NFL Picks - Week 13


SEASON: 113-63-1



Sunday Morning


New Orleans at Atlanta 

Last week the Saints proved that their defense is plenty dominant enough to win without Drew Brees. They totally dismantled the Broncos’ passing offense, allowing only one completion for 13 yards. Now some of you might point out that Denver’s quarterback was a practice squad wide receiver, but I don’t think that’s a very nice thing to say about Drew Lock. Wait, the Broncos’ quarterback actually was a practice squad wide receiver?!? Oh. Well then yeah, that’s just a totally bogus win. The Saints probably would have beaten Denver even if they had a normal quarterback, but it’s not like New Orleans’ own offense looked too dynamic for large stretches of the game, so we’ll never know. It may go down as one of the great unanswered questions of our time. But we must move on to the Saints next opponent, who was also their opponent two weeks ago. Whoa, deja vu. The Falcons are hoping it’s not an exact repeat considering they only put up 9 points in their Week 11 contest. But hey, Atlanta won 43-6 last week against an actual NFL QB, so they clearly got way better all of a sudden. If they can carry that momentum into this game, and by that I literally mean score 43 points again, they should have a great shot at winning. Anything else, 42 points or fewer, and it’s anybody’s ballgame. 


Saints 23-20

Detroit at Chicago

Seven weeks ago I wrote the following:

“I don’t know how exactly Chicago is 4-1, I just know that I’m not buying it. Will I be saying this same thing when they’re 10-1? No. Because that timeline doesn’t exist. They’ll probably be 5-6 at that point. Mark my words!” 

Do I feel vindicated now that the Bears are 5-6? No, just sad for Chicago. Sad and vindicated. But really it just goes to show how clear it is to anyone who actually watches the Bears play that they’re not good. I mean if I could see this coming really anyone could have. I’m sure most of the Bears players themselves kind of felt like frauds. It’s like witnessing someone go into cardiac arrest and having your friend volunteer you to give CPR because you got certified at a class like 10 years ago. Sure the Bears have had practices and stuff, but it doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing, or that they’re any good at it. Is that a strained analogy? Yes. But is it an accurate one? No. But look, the more time we waste discussing my writing choices the more likely it is that that man is going to die in front of our eyes! Now did you learn CPR for your summer job at the water park when you were 17 or not?!?


Lions 20-18

Cleveland at Tennessee 

We’ve gotten to the point in the season when one can declare a game a triple P (possible playoff preview) with real legitimacy. And that’s exactly what I’m doing right here! That’s right folks, in five weeks we could be hunkering down for a Browns/Titans playoff game. Another possibility is that the whole season will have been canceled by then. So which one would you rather have? I saw that face you made about this being a playoff game. Would you be happier if we just call off the whole the season? No? Ok, so let’s just agree to take what we can get at this point. While I can’t say for certain if these teams will square off in the postseason, I can predict with great confidence that whoever the Browns play (should they get there) will be moving on to the next round. I just don’t have any belief that Baker Mayfield is ready to win a playoff game. He’s just good enough to lose the big one. And if I turn out to be wrong, I’ll gladly admit it while also providing an excuse for why I erred. If Baker and the Browns can get this win over an occasionally dominant Titans team then I may have to reassess my viewpoint. And by that i mean I’ll put on a pair of shades and say something like, “Dems da breaks baby!” It’s part of a whole new persona that I’ve been looking to transition to anyway, so a Cleveland win would actually be really helpful. 


Titans 27-17

Cincinnati at Miami 

When these teams met last season it was a laughing stock game. Oh what a difference a year makes, because now one of them is pretty good! It's like if someone only remodeled half your house would you be mad at them or just appreciate that it’s better than it was? Mad at them? Yeah me too. I mean we had a contract and everything. Of course, I should have known something was up when the contract itself abruptly ended on page 2 of 4. And yes, the company’s name was 50/50 Remodeling with a slogan of, “We knock it down, you set it up ... And by that what we mean is we will do all the demo necessary to start your remodel, but then it’s up to you to put in all the nice new stuff. Hope it turns out great, but by that point we will be long gone.” So ok, maybe I was foolish for not seeing this coming, but if I’m being honest that slogan was so long that I didn’t even read the whole thing. In fact, I stopped halfway through. Dems da breaks baby!


Dolphins 30-13

Jacksonville at Minnesota 

After a 1-5 start to the season and some shaky play over the last two weeks the Vikings still find themselves on the verge of the playoffs, just one game out from the final wild card spot in the NFC. It would be a pretty remarkable turnaround if they’re able to reach the postseason, but it’s also very possible that they’ll wind up in that frustrating limbo between a high draft pick and a playoff spot. Their opponent this week has found a different, yet perhaps more satisfying balance. The Jaguars are steamrolling towards one of the top 2 picks in the draft but also showing real competitiveness in the process. Three of their last four losses have been by 4 points or less. It’s a perfect level of ineptitude that gives fans hope for the future while also situating the organization to be best prepared for it. Bravo Doug Marrone! Now unfortunately, you won’t be around to reap the benefits of that high draft pick next season, but your contributions will not be forgotten. Unless the new coach is better, then no one will remember you at all. Just like very few people probably remember that this was a potential Super Bowl LI match-up. Hey, sorry to say it, but dems da breaks baby!


