I apologize for not posting our Week 12 picks. I was not able to do so as I had some family issues to deal with, but we are back this week! The standings are getting tighter and tighter each week!
Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have looked downright awful since Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended. Dak Prescott has looked like a FRAUD and their defense has not been very good either. Kirk Cousins did not play great in his first matchup this year against the Cowboys, but I expect him to bounce back in this one.
Score: Redskins 31, Cowboys 24
Let’s just face it, the Cowboys aren’t as good as we thought they were, especially having loss the last 3 games by a combined 70 points! The Redskins won an ugly game to Giants on Thanksgiving last week, but have been competitive since losing to the Cowboys at home back in Week 8. It’s Week 13 now and both teams don’t really have much to play for besides bragging rights. Except for that damp Week 8 game, Kirk Cousins has had a lot of success against the Cowboys over the last couple of years. The Cowboys are looking bad on all fronts whether it’s in the passing game, the running game, on defense with their secondary. At least the Redskins can say that they’ve competed even with a depleted roster. Redskins should win this on TNF.
Score: Redskins 28, Cowboys 23
Kansas City Chiefs vs. New York Jets
SHOOTOUT ALERT!!!! Yes, I expect this game to be high-scoring. The Chiefs’ offense has been struggling lately, but they are going to break out eventually. This is the game they do so. Alex Smith knows Patrick Mahomes is breathing down his neck, but he will step up big time this week. Josh McCown should have a big game as well. The McCown-Robby Anderson connection has been on fire the past 4-5 weeks or so.
Score: Chiefs 33, Jets 30
Is there a team that has looked as ugly as the Cowboys have in recent weeks? Yes, they’re called the Kansas City Chiefs. After starting the season 5-0, they have gone 1-5 since with losing the last three games against the Cowboys, Giants, and Bills. Teams we thought were inferior to the Chiefs throughout half the season. Their offensive line have been bad and the play-calling hasn’t helped them either. The Jets lost a tough one at home against the Panthers a week ago, but 3 of their 4 games at home this year. The Chiefs brought in longtime Jet Darelle Revis into their secondary, but I think Robby Anderson has been almost unstoppable at times for the Jets. I’m calling for an upset here, the Chiefs have just been a complete mess.
Score: Jets 24, Chiefs 21
Minnesota Vikings vs. Atlanta Falcons
The Vikings were able to stop a hot, high-scoring offense when they faced the Rams. Can they have a repeat effort against the Falcons? Case Keenum is having an outstanding season for the Vikings as he has led them to one of the best records in the NFL. The Falcons pass defense has been very good this year, but their rush defense has been mediocre. If they want success this week they are going to have to stop Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. The Vikings have won seven in a row, but that streak ends this week.
Score: Falcons 24, Vikings 21
Another tough one to judge. The Vikings have won 7 in a row while the Falcons have won 4 of their last 5. Case Keenum has been on fire recently and I’m not sure not even the Falcons can stop him. I also the like the Vikings better defensively here, and I really doubt Julio Jones will have as big of a game he had last week. The Vikings are proving people wrong this year, and a win will further make people take them as serious super bowl favorites.
Score: Vikings 27, Falcons 24
Detroit Lions vs. Baltimore Ravens
Matthew Stafford IS the Lions’ offense. The Lions have not been able to run the ball for years now. The Ravens defense is phenomenal, but they are open to being beat by the run. Bad news for the Lions. Another disadvantage is the Lions have to travel to Baltimore for this one. If the Ravens can find just a little bit of a groove on the offensive end then they will find success in this game. I’m looking at you Danny Woodhead.
Score: Ravens 20, Lions 17
This is a tough one to call. The Lions were topped at home on Thanksgiving last week against the Vikings while the Ravens won a low-scoring game against the Texans last Monday night. The Lions have a better record on the road this year than at home being 4-1 away from Detroit and 2-4 in Detroit. Marvin Jones Jr. scorched one of the best corner’s in the league in Xavier Rhodes last week, and should draw Baltimore’s best corner in this one meaning someone like Golden Tate might see more action. I just trust the Lions more to put up points and not look all that shaky on offense. Lions win a tight one.
