PFT’s Week 13 picks

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With 176 games completed, the gap has been cut from seven to two.

After a four-game sweep of our disagreements in Week 11, MDS posted another 3-1 mark in Week 12, making it very interesting over the final five weeks.

This week, we have only one disagreement.  So it’ll be down to one or back to three by Monday.  (I are good at the math.)

Of course, that doesn’t mean we’ll be right on the picks on which we agree.  But we’re doing OK.  MDS was 11-5 for Week 12, and I was 9-7.  For the season, I’m at 112-63-1, a 63.6 percent accuracy rate.  MDS is 110-65-1, which equates to 62.5 percent.

Saints at Falcons

MDS’s take: It sounds crazy to say this about a 5-6 team facing a 10-1 team, but right now the Saints are playing better football than the Falcons. Having said that, I have a hunch the Falcons will turn in their best effort of the season at home against the team that gave them their only loss.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Saints 21.

Florio’s take:  An already contentious rivalry will become even more contentious now that eggs have flown into the Saints bus and former Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton has declared that his new team, the Saints, don’t regard the rivalry as a rivalry, given that the Saints have won 11 of 13.  With the Falcons closing in on a playoff berth and sensitive about the perception that they can’t win big games at home, it’s time to drop the Saints’ mark against the Falcons to 11 of 14.

Florio’s pick:  Falcons 27, Saints 24.

Jaguars at Bills

MDS’s take: Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne has been impressive enough since replacing Blaine Gabbert that I’m tempted to pick the Jags to pull off a home upset. But these are still the Jaguars, and even if Henne has improved the offense, they still have a terrible defense, plus the Bills have a big special teams edge.

MDS’s pick: Bills 27, Jaguars 23.

Florio’s take:  The Jags are riding a rare one-game winning streak.  The Bill are trying to break a not-so-rare one-game losing streak.  Home team gets the advantage, even though the Jaguars are better with Chad Henne at quarterback.

Florio’s pick:  Bills 24, Jaguars 17.

Seahawks at Bears

MDS’s take: This might be the day’s most interesting game, especially if you enjoy watching teams that play tough, physical defense. I think Seattle’s defensive front has the potential to make life a nightmare for Jay Cutler playing behind the Bears’ woeful offensive line, and yet the Seahawks have struggled so much away from home that I’m taking the Bears in a close one.

MDS’s pick: Bears 14, Seahawks 13.

Florio’s take:  It’s chicken salad time for the Chicago offensive line, with failed first-round tackle Gabe Carimi being pressed into service at guard.  But Jay Cutler knows how to avoid the pressure and deliver the ball, and the Seahawks still haven’t learned how to win on the road.

Florio’s pick:  Bears 23, Seahawks 13.

Colts at Lions

MDS’s take: The Lions are playing better football than their record suggests, while the Colts are playing worse football than their record suggests. I still think Indianapolis will be a wild card team, but in this game Calvin Johnson will have a huge day against a weak secondary.

MDS’s pick: Lions 31, Colts 20.

Florio’s take:  Assuming that the Lions haven’t folded the tents after a season-crushing Thanksgiving loss, they’ve got the horses to hold off a Colts team that has yet to learn how to win away from Indy consistently.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 27, Colts 20.

Vikings at Packers

MDS’s take: Green Bay had a letdown against the Giants last week, but that won’t happen again. This is the game when the Packers pull ahead of the pack in the NFC wild card race, as well as staying within striking distance of the Bears in the NFC North.

MDS’s pick: Packers 34, Vikings 13.

Florio’s take:  Minnesota has embarked on its long-expected late-season collapse, and the Packers will be extra salty after getting peppered by the Giants.  This one could get ugly.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 34, Vikings 13.

Panthers at Chiefs

MDS’s take: It’s too late for the Panthers to get back in the playoff race, but I do see them going on a little bit of a late-season run. With Cam Newton playing well, they’ll easily win in Kansas City.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 27, Chiefs 9.

Florio’s take:  The Chiefs can’t lose every game the rest of the season, can they?  Carolina is on the road after a Monday night on the road, cramming two rounds of travel into a short week after a game in which they are feeling better about themselves than they should.  The Chiefs, if they don’t win this one, may not win another.  Ever.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 20, Panthers 16.

