• Jake Klausner

NFL Preview Week 13

All The Latest News To Get You Up To Date For Week 13


Week 13 is upon us, as we have a new weekend filled with great matchups across the board. I ended putting together a solid weekend with my picks last weekend. My big winner last week was Miami, who ended up stomping up on Carolina. Who will the big winner be this weekend? Let's find out!

Dallas Cowboys (7-4) vs. New Orleans Saints (5-6)

Thursday 8:20 p.m. ET

TV: FOX/NFL NET Line: DAL -4.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Dallas Cowboys come into this game in a slump, having lost three out of their last four. To make matters worse, they will be without head coach Mike McCarthy after testing positive for COVID. In addition to McCarthy, WR Amari Cooper is on the reserve/COVID list, and WR Cedrick Wilson (ankle) is questionable for Thursday's game. The good news is that WR CeeDee Lamb (concussion) will be ready to play on Thursday, giving Dak Prescott his best weapon on the outside.


  • The Saints have also been in a slump, having lost their last four games. A big reason for their slump is the number of injuries they've dealt with, especially on the offensive side. For starters, they are without QB Jameis Winston for the remainder season. Taysom Hill, who was a healthy scratch last week, will likely see some action under center. RB Alvin Kamara (knee), who has missed the previous two games, is listed as questionable after being a limited participant in Tuesday's practice.


PREDICTION:

I expect Thursday's game to be filled with solid defense as both teams possess lots of skilled players on that side of the ball. If Kamara can go, the Saints will be able to go back to their typical style of offense. However, I think the Cowboys have a lot to lose at the moment, and they can't afford another bad loss. I think Dak and Cowboys will be motivated, and they will pull out the victory.

Pick: DAL -4.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3) vs. Atlanta Falcons (5-6)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: TB -11.0



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • Although the Bucs sit at 8-3 and hold first place in the NFC South, they haven't exactly played the best football. Last week, they were in danger of falling 1-2 since coming off their bye. Remember, last year, they went undefeated after their bye week, ultimately leading to a Super Bowl triumph. But despite being down to the Colts last week, the Bucs, led by Leonard Fournette, rallied in the second half to shock the Colts on the road. Now, they have to get ready for another road test against a divisional rival.


  • Now that Cordarrelle Patterson is back in the lineup, the Atlanta Falcons seem poised for a potential late-season run. Their win last week against the Jags marked their first win in two weeks. As a Falcons fan, I'm optimistic, but I still have some doubts, specifically about QB Matt Ryan. Yes, being without Calvin Ridley is a massive blow to the receiving core, but you have Kyle Pitts, who literally can catch anything thrown his way. Ryan has to find a way to get Pitts involved in the offense against a Bucs team that has struggled in the passing department.


PREDICTION:

As much as I'd love to see the Falcons pull the upset, I don't think we have the team to keep up with Tom Brady's offense. Matt Ryan will keep the Falcons in the game, and I believe the final margin will be less than 11 points. I like the Bucs to win, but close.

Pick: TB (ATL +11.0)

Arizona Cardinals (9-2) vs. Chicago Bears (4-7)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: ARI -8.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The bye week could not have come at a better time for the Arizona Cardinals. Now that they had a week to rest, players like DeAndre Hopkins (hamstring) and Kyler Murray (ankle), who had missed the previous three games, are on track to play this upcoming weekend. HC Kliff Kingsbury is hopeful that Murray and Hopkins will play, assuming all goes well at practice. If both players suit, I expect them to do, the Chicago Bears will have their work cut out for them.


  • Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears are on the verge of firing Matt Nagy. Despite rumors of him getting fired following the Detroit game, Nagy and his squad got the much-needed win to keep his job, for now. Bears fans still want Nagy gone, and they may get their wish soon. As for the QB controversy, we are unsure whether Justin Fields (ribs) will start for Sunday's game or if we will see Andy Dalton start for the second-straight week.


PREDICTION:

Even if Fields can go for Chicago, that still doesn't change that the Cardinals are better than them. I'm assuming that Murray and Hopkins will be ready for Sunday's game, and because of that, I'm picking Arizona to win this game outright.

Pick: ARI -8.0

Los Angeles Chargers (6-5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS ` Line: CIN -3.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Chargers are a mixed bag when it comes to productivity. At the beginning of the year, the Chargers got picked by many experts to win the AFC West. Despite Justin Herbert having flashes of brilliance here and there, inconsistency seems to be the theme for this Chargers team. After a disappointing loss at the hands of the Broncos, the Chargers are in a position where they can't afford any more losses. However, they still can set themselves up to win their division, assuming they can get past the Bengals.


  • The mid-season slump seems like a long time ago, as the Cincinnati Bengals are 2-0 since coming off their bye. RB Joe Mixon is coming off a career-high 165 yards in their dominating win over the Steelers. The Bengals have regained their momentum and are looking to keep pace with the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North.


