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Week 13 Predictions

Chiefs @ Falcons: The Falcons (7-4) host the Chiefs (8-3), as the latter are coming off a huge win against the Broncos last week. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have been almost unstoppable so far this year but they should get a great test against this hard tackling Chiefs defense. As of this week, both of these teams are in the playoffs, with the Chiefs in the AFC wildcard and the Falcons as the top team in the NFC South. This is the premier matchup of the week, especially with each team testing their best element against the other’s. In the end, the Chiefs’ defense tops the Falcons’ offense. Prediction: Chiefs 23, Falcons 17

Lions @ Saints: Two of the best quarterbacks in the league face off in what could be a classic shootout. The Saints (5-6) are coming off of a beating of the Rams, while the Lions (7-4) are playing after a week where they pulled out another fourth quarter comeback, this time against the Vikings. I still believe Drew Brees is the better quarterback of the two, even though Stafford continues to make a case as for why he is the league’s MVP. Therefore, I have an upset in this matchup. Prediction: Saints 37, Lions 30 and a failed fourth quarter comeback by Matthew Stafford

Rams @ Patriots: After last week’s poor showing against the Saints, the Rams (4-7) are no match for a Patriots (9-2) team that can attack you in so many ways, even without Rob Gronkowski. Last week showed that the Rams’ defense is not what we thought it would be at the beginning of the season, and more surprisingly not even what we thought it was 2 weeks ago. On the other hand, the Patriots have their Lambo in cruise control, flying by all of their opponents. Prediction: Patriots 31, Rams 10

Broncos @ Jaguars: Even after last week’s loss to the Chiefs, I still believe that the Broncos (7-4) are one of the best teams in the AFC. However, with Trevor Siemian out, and Paxton Lynch starting, the Jaguars (2-9) might be able to stay in the game. The Broncos’ defense is still great, and should not have much trouble containing Blake Bortles and his underperforming offense, but the porous Jaguars’ defense might catch a break in facing Paxton Lynch. The Broncos will still win this low scoring barn burner, but it will be closer than they would like. Prediction: Broncos 19, Jaguars 14

Texans @ Packers: The Texans (6-5) and the Packers (5-6) have been two of the toughest teams to gauge this year. Brock Osweiler has not been performing up to the standards of his mega-contract, yet the team has still found ways to win and has playoff dreams. Heading into the season, the Packers were a safe pick to make the playoffs, and even a Super Bowl contender. Through a defense that gets picked apart each week and an Eddie Lacy-less offense, the Packers sit under .500. With Rodgers banged up this week, the Texans’ pass rushers might have an opportunity to get to him, but they will be without Jadeveon Clowney. Prediction: Packers 24, Texans 17

Eagles @ Bengals: The Eagles (5-6) seem to be rapidly falling out of any playoff discussions, while the Bengals (3-7-1) have been out of it for a long time. This game is two teams attempting to save their seasons. Without AJ Green, that might not be possible for the Bengals, who will struggle against a fast Eagles defense. Carson Wentz may be able to find a little bit of rhythm again, and get his confidence back up with a win. Prediction: Eagles 21, Bengals 17

Dolphins @ Ravens: Wow! Where did these Dolphins (7-4) come from? After a 1-4 start, they are in the midst of a six game win streak, including a last second pummeling of Colin Kaepernick when he attempting to scramble for the goal line winner. The Ravens (6-5) are barely keeping their head above water, with a dull offense and a defense that is still trying to emulate the days in the earlier 2000s. I am still not sold on the Dolphins, due to how close they were to losing last week, so I think their streak will finally come to an end. Prediction: Ravens 28, Dolphins 24