Patriots at Dolphins

MDS’s take: I like a lot about the way the Dolphins are playing, especially defensively. And the Patriots’ secondary has a bad tendency to leave receivers wide open, so Ryan Tannehill may have a decent statistical game. But New England’s offense is such a well-oiled machine that I like the Patriots to get into the end zone five or six times.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 38, Dolphins 28.

Florio’s take:  The Dolphins will win if the sprinklers come on again.  And if the are loaded with hydrochloric acid and aimed at the eyes of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.  Otherwise, advantage Pats.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 35, Dolphins 24.

Cardinals at Jets

MDS’s take: This is a stinker of a game between two teams with all kinds of problems at the quarterback position, but it says something about how far the Cardinals have sunk that Mark Sanchez is easily the top quarterback in this game.

MDS’s pick: Jets 20, Cardinals 10.

Florio’s take:  It’s easy to assume the Jets will continue their implosion.  The schedule suggests they could win five in a row.  They may not get to 9-7, but 5-7 is looking pretty promising.

Florio’s pick:  Jets 30, Cardinals 17.

49ers at Rams

MDS’s take: I don’t think this game is going to be easy for the 49ers because St. Louis isn’t an easy place to play anymore, but in the end San Francisco just has too much power on both sides of the ball for the Rams to have much of a chance.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 24, Rams 13.

Florio’s take:  They pick up where they left off after five quarters that ended in a tie.  The Rams try to extend their 3-0-1 record in the NFC West.  The Niners are simply a better team with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 31, Rams 23.

Texans at Titans

MDS’s take: The Titans fired offensive coordinator Chris Palmer this week, as if that will fix anything. The Titans’ problems go much deeper than the offensive playcalling, and the Texans — getting a well deserved three extra days of rest following their back-to-back overtime games the last two weeks — will look fresh and win this one handily.

MDS’s pick: Texans 41, Titans 20.

Florio’s take:  Yes, before the season I thought the the Titans, who were unexpectedly 9-7 in 2011, were poised to topple the Texans.  It hasn’t happened.  And it won’t happen for the Titans on Sunday, not with the Texans closing in on their second straight playoff berth.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 27, Titans 14.

Buccaneers at Broncos

MDS’s take: The Bucs are thin in the secondary after trading away Aqib Talib and losing Eric Wright to a suspension, and Peyton Manning is the last quarterback you want to face when you’re thin in the secondary. Manning will pick the Bucs’ defense apart. The best chance the Bucs have of keeping this game close is to control the ball by running Doug Martin, but in the end Manning will just have too much for Tampa Bay.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 35, Buccaneers 24.

Florio’s take:  With Eric Wright suspended and Aqib Talib long gone, it’ll be a long day for the Bucs’ porous pass defense.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 31, Buccaneers 21.

Steelers at Ravens

MDS’s take: The Steelers need this one, but they’re not going to get it. Without Ben Roethlisberger the Steelers just aren’t a very good team, and I expect the Ravens to earn a big win that helps them pull away in the AFC North.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 23, Steelers 7.

Florio’s take:  With or without Ben Roethlisberger, the Ravens are tough to beat at home.  And even though it would be fitting for the Steelers to win in Baltimore after the Ravens won in Pittsburgh, the Ravens are the better team — and the Steelers are on the verge of a late-season implosion.  All that’s left is for coach Mike Tomlin to vow to “unleash hell.”

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 19, Steelers 13.

Browns at Raiders

MDS’s take: Both teams are 3-8, but they’re a different 3-8. The Browns are a 3-8 team that is playing competitive football and has a lot of young guys who look hungry. The Raiders are a 3-8 team that just wrapped up an 0-4 November in which their four losses came by a total of 90 points. The Browns will go into the Black Hole and come out with their first road win of the season.

MDS’s pick: Browns 21, Raiders 17.

Florio’s take:  The Browns are better than their record suggests.  The Raiders are worse.  With Browns players trying to save the job of their head coach (and in turn their own jobs), Cleveland has more incentive to try to emerge with a win.

