Last week, I was 7-6-1, if you count the Minnesota @ Green Bay game as a tie. It was a tough week of predictions with a couple interesting upsets sprinkled into an action-packed Week 12. Unfortunately for me, I failed to accurately predict some of those games instead muddling around .500.
What’s new with this chaotic and ever engaging season?
Week 13 NFL predictions is unique as it falls on Thanksgiving, so from Football Fan Source to all our readers, we wish everyone a happy, fun, safe and ever enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. As with any great holiday, football should be involved and luckily we have some great games on Thanksgiving day to watch in the NFL. Normally, I have my entire week’s set of predictions ready by Thursday night’s games, but this week I will be providing my Thursday predictions, so you can hold me accountable, and then I will have the remaining games up before Sunday’s docket of games. So, please remember to check back in before Sunday’s games to judge my Week 13 NFL Predictions.
UPDATE: All predictions have been made and will be 100% accurate. Well… with the exception of the Packers terrible showing against Detroit. When’s Aaron Rodgers coming back?
Thursday, 11/28 – 12:30 pm ET
Green Bay Packers 5-5-1 @ Detroit Lions 6-5
Prediction: Green Bay Packers
I know Green Bay is starting Matt Flynn, still desperately missing Aaron Rodgers at this point, but I like the Packers. Eddie Lacy should be able to run on the Lions and the Detroit secondary should allow Flynn to move the ball through the air. Stopping/containing Calvin Johnson is a major issue for Green Bay, but I still feel Green Bay is a talent team that can outlast the Lions offensive attack.
Thursday, 11/28 – 4:30 pm ET
Oakland Raiders 4-7 @ Dallas Cowboys 6-5
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys
Contrary to popular belief, Tony Romo has been very effective this season, directly multiple game-winning drives and doing his part in the Cowboys’ first-place spot in the NFC East. I see him having a great game using his weapons, like Dez Bryant, to put up points. The Cowboys defense won’t shut out the Raiders, but I think Oakland will make mistakes offensively leading to turnovers and missed opportunities. Romo and the offense should capitalize and win this game.
Thursday, 11/28 – 8:30 pm ET
Pittsburgh Steelers 5-6 @ Baltimore Ravens 5-6
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers
Both teams are suddenly back in the playoff picture after poor showings in the early part of the season. Even though the game is being played in Baltimore, I like Pittsburgh to continue that momentum. The Steelers offense has come on as of late and the defense is still talented, albeit worse than year’s past. I simply can’t trust Baltimore to put together a good game. The offense is terrible one week, the defense is terrible another and then there are weeks where all three phases of the game look bad and uncharacteristic of a Baltimore team. I think Pittsburgh gets more from their three phases and the Ravens falter in a close, defensive struggle.
Sunday, 12/1 – 1:00 pm ET
Tennessee Titans 5-6 @ Indianapolis Colts 7-4
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are struggling without Reggie Wayne in the lineup as they have been outscored 93-12 in the first half over the last four games. That’s the definition of starting slow and it has resulted in a 2-2 stretch, only winning those two games with the help of impressive second half comebacks. The losses have been blowouts. That said, I am going with the Colts. Divisional foes are the most challenging matchups all season, but they are also the teams that know each other the best. The Colts will probably start a little slow once again, but I like them to comeback for a win like they did in Week 11.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2-9 @ Cleveland Browns 4-7
Prediction: Cleveland Browns
Suddenly the Jaguars aren’t nearly as bad as we thought they were. They certainly aren’t tearing it up, but two wins in the last three games is better than being the outright laughing stock of the league. The defense is playing better and the offense is serviceable. The Browns, the other hand, are dealing with what feels like the hundredth showing of Brandon Weeden. Only one of the Browns four wins have been courtesy of Weeden, and that was against Buffalo. Despite my apprehension of picking the Browns, I have to take them behind their talent offensively, with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, and a defense that should shutdown the Jaguars offense. I like Cleveland to pull out a close one. This isn’t exactly the matchup of the century.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-8 @ Carolina Panthers 8-3
Prediction: Carolina Panthers
The Buccaneers have turned around their season of sorts behind rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. Turn around, in this case, means winning three games, but nonetheless, they are a dangerous three-win team. The Panthers are demanding attention as a team to beat in the NFC. I like Carolina’s defense to be the deciding factor and I think this will be another close game despite the win-loss differential.
