The 2014 NFL regular season just entered its final month and we know you don’t want to miss watching which teams end up making the playoffs. We’re also well aware many of you either don’t want to shell out the dough for new TVs, don’t have a sports bar nearby carrying your favorite team’s games, or have one roadblock or another which prevents you from catching all the action.
If this sounds like you, keep reading and we’ll show you how to easily catch games this season using your PC or Mac.
|Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins – Saturday 4:30 p.m. ET||The Philadelphia Eagles enter Saturday’s contest in Washington in desperate need of a win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. No longer in control of their own destiny, Philly’s seen their season dramatically shift after enduring consecutive losses to Seattle and Dallas. With their record now at just 9-5, a win over hapless Washington goes a long way in securing them one of the two NFC Wild Card spots. Look for the Eagles to lean heavily on LeSean McCoy despite Washington boasting a top-10 rush defense. |
Washington plans to start Robert Griffin III under center this weekend, giving the former Baylor standout another shot at proving he’s a franchise-worthy quarterback. Griffin slots in as signal caller after Washington’s third different starting quarterback, Colt McCoy, aggravated a neck injury in last week’s loss to the division rival New York Giants. With as bad as Washington has been this year, it takes more than a resurgent RG3 to make this team competitive. Philadelphia should handle them with ease.
Prediction: Eagles 31 Redskins 20
|San Diego Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers – Saturday 8:25 p.m. ET||With two weeks to play, and just one game back in the AFC Wild Card race, San Diego travels to San Francisco Saturday looking to improve to 9-6 on the year. After suffering losses to New England and Denver in successive weeks, San Diego no longer seems a lock for a January playoff spot. What’s worse, the team’s injury woes continue to stack up. Leading receiver Keenan Allen won’t play Saturday and San Diego also appears ready to miss starting running back Ryan Mathews. Despite playing an already-eliminated San Francisco team, San Diego should have their hands full. |
It’s been an up and down season for Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers, who enter Saturday’s matchup with San Diego as losers of three straight games. Don’t blame the defense for San Francisco’s poor showing, though, the oft-stout 49ers D ranks in the top-10 in both passing and rush defense for 2014. However, fingers do point at San Francisco’s “big-time” quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. After signing a huge offseason deal, the quarterback out of Nevada failed to live up to even a shred of the hype surrounding him after his first two successful seasons in the Bay. San Diego’s D has proven quite stingy through the air this year, so it’s likely Kap’s struggles will continue.
Prediction: Chargers 20 49ers 13
|Minnesota Vikings @ Miami Dolphins – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Though Minnesota sits at just 6-8 on the season, the ascension of rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and the team’s ability to adapt to losing AP for the season, gives them much to be excited about. Don’t forget this is head coach Mike Zimmer’s first season leading the team; a hire which is paying dividends for the Vikings owners. Though the team narrowly missed a chance at a third straight victory last week, Teddy Two Gloves and company hope to inch closer to .500 by taking advantage of a reeling Miami Dolphins team. |
After losing two straight games to the Ravens and Patriots, the Miami Dolphins now find themselves on the outside looking in at the AFC playoff race. Rumors now circulate in Miami that, no matter how well the Dolphins do in Weeks 16 and 17, owners are likely to give head coach Joe Philbin the boot at season’s end. With incoming Minnesota on tap, look for Miami running back Lamar Miller to find plenty of space against a weak Vikings rush defense who give up an average of 123.9 yards per game. Miami should win, but don’t expect much jubilation from Philbin in the post-game press conference.