Florio’s pick:  Browns 17, Raiders 13.

Bengals at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Bengals are rolling and the Chargers are reeling. Marvin Lewis will take another step toward the playoffs while Norv Turner takes another step toward the unemployment line.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 24, Chargers 14.

Florio’s take:  San Diego’s AFC North tour continues, and they wish it wouldn’t.  After losing to the Browns and to the Ravens, a surging Cincinnati team is ready to keep pushing toward their first consecutive playoff appearances in non-strike years.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 27, Chargers 17.

Eagles at Cowboys

MDS’s take: The Eagles have given up on the season. At this point I don’t think I’d pick them to beat anyone, and I certainly won’t pick them to win on the road against a Cowboys team that still has slim playoff hopes.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Eagles 20.

Florio’s take:  Philly is in a full-blown free fall.  After seeing them lose to the lowly Panthers, I’m done picking them until next September at the earliest.  The Cowboys aren’t much better, but they’re good enough (and sufficiently healthier) to get it done.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 34, Eagles 20.

Giants at Redskins

MDS’s take: The Redskins have done a great job of pulling themselves back into NFC East contention, and if you want to see an interesting playoff race in December you should be rooting for the Redskins to beat the Giants on Monday night. But Robert Griffin III playing so well as a rookie has masked the fact that the Redskins have big problems on both sides of the ball. The Giants will be too much for them.

MDS’s pick: Giants 34, Redskins 17.

Florio’s take:  The Giants have awoken from their slumber.  That may not be enough to contain a streaking RG3 in his Monday night debut.  Forced to make a choice, however, let’s stick with the team that has shown that it still has the ability to periodically play up to its potential.  Especially when it has to.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 31, Redskins 27.

45 responses to “PFT’s Week 13 picks

  1. I don’t care if the Steelers are without Ben again. The Ravens will win this weekend, but they won’t cover a whopping (for this type of matchup, that is) 7.5 point spread.

    Ravens win, 24-19.

  2. I look for Andre Johnson to continue his late season resurgence and put up another 150yd+ game.

    I am also looking for the Texan D to get back on track and keep the Titans out of the endzone, but CJ2k, whom I called CJ200 early in the year, seems to be getting back to doing what he does. Will be tough to keep him bottled up especially with a very banged up linebacking core.

  3. I can’t wait for the Bears-Hawks game. If Sherman and Browner play, life will be tough for Marshall and the other WRs.

    If they don’t, however….”good luck” lol

    Good luck to both teams

  4. What a surprise, NFC east on Sunday night and Monday night again…man it was refreshing to see the Saints v Niners game as Americas game of the week last Sunday, too bad that was short-lived.

  5. The amazing RGIII & the universes best coach in Shanny will destroy the Giants. When the great RGIII gets done with the G-men we will all induct him immediately into Canton along with his mastermind coach. Lest we forget Morris the worlds best running back! The Giants will be no match for the Redskins! Hail to the Redskins…

    Just a warm up to voiceofreason guys…

  6. I’m looking for Buffalo (now that they have all but no chance at making the playoffs) to start stringing together some wins to ruin their draft position. 7-9 here we come!!!

  7. Remind me again what we’ve done to be punished with so a crappy and irrelevant Sunday nighter? I hope the ratings tank to prove just because you can put two crappy, but big market teams in the game doesn’t mean it’ll rate. Just as I skipped the Monday nighter last week, I’ll be watching the BE season finale instead.

  8. Lol that Skins prediction is hilarious to me obviously both these geniuses didnt watch the first game or last seasons games. Clueless.

  9. Skins had the Giants dead to rights, but gave away four turnovers in Giants stadium….Hopefully at home they can tighten that up, and hopefully Kyle continues to call a good game, as he did the last 2 weeks…..If the Redskins win, the NFC East race will go down to the wire, and if NY wins, it’s all but over.

