Carolina Panthers

NFL picks: My 14-0 week? Yeah, pretty I-popping

I told you last week I was going to be better.

I wasn’t lying.

I could lie and say I expected to go 14-0, but I didn’t. I figured I’d be 13-1. But 14-0? Let’s soak this in.

Usually, I hate using ‘I’ in a column. I don’t want it to be about me. But after going 14-0, let’s make this about me.

There are different levels of bragging. I could quietly mention a 14-0 week, and that would fall in the subtle brag category. I could say how surprised I was by going 14-0, and that’d be a modest brag.

Or, I could go full Kanye. That’s when all I do is talk about myself and how great I am for not missing a game.

Truth be told, had I picked the Thursday night game between the Chiefs and Raiders, I would have gone with Kansas City and you’d be spared this. But I didn’t, and I was able to join the champagne-popping ranks of the 1972 Dolphins.

This week I didn’t want to skimp on the games, so I tweeted my predictions for the Thanksgiving games. I went 2-1 with the Cowboys and Tony Romo’s spine letting me down. That’s OK. I still have a chance at 15-1.

Last week: Didn’t you hear? I went 14-0.

Season: 110-56-1

Lock: I picked against the NFC South and I won.

Season: 7-5

Upset: Hey, would you look at that? I picked against the NFC South again and I won.

Season: 7-5

This week’s picks, with the home team in CAPS.

Panthers 35, VIKINGS 17: This could be my upset of the week, but I don’t consider it an upset. The Vikings aren’t a very good team, and they’ll be without running back Jerick McKinnon in a game where they have to run the ball. Carolina’s defense has played well against the run lately, and I believe Cam Newton is due for a good game. The Panthers win, the rest of the NFC South falls and Carolina is back in first place.

PACKERS 28, Patriots 21: I’ve been looking forward to this game for weeks. The two best quarterbacks in the league going at it in Lambeau. I really like Aaron Rodgers, and I believe he’s by far the best quarterback in the league. At the start of the season I picked the Packers to win the Super Bowl. I’m not going to back down now.

The rest

COLTS 31, Washington 10

TEXANS 17, Titans 10

Browns 24, BILLS 21

RAVENS 28, Chargers 24

Bengals 27, BUCCANEERS 7

RAMS 20, Raiders 13

STEELERS 26, Saints 21

Cardinals 34, FALCONS 20

Broncos 28, CHIEFS 21

Lock of the week

Dolphins (minus-7) 28, JETS 10: The Jets have turned into the team you always bet against. What a circus in New York. Rex Ryan is playing out the string after making the unpopular move to bench Michael Vick for Geno Smith. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Mark Sanchez is flourishing. The season can’t end soon enough for the Jets.

Upset of the week

JAGUARS (plus-3 1/2) 24, Giants 20: A loss to the Jaguars could mean the end of Tom Coughlin’s tenure with the Giants. Just when I think the Giants are coming along, they let me down. Blake Bortles hasn’t been totally bad, and I think he has his best game as a pro at home against the Giants.

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