NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 13

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

New Orleans @ Atlanta (+3)

The Saints beat the undermanned Broncos 31-3 in Denver. Taysom Hill and Latavius Murray rushed for 2 touchdowns apiece as New Orleans improved to 9-2.

"The Broncos lobbied the NFL to postpone the game," Sean Payton said. "Instead, it was us who said 'no contest.'

"In their defense, the Broncos had to play a practice squad wide receiver at quarterback. If that's not a lesson that convinces you to wear a mask, then a $500,000 fine and a lost draft pick sure is."

The Falcons smashed the visiting Raiders 43-6 in Atlanta. Atlanta's defense forced 4 Derek Carr turnovers and improved to 4-2 under interim coach Raheem Morris.

"By comparison," Matt Ryan said, "we were 0-6 under Dan Quinn. So, in just 6 games under Morris, we have enough wins to be tied for the division lead in the NFC East. So, what I'm saying to Arthur Blank is this: if you can't use your money and influence to force a realignment, use it to hire Raheem."

Falcons win, 24-22.

Detroit @ Chicago (-4)

The Lions lost 41-25 to the visiting Texans on Thanksgiving, a loss that ultimately resulted in the firings of head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn on Saturday.

"Patricia had a 13-29-1 record in Detroit," Matt Stafford said. "And his final 'L' came when the front office said 'get lost.' As a quarterback, I can appreciate a receiver creating separation from a defender. As a Detroit Lion, I can appreciate even more a front office creating separation between the franchise and Matt Patricia.

"Hopefully, our owner Sheila Ford Hamp will make a bold hire. Darrell Bevel has been named interim head coach. But really, isn't any Detroit Lions head coach 'interim?'"

The Bears were embarrassed 41-25 to the Packers on Sunday night at Lambeau Field. After a 5-1 start, Chicago has lost five straight.

"I think everyone can agree this team needs a spark," Matt Nagy said. "Most Bears fans would say, more specifically, this team needs a 'spark plug,' because someone needs to be 'fired.'"

Lions win, 24-23.

Cleveland @ Tennessee (-4)

The Browns edged the Jaguars 27-25 in Jacksonville. Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, and Jarvis Landry had big games, and Cleveland improved to 8-3.

"That's our best 11-game start in 30 years," Mayfield said. "The worst 11-game start? You guessed it — Hue Jackson. Not once, but twice!

"This team definitely has the talent to go places in January, like home after one playoff game. And definitely not Tampa in February."

The Titans avenged their Week 10 loss to the Colts with a commanding 45-26 win over the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Derrick Henry rushed for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns as Tennessee took the outright lead in the AFC South.

"Derrick is both an unstoppable force and an immovable object," Mike Vrabel said. "If you ask would-be tacklers, they'd say he's barely 'tackle eligible.'

"Most importantly, Derrick is durable. He plays hurt. He doesn't miss games. He lived up to his college hype in the NFL. Even when he is hurt, he's the 'P' word you want to be known as: 'probable.' Not the one we call Jadeveon Clowney."

Titans win, 27-26.

Cincinnati @ Miami (-11½)

The Bengals lost 19-17 to the visiting Giants. Brandon Allen started for the Bengals at quarterback and passed for 136 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions.

"Joe Burrow had surgery on his left knee and he is recovering well," Zac Taylor said. "Despite what you may have heard, he'll be back early in the 2021 season. Also, despite what you may have heard, there is no truth that Pete Rose charged Joe $100 to sign his cast. Not that Pete didn't offer."

Miami beat the Jets 20-3 at MetLife Stadium. Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 257 yards and 2 touchdowns, and the Miami defense stifled the hapless Jets offense.

"Ryan stepped up when we needed him," Brain Flores said. "He didn't pout when he was benched for Tua. He didn't get his panties in a wad, and trust me, he's having a lot of 'em thrown at him."

Miami wins, 28-13.

Jacksonville @ Minnesota (-9½)

The Vikings beat the visiting Panthers, 28-27, winning on Kirk Cousins 10-yard TD pass to Chad Beebe with 46 seconds left. Beebe had minutes earlier muffed a punt return.

"Chad really redeemed himself," Mike Zimmer said. "And we really could have used his dad Don to chase down Carolina's Jeremy Chinn, who returned 2 fumbles for touchdowns in the span of 10 seconds. They call that the 'Double Chinn.'

"Of course, 'turnover' is a word no coach wants to hear. 'Kirk Cousins: franchise quarterback' are four words no coach wants to hear. But Kirk came through for us this time. But there's always next time."

The Jaguars lost 27-25 at home to the Browns, who gashed the Jacksonville defense for 459 total yards. Mike Glennon kept the Jags in it with 2 touchdown passes.

