L.A. teams?

Dec. 7, 2021


Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10) at Tennessee Titans (8-4)

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill celebrates a touchdown against the New England Patriots on Nov. 28.
(Stew Milne / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: DirecTV: 708.

Line: Titans by 8½. O/U: 43½.

Analysis: Tennessee is fresh after a week off and will continue to tweak running game. Jaguars can play physical but just aren’t very good. Tennessee’s defense is a bit overrated but is a wrecking ball up the middle.

Prediction: Titans 27, Jaguars 17


Atlanta Falcons (5-7) at Carolina Panthers (5-7)

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton passes against the Miami Dolphins on Nov. 28.
(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)


Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: DirecTV: 709.

Line: Panthers by 2½. O/U: 42½.

Analysis: Joe Brady is out as offensive coordinator in Carolina, and that could give the Panthers a little adrenaline boost. Watch for Cam Newton to tuck it and run the read-option a lot. Atlanta’s offense is decent.

Prediction: Panthers 24, Falcons 20


Seattle Seahawks (4-8) at Houston Texans (2-10)

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws against the San Francisco 49ers on Dec. 5.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: DirecTV: 710.

Line: Seahawks by 7½. O/U: 41½.

Analysis: QB Tyrod Taylor is hurt, so Texans are starting Davis Mills. Their defense looks pretty decent at times. Russell Wilson is going to keep getting better as his finger improves and should get the job done.

Prediction: Seahawks 24, Texans 13


Dallas Cowboys (8-4) at Washington (6-6)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott passes against the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 2.
(Brett Duke / Associated Press)

Sunday, 10 a.m.

TV: DirecTV: 711.

Line: Cowboys by 4. O/U: 48.

Analysis: Washington has won four in a row and is gaining confidence. Logan Thomas is out, and although Washington will run it pretty well, keeping pace with the Dallas passing game could be a problem.

Prediction: Cowboys 28, Washington 23


Detroit Lions (1-10-1) at Denver Broncos (6-6)

Denver Broncos running back Mike Boone carries the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 5.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: DirecTV: 712.

Line: Broncos by 9½. O/U: 42.

Analysis: The one-win Lions aren’t very good, but they put up a good fight for Dan Campbell. The Broncos defense will dictate this one and Denver turns in a bounce-back performance for the victory.


Prediction: Broncos 23, Lions 17


New York Giants (4-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-5)

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert readies to the receive the snap against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 5.
(Zach Bolinger / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

TV: FOX. DirecTV: 713.

Line: Chargers by 10. O/U: 43.

Analysis: The Chargers are banged up but did a good job of stopping the run at Cincinnati. The Giants are going to try to run a lot — they’re not going to be throwing it all over with Jake Fromm — but L.A. survives.

Prediction: Chargers 24, Giants 13


San Francisco 49ers (6-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow throws against the Chargers on Dec. 5.
(Zach Bolinger / Associated Press)


Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: None. DirecTV: 714.

Line: 49ers by 1½. O/U: 48½.

Analysis: This is a game-of-the-week candidate. The 49ers are desperate and they’re capable of winning here. The Bengals are certainly good enough to hold strong but a lot hinges on the pinkie of Joe Burrow.

Prediction: Bengals 27, 49ers 23


Buffalo Bills (7-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady celebrates a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 5.
(Danny Karnik / Associated Press)

Sunday, 1:25 p.m.

TV: CBS. DirecTV: 715.

Line: Buccaneers by 3. O/U: 53½.

Analysis: The Bills can’t consistently run — unless it’s Josh Allen taking off — and don’t do a great job of stopping the run. That’s not a good combination as the playoffs near. Tampa Bay is limited in secondary.

Prediction: Buccaneers 28, Bills 21


Chicago Bears (4-8) at Green Bay Packers (9-3)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers warms up before a game against the Rams on Nov. 28.
(Kamil Krzaczynski / Associated Press)

Sunday, 5:20 p.m.


Line: Packers by 12½. O/U: 43½.

Analysis: Chicago ran well on Arizona but after four Andy Dalton picks, injured Justin Fields (ribs) returns. Green Bay is just better and at home. Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones should feel good after a week off.

Prediction: Packers 31, Bears 17


Los Angeles Rams (8-4) at Arizona Cardinals (10-2)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray looks to throw against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 5.
(Jeff Haynes / Associated Press)

Monday, 5:15 p.m.


Line: Cardinals by 2½. O/U: 51½.

Analysis: Before falling to the Cardinals at home earlier this season, the Sean McVay-coached Rams had never lost to them. Rams regained some confidence against Jacksonville and keep it rolling.


Prediction: Rams 33, Cardinals 28

Wide receiver Mike Williams and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. are not vaccinated against COVID-19, but they might still be able to play Sunday.

Dec. 8, 2021