NFL Weekly Predictions: Week 13

Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.

Dallas at New Orleans (+4½)

The Cowboys lost 36-33 to the visiting Raiders in overtime, as 14 penalties for 166 yards contributed heavily to Dallas' downfall.

"Four of those penalties were pass interference calls on Anthony Brown," Mike McCarthy said. "It was basically a race to see who could throw more at Anthony, between the Raiders and the officials. And I think it ended in a tie.

"There's a COVID outbreak among the organization, and I'm the latest to get it. This might be as close to 'contract' talks as I'll get. I won't be on the sideline for the game on Thursday, which is just what the doctor ordered, not only for me, but for the team, as well."

The Saints managed only 190 yards of total offense in a 31-6 blowout loss to the Bills in the Caesars Superdome on Thanksgiving night.

"Trevor Siemian struggled," Sean Payton said. "If you're wondering how to pronounce his last name, it sounds a lot like 'cement,' which is what our offense is stuck in with him at quarterback.

"This is a must win game for us, so we'll probably throw everything we have at the Cowboys. And I'm sure they'll have better luck catching it than our receiving corps."

Saints win, 24-22.

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta (+10½)

Leonard Fournette's 4 touchdowns powered the visiting Bucs to a 38-31 win over the Colts.

"Leonard hasn't run this hard since he found out the Jaguars were releasing him," Bruce Arians said. "Leonard also gave a pretty stirring halftime speech that inspired us to go out in the second half and dominate. There are four-letter words, and then there are 'Four-letter' words. Leonard's good at both.

"But seriously, the person on this team Leornard should be yelling at is Rob Gronkowski, because that guy is blatantly trying to commit insurance fraud."

Bucs win, 28-21.

Arizona @ Chicago (+7½)

The Bears nipped the Lions 16-14 on Thanksgiving at Ford Field, ending a five-game losing streak. Andy Dalton passed for 317 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bears.

"'I guess I've still got it,'" Dalton said, "is probably what Matt Nagy said about his job after the game.

"By winning, we probably saved Nagy's job. So let that be a lesson to everyone: 'unintended consequences are a part of life.'"

Kyler Murray returns to the lineup after missing three games with an ankle injury. In his absence, Colt McCoy led the Cards to a 2-1 record.

"Colt McCoy's name alone suggests he can 'hold the fort down,'" Kliff Kingsbury said. "'Colt McCoy' sounds like a man who was hot stuff back in the 1800s in the Wild West. And I can guarantee you Colt McCoy got a lot of posse back in the day.

"Let me be clear — I have no interest in the head coaching job at the University Of Oklahoma. That's 'zero interest,' which is what you'd be paying for a brand new car should you buy it from 'Better Sooner Than Now Car Sales' in Norman, if I was a paid spokesman for that dealership. But I'm not. Yet."

Arizona wins, 26-17.

L.A. Chargers @ Cincinnati (-3½)

The Chargers fell 28-13 to the Broncos in Denver and are now 6-5, one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West. Justin Herbert passed for 303 yards and 2 touchdowns, but had 2 costly interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.

"It's always tough playing in Denver," Herbert said. "I don't know why that is. Is it the altitude, or the second-hand marijuana smoke? Is it the environs of Mile High Stadium, or the environs of 'Mild High Stadium?'

"I'm just thankful the wind chill won't be -37 Fahrenheit, like it was in the 1981 AFC Championship Game. If I'm gonna freeze my balls off, I want to do it on my own terms, which would be under the guidance of Tom Brady's fitness guru Alex Guerrero. I've heard that 'ETC,' or 'Extreme Testicular Cooling,' can reverse the effects of aging, mostly in rodents."

The Bengals demolished the Steelers 41-10 at Paul Brown Stadium. Joe Mixon rushed for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns to power Cincy to the season sweep over Pittsburgh.

"You 'sweep' with a broom," Joe Burrow said. "You 'bury' with a shovel. Consider the Steelers, and Ben Roethlisberger's arm, dead."

Bengals win, 27-24.

Minnesota @ Detroit (+6½)

The Lions remained winless after another close defeat, this time a 16-14 loss to the Bears on Thanksgiving. Detroit is 0-10-1.

"That's another one we let slip away," Dan Campbell said. "Honestly, we should be 2-8-1, or 3-7-1, or, best-case scenario, 4-6.

"It's been a very trying season. We're all frustrated. I'm very frustrated. I'm so frustrated, that, guess what, I'm about to 'lose' it."

The Vikings gave up 208 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground to the 49ers in a 34-26 loss at Levi's Stadium that seriously damaged Minnesota's playoff aspirations.

"The 49ers ran it right down our throat," Mike Zimmer said. "As a deterrent, I'll be referring to my defense by the pseudonym 'Deep Throat.' And if they'd like to watch the film, I have it on VHS.

