PFT’s Week 13 picks

AP

The deadlock continues, 12 weeks in.

MDS and yours truly, splitting 3-3 the six games on which we disagreed over the Thanksgiving weekend. We both went 9-7, which really isn’t good but not bad in comparison to some recent performances.

This week, we disagree on three games, which means someone will be leading the contest with four weeks left.

For the year, 110-66, a success rate of 62.5 percent. For this week’s picks, scroll away.

Packers at Lions

MDS’s take: A few weeks ago, this would have looked like a blowout. But the Lions have won three in a row, including on the road in Green Bay. And the Packers have lost four of their last five. Still, I think the Packers are a better team than the Lions from top to bottom, and I expect Green Bay to take this one.

MDS’s pick: Packers 20, Lions 17.

Florio’s take: The Lions inexplicably have turned around the season. Even more inexplicably, the Packers have done the same thing, in the wrong direction. And the internal dysfunction is becoming public, with Aaron Rodgers calling out younger teammates in production meetings and interviews. It may not end well, for the second straight Thursday night.

Florio’s pick: Lions 27, Packers 23.

Texans at Bills

MDS’s take: The Texans have shown themselves to be a pretty good team when Ryan Mallett isn’t playing (1-3 when Mallett starts; 5-2 when he doesn’t), but Buffalo’s defense may be just good enough to force Brian Hoyer into a couple of turnovers and win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Bills 16, Texans 13.

Florio’s take: The Bills are running out of chances to match last year’s record, generated without Rex Ryan, Tyrod Taylor, and LeSean McCoy. The Texans have been playing very well, but the Bills have even more incentive to get back on the winning track after losing two games in a row.

Florio’s pick:  Bills 17, Texans 13.

49ers at Bears

MDS’s take: The Bears’ turnaround has been one of the biggest surprises of this season. Early in the year they looked like candidates for the first overall pick; now they look like a legitimately good team. They shouldn’t have any trouble dispatching the 49ers.

MDS’s pick: Bears 28, 49ers 14.

Florio’s take: Adam Gase gets a chance to show the team that didn’t hire him as head coach that it made a mistake. As if the team that didn’t hire him doesn’t realize that it has made plenty of mistakes.

Florio’s pick: Bears 27, 49ers 13.

Bengals at Browns

MDS’s take: Whether it’s Austin Davis or Johnny Manziel at quarterback, it really doesn’t matter. The Bengals will win easily.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 35, Browns 10.

Florio’s take: Last year, the Bengals beat the Browns and Johnny Manziel in Cleveland, 30-0. This year, with Austin Davis getting the snaps, it could be nearly as bad.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 27, Browns 9.

Ravens at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The Ravens found a way to win without Joe Flacco on Monday night, but I don’t think there are too many more wins in store for Baltimore in this ugly season. There probably aren’t too many more wins in store for Miami, either, but there’s one coming on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 23, Ravens 20.

Florio’s take: With most teams still having a plausible shot at the playoffs, the games between two teams that are done tend to stand out. The Dolphins should win this war of irrelevance, primarily because their starting quarterback doesn’t have a habit of throwing pick sixes.

Florio’s pick: Dolphins 27, Ravens 21.

Seahawks at Vikings

MDS’s take: This is a fascinating game in the NFC playoff race. The Vikings have been a pleasant surprise and the Seahawks have been a disappointment, but Seattle is getting things turned around and will make a statement in Minnesota.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Vikings 20.

Florio’s take: Is facing the two-time defending conference champions the kind of moment that would qualify as a huge game for the Vikings? To have a chance at winning, the Vikings must convince themselves it isn’t.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 24, Vikings 17.

Panthers at Saints

MDS’s take: I still think the Panthers will get tripped up somewhere on the way to 16-0, but I just don’t think the Saints’ defense can slow down Cam Newton. The Panthers win this one.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 30, Saints 20.

Florio’s take: When they played in Charlotte without Drew Brees, the Saints gave the Panthers everything they could handle. When the Saints hosted the then 5-0 Falcons earlier this year, the Saints emerged with a win. One week after the Patriots fell to 10-1, it’s time for the Panthers to pick up their first loss of the season, as the non-playoff-bound Saints treat this game as the equivalent of their Super Bowl.

