03 December 2015

2015 NFL Predictions: Week 13

(USATSI)
In the wake of a snowy upset in Denver, there is now only one undefeated team left in the NFL and it, of course, is the Carolina Panthers (bet you saw that one coming). What will happen now this week as the calendar has finally turned to December? Here are my picks.

Last Week: 9-7
2015: 104-91
Locks: 10-2

Thursday, December 3rd
Packers (7-4) vs. Lions (4-7) - CBS/NFLN, 8:25
Green Bay Packers (1980 - Pres)Detroit Lions (1970 - 2002)
Just when we thought that the Packers had gotten back on track with an impressive road win over the Vikings, they lay an egg at home to the Bears on Thanksgiving. Aaron Rodgers and his wideouts continue to look completely out of sync and they have gotten no help from the running game either, leaving a defense that has been playing well completely out to dry. I have no confidence in them this week against a hot Lions squad and I think that Detroit will get the win.
Lions 19 Packers 14

Sunday, December 6th
Jets (6-5) vs. Giants (5-6) - CBS, 1:00
New York Jets (1998 - 2001)New York Giants (1950 - 1955)
Ah yes, the always-fun Battle for the Meadowlands and it should be even more interesting considering that both clubs are in the playoff hunt. Both teams have also been very inconsistent on the weekly basis. I do think that the Giants are the better team and against a secondary that has shown some cracks at times, look for a nice showing from Eli Manning.
Giants 24 Jets 22

Cardinals (9-2) vs. Rams (4-7) - Fox, 1:00
Arizona Cardinals (1994 - 2004)St. Louis Rams (1995 - 1999)
I don't care whether Case Keenum returns this Sunday and starts for the Rams or if Nick Foles starts again or even if the team brings Tony Banks, Shack Harris or Vince Ferragamo out of retirement. This St. Louis offense is truly a mess right now and basically unable to get anything going right now, even with Todd Gurley in the backfield. Even at home, they are in for a long day against the Cardinals.
Cardinals 20 Rams 7

Falcons (6-5) vs. Buccaneers (5-6) - Fox, 1:00
Atlanta Falcons (1990 - 2002)Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1976 - 1996)
Atlanta is falling apart at the seams big-time as they have now lost five of their last six and they just can't get anything going offensively as Matt Ryan looks lost. I am beating many horses by saying this again but you just can't bet on this team at all. Tampa Bay didn't look good against the Colts but their defense should be able to keep Atlanta's struggles going.
Buccaneers 18 Falcons 10

Seahawks (6-5) vs. Vikings (8-3) - Fox, 1:00
Seattle Seahawks (1976 - 2001)Minnesota Vikings (2013 - Pres)
Russell Wilson was razor-sharp in the thrilling victory over the Steelers on Sunday and he may just to be so again to take out the Vikings on the road. And besides, Wilson will not be able to torch this defense should he not have the ball so look for a big performance from Adrian Peterson.
Vikings 23 Seahawks 20

Texans (6-5) vs. Bills (5-6) - CBS, 1:00
Houston Texans (2002 - Pres)Buffalo Bills (1970 - 1973)
These two are in the thick of the AFC Wild Card mix but are going in opposite directions with Buffalo having lost two in a row and Houston having won four in a row. The Texans have to be thankful for their defense really stepping up as their offense has very much struggled to get a whole lot going. I do think you will see a spirited effort from Buffalo and yet, I like the Texans.
Texans 16 Bills 14

Ravens (4-7) vs. Dolphins (4-7) - CBS, 1:00
Baltimore Ravens (1999 - Pres)Miami Dolphins (1989 - 1996)
Baltimore technically got the win on Monday night but it was such a bad game that it almost shouldn't count. Matt Schaub did not give the game away (although he came damn close) but any team that is relying on him to be the guy will be for some problems. Miami is not a particularly good team in their own right but I like them to get back to basics and get the win.
Dolphins 24 Ravens 21

Bengals (9-2) vs. Browns (2-9) - Fox, 1:00
Cincinnati Bengals (2004 - Pres)Cleveland Browns (2015 - Pres)
In a truly dreadful game that nobody wanted to win, the Browns did a pretty good job of botching their chances of a game-winning field goal on Monday night as the kick got blocked and returned for a touchdown. Josh McCown was lost for the season in that game, resulting in the immortal Austin Davis now getting the start. That's not a good idea for a team taking on the Bengals at 1:00 pm. Cincinnati is my Lock of the Week.
Bengals 28 Browns 6

