NFL Week 13 picks: Steelers blow out Giants, Falcons crush Chiefs
Wondering which teams will win in Week 13? You've come to the right place to find out
If you're reading this, that means you survived Black Friday, which is good news because I almost didn't.
Since there was no NFL football to watch on Friday, I decided that going to Target would be the best use of my time, and let me tell you: I was wrong. There were 5,000 people there, and that was just in the electronics section. All I wanted to do was buy a tiny Nintendo, but they didn't have any, so I ended up buying some Milk Duds because I didn't want my trip to be a complete waste. I don't even like Milk Duds.
This would be the perfect time to go on a four-paragraph rant about how much I dislike Milk Duds, but I'm not going to do that because I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who like Milk Duds and I don't want to offend you. My early resolution for 2017 is to offend less people.
That being said, I'm still going to pick against the Browns every week, so Browns fans, you can continue to be offended. As a matter of fact, let's add Bengals fans to that group because I don't think I'm ever going to pick them to win again either, especially after what happened in November: Both teams went winless.
That's right, the entire state of Ohio went through November without winning a single NFL game. The state is basically a black hole of NFL talent. The last time any team in Ohio won a game was in Week 7 and the only reason that happened is because Cleveland and Cincinnati played each other (the Bengals won 31-17).
This is pretty much every NFL fan in Ohio right now.
The only team worse than the Bengals and Browns? My fantasy team.
I wasn't going to bring up my team this week, but my sister said I had to. If you read last week, I really rubbed it in her face after I handed her the beatdown of the year in an 83-point fantasy win. As it turns out, I definitely didn't get the last laugh. Karma punched me in the face and then kneed me in the crotch this week because my brother beat me 124-52. I lost by 72 points.
Also, my sister would like everyone to know that we're both 4-8 on the season, and are equally horrible managers.
The good news for you guys is that I'm going to miss the fantasy playoffs so you never have to hear about my team again. The other good news is that I'm finally going to stop talking about fantasy football (and Milk Duds) so we can get to the Week 13 picks.
Actually, before we get to the picks, here's your weekly reminder that you can check out the picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here. The reason you should click over and check out the other experts this week is because our fantasy expert Dave Richard almost ran the table with his picks against the spread. In Week 12, Richard went an amazing 14-1-1 with his ATS picks.
I've spent the past 24 hours on the phone with him trying to see if he'll move to Vegas with me, but apparently, his family doesn't want him to. I don't get it. Why wouldn't he want to move to Vegas with me? If I went 14-1-1 against the spread, I would rent a room at the Bellagio and live there for the rest of my life. I would also probably buy a lifetime supply of Milk Duds.
Let's get to the picks.
NFL Week 13 Picks
Kansas City (8-3) at Atlanta (7-4), 1 p.m. ET (CBS): If I've learned one thing about the Falcons this year, it's that they have so many weapons on offense that it's almost frightening to watch. Julio Jones only went for 35 yards in Week 12, but the Falcons still won because Matt Ryan had 17 other weapons at his disposal. Ryan has so many weapons to work with that he's basically the Rambo of NFL quarterbacks.
For instance, in Atlanta's 38-19 win over Arizona on Sunday, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and Taylor Gabriel scored five touchdowns against the Cardinals. If Atlanta can do that to a Cardinals defense that was ranked No. 1 in the NFL, I'm almost afraid to see what it's going to do against Kansas City. I know Justin Houston is back for the Chiefs, but he can't tackle everyone. At least, I don't think he can, but I'm not 100 percent sure because it definitely looked like he tackled everyone against the Broncos.
If Houston has 41 tackles against Atlanta, then the Chiefs win. If not, then the Falcons win. And no matter what, we all win if they make another Rambo sequel.
The pick: Falcons 31-20 over Chiefs
Detroit (7-4) at New Orleans (5-6), 1 p.m. ET (Fox): If the Lions' first 11 games of the season are any indication, then you don't even need to bother to turn this game on until the fourth quarter Sunday. For real, if you live in Detroit, go run some errands, do some Christmas shopping, or just hang out in your hot tub (someone in Detroit actually brings a hot tub to their tailgate).
Go ahead skip the first three quarters because there's a zero percent chance the Lions will do anything interesting.
Now that I'm thinking about it, you might not even want to watch the fourth quarter, either, Lions fans. Over past three weeks, the Lions defense has gone up against some of the worst offenses in the NFL with two games against Minnesota (rank: 32), one game against Jacksonville (23) and one game against Houston (29), and I think what I'm trying to say is that the Lions defense is going to be in for a shock when they go up against the NFL's top-ranked offense in New Orleans.