Florio’s pick: Saints 27, Panthers 24.

Jets at Giants

MDS’s take: Picking this game basically amounted to a coin flip for me, but in the end I think we’re going to see a big game from Odell Beckham being the difference.

MDS’s pick: Giants 28, Jets 27.

Florio’s take: Once every four years, the Snoopy Bowl isn’t meaningless. This year, it’s particularly meaningful, as both teams try to ensure that their seasons will have meaning. Neither team has been impressive lately, but after a horrendous performance in Washington, Eli Manning will find a way to get the Giants back on track. At least for a week.

Florio’s pick: Giants 23, Jets 17.

Cardinals at Rams

MDS’s take: The Cardinals have come back to earth a bit in recent weeks and aren’t looking like the juggernaut they were earlier in the season. But they should have enough to beat a Rams team that has looked downright awful.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 28, Rams 24.

Florio’s take: Yes, the Rams actually beat the Cardinals in Arizona. Somehow. This time around, the Rams are falling apart and the Cardinals are closing in on a bye. it could get ugly.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 30, Rams 13.

Falcons at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: If the Falcons lose this one, they’re in full-on collapse. I think they’ll lose this one.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 21, Falcons 20.

Florio’s take: The Bucs remain surprisingly competitive, and the Falcons continue a shocking slide after starting 5-0. Tampa now has a chance to pull even in the standings with Atlanta, and to finish the head-to-head sweep.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Falcons 20.

Jaguars at Titans

MDS’s take: I haven’t gone wrong picking against the Titans at home all year, but I think I’m about to change: Tennessee looks like it’s playing hard for interim head coach Mike Mularkey, and I think they’ll pull one out against the Jaguars.

MDS’s pick: Titans 17, Jaguars 16.

Florio’s take: Tennessee knows how to build a lead. They just don’t know how to hold a lead. This weekend, the Titans get another chance at a Jacksonville team that Tennessee nearly beat on the road. This time around, the Titans should be able to pull off the win at home.

Florio’s pick: Titans 20, Jaguars 17.

Chiefs at Raiders

MDS’s take: The Chiefs are on fire lately, and Andy Reid is a coach of the year candidate after a miserable start. They’ll keep it going against the Raiders.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 34, Raiders 17.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs have won five in a row. Of their final five games, this is the one that the Chiefs could lose. If they don’t, Kansas City could finish with 10 straight victories. The Chiefs are simply a little too banged up for this one, and the Raiders know their window is getting narrower.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 23, Chiefs 20.

Broncos at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Broncos’ offense is cruising with Brock Osweiler running the show, and it should continue against a Chargers team that is still trying hard but has been devastated by injuries.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 27, Chargers 17.

Florio’s take: Brock Osweiler already has taken down Jay Cutler and Tom Brady. The next notch in the bolo tie will be Philip Rivers.

Florio’s pick: Broncos 31, Chargers 20.

Eagles at Patriots

MDS’s take: I don’t think the Eagles are as bad as they’ve looked the last two weeks, but they’re certainly not good enough to win at New England.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 35, Eagles 21.

Florio’s take: No team has given up 45 points in three straight games since 1970. It’s fitting that it will happen again exactly 45 years later.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 45, Eagles 21.

Colts at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Colts are 4-0 with Matt Hasselbeck as their starter, but they haven’t played a team as good as the Steelers. Pittsburgh will put an end to Hasselbeck’s winning streak.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 24, Colts 21.

Florio’s take: Last year, Ben Roethlisberger and company rang up 51 points on the Colts. This year, the outcome should be the same, but likely with fewer points.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 42, Colts 27.

Cowboys at Washington

MDS’s take: I don’t think I can pick the Matt Cassel-led Cowboys to beat anyone. Washington will strengthen its hold on the NFC East lead.

MDS’s pick: Washington 24, Cowboys 10.

Florio’s take: Washington is hard to beat at home. Dallas without Tony Romo is easy to beat anywhere. Advantage Washington.

Florio’s pick: Washington 23, Cowboys 17.

77 responses to “PFT’s Week 13 picks

  1. “The Colts are 4-0 with Matt Hasselbeck as their starter, but they haven’t played a team as good as the Steelers…….”

