Week 13 of the NFL season began in grand fashion as the Packers topped the Lions on a game ending Hail Mary pass. This game wasn't without controversy, since a botched call helped put the Packers in position to win. This entire week should be well-worth watching. The Giants and Jets face off at Met Life Stadium. This game is counted as a home game for the Giants, which gives the Jets credit for an away game for playing in their home stadium. This game has playoff implications; the Giants are 5-6 but could still win the NFC East. The Jets are one of 5 6-5 teams in the AFC fighting for two wildcard spots. Elsewhere in the NFL, the Bengals, Patriots, and Panthers can all potentially clinch a playoff berth this week. Carolina clinches the division with a win or tie or an Atlanta loss or tie (they can clinch a playoff berth with a Seattle loss or tie). Cincinnati needs a win, a Houston loss or tie, an Indianapolis loss or tie, and either a New York Jets loss or tie or a Denver win or tie and KC loss.The Patriots can clinch the AFC East with a win and a Jets loss or tie or a NE tie and a jets loss. The Patriots clinch a playoff berth even if the Jets win, if the Patriots win and Pittsburgh or KC loses or ties, or if the Patriots tie and the Chiefs lose or Pittsburgh loses and Houston loses or ties. Who do we think will win this week? Here are some picks!
San Francisco 49ers @ Chicago Bears. The Bears are slowly starting to impress me this season. They're not quite a playoff caliber team, but John Fox has done a good job bringing this unit together. San Francisco is still strugging. Chicago is the better team, and wins this one at home. Final score: Bears 24, 49ers 7.
Houston Texans @ Buffalo Bills. Man this is a tough game to pick. Mario Williams gets to face his former team in Buffalo, but this game is a toss-up. That being said, I think the Texans are a slightly better team, and will get it done this week. Texans win. Final score: Texans 14, Bills 7.
New York Jets/Giants @ New York Giants/Jets. This is a home game for both home teams even if this counts as a home game for the Giants only. This is another toss-up game between two fairly equal teams. That being said, the Jets are slightly better right now, and that could carry over into this week's game. Jets win at home, Giants lose at home. Final score: Jets 22, Giants 21.
Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings. This is probably the best matchup of the entire week. The Vikings are surprisingly hot this season, and the Seahawks are heating up. The Vikings aren't used to being in playoff situations as of late, but Seattle is extremely familiar with the feel of the playoff push. Seattle wins this one. Final score: Seahawks 28, Vikings 20.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans. Two teams with lots of young talent trapped at the bottom of their division. These teams will both improve at some point, just not too much this season. I'm going with the home team in this one. Final score: Titans 24, Jaguars 23.
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Falcons have cooled off quickly after a very hot start this season. The Buccaneers are finally finding their stride. I think Atlanta is still a decent football team, but Tampa Bay is getting hot at the right time, and will win this game. Final score: Buccaneers 35, Falcons 27.
Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins. I wanted to pick Baltimore after their convincing win over Cleveland after losing Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett, but then I remembered that the Browns are, and will always be, the Browns. The entire Baltimore offense is injured, and Miami should feast. Final score: Dolphins 24, Ravens 14.
Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams. The Rams looked really solid for a good portion of the season, but they've started to cool off. The Cardinals may struggle without Chris Johnson, which should make this game closer. Still, I think the Cardinals squeak by. Final score: Cardinals 23, Rams 21.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns. This game will avoided by anyone not living in Ohio as the Bengals demolish the Cleveland Browns. Final score: Bengals 45, Browns 14.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders. I still don't know how to gauge these two teams. I think Oakland has a better team with better youth, however, and that carries over into the final score this week. Raiders win. Final score: Raiders 23, Chiefs 14.
Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers. The Chargers and Peyton Manning have had two of this season's most disappointing seasons. The difference is, Peyton's season has essentially ended as the Chargers' year goes on. Denver is coming off of a big win against the Patriots, and will stay hot this week against the Chargers. Final score: Broncos 27, Chargers 14.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New England Patriots. The Patriots lost last week. There's no way they lose two games in a row, even with no Gronk. New England turns it around and beats the Eagles. Final score: Patriots 35, Eagles 14.
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints. The Saints are definitely playing better football than they were at the beginning of the season. However, the Panthers are a way better team. Carolina can clinch the NFC South this week, and they do it with a win over the Saints. Final score: Panthers 24, Saints 7.
Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers. UPSET ALERT. The Steelers have played surprisingly good football while dealing with injuries through this season. However, so have the Colts. Matt Hasselbeck has been a machine this season and looks like the Matt Hasselbeck of old. The Colts win the coin toss to open the game. The Colts want the ball; Hasselbeck wants to score! The Colts win! Final score: Colts 35, Steelers 28.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins. I just can't pick Dallas to win anything without Tony Romo. Redskins win. Final score: Redskins 24, Cowboys 14.
Carolina Panthers clinch NFC South.
New England Patriots clinch a playoff berth, but not the AFC East.
Cincinnati Bengals fail to clinch a playoff berth this week.
--Mike B. (104-74).
Sorry guys not going to have my normal analysis. 5 Exams and the LSATS to study for have made me lose all time. So here are my picks.
Jets 27 - Giants 23
Cardinals 32 - Rams 21
Falcons 28 - Buccaneers 24
Seahawks 37 - Vikings 31 in OT
Bills 24 - Texans 20
Dolphins 29 - Ravens 23
Bengals 37 - Browns 34 ( Austin Davis is a beast)
Titans 20 - Jaguars 18
Bears 23 - 49ers 21
Broncos 34 - Chargers 25
Chiefs 30 - Raiders 24
Panthers 37 - Saints 22
Patriots 38 - Eagles 21
Steelers 32 - Colts 28
No Romo..... Redskins 30 - Cowboys 17
- Matt K
Jets 30 - Giants 20
Cardinals 35 - Rams 21
Falcons 24 - Buccaneers 13
Vikings 27 - Seahawks 21
Texans 27 - Bills 21
Dolphins 28 - Ravens 17
Bengals 33 - Browns 31
Jaguars 19 - Titans 14
Bears 28 - 49ers 14
Chargers 24 - Broncos 21
Raiders 27 - Chiefs 20
Panthers 35 - Saints 28
Eagles 28 - Patriots 27 (Chip idolizes Bill, and I think it will show)
Steelers 35 - Colts 28
Redskins 45 - Cowboys 20
Sports give us as the human race something to cheer for and support and give hope to all of us.