Pigskin Pundit’s Picks — Week 13

Written by K. Walker on December 3, 2022

Week 13 has arrived, and we are entering the playoff picture zone. Once again, the league has put its stupidity on public display by complicating simple plays with gibberish interpretations, robbing players who excel of the fruits of their efforts, and determining the outcome of games with bad calls reinforced by that farce of a NY review office. Exhibit A: Patriots vs. Vikings, where a horrible ‘incomplete pass’ call robbed an honest td from Hunter Henry, REVERSING the call on the field. Henry had secured the ball when it broke the plane of the endzone (that’s a td, folks), and it didn’t rotate until contact with the ground, beneath which you could still clearly see his fingers clasping it, and he ultimately pulled it onto his chest. Dez Bryant was right, and the review office of the NFL and mindless rubberstamp officiating toady Gene ‘Senile’ Steratore are complicit in this charade of idiocy. I’m not homering for my Patriots, that was a td catch in ANY receiver’s hand any day. Bryant’s tweet that ‘at least 90% of the people watching know that was a td’ went viral. Hopefully, this week will be better. I slugged through a mediocre 10-6, holding at 60%. Here’s the picks.

Bills at Patriots – The Patriots should have beaten the same Vikings team that beat Buffalo after leading all game, but they killed themselves in the two phases of the game where they are usually reliable; special teams & defense. The refs saw to the rest by taking away Henry’s 2nd td catch, and that was it. It was encouraging to see New England’s offense, invisible the previous week, bang out 26 pts (32, really) after scoring 3 against the Jets. Mac Jones looked sharp, went long several times, and finished with 382 yards, 2 tds, no INTs and a 114 QB rating. Buffalo was barely able to squeak past Detroit at the end of the game, not looking good. One big factor in this game is the Bills’ trouble with pass-catching RBs vs Rhamondre Stephenson, who grabbed 9 of 10 targets this week. Offsetting that is the fact that Damien Harris’ absence on IR allows Bills defenders to key even more on Stephenson, so his effectiveness is likely to be diminished. I know my Pats can beat the Buffalo team that lost to Minnesota…but that team won’t likely be on the field this week. Buffalo is just better in too many areas. Bills bruuise Belichick’s belligerents at Bunker Hill.

Steelers at Falcons – Pittsburgh steels into Atlanta, to take on the league’s worst defense and one of the weakest passing games. Arthur Smith is a decent coach, but can we get the man some help in the talent department? You can name all the memorable Falcons on this team on one set of fingers. I’ll take Tomlin’s Toughies to stymie whatever the dirty birds try for forward progress, turning ‘Forward, Ho’ into ‘Forward? No!’

Broncos at Ravens – Ravens are carrion birds….and the Broncos are carrion…as in ‘dead meat’. This Rocky Mountain Orange is peeling itself apart, losing its juice, pick your metaphor but Hackett is about to get hacked. He has totally lost this team, good defense notwithstanding. Baltimore is hoping nobody sees that the emperor has very little clothes on, and Trevor Lawrence found a thread to pull in their ragged secondary last week. Even though they are essentially smoke and mirrors, that’s more than Denver is. Harbaugh’s Harbingers hammer Hackett’s Horsies.

Packers at Bears – Question: What does Chicago have, really, when you take Fields off the field? Exactly, bubkis. Even if Jordan gets some Love this week, Da Bears are nobody’s nightmare (except their fans). In a game more about tradition than standings, the Pack retains their domination of their kid sister on Lake Michigan. You want some cheese on that overglorified hot dog, Chicago?

Jaguars at Lions – Suddenly, this matchup of two junkyard dogs..er, cats is getting some interest. Both clubs are playing better ball, beating or at least scaring teams with much better records. Dan Campbell is back to being the darling coach of the perennial Underdogs. They are almost identical in their various rankings, so flip that coin. Mine says heads to the home cats, by a whisker.

Browns at Texans – Cleveland made some noise getting a home stand win over Tom Brady’s bandaged Buccaneers. This is Watson’s coming out game in Orange, and I don’t care what two years of inactivity did to his timing, he is worlds better than Davis Mills. The Texans ARE their record (1-9-1, for those keeping score at home), so buckle your seatbelt for a long afternoon in Houston. Stefanski channels Alexander Graham Bell when he says “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you!” He sure does. Browns trounce the star-eyed steers.

