Week 13 is among us. This week’s slate kicked off on Thursday night when the Redskins traveled to Texas to face a bitter division rival in the Dallas Cowboys.
Our Sunday night matchup features what could be one of the best games this season when Carson Wentz and the Eagles go on the road to face Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
The week closes on Monday night when the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers head to Cincinnati to play the 5-6 Bengals. What about the games in between? Find the picks for the prime time and regular Sunday games below!
Minnesota Vikings (9-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (7-4) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
I’m not buying Atlanta as a NFC powerhouse. I’m buying them as a playoff team, but nothing more. Minnesota is rolling on all cylinders right now and will not slow down this Sunday. It’ll be an entertaining game but defense will reign supreme in the end. A late Matt Ryan interception will seal the deal for the Vikings, who will win by 6 in Atlanta.
The Pick: Vikings 30, Falcons 24
Houston Texans (4-7) @ Tennessee Titans (7-4) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Houston is going to attempt to play teams close but at this point in the year, especially considering Tennessee still has playoff aspirations, it’s not going to help much. The Titans are going to use this game as revenge for the Texans’ 57-14 beatdown they handed Mariota and company earlier in the year.
The Pick: Titans 27, Texans 13
Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) @ New York Jets (4-7) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
This is it for the Chiefs. A loss this week will result in me completely losing faith in them. Enough is enough, it is time for the offense to get its act together. Surprisingly, the defense has been playing well as of late and should continue to do so against Josh McCown. Alex Smith is due for a big game and should have one against an average-ish Jets defense.
The Pick: Chiefs 31, Jets 14
Denver Broncos (3-8) @ Miami Dolphins (4-7) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Trevor Siemian is back under center for the Broncos. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but let’s go with good. Maybe being benched lit a fire under him and he’ll play to his potential – average. At this point, anything resembling average will do for Denver. Jay Cutler isn’t going to be able to carve up his former defense; I think the Broncos will finally end the losing streak at seven games.
The Pick: Broncos 24, Dolphins 19
Indianapolis Colts (3-8) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Jacksonville is beginning to worry me a bit, but not enough to pick them to lose this week. The Colts remind me a lot of the Jets – a bad team that plays you tough each and every week. This week will be nothing different, but the Jaguars’ defense is much better than that of the Colts. Oh yeah, the Colts also don’t have anything resembling Leonard Fournette.
The Pick: Jaguars 23, Colts 17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) @ Green Bay Packers (5-6) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
I’m going out on a BIG limb here by saying the Buccaneers aren’t a good team. If you couldn’t tell, that was complete and utter sarcasm. Brett Hundley won’t throw for three touchdowns this week, but I think two will be enough to get the job done. Green Bay cannot afford to lose any more games if it wants to keep its playoff hopes alive, starting with this week.
The Pick: Packers 24, Buccaneers 23
Detroit Lions (6-5) @ Baltimore Ravens (6-5) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
This is a big matchup. Joe Flacco continues to play bad football (9 TD, 11 INT) while Matthew Stafford is attempting to do his best Aaron Rodgers impression (21 TD, 6 INT) by keeping his bad supporting cast in the playoffs. The Lions are a better team for the Ravens and although the defense has been huge for Baltimore as of late, it’s not going to be able to stop Stafford on Sunday.
The Pick: Lions 34, Ravens 21
New England Patriots (9-2) @ Buffalo Bills (6-5) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
New England is operating as a well-oiled machine right now. Buffalo had a nice win against the struggling Chiefs last Sunday but the luck ends here. Bills, meet 6-6. 6-6, meet the Buffalo Bills. Tom Brady, meet the road to the #1 overall seed in the AFC playoffs and another great game. This is going to get ugly.
The Pick: Patriots 42, Bills 13
San Francisco 49ers (1-10) @ Chicago Bears (3-8) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Upset special: the 49ers are going to win this one! I’m thoroughly convinced that Jimmy Garoppolo is the answer for San Francisco – this week. The jury is still out on what he is long-term but on Sunday, he should have plenty of success against Chicago.
The Pick: 49ers 27, Bears 14
Cleveland Browns (0-11) @ Los Angeles Chargers (5-6) (Sunday, 4:05 PM ET)
I really, really, really want to see Cleveland win a game. I really do. Sadly, it’s not going to happen this week. Philip Rivers has been playing too well and the combination of Joey Bosa + Melvin Ingram = disaster. Moving on.
The Pick: Chargers 30, Browns 10
New York Giants (2-9) @ Oakland Raiders (5-6) (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)
Oakland is one of two 5-6 AFC West teams looking to gain ground on the Chiefs. Oakland is one o tow 5-6 AFC West teams that will be 6-6 at the end of Sunday. It’ll be closer than it should be but in the end, the same result. Geno Smith is back! Kind of. Not really.
The Pick: Raiders 24, Giants 20
Carolina Panthers (8-3) @ New Orleans Saints (8-3) (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)
This one is going to be an amazing game. Many times this year I’ve made my picks based on whether I see MVP Cam Newton returning. I think this is going to be one of those occasions where he’s back. Drew Brees has been very good this year, but not the completely dominant force he used to be. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are not going to have a typical day against this Carolina defense. Cam Newton will have a good day and the Panthers will be in sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
The Pick: Panthers 34, Saints 24
Los Angeles Rams (8-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (5-6) (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)
Los Angeles is a great team. The Rams cannot afford to lose games like this one to subpar opponents. Arizona’s upset of the Jaguars last week was nice, but facing Jared Goff is a lot more difficult than facing Blake Bortles. The Rams will have a good game on both sides of the ball and will handily take care of the Cardinals.
The Pick: Rams 31, Cardinals 17
Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (7-4) (Sunday, 8:30 PM ET)
Along with Carolina vs. New Orleans, this one is a strong candidate for game of the week. Philadelphia looks like a team that can’t be stopped. If Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor were healthy and Russell Wilson had a decent offensive line to protect him, I’d pick the Seahawks to pull off the upset. Because none of these things will be in place, I’m going with Philly. Carson Wentz won’t have a typical Carson Wentz day, but it’ll still be enough to escape hostile territory with yet another win.
The Pick: Eagles 24, Seahawks 20
Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
Cincinnati desperately needs a win this week to stay firmly in the middle of the AFC playoff picture but unfortunately for Marvin Lewis and his crew, it’s not looking too good. The Steelers had an off game last week against the Packers and still managed to pull out a win. Cincinnati isn’t a good team and Pittsburgh is. At this point in the year, these types of games are easy to predict.
The Pick: Steelers 34, Bengals 21
That’s all I’ve got for this week’s edition of NFL Picks. It’s bound to be another amazing week of football as the playoff race is heating up. Let’s hope we keep the momentum going after a 12-4 record for picks in Week 12.
Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
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