An exciting Week 13 in the NFL is a holiday feast for fans as six games feature matchups between over .500 teams, highlighted by the showdown in Baltimore as the Ravens host the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams are arguably amongst the top three teams in the NFL. Baltimore and San Francisco have the top two scoring offenses in the league along with the top two rushing attacks. Then there’s the highlight reel known as Lamar Jackson (30 total touchdowns in 11 games) facing a 49ers defense that is first in yards allowed per game. Quite the holiday treat in the early slate of Sunday games.
After your Thanksgiving meal, the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills will provide an excellent dessert as both teams will look to prove they can beat a winning team. This game will be a must-win for the Cowboys with the Philadelphia Eagles having the easiest schedule in the NFL over the final five weeks. A rare good Thanksgiving game in Dallas is huge for the NFL.
Let’s get to the Week 13 picks as December football is upon us!
Chicago Bears (5-6) at Detroit Lions (3-7-1)
Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line: Bears -3
The Bears somehow have an opportunity to salvage their season despite an offense that continues to struggle to put up 20 points a game. The only time Chicago has scored 20 or more over the last five games as against the Lions, who may not have No. 2 quarterback Jeff Driskel for the Thanksgiving game (hamstring). This is a game for the Bears to get their running game going as the Lions are 24th in the NFL allowing 120.7 yards per game. They also allow 4.4 yards per carry (20th in NFL). The Bears average just 3.4 yards per carry (29th in NFL), but this is a chance to put up more than 81 yards (which they did in the last meeting). If Driskel can’t go, the Lions will have to go with undrafted rookie David Blough from Purdue. This is against a Bears defense this is fourth in the NFL in points (17.1) and yards (315.6) allowed. Good luck.
Pick: Bears 21, Lions 16
Which teams will win and cover on Thanksgiving? And where will Tua land? Brady Quinn and Ryan Wilson join Will Brinson to break it all down on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
Buffalo Bills (8-3) at Dallas Cowboys (6-5)
Thursday 4:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line: Cowboys -6.5
Thanksgiving is the Cowboys’ chance to prove they can beat a team with an over-.500 record. After all, the record of the teams they beat is a combined 16-49-1. The Bills aren’t much better here with the record of the teams they beat at 21-67, but at least they have defeated a team currently over .500 (Titans). One of these teams will have a statement win Thursday. Buffalo should be able to run the ball on Dallas, as the Bills average 139.2 yards per game on the ground (fifth in NFL) while the Cowboys allow 104.8 (15th in NFL). Buffalo’s third-ranked pass defense (5.4 yards per pass, 184.3 yards per game) will be tested against the Cowboys top-ranked pass offense (8.4 yards per pass, 303.5 yards per game), but the Bills can make the Cowboys one dimensional if a run defense that allows 4.4 yards per carry (21st in NFL) can hold Dallas (4.6 yards per carry, ninth in NFL). Dallas has been getting pass happy in recent weeks, which could be their downfall. They haven’t beaten a good team yet, but this is their best chance.
Pick: Bills 23, Cowboys 21
New Orleans Saints (9-2) at Atlanta Falcons (3-8)
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Line: Saints -6.5
The Falcons came crashing down to earth after winning two straight games, allowing 35 points and 443 yards to the Buccaneers in a game they matched up well based on how they played since the bye week. Atlanta beat New Orleans the first time 18 days ago, but sweeping the Saints is highly unlikely. The Falcons won’t be able to run the ball of New Orleans this time (they somehow had 143 rushing yards against them on Nov. 10) as they average just 72.9 yards on the ground (31st in NFL) and 3.5 yards per carry (28th in NFL). The Saints allow just 88.5 rush yards (fourth in NFL) and face a Falcons team that isn’t expected to have Devonta Freeman again. The Falcons still allow 7.8 yards per pass (28th in NFL), which is a recipe for disaster against a team that completes 72.06% of its passes (first in NFL).
