NFL Week 13 Predictions

The playoff push is in full swing. As the true contenders come into focus, find out who Max thinks is the cream of the crop this season. And sorry Texans fans, it had to be done.

With Thanksgiving now behind us, the NFL season has entered the final playoff push. With only six weeks left in the regular season, time is running out for teams to make their move in the standings. We have a great slate of games to predict this week, so let’s not waist any more time.

The top Dogs in football:

#32. Georgia Bulldogs (12-0, NA): Georgia completed their second straight undefeated regular season last weekend with a 37-14 win over Georgia Tech. The Bulldogs hope to secure the top seed in the college football playoffs with a win over LSU in the SEC championship game this Saturday.

Approaching relegation:

#31. Denver Broncos (3-8, 22)

#30. Los Angeles Rams (3-8, 29)

The best of the worst:

#29. New Orleans Saints (4-8, 30)

#28. Carolina Panthers (4-8, 28)

#27. Chicago Bears (3-9, 25)

The scrappy underdogs:

#26. Indianapolis Colts (4-7-1, 20)

#25. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-7, 26)

#24. New York Giants (7-4, 14)

#23. Atlanta Falcons (5-7, 27)

#22. Green Bay Packers (4-8, 17)

#21. Las Vegas Raiders (4-7, 31)

#20. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-8, 23)

#19. Detroit Lions (4-7, 24)

#18. Arizona Cardinals (4-8, 19)

#17. Cleveland Browns (4-7, 21)

The over achievers:

#16. New York Jets (7-4, 16)

#15. New England Patriots (6-5, 15)

#14. Washington Commanders (7-5, 18)

True playoff contenders:

#13. Seattle Seahawks (6-5, 12)

#12. Los Angeles Chargers (6-5, 13)

#11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6, 10)

#10. Tennessee Titans (7-4, 11)

#9. Baltimore Ravens (7-4, 9)

Super Bowl contenders:

#8. Minnesota Vikings (9-2, 1): It was clearly premature to put Minnesota at #1.

#7. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4, 8)

#6. San Francisco 49ers (7-4, 6)

#5. Philadelphia Eagles (10-1, 5)

#4. Miami Dolphins (8-3, 4)

#3. Dallas Cowboys (8-3, 7)

#2. Buffalo Bills (8-3, 2)

#1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2, 3)

Week 13 predictions:

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots:

The Bills barely snuck by a feisty Lions team last week, making a last second field goal to win 28-25 on Thanksgiving. The week before that, they easily beat the Browns 31-23. The Patriots beat the Jets 10-3 and lost to the Vikings 33-26 over the last two weeks. Although they are extremely well coached, New England’s defense doesn’t have the talent necessary to keep an explosive offense like Buffalo at bay long enough for their average offense to gain a big lead.

Prediction: Bills 27, Patriots 19

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Atlanta Falcons:

These teams are very similar. They are both well coached and play hard, but they both lack high-end talent. The Steelers have played better since T.J. Watt returned from his triceps injury, and Kenny Pickett is starting to play better at quarterback as well. The Falcons are actually on the fringes of the playoff race mainly because of an easy schedule and some lucky wins. They are at home and have more to play for, so I think that gives them a slight edge here.

Prediction: Falcons 24, Steelers 23

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears:

After back-to-back losses to the Titans and Eagles, the Packers’ playoff hopes are all but gone. The offense has played better in recent weeks, but the defense has been terrible. Green Bay put up 33 points on a good Eagles defense last week, but the defense gave up 40. Aaron Rodgers suffered a rib injury against Philadelphia, and youngster Jordan Love came in and nearly led an improbable comeback. Love, a 2020 first round pick, is an intriguing prospect who Green Bay hopes can be their next great quarterback once Rodgers either retires or gets traded. Rodgers thinks he will be able to play this week, but it would be fun to see what Love could do in a great matchup against a bad Bears defense. Justin Fields missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury, and Chicago was dominated 31-10 by the Jets. Fields can keep the Bears competitive when he is healthy, but it is hard for them to win games when their defense can’t get any stops.