Score: Lions 23, Ravens 21
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills
Remember when everyone was panicking about the Patriots in the first four weeks of the season? HA, FOOLS! Do not ever doubt the brilliance of Bill Belichick. During their seven game winning streak, the Pats have held opponents to 17 points or less. They have found their groove. I do not seen Tyrod Taylor and the Bills being able to end the Pats winning streak this week, especially with Kelvin Benjamin ruled out.
Score: Patriots 27, Bills 17
The Pats’ offense have just been merciless this year, scoring more than 21 points since Week 6 and more than 33 points in the last 3 games. The Bills beat the Chiefs last week, but it wasn’t pretty. The Chiefs are just bad, not giving credit to the Bills’ defense. They have been one of the worst run defenses in the league this year which will help the dual-threat in Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead to flourish this week. This might be a trap game for the Pats since they just love to drop a random game against a team in their division, but they’re rolling and they would like to keep up with the Steelers before their match-up in a couple weeks.
Score: Patriots 33, Bills 21
San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears
The Jimmy G era in San Francisco has begun. The Bears are a bad team, as are the 49ers. This is going to be the ugliest game of the week by far. However, I expect Jimmy to sprinkle some magic and spark into this Niners team and lead them to victory.
Score: 49ers 23, Bears 21
The Jimmy Garroppolo era begins! Well technically it started last week when he came in late into last weeks game against the Seahawks and threw a quick TD. He’s got a tough test though, facing the Bears on the road and in frigid weather. I think he’ll perform fairly well, but it’s his defense letting down in the end. I see Jordan Howard having a big game for the Bears, being enough to beat the Niners. I’m keeping this game close because of how shaky the Bears’ offense has looked over the past few weeks. Look at Dontrelle Inman in DFS games.
Score: Bears 24, 49ers 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Green Bay Packers
Jameis Winston returns this week for the Bucs, who actually were playing good football before last week’s game against the Falcons. Ty Montgomery has been ruled out for the Packers and they are thin all around the field. Playing at Lambo is never easy, but this is not the Packers team that you expect to see on the field week in and week out.
Score: Buccaneers 30, Packers 23
Brett Hundley finally had a break-out game last week against the Steelers, but did it in a losing effort. I can see him torching the Bucs secondary here with Davante Adams on his side, especially after the Bucs gave up more than 200 yards through the air to Julio Jones last week. Finally getting the hang of things, being at home, and with the possibility of Aaron Rodgers returning this year I think Hundley will make the most out of his opportunities and will try to bring the Packers to a good place if Rodgers does return.
Score: Packers 27, Buccaneers 23
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The first time these two teams played it was an ugly one as the Jags shutout the Colts 27-0. That was 6 weeks ago, but nothing has changed for either side since. The Jags should dominate a porous Colts’ offensive line in route to a dominant victory.
Score: Jaguars 23, Colts 10
Jags at home against a shaky offense, wonder what will happen? Good things will happen, at least for Jaguars it will. Their great defense will shut-down the limited options the Colts have on offense and the Jags own offense will take advantage of a depleted Colts D. Look at Dede Westbrook as a sleeper in DFS.
Score: Jaguars 27, Colts 13
Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins
These two teams should just be happy we have a Bears/49ers matchup this week because these two teams SUCK. The Broncos have a big, big problem at the QB position, while the Dolphins are starting Jay Cutler. LOL. This is going to be an ugly, low-scoring game. The better defense will win this game. That’s good news for the Broncos.
Score: Broncos 17, Dolphins 14
Ugh, I cringe at the thought of this game. Broncos have shuffled through 3 QBs and are back to their Week 1 starter in Trevor Siemian. I’ll keep this short though. The Dolphins in my opinion have been playing like an overall better team. They’re at home and at least haven’t looked as bad in their 5 game losing streak as the Broncos have in their 7 game losing streak.
Score: Dolphins 22, Broncos 16
Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans
It does not matter who is at QB or who the Texans are playing, DeAndre Hopkins cannot be stopped. I expect a big game from him against a poor Titans’ defense, but that is where it ends for the Texans. The Titans are the better team while the Texans are without J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson.
Score: Titans 27, Texans 20
Outside of really Delanie Walker from Tennessee and DeAndre Hopkins from Houston, both of these teams haven’t done much on offense lately. I think if you match-up the Texans with at least a decent defense now, it won’t look pretty. I think this whole game may not be pretty, but the Titans should take this one at home.