Pick: Saints 33, Falcons 20
Tennessee Titans (6-5) at Indianapolis Colts (6-5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line: Colts -2.5
Don’t look now, but the Titans are players in the AFC South. Tennessee has won four of the last five games to emerge into a four-way tie for the final playoff spot in the AFC, facing a Colts team that struggled to beat the Texans without Marlon Mack and struggled in pass coverage. The Titans offense has opened up under Ryan Tannehill as they have rushed for 222 yards per game over the last two weeks and averaged 384.4 yards per game since Tannehill took over as the starting quarterback. Doesn’t hurt that Tannehill has completed 72.1 percent of his passes this season. The Colts did get 175 yards against the Texans and average 144.2 yards on the ground (third in NFL), but the Titans allow just 4.0 yards per carry (eighth in NFL) and will challenge a Colts secondary that allows 68.44% of passes to be completed (28th in NFL). This is a different Titans team than the one that faced the Colts in Week 2, one that will stay in the playoff hunt as they start a brutal final five games of the season.
Pick: Titans 27, Colts 21
New York Jets (4-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-11)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line: Jets -3.5
In the wild and crazy battle for the final spot in the AFC playoffs, all of a sudden the Jets are players for that berth. New York has won three in a row, averaging 34 points per game in the last three games and allowing just 15.6. Sam Darnold has seven touchdowns and one interception during that stretch while the Jets offense has over 400 yards in each of the last two games. The Jets have the NFL’s No. 1 run defense, allowing just 78.1 yards per game and 3.0 yards per carry. Over the last four games, New York has allowed just 48.8 rush yards per game. The Bengals have just 3.8 yards per carry and 81.1 yards on the ground (28th in NFL), a recipe for disaster as the Jets should easily win their fourth in a row, even as Andy Dalton returns as Cincinnati’s starting quarterback.
Pick: Jets 34, Bengals 14
Washington Redskins (2-9) at Carolina Panthers (5-6)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line: Panthers -10
The Panthers have lost four of five games to fall out of the hunt for the NFC wild card, but the Redskins may be just the medicine to get off the losing skid. Carolina is second in the NFL with 5.0 yards per carry and faces a Redskins defense that allows 137.6 yards on the ground (28th in NFL). Teams run the ball 32.3 times a game off the Redskins, so that matchup falls in Carolina’s favor, especially since quarterback Kyle Allen has six touchdowns and six interceptions over the last four games (did have three touchdowns and zero interceptions last game). The Redskins average 85.9 rush yards per game (27th in NFL) and can run the ball of the Panthers (5.0 yards per carry allowed, 30th in NFL). This game seems like the one Carolina turns it around.
Pick: Panthers 27, Redskins 16
San Francisco 49ers (10-1) at Baltimore Ravens (9-2)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line: Ravens -6
The game of the week in the NFL is a possible Super Bowl LIV preview between the league’s two hottest teams. Both the 49ers and Ravens are coming off primetime blowouts and San Francisco’s top-ranked defense (248 yards allowed, 4.3 yards allowed) facing Baltimore’s No. 1 scoring offense (35.3 points). This matchup will come down to the run game as the Ravens average 5.7 yards per carry and 210.5 yards per game (first in NFL) and the 49ers allow 111.1 yards per game (19th in NFL) and 4.7 yards per carry (25th in NFL). Lamar Jackson leads the NFL with 24 touchdown passes and an 8.0 touchdown percentage while leading the NFL with 7.1 yards per carry (876 yards, six touchdowns). The 49ers are top in the NFL allowing 4.6 yards per pass, but the Ravens average 7.8 yards per pass (fifth in NFL). The way Jackson is playing, hard to pick against the Ravens. The 49ers are still very, very good.
Pick: Ravens 26, 49ers 24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line: Jaguars -1
Two teams that are out of the playoff hunt and facing major question marks for 2020 are just searching for a win. The Jaguars have lost three straight games, two since Nick Foles returned as the starting quarterback, and the defense has not played well, allowing 37.5 points per game and 430 yards per game during that stretch, as Jacksonville’s run defense has allowed 483 yards … not a recipe for success. Fortunately the Jaguars are facing a Buccaneers run offense that is averaging 98.3 yards on the ground (20th in the NFL), even though they have eclipsed 100-plus yards in two of the three games Ronald Jones became the No. 1 running back. The Buccaneers can slow down the Jaguars’ run offense (4.7 yards per game, sixth in NFL) since they have the No. 2 run defense (3.5 yards per carry, 78.7 yards allowed). The Jaguars offense has a 72.5 percent pass-to-run ratio since Foles returned, which will be what they ty to do to keep up with the Buccaneers in a track meet. Foles will have fewer turnovers than Winston.