Prediction: Dolphins 20 Vikings 13
|Baltimore Ravens @ Houston Texans – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Baltimore travels to Houston this weekend to take on the Texans, with a spot in the AFC playoffs squarely in their sights. A win inches them even closer to not only an AFC Wild Card spot, but to the AFC North crown. For Joe Flacco, he’ll look to keep his red-hot play going against a Texan team who ranks 27th in yards allowed through the air. Regardless of Houston’s poor pass defense, Flacco should keep his head on a swivel all afternoon, constantly looking out for the monster that is J.J. Watt. |
Though the Houston Texans haven’t been completely knocked out of the playoff race, they’ll need a laundry list of occurrences to happen if they wish to play come January. Even with this in mind, Houston’s biggest problem lies with who might get under center Sunday. In last week’s loss to Indianapolis alone, Houston lost two quarterbacks — Ryan Fitzpatrick and backup Tom Savage — to leg injuries. Ryan Mallett, another Texan backup quarterback, is also shelved for the season with a torn pectoral muscle, leaving either Thad Lewis or Case Keenum the next man up for the job.
Prediction: Ravens 27 Texans 13
|Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Detroit heads to Soldier Field Sunday with a chance to secure their first division title in 20 years. Matthew Stafford and company aim to take advantage of the Bears’ 31st rank pass defense, which has little chance of slowing down Calvin “Megatron” Johnson and Detroit’s high-powered offense. Expect Detroit to take advantage of the reeling Chicago Bears and finally taste NFC North glory. |
Chicago’s up and down 2014 season is likely one Bears fans can’t wait to put behind them. For Sunday’s game against the Lions, fans may get a taste of what 2015 and beyond has in store as coach Marc Trestman chose to bench quarterback Jay Cutler. The most turnover-prone quarterback (by a long shot), Cutler did little to earn his massive $22.5 million salary for 2014. The Bears now turn to former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen to try and salvage an otherwise disappointing season for Chicago. This seems unlikely as Detroit’s top rushing defense should feast on Clausen’s inexperience while leading Detroit to its 11th win.
Prediction: Lions 38 Bears 10
|Cleveland Browns @ Carolina Panthers – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||The Johnny Manziel-era in Cleveland didn’t quite take off as planned last week as Manziel passed for just 80 yards and two interceptions against divisional foe Cincinnati. Next on tap for Mr. Football is a trip to Carolina where he’ll look to regain the trust of Cleveland fans and prove he’s actually the Browns’ savior quarterback. He should have an easier time getting his running game going, too, as Carolina boasts just the 21st ranked rush defense in the league. |
After recovering from a car crash two weeks ago, Carolina’s own Heisman-winning quarterback Cam Newton plans to start under center for the 5-8-1 Panthers Sunday. Despite the poor record, Carolina remains just one game back of the NFC South leading New Orleans Saints. A win Sunday inches the Panthers closer to a second straight playoff appearance. Aside from the hype surrounding Manziel, the real story in this game is no doubt how well Newton’s still recovering back holds up.
Prediction: Panthers 20 Browns 16
|Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||The 5-9 Atlanta Falcons travel to New Orleans Sunday to face the 6-8 Saints in a battle for NFC South supremacy. Atlanta looks to take advantage of New Orleans’ porous rush and pass defense, of which rank 29th and 26th in the NFL, respectively. Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has consistently battled through numerous injuries this season, and gives Atlanta a massive boost if he’s deemed healthy enough to play. |
After a 31-15 beatdown of the Chicago Bears in Week 15, the New Orleans Saints finally find themselves atop the NFC South standings despite owning just a 6-8 record. A win over Atlanta Sunday would push New Orleans to its first divisional title since 2011, and assure them a spot in the postseason. Quarterback Drew Brees is no doubt salivating at the chance to air it out against Atlanta’s last ranked pass defense, a defense he passed for 333 yards against in Week 1. If Julio Jones is a no-show, expect New Orleans to roll.
