2013 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 13 NFL Picks

A legend was born. - Jonathan Ferrey

I put together a dismal 4-9-1 record last week, which dropped my overall record to 106-69-1 (60%). My Week 13 NFL picks are below. The bye weeks are gone, so we have a full slate of action, including three Thanksgiving Day games. Feel free to share your general thoughts on this week's games in the comments section.

Week 13 Games Explanation Pick
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Can Flynn Carve the Turkey? Forgive the cliche. It is looking like Matt Flynn will start this week against the Detroit Lions, the team that made him a lot of money with the Seahawks, Raiders, and Bills. This game will go a long way in determining who wins the NFC North, but the Lions have been the disappointment. That let games get away against inferior teams in Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. If they had won those games, they would have taken advantage of their two division rivals being stuck with backup quarterbacks. I'll go with the Lions coming out on top in this shootout. Lions 28, Packers 24

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Cooking Up a Special: Dallas has played some competitive games this year, including Sunday's last-second win over the Giants. This week, they face a Raiders team that was oh-so-close to holding the No. 6 seed in the AFC, until the Titans scored a last-second touchdown. I think Dallas' momentum, coupled with the deflation the Raiders have to be facing, will lead to a more blowout-style game here. Cowboys 31, Raiders 14

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Who Burned the Potatoes? As much as I hate both of these teams and the fact that they are both now a game ahead of Cleveland, this is a compelling way to finish off Thanksgiving from the standpoint of it being an important game. The winner of this game will have a nice leg up on a wildcard spot the rest of the season. The Steelers are starting to look more and more like they've snapped out of their funk, unfortunately, so I'll go with them to complete the sweep of the Ravens. Steelers 20, Ravens 17

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Which Bird Will Prevail: It's official -- the Arizona Cardinals are for real. Earlier this season, they were winning without solid performances from Carson Palmer, but now has started to step up his game and Bruce Arians has this team rolling. At 7-4, they are tied for the No. 6 seed in the NFC with the 49ers. They have an interesting matchup this week against an Eagles team that has won three straight under Nick Foles. This is probably the toughest pick of the week, but I'm taking the Eagles because Foles, for whatever reason, can't be stopped. Eagles 23, Cardinals 17

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The Non-Thanksgiving NFC North Rivalry: Jay Cutler will miss at least one more start, but Josh McCown has been steering the ship adequately in his place. The Vikings are a team that continues to show a lot of fight in their losses, but had to settle for a tie last week. Minnesota lost a heartbreaker on a touchdown with 0:10 to go back in Week 2 against the Bears, but they won't be able to get vengeance this week. Bears 27, Vikings 21

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Maybe Cribbs Could Just Play QB: This is the first of two meetings between these teams over the next couple of weeks. The Jets' alternating win-loss streak finally came to an end last Sunday, as they lost their second straight game to fall below .500 for the first time this season. They were blown out twice in a row on the road, but they beat the Patriots and the Saints in their past two home games. They'll squeak one out against the Dolphins. Jets 20, Dolphins 16

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Blowout of the Week: I'm sure back when the 2013 NFL schedule was made, this was viewed as a possible matchup to help determine the top seed in the AFC. Now, it's just the dominant Patriots facing a team that has now lost nine straight games. The Texans' quick slide is unfathomable to me. They won't snap out of their funk against a rejuvenated Tom Brady. Patriots 34, Texans 13

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That's More Like It: The Buccaneers are now on a three-game winning streak, which goes a long way toward erasing the disastrous start to the season they had. I knew it was just a matter of time before they started to get rolling, and matchup wise, they should play the Panthers tough on the road. I can't go against how impressive Carolina has been during their seven-game winning streak, though. Panthers 21, Buccaneers 10

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Tumbling Down: All of the pressure has to be on the Indianapolis Colts now. In their past four games, they are 2-2, but in all four of those games, they have faced deficits of 21-3, 38-0, 17-3, and 34-3. That isn't anything close to a championship caliber team, and it's gone on for way too long for them to be considered a legitimate threat at this point. The Titans are hungry, and they won't collapse this time around as they suddenly re-enter contention for the AFC South title. Titans 24, Colts 20

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Snoozer of the Week: I know full-well that our game fits the bill for this subtitle (snoozer of the week), but besides that one, Atlanta vs. Buffalo isn't going to get many people excited. The Bills did have a spirited effort against the Jets two weeks ago, followed by a bye, and now they host a 2-9 Falcons team. The Bills have more momentum, so I'm going with them to win. Bills 17, Falcons 16

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What About...the Rams? The Rams aren't in as good of a position as the Cardinals, but this is definitely the most important game of the season for them. Over the past two weeks, Kellen Clemons has helped lead St. Louis to two blowout victories over Indianapolis and Chicago, two playoff-caliber teams. A win over the 49ers would put them back in the hunt for a wildcard race. I like the 49ers to win, though, as they try to re-introduce some of the physicality that made them an attractive team in the first place. 49ers 26, Rams 14

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Underrated Game of the Week: Just when I thought the Chargers were dead-and-buried, they ended up pulling off a win against an AFC powerhouse after all, on the road no less, to put themselves in a tie for a wildcard spot. The Bengals had been waiting for a bye week to rest up, and they finally got it last week. I expect Cincinnati to come out match up well defensively against the Chargers en route to a win. Bengals 27, Chargers 20

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Highly Coveted Matchup, Part II: This is the game that will overshadow the rest of the ones this week (sadly, the Cleveland area doesn't get to see it, with Cincinnati vs. San Diego airing instead). It's remarkable what has happened since these two teams last met -- the Chiefs lost in stunning fashion to the Chargers in Arrowhead, and also lost their two best pass rushers. The Broncos blew a 24-point halftime lead to the Patriots and lost in overtime. This is a golden chance for the Chiefs to capture the No. 1 seed in the AFC. If Denver wins, though, the Chiefs will pretty much be forced to settle for the No. 5 seed. I like Peyton Manning to throw with success as the Chiefs struggle to get a pass rush again. Broncos 31, Chiefs 21

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Really? Did this really have to remain the Sunday Night Football match? Unfortunately for the NFL, I think they were hoping the Giants would've won last week to still be in play for a division title. In hindsight, the Cardinals vs. Eagles would have been a nice matchup to have here. Instead, we are stuck with probably the first SNF match of the season that I won't pay much attention to. The Giants have been playing much better than the Redskins, though, and will try to keep their divisional hopes alive. Giants 28, Redskins 14

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Excellent Way to Close it Out: For as much of a dud as the Sunday-nighter will be, the Monday Night Football match between the Saints and the Seahawks could be a preview of the NFC Championship. This game might determine who ends up being the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but there might be more at stake for the Saints: if they lose, they could very well see the Panthers surpass them, much like the Chiefs vs. Broncos both playing well in the AFC West. The Seahawks haven't lost at home in forever, so that is really the deciding factor for me, despite their secondary problems. Seahawks 27, Saints 24

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One for the Ages: Chad Henne takes on Brandon Weeden. That just smells of ratings, doesn't it? In all seriousness, the Browns not only need a win here, they need a definitive, blowout type of win to try to restore confidence and get back into a possible wildcard race for the rest of the season. My full game preview and prediction will be posted on Saturday.

TBA

Pokorny's Week 12 NFL Picks Record: 4-9-1
Pokorny's Record w/ Browns Games: 5-6
Pokorny's 2013 NFL Picks Record: 106-69-1

Survivor Pick: I am 9-3, with a two-game winning streak that has seen me use up SEA and NO. This week, I'll go with the Patriots to take out the Texans.

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