Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) catches in a touchdown against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Chris Owens (20) and free safety Husain Abdullah (39) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Who Dat Dish NFL Pick’em is back with our weekly edition of staff picks! In case you missed it, we had a very special Thanksgiving Day article dedicated to the three respective matchups.
Let’s revisit the standings, which do not include the three games from Thanksgiving (Spoiler alert: I was the only one to go 3-0):
- Barry (@HarahanWhoDat), 120-55-1
- Andrew (@ShootsMcGavin), 118-57-1
- John (@JohnJHendrix), 118-57-1
- Simon (@Daugulis), 116-58-1
- Federico (@FedeFerrari10), 114-61-1
- MacGyver (@SaintsTailgate), 112-63-1
- Ryne (@RHancock19), 107-68-1
- Ian (@IDear_Sports), 104-71-1
We don’t have any teams that have byes for the rest of the season, so we have sixteen matchups to pick from the rest of the way. Here’s how the rest of games (including Thanksgiving) pan out as we visit Week Thirteen picks:
Disclaimer: LOTS of picks against the Saints
Washington (3-8) at Indianapolis (7-4)
Colt McCoy enters to take the reins from RGIII to see if he can replicate some magic for the Redskins. The team has struggled heavily under first year coach Jay Gruden. They have the luxury of traveling to play Andrew Luck and company, which could go south really quickly. The Colts should win, maybe not roll, but they’ll definitely win.
Tennessee (2-9) at Houston (5-6)
There’s not much hope for the Titans, as they’ve dropped four of the last five contests to the Texans. There’s a few things that the Titans can build around for next season, but it’s just not their year by any means. The Texans are trying to stay above water in the AFC playoff race, but quite honestly they won’t be there when it’s all said and done. Ryan Mallett is lost for the season, which brings back Ryan Fitzpatrick to handle duties. The Texans should win with their defense (insert J.J. Watt comments about Zach Mettenberger from last meeting).
Cleveland (7-4) at Buffalo (6-5)
Let’s put it this way, a win will help each of these teams in their quest for a Wild Card, and a loss will do the exact opposite. The Browns are so close to the postseason that they can taste it, but will march into a hostile Ralph Wilson Stadium to knock off a team that is eager to play in front of the home crowd after the recent snow storms. This game certainly has the dynamics of being entertaining, but I think the Browns have proven that they’re not to be taken lightly, and should emerge victorious.
Nov 24, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett (29) is congratulated by quarterback Joe Flacco (5) after his 20-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
San Diego (7-4) at Baltimore (7-4)
This contest has major implications for the final AFC playoff picture. Currently, the Chargers have the sixth seed in the latest playoff standings. Who’s right behind them? The Ravens. Overall, the Ravens have a better chance of making the postseason, despite playing in that really good AFC North division, because the teams are almost identical in records. A loss by the Chargers would hurt their playoff chances tremendously. I believe the Ravens are the better suited team to win this game, and will rely heavily on Justin Forsett. Let me also say that with the rest of the AFC North matchups this week, the Ravens need to win.
New York Giants (3-8) at Jacksonville (1-10)
The Giants haven’t exactly played horrible lately, but they’ve lost six straight contests since starting the season 3-2. Jacksonville is just what the doctor ordered, but for the Giants, it will go down as another season of ‘what could have been’. Let’s see how Odell Beckham Jr. follows up last week’s ridiculous performance. Victor who?
Cincinnati (7-3-1) at Tampa Bay (2-9)
Tampa is technically still alive for the NFC South, but do you honestly think they’ll beat the Bengals this weekend? I guess any given Sunday, but let’s be upfront and honest. No.
Oakland (1-10) at St. Louis (4-7)
In a battle of the lackluster, the Rams host the lowly Raiders. The Rams could be a lot better than their 4-7 record suggests, but without Sam Bradford all season, it’s been a huge rollercoaster. They’ve beat the good teams this season (Seahawks, 49ers, Broncos), which suggests the Raiders could keep charging with the momentum on their side from last week. However, the Rams at home have to be the favorites here.
New Orleans (4-7) at Pittsburgh (7-4)
I’ve picked the Saints in each game this season, but that trend stops now. We can stick to ‘faith’ or ‘belief’, but the facts are the Steelers are a better team, and the Saints defense has given up an exorbitant amount of yards on the ground. Enter another top five rusher, Le’Veon Bell. Coupled with this rushing attack is the potent passing of Ben Roethlisberger. I don’t think this will be pretty, and look for the Saints to be killed again by turnovers and their third down defense.
Carolina (3-7-1) at Minnesota (4-7)
Cam Newton and company have a glorious opportunity to make the NFC South that much more ridiculous with a potential win over the Vikings, but it won’t be easy. The Vikings defense can take notes from past defenses the Panthers have faced, and really cause havoc for Cam Newton. Teddy Bridgewater continues to improve for the Vikings,
Arizona (9-2) at Atlanta (4-7)
It’s the Cardinals game to lose, as the underwhelming NFC South is represented by the Falcons right now, who cling to first place by mere threads. If Brian Hoyer can throw for 322 yards on the Falcons secondary, then I have no reservations about what Drew Stanton can do with Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John Brown. Let’s not forget that the Cardinals defense is playing excellent, and was able to hold Russell Wilson and company at bay for the most part.
Nov 23, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) points during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Packers defeated the Vikings 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
New England (9-2) at Green Bay (8-3)
This will be the best game on Sunday, no ifs, ands, or buts. This could be an early glimpse of what Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona will look like. These two teams are playing their best football right now, and arguably are the best two teams in the NFL right now.
Believe or not, these two teams have only met ten times, with one of those being Super Bowl XXXI. It’s the first time that the Patriots have visited Lambeau since 2006, and the Pats haven’t lost a road game (excluding the Super Bowl) to the Pack since 1988.
Rodgers versus Brady, and it won’t get any better than that. Despite the fiery offense of the Pats and better overall defense, I like the home team to win this contest.
Denver (8-3) at Kansas City (7-4)
The Chiefs desperately need this win. An ‘upset’ of the Broncos would put these two with identical records, and it would split the head to head matchup for the season. However, the Broncos would still control the AFC West due to their division record (3-0) versus the Chiefs division record (1-2). I don’t think the Broncos are ready to walk into Kansas City and lay an egg, especially when they’ve won five in a row over the Chiefs.
Miami (6-5) at New York Jets (2-9)
Don’t look forward to a very exciting Monday Night Football game. I mean, if the Jets performance from last week is any indication of what we can expect, then you may as well just skip this game. Miami needs a win to keep afloat in the AFC playoff picture, and they should win.
Agree or disagree with our picks? Who do you have as a ‘upset of the week’ candidate?