"General manager Dave Caldwell was fired after the game," Doug Marrone said. "Three head coaches have already been fired this season. I guess I'm likely to be the fourth, which makes perfect sense, because I'm used to being fourth."

Vikings win, 27-24.

Las Vegas @ NY Jets (+7½)

The Jets lost 20-3 to the visiting Dolphins as Sam Darnold returned to the lineup at quarterback. Darnold struggled against the stiff Miami defense, with 2 interceptions, and was sacked 3 times.

"I don't know if Sam was seeing 'ghosts' again," Adam Gase said. "It's entirely possible he was seeing things that weren't there, like my future, and his future.

"We were the first team officially eliminated from the postseason. Shockingly, I wasn't the first coach eliminated from the regular season."

The Raiders laid an egg in Atlanta, losing 43-6 to the Falcons. Derek Carr had 4 turnovers.

"Derek played so much like Nathan Peterman," Jon Gruden said, "that I pulled him for Nathan Peterman. If that's not punishment enough, Derek gets to wear a Jamarcus Russell jersey in practice all week.

"Now, when a team from Las Vegas plays the worst team in the NFL, you have no choice but to call it 'Odds and Ends.'"

Raiders win, 27-20.

Indianapolis @ Houston (+2½)

Deshaun Watson passed for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Texans rolled over the Lions 41-25 on Thanksgiving at Ford Field.

"It was Thanksgiving in Detroit," Watson said. "But it felt like Christmas, because the Lions got lit up like a Christmas tree.

"Unfortunately, Will Fuller V was suspended for 6 games for violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy. Will claims it was from a prescribed medication. But let's be serious. Will's not the first NFL weed-smoker to claim a prescription 'mistake' led to a suspension. If he expects us to believe that, he's 'Fuller' than 'S.'"

The Titans hammered the Colts 45-26 in Indianapolis in a battle for first place in the AFC South.

"Phillip Rivers got outplayed by Ryan Tannehill," Frank Reich said, "and Phillip took that personally. He's vowed to outplay Watson. Now, he's not gonna do that with his legs. If you're talking about 'mobility in the pocket,' that's Watson's gig. If it's 'motility in the pants,' that's Phillip's forte, and it's his sperm count."

Colts win, 27-20.

L.A. Rams @ Arizona (+1½)

The 49ers upset the home-standing Rams 23-20, beating the Rams for the second time this season. A week after torching the Bucs for 376 yards and 3 TDs, Jared Goff passed for only 198 yards and threw 2 interceptions.

"That's typical Jared," Seam McVay said. "One minute, I'm saying, "Great!' The next minute, I'm saying, 'Good God!'

"But I never considered benching Jared. I don't want to wreck his confidence. What Jared needs right now is a confidence boost, so I told him he's the best quarterback in Denver."

The Cardinals lost 20-17 at New England and have now lost two straight. Kyler Murray struggled, and had no touchdowns, rushing or receiving. Arizona is 6-5, two games behind the Seahawks in the NFC West.

"The Patriots exploited Kyler's height," Kliff Kingsbury said. "They made sure to clog passing lanes and made it difficult for Kyler to see what he was doing. Heck, it was difficult for me to watch what he was doing."

Cardinals win, 25-23.

NY Giants @ Seattle (-9)

The Giants held on to beat the Bengals 19-17 to move into a first-place tie with Washington in the NFC East.

"That was a big win for us," Joe Judge said. "But let's not dwell on it. Hell, all we did was beat a Bengals team without Joe Burrow to improve our record to a well below average 4-7. Nothing to write home about. Nothing to write about period.

"Daniel Jones suffered a significant hamstring injury. He's likely to miss at least one game, but he'll be back I'm sure. It just goes to show you that nothing can stop Daniel except his own legs."

The Seahawks beat the Eagles 23-17 on Monday night in Philadelphia. D.K. Metcalf had 10 catches for 177 yards.

"D.K. was playing with a chip on his shoulder," Pete Carroll said. "The Eagles are one of the many teams that passed on him in the draft. Philly's made it a habit of making questionable draft picks lately. Passing on a generational receiver is considered a 'miss.' When that generational receiver is D.K., it's an 'Ole Miss.'"

Seattle wins, 30-13.

Philadelphia @ Green Bay (-7½)

The Eagles lost 23-17 to the Seahawks on Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philly offense struggled under the leadership of Carson Wentz, who was sacked 6 times.

"Carson completed only 25-of-45 passes," Doug Pederson said. "That's not very accurate. There was a time when Carson was accurate, so accurate, in fact, that you could say he was 'dead money.' And if we have to cut him, he will again be considered 'dead money.'"

