Week 13 NFL Predictions

Michael GlaessnerCorrespondent INovember 29, 2008

How fortunes can change quickly. Lets just ask Plaxico Burress. The man that caught the winning TD to end the Patriots' run at an undefeated season has seen everything go wrong this year.

First there was an ugly contract dispute. Then there was Burress snoozing in film sessions and getting suspended. When he was on the field, his production suffered, and with a nagging hamstring injury, Burress found himself in a club in downtown Manhattan.

He accidentally shot himself in the hip and will likely miss some time. It's a sad day as we've witnessed the downfall of one of the NFL's promising receivers in the prime of his career.

One can only hope Burress has a speedy recovery. How the Giants deal with his distractions will determine if this team can repeat.

San Francisco at Buffalo

Line: Bills by 6.5

The elements will play a huge role in this game, as it's unlikely that a young Niners' team from the West Coast is able to deal with the howling winds in Buffalo.

The Niner defense is reeling, having given up an average of 28.2 ppg. Buffalo is coming off a 54-point outing against the Chiefs and there's no reason their offense should stall against the Niners. Bills 38, 49ers 24

New Orleans at Tampa Bay

Line: Buccaneers by 4

Until a win in Kansas City, the Saints had yet to break through with a road victory. Tampa, meanwhile, has been much stronger at home than away, and with Carolina's loss putting them back in a first-place tie, the Bucs should capitalize by slowing the Saints' vaunted, record-setting passing attack. Buccaneers 31, Saints 17

Carolina at Green Bay

Line: Packers by 3

I haven't gone against the Panthers all year, but after their disturbingly bad defensive effort against the Falcons, I'm throwing caution to the wind. They looked horrid in winning against the Raiders and Lions, and it finally caught up with him.

The Cardiac Cats may yet rebound, finish 11-5 and win the division, but I can't pick them playing in Green Bay against a desperate Packers' team that, at 5-6, knows it can't afford a home loss, lest they surrender their own division-winning hopes. Packers 30, Panthers 20

New York Giants at Washington

Line: Giants by 3.5

If recent trends are any indication, Burress will handle his problems off the field and the Giants will keep on winning. Even without Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward has proven to be a very talented back, as he showed last week against Arizona.

The Giants are loaded on offense and moving the ball freely. The Redskins, on the other hand, may not have the offensive firepower to keep up with this juggernaut.

If they can't establish the run, take an early lead and sit on the ball, which will be hard to do against the Giants' stifling run defense with an injured Portis anyhow, the Redskins have no chance. Giants 31, Redskins 21

Miami at St. Louis

Line: Dolphins by 8

The Rams' season has gone completely into the tank, with Stephen Jackson perpetually unhealthy and the passing game suffering as a result.

Miami still has a shot at the playoffs and if they have matured as a team from last year, they'll have no problem winning a game they're pretty much supposed to win. Dolphins 28, Rams 13

Baltimore at Cincinnati

Line: Ravens by 7

The Bengals beat the Jags, tied the Eagles, and came within two minutes of covering against Pittsburgh.

They're a fairly safe bet right now, as they appear to have finally adjusted to Fitzpatrick at QB, and their defense is playing about as respectably as it can, keeping the team from being completely blown out. Ravens 21, Bengals 14

Indianapolis at Cleveland

Line: Colts by 5

The Browns' season is in shambles and the Colts have plenty to play for at 7-4 and in the mix for a Wild Card berth.

They should handle Cleveland's abysmal defense with the running game reemerging as the force that carries them when Manning isn't tearing defenses apart.

On a side note, Norv Turner does not deserve a job after spotting Manning 1:30 to drive his team down the field for a game-winning FG instead of draining the clock and going for it on fourth-and-short with his team trailing 20-17. Colts 31, Browns 10

Atlanta at San Diego

Line: Chargers by 5

Continuing on Norv, the fact is, he's a gutless coach. You have LaDainian Tomlinson on fourth-and-short, why not go for it?? If you play for the tie with that kind of talent, you really deserve to lose.

If he can't get his team motivated now, the Chargers' whole season is a lost cause. Chargers 24, Falcons 20

Denver at New York Jets

Line: Jets by 8

The Jets are on a roll, having dismantled the Titans a week after a gut-wrenching victory in Foxboro. They've been running the ball at will and managing games with Brett Favre and should continue to do so against the Broncos.

So why do they struggle to cover? Well, Denver has a great passing attack. The Jets' strength is against the run, and Denver doesn't rely on it very much with the injuries to every RB they've tried to start.

The Jets surrendered 400 yards through the air against Matt Cassel. They could have given up more against the Titans if they hadn't dropped every pass thrown their way.

Denver has enough of a vertical attack to put pressure on the Jets' secondary and keep the game close. Jets 30, Broncos 27

Pittsburgh at New England

Line: Patriots by 1

Matt Cassel has done one thing Tom Brady hasn't: he's thrown for back-to-back 400-yard games. There won't be a third against the Steelers' blitzing defense, but the presence of Moss and Welker should be enough to bail Cassel out when he's under pressure.

Speaking of pressure, Roethlisberger better hope his line can protect him, because if the Pats get pressure on him, he won't be able to exploit the Pats' secondary, especially with all the hits he's taken. Patriots 21, Steelers 17

Kansas City at Oakland

Line: Raiders by 3

The Raiders will have a tough time winning two in a row because, well, it's the Raiders, a team 0-6 against the spread as favorites since 2006. It's not like they get favored by a lot either in those circumstances, as their combined record since the advent of the 2006 season is 9-34. Chiefs 20, Raiders 17

Chicago at Minnesota

Line: Vikings by 3

The Vikings are not the Rams. If Kyle Orton is not 100 percent, he'll still have to pass to beat the Vikings, who are third against the rush. They should have no trouble running the ball as long as Childress puts Frerotte in a position to win by calling a safe gameplan.

I think the Vikings eke out a close win against Chicago and briefly take over first in a race too close to call. Vikings 19, Bears 13

Jacksonville at Houston

Line: Texans by 3

The Texans are finally on Monday Night! Hooray! Too bad they have a losing record, but I'll take them against the blundering Jags, who after their atrocious performance against the Vikings, have basically given up on the season. Texans 38, Jaguars 20

Thanksgiving vs Spread 3-0

Thanksgiving Straight up 3-0

Season vs Spread 98-79-2

Season Straight up 112-66-1


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