Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 13 (Pt. 1)

By Jeffrey Boswell

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Green Bay @ Detroit (-7)

The 5-5-1 Packers head to Ford Field to face the 6-5 Lions in the traditional Thanksgiving game in Detroit. Last week, Matt Flynn took over for an ineffective Scott Tolzien and led the Packers to a 26-26 tie against the Vikings. With Aaron Rodgers still recovering from a broken collarbone, Flynn will start against the Lions.

"I asked Aaron what his favorite Thanksgiving food was," Mike McCarthy said. "He said, 'Not dressing.' Now, that doesn't necessarily answer the question I asked, but it does indicate his status for Thursday.

"But we're glad to have Flynn back with us. 'In like Flynn' is a term that's become synonymous with a quarterback who parlays one big game into a huge free agent pay day, then gets released. The Seahawks know what I mean. Matt was the only thing in Seattle that wasn't performance-enhancing.

"We're hoping Matt's 'in like Flynn' in Detroit. According to Ndamukong Suh, Matt will be 'out like a light.'"
Detroit lost for only the second time at home this season, 24-21 to Greg Schiano and the suddenly dangerous Buccaneers. Tampa's defense forced four Matthew Stafford interceptions, including a pick in the red zone with less than a minute remaining.

"I've got to commend Schiano for keeping his team together amongst much turmoil," Jim Schwartz. "Take it from me, he deserves a pat on the back, and a course of antibiotics. Schiano has a competitive streak that's rubbed off on his players. Obviously, that attitude is contagious, and is sweeping the Bucs' locker room."

Santa Claus shows up at the game, and hands out the brand new Megatron action figures to lucky fans. The figures show the same humility as Johnson. Even when you pull its string, it doesn't talk. Now, if it was a Dez Bryant or Brandon Marshall figure, you could push its button, and it would never shut up.

Stafford throws for 3 touchdowns, 2 to Johnson. Try as they might, Flynn and the Packers can't keep up.

Detroit wins, 30-27.

Oakland @ Dallas (-9)

The Cowboys returned from a bye week in impressive fashion, beating the Giants at MetLife Stadium 24-21 on Dan Bailey's field goal as time expired. Dallas is now 6-5 and in a tie with the Eagles atop the NFC East.

"Once again," Jerry Jones said, "Tony Romo was clutch. And our defense showed up. Therein lies the secret to our success — we need 'clutch' from our offense, and 'brakes' from our defense, because lately, they haven't stopped anything.

"Great job by Jason Garrett, also. By the way, he'll coach in 2014. There are a lot of people that say I should have been 'committed' long ago.

"Thanksgiving is a time of appreciation, and it's also a time of reflection. That's why I always start this special day by looking in the mirror and telling myself how great I am. Anyway, it's the 20th anniversary of Leon Lett's infamous muffed fumble recovery attempt of a blocked field goal in the snow against Miami. That cost us the game, but Leon's been forgiven for that. Let's face it, it's not the first time a Cowboy has made a bad decision while under the influence of a white, powdery substance."

In his second start, rookie Matt Mcgloin nearly led the Raiders to a win in Tennessee. But a late Titans comeback negated Mcgloin's heroics, and the Raiders head to Dallas with a 4-7 record.

"This is the biggest game of my career," Mcgloin said. "Nothing at Penn State prepared me for this kind of pressure, not even ethics class.

"I'm proud to represent the Raiders in Dallas. And I think we can pull off the upset. The venue formerly called 'Cowboys Stadium' is now known as 'AT&T Stadium.' There's a perfect storm brewing: the quarterback who played for 'Joe Pa' is in a building with ties to 'Ma Bell.' There's magic in the air."

Dallas wins, 27-23.

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore (-3)

The Ravens secured a 19-3 win over the Jets last week behind four field goals from Justin Tucker and a solid if unspectacular effort from Joe Flacco. Baltimore improved to 5-6, two games behind the AFC North-leading Bengals.

"I'm looking forward to playing on Thanksgiving," Flacco said. "Finally, we can talk 'turkey' and I won't be the subject.

"Even though we're without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, it will still feel just like 'old times,' because we're playing the Steelers' defense. They say 'age ain't nothing but a number,' and the Steelers' number is 'up.' They're the oldest defense in the league. How old are they? Well, when you say 'Troy Polamalu is 43,' you may not necessarily be referring to his jersey."

The red-hot Steelers handled the Browns 27-11 in Cleveland behind a defense that forced four turnovers and a near-flawless performance from Ben Roethlisberger.

"Ben has been spectacular," Mike Tomlin said. "I think people have doubted him, and he's motivated by that doubt. He's used that doubt to his advantage, much in the way he's used 'reasonable doubt' to his advantage.

Baltimore wins, 20-16.

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