There is nothing quite like playing at home, especially when things are not going that well on the road.
As is the case with other sports, the NFL features a number of squads that are clearly better in their home stadiums. This has led to a great deal of inconsistent play, but at least you can count on success or failure based on location.
These games should be close, but various factors on and off the field will lead to positive results for the home teams.
New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins
While Geno Smith has shown potential this season, he is clearly a few years away from being an above-average NFL quarterback. The rookie has failed to complete 50 percent of his passes in the last three games, and he has zero touchdowns to go with five interceptions over that stretch.
Like the entire squad, however, he is much better at home. His quarterback rating in Met Life Stadium is 71.1 compared to 53.7 on the road, which has helped the Jets go 4-1 in New Jersey.
The defense has also fared better, allowing only one team to top 20 points.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins have not won a road game since Week 2 and are still shorthanded on the offensive line. The Jets should dominate the line of scrimmage and put Ryan Tannehill under pressure the entire game.
New York should be able to get back into the playoff race with a home win.
Buffalo Bills vs. Atlanta Falcons
This game is not just about the Bills' success at home, but also the Falcons struggles on the road. Not only is Atlanta 0-5 away from the Georgia Dome, but it has allowed an average of 30.4 points in those losses.
Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are healthy coming out of the bye, and they will dominate this 29th-ranked rushing defense. Meanwhile, the young secondary likely has not had to perform in weather this cold, and Buffalo's receivers should run right by them.
On the other side of the ball, Matt Ryan has not been playing well in any stadium. He has thrown nine interceptions during the current five-game losing streak, and veteran receiver Roddy White is not providing much help.
This has put a lot of pressure on the inexperienced Harry Douglas, and the one-dimensional offense has been really easy to stop.
Buffalo will perform well once again at home, and the squad will earn a close win.
Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints
This is the game that everyone will be talking about all week, and rightfully so. Based on what we have seen, these could legitimately be the two best teams in the NFL.
However, the Saints have looked shaky on the road this season. Even with a 3-2 record, it is important to note that the squad barely escaped games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Falcons. If these squads gave New Orleans trouble, it is hard to imagine what it will be like when the Saints face Seattle.
CenturyLink Field has long been considered one of the best home stadiums in the league, but Seattle's recent success at home has still been surprising. The Seahawks have won 13 straight games on their own field, with the last defeat coming in December of 2011 to the San Francisco 49ers.
With an extra week to prepare for the matchup, Pete Carroll will have figured out a way to at least slow down Drew Brees and the Saints offense. He can then let Marshawn Lynch run wild to help secure a big win on Monday night.
|NFL Picks Week 13|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Cleveland Browns||Browns|
|Tennessee Titans||Indianapolis Colts||Colts|
|Chicago Bears||Minnesota Vikings||Bears|
|Miami Dolphins||New York Jets||Jets|
|Arizona Cardinals||Philadelphia Eagles||Eagles|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Carolina Panthers||Panthers|
|New England Patriots||Houston Texans||Patriots|
|Atlanta Falcons||Buffalo Bills||Bills|
|St. Louis Rams||San Francisco 49ers||49ers|
|Denver Broncos||Kansas City Chiefs||Broncos|
|Cincinnati Bengals||San Diego Chargers||Bengals|
|New York Giants||Washington Redskins||Giants|
|New Orleans Saints||Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks|
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