"But I can't criticize my defense without being equally as critical of the offense. Now, it's easy to blame Kirk Cousins, because he's usually responsible, so I will. Kirk lined up under the right guard, and not the center, on a fourth down at a crucial point in the game. That's when you heard a collective yell of 'It's not like that!'"

Vikings win, 30-24.

NY Giants @ Miami (-2½)

The Giants intercepted Jalen Hurts three times and did just enough on offense to take a 13-7 win.

"It was a big day in Giants history," Joe Judge said. "Michael Strahan's No. 92 jersey was retired. Michael's gap-toothed smile had never shone brighter than when the '9' was placed a good 20 yards from the '2.'

"Daniel Jones had no turnovers, but he only completed 19-of-30 passes. Maybe a change of scenery is what Daniel needs. And what better place than Miami? There's an ocean there; Daniel might finally see a target he can hit."

The Dolphins crushed the visiting Panthers 33-10 at Hard Rock Stadium as Tua Tagovailoa completed 27-of-31 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown, while the Miami defense forced 4 Cam Newton turnovers.

"Newton famously said 'I'm back' a few weeks ago," Brian Flores said. "He didn't fully confirm that until he played us, though.

"As for Tua, I thought he looked like the best quarterback in the history of the NFL. Sure, that sounds like the ultimate in hyperbole, but keep in mind, I say that only in comparison to Cam Newton.

"We've won four games in a row, and if not for that seven-game losing streak, we'd be right in the hunt in the playoff race. Seven-game losing streaks have a habit of doing that."

Miami wins, 24-13.

Philadelphia @ NY Jets (+7½)

Jalen Hurts threw 3 interceptions as the Eagles lost 13-7 to the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

"If I had to give Jalen a letter grade," Nick Sirianni said, "believe it or not, it would be a 'passing' grade....of D+. There's no way I'm benching Jalen, but when the time comes and he has to be replaced, we can all say 'He had a good run' and actually mean it."

The Jets ended a three-game skid with a gritty 21-14 win over the Texans in Houston. Zach Wilson made his return from a knee sprain and had a rushing score for the Jets.

"I think Zach returned at just the right time," Robert Saleh said. "It was important we didn't bring him back too early. And speaking of too early, when did we draft Zach?

"Zach still has work to do to improve, and basic fundamentals are a big part of that. Like, when you throw a pass, you ideally want to hit your receiver on the numbers, on the front of the jersey."

Eagles win, 27-22.

Indianapolis @ Houston (+8½)

The Colts failed to protect a 24-14 halftime lead and eventually lost 38-31 to the visiting Bucs. Indy fell to 6-6, two games behind the Titans in the AFC South.

"We had five turnovers," Frank Reich said, "which is five too many. On the bright side, Carson Wentz was only responsible for three of those. That's why I hesitate to give Carson 'more responsibility.'"

The Jets beat the Texans 21-14 in Houston as New York's rush attack controlled the game. Houston took a 14-3 early in the second quarter, but did very little the rest of the way.

"We got off to a great start," David Culley said, "but couldn't finish. It's a common problem faced by men like me. By 'men like me,' I mean NFL head coaches of teams with limited talent, questionable management, and a franchise quarterback with a mountain of legal problems."

Colts win, 32-19.

Washington @ Las Vegas (-2½)

The Raiders beat the Cowboys 36-33 in overtime at AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving. Derek Carr passed for 373 yards and a touchdown as Vegas snapped a three-game losing streak.

"We knew we could attack the Cowboys through the air," Carr said. "And so could the officials, with their flags.

"Jon Gruden once told me, 'Never take your arm out of the game.' Jon's told me lots of things, but that's the only one I cared to listen to. Jon has some unique observations, and I suppose it's up to the listener to extract the useful information, while ignoring the remaining observations, which usually consist of Jon's views on race, gender, sexuality, and how Roger Goodell relates to all of those."

Washington beat the visiting Seahawks 17-15 on Monday night at FedEx Field. Washington has won three in a row, and currently holds the final playoff spot in the NFC.

"I've got two words for you," Taylor Heinicke said, "and that's 'we do?'

"If the seeds hold, we'd face the Packers at Lambeau Field in the wild card round. And I'd get to play where my boyhood idol Brett Favre played. He's why I wear the No. 4. I've tried to model myself after Favre, at least in an on-the-field capacity. Off the field? Not so much. But if I ever want to become a pain-killer addicted, Welfare-scamming, penis-exposing half-wit, I know exactly who to emulate."

Raiders win, 31-24.

Jacksonville @ L.A. Rams (-12½)

The Falcons beat Jacksonville 21-14, sending the Jaguars to their third consecutive loss.

