Week 13 is here, can you believe it?
It feels like just yesterday we were getting used to watching preseason NFL games and here we are… with only five weeks left in the regular season.
Time flies when you're having fun, and that's what we're about to do. Buckle up and get ready for the ride of Week 13 Picks that I'm taking you on.
Flash photography is allowed. Say cheese!
16Thursday Night Football: Green Bay Packers (7-4) At Detroit Lions (4-7)
One of the teams entering this game has lost four out of their last five contests and has looked like one of the bottom teams in the NFL in that span.
It's the Green Bay Packers! Don't tell Olivia Munn.
When the Pack lost to Denver and Carolina back-to-back people chalked it up to just how great those teams were. They then lost to division rivals Detroit and Chicago (while Brett Favre's number was retired at halftime in one of the coolest moments ever) at what Ron Wolfe once referred to as the holy cathedral of professional football… Lambeau Field.
The Packers are in trouble right now. A road trip to Detroit who just spanked the Eagles is not what the doctor ordered. These Lions are starting to look like those of East Dillon (10 cool points if you catch the reference) and are playing some good football! Matthew Stafford is feeling good and he will be after this game.
Prediction: Packers – 23, LIONS – 27
15Atlanta Falcons (6-5) At Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6)
After starting off 5-0 and getting way, way, WAY too much hype for it… the Atlanta Falcons are 1-5. That is not good.
This team is, and has been, one of the more overrated teams in the NFL. Matt Ryan has JULIO JONES on his team and still manages to have terrible offensive days. It would be difficult to be as bad as he's been even if you tried.
Consider that Brian Hoyer AND TJ Yates are able to effectively use DeAndre Hopkins down in Houston. Matty Ice? More like Matty Wet Towel.
The Buccaneers aren't exactly an elite team in the NFL, but they're better than the Falcons. If I could take over either of these two teams I'd take the Bucs, man. Jameis, Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Austin Seferian-However You Spell It… fire the cannons at Raymond James Stadium!
Prediction: Falcons – 17, BUCCANEERS – 27
14Houston Texans (6-5) At Buffalo Bills (5-6)
I owe a lot of apologies to the Houston Texans. I did not believe, I'm sorry.
The Texans aren't setting the world on fire, but they're also not the mess I thought that they'd be. They play smart football: throw it to DeAndre Hopkins and get after the quarterback with your elite defense. That's a great recipe.
As much as I want to, I can't take the Texans this week. In the NFL the more desperate team usually finds a way to win games this time of year. The Bills have now lost two in a row and their wildcard hopes are slipping out of their fingers.
Hungry Bills? Hungry Rex? IN Buffalo? Circle the wagons.
Prediction: Texans – 20, BILLS – 24
13San Francisco 49ers (3-8) At Chicago Bears (5-6)
Blaine Gabbert is a functional NFL quarterback. That is the world that we are living in.
The Niners have definitely fulfilled their whole “Who's left on that team? They're going to stink!” hype, but they've been in some games that most thought they wouldn't. Just last week they had a chance to beat the Cardinals, but then Super Blaine stepped in and saved the day.
Jay is going to have a great day against a 49er team that has been in a tailspin since Jim Harbaugh left. Da Bears!
Prediction: 49ers – 14, BEARS – 23
12Cincinnati Bengals (9-2) At Cleveland Browns (2-9)
It's never a good time in Cleveland when they're playing a team in December with an inverse record of them.
But is it ever a good time in Cleveland for the Browns?
I've seen a ton of crazy finishes to football games in my life. I've seen many heartbreakers. The Browns suffered one of the most gut-wrenching losses that I've ever seen on Monday Night Football three days ago. Even if they weren't the Browns… there's no coming back from that.
The Bengals woke up from their little slumber with an authoritative win over the Rams last week. A date with the most cursed NFL franchise ever is going to make them feel even prettier than Jeff Fisher did last week.
Prediction: BENGALS – 30, Browns – 13
11Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7) At Tennessee Titans (2-9)
Thank God we don't have to watch this game in those horrible uniforms.
Unfortunately we still have to watch this game. Ugh.
You have to wonder if either of these two franchises is ever going to find a way to be consistently relevant in the NFL again. I've said before that I believe the Jaguars have a bright future with all of their young offensive weapons, but it's hard to imagine that the future will ever get here for either of these teams.
Give me the Jaguars. Why? Because. That's why!
Prediction: JAGUARS – 27, Titans – 26
10Arizona Cardinals (9-2) At St. Louis Rams (4-7)
How is Jeff Fisher still a head coach in the NFL? Seriously.
The guy hasn't had a winning record since 2008, with the Titans, and a few weeks ago he let a concussed player continue to play quarterback! What in the world?!
The Rams are doomed to mediocrity under Fisher's reign. In the wise words of Forest Gump… that's all I have to say about that.
Oh and the Cardinals are good. Really good. Like crush the Rams in their own stadium in front of their own fans by at least 30 points good.
But the Rams get up for these games. It's weird. As terrible as they are and as good as the Cardinals are… just watch. The Rams are going to make this a game. It's going to be one of those big defense, low-scoring NFC West games.