Prediction: Packers 31, Bears 26

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Detroit Lions:

Both of these teams have seen their stock trending up in recent weeks. The Jags pulled off a big upset last week, beating the Ravens 28-27. Trevor Lawrence may have turned a corner, as he was excellent in leading a last minute touchdown drive to win the game. The Lions had won three in a row prior to their close loss to the Bills on Thanksgiving, but it was nonetheless good to see them compete with one of the best teams in the league. Both teams have good not great defenses and average playmakers on offense, so I think this game will come down to who gets the better quarterback play. Lawrence is better than Jared Goff, so I’ll take the Jags.

Prediction: Jaguars 27, Lions 24

New York Jets @ Minnesota Vikings:

Two weeks ago, the Jets lost to the Patriots in embarrassing fashion, as they only scored three points and allowed a game deciding punt return for a touchdown to lose the game. They made a quarterback change after that game, inserting Mike White and benching Zach Wilson. White was excellent in a week 12 win over the Bears, leading his team to a blowout win. The Vikings dropped a stinker in week 11, losing to the Cowboys 40-3. However, they responded by beating a good Patriots team on Thanksgiving. The Jets have a great defense, but White has not proven that he can play well against good teams yet. Minnesota has the better offense and are at home, so I have to take them to win. The Jets could pull off the upset if White plays like he did last week, but his past performance says that is unlikely.

Prediction: Vikings 24, Jets 20

Washington Commanders @ New York Giants:

These teams are headed in opposite directions. Washington has won six of their last seven games and finds themselves in position to make the playoffs. The Giants were the biggest surprise of any team through the first half of the season, but they have fallen back to Earth in recent weeks with three straight losses. The Giants have shown that they are always a sneaky underdog, but Washington has lots of momentum and are underdogs in their own right considering how poorly they started the season.

Prediction: Commanders 23, Giants 17

Tennessee Titans @ Philadelphia Eagles:

This is one of the best matchups on tap for this week. The Titans are coming off a close 23-16 loss to the Bengals in which their offense struggled to move the ball aside from a 70-yard pass play to running back Derrick Henry. The Eagles won a shootout over the Packers last week 40-33. Although they come into this one with a 10-1 record, they haven’t been as dominant the past few weeks as they were to start the season. However, they are at home and are the more well rounded team. Philadelphia’s top wide receiver, A.J. Brown, also has a great chance for a revenge game against a mediocre Tennessee secondary. The Titans traded brown to the Eagles last offseason after refusing to pay him the money he asked for.

Prediction: Eagles 27, Titans 20

Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens:

I’ve just about had it with the Broncos. I’ve written about their disfunction just about every week and I’ve held out hope that they would turn things around. Well, that ends now. Russell Wilson was expected to play like an MVP and lead Denver to a Super Bowl title after he was acquired from the Seahawks and signed to a $250 million extension. Instead, he has played like one of the worst quarterbacks in the league while Seattle has seemingly upgraded at quarterback, saved a bunch of money, and gained two valuable first round draft picks from Denver. Denver’s offensive coaching staff has also not done Wilson any favors. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for the Broncos, and there is no solution in sight. The Ravens have issues of their own, but they aren’t nearly as severe. Baltimore has lost four games, and they have blown second half leads in all four. One of those instances came last week, when Trevor Lawrence led the Jaguars on a last minute game winning drive to hand Baltimore a 28-27 loss. The Ravens shouldn’t have any problems closing out a win over the Broncos, but it is something to think about come playoff time.

Prediction: Ravens 28, Broncos 13

Cleveland Browns @ … Houston Texans?:

The Houston Texans? Who are they?… Oh, aren’t they that one team that gifts their opponents free wins every week? No wonder I forgot they exist. The Browns get their free win this week. DeShaun Watson is back from his suspension and will make his first start of the season. Texans fans might actually show up for this one on the off chance that their team decides to try to beat their former franchise quarterback who forced his way out of town and made himself many people’s least favorite athlete. We’ll see. Either way, it will be the most interesting Texans game of the season.