Prediction: Saints 35 Falcons 27
|Green Bay Packers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Before Green Bay starts looking at their big Week 17 matchup against divisional foe Detroit, it must first get past the lowly 2-12 Buccaneers. If there’s one thing competitive sports have ever taught the likes of Aaron Rodgers or Packers coach Mike McCarthy, it’s that you play the games on the field for a reason. Knowing that strange things can happen at any time, Green Bay likely spent all week gameplanning the best ways to take advantage of the Buccaneers’ middling defense, and push them one game closer to a playoff spot. |
At 2-12, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are far from where first-year head coach Lovie Smith thought they’d end up. While the team hopes to avoid its second five-game losing streak on the season, containing the high-powered Green Bay offense should prove a difficult task to accomplish. Electric rookie wideout Mike Evans at least gives Bucs fans some reason to fill the seats at Raymond James Stadium. This has a Green Bay rout written all over it.
Prediction: Packers 31 Buccaneers 17
|Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Both Kansas City and Pittsburgh enter Sunday’s contest needing critical wins in Weeks 16 and 17 to help them lockdown a spot in the postseason. The Chiefs, having broke out of a three-game skid last weekend with a win over the lowly Raiders, look to ride the legs of their dynamic running back duo of Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis. With Pittsburgh sporting a bottom-10 pass defense, could this be the week a Kansas City wide receiver finally records a reception touchdown? |
Pittsburgh, winners of two straight, boast the league’s number one offense but figure to have trouble scoring many points against Kansas City’s number 2 ranked pass defense. The Steelers’ Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell figure to get most of Kansas City’s attention on defense, which opens up opportunities for the likes of Markus Wheaton or Martavis Bryant. With a lot on the line for both teams, this should come down to the wire.
Prediction: Chiefs 21 Steelers 20
|New England Patriots @ New York Jets – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Though New England already sealed its sixth straight AFC East title, home field advantage remains on the line for Tom Brady and the Patriots. To get there, they’ll first need to travel to New Jersey and dispatch the 3-11 Jets; a feat they’ll likely accomplish. Despite a stumble at Green Bay in Week 13, the Patriots have won 9 of their last 10 games and appear to be more than ready for a deep playoff run. |
It’s been yet another tough go for Rex Ryan and his New York Jets in 2014. The Jets’ struggles have largely come from their quarterback position, where the team’s switched between veteran Michael Vick and second-year player Geno Smith. Neither provided the team with much to show in terms of wins, and the lackluster season puts Rex Ryan’s job in extreme danger. A win Sunday — however unlikely — might not be enough to bring the filter-less Ryan back to the Jets in 2015.
Prediction: Patriots 34 Jets 17
|New York Giants @ St. Louis Rams – Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET||What can’t the New York Giants’ rookie wideout Odell Beckham Jr. do? Since starting full-time for the Giants in Week 9, Beckham Jr.’s logged five games with more than 100 yards receiving, while reeling in 6 touchdowns. Don’t forget he arguably made the catch of the year — if not all-time — against the rival Dallas Cowboys in Week 12, and just posted the first, 3-TD game of his career last weekend. What he does each week is worth watching the lackluster Giants alone. |
St. Louis enters Sunday’s game having not given up a touchdown in three games, yielding just 12 points over that same span. They’ll look to be the first team in 14 years to go four games without allowing a touchdown, and all their attention will no doubt be on the aforementioned Beckham Jr. Though neither team has anything to play for regarding playoffs, this game should intrigue even moderate fans of the NFL.
Prediction: Giants 20 Rams 7
|Buffalo Bills @ Oakland Raiders – Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET||The Buffalo Bills travel to face the Raiders in Oakland for the first time since 2005; a place they haven’t recorded a victory at since 1966. For the Bills to keep their fading playoff hopes alive, they’ll need to rewrite the record books and topple an Oakland team in search of just their third win. With news of running back CJ Spiller’s activation coming out of Bills camp Friday, the Bills offense should see some life injected into its anemic rushing attack. They’ll also look to ride the momentum gained from their big win over Green Bay a week ago. |
It’s been another horrific season for the Oakland Raiders in 2014 as the team stares down the barrel of yet another top-five pick in next year’s draft. Even though this game takes place at O.co Coliseum — where Oakland’s won its only games — don’t expect much from this underachieving squad. Latavius Murray stands out as the long bright spot on one of the league’s worst offensive units. He’ll have a heck of a time getting anything done on the ground, though, Buffalo’s run defense is one of the best in the league.
