NFL Week 13 Picks: Home Teams That Will Score Impressive Victories

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 04: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks for a receiver against the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field on November 4, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Cardinals 31-17.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Losing at home isn't an option for contenders at this point in the NFL season.

They don't call it home-field advantage for no reason. The crowds are into it, the players feel it and the coaches work with it as their squads make a playoff push to close the year.

Week 13 will feature several worthwhile games. Home teams will be challenged by talented visitors, forcing them to take their games to another level.

Let's look at three home teams that will score impressive victories in Week 13.


Baltimore Ravens

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ron Cook, Ben Roethlisberger will try to play on Sunday for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but it doesn't seem likely considering the unique nature of his injury.

If he does play, this is a different game. Counting him out is difficult, considering that he's the toughest man in the NFL, but let's say he doesn't play. Without him, Pittsburgh is going to go home with its tail tucked between its legs.

The Ravens are 5-0 at home this year. Joe Flacco is a different player in M&T Bank Stadium. He won't turn in another performance against the Steelers like he did in Week 11, so Pittsburgh better come ready to play.

Losing to the Browns stings if you're the Steelers, but turning the ball over eight times in the process is even worse. This team is reeling without its star quarterback, and Baltimore has quietly put together a four-game winning streak.

Without Big Ben steering the ship, the Ravens roll easily in this one.


Green Bay Packers

Green Bay's 38-10 loss to the New York Giants Sunday night was both shocking and embarrassing. It was hard to see coming, but the Packers' Week 13 win over the Minnesota Vikings isn't.

Minnesota lost to the Bears on Sunday in a rather ugly game. This team doesn't have the weapons to exploit the Packers' so-so defense. Outside of Adrian Peterson, there is no one to attack, and even Peterson will have a difficult time. Green Bay's run defense isn't as bad as some may think, entering Sunday night's game ranked 11th in the league.

Aaron Rodgers is going to come out firing in this one. He only threw for one score against the Giants' flawed pass defense and he's not going to be happy about that. Look for him to play with a chip on his shoulder as he tries to keep his team in the hunt for first place in the NFC North.

The Vikings are an interesting team this year, but there's just not enough to like on offense. Explosive attacks can beat Green Bay, but Minnesota doesn't have that in its favor.

Look for Lambeau Field to play a big role in Green Bay's decisive win.


Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have one loss this season and it came against the New Orleans Saints in Week 10. Lightning doesn't strike the same place twice, and Atlanta won't fall twice either.

Winning ugly isn't easy, but it's not always a bad thing either. Come playoff time, the Falcons will appreciate all those close victories because it will give them the mentality they need to win tight games down the stretch.

New Orleans isn't going to go down easy here, but the Falcons have shown the fortitude that true contenders must show. Drew Brees will still give this team issues, but Matt Ryan will be better this time around against the Saints' below-average defense.

This is the only team that the Falcons haven't proven themselves against this year. Getting this one out of the way will be a relief, and it could make them feel more invincible than they probably already do.

Expect them to get it done in front of their home crowd Thursday night.