With Week 13 of the 2012 NFL regular season already upon us, it’s time to predict which of the home teams this week will be trounced on their own fields by the visiting opposition.
There are several excellent matchups in Week 13, but there are only three clear home teams that don’t stand a chance at victory Sunday: St. Louis, Miami and Kansas City.
Each of these home teams would love to turn their seasons around starting this week, but tough opponents will ruin all chances of making a statement in front of the home crowds.
If you root for one of these teams destined to lose, you may just want to stay home Sunday.
St. Louis Rams
San Francisco at St. Louis
While the St. Louis Rams played amazing during their Week 10 tie against the San Francisco 49ers, Week 13 is a different animal all together. With second-year QB Colin Kaepernick now under center full-time, the Rams will have to respect the young star’s legs as much as his arm.
The Rams are in the middle of the pack defensively against the run and the pass (14th and 15th in the league, respectively), and the red-hot 49ers will exploit every opportunity they’re given Sunday.
With Kaepernick playing as a true dual-threat QB instead of being game manager like Alex Smith, the entire 49ers’ offense is able to play at a higher level.
Add in the return of San Fran’s stingy defense, and St. Louis is in serious trouble at home.
Prediction: San Francisco 37, St. Louis 24
New England at Miami
As solid as the Miami Dolphins have been this season—rushing the ball well and stopping the rush even better—they will be no match for AFC East foes the New England Patriots, even if the Buffalo Wild Wings sprinklers try to trip up Tom Brady this week.
Miami has been brutal against the run this season—ranking seventh in the NFL so far, allowing just 96.7 yards per game—but have been absolutely atrocious against the pass, ranking 26th and allowing 261.7 yards per game.
Somewhere, Tom Brady and the Patriots’ passing attack smiles.
While the Dolphins will have plenty of opportunities against the porous New England defensive unit, the Brady-led Patriots’ air assault averages 292.1 yards per game and will destroy Miami Sunday in its own building.
Prediction: New England 40, Miami 13
Kansas City Chiefs
Carolina at Kansas City
The Kansas City Chiefs (1-10) are flat-out awful this season, and while the Carolina Panthers (3-8) haven’t been much better, they are still light years ahead of the anarchy that is an offensive unit in Kansas City.
As if the poor Chiefs fans needed something else to be sad about, the Panthers will destroy the home team in front of its own crowd. That’s adding salt to the wound.
Coming off a huge win over the Philadelphia Eagles where quarterback Cam Newton started to get his swagger back—four total touchdowns will do that for a young QB in a sophomore slump—the 24th-ranked rush defense of the Chiefs will be exploited all day.
Once Kansas City is sold on the run, Newton will take the lid off the defense and find Steve Smith down the field for a huge game. Expect that formula to be used over and over again Sunday en route to a one-sided beat down.
Prediction: Carolina 31, Kansas City 10
Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NFL page to get your fill of all things football.