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Prisco's Picks: Week 13

 
 
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WEEK
13
PETE PRISCO
Senior NFL Columnist
Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and can be seen throughout the week on CBS Sports' NFL shows. When he's not watching game tape you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
MATCHUP SCORE ANALYSIS
Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013
 
Detroit
Lions
31
It looks as if Aaron Rodgers won't play for the Packers. That's about it for them, then. Yes, Matt Flynn once had a big game against the Lions, but I don't think he can come close to that here. The Lions have to take care of the ball better. If they do, they will end their two-game losing streak. I say they do. No Rodgers means big trouble for the Packers.
Result: Detroit Lions 40, Green Bay Packers 10
Green Bay
Packers
20
 
 
Dallas
Cowboys
31
The Cowboys are coming off a tough road victory against the Giants. They are tied for the NFC East lead and the defense looked improved against the Giants. Tony Romo will have chances here against the Oakland secondary. I look for big plays from Dez Bryant.
Result: Dallas Cowboys 31, Oakland Raiders 24
Oakland
Raiders
17
 
 
Pittsburgh
Steelers
23
I see this as a playoff game. The loser is almost out. It will be played that way. It will be physical for sure. But I think the difference in this one is the two passing games. Pittsburgh has theirs cranked up, while the Ravens do not. Look for Ben Roethlisberger to hit some shots down the field. Steelers stay hot.
Result: Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Baltimore Ravens 22
Baltimore
Ravens
20
 
Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013
 
Carolina
Panthers
30
The Panthers have to be careful here not to get caught looking ahead to the Saints next week. Tampa Bay has come on with three consecutive victories. Mike Glennon has made strides. But this is a step up in competition. The Panthers will continue their role. Cam Newton wins again.
Result: Carolina Panthers 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
21
 
 
Cleveland
Browns
21
The Jaguars have won two of three since their bye and they are playing hard. The Browns have offensive issues and Brandon Weeden will start at quarterback. That's not good. There also seems to be division between the offense and defense. But Jacksonville is playing two straight road games, and this one is outside the division. I like the Browns in a tight one.
Result: Cleveland Browns 28, Jacksonville Jaguars 32
Jacksonville
Jaguars
17
 
 
Indianapolis
Colts
28
The Colts have lost two of three and a loss here would put the Titans into the division race. Tennessee is playing back-to-back road games, which will factor here. The Colts defense has taken a big drop in play. They turn it around here. It will be close, but the Colts will find a way to pull it out with Andrew Luck coming up big in the fourth quarter.
Result: Indianapolis Colts 22, Tennessee Titans 14
Tennessee
Titans
27
 
 
Chicago
Bears
34
Get ready for a lot of points. These two teams are putrid on defense. The Bears defense was run over by the Rams last week, which means we should expect a big game from Adrian Peterson. Josh McCown has been good throwing it for the Bears, and Minnesota is bad in the secondary. Here comes a shootout.
Result: Chicago Bears 20, Minnesota Vikings 23
Minnesota
Vikings
31
 
 
New York
Jets
17
The Dolphins have struggled on offense, but that's nothing compared to what Geno Smith has done the past few games. He has been horrible. But this game will come down to the Jets' defensive front against that Miami offensive line. That could be ugly. Ryan Tannehill could take a beating. Jets win an ugly one.
Result: NY Jets 3, Miami Dolphins 23
Miami
Dolphins
14
 
 
Arizona
Cardinals
27
The Cardinals are 7-4 and in the thick of the wild-card race. The Eagles are tied for the division lead. How big is this game? Who thought it would be? Carson Palmer has been hot lately, but the Eagles defense is improving. Nick Foles has played well, but will face a good Arizona defense. I think the veteran quarterback will be the one who gets it done here. Upset special.
Result: Arizona Cardinals 21, Philadelphia Eagles 24
Philadelphia
Eagles
23
 
 
New England
Patriots
34
The Texans have lost nine straight and are reeling. The Patriots are coming off a tough victory against Denver. I think there will be some carryover from that, but after a slow start they will get it going. The Texans aren't very good right now. Hard to believe these two met in the playoffs last season. Blowout.
Result: New England Patriots 34, Houston Texans 31
Houston
Texans
20
 
 
Atlanta
Falcons
27
(In Toronto) The Falcons are playing out the string, while the Bills are barely alive. The Falcons showed some life in losing to the Saints last Thursday. The Bills are coming off a bye. E.J. Manuel looked better in his last start. Can he carry it over? I think Matt Ryan will have a chance at some shots in this one. Falcons take it.
Result: Atlanta Falcons 34, Buffalo Bills 31
Buffalo
Bills
21
 
 
San Francisco
49ers
20
The Rams love playing the 49ers because it gives them a chance to try and play bully. The 49ers have been the bullies in this division. Colin Kaepernick came alive throwing it against the Redskins on Monday night. Can it continue? It will be tough with that St. Louis pass rush. The 49ers will win the game, but it will be tight.
Result: San Francisco 49ers 23, St. Louis Rams 13
St. Louis
Rams
17
 
 
Denver
Broncos
27
The Chiefs come into this rematch hurting on defense. How do they stop Peyton Manning without their pass rushers? That won't be easy. The Chiefs offense had problems winning outside in the first meeting and the Broncos did a decent job on Jamaal Charles. Denver is the better team, no matter where this game is played. Manning gets back on track.
Result: Denver Broncos 35, Kansas City Chiefs 28
Kansas City
Chiefs
14
 
 
Cincinnati
Bengals
24
The Bengals are coming off a bye atop the AFC North. San Diego had a huge victory Sunday against the Chiefs. Philip Rivers got the passing game cranked up. That's tough to do against that Cincinnati front when you have line issues. That's a mismatch for the Bengals. The Bengals do enough on offense and win up front on defense to take home a tough road victory.
Result: Cincinnati Bengals 17, San Diego Chargers 10
San Diego
Chargers
21
 
 
New York
Giants
31
This once looked like it would be a big late-season division game. It is not. The Giants are almost done, and the Redskins are finished. Washington has big problems on defense, which shows up every week. Even though the Giants haven't been as good throwing it this season, the Redskins are the perfect tonic for that.
Result: NY Giants 24, Washington Redskins 17
Washington
Redskins
21
 
Monday, Dec. 2, 2013
 
Seattle
Seahawks
27
This game could ultimately decide who has the top seed in the NFC. The last time the Saints were here, they were upset in the playoffs. Seattle is much better now and this is a long trip. But Seattle has issues in its secondary; that's a problem against Drew Brees. Even so, I like Seattle to overcome that and find a way. Marshawn Lynch has a big game.
Result: Seattle Seahawks 34, New Orleans Saints 7
New Orleans
Saints
24
 
 
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