The NFL has turned into a league ripe for upsets. It is a parity-driven climate, and with teams so close in talent, any game can quickly turn into an upset. This week will be no exception.
There will undoubtedly be an outcome or two this week that would be nearly impossible to foresee. In the three games I've highlighted below, however, the wrong team is definitely favored.
Check out all of my winners for the week, and then I'll point out the three teams I feel have the best chance of pulling off an upset.
|Langford's Week 13 Picks|
|Away Team||Home Team||Spread||Predicted Winner|
|Tennessee Titans||Indianapolis Colts||IND -4||Colts|
|Denver Broncos||Kansas City Chiefs||DEN -3.5||Broncos|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Cleveland Browns||CLE -7||Browns|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Carolina Panthers||CAR -8||Panthers|
|Chicago Bears||Minnesota Vikings||MIN -1||Bears|
|Arizona Cardinals||Philadelphia Eagles||PHI -3.5||Cardinals|
|Miami Dolphins||New York Jets||NYJ -1.5||Dolphins|
|Atlanta Falcons||Buffalo Bills||BUF -3.5||Bills|
|St. Louis Rams||San Francisco 49ers||SF -9.5||49ers|
|New England Patriots||Houston Texans||NE -5.5||Patriots|
|Cincinnati Bengals||San Diego Chargers||SD -1.5||Bengals|
|New York Giants||Washington Redskins||WAS -1.5||Giants|
|New Orleans Saints||Seattle Seahawks||SEA -5||Seahawks|
No. 3: Miami Dolphins
Opponent: at New York Jets
I hesitate to pick against the New York Jets because at 5-6 this team already has more wins than I thought they'd get all season.
That said, in the last two games, the Jets have resembled the team I thought they'd be all along.
The Jets have made solid strides on defense this year, and they are the NFL's best against the run. However, the offense remains a serious liability.
Rookie quarterback Geno Smith has not thrown a touchdown in his last four games. In his last two, he's combined to throw five interceptions. That almost equals a third of his 17 completions in the last two weeks.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins have been playing sound football. They are 2-2 in their last four in a stretch that includes solid wins over the San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals and a close loss to the Carolina Panthers last week.
What really gets me leaning toward this pick is that the Dolphins don't rely on the run game to score points. With the Jets' fierce run defense, they can be extremely dangerous against teams that rely on the run.
The Dolphins are 30th in the NFL with 33.8 percent of their plays being rushing plays.
Also, with the speedy Mike Wallace and strong-armed Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins will be able to exploit the Jets' inability to stop the long pass.
No. 2: Chicago Bears
Opponent: at Minnesota Vikings
The two-win Vikings earned a tie with the Green Bay Packers last week, and all of a sudden this makes them good enough to be a one-point favorite over the 6-5 Bears? I'm not buying that for a second.
To be fair, there is more going into this spread than last week's tie. The Bears beat the Vikings by just one in Week 2, and that was in Chicago. Also, at 4.9 yards allowed per carry, the Bears are 31st in the NFL. That is not a good area in which to be struggling against a team that features Adrian Peterson in the backfield.
Still, the Vikings have been awful this season, despite Peterson's presence, for a plethora of reasons. Most notably, those reasons come in the passing game. The Vikings struggle to move the ball through the air or stop other teams from throwing.
Josh McCown has done a wonderful job filling in for injured Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. He's thrown seven touchdowns against one interception this year and is hitting for an average of 7.47 yards per pass. That is actually better than Chicago's season average of 7.1 yards per pass, which ranks it eighth in the NFL.
With the Vikings featuring a defense that is 29th in passing yards allowed per game, 26th in completion percentage allowed and 21st in yards allowed per pass, the Bears will find few problems moving the ball.
This will be more than the rushing of Adrian Peterson can keep up with.
No. 1: New York Giants
Opponent: at Washington Redskins
I don't understand how the Redskins are favored against anyone this week. This franchise is a mess.
The Redskins have dropped three straight, and the offense is getting worse. Last week, against the 49ers, Washington mustered just six points.
During all of this, there have been fair reasons for the public to question the chemistry of this team. The biggest evidence of a potential rift in the locker room can be found here:
And all of these struggles have gone on with a defense that has been awful all year. Washington is 28th in yards allowed per game and 31st in points allowed per game.
As for the Giants, New York is coming off a painful 24-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, but this surging team had won four straight prior to that.
With Andre Brown giving the Giants a legitimate running game and some offensive balance, New York will not find it difficult to score. Also, the Giants are seventh in the NFL in rush defense, and if they can slow down the Redskins' No. 1 rushing attack, the Redskins will be doomed.
In other words, the Redskins are doomed.
Team's season stats and rankings via TeamRankings.com.