NFL Week 13 Predictions

Last week’s 12-4 record has me sitting at 112-65 for the season, and actually that number is now one better with the win for the Bengals on Thursday night in Cincy – so with a mark of 113-65, let’s throw out my picks for critical week 13 of the NFL.

Arizona at St.Louis – The Rams finally broke their losing streak at home last week vs the 49’ers, and this week should continue their winning ways against the Cardinals, who are 0-5 on the road. Matt Leinart is starting to show signs of becoming a solid QB in this league, but still makes too many rookie mistakes that come back to haunt him. The Cards allow 122 yards a game on the ground, and you can bet that Rams RB Stephen Jackson is licking his lips with the thought of the Cards coming to town. Look for a big day for he and the Rams offense. St.Louis 31 Arizona 20

Atlanta at Washington – The Falcons season seemed to self destruct last week with their 4th straight loss, a 31-13 home trouncing at the hands of the rival Saints. Then add the humiliation of having your starting QB flip off the fans as he was booed off the field at the end of the game, and you have a season lost for Atlanta. Maybe the best thing they could have right now is a game away from the Georgia Dome, and this Sunday in DC, that’s what they’ve got. The Falcons offense is still 9th in the league in yards per game, and the Skins D still is ranked 28th, numbers that should translate to an Atlanta win. Washington at 4-7 showed some heart in a win over the Panthers last week, but this week I think the injuries really catch up to them, and the Falcons get their third road win of the season. Atlanta 24 Washington 21

San Francisco at New Orleans – The Saints continue to lead the league in offense with MVP candidate Drew Brees, along with their two-man wrecking crew at running back, and this week at the SuperDome, they look to continue putting up big numbers vs the 49’ers. With a one-game lead in the NFC South, the Saints look for their first two-game winning streak since back in mid-October. The 49’ers are not the pushovers they used to be, and if RB Frank Gore gets going, he could make it a long day for the Saints defense. Despite the improvement of the 49’ers, I think the Saints have their eyes on a division title, and cannot afford to slip up here at home. New Orleans 27 San Francisco 17

New York Jets at Green Bay – Two teams on the cusp of the playoff race matchup in Green Bay, as the Jets and Packers do battle. The Packers have been awful at home this season, winning just once in five games at Lambeau, and being shutout at home twice. They also come in after a short week after playing Monday night in the snow in Seattle. New York rebounded after a 10-0 loss to the Bears two weeks ago with a win over the Texans in which they allowed just 25 rushing yards. Bret Favre and Ahman Green are going to have to have solid days for the Pack to win this one, and the Jets are going to have to counter with a good day for QB Chad Pennington, who has struggled in his last four games with 2 TD’s and 5 INT’s. I think the Packers will reward their loyal fans with a home win here that will all but end the Jets playoff dreams. Green Bay 17 New York 13

San Diego at Buffalo – The Chargers actually struggled last week to the Raiders at home, and had to score two 4th quarter TD’s to overcome Oakland 21-14. Nevertheless, this week they get LB Shawne Merriman back and the defense will look to put the clamps on a Buffalo team that has the 29th ranked offense in the league. The Bills though have shown signs of life, as last week they stunned the Jaguars with a last play field goal to win 27-24. They will need RB Willis McGahee to gain some yards to not allow the Chargers D to get off on QB J.P. Loseman. The Chargers offense could be affected by some weather issues in Buffalo, as they are expecting it to be snowy over the weekend, and only 34 on Sunday. Despite it all, the Chargers have to keep winning to hold off Denver and Kansas City. San Diego 21 Buffalo 14

Minnesota at Chicago – Another week of talk shows and newspapers calling for Brian Griese to step in the QB the Bears, who are starting to show some signs of weakness in the NFC. Last week in New England, QB Rex Grossman had another poor outing, 15-for-34 for 176 yards and three INT’s. His last four games have show him throw 5 TD’s, 7 INT’s, and a rating of just 57.1 This week the team hosts Minnesota, who they beat 19-16 at the Metrodome back on September 24th. Minnesota at 5-6 held off the Cardinals at home last week, but this week will struggle against a Bears D that will want some lunch after giving up a season-high 354 yards to the Patriots last week. Look for the Bears offense to run the ball a ton, and for them to try and put Grossman in positions to play it safe. The Bears D should have enough to carry the team to a win. Chicago 20 Minnesota 13

