NFL Week 13 LWOSports Staff Picks

NFL Week 13
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 26: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans looks to pass during the first half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 26, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Week 12 was full of crazy games, COVID-19-related confusion, and yet another coach fired. Two teams are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Both the AFC and NFC races are incredibly muddled and the margin for error continues to shrink for many teams. Let’s take a look at the LWOSports staff picks for NFL Week 13.

Due to crazy COVID-19 rescheduling earlier in the year, the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on their byes this week.


Filip: 93-52 (11-5 last week)
Shane L.: 93-52 (12-4)
Will: 92-53 (12-4)
Drew: 89-56 (11-5)
Jordan: 88-57 (9-7)
Nick: 88-57 (10-6)
Derek: 88-57 (11-5)
Danny: 87-58 (10-6)
Shane C.: 85-60 (11-5)
Luca: 85-60 (10-6)
Shiree: 77-68 (11-5)
Chris: 76-69 (12-4)

NFL Week 13 LWOSports Staff Picks

Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins

Drew: Last year, this matchup was the deciding factor for who would be picking first overall. Miami prevailed due to a field goal as time expired in overtime, but their quest to “Tank for Tua” succeeded, as the Bengals selected their quarterback of the future in Joe Burrow and Tagovailoa fell to them at fifth overall.

Tua Tagovailoa seems to be the future in Miami, but he is dealing with a thumb injury. Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely get the start yet again and has been serviceable. DeVante Parker, yet again, is the team’s leading receiver and will look to eat up a Bengals secondary that has had its issues.

The moneymaker for this Dolphins team is its defense. Ranking second in the league with allowing only 18.6 points per game, this defense is going to feast. As I said in an earlier edition of these picks, the future is bright. They were aggressive in free agency and still have plenty of picks in this next draft.

Why will the Miami defense feast? Brandon Allen is the starting quarterback for the Bengals. The offensive line can’t get any push so Giovani Bernard, who is in for the injured Joe Mixon, struggles to get going. It also doesn’t help that Zac Taylor has his quarterbacks throw the ball 44.4 times a game and abandons the run at the drop of a hat. However, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd continue to shine and make plays.

The Bengals defense had played better of late, but they cannot generate a pass rush to save their lives. Sam Hubbard and Carl Lawson are decent edge rushers, but they have nothing else. Jessie Bates is an elite safety, but he has no help.

Ultimately, Miami’s defense will stifle anything and everything the Bengals would want to do. If there is a betting prop out there asking whether or not the Dolphins will score on defense, take it. Miami will win this and will keep their Wild Card hopes alive.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

Filip: This is a meeting of two franchises that are on a sharp nosedive. The Lions have a 4-7 record entering this game. This will be their first game after firing head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn, so it will be interesting to see the players’ response. On the other side are the Chicago Bears who had high playoff hopes after starting 5-1, but have lost five games in a row, causing their aspirations of a playoff berth to fade away. In the last five meetings, Chicago has owned the Lions as they have come away with five wins. Will that change? Well, let’s take a closer look.

The Chicago Bears offense is just terrible and awful. If the Jets weren’t in the league, then Chicago would rank last in almost every offensive category. It’s still in question whether Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky starts, but it has to be pointed out, that last game against the Packers, the Bears moved the ball more effectively with Trubisky then they would have with Foles. Additionally, Trubiksy has played very well in his starts against the Lions in his career, which includes him beating them five times while helping the offense score over 20 in each of those games.

With Trubisky’s history against the Lions in mind, he should help the Bears’ offense score at least 21 points in this game. It’s not that Trubiksy is great, it’s just that the Lions aren’t good on defense. They have given up the fourth-most yards per game this season. In this season’s game against the Bears, they gave up 391 offensive yards along with 27 points.

The Lions are abysmal on defense. Their only hope is their offense. Matthew Stafford has had himself a solid year as he has thrown for 2,876 passing yards and 18 touchdowns while running for 1,063 yards. Those are decent stats, but they are going up against a very good defense. In terms of stats, it’s a Bears defense that looks average, but when seeing them play, they dominate. Of course, they gave up 41 points to the Packers last week, but that was a game where the Bears defense just got tired of their offense underperforming and they gave up. I believe they will bounce back.