Of course, the Saints defense is so bad that they look like they're in shock every game. Basically, what this means is that you should go pick up every Saints and Lions offensive player that you can find in fantasy and start them for this game (unless you have Falcons players, never bench Falcons players).
Anyway, Drew Brees is wearing gold cleats in this game and there's no way he would wear shoes that crazy unless he was 100 percent sure that he was going to win.
The pick: Saints 34-27 over Lions
Miami (7-4) at Baltimore (6-5), 1 p.m. ET (CBS): The most impressive part of the Dolphins' six-game winning streak is that they've managed to keep it alive over the past two weeks even though half their offensive line has been out. Somehow, the Dolphins are winning even though Laremy Tunsil, Branden Albert and Mike Pouncey have all been sidelined with injuries. Winning without those guys would be like me or you going skydiving two weeks in a row without a parachute and somehow living through it both times.
The problem this week for the Dolphins is that their banged-up offensive line will be playing against the No. 2-ranked defense in the NFL. Even worse, the Ravens are No. 1 against the run, which means the Dolphins' favorite offensive strategy of giving the ball to Jay Ajayi a bunch of times probably isn't going to work. Of course, if that's not going to work, then the Dolphins are going to have to give Baltimore a heavy dose of Ryan Tannehill, and let's just say that heavy doses of Tannehill are like heavy doses of any medication, it's never a good idea.
I'm guessing this game will go like most Ravens games: Justin Tucker will score all their points and then Baltimore will ride its defense to a win.
The pick: Ravens 19-16 over Dolphins
N.Y. Giants (8-3) at Pittsburgh (6-5), 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox): If the Giants win this game, they should probably get the AFC North's playoff berth because that would make them a perfect 4-0 against the division this season. Actually, sweeping the AFC North isn't anything to brag about this year as the guy below has so graciously pointed out.
What a division. The Ravens have no offense. The Steelers have no defense. The Bengals have no answers and the Browns have no clue.— Jeff Ruby (@TheRealJeffRuby) November 28, 2016
I kind of agree with about 70 percent of that.
Anyway, this is my favorite game of the week because I get to bring up the fact that the Giants almost drafted Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. After the Chargers selected Eli Manning with the top overall pick, the Giants were going to take Big Ben if they couldn't swing a deal with San Diego to land Manning.
I swear, this is all true.
Someone really needs to write a book about that draft. It won't be me because I'm writing this and that's all the writing I can handle this week.
By the way, since I brought up the draft, I think that means I'm morally obligated to pick Roethlisberger's team to win Sunday since we went to the same college. Unlike Roethlisberger, I did not make the notable alumni list.
Notable alumni of Miami (Ohio): John Harbaugh, Paul Brown, Bo Schembechler, Ben Roethlisberger and the 23rd US President Benjamin Harrison.— Dillon Davis (@DillonDavis) March 10, 2012
That shouldn't be a hard list to crack. Maybe next year.
As for the actual game, the Giants have played the three worst offenses in football (Cleveland, Minnesota and Los Angeles) and they gave up over 340 yards in each of those games. If the Giants can't stop bad teams, it's going to be almost impossible for them to stop the Steelers offense.
After this game's over, the Giants are going to be wishing they had drafted Roethlisberger in 2004. Just kidding, that's a joke, I'm sure they're more than happy with their two Super Bowl titles.
The pick: Steelers 34-24 over Giants
Sad Browns fan of the week
I'm not sure if Robert Griffin III technically counts as a Browns fan, but we're going to give him the award this week because I'm guessing he was pretty sad after his car got robbed in the players' parking lot during Sunday's Giants-Browns game. That's right, in an ironic twist of fate, RG3's car got the same amount of protection Sunday that RG3 got while he was on the field for the Browns earlier this year, a.k.a., none.
Speaking of criminal acts, I'm 40 percent sure Swagger, the Browns' mascot, wants the two Giants fans below to kidnap him. Look at that face, even Swagger is fed up with this winless season.
Generally, it's almost impossible to make a dog sad, but the Browns have somehow managed to do it.
At 0-12, the Browns' season has gotten to the point where watching the Browns' mascot in a pushup contest against an opposing fan is arguably a more exciting thing to do at a Browns game than watching the actual game.