49ers @ Bears: Next… It is week thirteen and we have two teams matching up that combine for three wins! What an exciting matchup! The 49ers (1-10) seem to never stop fighting under their intrepid leader, Chip Kelly, even with their lack of talent. Similarly with the Bears (2-9), they do seem to be a bit better than their record, highlighted b®y rookie running back Jordan Howard. The 49ers’ defense is decent enough to keep the Bears’ offense quiet. Therefore, Kaepernick’s 150 passing yards and 90 rushing yards win them their second game of the year. Prediction: 49ers 17, Bears 13

Bills @ Raiders: This may be the most exciting game of the week. Really whenever the Raiders (9-2) take the field it could be the most thrilling game of the week, but the Bills (6-5) have some fantastic athletes on both sides of the ball. I think this game comes down to the BIlls’ inability to sustain offensive efficiency, and will not be able to keep up with the Raiders. Khalil Mack attempting to chase down Tyrod Taylor’s scrambling will literally keep you on the edge of your seat, but the Bills have proven they are not yet capable of consistently playing with big dogs of the league. Prediction: Raiders 34, Bills 20

Redskins @ Cardinals: The Redskins (6-4-1) still have playoff hopes and could build upon those with a win at the Cardinals (4-6-1) this week. The Cardinals are not out of the playoff race either, and with how hectic the NFC has been, seemingly every team is still in contention to win a Wild Card spot. Kirk Cousins has been magnificent in recent weeks, and with how many offensive weapons the Redskins have, they should be able to control the Cardinals’ defense. For the Cardinals, their offense has seemingly countless weapons, yet they have been unable to put up the type of points they did last year. You see where this one is going. Prediction: Redskins 31, Cardinals 23

Giants @ Steelers: Two potential playoff teams, the Giants (8-3) and the Steelers (6-5), face off in a game highlighting prolific offenses and multiple superstars. Yet, this game is going to come down to which team’s defense can get the important stops late in the game. The Giants’ defense has done just that this year, often bending but not breaking. If I were the Giants, I would be concerned with how the Steelers use Le’Veon Bell, as the Giants’ linebackers are not athletic enough to stay with him if he lines up as a wide receiver. Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon’s constant pressure should be able to hold Ben Roethlisberger’s offense intact and give the Giants’ offense enough shots to win this game. Prediction: Giants 27, Steelers 26

Buccaneers @ Chargers: The Buccaneers (6-5) pulled off the big upset of last week, and one of the biggest so far this year with a stunning victory over the Seahawks. They carry lots of momentum heading into a matchup with the Chargers (5-6), who cannot seem to put together a streak of victories. If the Buccaneers’ defense can repeat their performance from last week, they should have no problem traveling to the West Coast and coming home with a win. Now that Doug Martin is back, the Bucs have another threat on offense, and can rely on a trio of Jameis Winston, Martin, and Mike Evans.  The Chargers have Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, the ageless wonder Antonio Gates and the emerging Tyrell Williams, but that might not be enough to overcome this surging Buccaneers team. Prediction: Buccaneers 20, Chargers 13

Panthers @ Seahawks: At the beginning of the year this game was marked on NFL fans’ calendars across the league as a matchup between two of the best teams in the NFC. Now it is just a “trap” game for the Seahawks (7-3-1). The Panthers (4-7) are nowhere near the team they were last year, but after the trash talking between these teams this week, it is conceivable to predict both teams will come out hungry. Cam Newton will attempt to prove that last year was not a fluke, while the Seahawks are trying to rebound from last week’s loss, and stay near the top of the NFC. Prediction: Seahawks 21, Panthers 20

Colts @ Jets: The Colts’ (5-6) Andrew Luck is expected to play against a Jets’ (3-8) defense that is not what it was expected to be. Instead, the Jets’ defensive backs get picked on almost every week, yet they gave the Patriots a good test last week, as they somehow always do. I think these teams should duke it out, similar to what happened in that game. Luck should have enough success against this defense to come away with a victory, especially with the inconsistency of turnover-happy Ryan Fitzpatrick and his anemic offense. Prediction: Colts 24, Jets 23

Ryan Green
Co-Owner of First and Fan