Looking at the strengths and weaknesses of these teams, the game should be tight as it always is. With knowing how Mitch Trubisky has played against the Lions in recent memory, he will put up points. The Lions should counteract this with their own scoring. It all comes down to the defense, and the Bears have the edge. They will stop the Lions at crucial points in the game, allowing for the offense to score or keep the Lead. Bears edge out the Lions in a close one.

Prediction: Bears win 24-23

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans

Drew: In a potential playoff preview (I know, right?), the Browns and Titans face off in Music City. Each of these teams is defined by their run games. This game should be one of the shortest of the NFL Week 13 slate.

Tennesee comes in after thoroughly dismantling their divisional foe, Indianapolis. Derrick Henry is generating some legitimate MVP hype. He’s already at 1257 yards and 12 touchdowns. Ryan Tannehill is a good quarterback who can take advantage of defenses selling out to stop the run, but this offense is all Derrick Henry. Their defense gives up 115 yards on the ground.

That rush defense will be tested. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are a dynamic one-two punch and could be considered the best tandem in the league. It seems that sometimes the Browns win in spite of Baker Mayfield. A good example was his terribly late, overthrown ball in the end zone to a wide-open receiver on a slant…

Defensively, the Browns are pretty stout. Denzel Ward is a great cover corner who is severely underrated. The Browns give up 108 yards per game on the ground. Something will have to give in this matchup. I may be alone, but I will take the Browns in this matchup. One of these teams got beat by the terrible Bengals and it wasn’t the Browns.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings

Jordan: Two offenses carried by their run game will face off this week. Both James Robinson and Dalvin Cook have been two of the most consistent and high-end running backs this season. While each team’s passing game has been iffy at times, their ground game has won them many contests so expect this game to be heavy on the ground.

The Vikings are coming off of a thrilling win against the Panthers. Thus far, the Vikings have come up very short in terms of expectations. However, Kirk Cousins has started to bring back the Kirk Cousins we knew from last season and it has capitulated this offense over multiple teams in recent weeks.

The Jags have one positive and one positive only this season and that’s the development and emergence of James Robinson. He’s moved up the running back ranks rather quickly and has become a bell-cow back nearly every game this season. At times, the Jags have relayed too heavily on Robinson and it has severely limited their ability to do any damage through the air.

This matchup really comes down to Robinson vs. the Vikings run defense. There’s still a lot of question marks about who will be starting behind center for the Jags so the passing game is going to struggle. The Vikings should be able to focus on stacking the box and slowing down the Robinson train and I think that’s exactly what they are going to do. I’ll take the Vikings in this one.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Las Vegas Raiders at New York Jets

Shiree: Both the Raiders and the Jets attempt to right their ships this week after scoring a combined six points the week before.

The Raiders gave up five turnovers to the Falcons last week as their defense had a field day with Derek Carr. If they want to win this one—and let’s be honest, there’s a huge possibility they will—the offensive line has to do a better job of protecting their quarterback. After a three-game win streak, they have now lost their last two. This game against the Jets should help them bounce back nicely.

Let’s face it, the Jets just might go 0-16 this season. Between Sam Darnold and Joe Flacco, they’ve only managed nine touchdowns to 11 interceptions. As the NFL winds down their season the Jets have a lot to think about, mainly if Adam Gase should even have a job next season. This is the easiest pick I’ve made all season. Raiders win.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans

Shane L.: To start off Week 12, the Houston Texans flexed their muscles as they had a 41-25 feast of the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving night. Even though they haven’t been playing well, Deshaun Watson has been playing well as he’s had over 300 yards passing in six of the last eight games, including 318 yards last week. He also threw four touchdowns in another great performance. Will Fuller had an outstanding game with 171 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, the Texans will be without their big-play threat as he has been suspended six games. The Texans have won three out of four and are looking to stay on the winning path.

While the Texans had a great game overall, the Indianapolis Colts did not in their 45-26 loss to the Tennessee Titans. This was a huge game for the Colts as they tried to take over first place in the AFC South. Despite Philip Rivers‘ 295 yards and two touchdowns, the Titans were able to exploit this defense and stop the run game. The Colts defense has given up 30+ points in the first half in the last two games. They were able to escape the first game but not last week. The Colts need to get back to playing like the top defense in the league if they want to win.