PREDICTION:

I expect the Chargers to put up a fight, but you don't know what to expect out of this team. The Bengals also have the momentum on their side. I think QB Joe Burrow will spread the ball around, and the Bengals will grab the dub on Sunday.

Pick: CIN -3.0

Minnesota Vikings (5-6) vs. Detroit Lions (0-10-1)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: MIN -7.0



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • RB Dalvin Cook will miss the next 1-2 weeks after injuring his shoulder last week's game. The absence of Cook is crucial for the Vikings, who are currently fighting for a wildcard spot. Without Cook, the Vikings will have to turn to Alexander Mattison to carry the workload. It does help that they are playing the Lions, but you never know what will happen.


  • You would think that the Lions would have at least four wins by now, but they don't. They will probably finish the season with no wins because they are not a good football team. That is all!

PREDICTION:

I've picked the Lions three times now. Never again!

Pick: MIN -7.0

New York Giants (4-7) vs. Miami Dolphins (5-7)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: MIA -5.0



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Giants got a much-needed win on Sunday to keep their small playoff hopes alive. However, QB Daniel Jones (neck) is questionable for Sunday's game, but he told the media that he expects to play at practice. They're going to need for him to play because the Dolphins are a damn good football team.


  • Don't let that record fool you; the Miami Dolphins are one of the hottest teams in the league. After starting the season 1-7, the Dolphins have racked up four wins in a row and are coming off a thumping of the Carolina Panthers. QB Tua Tagovailoa is playing solid football, but the story has been their defense, led by CB Xavien Howard. This team is firing on both sides, and if they keep winning, who knows, maybe they might sneak into the playoffs.


PREDICTION:

Even if Daniel Jones suits up, I don't see the Giants posing a threat to the Dolphins. I like for the Dolphins' defense to shut down an injury-riddled Giants' offense and for Tua to keep improving on offense.

Pick: MIA -5.0

Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) vs. New York Jets (3-8)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: PHI -6.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Eagles had a minor setback on offense last week as they committed four turnovers against the Giants. QB Jalen Hurts accounted for three of them, including the one that sealed the victory for the Giants. The one thing holding the Eagles back from a winning record has been the inconsistency on offense. They've got to figure out how to get the ground game going again if they want to get back to their winning ways.


  • The New York Jets got the win last week, but I'm not expecting much out of them. Zach Wilson wasn't all that impressive in his return from injury, so I don't know what to expect from him moving forward. Overall, the Jets are still a lousy team.


PREDICTION:

I expect Philly to bounce back next week and get the much-needed victory over the Jets. Pick: PHI -6.5

Indianapolis Colts (6-6) vs. Houston Texans (2-9)

Sunday 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: IND -9.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • I've had doubts about the Colts for some time now, and the game on Sunday only enhanced them. QB Carson Wentz has had a solid season, but he struggled in the second half of their loss to Tampa last week. The one consistent component for the offense has been Jonathan Taylor. The running back continues to dominant the ground game as the league leader in rushing yards, and he has scored a TD in nine-straight games.


  • I don't have much to say about the Texans, but you never know what to expect from QB Tyrod Taylor.


PREDICTION:

This game should not be easy to pick a winner, and it isn't. The Colts will win this game easily and get back on track for a possible division win.

Pick: IND -9.0


Washington Football Team (5-6) vs. Las Vegas Raiders (6-5)

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: LV -2.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • Since coming off their bye, the Football Team are 3-0 and are starting to put the league on notice. Their desire to run the ball with Antonio Gibson seems to be working, and QB Taylor Heinicke has turned it around completely. Not to mention, their defense led by Kendell Fuller has been carrying the team in recent weeks.

  • It felt like the Raiders were dead in the water two weeks ago, but they are back on track for a playoff spot after a win in Dallas last week. QB Derek Carr bounced back nicely last week, and they are going to need him to continue his solid play this week; Washington's defense has improved over the previous three weeks.


PREDICTION:

Don't call me crazy, but I think that Washington will continue their momentum this week. I believe that they will implicate the running game and open it up for Heinicke to spread the ball around. I like the Football Team to get the win on the road.

Pick: LV +2.5


Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) vs. Los Angeles Rams (7-4)

Sunday 4:05 p.m. ET

TV: FOX Line: LA -13.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • After many speculated that Urban Meyer might be heading to Notre Dame to become the head coach, Meyer was quick to deny those claims. The first-year Jags HC said that he is committed to rebuilding the Jaguar organization. I have to admit, I had my doubts about Meyer, but he is quickly starting to change my mind.


