Week 13 In The NFL – Picks And Predictions

Week 13 Marquee Matchups

The NFL season is entering the home stretch and we are now seeing the difference between the contenders and the pretenders. Imagine for a moment that you had a crystal ball way back in early September and saw the Baltimore Ravens, the team with the best record in the league last year by winning 14 of 16 regular-season games, sitting at an underwhelming 6-5 and in third place in the AFC North after 11 games. 

That’s almost as stunning as the San Francisco 49ers, last year’s Super Bowl runners-up, mired in the muck of the NFC West, trailing the Seahawks, Rams, and Cardinals. However, at least their lackluster season can be explained by the inordinate number of injuries suffered on both sides of the ball. 

Yet, here we are, with Week 13 looming, and several pivotal games in store. Let’s take a look at three of these marquee matchups and render our NFL picks for each one. Let’s go!

1:00 PM Sunday, December 6th, Cleveland Browns vs. Tennessee Titans (CBS)

In a year when black is white and up is down, it figures that the Cleveland Browns, of all teams, would be in a critical game this late in the season. Welcome to another adventure in 2020. But it is true, the Browns are no longer the league’s laughing stock and are sitting in second place in their division with an 8-3 record, trailing only the best team in football, the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

And while it’s highly unlikely they will catch the AFC North frontrunners; the Browns would like to secure home-field advantage in the first game of the postseason against another wildcard entry. After their narrow 27-25 win over the hapless Jaguars last week, Baker Mayfield and company will need to climb a much bigger mountain this week when they travel to Tennessee to take on the AFC South-leading Titans. 

This will be one of the better matchups on the Week 13 slate of games but I see better talent on both sides of the ball with Cleveland. Granted, the Browns will be in hostile territory but the ugly win they notched last week over Jacksonville should make them wide awake for a sweet performance in the Music City. 

NFL Pick: Browns +6

4:05 PM Sunday, December 6th, Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals (FOX)

This will be a treat for the fans in the NFC West as Kyler Murray and the Cardinals welcome Jared Goff and the Rams to the desert. This is the first of two games between these divisional rivals and it should be an absolute dandy. 

The Rams had impressive wins over the Seahawks and Bucs before falling to the 49ers last week, 23-20, in their own sandbox. It was a surprising loss and one that saw them fall a game behind the Seahawks in the NFC West. 

Meanwhile, the high-flying Cardinals’ offense was flummoxed by the defensive wizardry of the greatest coach ever to roam the sidelines, Bill Belichick, in last week’s 20-17 loss to the New England Patriots.

Here we have two young and talented quarterbacks but the venue is in the Cardinals’ favor and it would surprise no one if Kyler Murray had a stellar performance after he was stifled last week in Foxboro. Look for a big rebound victory by the Redbirds as they continue their quest for a postseason berth. 

NFL Pick: Cardinals +3

4:25 PM Sunday, December 6th, New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers (CBS)

We wouldn’t normally classify two sub .500 teams as must-see-tv but we’re talking about the New England Patriots and possibly the end of a 20-year dynasty. Every NFL fan outside of Foxboro, Massachusetts will be licking his or her chops to see the Pats’ hopes and dreams dashed at the hands of the Chargers.

However, the dynasty isn’t quite over just yet and we expect Cam Newton to be on the mark after one of his most lethargic performances as a pro. Newton tossed for only 84 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in the Patriots’ win over Arizona last week. It was a miserable performance but the LA Chargers are not a very good team and with the injuries surrounding the Bolts as they take on New England this Sunday, it’s a good bet the Pats’ postseason hopes will still be alive after this one is through.

NFL Pick: Patriots -1