2016 NFL Predictions Week Thirteen
The calander flips to December. Teams such as the Dolphins and Redskins look to keep pushing and keep their playoff hopes alive. Let's get the ball rollin'.
Bye: Browns, Titans
Cowboys @ Vikings: Should be a good game with both teams coming off a week of rest having played on Thanksgiving. The Minnesota defense, ranked in the top four in passing yards allowed, points allowed and interceptions, could be the best defense that Dallas has faced all season. The Vikings gave up 94 rushing yards last week (after allowing more than 128 yards the previous two weeks) and hope the success can continue against the Cowboys rushing offense (rushing for 157.3 yards per game). Turnovers will be a big key as Dallas has focused more on ball control. Sam Bradford wants to see more explosive plays while Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott has been quite the explosve duo all season.
Chiefs @ Falcons: Linebacker Justin Houston had himself a day last week (3 sacks) in just his second game this season. With that sort of performance, how will the Falcons protect Matt Ryan, who are allowing the 9th most sacks in the league? Atlanta ranks third overall in yards after catch by recievers with 1655 yards. Those kinds of explosive plays in the quick passing game, like we've seen from Julio Jones before and most recently by Taylor Gabriel, can give them the edge.
Dolphins @ Ravens: Your Miami Dolphins have quietly won six games in a row and are slowly pushing their way into January football. They've been riding the 'Jay' Train (for Jay Ajayi) and his many conductors on the offensive line during their winning stretch but with the Ravens allowing the fewest rush yards per game, the Dolphins run game will be put to a hault. It will be a tricky December game for Ryan Tannehill but not so much for Joe Flacco.
49ers @ Bears: Two teams looking up in their respective division and yet, it will be an entertaining game. Colin Kaepernick has played close to his former self and a healthy Jordan Howard looks to run all over San Francisco's rush defense. Vic Fangio won't get revenge against his former team.
Eagles @ Bengals: No playoff appearance this year for the Bengals but they could still save Coach Marvin Lewis's job. This could be the motivation for Andy Dalton and company to fuel some wins and possibly play spoiler to potential playoff teams later in the season. Quarterback Carson Wentz has had his moments but the receivers haven't given him much help.
Texans @ Packers: The Texans defense will be looking every which way in Lambeau Field against Green Bay's receivers after getting a season savior win on Monday night. The Texans will be trying to stay afloat as their season could be hinged on the final game in Tennessee.
Broncos @ Jaguars: A very winnable game for Denver and Trevor Siemian as the remaining schedule will get tougher. Siemian had an impressive fourth quarter performance on Sunday night that should continue to get them to the playoffs. All the frustration that the Denver defense felt over that loss will be let out in sunny Florida. Blake Bortles won't find any breathing room.
Rams @ Patriots: With tight end Rob Gronkowski missing the rest of the regular season (maybe with a chance he will return for the AFC title game or Super Bowl), the rest of the season could be an experiment in their use of personnel. Rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell has gained trust from Tom Brady, and with the addition of the running game, the Patriots offense should be ok. We saw the Rams defense give up nearly 50 points last week, although that could probably be based more on the revenge factor. It might get tough to watch for Jared Goff.
Lions @ Saints: In the last four games, Drew Brees has the led the Saints to nearly 33.2 points per game. All they have to do is put up more points than their defense will allow. They've done pretty well, only giving up 23 points per game in the same span. The New Orleans offense will try to change things up and be more daring in the passing game keeping the Detroit defense on their toes. Mark Ingram will play a big role in this game, too.
Bills @ Raiders: By a thin margin, the Bills lead the league in rushing yards and rushing yards gained per game. Tyrod Taylor, LeSean McCoy and a possibly fully healthy Sammy Watkins at receiver, the Raiders will have a close game on their hands. Derek Carr and his dislocated finger will make all the plays necessary for the win.
Redskins @ Cardinals: The University of Phoenix stadium has had its share of surprises. The 2011 BCS Championship game between Auburn and Oregon, the New York Giants stunning the once undefeated New England Patriots, and the New England Patriots hanging on to beat the Seattle Seahawks with a red zone interception. We could see Arizona pull off a stunner with David Johnson but Carson Palmer has struggled the last several games with interceptions.
Giants @ Steelers: Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger faced each other for the first in 2004: their rookie year in the NFL. Both quarterback combined for 34 of 51 passes, 498 passing yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Jerome Bettis got the rushing touchdown to put Pittsburgh on top and on the next possession, Eli threw an attempted pass to Amani Toomer but is intercepted to seal the game for the Steelers. The fourth meeting between the two could possibly end in a similar fashion but the Giants passing attack is too talented for that. Le'Veon Bell will put the game away for Pittsburgh.
Buccaneers @ Chargers: The Buccaneers have allowed a total of 32 points during their three game win streak and will head west to San Diego. The Chargers are coming off a good win against Houston last week thanks to a three touchdown performance by Philip Rivers. A possible three touchdown performance could come in for Jameis Winson and Mike Evans (had two td's last week) this week with San Diego giving up 11.4 yards per catch.
Panthers @ Seahawks: The Seahawks and their 5-0 home record face off with a famailiar foe in the Carolina Panthers. These two have faced off twice last season in some close finishes, with the most recent game coming in the NFC Divisional round. Cam Newton disrespecting the "12" flag in that home playoff win will prove to be costly, according to 'Hawks corner back Richard Sherman. The Panthers might not make the playoffs but the Seattle defense remembers. Michael Bennett could be back in this game for Seattle which will be huge for the defensive line.
Colts @ Jets: The Colts, with the extra day proving to be a factor, coulld get Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton back in their offense. In a tight AFC South, Indianapolis will play like they can still win the division. With Matt Forte and help by the Jets' receivers, Ryan Fitzpatrick will keep it interesting.
2016 season: 78-67-2
Last Week: No picks made