The good news for Browns fans is that they won't have to sit through a loss this week because Cleveland is on a bye. Most NFL fans dread the bye week because it means their favorite team is not playing. In Cleveland, it's a time to celebrate because it means there's no way the Browns can lose. Or can they?
The pick: Bye 13-10 over Browns
Lock of the week
Picking against the Browns is usually my lock of the week, but they're not playing this week, so that means we need a new lock for Week 13. Thankfully, the NFL decided to put the perfect game on the schedule: Rams at Patriots.
The last two times that Jeff Fisher coached against Bill Belichick, Belichick's teams won 45-7 and 59-0. If you don't feel like adding that up, that's a combined score of 104-7.
Basically, the chances of a Fisher-coached team beating a Belichick-coached team are about the same as the Jeopardy teen champion winning a street fight against Conor McGregor.
I bet Trebek and that kid in a cage fight vs. McGregor would be more competitive than a Fisher-coached team vs. a Belichick-coached team.
On a somewhat related note, I need to stop watching Jeopardy on my days off.
The picks: Patriots 31-17 over Rams
NFL Week 12 picks: All the rest
Broncos 24-13 over Jaguars
Eagles 20-16 over Bengals
Redskins 20-17 over Cardinals
Chargers 34-31 over Buccaneers
BYES: Browns, Titans
Best pick: Last week I stuck with my proven strategy of picking against Brock Osweiler and it paid off big time. Not only did the Texans lose to the Chargers, but Osweiler imploded and threw three interceptions. Of course, I'm pretty sure that no one in Houston was surprised by Osweiler's performance because based on what I've seen from Texans fans on Twitter, they've already come to terms with the fact that their quarterback is going down and he's taking Houston's 2016 season with him.
Brock Osweiler is horrible— Paige (@Wes__WV) November 27, 2016
Brock osweiler approaching JaMarcus Russell territory. Horrible!— chuks O (@IOChuks) November 27, 2016
Don't worry Texans fans, he's only signed for three more years, which is actually good news for me because that means three more years of picking against him.
Worst pick: I missed four picks last week and I blame all of them on science. First, I picked the Broncos, and let me just say that there's no way a football should be able to bounce off a field goal post at a right angle.
That bounce off the upright defies everything I know about physics. However, since I actually know nothing about physics, I went straight to Bill Nye's Twitter account hoping that he could explain what happened, but he was too busy tweeting out Thanksgiving photos of him and Neil Degrasse Tyson, so he didn't answer.
Thanks for nothing, guys. I hope that turkey was horrible.
Amazingly, that field goal wasn't even the most shocking scientific development of Week 12. That honor belongs to the Packers, who apparently have a tiny tent on their sideline that Aaron Rodgers can use whenever he needs to regenerate a body part.
Pay no attention to the man in the MYSTERY TENT pic.twitter.com/kMUIdwqoKk— Deadspin (@Deadspin) November 29, 2016
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
The Packers are using Westworld science in their tiny tent to grow new body parts for Rodgers and it's not fair. If I had known the Packers were going to have a tiny tent that regenerates body parts on their sideline, there's no way I would've picked the Eagles.
Finally, our last scientific mystery of Week 12 is "How is Russell Wilson still alive" because after the beating he took against the Bucs, he probably shouldn't be. If I had known the Seahawks offensive line wasn't going to block at all against Tampa Bay, I wouldn't have picked Seattle. Of course, the joke's on me because they almost never block in any game.
I also picked the Vikings over the Lions, but I'm not going to blame science for that one, I'm only going to blame myself. I almost didn't celebrate Thanksgiving last week after realizing that I picked Sam Bradford to win a game that actually mattered. He never wins those.
Let's end with a shout out to Torrey Smith because autographing a baby is the fastest way to getting a shout out here.
Straight up in Week 12: 12-4
SU overall: 100-75-2
Against the spread in Week 12: 8-7-1
ATS overall: 81-87-9
You can find John Breech on Facebook or Twitter and if he's not doing one of those things, he's probably eating Milk Duds.
These prospects aren't first-round locks now but could be in for a rise after the Senior B...
Newman was the oldest defensive player in the league to get regular snaps this season
Some Midwest companies seem to think that no Vikings fans will make it out of Philadelphia...
Mike Tierney has owned NFL totals and has a strong pick for the NFC Championship Game
Jackson was upset Pittsburgh players were looking ahead to a Patriots rematch
The bulletin board material is piling up for Sunday's AFC Championship game