Before getting into my Week 13 Picks + a rant about the Giants benching Eli, here are my recaps of the games from Week 12.
MIN 30 – DET 23. Okay, I knew I should’ve picked Minnesota to win this one. There is still talk of the Vikings putting in Teddy Bridgewater, but why should there be? Case Keenum is lighting it up this year, and the Vikes are 9-2. As for the Lions, they’re 6-5, but they’re gonna need to start getting a win streak going to make the playoffs as a Wild Card.
LAC 28 – DAL 6. After a first half that was a boring defensive struggle, the Chargers lit it up on offense, while the Cowboys continue to struggle without Zeke. The Chargers are a legitimate playoff contenders (division contenders!) at 5-6. The Cowboys are practically out of the playoffs at 5-6.
WAS 20 – NYG 10. The Giants injury-decimated receiving corps couldn’t do anything (and neither could rookie TE Evan Engram, who before this game was one of the few bright spots of this horrendous season). The run game? Sucked. The o-line? Terrible. At least the pass rush was good for the Giants, but they were literally going up against 3rd-string o-linemen. Eventually, the Skins pulled away with it.
CIN 30 – CLE 16. Shouldn’t have picked the Browns. Next.
CAR 35 – NYJ 27. Despite what the score says, this was an ugly came for Cam. That Luke Kuechly pick-six saved Carolina here. As for the Jets, they continue to play hard despite having a bad roster. Todd Bowles has definitely earned the right to stay in New York, as this team could be interesting with a good roster.
TEN 20 – IND 16. The Titans are the kings of winning ugly. But they’re 7-4, so winning ugly is definitely better than losing pretty. They won another ugly game, as Marcus Mariota continues to underwhelm statistically. But when they need to get it done, the Titans get it done.
ATL 34 – TB 20. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are starting to regain 2016 form. While this division is probably going to the Saints or Panthers, look out for the Falcons. This team still has most of that core from last season, and can make a serious playoff run.
NE 35 – MIA 17. Boy, no one saw this one coming.
PHI 31 – CHI 3. Boy, no one saw this one coming. Okay, I actually thought the Bears would keep it close. They didn’t do that to say the least.
BUF 16 – KC 10. Boy the Chiefs are a mess. And this still isn’t really a convincing win for the Bills. Benching Tyrod might come back to haunt them (they don’t want that infamous playoff-less streak to continue, do they?).
SEA 24 – SF 13. The Seahawks continue to stay in the playoff picture despite their depleted secondary, as beating the Niners is still a pretty easy task for a team like Seattle. The 49ers are starting Jimmy G next week, so will that mean they draft lower? We’ll see…
OAK 21 – DEN 14. The Raiders took care of business against a collapsing Denver team. All this game will really be known for is this: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/21601994/aqib-talib-michael-crabtree-suspensions-reduced-one-game-fighting
LAR 26 – NO 20. As I predicted, the Rams got it done at home. The Saints not having their top corner obviously hurt, but New Orleans will be fine. However, the Rams having a head-to-head win against New Orleans could be huge for playoff seeds.
ARI 27 – JAC 24. The Cardinals upset a Jags team that is still probably making the playoffs. Blake Bortles stunk it up in this game, and it truly makes me wonder what it would be like if Jacksonville had a capable QB… like Eli Manning perhaps?
PIT 31 – GB 28. Playing down to their competition and disappointing on offense has been the story of the Steelers this year. But if it means a 9-2 record, that sure would make me happy. You’re still not getting past the Patriots in the playoffs though. As for Brett Hundley, congrats, you actually played well. Too bad your team is practically out of the playoffs.
BAL 23 – HOU 16. The Ravens are now 6-5, and legit playoff contenders despite Joe Flacco’s mediocrity. The AFC is so weak that I actually think the only 3 teams that can make a legitimate Super Bowl run are the Pats, Steelers, and Ravens… purely out of playoff experience.
My record last week was a solid 12-4. When I get to predicting the Giant game, I’ll get into my mini-rant over the Eli benching. For now, let’s just pick some week 13 games.
WAS @ DAL. I’m writing this article about a half-hour before the game begins, so I’ll say the Skins get this done. Both these teams have very little hope of making the playoffs, but if Washington wants any hope, they’ll need to win out. And getting a win against the Zeke-less Cowboys appears to be pretty easy (Dallas has lost their last 3 games by a combined score of 92-22). Skins win 24-17.
KC @ NYJ. The Chiefs are so bad now, that I actually have to pick the Jets here. NY is 4-7, but they’ve proven they can contend in games, and have exceeded expectations this season. As for KC, you might be missing the playoffs after a 5-0 start. You’re the Vikings of last year. Jets win 23-20.