Vikings 26-20

Las Vegas at New York Jets

The Raiders were surprisingly destroyed by the Falcons last week. It makes you wonder, were the Raiders looking ahead to the Jets? Well of course not, that’s silly, and this is no place for spoofs, goofs, or gags. But truthfully, it’s possible that Vegas thought they could just take it easy for a couple weeks and cruise to wins over the Falcons and Jets. The Raiders’ strength of victory (the winning percentage of the teams they’ve beat) is .567, which is 100 points higher than any other team in the league other than Jacksonville, who has one win, so they don’t really count. Knowing that, maybe Vegas thought that if can beat good teams they should have no problem with the dregs of the league. Well guess again Raiders, cause these dregs came to play! Well at least Atlanta did; we’ll see what the Jets have to offer. And by that I mean what sort of dowry will they provide the Raiders with for beating them and getting them one step closer to the top pick in the draft. My guess is AMC Theater gift cards. The Jets wisely bought low on them back in the April, and now have so many that they don’t know what to do with them. 


Raiders 29-19

Indianapolis at Houston 

Going into their Week 12 match-up with the Titans, the Colts had a chance to get a stranglehold on the AFC South and let it go. In real life that’s probably the right move, but not in the NFL. After being dominated by Tennessee, Indy finds themselves in second place in the South and wallowing among the wild card flotsam. Ok, maybe that’s putting it a bit strongly. After all, they’re only one game behind the Titans with five games remaining. But you know as well as I do that once Tennessee gets a lead on you they take the air out of the ball and drain that clock. Wait, does that apply to a divisional race also? Maybe it’s best if I, and the Colts, stop worrying about the Titans. Their annual series is over with, they won’t play them again until next fall. Unless of course they meet in the playoffs ... Enough! All that Indy should be concerned with now is who's in front of them, the first of whom is the red hot(?) Houston Texans. That descriptor might sound hyperbolic, but the Texans are coming off consecutive wins over teams that aren't the Jaguars. So clearly the Colts could have their hands full this Sunday, much like they would have if they had held onto that aforementioned choke hold. Maybe this time they won’t let go. Or wait, in this case they don't want their hands full. Oof, this is getting complicated. Good luck concentrating with all this going through your head Indy. 


Texans 27-24

Sunday Afternoon


Los Angeles Rams at Arizona 

Both of these teams had head-scratching losses in Week 12. The Rams fell to the Niners for the second time this season while the Cardinals lost to a New England team that only gained 179 yards on offense. Arizona is probably in more trouble considering they’ve lost two in a row and are in danger of slipping out of playoff position a mere three weeks after being tied atop the NFC West. Though I wouldn’t feel too comfortable if I were the Rams either, considering their quarterback has a destruct button. Jared Goff is a decent enough QB, but there are certain games where he looks like one of the worst in the league. That’s not an ideal scenario when considering he’d have to avoid one of those outings in (likely) four straight games to give his team a chance at winning the Super Bowl. And if you don’t want to win the Super Bowl then you can just get the hell out of here. No, not you, you can stay. But you don’t want to win a Super Bowl? I mean I realize you’re not an NFL player, but if given the choice wouldn’t you still say yes? There’s no need to be a realist here, this is just a hypothetical. No, you wouldn’t have to leave your job. Yeesh, forget it.


Rams 27-20

New York Giants at Seattle 

The Giants are relatively on fire, having won three in a row to commandeer first place in the NFC East at 4-7. However, they must now turn to their backup quarterback Colt McCoy for at least one week. McCoy will be making his first start since, I don’t know 2017 for Washington? That sounds right doesn’t it? Oh what, you want me to actually look it up? Fine ... Huh, turns out he actually started a game for Washington last season and lost 33-7 against New England. So that’s not great; and neither is McCoy’s career record of 7-21 as a starter. But guess what, he’s 1-0 against the Seahawks, having beaten them 6-3 in 2011. So clearly he owns Seattle, and these Seahawks have not forgotten about it. Though I guess I shouldn’t have pluralized the team name there, because there is only 1 Seahawk still on the roster who played in that game. But you can bet that K.J. Wright has revenge on his mind! New York may need to use Wright's blind rage against him to preserve their winning streak. Things aren’t going to get much easier for the Giants after this, with their ensuing three games also against winning teams. So in actuality, maybe a quarterback who wins one out of every four starts is the most appropriate, realistic man for the job right now. 