    Oh, and if anyone happens to talk to Madieu Williams, tell him keep EVERYTHING in front of him, ALL DAY

  10. I like when you both pick against the Skins in games like this…just wish i could’ve watched you both eat crow the last 2 weeks…that being said mask issues on both sides of the ball the only issue is the secondary which for one bad moment against the Giants the first time around might have gotten them the win. Eli does not play well against the Skins for whatever reason, that one 77 yd play does not warrant your justifications for picking them Monday night. On Tuesday morning I want you both to turn in your PFT picks resignations…

  11. Redskins/Giants isn’t going to look like Giants/Packers did last week. The Giants are built to shut down the pass and the Packers can’t run. The Redskins have a vicious rushing attack which is why they almost won up at MetLife earlier this year, despite the turnovers. This game will be good. It will come down to the wire. That’s where the Giants likely win it, because the Redskins are a team on the rise who is just simply not ready to compete with the elite…. yet.

    Signed, a Diehard Redskins Fan married to a Diehard Giants Fan. Yup. It’s going to be a loooooong week.

  12. Florio thinks with his heart and not his head.

    The Vikes will roar against the Packers by scoring early to quiet the crowd and then playing great defense to seal the deal.

    Vikes make the playoffs, packers go play golf this year.

  13. I can see the Skins winning this game. Why? Just came off an easy win against the pack where everything went right. That won’t happen against the skins and the giants will come down to earth hard.

  14. If the Vikings avoid the drops and turnovers from last week, they beat the Packers. GB is too beat up on both sides of the ball to control the game, which will allow the Vikings a chance to win if they play a solid game- not outstanding, just solid.

    I like the Seahawks to upset the Bears at home. Bears just aren’t that good, and are more beat-up now. It will be close, but Seattle pulls it out.

  15. Once again it’s all about RGIII, while Andrew Luck’s accomplishments gets pushed into the shadows. No shot against Detroit, eh? I’m not sure what it’s going to take for him to get respect here, but Indy’s getting healthier and Luck loves challenges. Watch out Lions. Colts in an upset (though to me this is a pick ’em game).

  16. I think the Packers loss at the Giants may have a more unsettling effect on the Packers. Let’s face it, their last 4 wins were against the worst teams in the league, and they haven’t played well for at least a couple weeks- the performance against the Lions was lackluster at best.

    This Packers team does not have the sync and rhythm of last year’s team- which everyone knew was unsustainable. Part of that is because opposing teams adjust, and part of that is because the Packers haven’t countered.

    I have the upmost respect for the Packers QB and WR corps, but defensively they’re missing their playmakers. Offensively they’re missing their OL and running game. It’s tough to take charge of a game that way.

    That opens it up for the opposing team to do so, and take the win in the process. The Giants did last week, the Lions failed to the week before. The Vikings will have their chance this week, but it’s really about the opposing team seizing the opportunity the Packers will provide, not the Packers outplaying or outclassing their opponents. They have too many holes to do that.

  17. Glad to see the Jets are favored over the Cardinals, we need to start getting them wins so we keep Ryan and Sanchez around for another year. As a fan of (1) the Pats, (2) slapstick physical comedy, and (3) people who swear like sailors into their headsets every single time their QB runs a play, I need these. This is important, people.

  18. “The Dolphins will win if the sprinklers come on again. And if the are loaded with hydrochloric acid and aimed at the eyes of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Otherwise, advantage Pats.”

    A really lame joke has absolutely zero chance of being effective if you can’t compose an intelligible sentence.

    Stop smoking weed; the Adderol isn’t counteracting the effects.

  19. skins 6 and 10 this year…book it… they havn’t been relevent in 15 years and their fans are acting disrespected for people to pick against them…give me a break..they have a qb and a running back..that it folks

  20. @thehuckster404,

    id be careful about what you say, that probably will happen. Only though, if gailey has a sudden epiphany and actaully gives him the ball more than 10 times. So actually, it probably wont

  21. Hope you’re right about the Falcons / Saints. I hope they’ve come up with a way to slow Jimmy Graham down and maybe even pressure Brees. We’ll see.

  22. Vikings fans are hilarious.

    Headache won’t be effective, even if he plays, Ponder can’t make plays, and that means the packers just have to concentrate on shutting down Peterson.

