NFL Week 13 Predictions: Teams Whose Playoff Hopes Will Be Shattered
As the NFL regular season continues to wind down, there are many teams still in the playoff hunt with hopes of playing past Week 17. But after Week 13, some of those teams will have their playoff hopes shattered.
Let's take a look at some of the teams that fit the bill.
Washington Redskins (vs. New York Giants)
In their first meeting, the New York Giants barely topped the Washington Redskins, 27-23. Since then, the Giants struggled heading into their bye week only to come out last week against the Green Bay Packers looking stronger than ever.
The Giants offense looked impressive against the Packers, and it appears rest was just what the doctor ordered for Eli Manning and his team. New York had everything going for them offensively and are getting hot at the right time.
Defensively, the Giants were able to keep Aaron Rodgers in check as a result of a great pass rush that New York's fans hadn't seen in quite some time. While their secondary might not be great, the pass rush more than makes up for that.
The Redskins will enjoy having Pierre Garcon on the field this time around, so RG3 will have his No. 1 target to throw to. But all that won't matter because the Giants defensive line is playing at the top of its game at the moment, and that will leave little to no time for Griffin III to throw the ball.
If the pass attack can't get off the ground, New York can focus on stopping Alfred Morris and Washington's solid rushing attack. Nothing is worse than a predictable offense against an elite defensive line like the Giants'.
The Redskins might be good against the run, but they are one of the worst teams in the NFL against the pass. Manning should be able to put up a ton of yards against the Redskins secondary, and that will make this a shootout that the Redskins can't win.
With their best hope at making the playoffs reliant on winning the division, another loss to the Giants for the Redskins will put the NFC East almost officially out of reach.
Minnesota Vikings (vs. Green Bay Packers)
Look for the Packers to come out plenty motivated when they take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13. Green Bay just received a beatdown at the hands of the Giants, so don't expect that lackluster play to continue another week.
Minnesota is enjoying a season that can be defined as a pleasant surprise. Adrian Peterson is doing his thing, and Christian Ponder appears to be developing into a nice quarterback for the Vikings. Defensively, Minnesota started off the season as an elite squad, but since then have faded into decent.
Before the game with the Giants, the Packers were finally starting to look like the explosive offense they were last season. The only reason that momentum was stopped was because of the Giants' pass rush and nothing more.
Minnesota doesn't have anywhere near the pass rush the Giants have, and that will give Rodgers a ton of time to throw the ball, picking apart the Vikings defense. It's hard to keep this Green Bay offense in check for two weeks in a row, so don't expect that to start now.
Ponder will need to get the Vikings passing attack going, but that isn't likely considering the Vikes are ranked No. 30 in the NFL in that department. Without much credibility to the passing attack and the potential absence of Percy Harvin, Minnesota will have to lean on its rushing attack to get things done.
But that's exactly what the Packers want in this game. Green Bay is currently ranked No. 11 in the NFL against the run, so Peterson will have a tough time gaining yards. With the Vikings offense stuck in neutral, they don't stand a chance in trying to outscore whatever production the Packers put up.
With another loss, the Vikings will be at least two games out of the division lead, and that will be too much for them to make up this late in the season. They will be left as one of many teams trying to make the playoffs as a Wild Card, so chances are slim there also.
Miami Dolphins (vs. New England Patriots)
Don't look now, but the Miami Dolphins are still on the bubble for making the playoffs this season. If only they hadn't lost three games in a row to teams they could've beaten, the Dolphins might be in a great position.
Despite that, the hope is still there, but the Dolphins will have their work cut out for them against the New England Patriots.
The Pats have been scorching hot as of late and are putting up the type of offensive numbers that we've come to expect from Tom Brady and Co. New England has scored 108 points in its last two games and don't figure to slow down against Miami's weak pass defense.
The Dolphins are ranked No. 26 in the NFL against the pass, and that is a nightmare going up against Brady. The Pats will do what they do through the air, all the while opening things up for the rushing attack to make an impact.
Miami simply doesn't have enough to stifle Brady and the Pats, so look for a ton of points to be put up by New England's passing game.
In order to compete, the Dolphins must put some major points on the board to do so. Forcing turnovers against Brady will be tough, so the points will have to be earned on the offensive end. However, the Dolphins don't run or pass the ball particularly well and certainly not on the level that the Pats do.
Unless Miami's offense has a career day on the back of a rookie quarterback, this game has blowout written all over it.
With the division out of reach, Miami will be lost in the fray of fringe playoff teams, most of who will be jumping the Dolphins after another loss.
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