Prediction: Browns 30, Texans 23

Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams:

The Rams are in a similar situation to the Broncos, but at least they won the Super Bowl last year. The Seahawks aren’t playing all that well themselves, especially defensively. They lost 40-34 to the Raiders in overtime last week. Their poor defense should not be a huge concern this week though, and the offense has still been great.

Prediction: Seahawks 27, Rams 21

Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers:

The soaring Dolphins get their toughest test to date this week. The Niners have one of, if not the, best defenses in football and are in the Super Bowl conversation just like Miami. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was the 49ers offensive coordinator before being hired by Miami and it will be interesting to see how he fares against his former team. These teams run similar offenses, but Miami has the better quarterback and receivers. The Niners have the better defense by a mile, but Miami matches up well against them. The best strength of San Francisco’s defense is their pass rush, but Tua Tagovailoa gets rid of the ball faster than every quarterback not named Tom Brady, meaning the Niners pass rush won’t have much time to make an impact before the ball is thrown. Miami’s receivers are just about uncoverable, so I don’t see them having much of a hiccup despite the tough matchup. San Francisco will do their best to keep up, but I just don’t think they have enough firepower to do so.

Prediction: Dolphins 31, 49ers 27

Kansas City Chiefs @ Cincinnati Bengals:

This is a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game in which the Bengals overcame a 21-3 halftime deficit to win. Cincinnati also beat Kansas City once in the regular season last year. This one should be a shootout, as both offenses rank in the top five in points per game while both defenses rank in the middle of the pack in points allowed. Both of these teams are on fire right now, as the Chiefs have won five straight and the Bengals three straight. The Bengals are expected to get superstar receiver Jamar Chase back from a hip injury this week, and I actually think that could propel them to an upset win. It’s really a toss up, but I’ll take the Bengals to continue their winning ways against KC. It will more than likely come down to who has the ball last though.

Prediction: Bengals 34, Chiefs 31

Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders:

This one also has the looks of a potential shootout. The Raiders underwhelmed for the first half of the season, but they have played much better over the last two weeks, including a 40-point outburst in a win over the Seahawks last week. Running back Josh Jacobs ran for 229 yards and two touchdowns and also caught six passes for 74 yards in a dominant performance. The Chargers are also coming off an impressive win, as Justin Herbert led a game winning drive in the final minutes to get a 25-24 win over the Cardinals. The Chargers won the first meeting between these teams back in week one by a score of 24-19. I expect them to win this one as well, but it will probably be high scoring. Neither defense is imposing and both offenses are at the top of their game.

Prediction: Chargers 33, Raiders 28

Indianapolis Colts @ Dallas Cowboys:

The Colts are very unpredictable. Two weeks after beating the Raiders and one week after losing to the Eagles by just one point, they lost to the lowly Steelers 24-17. The Cowboys, on the other hand, are hitting their stride at just the right time as they try to chase down the Eagles in the NFC East. This game probably won’t be close even if Indianapolis plays like they did against Las Vegas and Philadelphia.

Prediction: Cowboys 30, Colts 20

New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Tom Brady finds himself in uncharted territory, as his Buccaneers are under .500 at 5-6 heading into week 13. They lost in overtime to the Browns last week 23-17. The defense has not lived up to expectations this year and Brady hasn’t been on the same page with all his receivers, plus the offensive line has been extremely banged up all season. All pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs suffered a high ankle sprain against Cleveland in the most damaging blow to Brady’s pass protection yet. The Saints are playing better of late, as they beat the Rams two weeks before getting shutout by the 49ers last week. Although the offense struggled in that one, the defense had one of their best showings of the season in holding San Francisco to 13 points. The Saints have had the Buccs number in recent years, including a shutout in Tampa a year ago almost to the date. The Bucs won the first matchup with New Orleans this year, but I think the Saints get their revenge this time around.

Prediction: Saints 23, Buccaneers 20