The Packers manhandled the Bears 41-25 on Sunday night at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers passed for 4 touchdowns as Green Bay increased its lead in the NFC North to three games.

"For a rivalry game," Rodgers said, "the score rivaled that of a blowout.

"What the Bears are doing has to be of great concern to Bears ownership. If you have money invested in this team, you should demand your money back. Even if it's just a small amount, say 25 cents, you should say it, and say it loudly, 'I want a quarter back!'"

Green Bay wins, 36-20.

New England @ L.A. Chargers (-1)

The Patriots toughed out a sloppy 20-17 win over the visiting Cardinals. New England's defense contained Kyler Murray, and Cam Newton converted a crucial third down that ultimately led to Nick Folk's game-winning field goal.

"It wasn't pretty," Bill Belichick said. "But you don't get points for style. If you did, Cam would easily have way more points than his quarterback rating.

"We were fined $350,000 for COVID-19 protocols. I guess we weren't wearing masks when we should have. Unfortunately, this is a crime that we didn't 'cover up.'"

The Chargers lost 27-17 at Buffalo and dropped to 3-8.

"This team is much too talented to be 3-8," Anthony Lynn said. "And that falls squarely on my shoulders for failing to prepare them properly. So, much like our team doctor, I'm guilty of 'mal-practice.'"

Patriots win, 26-19.

Denver @ Kansas City (-13½)

The Broncos lost 31-3 to the visiting Saints as Denver was without all four quarterbacks due to COVID contact tracing protocols.

"We had no choice but to play the game," Vic Fangio said. "That's because the QBs on our roster didn't wear their masks. So, on brand, bad quarterback decisions continue in Denver."

Tyreek Hill had 13 receptions for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Chiefs beat the Bucs 27-24 in Tampa.

"The Bucs tried to cover Tyreek with one defensive," Andy Reid said. "After that game, you couldn't even cover him with one journalist.

"I'm sympathetic to what the Broncos had to go through in Week 13. I can't imagine having all four of your quarterbacks unavailable for a game. Actually, I can't imagine having four quarterbacks on my roster."

Chiefs win, 32-14.

Washington @ Pittsburgh (-10½)

Washington ran by the Cowboys 41-16 on Thanksgiving, led by Antonio Gibson's 110 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. With the win, Washington took over first place in the NFC East.

"It had to be insulting to knock the Cowboys into last place at AT&T Stadium," Ron Rivera said. "We put them in their place, in their place."

The Steelers beat the depleted Ravens 19-14 to remain undefeated at 11-0.

"Except for a few slip ups," Mike Tomlin said, "our defense played great. We had our concerns playing the Ravens with their COVID issues, so it was a perfect time to deploy the 'Steel Curtain.'"

Steelers win, 27-20.

Buffalo @ San Francisco (+2½)

The Bills beat the visiting Chargers 27-17 as Josh Allen passed for one score and ran for another. Buffalo is now 8-3, a game ahead of the Dolphins in the AFC East.

"This is a game between the two teams for which O.J. Simpson played," Sean McDermott said. "In honor of that, both teams will auction off some O.J. memorabilia at gunpoint prior to kickoff.

"It was a long flight to Santa Clara. If you want to know the actual air time, ask our official 'air time expert' Josh Norman. If it's longer than the amount of time he spent in the air after getting stiff-armed by Derrick Henry, then it's a long flight."

Robbie Gould's 42-yard field goal as time expired gave the 49ers a 23-20 win over the Rams at SoFi Stadium. San Fran is 5-6, last in the NFC West, but still alive in the playoff hunt.

"We're gonna fight until the end," Kyle Shanahan said. "Why? Because Kyle Shanahan-coached teams know that no matter the deficit, it's not over."

San Francisco wins, 26-21.

Dallas @ Baltimore (-6)

Washington pummeled the Cowboys 41-16 on Thanksgiving, relegating the Cowboys to last place in the NFC East.

"Washington controlled the line of scrimmage on offense and defense," Mike McCarthy said. "At our home, no less. In an ironic twist, the former Redskins displaced us from our own land.

"Now, what kind of coach calls a fake punt on 4th-and-10 from their own 24 yard line, while only down 4 points? Just me, because I know a solid play call when I see one. How do I know it's a solid play call? It lets me know by coming back and biting me in the ass."

The Ravens lost 19-14 to the Steelers on Wednesday night.

"Our strength and conditioning coach really did a number on us," John Harbaugh said. "That number is 19. Interestingly enough, COVID-19 will also do a number on your strength and conditioning.

"It's been a tough month for this team. A COVID outbreak on the heels of a backbreaking losing streak. So, things have to get better. As they say, 'It's all downhill from here.' Unfortunately, it's an all uphill climb to make the playoffs."

Ravens win, 31-21.

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