Prediction: Bills 24 Raiders 10
|Indianapolis Colts @ Dallas Cowboys – Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET||The 10-4 Indianapolis Colts travel to Dallas Sunday, winners of four straight games and in the driver seat in the AFC South. But if Andrew Luck and company want a shot at a first round bye come playoffs in January, they’ll need to keep their win streak alive against the surprising Cowboys. The NFL’s leading quarterback — Luck — looks to improve upon his 4,492 yards passing and 38 touchdowns against a team he’s yet to face in his young career. |
If Dallas hopes to keep its slim lead on lurking Philadelphia, it would like to see star running back DeMarco Murray back from a broken left hand sooner, rather than later. Murray’s 1,687 yards rushing are not only tops in the NFL, but remain just 80 yards shy of Emmitt Smith’s single-season franchise record. After undergoing surgery to repair the break Monday, Murray practiced sparingly leading up to the game and said the decision to play will be his. Whether or not Murray plays, expect a shootout from two of the NFL’s top offenses.
Prediction: Colts 30 Cowboys 28
|Sunday Night Football: Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals – 8:30 p.m. ET||Seattle enters Sunday Night Football down just one game in the NFC West standings behind their opponent, the Arizona Cardinals. Winners of 7 of their last 8 games, Seattle looks to ride its new-found momentum and gear up for another playoff run. In the last four weeks alone, Seattle’s dispatched the 49ers (twice), the Eagles, and these same Cardinals. Look for the mobile Russell Wilson, and the beast that is Marshawn Lynch, to give Arizona all they can handle in this NFC West battle. |
Although Arizona lost its star quarterback Carson Palmer to a torn ACL in Week 10, they’ve managed to stay perched atop the NFC West and remain in the driver seat with just two weeks left in the regular season. Unfortunately for them, they’ll turn to their third different starting quarterback after backup Drew Stanton suffered a sprained knee in last week’s game against the Rams. Up next? San Diego State alum Ryan Lindley, who’s attempted just 10 passes on the year, completing four of them for just 30 yards. Arizona may have the NFC West lead, but they’re facing a Seahawks team at the wrong time.
Prediction: Seahawks 17 Cardinals 6
|Monday Night Football: Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals – 8:30 p.m. ET||Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos already have a playoff spot with their name on it, but reaming traveling to Cincinnati for Monday Night Football with a first round bye and home field advantage on their mind. With an all-time record of 22-1 against the AFC North during his career, it seems likely Manning and the Broncos have a 12th victory within their grasp. The red-hot running back CJ Anderson figures to have a big role in Monday night’s game as well, having scored four touchdowns in his last four games. |
If the Bengals hope to remain competitive in Monday’s big matchup, they’ll need quarterback Andy Dalton to shake his knack for performing poorly in primetime games, sporting a record of just 2-6 in such contests. Another giant road block for the Bengals is the fact they’ve never beaten a team quarterbacked by Peyton Manning. Both should prove plenty difficult for Cincinnati as they attempt to secure a spot in the postseason, and stay atop the competitive AFC North.
Prediction: Broncos 27 Bengals 20
Monday Night Football: WatchESPN
WatchESPN is an online-only companion service and requires a cable subscription that includes ESPN. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have a cable package with ESPN, but you need to know at least someone who does and is kind enough to give you the username and password tied into their cable account. ESPN holds the rights to air Monday Night Football games, meaning this method is only applicable to Monday’s games, but the WatchESPN app is available for phones and tablets, so you can watch wherever you are on Monday night.
Sunday: NFL Sunday Ticket
Starting this season, DirecTV will allow people to buy subscriptions of NFL Sunday Ticket without having to get a TV package on top of that. That’s right, no satellite dish required! You’ll be able to choose from one of three new packages at three different price levels. One allows you to stream NFL Sunday Ticket to your computer, phone or tablet. The next step up allows you to stream directly to your video game console. The highest tier permits you to stream to all of those devices. The first tier costs $200, the next step up will run you $240, and the most expensive package will charge you $330.