Any division battle will warrant 100 percent effort on the field and that’s what we expect this game. Despite a 4-7 record, the Texans are still in a playoff race for the wild card. The Colts are only one game out of first place so this is an important game for both. This game will depend a lot on what the Colts defense looks like. If the Colts get back to that great defensive game, they will win easily. If not, Watson will exploit them again.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Drew: Divisional matchups are always fun to watch. Each team always gives their all. This will be no different. The Saints are sitting as the number-one team in the NFC. The Falcons are looking ahead to the draft (which makes their win against the Raiders even more enigmatic).

Once again, the Saints will play without a quarterback and will instead trot out Taysom Hill. Even without Drew Brees, the Saints can do what they want. Alvin Kamara is an elite running back and Michael Thomas eats up any defense he faces. The defense, however, is what has kept the Saints afloat. Even if they faced a practice squad-turned-quarterback in Week 12, they still dominated.

The Falcons thoroughly trounced the Raiders last week. Nobody saw that coming. The LWOSports staff unanimously picked Las Vegas to win, but that’s why they play the game. The defense forced five turnovers which resulted in 26 points (two touchdowns, four field goals). Younghoe Koo converted on all five of his field goals.

Even without Brees, the Saints are one of the best teams in the NFL. I expect that they will continue their path to the playoffs and take this game. It’ll likely be closer than it should, but great teams find ways to win.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals

Chris: A game between two bitter NFC West rivals, the Los Angeles Rams travel to Arizona to battle the Cardinals in Week 13. Separated by one game in their division, both teams will be hungry for a win on Sunday as they look to keep pace with the Seahawks in the loaded NFC playoff race.

Losers a week ago on the road in New England, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals’ offense struggled to move the ball all game long, leading the 23-year-old to register just 160 passing yards with the team scoring a season-low 17 points. Likewise, the Rams were also stunned in Week 12 with a last-second loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Winners of four in a row heading into the game, Sean Mcvay‘s team turned the ball over four times, with Jared Goff tossing two interceptions. One of three late afternoon kickoffs in NFL Week 13, here is what to watch for in this one. 

Squarely in the NFC playoff race with head to head wins over the Seahawks and the Buccaneers, the Rams will look to rebound off a disappointing Week 12 loss to the injury-ravaged 49ers. Matching up with the Cardinals for the first time this season, with the teams set to battle in Week 17 in Los Angeles, the Rams swept Arizona a season ago, winning each game by multiple possessions. A much-improved unit from their 2019 campaign, Brandon Stanley’s group will be tasked with trying to slow down Murray and the high-powered Cardinals offense. Ranked second in the league in yards per game with over 411 yards, Arizona will provide the standout Los Angeles secondary with their toughest test yet.    

Hungry for a win after a disappointing last-second loss in Week 12, the Cardinals are currently holding onto the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC. Losers of three of their last four games, Kliff Kingsbury’s group has struggled to close out games and will look to get back on track against their divisional rival. Allowing just 1.6 sacks per game this season, one matchup to watch in this one will be how Arizona’s offensive line holds up against a stellar Rams pass rush.

Led by star defensive lineman Aaron Donald, the team is tied for tenth in the league with 19 quarterback takedowns through 12 weeks. In the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year and one of the NFL’s most impactful players, if Arizona is unable to contain Donald, it will be a long day for Murray and company.

Struggling on defense over their past four contests, the Cardinal’s defense is allowing opposing offenses to score over 27 points per game. Along with this, the team’s offense has begun to struggle with concerns surrounding Murray’s health beginning to swirl around the league. While Sunday offers the perfect chance to get back on track with a do or die mentality for both teams, I expect a much better showing from Goff and the Rams offense en route to a crucial divisional victory.  

Final Score: Los Angeles Rams 30 Arizona Cardinals 24

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks

Will: In this matchup, we have a collision with the worst division in football and arguably the best division in football. It’s the NFC East vs. the NFC West. It’s the Giants vs. the Seahawks. I know what you’re thinking, this is a one-sided matchup that will likely favor one team heavily in Seattle. And they may win, but I am here to tell you that New York may keep this game closer than you think.