  • The Rams seem to be free-falling as they are currently dealing with a three-game losing skid. Matthew Stafford and the high-powered LA offense have been underperforming ever since WR Robert Woods got hurt. The emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. in last week's loss could end up being a blessing in disguise for Stafford and HC Sean McVay.


PREDICTION:

I expect LA's defense to take advantage of the turnover-prone Jaguar offense and give Stafford and the Rams' offense a short field to work with throughout the game. I like the Rams to win this one outright.

Pick: LA -13.0

Baltimore Ravens (8-3) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5-1)

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: BAL -4.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Baltimore Ravens currently sit with the best record in the AFC and are coming off a less than stellar win on SNF against the Browns. Lamar Jackson struggled for most of the night, throwing four interceptions. While the QB wasn't great, he still showed brilliance with his incredible scramble and throw to TE Mark Andrews. The key for the Ravens is their defense, as I expect that side to show up against a Steelers team with a deteriorating quarterback.



  • What more is there to say about the Pittsburgh Steelers? At this point in the season, Steelers fans have seen just about enough out of Ben Roethlisberger. The QB should've retired two seasons ago, but instead, he is just embarrassing himself, his teammates, and his fans by continuing to go out there and suck. Pittsburgh got humiliated last week against the Bengals and is pretty much playing themselves out of playoff contention. Not to mention, they couldn't even beat the Detroit Lions.


PREDICTION:

If my write-up on the Steelers didn't tell you anything, then I don't know what will. The Ravens are the better team, and I don't see them having any problems on Sunday, assuming Lamar doesn't turn the ball over.

Pick: BAL -4.5


San Francisco 49ers (6-5) vs. Seattle Seahawks (3-8)

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET

TV: CBS Line: SF -3.5



WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • After their mid-season slump, I wasn't sure what to say about the Niners, but once they started getting their key contributors back on offense, I knew this was a different team. Deebo Samual is a difference-make for sure, and having George Kittle back on offense has been a welcoming sight for HC Kyle Shannahan as they look to continue their winning streak.


  • You might think that the reason for Seattle's downfall would be defense. Well, it has been the offense. Ever since Russell Wilson made his return, he is 0-3 and has yet to provide some spark to a team that is in danger of missing the playoffs for the second-straight season. Despite some fireworks late in the game on Monday, the Seahawks fell short, and they will most likely miss out on the playoffs.


PREDICTION:

I think that the Niners will continue to build off their success and beat Seattle, but I believe the game will be pretty close.

Pick: SF -3.5


Denver Broncos (6-5) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)

Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET

TV: NBC Line: KC -10.0


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The Denver Broncos got the win they were hoping for last week when they took down the LA Chargers to gain traction in the AFC West. The defense has played well recently with guys like Jonathan Cooper and Pat Surtain II. While I doubt the offense's lack of consistency, I'm confident they can give the Chiefs a run for their money, but it won't be easy.


  • It has taken them a while, but the Kansas City Chiefs are back to playing solid football. While they were off last week, their win against the Cowboys was dominated on the defensive side. While the offense lacks a little efficiency, I'm confident that Patrick Mahomes and co. will get rebound on Sunday, considering they had a couple of weeks to prepare.


PREDICTION:

While Denver's defense is pretty solid, Kansas City has an explosive offense that is bound to wake up at any point. The Chiefs carried a lot of momentum heading into their bye, and I expect it to carry over. I like for the Chiefs to win outright.

Pick: KC -10.0


New England Patriots (8-4) vs. Buffalo Bills (7-4)

Monday 8:15 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN Line: BUF -2.5


WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

  • The final game of the week should happen to be the most anticipated matchup of the week. Coming into this game, the New England Patriots sit as the best team in the AFC East, and for a good reason. They have a top-five defense led by pass-rusher Matthew Judon and QB Mac Jones turning into a young Tom Brady. Oh, and they are the hottest team in the league, having won their last six games. This game will be challenging, as they will have to face a hungry Buffalo Bills team looking to make a statement at home.


  • When you thought the AFC East was the Bills for the taking, they go out and lose to the Jags and then get humiliated by the Colts. Now, the Bills sit behind the Patriots in the AFC East and hold the second wildcard spot. Despite a bounce-back performance last week, Josh Allen hasn't looked all that impressive in recent weeks, and he will have to deal with a strong Patriots defense. The Bills will play their first game without star CB Tre'Davious White on the other side of the ball. White (knee) was placed on injured reserve last week, ending his season.


PREDICTION:

This game might be one of the most highly-anticipated matchups we've had all season. The Patriots come into this game as the hottest team in the league, while the Bills are hungry. Because this game is at home, I have to give the slight edge to Buffalo.

Pick: BUF -2.5


Jake Klausner covers all things sports for ThePyrrhic.com. Keep your eyes peeled for NFL Analysis, World Series Recaps, and more from Jake.


Follow him on Twitter @jake_klausner



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