Kansas City at Cleveland – The red-hot Chiefs come to Cleveland to take on the reeling Browns, who last week were pounded 30-0 by the rival Bengals at home. The Browns have had more headlines off the field this week, with WR Braylon Edwards mouth running at top speed, and GM Phil Savage holding a press conference Thursday to give coach Romeo Crennel a vote of confidence. One report stated that Crennel would be fired if the Browns were beaten badly again this week. The Chiefs pose a lot of problems for the Browns, as Larry Johnson should be able to run on a Browns defense that will miss DE Orpheus Roye, and a D that allows 132 yards per game on the ground. Cleveland’s offense is not much better, 31st in the league, and the Chiefs 12th ranked defense should be able to hold them in check. Another long day for Romeo and his troops. Kansas City 27 Cleveland 10

Indianapolis at Tennessee – Sunday night the Colts were reborn in the running game, as Joseph Addai ran for 4 TD’s and a season-high 171 yards in a win over the Eagles. That type of effort will only cement the Colts as the team to beat in the AFC come January, and this week they should have enough to overcome a pesky Titans team in Tennessee. Jeff Fisher is doing a fantastic job with the Titans, who with a ton of young players are 4-7 and in their last three losses have fallen by a combined 8 points. One of those losses was a 14-13 defeat to the Colts in Indy back on October 8th. Tennessee will look to run, run, and run some more on a Colts defense that still allows 154 yards a game on the ground. Can the Titans pull off the upset? Yes. Will they………no. Indianapolis 16 Tennessee 7

Detroit at New England – The Pats are 19-5 in December with Bill Belichick as their head coach, and this week at home vs the 2-9 Lions, that number should rather easily reach 20. New England had 5 turnovers last week vs the Bears, but still got the home win, and have bounced back from two straight home losses to Indy and the Jets to beat the Packers and Bears. Sunday they should be able to run on and pass on the Lions, who had just 220 yards of offense and were 2-for-12 on third downs vs the Dolphins on Thanksgiving Day. Jon Kitna is close to being shown the bench, as the Lions QB has given up the ball 18 times 11 games. He has thrown just 12 TD’s. Should be another long day for the Lions, as the Pats improve to 9-3. New England 24 Detroit 10

Jacksonville at Miami – Suddenly, just like 2005, the Dolphins look like a playoff team, while the Jags are just looking to stay as a contender in the AFC playoff race. Last week the Jags playoff hopes were handed a huge blow with a 27-24 loss in Buffalo, while the Dolphins enjoyed the weekend off after a Thanksgiving win in Detroit. After going 1-6 to start the season, the Dolphins have turned it up on defense, and the play of QB Joey Harrington since Daunte Culpepper was “injured” has been strong. Jacksonville does not play well on the road, going 1-4. The big difference on the road is yards allowed. At home they give up 244, on the road – 314. I think the Dolphins will continue to shine as they make an unlikely push for the playoffs. Miami 30 Jacksonville 24

Houston at Oakland – A new look for the Raiders offense as TE John Shoop takes over the play calling. He can’t be much worse than Tom Walsh, who was replaced this past week. With Walsh calling plays – the Raiders were putting up just 12 points and 239 yards per game. Oakland’s defense has been the bright spot, and last week vs the Chargers were up 14-7 in the 4th quarter before allowing two TD’s in falling 21-14. The Raiders defense should have a good day vs the Texans, who are having big problems running the ball, putting up just 96 yards per game. Last week they ran for just 25 yards, and against the Raiders top-ranked pass defense, the Texans have got to run the ball to win. A tough call between two bad teams, but I’ll go with the Raiders in a tight one. Oakland 17 Houston 16

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh – What an awful showing by the Steelers last week, who after scoring three TD’s in the 4th quarter two weeks ago in Cleveland in a 24-20 win, were shutout 27-0 by the Ravens, ending any real thoughts of a possible trip to the playoffs. You can bet that Bill Cowher is looking forward to January 1st, when he likely will announce his “retirement” as coach of the Steelers. Cowher’s energy and motivation seems sapped after leading the team to seven straight wins to get them their 5th Super Bowl last season. Turnovers, injuries, and a lack of wanting it bad enough has left the Steelers being a team with a major Super Bowl hangover. The Bucs have been pretty bad from the start, with an offense that can’t score and a defense that is getting old. It all combines for a bad game between two teams that are already looking at 2007. The Steelers can at least still score, so at home they should be able to move the ball and put up points. Pittsburgh 23 Tampa Bay 13

