Two NFL experts from the Prime Time Sports Talk staff came together to share their picks for Week 13.
These two writers will make their picks for the entire season. (Failure to accurately predict a tie will be treated as a loss.) A record will be listed at the bottom of every article. An archive of all 18 regular-season and four playoff editions can be found here.
Dallas Cowboys vs. New Orleans Saints
Sam: Cowboys 24, Saints 22
Taysom Hill will jumpstart the New Orleans offense with his legs in his first start against Dallas at home. The Saints’ defense will play admirably, keeping the game close, before a late Greg Zuerlein field goal seals it. Hill does enough to solidify his status for the rest of the season under center, and in the future, even though the team falls short of ending their four-game skid.
Andersen: Cowboys 28, Saints 17
The Cowboys are far and away the better team here, especially with CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper returning from their respective ailments. On the positive side, New Orleans should have Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram back while Taysom Hill takes over at quarterback. Still, Dallas is one of the best teams in the NFL and will handily defeat the Saints.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
Sam: Colts 30, Texans 19
This is a tough sell, because in a divisional matchup, Houston might keep it close enough to put a scare into Indianapolis. Despite all appearances, quarterback Carson Wentz has not played well in his last three weeks, but he will find his footing in a matchup against a struggling defense that had been blown out numerous times when they lost nine of 10 games.
Andersen: Colts 24, Texans 13
The Colts have been dominant the last couple of weeks as they demolished the Bills and narrowly fell to the Buccaneers in overtime. It would be stunning to see them fail to win by double-digit points in this one. Carson Wentz will have plenty of freedom in the passing game while Jonathan Taylor could very well total 200 scrimmage yards again.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions
Sam: Vikings 34, Lions 17
Alexander Mattison (as usual) steps in for Dalvin Cook seamlessly and has a full week of practice under his belt. There are few questions for Minnesota on offense. In another divisional game, Minnesota takes it to Detroit to get back to .500 and keep Detroit winless on the season.
Andersen: Vikings 27, Lions 18
Despite losing Dalvin Cook to an upper-body injury, the Vikings still have one of the best offenses in the NFL. This is a unit that limits turnovers and is able to get big plays at a frequent rate. On the other side, Detroit has yet to win this season. While a winless season seems unlikely, they won’t begin to reverse their woes against the Vikings this week.
New York Giants vs. Miami Dolphins
Sam: Giants 21, Dolphins 16
New York might have done a slight turn around the corner. They just completely dominated Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia, holding him to a 17.5 rating. While the G-Men only score 13 in the ugly affair, Daniel Jones looked good, with 232 total yards and a touchdown while amassing a a 94.0 rating. Saquon Barkley has moved back into the running back role slowly, and while Miami’s defense is no slouch, he should get a heavy role.
Andersen: Dolphins 21, Giants 10
Regardless of whether Daniel Jones plays, Miami should win this one. Myles Gaskin has found his groove as of late, Tua Tagoaviloa has converted high completion rates, and Jaylen Waddle looks like a candidate for Rookie of the Year. At the same time, the defense has come on tremendously strong and gets a favorable matchup this week. Miami should win by multiple scores.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons
Sam: Buccaneers 41, Falcons 24
Atlanta may score this many points, but it should not suggest they even look close to in the game against Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers (behind Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski… again) are going to lower the boom on a Falcons team that only scored three total points against the last two contenders they played (Dallas, New England Patriots).
Andersen: Buccaneers 38, Falcons 13
This could get ugly. Atlanta nearly choked away a lead against the Jaguars last week. This time, they’ll suffer a four-possession loss at the hands of division-rival Baltimore. The selection of Kyle Pitts and the late emergence of Cordarrelle Patterson have been the only real bright spots of the year for the Falcons. Frustrations continue as they lose to the Buccaneers.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets
Sam: Eagles 26, Jets 20
This is going to be an ugly, ugly game. Both teams are going to try playing smash-mouth football and the first half under bet might hit before they are each forced to throw the pigskin in the second half. In the end, it’s the Eagles defense that makes enough plays to win on the road in East Rutherford. New York has not beaten Philadelphia in 11 tries in history. Make it 12.
Andersen: Eagles 13, Jets 10
We could be in a low-scoring affair here. On one hand, Jalen Hurts is struggling and is certainly no guarantee to play against the Jets due to injury. Meanwhile, Zach Wilson struggled against the Texans last week and could look like a disaster while throwing against emerging star corner Darius Slay. The Eagles are the more well-rounded team here and should find success in East Rutherford, N.J.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Chicago Bears
Sam: Cardinals 30, Bears 13
This really comes down to Kyler Murray versus Justin Fields. The latter may be good in the future, but that’s not 2021. He has four touchdowns passing and two rushing, with a total of nine turnovers. That’s not good. Cardinals all day long on the road at Soldier Field.
