2022-11-30 · 6 min read · NFL/Football
Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes and Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow

Getty Images | Jim McIsaac via Getty Images

Following a week full of gutsy two-point conversion calls and dramatic comebacks, we have reached the 13th week of the NFL season with plenty to decide.
Three divisions have teams with identical records atop the standings, while only one victory currently separates the first-place San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West.
With that in mind, here is a look at all the games this week and my predictions.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
There was not a lot for Bill Belichick and the Pats to be thankful for on Thanksgiving last week as they missed an excellent opportunity to get back in the race for the AFC East crown, squandering a fourth-quarter lead to the Vikings, while the number two ranked team regarding sacks only got one on Kirk Cousins.
Josh Allen and the Bills are grinding out results; and despite the Buffalo QB tossing another pick versus Detroit, his team won for the second consecutive time, keeping pace atop the division with Miami as both teams are 8-3.
Prediction- Buffalo Bills 24-20 New England Patriots
Allen is among the best when it comes to scrambling, and I expect he will find his share of open receivers against New England, while he could also have a big day running the ball.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Atlanta Falcons
The Steelers managed to withstand a second-half surge from the Colts on Monday Night Football, holding them to under 300 total yards, while Kenny Pickett completed 20 of his 28 passes.
Atlanta has lost three of their last four games and appear to be fading as the season wears on, averaging 18 points per contest over that stretch.
Prediction- Pittsburgh Steelers 25-18 Atlanta Falcons
Pickett still has a long way to go to be an elite QB, but he is making more intelligent decisions, while the Atlanta offense can’t seem to put enough points on the board.
Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens
The Denver offense has put up just 12 points per game on average in their last three losses, and while they’re ranked third in the NFL defensively, they have only been able to force two turnovers during that stretch.
Baltimore’s defense collapsed near the tail end of their game with the Jags, allowing two fourth-quarter touchdowns and a two-point conversion, as they put up 415 yards, but still found a way to lose.
Prediction- Denver Broncos 14-26 Baltimore Ravens
As good as they are defensively, I think the Broncos could be fatigued in this one, given the legs of Lamar Jackson, who I think will find a way to get it done this weekend.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
Aaron Rodgers was outstanding through the opening quarter on Sunday night versus the Eagles, but a rib injury has him questionable this weekend, while their running game never really got going once again.
Speaking of running, that’s one of the few positives the Bears can take from their game offensively of late, as they had under 300 yards in a loss to the Jets, while Justin Fields sat out because of a shoulder injury.
Prediction- Green Bay Packers 30-27 Chicago Bears
The Packers’ passing game and their ability to defend the pass is far greater than what the Bears can produce with or without Fields, so I am leaning towards Green Bay on Sunday.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions
Doug Pederson is not afraid to gamble, and his bold tactics paid off last Sunday.
Trevor Lawrence finally engineered a fourth-quarter comeback last weekend, tossing three touchdowns, while converting two of three fourth downs and hitting a two-point convert to win, all without perhaps their greatest weapon in Travis Etienne.
The Lions may have seen their winning streak end last week, but there is still optimism in the Motor City as they kept pace with Buffalo, putting up 25 points in a narrow defeat as Jared Goff failed to throw an interception.
Prediction- Jacksonville Jaguars 24-23 Detroit Lions
These were the two worst teams in the league in 2021, but on the Jags’ side, Trevor Lawrence has grown a lot in year two, and I expect former Lions receiver Marvin Jones to have a big afternoon at Ford Field.
Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans
At long last, DeShaun Watson returns to action in his first game as a Cleveland Brown after his suspension.
He should bolster an already potent rushing attack, ranked fifth in the league, which put up 189 yards on the ground in an OT victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week (23-17).
The one constant all season for Houston has been their running game, but even that element has been in short supply for them of late with Dameon Pierce only managing eight yards on five carries in a loss to the Miami Dolphins (30-15).
Prediction- Cleveland Browns 35-17 Houston Texans
I expect Watson to be like a caged animal and put up some big numbers in his debut against his former team, as the Texans are statistically among the worst in the league in virtually every category.
New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings
Mike White made quite the impression in his debut behind centre for the Jets, throwing for 315 yards and three scores, while the secondary had a pick and held the Bears to just 165 yards through the air.
The Vikings did a great job of protecting Kirk Cousins on Thanksgiving, allowing just one sack versus one of the best defensive lines in the NFL in New England, while they sustained long drives with a 12-minute advantage of time of possession over the Pats.
Prediction- Minnesota Vikings 27-20 New York Jets
New York’s defense will face a stiff challenge in pass coverage this weekend, and I expect Justin Jefferson will get the better of Sauce Gardner, who looks to be the real deal, but perhaps needs more experience against top-class receivers like Minnesota possesses.
Washington Commanders at New York Giants
If we’re talking about unlikely heroes, the name Taylor Heinicke might come to mind as the Commanders are 5-1 with him behind centre, as they managed 314 yards in a victory over the Falcons (19-13).