    Packers 49
    Vikings 6

  23. bigbwoy000 says:
    Nov 29, 2012 10:27 AM
    The amazing RGIII & the universes best coach in Shanny will destroy the Giants. When the great RGIII gets done with the G-men we will all induct him immediately into Canton along with his mastermind coach. Lest we forget Morris the worlds best running back! The Giants will be no match for the Redskins! Hail to the Redskins…

    Just a warm up to voiceofreason guys…
    You had me fooled. I thought it was him

  24. “Florio thinks with his heart and not his head.

    The Vikes will roar against the Packers by scoring early to quiet the crowd and then playing great defense to seal the deal.

    Vikes make the playoffs, packers go play golf this year.”

    Only a Minnesotan would accuse someone else of emotion-based thinking and then base his prediction and how loud or quiet the crowd is.

  25. Tampa is going against Peyton Manning and the Denver receivers with two third string corner backs?

    Other than this mis-match the two teams actually line up pretty well against each other. But Manning will have a field day, 4TD’s and 340 yards.

  26. “Once again it’s all about RGIII, while Andrew Luck’s accomplishments gets pushed into the shadows. No shot against Detroit, eh? I’m not sure what it’s going to take for him to get respect here, but Indy’s getting healthier and Luck loves challenges.”

    The Patriots were a challenging team.
    We all saw how that Colts-Patriots game went.

  27. Nobody gives luck credit because stats show that the colts are the worst 7-4 team in history. They have a negative scoring differential -11 I believe. The kids good but he hasn’t played like rg3. Put luck in shannys offense and I feel he does better than he’s doin in Indy though

  28. I’d love to think that the Packers will crush the Vikings, but that isn’t going to happen if the Packers’ D can’t stop the run. They sure couldn’t do that last week. They’ve got a big problem on their right side with a starting DE who may not play, Matthews who probably won’t play, and CB Williams who doesn’t want to tackle anyone.
    If Jennings comes back and is okay I think the Packers score just enough to win, but I think it’ll be uncomfortably close.

  29. Im see the Vikings/Packers game as one that may come down to the kickers. Packers can not stop the run and Vikes struggle against the pass. Fortunately the Vikings have Blair Walsh while the Packers have wide left/right Mason.

  30. Interesting analysis, contra.

    So the 11th best team against the rush “can’t stop the rush”?

    Wise. So wise. People must take you so seriously in real life.

  31. thetokyosandblaster says: Nov 30, 2012 8:08 AM

    Interesting analysis, contra.

    So the 11th best team against the rush “can’t stop the rush”?

    Wise. So wise. People must take you so seriously in real life.

    Oh yes, congratulations on containing the #30 Arizona and #31 Jacksonville ground games….. Of course, the Packers then gave up 110 to #25 Detroit and then let the Giants go for 147 last week. While accolades are in order for the performance they gave against Arian Foster, the fact is that they have faced 4 of the 8 worst rushing offenses in the league. SF went for 186, Seattle for 127, and Indy for 119, all Packers losses.

    Do you really think they are going to hold Peterson under 100? Do you really think that the Packers are that much better than Chicago, Seattle, and Tampa against the run? That’s 3 of the last 4 defenses that he has faced, and it has been 5 weeks since he finished with less than 100 yds and 6 yds/carry.

  32. you guys are funny.. the Giants didn’t dominate the prior NYGvsWAS game. The Redskins running game of Alfred Morris (forget RG#) was far more dominate than the Ahmad Bradshaw show. Neither team has a shutdown corner so big plays will occur. There’s a reason it’s a big deal on a Monday night, bragging rights & NFCEAST standings. Both teams have injuries and weakness in the OL. Redskins will win this one by a 3-7 point margin, (35-27) no blowout unless Eli gets generous which he’s due for.


  33. @brewdogg, you can be as bitchy as you want, but facts are facts. The packers are 11 against the run. Saying we “can’t stop it” is a little asinine.

    I’m never even said Peterson wouldn’t get 100 yards.

    Reading comprehension classes are worth it. Try one.

  34. No worries’s the giants and December we all know what happens,def cranks up,running game cranks up,the whole team wakes up..the reg season has become a bore for this team

    Gmen 30
    Skins 23

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