Score: Titans 26, Texans 21
New York Giants vs. Oakland Raiders
I’m in full “Fuck the Giants” mode after the benching of Eli Manning. It’s disgusting the way this organization has handled the situation. Geno Smith is the starter this week against the Raiders. Wow, just wow. The Raiders should stomp all over the Giants this week, but I actually expect Smith to have a big game this week before he goes back to being Geno Smith in week 14.
Score: Raiders 33, Giants 27
The Giants made the biggest mistake they could ever make by benching probable future hall of famer Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith. Having said that, you had me at Geno Smith. He’s just bad and I expect rookie Davis Webb to get some time in the near future. Then with the Raiders, they lost Michael Crabtree to suspension and look to be losing Amari Cooper to injury. So they’re limited in their receiving corps, but they shouldn’t have much of a problem this week. This will be a low-scoring, ugly game going to the home team.
Score: Raiders 19, Giants 14
Cleveland Browns vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Score: Chargers 28, Browns 13
You had me at Browns. On the road against a hot Chargers team lead by Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, and Keenan Allen, I don’t see this one being close. Browns got their one and only win last year against the Chargers last year, but this is a much different Chargers team they’re facing this year.
Score: Chargers 30, Browns 14
Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
The Panthers looked like frauds last week when they allowed the Jets to put up 27 points against them. The four game suspension of Charles Johnson does not help their case. The Saints got beat by a good Rams team last week, but I expect them to bounce back at home against the Panthers. They just have too many weapons.
Score: Saints 27, Panthers 23
This should be a good one, with both teams tied with an 8-3 record at the top of the AFC South. The Saints were not phased in their last match-up against the Panthers on the road, so being at home should give them a leg-up this week. Alvin Kamara is a beast and I cannot emphasize that enough. Although the Panthers have allowed the 3rd fewest yards per game on the ground, there’s nothing that can stop Kamara now. I’ll take the Saints at home in this division match-up.
Score: Saints 28, Panthers 24
Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Rams have one of the best offensive units in football even without Robert Woods. The Cardinals have been struggling against the pass this year as they currently rank 19th in passing yards allowed per game. They are also letting up the 25th most points per game. That is not a recipe for success against the second highest scoring offense in football.
Score: Rams 35, Cardinals 21
Rams won a close won at home against the Saints a week ago while the Cardinals shocked the Jaguars at home. Rams are just better at almost every facet in the game than the Cards, and looked pretty good in their match-up earlier this past season. Who cares if they’re on the road, Rams are just too good.
Score: Rams 28, Cardinals 17
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Eagles have the best record in football and they look like the best team in the NFC right now. I’m still not sold. The Eagles have only played two teams so far this year who currently have a record over .500, the Panthers and Chiefs. They lost to the Chiefs in week 2, but beat the Panthers in week 6. This is their first true test in seven weeks and maybe their toughest test of the season. If Carson Wentz can lead the Eagles to victory in this one then he is my MVP front runner and I am officially sold on the Eagles.
Score: Seahawks 23, Eagles 21
A great test for the Eagles here, facing the Seahawks and the Legion of Boom on Sunday night football. But like I said in the Rams/Cards game, who cares if they’re on the road, they’re just too good. They’ll have to really scrap and grind for this win, but I expect them to past this test.
Score: Eagles 24, Seahawks 21
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have won three of their last five, while the Steelers are on a six game winning streak. Two teams playing some good football. The Steelers have won five straight games against the Bengals, but division games are always hard to predict as it seems players have a little extra energy for them. Ben Roethlisberger has stepped it up after a slow start. During the Steelers six game winning streak, Big Ben has thrown for 1,679 yards and 14 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions. The Steelers dominated the Bengals in week 7, but the Bengals are playing better football since then.
Score: Steelers 24, Bengals 23
Antonio Brown is not someone any opposing secondary wants to face, but sadly for Bengals they have to go against him on Monday night. He should get more get more help this week against a top 5 defense in lowest yards allowed through the air per game, with Juju Smith-Schuster back to space the field out more. Unless you put them against a bad defense, the Bengals’ offense is just not a pretty sight. Steelers should take this one against a division rival, even on the road.
Score: Steelers 24, Bengals 16
I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.