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2014 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 13 Picks

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Week 13 of the NFL brings on the Thanksgiving Day games, so the theme this week will focus around somebody that each projected victor should be thankful for. 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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No Late-Season Collapse: Are the Lions on the verge of another late-season collapse? After starting 7-2, they have dropped two straight games, but both losses came to the top seed in each conference. The Lions will be thankful that they are home for Thanksgiving against a Bears team that is trying to turn things around, but will be sent back into chaos against a great defense. Lions 23, Bears 17

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Down to the Wire: How nice is it that we have all three Thursday games featuring NFC playoff implications? Both of these teams are 8-3 and will play each other twice over the next three weeks! Rivalry ignited. Both teams should be able to bring their high-powered offenses at full force, but I still feel Mark Sanchez is turnover prone, which Dallas will be thankful for. Cowboys 35, Eagles 28

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Giving Chase: Both of these teams are still two games behind the division-leading Cardinals, but one of them could catch fire and try to pass them if Drew Stanton falters. These two teams also play each other twice over the next three weeks! Although Seattle and San Francisco have made improvements in recent weeks, neither one is quite there (to their dominant selves) yet. This one is a coin flip, and I'm thankful that I don't have to put money on this pick. 49ers 23, Seahawks 20

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Yuck: I don't even know how to describe the Panthers now besides pitiful. On a fun note, Derek Anderson has the Panthers at 1-0, while Cam Newton has them at 2-7-1. I'm thankful that the Vikings took Ben Tate off the Browns' hands because it allows the Browns to have a more focused backfield. I'll take the Vikings to win an ugly one. Vikings 20, Panthers 14

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Upset of the Week: The Bengals have impressively won two straight games on the road, but can they make a three straight on the road in back-to-back-to-back weeks? That's a tall order to ask for. I'm thankful that Andre Smith is on IR at right tackle for the Bengals, because that means Cincinnati has a huge liability on the offensive line that will disrupt the offense and allow the Bucs to pull off the upset. Buccaneers 21, Bengals 20

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Not Thankful: I am not thankful at just how much of a failure the Saints have been. They just played three straight home games and lost all of them, including the past two to Cincinnati and Baltimore. Now, they face another AFC North opponent, but on the road. Cleveland could really use a Saints win for a common opponents differential over Pittsburgh, but don't count on it. Steelers 28, Saints 20

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Toilet Bowl: The Giants have lost six straight games, while the Jaguars are 1-10 and have lost four straight games. I'm thankful that I don't have to watch this game. One thing becomes clearer by the day: Blake Bortles is looking more and more like a bust, so I'm thankful the Browns aren't stuck with him. Giants 23, Jaguars 13

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Making Progress: Aside from his rather over-the-top theatrics after beating the Chiefs last week, I saw some impressive qualities out of Derek Carr. St. Louis lost a heartbreaker to the Chargers last week after Shaun Hill threw an interception at the goal line when going for the win. I'm thankful that Cleveland is much farther ahead of both of these organizations on the offensive side of the ball, but St. Louis has the better defensive talent. Rams 20, Raiders 10

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Chargers Face Small Margin for Error: The Chargers face the Ravens, Patriots, Broncos, 49ers, and Chiefs to close out the season. That has to be the most brutal schedule remaining in the NFL, which doesn't look good for their playoff chances despite being 7-4. I'm thankful the Browns won't have it as tough. The tradeoff for Cleveland is that whoever wins holds an advantage -- Baltimore in the division race, and San Diego in the wildcard race. The Ravens seem to be rolling on all cylinders again, so I'll take them to win. Ravens 28, Chargers 24

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Back in the Saddle: Houston will welcome Ryan Fitzpatrick to the starting role this week, as he returns due to Ryan Mallett's season-ending injury. The Texans will improve to 6-6 with a win this week, but that won't cut it in the AFC, where they will likely be two games behind a wildcard spot after this week. I'm thankful the Browns are at least in the mix. Texans 24, Titans 16

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Blowout of the Week: Even though Colt McCoy is "2-0" as the Redskins starting quarterback and is being thrown back in the mix this week, the negativity surrounding Washington has reached a new height. It is a little sad that we will miss out on RGIII vs. Andrew Luck, but Luck's team is light years ahead of Washington. I'm thankful that the Redskins were dumb enough to relinquish Kyle Shanahan for a guy (Jay Gruden) who is in over his head. Colts 38, Redskins 13

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Turning Up the Heat: With how poor Atlanta's offensive line is, the Cardinals are thankful that they face an ideal opponent -- they will bring a defensive presence that completely negates any outside threat for Atlanta, and Matt Ryan will be on his back most of the afternoon. The Cardinals can stick to the run game on offense, eat clock, and come away with another victory against a team that can't finish games. Cardinals 27, Falcons 10

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Game of the Week: Even though the Cardinals are the NFC's top seed, it feels like the Packers are the class of the NFC right now due to the exceptionally high level of play from Aaron Rodgers. Tom Brady and the Patriots are taking teams to school on their seven game winning streak. Something has to give this week, and I'm thankful that this is a nationally televised afternoon game for everybody to enjoy on Sunday. Packers 31, Patriots 28

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Season on the Line? The Chiefs' season could be on the line this week. They already lost to the Broncos in Week 2, so if they get swept, they would, in essence, be three games behind the division lead. With a win, they are suddenly tied with the Broncos for the division lead. Given the Broncos' recent "struggles," there is no clear-cut favorite to win...but I said I'm not going against Peyton Manning this year, and I'm sticking to that. I'm thankful the Broncos aren't in the AFC North. Broncos 28, Chiefs 24

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Monday Night Geno? With Geno Smith back in the saddle...never mind, I can't even entertain the possibility of him doing well with a straight face. The Jets are a mess and the Dolphins will embarrass them in prime time. I'm thankful that the Browns' quarterback situation isn't "Geno Smith or Michael Vick?" Dolphins 27, Jets 7

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Tough Up Front: The Browns face their toughest task of the season in terms of trying to block an opposing team's front seven. Will the threat of Josh Gordon be enough to overcome the type of difficulties that Cleveland faced against defensive fronts in Jacksonville and Houston? Our full preview and prediction for the Browns vs. Bills game will be posted this Saturday on DBN.

TBA



Pokorny's Week 12 NFL Picks Record: 11-4
Pokorny's Record w/ Browns Games: 5-6
Pokorny's 2014 NFL Picks Record: 103-72-1

Survivor Pick: I am on a five-game winning streak after the Colts outclassed the Jaguars last week. The teams I've used are NE, CIN, SEA, SD, and IND. This week, I'll go with the Dolphins destroying the Jets.