Week 13 NFL Matchup Predictions

Week 13 Matchup Predictions

11/29/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Thanksgiving weekend was kind to me, as I went 11-4 with my Week 12 picks (104-62 on the season), no thanks to eight Steeler turnovers or the Chargers' embarrassing defense on 4th and 29 against the Ravens. This week will start with a bang when the Falcons try to avenge their lone defeat against the Saints on Thursday night. Sunday's headlines will include another start for Colin Kaepernick and a must-win for the Steelers in a vicious clash with the Ravens. Here's what I expect to see this week in the NFL:
Nov 18, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) drops back to pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Cardinals 23-19. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE
Saints (5-6) @ Falcons (10-1): As far as I'm concerned, the Falcons should have won their first meeting with the Saints. They had three opportunities to take a late lead from the Saints' one-yard line, and washed up Michael Turner (13 carries for 15 yards in that game) couldn't punch it in - nor did the coaching staff even trust him enough to give him more than one crack at it. On the next drive, Roddy White misjudged a perfectly thrown pass that should have been a touchdown, and let it sail over his head. To cap it off, Tony Gonzalez - arguably the best tight end of all-time - dropped a pass on fourth down that would have moved the chains. Matt Ryan is no longer my MVP after his five interception debacle against the Cardinals, but I still think he's an MVP-caliber player, and his teammates won't let him down this time around.

Falcons win 35-31.

Jaguars (2-9) @ Bills (4-7): What can't the Bills do? Stop the run. And what do the Jaguars not have? A running back. After being benched in favor of Jalen Parmele - who had seven career rushing attempts coming into this season - Rashad Jennings is back at running back for the Jaguars due to Parmele's season ending groin injury. If the Jaguars can't take advantage of the Bills' biggest defensive weakness, they'll have no chance of keeping up with the Bills' offense. (Somewhat bold statement of the week: CJ Spiller totals 200+ yards).

Bills win 24-17.

Seahawks (6-5) @ Bears (8-3): The Seahawks' latest road disappointment came last week against the Dolphins, making them 1-5 on the road this season. Five of the six teams they have played on the road have sub-.500 records. Now they're heading to Chicago to face a healthy Jay Cutler and his 8-3 Bears. If you can't win in Miami, St. Louis, or Arizona, you won't be able to win in Chicago.

Bears win 26-16.

Colts (7-4) @ Lions (4-7): Both of these teams generate a lot of offense, but struggle to match their yardage output with points. The Colts are 5th in total offense, but only 21st in points, while the Lions are 2nd in total offense, and 14th in points. Why does that happen? Turnovers. Both teams turn the ball over too much, and struggle to create turnovers themselves. The Colts have turned the ball over more this season, and are dead last in takeaways. In addition, they will reportedly not use their best cornerback to shadow Calvin Johnson.

Lions win 30-27.

Vikings (6-5) @ Packers (7-4): The Packers are coming off a tough 28-point loss to the Giants, while the Vikings most recently suffered an 18-point defeat to the Bears. A loss to the Giants or Bears is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, but how badly they lost was what made the results disappointing. With both defenses having played solid for the better part of the season, I have to go with the Packers, as Aaron Rodgers is much more likely than Christian Ponder to respond to his embarrassing loss with a stellar performance.

Packers win 31-20.
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