Jets at Vikings – The Vikes are ripe. They barely escaped the Bills and error-prone Patriots and got smeared by Dallas over the last three games. The Jets rallied behind the quiet competence of Mike White last week, and suddenly looked dangerous. Both O’Connell and Saleh have their guys believing, and Saleh sidestepped a significant trap by benching his franchise QB when the team became disgusted with him. If White can sling it this week and take advantage of that weak Purple pass defense, NY can shut up that irritating ‘skol’ chant with one of their own, called ‘score’! Break out the popcorn, because the Sauce ‘n JJ show is going to be epic. Vikings get invaded for a change, as Gotham Greens the Great Plains.

Commanders at Giants – It feels to me like we’ve seen the best of the Giants already this season, and have yet to see the best of the Riverboats (I hate their stupid name). Saquon, for all his considerable swagger and drive, has fallen off in recent weeks, and the NY cupboard is simply too bare without him spinning gold out of hay every game. Say what you want about DC, but all their parts work, and they’ve got some good ones (pass rush, McLauren). This one will be like two wrestlers grappling, but Washington gets the pin.

Titans at Eagles – Q: How many ways can the Eagles beat you? A: As many as they need. This team really is built to win Super Bowls, with their versatility. We know who the Titans are, and their recipe is: two legs of Derrick Henry, one arm of Ryan Tannehill, and a whole lot of try harder (season to taste). That didn’t cook well in Cincy last week, and it won’t this week in Philly. Hurts’ arm is something Tennessee has no answer for. Titans try, while Eagles fly.

Seahawks at Rams – Seattle is being exposed. We saw it coming, now it’s in the open. Teams that can’t defend don’t win a lot. Their pass and run D has resorted to prior ineffectiveness, and the sparkling run game hasn’t in recent weeks. That said, they still have enough panache to dehorn the hapless Rams, which won’t get them the division lead back but will keep them believing they are better than they really are. Tyler and DK Lockett down in Glitter Town.

Dolphins at Niners – Here’s your game of the week. The top defense against one of the best offenses. McDaniels returns to his mentor, Wilson and Mostert return home, and Jimmy G eats blitzes like Miami’s for lunch, as a 117 QB-rating will attest to. Bosa is a QB killer and Armstead is absent from the Dolphin O-line, so Tua’s freedom of choice on the RPO may be severely curtailed. Everybody wonders if Miami is for real still, and I think they are..but it’s been so long. This game will really tell the story, for both teams. Prospectors jump the Dolphins this time.

Chiefs at Bengals – This is the other game of the week. We know what KC is (#1 offense, #10 defense). They aren’t great stopping the pass, and Cincy has Chase back, Higgins and Hurst are hot, and two RBs who can catch and run. Hopefully Mixon is back for this game as well, so we can really see these two colossi go at full strength. Chris Jones has 10 sacks, and Cincy’s unresolved line may award him a few more this week. Chidobe Awuzie is still out, so the Bengal backguard is weakened. This is must-see game. Like with Santa’s job, sacks matter, and keeping Burrow upright may decide this tilt. Chiefs chill the cats from Cincy.

Chargers at Raiders – This is a total ‘Who knows?’ Herbert’s Bolts have been incredibly resilient this year through injuries, but they play the run poorly and are facing the #1 back in Jacobs. Their pass coverage is also below average..so let’s talk about Vegas. They play appalling defense, so every game is on Carr’s arm and Jacobs’ legs. This game won’t be a repeat of the first one…but I think the result will be the same. Bolts jolt the slots.

Colts at Cowboys – Just as in real life with colts and cowboys, this will have a similar outcome. Somebody gets broken, and somebody rides off into the sunset. You put the pieces together, friends. Yeehaw!

Saints at Buccaneers – Yawn. Sorry, but this story has gotten very tired. MNF gets a lame game nobody wants to see, Brady or not. I was hoping nobody would come out of this division at all. New Orleans has become the metaphor for the NFC South, because it is actually below sea level. The Bucs’ problem can be boiled down to this; they stink on 3rd down and inside the red zone. What else do you need to know? The Dalton Gang is all over the place, lotsa holes, can’t shoot straight, food is too spicy…oh wait…Well, somebody will win this awful game, and they will probably have skeletons on their helmets. Give the win to the team with the cannon…at least THAT fires reliably.

Enjoy the games!
-Pigskin Pundit

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker