Playoff hopes in the NFL come and go faster than luck at a casino. One week your team pulls off a big win and a playoff spot is all but guaranteed. The next week they drop a bad loss and the season seems to be over.
But all it takes is one win to turn things around, and this week there are a handful of teams that have been struggling and find their season close to its breaking point.
For many of them, they will continue their downward spiral and end up watching the playoffs from home.
However, there are a few teams that will get back in the win column and continue on their march toward the playoffs.
Here are three slumping teams that will get much-needed wins in Week 13:
Three weeks ago, the Colts were sitting at 6-2 after winning five of six and appeared not only a lock for a division title, but even a first-round bye.
Fast-forward a few weeks and Indianapolis has dropped two of its last three games and now host the Tennessee Titans, who can cut the Colts' lead in the division to just one game with a victory.
The Colts have simply not been the same team since losing Reggie Wayne, as noted by Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz.
However, the tide will turn for Indianapolis this week. The Colts have beaten the Titans in nine of their last 10 matchups and haven't lost at home to them since 2006 (aside from a late 2007 game when Peyton Manning and the starters sat out the second half).
Expect the dominance to continue with Andrew Luck having a big day throwing the ball, especially to T.Y. Hilton, who should be able to snag a few deep passes with Titans top safety Michael Griffin suspended.
It won't be easy (it never is with the Colts), but Indianapolis will pick up the victory and be one step closer to locking up the AFC South title.
Prediction: Colts 27, Titans 17
After a 3-0 start, the Dolphins have been the epitome of a team that is going the wrong way, both on the field and off. The off-the-field issues have been well-documented, but on the field, Miami has dropped six of its last eight games.
This won't be any solace to Dolphins fans, but the fact is Miami is not as bad as their recent record would indicate. Aside from one blowout loss in New Orleans, the Dolphins have lost five other games by a combined 22 points.
They've not only been in every game, but they could've come away with the victory in each, and as last week's game against the Panthers showed, maybe should have.
The Dolphins have a multitude of issues, but believe it or not, the talent on this team is still good enough to make the playoffs, especially in a weak AFC.
Whether they will get there is still to be determined, but the Dolphins should take a step in that direction this week when they go on the road against the rival Jets.
Unlike the Dolphins, New York is a team that does not have enough talent to make the playoffs. The Jets have played well enough to win some close games, but when they haven't played at their best, they've gotten destroyed. In their six losses this season, the Jets have been out-scored a combined 175-55, including 56-17 in their last two.
Geno Smith has thrown five interceptions and fumbled twice in his last two games and you can expect that to continue going up against a tough Dolphins defense. While the Jets should keep this game closer than most of their other losses, the Dolphins are the better team and will get the victory.
Prediction: Dolphins 20, Jets 14
Much like the Dolphins, the Chicago Bears are another team that has struggled since a hot start to the season. The Bears opened their season 3-0 but have since dropped five of eight games and two of their last three, including a 42-21 loss to the Rams last week.
They are also just one game out of the final wild-card spot in the NFC, behind both the 49ers and Cardinals, who are 7-4.
Despite being on the road, the Bears will get back in the win column this week, rolling past the 2-8-1 Vikings. While Adrian Peterson should have a big game against a Bears defense that is allowing a league-worst 145.2 yards per game, he is all the Vikings have and shouldn't be able to out-score the high-powered offense of Chicago by himself.
At the helm of the Bears offense is Josh McCown, who hasn't just been serviceable in relief of Jay Cutler, he's been outstanding. In five games (three starts), McCown has thrown for 1,106 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception while completing 65.5 percent of his passes.
Against a Vikings defense that is allowing 282 yards per game through the air (29th in the league) and 119.3 on the ground (24th), the Bears should be able to score at will with McCown throwing to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery or Matt Forte carrying the load in the run game.
Expect the Bears to go into Mall of America Stadium and have a relatively easy time taking care of a bad Vikings team.
Prediction: Bears 37, Vikings 21
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