Pick: Jaguars 29, Buccaneers 27
Cleveland Browns (5-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line: Browns -2
The Steelers are trying something different in the rematch with the Browns, starting undrafted rookie Duck Hodges at quarterback instead of Mason Rudolph, who threw four interceptions against Cleveland two weeks ago. The Browns still can run against the Steelers, averaging 4.9 yards per carry (fifth in NFL) and 124.2 yards per game (10th in NFL) while Pittsburgh allowed just 104 yards in the last meeting but 150 yards total with Kareem Hunt getting six catches for 46 yards. The Browns will look for more ways to get Hunt involved in order to free up room for Nick Chubb in the red zone. Where Cleveland has the advantage is in pass defense, as Pittsburgh averages just 6.0 yard per pass (26th in NFL) and the Browns allow just 6.4 yards per pass (ninth in NFL). Hodges is the better option for the Steelers, but the Browns will make his day a long one.
Pick: Browns 23, Steelers 19
Green Bay Packers (8-3) at New York Giants (2-9)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line: Packers -6.5
The Packers have lost two of three games to fall into a first-place tie with the Vikings for the NFC North lead, but the Giants appear to be a good cure for their recent hangover. Green Bay’s offense has less than 200 yards in two of the last three games, but the Giants allow 28.0 yards per game (29th in NFL) and 377.5 yards per game (27th in NFL). New York allows 8.1 yards per pass (31st in NFL), which will help a Packers offense that has scored just 14.3 points and had 3.7 yards per pass in Week 9 and 1.9 yards per pass in Week 12. Good chance Aaron Rodgers will open up the offense against the Giants. Daniel Jones has 11 touchdowns and one interception over the past four games and can have some success against a packers pass defense that allows 7.6 yards per pass (26th in NFL). Jones still has fumble issues (11 in last five games) especially since Green Bay averaged 1.5 takeaways a game (ninth in NFL). Advantage Packers.
Pick: Packers 28, Giants 21
Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) at Miami Dolphins (2-9)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line: Eagles -9
Can the Eagles offense possibly get any worse? Philadelphia is averaging 9.5 points over the last two games with six giveaways and franchise quarterback Carson Wentz has completed just 62.4 percent of his passes for 470 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for a 75.6 passer rating, fumbling the ball five times (losing three of them). Philadelphia has been without its top running back, top three wide receivers and the right side of its offensive line, so easy to pinpoint the struggles when many starters are down. The Eagles still should be able to run the ball (121.2 yards per game, 13th in NFL) off a Dolphins run defense that allows 148.2 yards per game (31st in NFL), especially if Jordan Howard returns. No matter how bad Philadelphia has been on offense, the Dolphins allow 31.5 points (last in NFL) and 6.2 yards per play (31st in NFL). They’ve allowed 911 yards over the past two games and 78 points. The Eagles should be able to score 25 off them.
Pick: Eagles 27, Dolphins 14
Los Angeles Rams (6-5) at Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line: Rams -3
The Rams continue to prove their mediocrity after scoring under 20 points for the third straight game, averaging 11.7 points during the stretch. Los Angeles has abandoned the run as well, having just 73.3 rush yards per game (26th in NFL with 3.8 yards per carry). They may just abandon it again against the Cardinals pass defense, which has allowed 7.8 yards per pass (27th in NFL) and 71.05% of passes to be caught (last in NFL). Jared Goff has significantly regressed with no touchdowns and five interceptions over the last three games, so going to the run may be the best option against a Cardinals defense that allows 117.6 yards on the ground (23rd in NFL). The Cardinals don’t know who their running back is this week with the running back-by-committee and average 5.0 yards per carry (fourth in NFL) while the Rams average just 3.7 yards per carry (third in NFL). This is a game the Rams should win, even if they throw too much.
