NFL week 13 open thread

Today is the biggest game on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ schedule, even bigger than the upcoming game against the Jets.  For one thing, the Baltimore Ravens are their main divisional rival, but they’re also tied with the Ravens.  However, since the Ravens won the first game of the series this year — the last game of Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension — another loss would put the Steelers in danger of missing the playoffs.  They’re playing on the road in a marquee game, which usually brings out the best in the Steelers.  It should be a low-scoring game, and if the Steelers’ defense steps up, they should win 17-13.

Last Sunday I went 2-1 after nine straight correct predictions, which brings my season record to 44-29.  Let’s see if I can keep the momentum:

  • oBills at Vikings – The Vikes surprised me last week by beating the Redskins on the road.  They’re still not playing great, though, and the Bills play tougher than their 2-9 record.  If the Vikes ease up, the Bills could dump an unpleasant surprise on Minnesota at the Metrodome today.  I’d bet, though, that new head coach Leslie Frazier isn’t taking anything for granted.  I’ll pick Frazier to remain undefeated with the Vikes topping the Bills 26-13.
  • Redskins at Giants – The Giants have hit a tough patch, but the Redskins lost to the Vikes at home.  Expect the Giants to get well in a hurry in this rivalry, beating Washington 31-14.
  • Jaguars at Titans – This should be a good game, even though neither team will be going anywhere at the end of this season.  I think the Titans will find a way to win this, but it will be close.  27-24, Tennessee.
  • Rams at Cardinals – The Cardinals stunk it up last week at home, while the Rams don’t play well on the road.  However, the Rams are improving this year while Arizona clearly is not.  It will come down to the last drive, but the Rams will pull off a mild upset and get to .500 with a 21-17 win.
  • Jets at Patriots – This is the game of the week, and the biggest of the rivalry games this weekend.  Both teams are 9-2, both lead the AFC, and both will make it to the playoffs.  The Jets will get there as a wild card, though, because the Patriots will be too tough at home, 24-14.