Welcome to my Week 13 NFL Picks. On Thanksgiving, I went 2-1 as all 3 road teams won, putting my overall record at 106-71-1. I expect lots of road teams to win today as well, with teams hungry to clinch and other teams looking for their last chance at contention. Who will lock up a playoff spot, and who will lose their chance at one? Keep reading to find out what I think, and as always, feel free to comment with your thoughts.
Lock of the Week
QB Jacoby Brissett is running out of options. RB Marlon Mack, WR T.Y. Hilton, and TE Eric Ebron are all injured. The rest of this depleted Colts offense is sure to struggle against an underrated Tennessee defense. Meanwhile, the success of QB Ryan Tannehill and his receivers will continue against a young Indy secondary. TE Delanie Walker will be out, but that won’t come close to stopping the Titans here.
Upset of the Week
Seattle has a good chance at winning the NFC West at this point. But Minnesota will be hungry to take over their own division, and I could see them pulling off the upset here. QB Kirk Cousins and his receivers will have a field day against the young Seattle secondary. QB Russell Wilson and his offense will struggle to keep up, especially as they will be limited by one of the best defenses in the league. Wilson will find a way to make this close, but the Seahawks will still struggle to keep up in this one.
The Other Games
|Look for the Jets to keep their win streak alive against the winless Cincinnati Bengals. RB Joe Mixon will have a strong game, but don’t expect much from QB Andy Dalton and his shallow group of receivers against a young, underrated Jets secondary. Meanwhile, QB Sam Darnold will throw multiple TDs against a banged up Bengals D and lead the Jets to a comfortable victory.|
|Expect Philly to revive themselves against a weak Miami defense. QB Carson Wentz will turn things around, and the RB duo of Miles Sanders and Jay Ajayi will succeed against Ajayi’s former team. Meanwhile, the Eagles secondary will be capable of containing Miami’s receivers, and RB Kalen Ballage will continue to struggle against a strong Eagles defensive front.|
|The Niners defense will be no match for QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson and his offense will continue to dominate, exposing the 49ers as overrated. San Fran will have a strong game offensively as well, but this will mostly be a result of a strong game by RB Tevin Coleman against a DB-heavy Ravens defense. The Ravens should succeed in limiting QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s receivers and outscoring the Niners.|
|Look for QB Baker Mayfield to continue to succeed, even going against an improving Pittsburgh defense without TE David Njoku. With QB Mason Rudolph, RB James Conner, and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster out of the lineup, the Steelers will fail to keep up.|
|QB Jameis Winston will turn it around against a Jaguars secondary that has struggled without CB Jalen Ramsey. QB Nick Foles will improve in this game now that he’s been healthy for a few weeks, utilizing all three of his best receivers. However, it won’t be enough to outscore a strong Tampa offense, even in Jacksonville.|
|The Giants would have a good chance here if they were fully healthy. But WR Golden Tate and TE Evan Engram highlight a long list of absent Giants players this week. The Giants have struggled with injuries all season, and those struggles will cost them as they fail to outscore a strong, but flawed Green Bay offense.|
|Washington’s defense has done fairly well this season, but their offense has looked anemic at times. Expect that pattern to continue in this defensive battle between the Redskins and Panthers. The Redskins will be able to limit Carolina’s offense. But RB Christian McCaffrey is the one person Washington won’t be able to stop.|
|The Rams are decimated by injuries, and QB Jared Goff has declined throughout the season. But they’ll be able to take down a below average Cardinals offense. The Rams defense will hold Arizona TD-less, making it easy for Goff to lead the Rams to an important road victory.|
|Oakland’s offense is pretty good, and they will put up a decent game against the Kansas City defense. But without WR Hunter Renfrow in the mix, Oakland will fall short to QB Patrick Mahomes and an even stronger Chiefs offense. Mahomes will lean on WR Tyreek Hill in this one, but WR Sammy Watkins, TE Travis Kelce, and RB LeSean McCoy will also put up big games.|
|QB Philip Rivers is in danger of being benched, but the Chargers defense will save him here as they shutout Denver. Rivers will look alright, throwing multiple TDs despite turnover concerns. But the Chargers D will be the real reason for the LA victory, making Rivers look a lot better than he actually is.|
|In this Sunday Night game, the Pats will clinch a playoff berth as they take down the Texans in Houston. CB Stephon Gilmore will shut down WR DeAndre Hopkins, forcing the Texans to rely on WR Will Fuller V. The Texans run game will succeed against the Pats defense too. But QB Tom Brady and co. will find a way to lead the Pats to edge out a victory despite many player absences due to the flu.|