It's Thanksgiving Week, so you know what that means: Instead of football picks, I'm going to share all of my favorite turkey recipes with you! Actually, that's a lie, I know zero recipes and I can barely make a grilled cheese sandwich, so there's literally no chance I'll be sharing anything like that this week. However, I am going to tell you about the things I'm most thankful for this year. It's a long list and I'll completely understand if you just want to skip through it and go straight to the picks.
First, and foremost, I'm thankful that I drafted Lamar Jackson in fantasy this year. Although, I'll be the first to admit, since my team's name is the Dakstreet Boys, it probably would have made a lot more sense if I would've drafted Dak Prescott. Next year, I'm not naming my team until after the draft.
I'm also thankful for the RedZone Channel, sweet potatoes and the fact that Rob Gronkowski is going to be throwing a beach party at the Super Bowl, although I'm not sure how much fun it's going to be considering that he now apparently dresses like a Ukrainian arms dealer, and please don't ask me how I know what a Ukrainian arms dealer dresses like.
I missed out on the Gronk Party ship experience back in 2015 and I've regretted that every day for the past three years, so I'll definitely have to make up for that by attending the beach party. If I do go, I'll also make sure to document the entire event so I can report back to you guys.
Finally, I'm thankful that the bye weeks are now over, because that means we have a full 16-game slate to pick this week, so I'm going to stop wasting time and get to the picks.
Actually, before we get to the picks, here's a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here. If you click over, you'll notice that Will Brinson went on a roll last week, going 12-2 straight-up. Of course, everyone in the country will probably know about that by the end of the week, because there's a 99 percent chance that Brinson will spend the next five days bragging about his picks record on the Pick Six Podcast, which is our daily NFL podcast here at CBSSports.com that he hosts. Brinson loves to brag, and there's nothing he loves to brag about more than his picks.
For three days each week (Monday, Tuesday and Friday), I join Brinson on the podcast to talk football and anything else we can think of. On Tuesday's episode, which you can listen to below, we spent 20 solid minutes trying to figure out if any team is going to be able to stop the Ravens. As the podcast's resident Bengals homer, I also made sure we spent five minutes talking about the unbenching of Andy Dalton.
Even though I'm only on three days per week, there's a new Pick Six episode every single day from Monday thru Friday and you should try to listen as often as possible. (You can click here to check out the podcast and subscribe).
By the way, I was going to spend this entire picks column talking about the return of Dalton, but I thought that might be overkill. Alright, let's get to the picks, where I promise not to mention Dalton a single time.
NFL Week 13 picks
Buffalo (8-3) at Dallas (6-5)
Thanksgiving Day, 4:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Cowboys, -7
Jason Garrett should probably be thankful that he doesn't have a Twitter account, because right now, he might be the least popular person in the history of that website. If Cowboys fans on Twitter were in charge of Garrett's job status, I'm 99 percent sure he would have been fired before he even walked off the field against the Patriots on Sunday. Actually, after spending the past nine minutes on Twitter, I think I can safely say that I'm 100 percent sure he would've been fired before he even walked off the field against the Patriots on Sunday.
Fire Jason Garrett for the love of god— tino (@Plutino_) November 25, 2019
Fire Jason Garrett, there, I said it.— Mason Voth (@TheRealMasonV) November 25, 2019
The fan below even came up with a succession plan, which clearly proves that he's put some serious thought into this.
HERE’S THE GAME PLAN:— Dallas Nation (@Dallas__Nation) November 24, 2019
- Fire Jason Garrett
- Hire Lincoln Riley as Head Coach
- Hire Tony Romo as OC
WHY NOT 🤷🏽♂️
That guy should probably print that tweet out and mail it to Jerry Jones, because he might actually be on board with that plan.
The problem for the Cowboys this week -- besides the fact that Jason Garrett is still their coach -- is that they have to play a Bills team that's been flying under the radar this season. Not only do the Bills have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but their offense has also been slowly improving every week. As a matter of fact, there's only one quarterback in this game who has produced at least two touchdowns in each of the past seven games he's played in, and it's not Dak Prescott (Side note: Go Dakstreet Boys).
In Dak's past seven games, he's produced 14 touchdowns, but he's also thrown seven interceptions. In that same span, Josh Allen has produced 15 touchdowns while throwing just two interceptions, which are numbers I didn't believe until I looked them up, and even after looking them up, I still didn't believe them. When the Bills offense struggles, it's usually because Allen is turning the ball over, but apparently, he's figured that out, because he doesn't really turn the ball over anymore. I mean, let's be honest, Josh Allen probably isn't going "wow" any of us on Thursday with his play, but YOU KNOW WHAT, turkey doesn't "wow" anyone at Thanksgiving, but it's still a key part of the meal.
