Week 13 of the NFL season is upon us. With the playoff race finally getting serious, SB Nation's NFL experts are back to make their picks.
This week's Thursday Night Football game has a little more intrigue than it did a month ago. The Detroit Lions (4-7) have enjoyed a little surge, winning three games in a row and salvaging their season when they once looked like frontrunners for the No. 1 draft pick. Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers (7-4) continue to stumble after dropping a Thanksgiving game to the Chicago Bears. The Packers have now lost four of their last five games and fallen back to second place in the NFC North. Our experts favor Green Bay by a 5-3 margin, but it's hardly a comfortable consensus.
The biggest game of Sunday's 1 p.m. slate features the Seattle Seahawks (6-5) taking on the Minnesota Vikings (8-3) at TCF Bank Stadium. The Seahawks are on a roll with four wins in their last five games, and moved over .500 for the first time this year with a thrilling win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Vikings are back in first place after taking care of the Atlanta Falcons, but with the Packers still looming and the Arizona Cardinals taking control of the NFC West, this game could have massive implications on the Wild Card race. The panel slightly favors Seattle, 5-3, to pull off the road win.
Speaking of the Cardinals, they're cruising at 9-2 and get a St. Louis Rams team that has lost four in a row and looks lost on offense. St. Louis' quarterback situation has devolved into a mess, and even Todd Gurley has come back to Earth because opposing defenses have no reason to respect the passing game. Not surprisingly, everyone is unanimously picking the Cardinals.
Other unanimous picks of the week include the Cincinnati Bengals over the Cleveland Browns, the Chicago Bears over the San Francisco 49ers, the Denver Broncos over the San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots over the Philadelphia Eagles.
There's one last unanimous pick on the panel. The Pittsburgh Steelers are projected to knock off the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football. Matt Hasselbeck somehow keeps winning games and is now 4-0 as the Colts' starter, but that streak could come to an end here. Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with a concussion, but he's expected to be cleared in time for this game, and the Colts' 27th-ranked passing defense could have problems slowing down Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton.
The Monday Night Football game is yet another NFC East matchup, as Washington hosts the Dallas Cowboys. Washington is in first place with a 5-6 record, which says everything you need to know about the state of the division. Meanwhile, the Cowboys dropped to 3-8 and lost Tony Romo to yet another collarbone injury, which means yes, we're getting Matt Cassel on primetime just one week after seeing Josh McCown and Matt Schaub in the same spot. We're guessing ESPN will try to negotiate flex scheduling into its next MNF contract.
Here are the complete picks for Week 13 (straight up, not against the spread).
|Week 13||Ryan Van Bibber||Stephen White||Joel Thorman||David Fucillo||Danny Kelly||Matt Ufford||PFT Commenter||OddsShark|
|GB vs DET||GB||GB||GB||GB||DET||DET||GB||DET|
|NYJ vs NYG||NYJ||NYJ||NYG||NYJ||NYJ||NYJ||NYJ||NYJ|
|ARZ vs STL||ARZ||ARZ||ARZ||ARZ||ARZ||ARZ||ARZ||ARZ|
|ATL vs TB||TB||TB||ATL||TB||TB||ATL||TB||TB|
|SEA vs MIN||MIN||MIN||SEA||SEA||SEA||SEA||MIN||SEA|
|HOU vs BUF||BUF||HOU||HOU||HOU||HOU||BUF||BUF||BUF|
|BAL vs MIA||MIA||MIA||BAL||MIA||MIA||MIA||MIA||MIA|
|CIN vs CLE||CIN||CIN||CIN||CIN||CIN||CIN||CIN||CIN|
|JAX vs TEN||JAX||TEN||JAX||TEN||TEN||TEN||JAX||TEN|
|SF vs CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI||CHI|
|DEN vs SD||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN||DEN|
|KC vs OAK||OAK||OAK||KC||OAK||KC||OAK||KC||OAK|
|CAR vs NO||CAR||CAR||CAR||NO||CAR||CAR||CAR||CAR|
|PHI vs NE||NE||NE||NE||NE||NE||NE||NE||NE|
|IND vs PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT||PIT|
|DAL vs WAS||WAS||DAL||WAS||DAL||WAS||WAS||WAS||WAS|
And here are the updated results for the season.
|Ryan Van Bibber||Stephen White||Joel Thorman||David Fucillo||Danny Kelly||Matt Ufford||PFT Commenter||OddsShark|
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