The Giants’ hot start to the season is in the rear-view mirror at this point, losing three of their last four games, with their running game cooling off, failing to reach the century mark in each of those defeats.
Prediction- Washington Commanders 23-20 New York Giants
The Commanders have not been stellar in their recent form, but they are doing enough to win, and the Giants are starting to slow down, it seems, as each week goes by.
Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles
The Titans are comfortably in first place in the AFC South and appear destined for the postseason, though Derrick Henry hasn’t gotten off significant gains of late, averaging under three yards per carry in two of his last three games.
AJ Brown faces his old team on Sunday as the Eagles continued their winning ways a week ago, with Brown catching a touchdown, while Jalen Hurts ran for 157 yards in a victory over Green Bay.
Prediction- Tennessee Titans 24-33 Philadelphia Eagles
As good as the Titans are at running the ball, the Eagles are pretty good at that themselves, and they have too much depth at the receiver position to be contained in this one.
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams
The Seahawks let another game slip through their fingertips last week, allowing nearly 600 total yards to the Raiders, while Geno Smith threw a pick in a 40-34 loss.
For the Rams, it seems like Groundhog Day as every week passes, with LA stinking last Sunday again, conceding 437 yards to the Chiefs, while they put up less than 200, averaging a mere 3.6 yards per play in a 26-10 loss.
Prediction- Seattle Seahawks 27-14 Los Angeles Rams
LA are brutal against the pass, so I expect the accurate Geno Smith to pick apart their secondary, while the Rams’ offense looks lost without Cooper Kupp.
Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers
It’s incredible how much a couple of new faces can change a team’s outlook, as the Dolphins have been tough to shut down offensively, ranked second in passing with Tua Tagovailoa completing nearly 70% of his throws, while Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are the most vaunted receiving duo in the NFL.
The addition of Christian McCaffrey has been like a godsend to the San Francisco offense, which put up 317 yards in a 13-0 win over the New Orleans Saints, as the NFC West leaders are starting to look more like the contending team we expected.
Prediction- Miami Dolphins 30-29 San Francisco 49ers
This is expected to be one of the showcase matchups this week, with two teams loaded with weapons offensively.
I am giving the Dolphins the slight edge because of Tua’s consistency from one game to the next, which I haven’t always seen from Jimmy Garoppolo.
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals
If there is anyone capable of slowing down the Kansas Chiefs right now, I haven’t seen it in quite some time.
Patrick Mahomes and KC have won five in a row, averaging the most passing yards per game (315.2) and total offense (430.0), with 6.1 yards per play in a comfortable victory over the Super Bowl champs last week.
The Bengals have a pretty good passing attack even without Ja’Marr Chase, averaging the fourth-most passing yards per game (270.8) as Joe Burrow hit seven different receivers in a 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Prediction- Kansas City Chiefs 35-31 Cincinnati Bengals
After what happened in the second half when these teams met in the AFC title game, you can expect fireworks in this one with two QBs that refuse to wave the white flag.
KC has extra motivation and look as determined as ever to right the wrongs of last year’s heartbreaking defeat.
Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
Brandon Staley took a lot of heat last season for his timeout blunder, but he was praised for his gutsy call to go for two in the dying seconds a week ago, and it paid off as Justin Herbert threw three TD passes in a 25-24 victory over Arizona Cardinals.
Josh McDaniels and the Raiders have won consecutive games thanks to another substantial offensive display, putting up 576 yards against the Seahawks, while the league’s leading rusher, Josh Jacobs, had himself a game with 229 yards on the ground and a pair of scores.
Prediction- Los Angeles Chargers 29-26 Las Vegas Raiders
Keenan Allen’s return comes at a good time for LA, and his presence should allow Herbert to go down the field and make more big plays in the passing game.
Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys
Indy has shown a lot more fight under Jeff Saturday, but it wasn’t enough on Monday night, as the defense gave up 323 yards to the Steelers and lost 24-17.
Dallas seems to be clicking offensively and defensively of late, posting 430 net yards in a victory over the Giants (28-20), while producing three sacks as they lead the league in that department with 45.
Prediction- Indianapolis Colts 18-30 Dallas Cowboys
Even though Dak Prescott tossed a pair of interceptions last week, the Cowboys still looked reasonably comfortable, with Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard and CeeDee Lamb all having big games, while Micah Parsons had two sacks, so needless to say, there are plenty of players who can step up for them if one happens to struggle.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Saints never got into their last game against the 49ers, running for just 63 yards and posting under 200 through the air, losing 13-0.
Tampa leads the NFC South despite having a losing record, but it has not been pretty as they lost in OT to Cleveland last week (23-17), though Brady still tossed a pair of TDs, and Chris Godwin averaged 9.2 yards per catch.
Prediction- New Orleans Saints 21-23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans seems to have Brady’s number, beating him six times since he signed with Tampa; however, the Bucs' ability to get pressure should allow them to create some turnovers and shift momentum on Monday.
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By: Joel Lefevre


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