NE @ BUF. Sorry Bills, I respect your 6-5 record, but I respect the Pats in December a lot more. The Patriots will win 31-21.
DEN @ MIA. Oy vey. This is one of a handful of matchups this week that just stink. I guess I’ll pick the Dolphins, but I have little confidence in saying that. Both these offenses suck, but I’ll say the Cutler bunch get it done 16-10.
SF @ CHI. As I mentioned earlier, one might wonder if the Niners starting Jimmy G will hurt their chance at a high draft pick. However, I think Chicago will get it done at home this week, as I think their defense can still perform well when they aren’t playing against teams like the Eagles. Jordan Howard should lead Chicago to a 21-2o win.
DET @ BAL. I’ll trust the Ravens to get it done here, as they want to keep a grip on their spot in the AFC playoffs. Their defense is solid and if Joe Flacco steps it up, they will definitely get the win here. I’ll pick Baltimore to win 24-20.
MIN @ ATL. Many people will pick the Vikings, saying “I just can’t pick against them now”. And I understand that logic. But win streaks end. The Saints streak ended last week, and the Rams streak ended the week before… to the Vikings of all teams. I picked both those games right, and so I’m trusting in Atlanta to get a 30-24 win. And if Atlanta does win, the SKOL faithful better not be calling for Bridgewater to start over Keenum.
TB @ GB. Green Bay looked legit last week, as they kept it close against the Steelers, an AFC juggernaut. One might argue that the Steelers do that against just about every team. But I think that game proved that Brett Hundley can win a game, and so I certainly think he can take down the Bucs by a score of 26-21.
HOU @ TEN. The Titans should continue to win (probably win ugly) against a Texans team starting Tom Savage (Mr. 3 second press conference). The Titans will improve to 8-4 with a 23-17 win.
IND @ JAC. The Jaguars were handed an L last week that they probably weren’t expecting, but they should get back on track against a team they decimated earlier this season. I’ll pick the Jaguars to win 27-10.
CLE @ LAC. Less than a year ago, the Chargers were the undoubted laughingstock of the league for a week after losing to the 0-14 Browns on Christmas Eve. Now, the Chargers are 5-6 but are looking to make a push for the AFC West crown. They can’t let the once again winless Browns get the best of them again, and the Bolts will win 28-16 in my lock of the week.
LAR @ ARI. The Rams should take down the Cards here, and continue their great run this year. The more wins, the better the chance at stealing a first round bye from Minnesota. L.A. will win this one 30-20.
NYG @ OAK. Okay, I promised you an Eli rant, so here you go. If you want to hear a longer one, just listen to Mike Francesca. Anyway, Eli has done so much for this team since he started that first game in ’04. His starting streak has lasted from when I was a toddler to when I was a teenager. He is the only QB I ever remember starting a game for Big Blue. I was wearing his jersey during my school picture in preschool. That’s how far back he goes! The amount of disrespect that this coaching staff and this front office has for Eli is horrible. The Giants disastrous season has little to do with Eli, and more to do with a disastrous o-line and running game, and a depleted receiving corps. Oh, and of course a TERRIBLE head coach in Ben McAdope! He is a dope! Oh, and Jerry Reese should have been gone a LONG time ago, but John Mara REFUSES to get rid of him. I will be so disappointed in Mara if both these stooges aren’t gone by the end of the year. Shame on Mara, and shame on the Giants for letting this happen to Eli! Anyway, the Raiders will win 30-0. I predict that Geno Smith will throw 6 interceptions in one half, and Nathan Peterman suddenly won’t look so bad. Okay, I’m exaggerating. Kinda.
CAR @ NO. The Saints should get back on track here, as they are deadly in the Superdome. They will win by a score of 30-24.
PHI @ SEA. In my upset of the week, I’m going to take the Seahawks to beat Philly here. Didn’t I say that streaks end? Well, the last time the Eagles lost, that happened to be against the now-collapsing Chiefs. However, I think Seattle will feel the urgency to stay alive in the NFC. And that home field advantage? That’s something that will truly help (the Eagles one loss was against KC, another great home team). Seattle will get it done 27-24 in a great game.
PIT @ CIN. The Bengals won’t get in the way of Pittsburgh here, and the Steelers should win 31-21.
My Pick Record this Season: 105-72 (12-4 last week)
My Lock of the Week Record: 8-4
My Upset of the Week Record: 2-10 (I… I should stop doing this)