Prediction: Cardinals – 13, RAMS – 16
9Baltimore Ravens (4-7) At Miami Dolphins (4-7)
The Ravens blocked off the field at Cleveland with one of the more dramatic finishes to a game that we've seen this season. They celebrated in their locker room, looked around, and wondered who the heck all of these guys were. Where are their franchise players?
They're all hurt. The Ravens have suffered more injuries than even the Cowboys this season with Terrell Suggs, Steve Smith Sr., Justin Forsett, and Joe Flacco among those sidelined for the season. Ouchie.
The Dolphins have had a weird season. They've fired their coach and played good football… then really bad football.
I'm just playing odds here. Dan Campbell's Dolphins (that sounds cool, by the way) have been really hot and cold. I think they're hot this week. Plain and simple. (insert dolphin noise here).
Prediction: Ravens – 17, DOLPHINS – 21
8Seattle Seahawks (6-5) At Minnesota Vikings (8-3)
I really want to pick the Vikings here.
Mike Zimmer's group is feeling really good now that they're back in first place in the NFC North. They're going to the playoffs this season… you can count on that.
They are not winning this game.
The Seahawks know how to get hot at the right time. We've seen this scene from them over and over again. They're starting to gel, finally, and are playing their style of football. After a big win over the Steelers there's no way they're losing to a far less potent offense.
Prediction: SEAHAWKS – 30, Vikings – 26
7New York Jets (6-5) At New York Giants (5-6)
Start spreading the news! I'm leaving today! I want to be a part of it… New York! New York!
The battle for the Big Apple is on as the Jets and Giants meet in their once every four years clash. How weird is it for the Jets to dress in the visiting locker room this game? These are the things that keep me up at night.
Ryan Fitzmagic is on fire this season. Eli Manning is on whatever the opposite of fire is. He just threw three interceptions… against the Redskins. That Jets defense? Good luck, Elisha.
Offensively the Jets are more dangerous than people fully realize. Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Chris Ivory… fire up the Jet Fuel!
Also the Jets Cheerleaders official name is the “Jets Flight Crew”. Why are they not the Flight Attendants? Wouldn't that make 1,000 times more sense?
Prediction: JETS – 33, Giants – 17
6Denver Broncos (9-2) At San Diego Chargers (3-8)
I would feel badly for Peyton Manning if he didn't have another career as a full-time commercial actor.
How poetically sad is it that Peyton Manning is getting Tom Brady'd and that it happened against the one person that Peyton could never beat… Tom Brady?
“Getting Tom Brady'd” refers to how Brady took the reigns from Drew Bledsoe and never gave them back. It's a sick set of cards that Peyton Manning has been dealt.
Brock Osweiler looks great, though. He's going to keep pouring salt in Peyton's wounds this week against these non-electric Chargers.
Prediction: BRONCOS – 20, Chargers, 14
5Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) At Oakland Raiders (5-6)
The Raiders teased us all by looking like a real football team early in the season. Alas, the Raiders we have all known for a long time are back!
So are the resurgent Chiefs. Alex Smith has gone something like 53,238 attempts without throwing an interception while his Chiefs dominate opponents.
There's no way the Raiders are going to be able to hang with KC in this game, but get ready for this:
Alex Smith's streak will end in the hands of Charles Woodson. Yahtzee!
Prediction: CHIEFS – 22, Raiders – 13
4Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) At New England Patriots (10-1)
The Eagles are about to go into New England after the Patriots just lost, embarrassingly lost to be clear, for the first time this season at the home of one of their bigger rivals of the last few years.
Stock up on the smoothies, Captain Chip.
Philadelphia is going to be lucky to get a first down in this game. It's going to be a skunk-fest for Eagles fans (or what they call Sundays usually).
Prediction: Eagles – 6, PATRIOTS – 34
3Carolina Panthers (11-0) At New Orleans Saints (4-7)
The Panthers are undefeated. They have one of the best offenses in the league. They are going up against one of the worst defenses in the league. The recipe is there.
There is a cold hard truth about the NFL and all of the statistical grandeur that comes with it. It does not matter against division opponents.
The Saints are winning this game. That's right. My gut says so.
Prediction: Panthers – 27, SAINTS – 30
2Sunday Night Football: Indianapolis Colts (6-5) At Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)
It was pretty shocking that Big Ben and the Steelers couldn't get the job done in Seattle. Their offense is as good as it gets right now.
The Colts are riding the wave of a nice little story about how Matt Hasselbeck is undefeated and quarterbacking them to victories while Andrew Luck heals.
That all ends Sunday night, Colts fans.
If you don't remember… last year Ben Roethlisberger threw for 522 yards and 6 touchdowns last year against the Colts.
You know where I'm going.
Prediction: Colts – 13, STEELERS – 31
1Monday Night Football: Dallas Cowboys (3-8) At Washington Redskins (5-6)
The Redskins are playing good football, yes. But remember how I said that the more desperate team in the NFL tends to win? That's us.
The Cowboys aren't done yet, folks. They're going to keep things interesting. And the last complete game they played was Week 17 in Washington last year. They own that joint.
Cowboys. Redskins. With so much on the line… this feels like football.
Prediction: COWBOYS – 23, Redskins – 17