With the playoffs looming, the Patriots rocked the NFL with the news that tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the rest of the regular season after undergoing back surgery. Will the Pats' Super Bowl chances suffer because of this? One thing our experts can agree on is that it won't affect the outcome of this week's matchup against the Rams. The 6-4-1 Redskins will travel to Arizona to face the struggling Cardinals to try to solidify an NFC wild card spot, while the Ravens look to break the first place tie with Pittsburgh with a matchup at home against the surprisingly tough Dolphins, who are also looking to keep pace for an AFC wild card spot. In the standings, Ellie has extended her lead, while Ben dropped to last after a bad week 12.
Cowboys at Vikings
Ben says: I hate picking the Cowboys but no one can get pressure on Ezekiel Elliott or Dak Prescott.
Nate says: Who can bet against the Cowboys during a 10 game win streak?
Ryan says: The wheels are coming off of this Vikings team. They can't compete with Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys.
Ellie says: The Vikings offense doesn't stand a chance.
Lions at Saints
Ben says: The Saints have scored the second most points in the league… Yet they're still just 5-6.
Nate says: Matt Stafford should be able to rise to the occasion with the NFC North so closely contested.
Ryan says: The Saints offense will come back down to Earth against a tough Lions defense.
Ellie says: In a standoff between Matt Stafford and Drew Brees, New Orleans will come out on top.
Rams at Patriots
Ben says: The Rams weren't awful last week, but the Patriots are too good.
Nate says: The Rams offense still isn't quite there, and TB12 should be able to win easily, despite injury.
Ryan says: It's hard to see Jared Goff beating Tom Brady.
Ellie says: Tom Brady's offense will be too much for the awful Rams D-line that gave up 49 points last week.
Broncos at Jaguars
Ben says: Blake Bortles hasn't been able to match his success from last season, and his wideouts have been quiet.
Nate says: Jacksonville's disappointing season should continue this week against a stingy Denver defense.
Ryan says: The Jaguars' offense can't get much accomplished even against bad teams, so don't expect them to put up points on the Broncos.
Ellie says: The Broncos are looking for a recovery after a tough loss against the Chiefs last week.
49ers at Bears
Ben says: I think the Bears defense can pull this out, because I know their offense can't.
Nate says: Jay Cutler or Matt Barkley, the Bears are still a bad football team.
Ryan says: Colin Kaepernick will finally lead the 49ers to a win by running over the inept Bears.
Ellie says: Despite all their losses San Francisco's been playing better and Colin Kaepernick should have a big game.
Texans at Packers
Ben says: The Packers got a little bit back in last week's win, and Brock Osweiler is really bad.
Nate says: Osweiler simply isn't good enough to take advantage of an incompetent Packer defense.
Ryan says: The Packers might not achieve the glory of recent seasons this year, but they are still good enough to take down the Texans.
Ellie says: Aaron Rodgers should carry the momentum from last week's big win over the Eagles.
Chiefs at Falcons
Ben says: With a strong defense like that, the Chiefs can stop anyone, even Matt Ryan and his high powered offense.
Nate says: The Chiefs defense, led by all-pro defensive end Justin Houston, has the skill to bottle up Matt Ryan and the Falcons.
Ryan says: The Chiefs' luck will run out against an intimidating Falcons offense.
Ellie says: Chiefs can't stop Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.
Dolphins at Ravens
Ben says: The Dolphins keep showing resilience. They are able to pull out wins that they shouldn't.
Nate says: The Ravens top-notch D-line will be able to stop Jay Ajayi and the rest of the mediocre Dolphins offense.
Ryan says: Don't be fooled by the Dolphins' 7-4 record. They are about a good as an average 4-7 team.
Ellie says: The Dolphins' winning streak was impressive but the Ravens defense will shut that down.
Eagles at Bengals
Ben says: The red headed man is still a great leader, while the Eagles have been reeling. And reeling. And reeling.
Nate says: Without top passing options A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard, Andy Dalton won't be able to beat the #NoFlyZone
Ryan says: The Bengals downward spiral will continue as they suffer without A.J. Green.
Ellie says:The Eagles do well at home and can take advantage of a Green-less Bengals team.
Bills at Raiders
Ben says: Oakland will work Buffalo at home.
Nate says: Derek Carr and Khalil Mack will dominate on both sides of the ball to continue the win streak in Oakland.
Ryan says: Derek Carr proved last week that he can lead the Raiders to wins even in the toughest situations.
Ellie says: A 9-2 Raiders team with a home field advantage will come out on top.
Buccaneers at Chargers
Ben says: Rivers has been so good and has no help from anywhere, but the Bucs are so inconsistent.
Nate says: Philip Rivers and a deeper receiving corps should have the edge over the Bucs in what has the potential to be an offensive shoot-out.
Ryan says: Expect a close game here, but the Bucs defense, led by Gerald McCoy, will earn a win for Tampa Bay.
Ellie says: Running back Melvin Gordon should have a huge game against a questionable Bucs defense.
Giants at Steelers
Ben says: The Steelers have so much talent on offense, and they'll put it together at home.
Nate says: Don't let New York's 8-3 record fool you. They had trouble beating the Bears two weeks ago, and had very bad moments versus the Browns last week. This team is not fundamentally sound.
Ryan says: The Giants' lack of a strong running game will haunt them against the Steelers.
Ellie says: Ben Roethlisberger will crush the Giants Secondary.
Redskins at Cardinals
Ben says: Captain Kirk can throw over any defense.
Nate says: The blame for the Cardinals poor play has been heaped on their wide receivers and O-line, but Carson Palmer also just hasn't been very good.
Ryan says: It's nearly impossible to pick the Cards considering how sloppy they have played recently.
Ellie says: The elite combination of Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed, and Desean Jackson will be too much for a struggling Cardinals team.
Panthers at Seahawks
Ben says: I'm sticking with the Panthers, who have let me down every week.
Nate says: The Seahawks will be able to rebound from a poor loss to the Bucs last week. The Legion of Boom should be able to put a beating on Cam Newton.
Ryan says: It's time to forget about 2015 and realize that this year's Panthers are a below-average team.
Ellie says: The Panthers can't afford another loss but a strong Seahawks team at home doesn't leave them with much hope.
Colts at Jets
Ben says: This is such an irrelevant game, but the Colts haven't proven much on offense.
Nate says: The Jets had bright moments during their close loss to the Patriots last week. They have an opportunity to keep it rolling against a much worse Colts team.
Ryan says: Andrew Luck will easily outduel turnover-prone Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Ellie says: Luck should return to give the colts a spark on offense.
Nate Bodner. I write, I play soccer and I build things for stage crew. Game of Thrones books>T.V show More »
Ryan Handel. My name is Ryan Handel, and I'm a Staff Writer for Silver Chips Online. I'm on the Blair wrestling team and in my spare time I enjoy watching sports and advocating for the Arthritis Foundation. More »
Ellie Williams. More »
Benjamin Yokoyama. Baseball! More »
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