The Cowboys have yet to beat a team this year that currently has a winning record, and the Bills have a winning record, which leaves me no choice in this game. I'm taking the Bills and if they win, I'm celebrating by eating Buffalo wings instead of turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
The pick: Bills 23-20 over Cowboys
Cleveland (5-6) at Pittsburgh (6-5)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Browns, -2.5
If I fly to Vegas this week, I know I can bet on the point spread in this game, but I'll be honest, the only thing I really want to bet on is how many people get hit over the head with a helmet. The last time we saw these two teams play, Myles Garrett almost put a permanent dent in Mason Rudolph's head after he took the quarterback's helmet off and hit him with it. Thanks to the fallout from that game, Garrett and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey won't be playing on Sunday, because they're both suspended.
One person who didn't get suspended was Rudolph, who basically started the fight, a fact I don't think Browns fans will be forgetting anytime soon.
The fact that Browns fans turned the helmet fight into a pregame tailgating activity is probably the least surprising thing about this entire situation. Also, that woman almost Myles Garretted at least 19 different people with her erratic swinging. If Garrett had swung his helmet like that, he wouldn't have been suspended because he would have missed Rudolph's head by six feet.
Anyway, the big problem with the fight at the end of the game is that it completely overshadowed what actually happened on the field. If you forgot what happened or if you've already repressed your memories of the game, let me give you a quick refresher: The Steelers offense was a disaster and it was lucky to even score one touchdown in the 21-7 loss. I would almost rather be hit over the head with a helmet than be forced to watch the Steelers offense play another game this season. That's how bad things have been for Pittsburgh, and the twist here is that the Browns game wasn't even rock bottom for the Steelers. Rock-bottom came on Sunday when Mason Rudolph got benched against the Bengals. THE BENGALS.
Four interceptions, smashed in the head with a helmet, fined $50K, accused of a racial slur and now pulled against the 0-10 Bengals. It's going to be very difficult for Mason Rudolph to get over these past 10 days.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) November 24, 2019
The Steelers are now turning to Devlin Hodges, who seems to be slightly better than Rudolph, but not much.
Unless I get hit over the head with a helmet at some point this week and change my mind, I'm going with the Browns. Also, on a somewhat related note, I have a request for the NFL, please stop scheduling divisional rematches so close together. I like my divisional games the same way I like my showers, they need to be separated by at least one month to get maximum effect.
The pick: Browns 27-17 over Steelers
San Francisco (10-1) at Baltimore (9-2)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Ravens, -3.5
I think the NFL forgot that these two teams were playing this week, because that's the only way to explain how a game between two of the league's best teams got stuck playing in the early window on Sunday. I haven't seen a bout of forgetfulness like this since the McCalister family flew to France without Kevin in the first "Home Alone" movie.
Although this game might end up being a Super Bowl preview, it's also a dream matchup for anyone who hates the forward pass. In the modern NFL, conventional wisdom says that you need to be able to throw the ball forward to win, but these two teams have both thrown conventional wisdom out the window this year. Not only are the Ravens and 49ers the top two rushing teams in the NFL, but they're also two of the three teams in the league this year that have called more run plays than pass plays (Minnesota is the other), which is something that's pretty rare in today's pass-happy NFL.
The one problem I have with the 49ers in this game is that I'm not sure they're going to be able to stop Lamar Jackson. Although the 49ers are 10-1, they've struggled against mobile quarterbacks. Their only loss came to Russell Wilson, and although they beat the Cardinals twice, they had no answers for Kyler Murray, who absolutely torched the 49ers defense two different times (There have only been two games this season where a quarterback has had a QB rating of 100 or higher against the 49ers and both of those were Kyler Murray. Wilson's rating against the 49ers was 86.9). In those three games, the 49ers went 2-1, but could have easily lost all three.
When you look at the Ravens, not only do they have Jackson, but they have more all-around talent than both the Seahawks and the Cardinals, which is going to make this a tough matchup for the 49ers. This will probably be the game that will convince us to go ahead and give Lamar Jackson the MVP trophy early, but that's only if we didn't all make that decision on Monday night when he threw five touchdown passes against the Rams. Can someone at the league office please make sure that the MVP trophy is in Baltimore next week and can we just give it to him after this game?
The pick: Ravens 27-20 over 49ers
Minnesota (8-3) at Seattle (9-2)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Point spread: Seahawks, -3
If you would have asked me before the season who was going to win this game, I probably would have predicted the Seahawks by 100 because this is a classic Kirk Cousins "can't win it" game: He's playing in primetime, and he's playing a team with a winning record, which are two situations where he almost always loses.