Pick: Rams 26, Cardinals 24
Los Angeles Chargers (4-7) at Denver Broncos (3-8)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line: Chargers -2.5
Through 11 games, it’s hard to believe the Chargers defense has been carrying their offense … but that’s exactly the case. The Chargers are allowing just 317.5 yards (fifth in NFL) even though they allowed 70.44% of passes to be caught (31st in NFL). This will come in handy against a Broncos offense that is 29th in the NFL in scoring (15.9 points) and 25th in yards per play (5.0). The Chargers will ned to run the ball against a Broncos run defense that allows 113.5 yards per game (21st in NFL) even though they average 3.9 yards per carry (24th in NFL). Los Angeles has seven turnovers in the last two games, all by Philip Rivers (who threw two interceptions against Denver in the first meeting). Denver’s offense has been better under Brandon Allen, but had just three points and 49 passing yards last week. The Chargers pass defense isn’t as good as Buffalo, but they can cause problems if Los Angeles can stop the run.
Pick: Chargers 20, Broncos 16
Oakland Raiders (6-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Line: Chiefs -9.5
What was supposed to be a showdown for first place in the AFC West this week instead is an opportunity for the Chiefs to take complete control of the division. The Chiefs had a bye week to get Patrick Mahomes healthy, especially when their offense averages 6.5 yards per play (second in NFL). The Raiders, on the other hand, allow 6.0 yards per play (28th in NFL). The Chiefs threw for 436 yards off the Raiders in the first meeting without Tyreek Hill, which will be problem for Oakland since the Raiders allow 7.9 yards per pass (29th in NFL) while the Chiefs average 301.7 yards a game (second in NFL). The Chiefs will throw off the Raiders, but Oakland can slow the game down by running Josh Jacobs wild against a run defense that allows 143.1 yards on the ground (30th in NFL) and 5.1 yards per carry (31st in NFL). Kansas City (21.8 carries a game, 27th in NFL) will have to commit to the run, but big plays are the Raiders’ Achilles heel. The Chiefs have plenty of firepower to accomplish that.
Pick: Chiefs 31, Raiders 21
New England Patriots (10-1) at Houston Texans (7-4)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Line: Patriots -3
Every week the Patriots defense carries the team, performing at an incredible level. The Patriots allow just 10.6 points (first in the NFL) and 4.4 yards per play (second in NFL), but their greatest success comes against the pass (second in NFL with 4.7 yards per pass allowed and 158 yards allowed per game). The Texans offense drastically changes with Will Fuller in the fold, but they also average 5.0 yards per carry (third in NFL) and 136.9 yards on the ground (sixth in NFL), which they can use to expose New England (4.6 yards per carry, 23rd in NFL). The Patriots offense averages just 5.1 yards per play (23rd in NFL), but they should be able to move the ball against a Texans defense that allows 5.9 yards per play (24th in NFL). Houston allows 7.0 yards per pass (22nd in NFL), so expect New England to throw the ball a lot. Hard to bet against the Patriots defense, no matter the challenge Houston presents.
Pick: Patriots 26, Texans 23
Minnesota Vikings (8-3) at Seattle Seahawks (9-2)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: Seahawks -3
A prime “Monday Night Football” matchup between two teams bound for the playoffs in the NFC as December arrives. The Vikings passing attack should being the Seahawks problems as they are second in the NFL in completion rate (70.62%) and yards per pass (8.1). Seattle allows 268.7 passing yards (29th in NFL) and teams throw 39.7 times off them (31st in NFL), so plenty of opportunities for Kirk Cousins to sling the ball around. Seattle can throw as well, averaging 7.8 yards per pass (fourth in NFL) against a Minnesota defense that allows 244.5 passing yards per game (20th in NFL). The Vikings can control the game on the ground averaging 142.5 yards per game (fourth in NFL) while the Seahawks allow 4.5 yards per carry (22nd in NFL). Cousins is 2-3 against teams with winning records when he plays them this year, but asking the Vikings to win in Seattle is a daunting task.
Pick: Seahawks 24, Vikings 20
KERR’S RECORD (Week 12): 11-3
KERR’S RECORD (Overall): 109-66-1 (.619 win percentage)