Currently riding a three-game win streak, the Giants have now overtaken the lead of the NFC East… at 4-7. It’s absolutely astonishing that New York is on track to host a playoff game, but here we are. As the leader of the dumpster fire of a division, they have played teams tougher than they might have imagined.
Quarterback Daniel Jones banged up his hamstring last week and will likely miss this game against the Seahawks. That means veteran backup Colt McCoy will take the helm this Sunday, oh boy. McCoy has had a decent career as a journeyman in the NFL but nothing to write home about. With that being said, I think he and the Giants put up a fight against this struggling Seahawks squad. The current spread has New York as a ten-point underdog and I would take them and the points if that line stays the same
As for Seattle, they come in on a two-game winning streak, but both games came by the skin of their teeth. They beat a solid Arizona Cardinals team by seven and then another NFC East squad in the Eagles by six. Philly did get a last-second hail mary in to make the score look better but still wasn’t a pretty win. Seattle just hasn’t looked the same as they did at the beginning of the season as they do now. They are still a Super Bowl LV contender, obviously. However, I don’t know if I can trust their defense throughout the playoffs.
They won’t be facing a Carson Wentz-level quarterback many more times. Due to that, I think they will be exposed, especially in the secondary. The acquisition of Jamal Adams hasn’t helped much in the pass defense as they have allowed 3,617 yards through the air. That’s the most in the NFL. With that being said, Seattle will win this game. They don’t have to deal with the harsh turf of Metlife and can play in the comfort of their newly-named stadium.
As I stated above, I truly believe that New York will keep this game close and cover the ten-point spread. I just can’t see Seattle dropping this game. I am predicting the Seahawks will win a close one by the score of 27-21.
Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers

Danny: At the beginning of this season, this looked like one of the better games during this week. Now it looks extremely lopsided. Green Bay has looked like a super bowl contender all seasons long. It looks like Aaron Rodgers is playing some of his best football. The Green Bay defense is opportunistic but vulnerable. Especially to the run.

The Eagles have become a laughing stock of the league right now. Carson Wentz can’t hit an open receiver to save his life right now. The offensive line is in complete shambles. The one hope the Eagles have is to run the ball, dominate time of possession, and convert those drives into touchdowns.
Yeah, I don’t think that’s happening either.
Packers 37
Eagles 20
Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers

Jordan: Two teams that have struggled through the year meet up in Week 13. Both squads haven’t seemed to achieve exactly what many thought they were capable of, especially since Justin Herbert has taken over in LA.

The Patriots have had one of the oddest seasons in recent history. They could 100% be at the top of the AFC, having lost multiple games against sub-par squads or in extremely close finishes. But instead, they are attempting to climb back into the playoff picture, with multiple question marks surrounding nearly every position on the team. Their success in this final stretch falls on one man and that’s Cam Newton.

The Chargers have suffered a similar fate as the Patriots, having lost multiple games as well on final plays or dumb mistakes. Justin Herbert has looked like a franchise quarterback in his first season in the NFL, which should certainly be a welcoming sight to many Charger fans. The return of Austin Ekeler has brought yet another dynamic player to one of the better offenses in the league as well, so the Chargers could certainly pose some significant problems to playoff teams down the stretch. Spoiler season is in full swing.

This game has the making for a great contest. Although both teams are below .500, they both have undeniable talent all over the field. It’ll be interesting to see the Patriots’ secondary try and handle Herbert early on. I expect them to challenge the Pats defense deep very early on, so New England is going to have their work cut out for them. However, I’ve got the Pats in this one because I do believe Cam Newton and their run game will dismantle a struggling Chargers defense.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (SNF)

Shane C.: Last week, the Broncos were essentially forced to play without a quarterback against the New Orleans Saints and the outcome was easily predicted. This week, life doesn’t get any easier for the Broncos as they go on the road to face the juggernaut Kansas City Chiefs.

Fortunately, the Broncos have their quarterback, Drew Lock available to them in the NFL Week 13. Although the Chiefs boast the number six overall team defense their running defense is ranked twenty-third overall. The Broncos will have to keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes hands as much as possible and rely on a steady dose of Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay. That being said, I think it’s safe to assume that Lock will be dropping back plenty. 

Mahomes and company will be going against the number eight overall rated pass defense in the league. Additionally, the Broncos also generate the second-most quarterback pressure in the league. Stranger things have happened. However, outside of the Las Vegas Raiders, teams haven’t been able to contain the Chiefs’ offense. I could wax poetic about Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce and the many ways in which Mahomes can move the ball seemingly at will. But, that’s been done ad nauseam.

