Remember when losing hurt?

Well, every team in the AFC has at least four losses. Seven NFC teams, including the Vikings, have six or seven losses and are still frantically jockeying for not one, but two playoff spots.

Sorry, Draft Lovers and Zimmer Haters, but your Purple squad couldn't blow that 29-0 lead entirely on Thursday night. You'll just have to soldier on with another meaningful game in December. The Jaguars, Jets, Texans and Lions do not feel your pain.

Meanwhile, if winning a lot is still your thing, this week's we-have-a-first-ballot-Hall-of-Fame-quarterback-and-you-don't category offers Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers going for their 19th and 10th 10-or-more-win seasons, respectively.

The Cardinals (10-2) and Patriots (9-4) sit atop the NFC and AFC, respectively. Neither made the playoffs last year.

Shocking? Hardly.

Every year since 1990, at least four teams have made the playoffs that didn't make it the year before. This year, nine of the 19 teams with a .500-or-better record didn't make the playoffs last year.

Week 14 features two games — Rams (8-4) at Cardinals, and Bills (7-5) at Buccaneers (9-3) — between teams with winning records. It also offers three 9 ½-point-or-worse underdogs — Bears (12 ½), Giants (10) and a Lions team (9 ½) that, as some of you might recall, is coming off its first win of the season.

Shout out to the 49ers for living down to last week's Upset Special and losing at Seattle. This week, the Upset Special guesstimate is Washington riding its winning streak to a fifth week as Dallas continues to wobble.

Other upset picks this week: Falcons at Panthers, and Bills at Bucs.

And if you're looking for a Straight Up Lock of the Week, let's go with Bears "owner" Aaron Rodgers over Chicago.

UPDATED ODDS: Point spreads, money lines, over/under

Here's a look at this week's games:

Falcons (+2 ½) at Panthers
Maybe Carolina gets a short-term boost from firing offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Or maybe someone else should be fired for giving Brady Sam Darnold, Cam Newton and P.J. Walker to work with. Falcons 26, Panthers 19

Raiders (+10) at Chiefs
The Chiefs are back. And they have found a defense that has suddenly become shockingly stout. In its current five-game winning streak, Kansas City has given up 56 points (11.2 per game) while holding all five opponents to 17 or fewer points. Chiefs 33, Raiders 20

Ravens (+2 ½) at Browns
Cleveland's schedule the past three weeks: Baltimore, bye, Baltimore. Note to Baker and Co.: This time, if Lamar Jackson hands you four interceptions, try to get more than a field goal out of them. Ravens 24, Browns 19

Jaguars (+8 ½) at Titans
Urban Meyer better take a step down in gridiron weight class if he ever wants to be bowl eligible again. Jags have scored 48 points in their current four-game losing streak. Titans 31, Jaguars 10

Saints (-5 ½) at Jets
It sure is harder being a genius without a great quarterback, eh, Sean Payton? N'awlins has lost five straight, but the Jets are, well, the Jets. Saints 21, Jets 14

Seahawks (-8½) at Texans
Russell Wilson and the 4-8 Seahawks are finding their way back from injuries and ineptness. They still have something to play for in the soft NFC. The Texans have scored fewer than 10 points six times with two shutouts. Seahawks 31, Texans 7

Lions (+10) at Broncos
With winless infamy averted thanks to the Vikings, the Lions can go back to sleep. But if they don't and Jared Goff has 1:50 left and no timeouts in a one-score game: BLITZ HIM! OR AT LEAST COVER HIS RECEIVERS!! Broncos 20, Lions 9

Giants (+9½) at Chargers
Lawrence Taylor said this week he no longer pays attention to the Giants. Right there with you, LT. Mike Glennon, Jake Fromm, whatever. Giants lose. Again. Chargers 34, Giants 9

Bills (+3½) at Buccaneers
For seven consecutive weeks, the Bills have followed a loss with a win and vice versa. They are coming off a loss to the Patriots. Tampa Bay has scored 30 or more points while winning three straight. Time for another brief hiccup in Tampa as the Bills rise yet again. Bills 34, Buccaneers 31

49ers (-1 ½) at Bengals
Cincinnati is a strange young team. In the past four weeks, the Bengals have gone 2-2 while giving up 41, 13, 10 and 41 points. San Francisco also can't be counted on for consistency. The 49ers ran for 208 yards against the Vikings and then 71 in an upset loss at Seattle. Flip a coin or just take the home team. Bengals 30, 49ers 23

Bears (+12) at Packers
Sorry, Chicago. Aaron Rodgers was right. The Smug One does indeed own you. He'll be 24-4 against the Bears after this one. Packers 35, Bears 13

Rams (+2) at Cardinals
Going back to that 37-20 home loss to Arizona in Week 4, the Rams lose to good teams (0-4) and beat bad teams (5-0). Their opponent Monday night, the Cardinals, not only are a good team, but they're now a healthy team again. Cardinals 34, Rams 28


Cowboys (-4½) at Washington
There's something Case Keenum-esque going on with Taylor Heinicke and the WFT right now. Heinicke has completed at least 70% of his passes in each of Washington's four straight wins. The Cowboys, on the other hand, are wobbling. They are 1-2 in their last three games and 2-3 in their past five. These teams play each other twice in three weeks. Round 1 goes to Case, er, Taylor. Washington 24, Cowboys 21

Last week's Upset Special: Seahawks (+2 ½) 23, 49ers 21. Actual score: Seahawks 30, 49ers 23. Record: 7-5.


Last week's record straight up/against the spread: 10-4/7-7.

Season record straight up/against the spread: 123-70-1/91-102-1.

Vikings picks straight up/against the spread: 9-4/6-7.