"I think it's time to 'regroup,'" Urban Meyer said. "In my personal 'Urban Dictionary,' 'regroup' is the word I use when I'm considering a new job. But I'm committed to this team, which is a phrase I often use with absolutely no hint of sincerity.

"It's really cool to see our quarterback Trevor Lawrence in Subway advertisements. It's be cool if I was a Subway spokesperson, then the words 'six inches' and 'footlong' could be more than just pick-up lines I use as warm-ups before I whip out the 'Do you know who I am?' line."

The Rams lost 36-28 in Green Bay, suffering their third straight loss. Matthew Stafford struggled again, and threw a pick-six for the third straight game.

"It may look bleak," Sean McVay said, "but it's not the time to panic. Why? Because we don't have any more picks we can trade to acquire a player we think can take us to the next level.

"It's imperative that we remain confident. 'Self-doubt' is a word that's not in my vocabulary. If it was, then the words 'Maybe Jared Goff wasn't the problem' would also be in my vocabulary."

Rams win, 34-14.

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (+3½)

The Steelers lost 41-10 to the Bengals in Cincinnati as Cincy jumped out to a 31-3 lead at the half and never looked back.

"That was unacceptable," Mike Tomlin said. "Luckily, we were already conditioned to accept the unacceptable, because we could only tie the Lions earlier this season."

The Ravens beat the visiting Browns 16-10 in a sloppy game at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore survived despite 4 Lamar Jackson interceptions, thanks to a defense that held Cleveland to just 40 yards rushing.

"I know I have to work on my accuracy," Jackson said. "But I'm 'aiming' to be better.

"When the Steelers and Ravens meet, you might as well throw out the records. But don't ask Ben Roethlisberger to do it — he can't throw anything."

Steelers win, 23-22.

San Francisco @ Seattle (+2½)

The Seahawks lost 17-15 at Washington on Monday night. It was Seattle's third consecutive loss and all but eliminated them from playoff contention.

"Russell Wilson looked better," Pete Carroll, "but he did miss several throws. But I have no doubt Russ will get it all together. No one's worked harder than Russell since his return, except our punter.

"Does Russell want out of Seattle? I don't think there's anything I can tell him that would convince him to stay, short of announcing my retirement. In short, I guess we have to 'Let Russ Book.'"

The 49ers beat the visiting Vikings 34-26 for their third consecutive win. San Fran rushed for 208 yards, and Deebo Samuel posted 2 rushing scores.

"I don't care what defense we're facing," Kyle Shanahan said. "We're gonna line up and run the ball right at you, or my quarterback's not Jimmy Garappolo. Sorry. Wishful thinking there."

San Francisco wins, 27-20.

Denver @ Kansas City (-9½)

The Chiefs had a Week 12 bye and lead the AFC West with a 7-4 record.

"We're in the driver's seat in the division," Andy Reid said. "And Patrick Mahomes is head of the steering committee. Travis Kelce is in charge of human resources. And Tyreek Hill is not in charge of child care.

"We feel like we've cleaned up the defensive issues that plagued us earlier in the year. It's amazing that once you get your 'D' together, how quickly you get your 'S' together."

The Broncos whipped the visiting Chargers, 28-13, led by a strong running game and a defense that had two big interceptions, one that was returned 70 yards for a TD by Patrick Surtain II.

"Patrick is a second generation superstar," Vic Fangio said. "His father, Patrick Surtain, terrorized quarterbacks as a member of the Miami Dolphins. If you were ranking the fathers of the best cornerbacks in the league, Patrick Surtain would be classified as No. 1 'seed.'

"We've recently signed both Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick to contract extensions. Please spread that news far, wide, and in the direction of Aaron Rodgers."

Chiefs win, 29-17.

New England @ Buffalo (-3½)

The Bills spanked the Saints 31-6 on Thanksgiving night as Josh Allen passed for 260 yards and 4 touchdowns.

"I verified that the New Orleans defense is indeed comprised of Saints," Allen said, "because my right arm 'cannon-ized' them.

"This game with the Pats will be a real slugfest. I can only imagine the carnage that will be witnessed on Monday. And that's just in the parking lot at Highmark Stadium before the game. There's no telling what the Bills Mafia will put through a folding table before the game. I just hope to hell one of them is that guy who plays 'your cousin from Boston.'"

The Patriots overpowered the Titans in a 36-13 win at Gillette Stadium. Mac Jones tossed 2 TD passes, and the New England defense forced 4 turnovers.

"Mac is playing great," Bill Belichick said. "All we ask of him is to play smart and stick to the game plan. Heck, I wouldn't ask Mac to do anything I myself wouldn't do. And honestly, I feel like I can make most of the throws he does.

"This is a game featuring two teams that could very well represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. And this is a game featuring only one team that could very well win the Super Bowl."

Bills win, 24-15.

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