Posted: Thursday December 1, 2011 11:42AM ; Updated: Thursday December 1, 2011 12:58PM
Peter King
Peter King>WEEKEND PICKOFF

NFL Week 13
 
Last week: 11-5 (.688); Season: 116-60 (.659)
 
Thursday, Dec. 1
 
8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Network) Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) at Seattle Seahawks (4-7)
Don't ask me why I'd pick Philly to win anything after losing three out of four and totally unraveling Sunday against the Patriots and then flying to the North Pole on a short week. I just think Andy Reid's listened to everyone put the shovels of dirt on his team and will have them respond accordingly. That plus the fact that I trust Vince Young more than Tarvaris Jackson to be competent here.
 
Sunday, Dec. 4
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Tennessee Titans (6-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-6)
The final indignity to the Bills' season of such great promise comes when Chris Johnson, taking advantage of the absence of Buffalo's prime run defenders Kyle Williams and Torell Troup, shreds the Bills. Fantasy football owners everywhere who based their team on Johnson cry out, "What? You waited until I was 2-9 to break out?"
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Kansas City Chiefs (4-7) at Chicago Bears (7-4)
Just think: The quarterbacks in this game by the start of the third quarter could be Josh McCown and Kyle Orton. How weird would that feel for Orton, trying to beat the team that traded him for Jay Cutler, trying to beat the team that claimed him when Cutler got hurt, trying to beat the team that wishes he were their quarterback today instead of Caleb Hanie and Josh McCown.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Atlanta Falcons (7-4) at Houston Texans (8-3)
Sorry. I know it'd be a fabulous story, T.J. Yates beating his hometown team and rescuing the Texans in their time of great quarterback need. But the Falcons and Texans with their normal starting quarterbacks are very nearly a wash, and Matt Ryan and T.J. Yates, well, that's not a wash.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Oakland Raiders (7-4) at Miami Dolphins (3-8)
Talk about history meaning nothing: In Week 12 last year, the Dolphins beat Oakland by 16, with Ricky Williams rushing for 95 yards, Chad Henne outdueling Bruce Gradkowski, and the Dolphins holding Darren McFadden to two yards rushing. This year, in Week 13, you can substitute Reggie Bush, Matt Moore, Carson Palmer and Michael Bush in. And the result will be the same.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Denver Broncos (6-5) at Minnesota Vikings (2-9)
Anyone else of a certain age (I'm 54, and it's early in my pro football memory bank) getting the feeling that Tim Tebow's having the sort of impact on the 2011 Broncos that George Blanda had on the 1970 Raiders?
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Indianapolis Colts (0-11) at New England Patriots (8-3)
Orlovsky-Brady. That's a fair fight.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3)
Seminal game for the Bengals. (That means "strongly influencing later developments," for you non-Merriam-Webster fans.) Win here and they'd likely be in the playoff race in Week 17, when they host Baltimore. Lose here, and a fifth loss puts them behind the eight-ball in playoff contention. I've gone back and forth all week on this game, my faith in Andy Dalton outweighing what reality tells me most of the week -- until now. I think Dalton plays his typical valiant game, but Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown or Mike Wallace wins this game late.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Carolina Panthers (3-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)
Who'd have thought Carolina would be a game behind Tampa Bay in December, and Cam Newton would have more yards and a better rating and touchdown-to-interception ratio than Josh Freeman? Certainly not me. The game's at the Pirate Ship, or else I'd be picking the Panthers.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) New York Jets (6-5) at Washington Redskins (4-7)
This has the feel of an unwatchable game, unless you like watching incompletions. I'll say this again: I think Mark Sanchez is so focused on getting the ball to Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress, because he knows how much they want it (Holmes particularly) that I don't think he's focused on making the best play for what's called by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Just hit the open guy, Mark. And check down when they're not.
 
4:05 p.m. ET (CBS) Baltimore Ravens (8-3) at Cleveland Browns (4-7)
I'm not a big believer in three games making a rock-solid trend, and so I don't think losses at Tennessee, Jacksonville and Seattle after big, emotional wins will sway how I think the Ravens will play at Cleveland, where they've won four of five, on Sunday ... not so much that I think they'll lose a game they must win. Funny to call this a must-win, but the consequences of losing are pretty plain. A loss means the Ravens risk playing on the road in the playoffs again. A win keeps them in the driver's seat for a bye and a home divisional game at least.
 
4:15 p.m. ET (FOX) Dallas Cowboys (7-4) at Arizona Cardinals (4-7)
DeMarco Murray has five weeks to inject himself into the Offensive Rookie of the Year race. He's ninth in the league with 834 rushing yards, first with 5.67 yards per carry among all backs with over 100 rushes, and if he keeps it up and ends up with, say, 1,400 rushing yards, he'll give the AP voters something to think about versus Andy Dalton and Cam Newton.
 
4:15 p.m. ET (FOX) Green Bay Packers (11-0) at New York Giants (6-5)
I was in New Orleans Monday night. Let's just say I'm being very nice to Tom Coughlin, Perry Fewell and whatever defense it was that those guys put on the field to give Green Bay only 31 points here.
 
4:15 p.m. ET (FOX) St. Louis Rams (2-9) at San Francisco 49ers (9-2)
Tell me how the Niners are losing the second seed in the NFC with this remaining sked: Rams, at Cards, Steelers, at Seahawks, at Rams. Say they end up 13-3 and the Saints end up 13-3. Saints have three conference losses. Niners have one, maybe two, conference losses. No head-to-head play this year. It's beginning to look a lot like a bye week, Niners.
 
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) Detroit Lions (7-4) at New Orleans Saints (8-3)
It's not the loss of Ndamukong Suh that has me most worried about the Lions right now. It's the seven picks in the last eight quarters by Matthew Stafford.
 
Monday, Dec. 5
 
8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) San Diego Chargers (4-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8)
Welcome to the head-coaching ranks, Mel Tucker. Have a fun month. The reality here, despite how poorly the Chargers are playing, is that J-ville's offense is toothless.
 

 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Playoffs NHL Playoffs Golden State Warriors Bryce Harper Paul Pierce Masai Ujiri
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines, your California privacy rights, and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint