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2017 Season: Week 13 Preview

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now we have December football.  The weather turns colder while some teams get hotter and start to carve their way into the playoffs.  The winners of Week 13 will be revealed below!

Last Week: 13-3

Season: 113-63

Locks: 6-6

Upsets: 3-9

Thursday, November 30th, 8:26 e.t.

Washington Redskins (5-6) @ Dallas Cowboys (5-6)

It is do or die for both of these NFC East foes in Dallas on a big Thursday night game.  Luckily both teams will have had a full week to prepare for this contest.  I like the Redskins to win it because I like their quarterback more.  Defensively, the Cowboys have gotten roasted lately and are allowing a passer rating of over 100 on the season.  Kirk Cousins should take advantage of that.

Washington 34, Dallas 28

Sunday, December 3rd, 1:00 e.t.

Detroit Lions (6-5) @ Baltimore Ravens (6-5)

Here is a decent game between two playoff hopefuls who will be in some serious trouble with a loss.  The Lions played Minnesota tough at home last week while the Ravens slogged through a game with the Texans on Monday night.  Baltimore’s offense is bad and their defense is inconsistent.  I think this will end up being a great game and that favors the Lions who typically win those types of contests.  This is a toss-up though.

Detroit 23, Baltimore 20

New England Patriots (9-2) @ Buffalo Bills (6-5)

The Bills kept their season alive against Kansas City on the road last week while the Patriots continued to roll.  They should fly into Buffalo and take care of business against a defense that can be had.  The Bills will need to possess the ball for at least 35 minutes if they are to have a chance here.

New England 37, Buffalo 23

San Francisco 49ers (1-10) @ Chicago Bears (3-8)

Jimmy Garappolo will get the start for the Niners and that should give this team a shot in the arm going forward.  With that being said, the Chicago defense is good (although they were handled by Philly last week).  The Bears are also the home team.  I like them to win a very ugly contest that way.

Chicago 14, San Francisco 12

Indianapolis Colts (3-8) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4)

Indy has suffered a lot of excruciating losses this year and they did hold a lead in the fourth quarter last week.  One of the games they were never in this year was the one at home against these Jaguars.  The Jacksonville defense is good and they hit a bit of a bump in the road in Arizona but I think they will bounce back at home in front of a suddenly raucous crowd.

Jacksonville 24, Indianapolis 10

Denver Broncos (3-8) @ Miami Dolphins (4-7)

Here’s an ugly contest.  Two offenses that have been atrocious this year will square off in Miami and this is a tough one to pick since both squads are so futile.  I will go with Denver only because I think they can win this game with their defense, even without the suspended Aqib Talib.

Denver 12, Miami 9

Houston Texans (4-7) @ Tennessee Titans (7-4)

In a rematch of a Week 4 game that saw the Texans put up 57 points, I think it is safe to say we won’t be seeing any 50 burgers out of this one.  Tom Savage is nothing more than a backup quarterback while Marcus Mariota has been struggling largely lately.  The Titans have to be the least impressive 7-4 team also but they should take this contest at home since I do trust their offense just a little bit more.

Tennessee 21, Houston 17

Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) @ New York Jets (4-7)

The Chiefs continue to fade and desperately need to win this game otherwise they will be tied in the AFC West (more on that in a second).  I think they will take this contest on the road in their second trip to the Meadowlands this year.  Their offense will wake up a bit and I think we see the Chiefs return to more of their early season form (a watered down version, albeit).

Kansas City 24, New York 21

Minnesota Vikings (9-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (7-4)

This is arguably the best game of the week and a huge one in the NFC.  Both teams are red hot and are in great shape to get to the playoffs.  Julio Jones finally had a monster game this year and he typically will follow those performances up with a dud but this will not matter.  This will be a week that Altanta’s offense really showcases its ability against a good defense and I am also predicting that this will be a game where Case Keenum falls back to earth a bit.

Atlanta 35, Minnesota 24 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) @ Green Bay Packers (5-6)

The Packers gave Pittsburgh a good run for their money a week ago on the road but ended up botching the clock management situation at the end of the game and losing it in the end.  That should all but ensure their swan song of a 2017 season, but I think they will come out fighting for their lives at home and will pick up a victory over a defensively challenged Buccaneer squad.

Green Bay 30, Tampa Bay 27

Sunday, December 3rd, 4:05 e.t.

Cleveland Browns (0-11) @ Los Angeles Chargers (5-6)

It’s funny how the Chargers are suddenly favorites to win the AFC West after the Chiefs started out 5-0 and these guys were 0-4.  They are a talented team and they should really wreak havoc in the Cleveland backfield.  No chance that the Browns get their first win of the year twice in a row against the Chargers.

Los Angeles 38, Cleveland 13

Sunday, December 3rd, 4:25 e.t.

Los Angeles Rams (8-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (5-6)

L.A. came out and played a hell of a game against the Saints at home proving that their 24-7 loss to the Vikings was a potential fluke.  Now they take on an Arizona team who they shut out back in Week 7 33-0.  I think the Cards will do a much better job at trying to keep this game close, but ultimately they do not have the offense to keep pace with the Rams should this game turn into a shootout.

Los Angeles 29, Arizona 21

New York Giants (2-9) @ Oakland Raiders (5-6)

The big story heading into this game is the fact that it will be someone other than Eli Manning starting for the Giants at QB for the first time since 2004.  Instead it will be Geno Smith in a big spot and I definitely do not like his chances.  Heading across the country against a Raider team that is still very much in the playoff hunt in the AFC, the Giants will lose again.  Oakland’s offense will wake up as well.

Oakland 45, New York 13

Carolina Panthers (8-3) @ New Orleans Saints (8-3)

Here is another game that could be up for nomination as the game of the week.  First place in the AFC south is up for grabs and it’s going down in the Super Dome.  How about a bit of an upset?  The Panthers defense is good but I like them to win because I think their offense can take advantage of the Saints “D” which has been vulnerable due to the injuries it has suffered.

Carolina 34, New Orleans 31 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Sunday, December 3rd, 8:30 e.t.

Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (7-4)

This is the third major NFC tilt that could be considered the game of the week and it pits the best team in the league against the Seahawks in Seattle.  This will be the first time since 2012 that Seattle is not a home favorite, and for good reason.  Their defense has been struggling while the Eagles have been blowing everybody they play out.  I really want to pick Seattle here, but I just can’t.  Their defense is faltering and their offensive line just is not able to protect.  Russell Wilson cannot do it all.

Philadelphia 27, Seattle 24

Monday, December 4th, 8:30 e.t.

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)

Week 13 of the season concludes in Cincy and one of the most intense rivalries will take the center stage.  The Steelers will likely keep the Bengals in this game as they have been prone to doing over the past few years but in the end they are too hot to be stopped by Cincinnati.  Also, I really can’t see the Bengals going to 6-6 on the year, so there is that.

Pittsburgh 30, Cincinnati 20