For the first time since Week 3, all 32 teams will be in action this weekend, meaning that there will be a matchup for every NFL fan to enjoy in Week 13.
The loaded slate opens with three games on Thanksgiving, beginning with a Turkey Day tradition: Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions. The fun continues with Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys and concludes on Thursday night with a pivotal rivalry showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.
Sunday will feature a dozen matchups before the epic slate wraps up with a heavyweight clash between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
With action set to kick off on Thanksgiving, here are my picks for every game this holiday weekend.
|Green Bay Packers (+5.5)||Detroit Lions|
|Dallas Cowboys (-8)||Oakland Raiders|
|Baltimore Ravens (-3)||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Jacksonville Jaguars (+7)||Cleveland Browns|
|Indianapolis Colts (-4.5)||Tennessee Titans|
|Chicago Bears (-2.5)||Minnesota Vikings|
|New York Jets (-3)||Miami Dolphins|
|Carolina Panthers (-8.5)||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Arizona Cardinals (+3.5)||Philadelphia Eagles|
|New England Patriots (-7)||Houston Texans|
|Buffalo Bills (-3.5)||Atlanta Falcons|
|San Francisco 49ers (-7.5)||St. Louis Rams|
|Denver Broncos (-3.5)||Kansas City Chiefs|
|San Diego Chargers (+1.5)||Cincinnati Bengals|
|New York Giants (+2.5)||Washington Redskins|
|Seattle Seahawks (-4.5)||New Orleans Saints|
Spread info according to VegasInsider.com
Chicago Bears Over Minnesota Vikings
It's too early to label Week 13's clash with Minnesota a must-win for Chicago, but at the same time, it's certainly difficult to see the Bears winning the NFC North or earning a wild-card berth if they lose to the Vikings and fall to 6-6 this weekend.
Still, Chicago will have a great shot to break through on the road this Sunday.
Although the Bears defense ranks dead last against the run this season, Minnesota's lack of versatility on offense and deficient passing attack will allow Chicago to crowd the box and zero in on Adrian Peterson.
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is 5-6 in his career vs. #Bears, averaging 107.7 rushing yards per game against them.— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) November 25, 2013
Offensively, the Bears should be able to have plenty of success against one of the league's worst defensive units. The Vikings have struggled to defend the run and the pass in 2013 and are among the worst tackling teams in the NFL.
On top of that, Minnesota is one of the worst third-down defenses in the league, allowing opponents to convert 46 percent of the time.
New York Jets Over Miami Dolphins
After suffering brutal back-to-back road losses to Buffalo and Baltimore, the New York Jets will welcome the sight of MetLife Stadium in Week 13.
The Jets are 4-1 at home this season and have beaten New Orleans and the New England Patriots there in their most recent matchups. That doesn't bode well for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. With both teams desperately needing a victory to keep pace in the wild-card race, the slight edge has to go to the more physical team.
Which team is most likely to earn an AFC Wild Card berth?
New York certainly fits the bill. The Jets boast the league's No. 1-ranked rushing defense this season and are rushing for nearly 130 yards per game on offense.
Meanwhile, Miami has dropped six of its last eight and has posed little threat offensively of late, ranking 20th in passing offense and 26th in rushing offense.
It all comes down to turnovers for Geno Smith and Gang Green. When the rookie is able to avoid mistakes, the Jets have fared well and looked like a legitimate contender. But when he struggles and the interceptions start piling up, New York looks about as bad as an NFL team can look.
Watch for Smith and the offense to settle down at home this weekend and let the Jets' powerful front seven lead them to their sixth win of 2013.
New York Giants Over Washington Redskins
While the New York Giants have had their fair share of struggles on the road this season, they're playing at a much higher level than the Washington Redskins coming into Week 13's Sunday night showdown in Landover.
The G-Men had won four straight prior to last week's last-second loss to the Cowboys. Meanwhile, the Redskins have dropped three in a row and have seen Robert Griffin III and the offense regress each of the past three weeks.
Washington struck rock bottom on Monday night, racking up 190 total yards and six points in a blowout loss to San Francisco. But don't expect RG3 and the Redskins offense to turn the corner against a stout Jon Beason-led Giants defense this weekend.
After all, New York is allowing just over 16 points per game since the veteran linebacker joined Big Blue in October.
With Jim Haslett's porous Redskins defense providing little resistance, look for Eli Manning to put up big numbers through the air. The 49ers' Colin Kaepernick was able to torch Washington's secondary to the tune of three touchdowns in Week 12, the most he has thrown since Week 1's win over Green Bay.
Plus, with Andre Brown and Brandon Jacobs providing New York with a dominant two-headed rushing attack, the Redskins defense doesn't stand much of a chance on Sunday.
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