Posted: Thursday November 29, 2012 12:16PM ; Updated: Friday November 30, 2012 3:04PM
Peter King
Peter King>WEEKEND PICKOFF

NFL Week 13
 
Last Week: 8-8 (.500); This Season: 110-65-1 (.628)
 
Thursday, Nov. 29
 
8:20 p.m. ET (NFLN) New Orleans Saints (5-6) at Atlanta Falcons (10-1)
This rivalry defines "whoever has the ball last." In seven of the last eight games, the game's been in play at the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter. Margins of victory in those eight: 4, 8, 3, 3, 3, 3, 29 and 4. Give me Julio Jones making a big play late in this one. He's made enough of them this year, God knows.
 
Sunday, Dec. 2
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Arizona Cardinals (4-7) at New York Jets (4-7)
Misery index in Arizona: High to very high. It got worse this week, adding to the seven-game losing streak. Center Lyle Sendlein, who'd started 81 games straight, was lost for the year with a torn knee ligament; he's the third starter to be lost along what has been a terrible offensive line. The good news? Last time the Cards came to the Northeast, they shocked the Patriots. (I mean, imagine that result now. Did that happen in 2012 or 1912?)
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) San Francisco 49ers (8-2-1) at St. Louis Rams (4-6-1)
Jim Harbaugh is finding new ways to say, "I'm going with the guy I like, and if you don't like it, go cover the Saskatchewan Roughriders." This week, in anointing Colin Kaepernick (My God! The shock! The incredible surprise!), Harbaugh said: "What tips the scale, is Colin, we believe, has the hot hand and we'll go with Colin. And we'll go with Alex. They're both our guys." Smith just read that and gagged.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) at Buffalo Bills (4-7)
Now that Chad Henne's playing for the Jaguars, the Jags have a competent offense and will be a test for Chan Gailey and his flagging job prospects. The Bills are 4-12, 6-10 and now 4-7 under Gailey. My advice to the Flagging Fitzpatricks if they want to be coached by Gailey in 2013 is to win this game -- and, somehow, have a 4-1 December.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Carolina Panthers (3-8) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-10)
Cam Newton passed and ran for 341 yards and four touchdowns Monday night in Philadelphia. He'll have a tougher test Sunday against a defense that hasn't thrown in the towel.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Houston Texans (10-1) at Tennessee Titans (4-7)
So much for throwing coordinator Chris Palmer overboard solving the Titans' offensive problems.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Seattle Seahawks (6-5) at Chicago Bears (8-3)
Nothing new for the Bears, but a poor offensive line will have two starters at new spots from last week, including right guard Gabe Carimi, who never has started a game at guard at any level in his life, and who was benched for bad play at right tackle last week. The Seahawks, meanwhile, are fortunate the governor has given a reprieve to cornerback Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner just in time to blanket Brandon Marshall. I guess this would qualify as an upset, but I think the Seattle pass rush is going to bug and hit Jay Cutler all day.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) Indianapolis Colts (7-4) at Detroit Lions (4-7)
I can report exclusively that Andrew Luck will not wear a cup Sunday. Though if I were him, I might. For Indy, the recipe's the same as it has been for a month or so: Don't turn it over, and the defense will play well enough to win. Except if the game's in Foxboro.
 
1 p.m. ET (FOX) Minnesota Vikings (6-5) at Green Bay Packers (7-4)
"Urgency is definitely a part of our theme this week," said coach Mike McCarthy of the Packers, after the 38-10 loss to the Giants. "It's heightened, obviously, because of our performance in New York." I should hope so. Look for lots of quick throws from Aaron Rodgers this week because his line just can't protect for seven-step, thorough scans of the field. And Greg Jennings, returning after Nov. 1 abdominal muscle surgery, will be all over the game plan. Amazing he's accounted for 78 yards of Packers offense entering December, and Green Bay's still in contention to win the division.
 
1 p.m. ET (CBS) New England Patriots (8-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-6)
The Pats have averaged 47.5 points a game over the last month. Miami is scoring 19.2 a game. The Dolphins' only hope, I believe, is rolling their big back, Daniel Thomas, out against the stout Patriots interior and seeing if he can eat the clock. (Figuratively.)
 
4:05 p.m. ET (FOX) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) at Denver Broncos (8-3)
This easily could go the other way, but Peyton Manning's going to have his way with the inexperienced (except for Ronde Barber) Bucs secondary. Much, much admiration, by the way, for the way Knowshon Moreno handled his business last week. Here's a guy who was on the scout team much of the season, and with the injury to Willis McGahee had to step up and play well to beat the Chiefs. He did.
 
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) at Baltimore Ravens (9-2)
I can't see Ben Roethlisberger playing; that dislocated-first-rib injury is just too serious to see him playing after 20 days. Talking to Terrell Suggs after the first game a couple of weeks ago, he almost seemed melancholy to be playing Pittsburgh without Big Ben. I do believe, however, the Ravens would prefer a melancholy win over a loss to enriched Pittsburgh.
 
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS) Cincinnati Bengals (6-5) at San Diego Chargers (4-7)
The Bengals have won three in a row by an average of 21.3, and I asked Marvin Lewis on my SI NFL podcast this week about the spur that was his criticism of the leadership of his offensive and defensive de facto bosses, Andy Dalton and Rey Maualuga. He said he wasn't criticizing -- "I was empowering their behavior," Lewis said. Maybe he should do it more often. Dalton's been gold in the red zone, and Maualugas playing like Patrick Willis, with almost 8 tackles a week, on average, in the last month.
 
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS) Cleveland Browns (3-8) at Oakland Raiders (3-8)
Hounds, get away from Carson Palmer's door. The Raiders are lucky a team with 17 rookies and a 12-game road losing streak's coming to town Sunday.
 
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) Philadelphia Eagles (3-8) at Dallas Cowboys (5-6)
I'd be stunned if Dallas rallied to make the playoffs, and if the Cowboys don't, they can look at the trading deadline as a primary reason. The Cowboys could have had Steve Jackson from the Rams for either a third- or fourth-round pick (I believe a fourth- would have done it), and Jackson's gladiatorial spirit and thrill at joining a contender would have given Tony Romo a real threat in the running game that he hasn't had all year. Dallas is last in the league at 78 rushing yards a game. That's one of the reasons you heard that frustration in Romo's voice on Thanksgiving night after the loss to Washington.
 
Monday, Dec. 3
 
8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN) New York Giants (7-4) at Washington Redskins (5-6)
Toughest game of the week to pick. I'm going with Robert Griffin III. The last time they met, RGIII rolled up 480 yards of offense and the Giants left the field shellshocked. Maybe they've gone to school on him and figured out two or three secrets about hemming him in and not allowing his legs to beat them. But I say even if that's the case, he'll find some running lanes inside, and he'll make enough plays with that Favre-like arm.
 
Week 13 Fantasy Projections               Start 'em, Sit 'em
 

 
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