The differences between the packages don’t end there though. The $200 package won’t let you stream to your console, but also omits the Redzone Channel, and Fantasy Zone, which “gives live looks at fantasy plays.” The $240 level also doesn’t include the Red Zone Channel or the Fantasy Zone, but lets you do everything else while restricting your streams to game consoles. The $330 deal wipes away all those restrictions, and simply checks “all of the above” on everything.Keep in mind that blackout restrictions apply, and your eligibility for the service may vary.
According to Forbes, the service won’t be available to addresses that DirecTV feels can “easily” get their full TV + NFL Sunday Ticket packages. However, it’s unclear what DirecTV means by “easily.” For what it’s worth, the service seems to be widely available to those living in apartments. Those who live in apartment buildings might be categorized by DirecTV as people who can’t get DirecTV so easily, considering that attaching a satellite to an apartment building isn’t the simplest of endeavors, as Forbes notes.
We spoke to DirecTV, and they confirmed you won’t be able to use the NFL Sunday Ticket streaming package to watch Monday Night Football games, or Thursday Night Football contests. Sorry folks.
Sunday Night Football: NFL Mobile (Verizon)
Unfortunately, this is a mobile app that’s specific to Verizon. If you have a Verizon mobile subscription, you can download NFL Mobile, plug your phone into your computer or TV via a micro USB to HDMI cable, and watch Sunday Night Football that way. NFL Mobile will also stream the Super Bowl in 2015. On top of that, for Verizon Premium and MORE Everything subscribers, NFL Mobile has been updated to include live streams of local games that are broadcast on CBS and FOX. Therefore, it doesn’t sound like local blackout rules apply here. However, if we read differently elsewhere, we’ll issue an update. Don’t underestimate the value of this method.
If you want to go straight to the source, the NFL Network offers access to streaming and RedZone, depending on your established plan and broadcast company. RedZone is the best way to watch all the Sunday games at the same time, and will roll through when teams are close to making a scoring play, often splitting the screen between two games. If you’re a fantasy guru this is a great way to stay on top of all your games, and you’ll never miss a touchdown. You have to be able to watch the NFL Network on your provider (sorry Comcast) but you could probably convince one of your friends on Verizon to let you use their account.
Questionable streaming sites
Keep in mind that most of the illegal streaming options available come loaded with unwanted spam and a barrage of pop-up windows. Leaning on such links can be frustrating, particularly when it comes to finding quality video and audio feeds with little buffering.
Related: How to connect your laptop to a TV
However, you must also keep in mind many of these sites illegally broadcast the content, and your computer is at a high risk of malware when using them. Nevertheless, you’ll notice the deep selection of links available to you once you find an adequate streaming site on the Web. Notorious sites — though technically legal given they only provide links to various broadcast streams instead of broadcasting the copyrighted content — fall upon the gray areas of the law.
Note: As a rule of thumb, never click on any link which asks you to download any HD Players, update your streaming software, or to install any “required” media players. These are often just spam links which could infect your computer with viruses.
An incredible resource for information about almost anything, Reddit has more than enough NFL information each week to satisfy any fan of the sport. Reddit’s loyal user base generates the site’s wealth of content, which is both a blessing, and a curse. You’ll find a slew of NFL-themed pictures, videos, and even alternative streaming sites on game days.
While Reddit is an excellent resource for anything and everything NFL, it’s incredibly easy to waste many an hour poking around the rest of the site. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Though not a video option, ESPN does offer its signature play-by-play Gamecast presentation for each NFL game every week. Just navigate to the NFL scoreboard page via the ESPN website, click the game you’d like to follow, and a Gamecast window opens. This feature shows real-time events including every completed pass, interception, sack, or long TD run. Gamecast also lists each team’s stats, every game’s box score, and provides links to all other currently playing games.