Now to the point. Kansas City is a 14 point favorite and I see no reason that they can’t cover. The Chiefs romp in the Sunday night tilt. 

Chiefs 42 Broncos 17

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Washington Football Team at Pittsburgh Steelers (MNF)

Noah: The Washington Football Team takes on the Pittsburgh Steelers next Monday at 4 P.M. (CT). The Washington Football Team is coming off a 41-16 drubbing of the Dallas Cowboys that occurred on Thanksgiving. The Steelers will be coming off a game against the division-rival Baltimore Ravens and will be playing on a very short week.

Terry McLaurin has been excellent this year, one of the few bright spots on the Football Team’s offense. The Steelers secondary has been very good this year and leads the NFL in interceptions, but Mclaurin has also been excellent this year and leads the Football Team with 963 yards. McLaurin is Alex Smith’s best option. If McLaurin has a big game the Steelers are in for a long night.

The Football team has given up 35 sacks so far this season and will face a great group on Monday. The Steelers lead the NFL with 41 sacks so far this season. If the Football team cannot neutralize the pass rush, then they will have no shot to win.

Steelers play a competitive, but not a good team on Monday. The game is also at home for the Steelers. While the Steelers will be playing on a short week and the Football Team will be coming off a 10-day mini bye week, it should not have a huge impact on this game. The Steelers a much more talented team on offense and even though the Football team has a stingy defense, it will not be able to hold up long enough for their offense to get going. It will be close at the end of the first half, but the Steelers will pull away and win big, 31-13.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers (MNF)

Derek: This week both Buffalo and San Francisco will travel to Arizona for their Week 13 matchup. San Francisco was scheduled to host the game, but Covid-19 restrictions in Santa Clara have forced the game to be played in the Cardinals’ stadium.

The 49ers come into the game without a few of their key offensive players. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle are both out with injuries. This puts Nick Mullens as the 49ers’ starting quarterback for Monday night. The 49ers have recently gotten running back Raheem Mostert back from injury and he scored in his return to the field last week.

He will have an ability to showcase his talent against a weaker Bills run defense with the absence of linebacker Matt Milano. Buffalo will enter the game with their dynamic duo of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. Both players are amongst the best at their respective positions and have been on fire for most of the season. They had a relatively quiet game, however, last week against the Chargers. They will look to get back on track against the 49ers’ defense led by Richard Sherman. Buffalo’s defense has been greatly improved in recent weeks and could cause trouble for Mullens and company.

Buffalo should continue their impressive season with a win in this primetime showdown.

Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens (Tuesday)

Nick: The Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens will be playing in a very rare Tuesday Night Football game in Week 13. The Ravens are now 6-5 and are on the outside looking in at the AFC Wild Card race. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are 3-8 and still in the mix for the NFC East division with a healthy Andy Dalton under center.

The biggest question mark entering the game will be who from the Ravens will be cleared from the COVID list? Against the Steelers Wednesday night, the Ravens were without Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, Calais Campbell, and Matt Judon to name just a few players. Despite the losses on offense, the Ravens outrushed Pittsburgh on the ground, 129 to 68. The Cowboys are dead last in rushing yards allowed per game, so expect to see a run dominant attack by the Ravens who lead the NFL in rushing attempts per game.
Dallas also going to lean on the run heavily after Ezekiel Elliott crossed 100 yards for the first time in 2020 last week. The Cowboys aren’t as lethal running the ball as in years past, which is why it’s good Andy Dalton is back and looked good against the Vikings. He had three scores and one pick in his first game since returning from injury.
The ultimate difference-maker will be the secondary of the Ravens. Against the Steelers, the group showcased their talent for stripping the ball out of the receiver’s hands. They’re one of the more complete secondaries in the league and are eighth in yards allowed per game, compared to Dallas who’s 23rd. Both teams struggle in the red zone on defense, but the Ravens convert red-zone trips into touchdowns on offense in the red zone more than the Cowboys (58.82 to 50.00 percent).
Health will be critical to watch over the week, but if the Ravens are closer to full strength than they were against the Steelers, I’d be feeling good if I was a Ravens fan.
Drew Jordan Filip Shiree Shane L. Shane C. Nick Will Derek Danny Chris

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