I can't eat tacos with my left hand, Derek Zoolander can't turn left and Cousins can't beat good teams, they're just facts of life. At least, that used to be the case. After months of practicing, I can actually now somewhat eat tacos with my left hand and Cousins is actually beating good teams. For one, he's undefeated in primetime games this year (2-0) with wins over the Redskins and Cowboys. He's also beaten two teams that had a winning record when the Vikings played them (Cowboys and Eagles), which means i don't have to automatically pick against the Vikings anymore when they're playing a tough team.
The Vikings are coming off a bye, which means they should be fully healthy for the first time in weeks. Remember, in their past two games, the Vikings won even though they didn't have one of their top receivers (Adam Thielen). With Thielen back, that should help the Vikings take advantage of a Seahawks defense that ranks 29th in the NFL against the pass. No matter what happens in this game, just make sure you don't turn it off early since pretty much every Seahawks game seems to go down to the wire, something that I'm fully expecting to happen again on Monday night.
The pick: Vikings 30-27 over Seahawks
Lock of the Week
Washington (2-9) at Carolina (5-6)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Panthers, -10
It's not easy to invent a new type of selfie, so before I get to this pick, I'd like to congratulate Dwayne Haskins for successfully pulling that off. If you've been on the internet at all over the past five years, then you've probably seen thousands of selfies and I'm guessing they were all either duck face selfies (Boring), gym selfies (Dumb), or bathroom mirror selfies (Yawn) because those are the only selfies that anyone takes anymore, at least until Haskins came along. The man reinvented the wheel on Sunday by taking the "I'm missing an actual game snap because I'm too busy celebrating a win" selfie, and let me just say that no one is ever going to top that.
I now want to become an NFL quarterback just so that I can some day take that same selfie. However, there is a zero percent chance that will ever happen, so if you need me, I'll just be in the bathroom at my gym taking a duck-faced selfie in front of the mirror.
As for this game, if you have Christian McCaffrey on your fantasy team, congratulations, because you've already won your game this week. McCaffrey has been putting up monstrous numbers all season, but now, he gets to go up against the worst rushing defense in the NFC and there's a very real chance that he's going to score a bajillion points, and don't tell me bajillion isn't a a real number, because it will be after McCaffrey scores that many points on Sunday.
Also, I hope Haskins plans to keep that selfie of him from Sunday's game, because he's going up against the Panthers defense this week, which means that picture might represent the last time he smiles on football field for the foreseeable future.
The pick: Panthers 34-20 over Redskins
Lock of the week record: 11-1 straight up, 4-8 against the spread
NFL Week 13 picks: All the rest
Bears 20-13 over Lions
Saints 27-16 over Falcons
Packers 31-20 over Giants
Jets 27-23 over Bengals
Titans 22-19 over Colts
Eagles 24-17 over Dolphins
Chiefs 34-24 over Raiders
Buccaneers 30-20 over Jaguars
Rams 27-24 over Cardinals
Chargers 19-16 over Broncos
Patriots 31-24 over Texans
Best pick: Last week, Ithe Packers and win by double digits, and guess what happened? The 49ers rolled the Packers and won by double-digits. Although losing by 29 points definitely isn't ideal, I don't think the Packers were actually the biggest losers on Sunday night. Instead, I think that honor definitely goes to this guy.
If packers lose to the 49ers I’ll get aaron Rodgers tattoo on my butt— Aaron Rodgers 12 (@tapia907) November 24, 2019
To he honest, I'm not sure who I feel more sorry for, that guy or the tattoo artist.
Worst pick: As everyone knows, the first rule of making NFL picks is "don't pick the Raiders to win in the eastern time zone," and for some reason, I broke that rule last week. I actually did a lot of things last week that I'm not proud of -- I ate an entire carton of double-stuffed Oreos, I left my wife with an empty gas tank and I think I might have run over a small family of gophers with my car -- but despite all that, the thing I'm least proud of is the fact that I picked the Raiders to beat the Jets. That was inexcusable.
With the Raiders getting set to face the Chiefs in Week 13, their game against the Jets was a classic trap came and I fell in the trap with the Raiders. On the other hand, I'm kind of glad the Jets won, because I think Sam Darnold needed this win more than anyone.
You can't get mono twice, right? I'm not a doctor, I have no idea.
Finally, if you guys have ever wondered if I actually know what I'm doing with these picks, here's what the best and worst individual team picks look like heading into Week 13 (All records listed are straight-up).
Teams I'm 10-1 picking this year: Patriots, Dolphins
Teams I'm 9-2 picking this year: Redskins, Ravens, Bills, Packers, Vikings, Lions (8-2-1)
Team I'm 5-6 picking this year, which is my worst record picking any team: 49ers, Buccaneers, Chargers, Raiders, Texans, Colts
Every other team is somewhere in-between.
Straight up in Week 12: 9-5
SU overall: 114-61-2 (Tied for 11th overall among all media members on Pickwatch)
Against the spread in Week 12: 8-6
ATS overall: 85-89-2 (Not tied for 11th overall)