Week 13 is no different than any other week in the NFL season. No team is unbeatable, no matter how good it may look at times. Tailor your NFL picks this week around that idea.
There are already a handful that have playoff-clinching scenarios in place this week. Will those plans be disrupted and delayed for future weeks?
Will there be an upset that delays the inevitable?
Let’s take a look at a couple of those playoff-bound teams that will get it done this week to either clinch a playoff berth or take another big step toward the postseason.
GREEN BAY PACKERS over Minnesota Vikings
The Green Bay Packers need to keep pace with the Chicago Bears and will get it done by holding off the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field in Week 13.
Minnesota got dealt a big blow on Friday when Percy Harvin was designated as doubtful to play, according to an AP report (via ESPN.com). Without Harvin, the Vikings will face a daunting task of moving the ball through the air.
Green Bay’s third-ranked pass rush will cause nightmares for Christian Ponder. The Vikings’ QB has struggled to move the chains on third down and will have nothing but trouble against the swarming Packers’ front.
Adrian Peterson is the X-factor in this game. Green Bay is boasting an improved rush defense that ranks 11th in the NFL (103 yards per game). All Day will get his looks and yards, but he won’t be enough to single-handedly topple the Pack in this pivotal Week 13 game.
HOUSTON TEXANS over Tennessee Titans
The Houston Texans rolled over the Tennessee Titans in Week 4, but Tennessee has turned it around a little bit since. After starting 1-3, the team has won three out of its last seven games.
Chris Johnson has been the team’s biggest improvement. He’s averaging almost five yards per carry and is nearly over the 1,000-yard mark. Despite the Titans getting steamrolled in Week 4, Johnson managed to pile up 141 yards on 25 carries.
That was a great effort, but is it likely he can replicate it this week?
Houston has only allowed one 100-plus-yard rusher this season (Johnson) and just two rushing touchdowns (both in Week 12 against Detroit).
They will tighten things up again this week and clinch a playoff berth on the back of their tough running game and even tougher defense.
BALTIMORE RAVENS over Pittsburgh Steelers
The Baltimore Ravens just beat the Pittsburgh Steelers two weeks ago, albeit narrowly, at Heinz Field. Last week, the Steelers dropped a game in Cleveland to the struggling Browns and will again be without Ben Roethlisberger behind center this week, according to an AP report (via USAToday.com).
That means Charlie Batch will be the starter for the Steelers in Baltimore in Week 13. Batch threw three interceptions and failed to sustain a drive last week against Cleveland.
The Steelers' lone offensive touchdown came on a run play after a pass interference call in the end zone just before halftime. For some reason, the Steelers remained intent on having Batch throw downfield despite the gusting winds.
They’ll likely opt to pound the football this week, but they did also struggle with that as well against Cleveland. Struggle is putting it mildly. Pittsburgh lost five fumbles and failed to establish the running game against a questionable Browns rush defense.