NFL Picks Week 13: Contenders That Will Be Upset by Underdogs

Ryan DavenportContributor INovember 30, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 22:   Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins throws the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during a Thanksgiving Day game at Cowboys Stadium on November 22, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's that time of year again. 

With the 2013 NFL season now in Week 13, a handful of teams have emerged as legitimate Super Bowl favorites, with many more frantically trying to climb into contention. 

For the 10 teams with records of 7-4 or better, they've put themselves in prime position to cruise into the postseason. But that doesn't mean they can take their opponents, who, at least on paper, would appear to be inferior, too lightly. 

With that in mind, here are some of the games that will feature underdogs knocking off heavily favored opponents.  


New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Heading into Sunday's game, the Patriots have been on fire as of late. They've reeled off five consecutive victories, and their latest, a 49-19 win over the Jets on Thanksgiving, was arguably their most impressive yet. 

In Week 13, Tom Brady and company will take on a Dolphins team that has been among the league's most inconsistent. But at home, Miami is 3-2, and the Dolphins will add to that with a win on Sunday.

Led by strong performances from quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the backfield tandem of Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas, the Dolphins pulled off an upset over Seattle last week. 

Though the outcome of the game won't hurt New England's chances at winning the division in the slightest, the Dolphins will earn a feel-good victory at home over the Patriots in Week 13. 

Prediction: Miami 24, New England 20 


Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions

The 2012 season has been a disappointing one for the Detroit Lions thus far, as many expected the team to build on last season's surprising postseason appearance.

But that hasn't happened so far. And despite owning the league's most potent passing attack, the 4-7 Lions enter Sunday's game with three consecutive losses hanging over them.

At the other end of the field, the Colts have been one of the league's most pleasant surprises. Rookie play-caller Andrew Luck has led Indy to a 7-4 record and has Colts fans dreaming of a postseason berth.

On Sunday, though, Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the Lions offense will carry the team to victory over the Colts' 19th-ranked pass defense, especially if the game turns into a shootout. 

Prediction: Detroit 35, Indianapolis 27  


New York Giants at Washington Redskins

The last time these two teams met, the Redskins and Giants put on a show, as New York came away with a victory on a Victor Cruz touchdown with 1:13 remaining in the game. 

Since then, the Redskins have improved, entering their Week 13 tilt on a two-game winning streak. Meanwhile, the Giants have dropped two of their last three. 

On Monday night, the 5-6 Redskins—led by rookies Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and the league's best ground attack—will notch their third straight victory over an NFC East rival. 

No, Griffin won't throw for four touchdowns for the third consecutive game, but he'll have more of an impact on the run. And the Redskins will continue their late-season surge in hopes of securing a wild-card berth. 

Prediction: Washington 31, New York 23