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Dec. 1, 2012

NFL Week Thirteen Predictions

by Jacob Buchholz, Online Sports Editor, Jack Estrin, Online Editor-in-Chief, Michael Gerbasi, Online Sports Editor and Josh Schmidt, Print Sports Editor
A relatively boring weekend of football will be saved on Monday Night as the Redskins face off with the Giants on national television. The game will have big playoff implications as the Redskins are in second place in the NFC East, only two games behind the Giants. The playoff picture is just now beginning to shape up around the league. While all four divisions appear to be wrapped up in the AFC, the Colts, Bengals and Steelers are trying to make a wild card push. In the NFC the playoff picture is much more open. The Packers, Buccaneers and Seahawks appear to be in the lead but don’t count out the Lions, Saints or Redskins just yet.

The Redskins will be taking on Eli Manning and the Giants on Monday Night Football. Courtesy of AP
The Redskins will be taking on Eli Manning and the Giants on Monday Night Football.
Standings:
Jacob: 120-56
Jack: 115-61
Michael: 111-65
Josh: 111-65

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Jacob: Saints
Jack: Saints
Michael: Falcons
Josh: Falcons

Jacob says:
The Saints need this one badly if they have any chance of making the playoffs. They already beat the Falcons once this year, why not again.
Jack says:
Coming off of a tough loss to the 49ers last week, I expect the Saints to rebound in a big way against division rival Atlanta. Drew Brees was solid last week, throwing 3 TD's, but he will have to cut down on the three interceptions he threw last week if the Saints are to win this one. Brees will also need help from the New Orleans running game that abandoned him last week, averaging a measly 2.8 yards per carry. The Falcons have looked shaky in each of the last two weeks, ever since being dismantled by the Saints just three weeks ago. I expect a similar result as the last time the two teams met.
Michael says:
I like the Falcons because I just don’t think the Saints' D is at the level yet where they can contain the Atlanta offense enough to give their offense a chance. The Falcons, even without Julio Jones, still have Roddy White. Nobody on the New Orleans defense is on his level. Expect the Falcons' offense to put up big points and for the Atlanta D to limit the potent Saints' offense just enough to win.
Josh says:
Atlanta will be able to avenge the only loss of their season especially in the comfort of the Georgia Dome. Every week Julio Jones looks more and more like he was worthy of the mega trade the Falcons made for him. There's no way to successfully shut down him, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears
Jacob: Bears
Jack: Bears
Michael: Bears
Josh: Bears

Jacob says:
The Seahawks have been getting praise all year long for their surprising success behind a rookie quarterback and a young defense. However, their success really comes down to one thing: home field advantage. It is no secret that Century Link Field is the toughest stadium in the league for road teams. That was made clear two seasons ago when the 7-9 Seahawks ousted the 11-5 Saints in the first round of the playoffs at home. The trend has continued this year, as the Seahawks are 5-0 at home and 1-5 on the road.
Jack says:
Seattle has been much worse on the road than at home this year, where they are undefeated. With the return of quarterback Jay Cutler, even the potent Seattle defense will not be able to stop the well-oiled machine that the Bears offense is with a healthy Cutler, and running back Matt Forte.
Michael says:
I think with Jay Cutler having another week under his belt since the concussion is huge for Chicago. Expect Cutler to be more of himself this week, and he will need it against a very good Seattle D. Also, if one thing has been true so far for Seattle, it's that the Seahawks can only win in Seattle and this game is in Chicago. I like the Bears at home.
Josh says:
Jay Cutler makes such a big difference for the Bears. The Bears would likely have topped the Seahawks regardless, but especially without two of their top cornerbacks due to suspension? Little chance for the ‘Hawks.

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
Jacob: Texans
Jack: Texans
Michael: Texans
Josh: Texans

Jacob says:
The Texans are 10-1. Their defense is elite. Their offense is elite. Easy win.
Jack says:
This one will not be close. With extra time to prepare for the Titans after their Thanksgiving matchup, Houston will run up the scoreboard in Tennessee.
Michael says:
Despite the win last week, the Texans, in particular their D, have been struggling lately. I think they are still a good enough team to get the job done against a very mediocre Tennessee team though. It should be Houston in a slight shootout.
Josh says:
Houston got some much-needed rest after playing on Thanksgiving and having two straight overtime games. The rest will translate to a long game for Jake Locker and the whole Tennessee defense while Arian Foster runs wild.