Dallas at New York Giants – The matchup of the day, as the NFC East hangs in the balance at the Meadowlands. The Cowboys are on a roll, with Tony Romo playing at a high level, throwing 10 TD’s and just two INT’s in five starts. Dallas’ surge continued last week with a win over the Bucs on Thanksgiving, giving them the lead in the East at 7-4. The Giants appear to be headed in a different direction, as at 6-5 they have lost three straight, and have had major locker room problems the last two weeks with players Tiki Barber, Jeremy Shockey and Michael Strahan. The bigger problem may be QB Eli Manning, who over the three-game losing streak has a QB rating of 46.4, and is only completing 50 percent of his passes. The Giants have to find themselves in a hurry, as a loss here would be a major blow in their shot at repeating as East champs. I think the Cowboys are just on another level right now despite what the Giant players are saying. Dallas 31 New York Giants 27

Seattle at Denver – The debut of Jay Cutler at QB for the struggling Broncos at home against the Seahawks will highlight Sunday night football this week. Denver is reeling after two straight division losses has them at 7-4, and coach Mike Shanahan is pulling the plug on Jake Plummer, and turning to Cutler in a move many thought would come earlier in the season. A big boost for the Broncos will be to get leading rusher Tatum Bell back. Bell has been out in three of the last four games with turf toe, and his steady running should be a help to Cutler. Seattle got their two stars, Matt Hassleback and Shaun Alexander on the field together for the first time in a while last week, and beat Green Bay 34-24 on Monday night. Alexander was impressive, going over 200 yards rushing, and Hassleback struggled early before finding form in the second half to help the Hawks move to 7-4. Seattle has better playmakers right now, and the Broncos with a new starting QB will struggle. Seattle 24 Denver 14

Carolina at Philadelphia – A critical game for the Panthers highlights Monday night football this week in Philadelphia. The Panthers fell in Washington last week 17-13, and a loss here would put a huge dent in their hopes of making it back to the playoffs. At 6-5, one game behind the Saints, Carolina needs to get back to form with home games vs the Giants and Steelers coming up before they close out the year at Atlanta and at New Orleans. Philadelphia put up a fight last week against the Colts, but without Donovan McNabb the effort fell short 45-21. The defense was torched on the ground, allowing 237 yards rushing and 420 overall. Jeff Garcia got the start at QB, and threw for just 140 yards in going 19-for-23. Expect to see him and A.J. Feeley both continue to get snaps for the Eagles offense. Philly will need another big day rushing from Brian Westbrook, who had 120 on the ground vs Indy, and Garcia and Feeley must be mistake free. Even at that, I think the Panthers finally step it up and start to show the signs of a playoff team. Carolina 26 Philadelphia 20

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4 Responses to “NFL Week 13 Predictions”

  1. Wow, nice plays, I like it. Seems like a perfect teaser card. But hey I like those plays. Check out my site, the consensus is at 8-1 and still rolling, this is a free service and there’s a bunch of daily picks on there too…so check it out.

  2. Rockwell says:

    Well, it looks increasingly like you may have too much of a lead for me to even the score. Unlike past weeks, I see most of this list looks a lot like mine. Your reasoning has proved to be quite sound. (Six games up with only a month to go… that’s a tough lead to beat.)

    I do think Washington may have another upset in them. And the Jets are just a stretch better than the Packers though.

  3. Dick O says:

    Please put me on your mailing list, I like what you’ve done.

  4. JediMindTricks says:

    Hey nice work this week Matt. My blogger did great againg this week hope you’re keeping up because my blog keeps rolling. 8-1 at consensus and 6-1 with sweeping the Jedi Daily Picks twice this month. Check it out everyone is welcome. Oh yeah good luck on tonights MNF I like the play. I’m on it as well as the over 37.5 =) Seems like a great parlay.