Seahawks 26-13

Philadelphia at Green Bay

This is the perfect Eagles offense for the 2020 season. And by that I mean that if Philly fans had been allowed to attend games like in any other season the team would have been booed so hard that most of the players would have quit football. Luckily for them that’s not the case, and they all still have jobs ... for now. I don’t know for certain that Jalen Hurts would outperform Carson Wentz right now, but come on, just look at their QB ratings from their game on Monday: Wentz: 73.9; Hurts: 91.7. Need I say more? I hope not, because then I might have to explain that Hurts only threw one pass for 6 yards. Maybe the person who really has to explain himself is Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who brought his backup QB in for one play and immediately took him back out. And it wasn’t even a trick play or a decoy, it was just a standard pass. What’s the point? It’s like taking one bite of an appetizer at a restaurant and then leaving. And the app wasn’t even bad! Wasn’t great, could’ve used a dipping sauce maybe, and if I’m being honest it wasn’t very hot; seems like the server or the cook forgot about it for a while. But it wasn’t grounds for leaving the restaurant altogether. So Doug, next time maybe take off your coat and stay a while. I should reiterate though that this is an analogy, and no one should be eating inside a restaurant right now. 


Packers 27-16

New England at Los Angeles Chargers

After a lackluster performance that surprisingly yielded a victory for the Patriots, Cam Newton told reporters that he won’t apologize for winning. Even to the other team’s fans? That’s pretty messed up. Ya know a lot of us wait all week to watch our team play, and for you to just callously beat our squad without at least acknowledging our suffering is very disappointing. Speaking of disappointing, Chargers fans had to feel let down by the bewildering clock management displayed by coach Anthony Lynn and his staff last Sunday in their loss to Buffalo. Down by 10 with :24 left, a ticking clock, and no timeouts they attempted to run the ball from the Bills’ 2. When they didn’t get into the end zone their next snap didn’t come until :08 remained. That first play should have been a pass or a spike. Any play inside of :10 that wasn’t a FG attempt is pretty foolish since they still needed two scores and would theoretically need some time on the clock to actually get that second score. In the end they got what they deserved, which is no points, a loss, and a flight home on Spirit Airlines. Yep, can you imagine how much extra they were charged for all those bags of equipment too? Oof, don’t be surprised if the team has to make some roster cuts just to recoup some of that cash. Based on that coaching catastrophe I have to assume Belichick will have enough of an advantage to get his team the win. And yet again we’ll all be left waiting for an apology from Cam Newton. 


Patriots 23-18

Sunday Night


Denver at Kansas City 

A truly ridiculous quarterback situation left the Broncos with no chance of winning their Week 12 game against the Saints. Now that they have Drew Lock back are their chances any better against the Chief? I doubt it, but let's hear what Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth has to say about it.

Prayers up for Robbie.

Chiefs 31-13



Washington at Pittsburgh 

After their blowout win in Dallas on Thanksgiving, Washington was leading the NFC East for 3 glorious days. Now they technically trail the Giants due to the head to head tiebreaker and face the Steelers, 49ers, and Seahawks over the next three weeks. The good news for Washington is that they could lose all three of those games and still have a decent shot at winning their division. The bad news for the league as a whole is what I just said. Thanks to the Ravens/Steelers saga, Washington gets an extra day to prepare for this game. What sort of masterful game plan will they unfurl come Monday? If I had to guess, probably a lot of check-downs and screens. After all, they’re playing against a good Pittsburgh defense, Alex Smith is their quarterback, and we all agree that Alex Smith should do everything in his power to avoid getting hit so that he can continue to walk. 


Steelers 20-9

Buffalo at San Francisco 

Due to the Bay Area’s ban on contact sports, the poor 49ers are now a team without a home. Though, does home field advantage even matter this season anyway? Barely. Without all of us amazing fans there to support our squads, home teams have a paltry .517 winning percentage. Pathetic really. Compare that to last season, when the stadiums were packed and pulsing with the power of fan bases uniting as one to propel their home teams to a combined winning percentage of .518! So um, yeah, we’re collectively good for .001 percentage point. Or one win in a thousand games. I am shattered to pieces. Have all my supportive screams meant nothing? So many decibels wasted. To think I spent all that money getting myself drunk enough to stand outside and yell for 3+ hours. Now it almost seems like my drinking problem was developed in vain. Where do we go from here? I’ll tell ya where, we root for every single road team to win from here on out. If the home winning percentage comes down maybe it will justify the life choices we’ve (we’re all in the same boat here, right?) made. And if the number stays the same? The end of life as we know it. 


Bills 24-16

Tuesday Night


Dallas at Baltimore 

The Cowboys were blown out 41-16 by Washington last Thursday. It was the most embarrassing performance on Thanksgiving since that year when all I ate for dinner was one roll. After my father publicly disowned me in front of the family they all threw cranberry sauce at me until I shamefully crawled into the giant turkey carcass and lay there while everyone chanted, “That’s your bed now! That’s your bed now!” You know what, now that I’m recounting all of this it’s dawning on me that that was a dream I had. Yeah, that explains why all my teeth fell out too. Well that’s a relief. Unfortunately for Dallas their Thanksgiving debacle was not a dream, and we all saw it. Well some of us saw it, some of us got so bored that we took a nap before eating. And no, that nap was not inside of a giant turkey! That was a dream! It wasn’t real! If we assume that the Ravens have Lamar Jackson and at least some of their COVID crew back I don’t see the Cowboys faring much better this week. 

Ravens 31-17



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