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Jacob: Patriots
Jack: Patriots
Michael: Patriots
Josh: Patriots

Jacob says:
The Patriots lead the league in points scored with 407. That is 80 more than the second highest scoring team.
Jack says:
Although there is little doubt that the Patriots are worse without the Gronk, there is also little doubt that the Patriots are a better team than the Dolphins. The Pats will roll.
Michael says:
The Patriots have quite likely, the best offense in the league. They are currently averaging the most points per game in the NFL. The Dolphins' defense is good, but not good enough to compete with Tom Brady. Expect New England to win this game.
Josh says:
Tom Brady keeps on getting better and better as he gets older. Ryan Tannehill should spend most of this game on the sideline taking notes on how Brady does it.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills
Jacob: Jaguars
Jack: Bills
Michael: Bills
Josh: Bills

Jacob says:
The Jaguars have been looking a lot better since Chad Henne took over. This week they will win their second game in a row for the first time all season.
Jack says:
C.J. Spiller will have a field day against the hapless Jags' defense. With Fitzpatrick attacking Jacksonville through the air and Spiller making defenders miss on the ground, Buffalo will put up a crooked number against the Jaguars.
Michael says:
The Jags had an exciting two weeks, but that ends here. The Bills are too good right now for Chad Henne, Justin Blackmon and the Jacksonville offense.
Josh says:
Back to back games of great offensive showings will end when the Jaguars enter upstate New York. Chad Henne won’t be able to resuscitate Jacksonville any longer as they fall to Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions
Jacob: Lions
Jack: Lions
Michael: Lions
Josh: Colts

Jacob says:
The Lions are going to snap their three game losing streak at home against Indy. The Colts have been over performing all year and here it will come to a halt.
Jack says:
Coming off of a heart breaking loss to the Texans, a game that they lost because of a blown call, Detroit will be extra hyped for this one. Now that Calvin Johnson is performing at a high level again, not much will come in between Detroit and the dub. I expect Matt Stafford and the Lions' offense to slice apart the Colts' defense, who will have a long day.
Michael says:
Although Luck and the Colts have been playing very well so far this season and have surprised many, they simply do not have the talent and are bound to start losing at some point. The Lions should have beaten the Texans on Thanksgiving and finally seem to mesh again on offense. Calvin Johnson has come alive and Indianapolis has nobody to compete with him.
Josh says:
Jim Schwartz needs to get a handle on his players. It just seems like they’re out of his control as evidenced by Ndamokung Suh’s repeated ridiculous behavior.

Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs
Jacob: Panthers
Jack: Panthers
Michael: Chiefs
Josh: Panthers

Jacob says:
The Chiefs are the worst team in the league – by far.
Jack says:
The Chiefs are just bad. I can't possibly pick them to win.
Michael says:
Jamaal Charles wants Peyton Manning's autograph? Dwayne Bowe wants a picture with Peyton Manning? Well after this game Cam Newton is going to want Charles' and Bowe's autographs because the Chiefs will take this one from Carolina.
Josh says:
Two game winning streak! Cam displayed his potential last week and I fully expect him to be able to replicate that against another weak team.

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Jacob: Packers
Jack: Packers
Michael: Packers
Josh: Packers

Jacob says:
The Packers were crushed last week by the Giants. That won't happen again.
Jack says:
Aaron Rodgers will rebound from his poor showing in New York. The Packers are angry about the beat down that the Giants put on them last week, and they will take this anger out on the Vikings. Don't expect this to be much of a game.
Michael says:
After getting manhandled at the hands of the Giants last week, I think Minnesota will be a much easier task. As long as the Packers' defense keeps AP under 200 yards rushing, Aaron Rodgers and the offense will be able to outscore the Vikings. Minnesota has not been great at stopping the pass this season, which is Green Bay's bread and butter on offense.
Josh says:
The Pack will be back on track after their disappointing loss to the Giants last week. Green Bay had a chance to get up a rung and beat an elite team, but instead they fell flat on their face in the Meadowlands.

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams
Jacob: 49ers
Jack: 49ers
Michael: 49ers
Josh: 49ers

Jacob says:
Last time these two teams played it ended with a tie. I would expect another low scoring affair, but the 49ers should end up on top this time.
Jack says:
These teams played to a tie last time they met up, but don't expect this one to be nearly as close. With Colin Kaepernick on top of his game, San Francisco will win in a big way.
Michael says:
This could be an interesting game coming off of the tie a couple weeks ago. I really like the San Francisco D however.
Josh says:
Whether it’s Colin Kapernick or Alex Smith behind center, the Niners should shut down the Rams here. Their defense is as solid as ever and the Rams will have a hard time even getting back to the line of scrimmage.

Arizona Cardinals at New York Jets
Jacob: Jets
Jack: Cardinals
Michael: Jets
Josh: Jets

Jacob says:
The Cardinals have lost seven in a row. They are 1-4 on the road. If ever a time for the Jets to win, it's now.
Jack says:
No Tebow = no W. With some Tebow magic, it's not too late for the Jets to turn their season around and make a playoff run. That being said, Tebow can't work his magic while he is watching from the sidelines.
Michael says:
The Cardinals have not won a game since starting the season 4-0. They are extremely cold. At this point, even the Jets can beat them.
Josh says:
Only because the Cardinals don’t have a real quarterback. There are so few teams I would pick the Jets to beat.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos
Jacob: Buccaneers
Jack: Buccaneers
Michael: Broncos
Josh: Broncos

Jacob says:
The Broncos have spent the season beating bad teams and losing to good teams. The Buccaneers are a very good team.
Jack says:
With the division all but locked up, Denver has little to play for. That being said, Tampa Bay is in the midst of a playoff race, and they have been one of this season's most pleasant surprises. The Chiefs were able to play with Denver last week, and I expect that lackluster play to continue.
Michael says:
Denver might be the most dangerous team right now for any team to play. Peyton Manning has, at this point, nearly mastered the explosive Denver offense and their veteran, experienced D has played well on the other side of the ball. I like Denver to contain Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson enough for Manning and the offense to take care of business.
Josh says:
The Broncos will likely end up winning the number two seed in the AFC. Isn’t that why they got Peyton Manning?