    Huh?

  2. Way back in 2012 a kid named Colin Kapernick made his first start against the Bears on Monday night. He shredded their defense while the Niners D led by Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis crushed the Bears’ woeful offense.

    A few things have changed since then for both teams. Payback is coming due and I look for the Bears to win by a tidy margin behind a big game from Cutler.

  3. Thanks to both of you for picking against the Vikings. That makes me more confident that their defense shuts down Seattle’s offense, and they’ll come away with a win.

  4. Wow, this might be the first week that the Ravens haven’t been picked to win! But like cruss22 pointed out, the Steelers aren’t really that good. Not any better than the Colts at least.

  5. I’m a Patriots fan, but even I wouldn’t predict 45 points out of them with the guys they have out there now. I don’t care how bad the Eagles D is.

  6. Is it just me or are the Vikings the feel good story of the year? Not a Min fan by any means, but man seeing them where they are at is pretty nice…

  7. Bills will probably lose on a bad call that Rex doesn’t challenge, it’s an intelligence problem.

    A Bills fan.

  8. But Rodgers is a coward and a poor sport. His cowardice is self-proclaimed. He said, “I was afraid” during one of the games. His poor sportsmanship has been on display for years; Any problems are very quickly blamed on receivers.

  9. I just want to refresh you guys memory of this pick last week…

    Giants at Washington

    MDS’s take: The winner of this game is in first place in the NFC East. It’s going to be a close, tough game that the Giants will pull out in the fourth quarter.

    MDS’s pick: Giants 24, Washington 23.

    Florio’s take: New York makes its final push to win the division, and to hold off the Cowboys. Washington will have little or no chance to capture the title with a loss.

    Florio’s pick: Giants 23, Washington 17.

    LOL

  10. Rottweiler’s in trouble this week. The SI curse and both PFT pundits in his corner. This could be a bad week for the Broncos.

  11. so between the two end of the week primetime games we get to see hasselbeck, (probably) Landry Jones, Kirk Cousins, and Matt Cassell play quarterback. Fun.

  12. Confirmed: MDS hates the Cardinals.

    Yes, they had a down game after 2 hugely emotional night games, but they scored 73 points in those games.

    How does that equate to “coming back to earth a bit in recent weeks”?

  13. OF COURSE YOU PICKED AGAINST THE PACKERS FLORIO. YOU’LL PICK AGAINST THEM EVERY WEEK RIGHT THROUGH SB 50 WHEN THEY TAKE THE LOMBARDI TROPHY BACK HOME TO GREEN BAY WHERE IT BELONGS MALAKA !

  14. Reasonable guesses except Florio taking the Saints over the Panthers. Take a look at your own power rankings. It’s hard to imagine that a team with that poor of a defense can beat anyone decent, let alone a team that has it going like the Panthers.

  15. “MDS’s take: The Chiefs are on fire lately, and Andy Reid is a coach of the year candidate after a miserable start. They’ll keep it going against the Raiders.”

    Coach of the year candidate, really MDS? I wont go that far, but they’ve certainly turned things around and I’m rooting for them. Rewarding Reid with coach of the year for a good team (albeit minus Charles) that under performed early, and is now playing up to their potential is a big stretch.

  16. I think this is the first week both of you guys have picked my REDSKINS to win. Good going! I just hope you haven’t jinxed them! It’s not going to be as fun as going to Dallas and getting a win, but I’ll take it!

  17. i would like to see your season record for these picks. you generally just pick the favorite, but have a remarkable knack for losing. i think this is because you pick a few upsets per week and get those wrong, and then miss the upsets that actually happen. i suspect you guys get only about 65% of the overall picks right, which isn’t very good since you aren’t going against the line.

  18. Patriots are not scoring 45 pts… Does anyone even pay attention?

    No Gronk
    No Edelman
    Amendola is injured
    No Lewis

    Branden LaFell is at best Brady best option. (not good)… Chandler is stone fingers…

    They will try to run the ball.
    This is gonna be a rock fight.

    Pats 24 -21

  19. I’d be perfectly happy seeing the Pats win 3-0 as long as there were no new injuries. That being said, 45 points? Umm…. No.