Chicago Bears 6-5 @ Minnesota Vikings 2-8-1
Prediction: Chicago Bears
Look for Adrian Peterson to take advantage of a Chicago run defense that has been terrible, but I just can’t trust the Vikings because of their shaky quarterback play and their defensive struggles. Josh McCown has been impressive filling in for Jay Cutler, so Cutler’s absence shouldn’t be a problem here.
New England Patriots 8-3 @ Houston Texans 2-9
Prediction: New England Patriots
The Texans lost to Jacksonville last week…
Arizona Cardinals 7-4 @ Philadelphia Eagles 6-5
Prediction: Arizona Cardinals
I’ve said it for a couple weeks now, but the Cardinals must be the quietest 7-4 team we’ve had for years now. They play suffocating defense and Carson Palmer is playing, recently, like the pre-knee injury Palmer that was considered a top-five quarterback during his days with Cincinnati. I like them to continue their surprising success even against a Philadelphia team that is hot with Nick Foles at quarterback. Keep in mind that the NFC East has done notoriously poorly against out of division competition.
Miami Dolphins 5-6 @ New York Jets 5-6
Prediction: New York Jets
I don’t trust Geno Smith and the Jets, but I think this is one of those games that he can hand the ball off and simply take advantage of play action opportunities. The Jets defense is still very good and could pressure Ryan Tannehill all day and force a couple turnovers. I like the Jets to pull this one out.
Sunday, 12/1 – 4:05 pm ET
Atlanta Falcons 2-9 @ Buffalo Bills 4-7
Prediction: Buffalo Bills
The Falcons simply aren’t that good this season. Factor in how this game is on the road, in Toronto, against a Bills team that has played well this season considering the youth on their roster, and will be played in the elements, I think it’s clear that a bad Falcons team notorious for struggling outdoors should lose.
St. Louis Rams 5-6 @ San Francisco 49ers 7-4
Prediction: San Francisco 49ers
St. Louis is a very dangerous 5-6 team, but I expect the 49ers to win at home in a similar fashion to how they did last Monday night against the Redskins. Clinical.
Sunday, 12/1 – 4:25 pm ET
Cincinnati Bengals 7-4 @ San Diego Chargers 5-6
Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati struggles to make road trips to the west coast, but coming off a bye week should make all the difference. Andy Dalton has been tough to watch over the past couple weeks, but I expect him to get back on track and lead a very talented Bengals offense to a solid scoring showing against a Chargers defense that isn’t terribly exceptional in any particular area. Philip Rivers will move the ball for San Diego as well, but the Bengals defensive line could have a field day if the Chargers can’t protect him.
Denver Broncos 9-2 @ Kansas City Chiefs 9-2
Prediction: Denver Broncos
It is tough to win in Arrowhead and the Chiefs are a talented team, but the losses of Tamba Hali (could be out this week) and Justin Houston (out for 2-3 weeks) to injury could flip their entire season without the Kansas City defense able to generate any pressure on the quarterback. If there was every a week where you need to make the opposing quarterback uncomfortable, it is this week against Peyton Manning. Without being able to disrupt Manning’s offense, I don’t see how the Chiefs can keep up with their ball control, running offense.
Sunday, 12/1 – 8:30 pm ET
New York Giants 4-7 @ Washington Redskins 3-8
Prediction: Washington Redskins
As I said above, divisional foes know each other better than themselves sometimes, so we can throw much of our preconceived notions out the window. The Washington defense is still pretty awful and there are suddenly some issues surrounding the Redskins in relation to Robert Griffin III and his struggles to lead the offense. That said, this seems like one of those games where the Redskins come in, knowing how the Giants operate and do enough to pull one out. Plus, don’t mistake the Giants as a great team. They are still only 4-7, so they have their fair share of struggles with offensive consistency and defensive leakiness. I like the Redskins.
Monday, 12/2 – 8:40 pm ET
New Orleans Saints 9-2 @ Seattle Seahawks 10-1
Prediction: Seattle Seahawks
Does my rule of never picking against Seattle at home apply against the 9-2 Saints? You know it does… especially when it is a primetime game and you know the place will be rocking.