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Jacob: Ravens
Jack: Ravens
Michael: Ravens
Josh: Ravens

Jacob says:
Without Big Ben this won't be close.
Jack says:
This game all depends on the status of Big Ben. If he plays, I like the Steelers, if he doesn't, this one won't be close.
Michael says:
Both teams are very beat up right now in terms of injuries, but I think the Steelers are more significantly hurt. The Ravens' defense has greatly suffered from their losses, but so has the Pittsburgh defense. On offense, the Steelers are without their first or second string QBs, giving Baltimore the advantage.
Josh says:
Ben Roethlisberger likely won’t play, its too dangerous for his health. Charlie Batch against the Ravens' defense? First round knockout.

Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers
Jacob: Bengals
Jack: Bengals
Michael: Chargers
Josh: Bengals

Jacob says:
The Bengals are looking to take advantage of the injury to Ben Roethlisberger and move up in the wild card race. With a win here and a Pittsburgh loss, the Bengals will be in a great position to make a playoff run.
Jack says:
After a heartbreaking loss last week against the Ravens, the Chargers will be too demoralized to win this one. I like the Bengals, and their offense will be too much for Philip Rivers to keep up with.
Michael says:
San Diego should have won last week and will not let such a defensive collapse happen again. 4th and 29 should have meant game over. Going into this week the Chargers will be playing with a chip on their shoulders in this must win game.
Josh says:
The Chargers were so close last week. They had the Ravens against the ropes with a seemingly improbable 4th and 29. Then Ray Rice happened. Then the Chargers couldn’t score more than thirteen. This team needs some serious leadership changes.

Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders
Jacob: Browns
Jack: Browns
Michael: Browns
Josh: Browns

Jacob says:
The Browns have been looking much better as of late. They have won three of their last six and their losses have been close ones against the Cowboys, Ravens and Giants. Nothing to be ashamed of there.
Jack says:
Coming off of a big win against the Steelers last week, the Browns will stay hot and throttle the Raiders.
Michael says:
After an impressive performance last week, I expect Cleveland to take down the Raiders. Carson Palmer has been a pick machine and the Raiders' defense has struggled to stop the run all year. I look for the Cleveland D to force turnovers and for Trent Richardson to run all over the Oakland defense.
Josh says:
The Raiders have gotten outscored by an average of 22.5 points through their four game losing streak. Even the Browns can beat this team.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Jacob: Cowboys
Jack: Cowboys
Michael: Cowboys
Josh: Cowboys

Jacob says:
The Eagles are missing Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy. The Cowboys are fighting to stay alive in the NFC East. They can send a message with this game.
Jack says:
The Eagles are a mess.
Michael says:
I'm going to say it right now: The Eagles will not win another game without Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy. Nick Foles and Bryce Brown simply can't carry the Eagles.
Josh says:
The Eagles are awful.

Monday, December 3, 2012

New York Giants at Washington Redskins
Jacob: Giants
Jack: Giants
Michael: Giants
Josh: Giants

Jacob says:
The Redskins are looking good right now but the Giants are just looking better. Coming off of a huge win against the Packers, the Giants are about to increase their lead in the NFC East.
Jack says:
Get ready folks, because this game has the potential to be one of the best of the year. RG3 appears to be on a mission, as he has led the Redskins to two straight wins after their week ten bye. There is little doubt that he will give the Giants' defense all they can handle. That being said, the Giants rocked the Packers last week, and gave Aaron Rodgers a beating, literally. If the Giants pass rush can have similar success this week in Washington, then the Giants will have no problem in this one. RG3 will likely keep this thing close, but Eli Manning is a silent assassin, and almost no one can close a big game better than him.
Michael says:
This is a tough one to call. The Redskins are surging and could win this game, but I think the Giants are just too good right now. Their last game against Green Bay proved they were no longer sliding and their defense especially played very well. I expect the New York pass rush to give RGIII problems and to help clog up the running game. Besides, isn’t this about the time the Giants usually get hot?
Josh says:
While they may be on the brink of a chance at the playoffs, its hard to see the Redskins beating the Giants. New York’s passing offense is too explosive to be stopped by a weak Redskins’ secondary.



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  • Schwad on December 5, 2012 at 2:39 AM
    No one picked the 'Skins??? C'mon guys!!!
    • wow on December 7, 2012 at 1:19 PM
      yall soft for not picking the redskins now look whats good
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