Andersen: Cardinals 20, Bears 14
It’s the return of injured quarters as Kyle Murray and Justin Fields are both expected to suit up in this one. Murray could have a down showing in his first game back, but the rest of the team will do enough to make up for any of the third-year signal-caller’s woes. At the same time, Matt Nagy gets one week closer to his firing.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Sam: Chargers 33, Bengals 30
It feels like every week, Cincinnati has a thriller on their hands. It makes for great television, but does not necessary please the faithful on the banks of the Ohio river. Each secondary has the potential to be victimized, and while Joe Burrow is probably the better long-term answer at quarterback than Justin Herbert, he is still forcing the ball into traffic often. Los Angeles forces a fourth-quarter mistake and takes the victory in the battle of second-year quarterbacks. Cincinnati needs to give Joe Mixon the ball 30 times to guarantee a win, but will be forced into a shootout, and Zac Taylor may bail on that gameplan.
Andersen: Bengals 31, Chargers 24
Joe Mixon is a mad man. After gashing the Steelers last Sunday, he’s likely in line for another big game against the Chargers’ front-seven, which has struggled to defend the run this season. On the other side, the Chargers have offense playmakers at their disposal but face a very stern opponent in the Bengals. Cincinnati secures the one-touchdown win.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Rams
Sam: Rams 36, Jaguars 3
Blowout city. The Rams need a “get-right” game after three-straight losses to playoff hopefuls, and Jacksonville is just the ticket. Matthew Stafford is back on track with a four touchdown performance against hapless Jacksonville. This game is a mismatch across the board, as Trevor Lawrence doesn’t stand a chance against Los Angeles.
Andersen: Rams 31, Jaguars 17
Here’s a great opportunity for the Rams to get right after suffering three straight losses (plus a bye week in between). Los Angeles’ defense is far from its usual level, but the unit should still fare quite well against the limping Jaguars.
Washington Football Team vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Sam: Raiders 27, Football Team 18
Washington has shown signs of turning the corner, but their pass defense just isn’t very good, as evidenced by many game this season. The Raiders have a balanced attack and Derek Carr could have a field day against the helpless secondary. Maybe Washing jumps out to a 10 point lead early, but slow and steady wins the race. Las Vegas opens it up in the third and does their damage.
Andersen: Raiders 24, Football Team 22
It’s tempting to pick Washington after just how good their running game looked on Monday night. At the same time, though, Las Vegas was phenomenal and upset the Cowboys on the road. The Raiders’ strong passing attack, led by Derek Carr, assists their two-point win.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Sam: Steelers 23, Ravens 20
The AFC North continues to be a complete question mark, and after the beating Pittsburgh took at the hands of Cincinnati, this absolutely feels like a game where Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger bring the team back from the dead. It continues to complicate the playoff picture with the Browns on bye and the Bengals taking on the Chargers. When everyone thinks the Steelers are down, they’re never out.
Andersen: Ravens 27, Steelers 15
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens were embarrassing last week, but the Steelers might have been worse. Pittsburgh could take some shots to expose Baltimore’s secondary this week, but it feels more likely (and wise) that they slow down and lower their pace as they try to move the ball down the field in a careful manner. It won’t matter, of course. Baltimore by 12
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Sam: 49ers 26, Seahawks 20
San Francisco should actually score more than 26, but they are going to play a ball-control offense and keep putting the rock in the hands of their running back core, which is steadily getting healthy. It’s another frustrating day Russell Wilson, making one of the top stories on Monday being his future in the Pacific Northwest.
Andersen: 49ers 21, Seahawks 16
Even without Deebo Samuel, the 49ers will win a critical playoff game against division-rival Seattle. The unit shall thrive with the presence of players like George Kittle, Jauan Jennings, and Elijah Mitchell.
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sam: Chiefs 30, Broncos 20
Denver has been surprisingly competitive after everyone left them for dead earlier in the season. As I predicted several weeks ago, Kansas City seems to have come around, playing better defense while only allowing 47 points in their last four games. That resulted in a four-game winning streak. Big Brother takes it to the Broncos but allows a couple garbage-time scores making the final score more respectable.
Andersen: Chiefs 34, Broncos 17
The Broncos’ upset win over the Chargers was fun, but it won’t last as they face the dominant Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. Primetime divisional games are often close, but this one will represent an outlier. Kansas City could very well double Denver’s total score by the end.
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills
Sam: Bills 19, Patriots 17
Another divisional matchup, and this time Buffalo comes out on top. It’s been a tale of two teams for them, and although Bill Belichick has the better defense, the Bills are going to stack the box against the Patriots offense and Mac Jones. He’s played well, but the gamble pays off this week,
Andersen: Patriots 17, Bills 16
The best game of the week gets its own primetime slot in Week 13. The Patriots-Bills game has been declared winner of this honor, so the two teams will face off on Monday night. It will be very interesting to see how the Patriots respond to Tre’Davious White‘s season-ending ACL injury. On the other side, will any Bills player be completely checked out of the game by Bill Belichick’s coaching style?
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