Jaguars (4-7) vs. Titans (2-9) - CBS, 1:00
Jacksonville Jaguars (2013 - Pres)Tennessee Titans (1999 - Pres)
Remember when it looked like the Jaguars were sticking around in the playoff mix? Now after dropping a very winnable game to the Chargers, that talk has all but subsided completely. They are also banged up with a handful of starters potentially on the mend this week. Tennessee has lost three in a row and has yet to win at home. That will change on Sunday.
Titans 12 Jaguars 10

49ers (3-8) vs. Bears (5-6) - Fox, 1:00
San Francisco 49ers (1996 - 2008)Chicago Bears (1999 - Pres)
John Fox continues to do good work with the Bears as his club looked pretty good in pulling the road upset at Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving. With Jay Cutler playing well and a patchwork defense holding up, the playoffs are not out of the question. For San Francisco, they did show a little spunk against the Cardinals this past week but that is just about all that is positive one can say about them right now.
Bears 30 49ers 16

Broncos (9-2) vs. Chargers (3-8) - CBS, 4:05
Denver Broncos (1970 - 1992)San Diego Chargers (1974 - 1987)
The Broncos should not even think about going back to Peyton Manning this season as Brock Osweiler has shown in his two starts that he can run this offense effectively. You have seen the running game improve and as the defense continues to excel, this team is looking like a legitimate contender now. San Diego may have upset the Jaguars on Sunday but they're still hurting across the board, so even at home they will fall.
Broncos 24 Chargers 6

Chiefs (6-5) vs. Raiders (5-6) - CBS, 4:05
Kansas City Chiefs (1972 - Pres)Oakland Raiders (1995 - Pres)
Kansas City comes into Oaktown riding a five game winning streak and in pretty solid position to make the playoffs. Oakland once was in nice position but then they dropped three in a row before beating Tennessee in Nashville on Sunday. I've got a funky feeling (for many a reason) but I think a balanced Oakland offensive performance will power an upset this Sunday.
Raiders 27 Chiefs 26

Panthers (11-0) vs. Saints (4-7) - Fox, 4:25
Carolina Panthers (2012 - Pres)New Orleans Saints (2006 - Pres)
The Saints could make it interesting as they can do in the Superdome, and especially if Drew Brees goes off for a massive performance in the passing game. However, I just don't see it. Their defense is still a mess which should allow Cam Newton to have a big day and the Panthers have the secondary to keep Brees at bay.
Panthers 27 Saints 17

Eagles (4-7) vs. Patriots (10-1) - Fox, 4:25
Philadelphia Eagles (1996 - Pres)New England Patriots (2000 - Pres)
The Patriots finally lost their first game this season on Sunday night in a snowy Denver amid some late mistakes down the stretch in regulation as well as an injury to Rob Gronkowski (and with no help from the referees to boot). Gronkowski's status for Sunday is in question which could leave Tom Brady without much to work with but they do get to return home and take on a Philadelphia team that continues to look awful.
Patriots 31 Eagles 10

Colts (6-5) vs. Steelers (6-5) - NBC, 8:30
Indianapolis Colts (2002 - Pres)Pittsburgh Steelers (1962 - 1968)
Matt Hasselbeck has played pretty well for the Colts this season in relief of Andrew Luck but Pittsburgh is probably the toughest team he has had to play to date. The Steelers are even tougher now that it looks like Ben Roethlisberger will indeed be playing after suffering a concussion in the Sunday loss in Seattle. Roethlisberger can and will torch the Indianapolis defeat and get the victory.
Steelers 35 Colts 27

Monday, December 7th
Cowboys (3-8) vs. Washington (5-6) - ESPN, 8:30
Dallas Cowboys (1964 - Pres)Washington Redskins (1965 - 1969)
Now that Tony Romo is now expected to be out for the remainder of the season, the onus back on Matt Cassel and based on what he showed earlier this season, that should spell the end death of them for 2015. Say what you want about Kirk Cousins, the guy has played pretty well in Landover this season and I expect that will continue on Monday night.
Washington 23 Cowboys 13

2 comments:

  1. Hi Ben
    Like you, I think the Pats were VERY hard done by down the stretch. After all it IS football (a contact sport) and the conditions were atypical. The umps should have been more sensitive and less flag-happy. I have a feeling the Pats will vent some of their frustration upon the Eagles (in spite of the injury slate) and clip their wings pretty well so the Pats are my LOTW but yours is equally valid. The Browns are a mess and look about as inept as Miami's O.

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  2. The Cowboys will upset the Deadskins on Monday Night. Take it to the bank!! How About Them Cowboys!!

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