  20. My picks are a bit different:
    Texans 24 Bills 10 I don’t think the Bills offense is going to be able to do much against the Texans defense which will lead to a couple of turnovers which the Texans will use to pull away.
    Packers 20 Lions 13 Even though the Lions won in Lambeau I can’t see them sweeping the Packers with Green Bay’s pride and chances to win the division on the line (if they lose this game I think Vikings win the division).
    Ravens 21 Dolphins 9 The Dolphins offense has been terrible lately as they only seem to get yards in garbage time plus they have a new offensive coordinator which takes time to get used to. Their defense is not as good as it’s supposed to be either.
    Chiefs 38 Raiders 31 This will be a very good game between two up and coming teams, but if West plays I think he’ll be the difference maker.
    Finally, Patriots 27 Eagles 16 I think Blount and Lafell will have big days on offense as Blount will have 2 rushing tds and Lafell will get his first touchdown of the season plus the Eagles offense is nothing special although the injury to Hightower will open up things in the run game somewhat, but remember it’s Mark Sanchez as quarterback.

  21. Finally we’ll see that the Vikings aren’t that good as they play a formidable team this week for the first time all year.

  22. 12444uggg says:
    Dec 3, 2015 9:48 AM
    So the Patriots, Broncos, Panthers aren’t as good as the Steelers?

    Hasselbeck was not the starter in the games against the Pats, Broncos and Panthers.

    I like what Hasselbeck has done but I do agree with MDS that the four games that Hasselbeck has started and won were not against teams as good as the Pats, Broncos, Panthers or Steelers.

  23. Flori as usual you are too kind to my Bills. The Bills are not going to beat Texas this Sunday. We have a schmuck coach who has destroyed a once great defense and given the Bills dismal record at home this year I just dont see it happening…

  24. Steelers are not that good? Granted they should have 2-3 more wins. They lost on the road against the seahawks(refs helped the Seahawks win it), at the Patriots(they played competitive), and at KC(with a back up QB). They lost to a bad Ravens team in a short week with a backup qb(if the kicker had been better they would’ve won)and lost a close one against the Bengals(also close and could’ve won). They are a lot better then the colts and no team(except the Broncos)they have beat are as good or better then the Steelers.

  25. htowntexan says:
    Dec 3, 2015 10:27 AM

    i would like to see your season record for these picks. you generally just pick the favorite, but have a remarkable knack for losing. i think this is because you pick a few upsets per week and get those wrong, and then miss the upsets that actually happen. i suspect you guys get only about 65% of the overall picks right, which isn’t very good since you aren’t going against the line.
    —————————————–

    From right up there in the article you didn’t read:

    “For the year, 110-66, a success rate of 62.5 percent. For this week’s picks, scroll away.”

  26. coltcountrysteelerfan says:
    Dec 3, 2015 11:01 AM

    Steelers are not that good? Granted they should have 2-3 more wins. They lost on the road against the seahawks(refs helped the Seahawks win it), at the Patriots(they played competitive), and at KC(with a back up QB). They lost to a bad Ravens team in a short week with a backup qb(if the kicker had been better they would’ve won)and lost a close one against the Bengals(also close and could’ve won). They are a lot better then the colts and no team(except the Broncos)they have beat are as good or better then the Steelers.
    ____________________________________

    Delusional!

  27. staffordsyear says:
    Dec 3, 2015 10:51 AM
    Finally we’ll see that the Vikings aren’t that good as they play a formidable team this week for the first time all year.
    ————
    Winner of the Most Preposterous Statement award for this week!

  28. seatownballers says:
    Dec 3, 2015 9:45 AM
    Russ will have a huge game against the Vikings
    ——————–
    Have you even seen the Vikings D? Russ will be tasting frozen dirt all day.

  29. “So the Patriots, Broncos, Panthers aren’t as good as the Steelers?

    Uhh..”

    He was talking about the games they had played with Hasselbeck as starter. I saw another comment like yours too.. Am I the only one who thought it was VERY CLEAR as to what MDS was saying??

  30. Jets should take the G-men. Better team. Speedy Richardson finally getting up to game speed last week and now being Robin to Mo Wilks batman could be the difference

  31. Glad Florio is paying attention..
    Last year everybody thought Chiefs were great and then look what happened… You seen the same thing in the last 5 games. That all comes to an end Sunday and REALITY comes back.. Raiders offense is just to explosive for KC. I think this one will come down the the end as well. Raiders have a hard time FINISHING teams. The Raiders should really only have 2 losses on the year but guys like DJ Hayden let other teams stay in it and then win it.. Well he in benched now, The Raiders defense is still not that great but they will be able to contain a poor QB like Alex Smith. I see Chiefs scoring 24 points in this one but Chiefs secondary won’t be able to handle Crabtree, Cooper and Roberts. That’s just too much, This RAIDERS team when clicking can beat anybody in NFL and if they can click now and beat Chiefs they will get into the playoffs and probably get to Superbowl… AFC is very weak

  32. As a Bills fan I’m inclined to say they will lose against the Texans because I have no faith in them coming through when needed.

    Then again, this is the Bills. They love to break our hearts. So what I actually expect is the Bills to win this week, and the next 2 weeks. Give WNY that hope back- 2 weeks to go, both at home. Both “winnable” games. And they will almost certainly then at that point lose to the Matt Casell led (oh, the irony!) Cowboys.

    You see, they dont just stab us in the heart. They stab us in the heart, patch us up to give hope of new life, and then stab us even more deeply.

    Either way, the chance of the Bills making the playoffs is 0%.

  33. I would normally be infuriated by the criminal lack of respect that leads to a pick of Saints over Panthers. But I’m not infuriated about that. I’m more amused by it.

    But look at that photo at the top of this post. There’s a player with a towel on his head. I thought that is a clear sign that the player is evil.

    Oh, wait, only Cam Newton is evil when he has a towel on his head. It’s OK for everyone else to have a towel on his head. But if Cam puts a towel on his head, that proves he’s the most evil person to ever walk the Earth, right?

  34. I am another Bills fan that anticipates the Texans winning.
    Ryan has made the Bills dysfunctional, and the Texans are playing better football as the season has progressed.

  35. “As a Packer fan I want to see the Vikings smash the Seahawks.

    Course if the Seahawks win I will be happy too.”

    So, in other words, you don’t give a phuq who wins?

  36. Hmmmm the Skins are not blowing out anyone and if the Giants WRs didn’t drop passes that resulted in INTs, that game is different.

    30 to 13? Stop it. Lmao. This game will be close. The only two teams that have embarrassed the Boys were the Patriots and Panthers, who are the two of the best teams in all of football.

  37. Say what you want and think as you will…the Vikings are headed in the right direction BIGTIME! New stadium, new venue, new mindset! The Vikings will soon be VERY attractive to FA’s and the plan to become champs and rectify the 0-4 visits at the big dance are coming to fruition. Zimmer and his staff will get this team where it’s striving to be! If you don’t believe me, well, just keep watching! I got MY popcorn ready!!!!

  38. So entertaining how the use of “Cowboys” is allowed and yet the “Redskins” are not. Somebody was not paying attention in history class.

  39. When the run game is working and he has time to throw, Tannehill is a mediocre/game managing QB at best. Unfortunately for him and the Dolphins, if there is one thing the Ravens are good at , it’s stopping the run and hitting the quarterback. Ravens win their 3rd straight and their 4th out of their last 5 on Sunday, giving their fans something to smile about this week. Ravens 24 Dolpins 17

  40. I expect the Seahawks Vikings game to be a battle of running games. The Vikings have the better back, the Seahawks have the better run D. Don’t be surprised if Rawls gains more yards than AP. My biggest concern as a Seahawks fan is that it’s an early game on the road. I still think the Seahawks win it 21-13.

  41. does rodgers keep blacking out so he can use the blackout excuse when the photos of he and his “business manager” surface he can claim he blacked out ………

    so there never was a roy ?
    I thought you were smarter than that marty …. there never was an aaron !

  42. I read you both picked my Redskins and felt a tremor in the force. I hope it’s just the chili I ate for lunch.

  43. Hey Vikings fans what is Teddy “check down” going to do against the Seahawks when AP (the child beater) can’t run? Is “Baby hands Bridgewater” going to lead you to victory? smh

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