Sep. 29, 2016
Peter and Will's Head to Head Matchup Week 13
Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
Peter's Pick: Cowboys
Peter's Analysis: The Vikings are definitely loaded with talent and are very much a threat when healthy. However, they are about to go head to head with a Cowboys squad that has won ten straight games and is making a solid case for being the best team in the league. This is definitely a must win for them and could end up being the defining moment of their season.
Will's Pick: Cowboys
Will's Analysis: The Vikings only win in their last six games came against a Cardinals team that is falling apart. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are currently unable to be stopped, even when facing teams doing well like the Redskins. I still think the magic can only go on for so long (though it may take until the playoffs for it to end), but it probably won't end against a struggling Vikings squad.
Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints
Peter's Pick: Lions
Peter's Analysis: This is a very interesting matchup which features two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Matthew Stafford is finally finding his niche as a clutch quarterback and Drew Brees is at the end of his career and attempting to add to his legacy. Brees is a monster at home in the dome but the Lions are the better team and should pull this one out late in the fourth quarter.
Will's Pick: Lions
Will's Analysis: This one will likely be a barn-burner. Drew Brees is still playing very well, but the Lions are probably some of the best competitors in football—even when they're down, they almost always seem to find a way to come out on top when it's over. This week will likely end up being no exception, since the Saints are a middling team that has had trouble winning some late games themselves.
Los Angeles Rams @ New England Patriots
Peter's Pick: Patriots
Peter's Analysis: The Rams are known for their defense and it seemed to be the one thing that might keep them from being a total embarrassment this season. Now, after just giving up forty-nine points last week, they get to travel to Foxboro to face Tom Brady and the Patriots. I don't see this being any thing more than a tune up for the Pats who are gearing up for their eighth consecutive playoff run.
Will's Pick: Patriots
Will's Analysis: Jared Goff is actually playing fairly well early on, and he seems to be the spark the Rams offense needed at the moment. But they're still not a winning football squad right now, as their defense has been their undoing so far in Goff's two starts. And considering that the Patriots have one of the better offenses in football, they should have no problem rolling all over the Rams.
Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Peter's Pick: Broncos
Peter's Analysis: When the schedule first came out this had the feel of a very important game that would have major playoff implications. Now it just looks like another chance for the Jags to try to avoid complete embarrassment before the season ends.
Will's Pick: Broncos
Will's Analysis: Well, the Broncos need this one to bounce back. And the Jaguars don't have much to play for now with them sitting at 2-9. This offense has oddly almost looked more iffy under the new offensive coordinator. And playing against a team that's still very good on defense and against a QB in Trevor Siemian who seems to have fully recovered from his shoulder injury? This will likely be an easy one for Denver.
San Francisco 49ers @ Chicago Bears
Peter's Pick: Bears
Peter's Analysis: One thing that impresses me about this matchup, is that both of these teams seem to have had their seasons over for sometime now but neither one seems any less hungry than they did to start the season. From what I've seen so far the Bears are the slightly more talented team and with the game being in Chicago, this should be a nice home victory for them.
Will's Pick: Bears
Will's Analysis: Ugh. A matchup between the two worst teams in the NFC. In this case, I'll go with the Bears, because Matt Barkley, though far from perfect, almost led his team to a massive comeback win over the Titans. They only lost because two receivers dropped dimes in the end zone. If he can keep things going with them, they should be able to get a win over a 49ers squad that could end up becoming the first 1-15 team that actually wasn't the worst team in the NFL.
Houston Texans @ Green Bay Packers
Peter's Pick: Packers
Peter's Analysis: Nobody is denying that Houston has a tremendous defense but as long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy and throwing the ball like he has been, I don't see anyway Brock Osweiler and the Texans can keep up. Lambeau hasn't offered much of an advantage for the Packers so far this season. If they hope to have any chance of extending their season, they are going to need to change that immediately.
Will's Pick: Packers
Will's Analysis: I still don't believe this team is going to make the playoffs right now (much like the Chargers, they could conceivably finish 10-6 and still miss out), but they do have more momentum right now than the Texans, who are beginning to fall apart. Osweiler's play has started getting uglier, and the other pieces of the team can't carry them anymore due in part to the defense starting to slip as well.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Atlanta Falcons
Peter's Pick: Chiefs
Peter's Analysis: Both of these teams have moments when they appear to be contenders and they each also have times when they fall apart in games they probably should have won. Right now the Chiefs seem like the better team and they could make a statement here by winning a big one on the road.
Will's Pick: Falcons
Will's Analysis: This would be a huge statement game for the Falcons. The Chiefs are now firmly in second in the AFC West, and everything seemed to go their way against the Broncos. And though it's difficult to trust the Falcons' pass defense, it helps that the Chiefs still aren't very good on the passing side of things. Falcons will be relying on home advantage to pull this one off, but I think they can do it.
Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens
Peter's Pick: Dolphins
Peter's Analysis: The Dolphins have been the feel good story of the last month and a half as they have won six straight games and established themselves as the next closest thing to a contender to the Patriots in the AFC East. None of the will matter, however, if they can't go into Baltimore and knock of the Ravens. It will be a battle but in the end I believe Miami's edgy young run game will give them the advantage.
Will's Pick: Ravens
Will's Analysis: The Dolphins are on a six-game winning streak, but their last two victories against the Rams and 49ers were way closer than they should've been. The Ravens aren't exactly one of the better teams with winning record out there either, but they do have a good WR lineup and they have the home advantage in this game. Jay Ajayi is going to have to get fully going again to take the pressure off Tannehill.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Cincinnati Bengals
Peter's Pick: Eagles
Peter's Analysis: With a win against a very disappointing Bengals team, the Eagles can draw even at .500 with six victories. That should be motivation for them to take one on the road against a Bengals team who's once proud receiving core is struggling to even look respectable as the season wears on.
Will's Pick: Eagles
Will's Analysis: Right now, the Bengals are just a mess. And you could argue that the Eagles have issues as well with no defined starting RB and one of the worst WR corps in football, but Dorial Green-Beckham seems to be getting it together. And their defense still isn't that bad. Andy Dalton pretty much only has Tyler Eifert and Jeremy Hill for weapons right now, so he's going to have to ball out if he wants to win more games this year, especially since his own defense is not helping him much.
Buffalo Bills @ Oakland Raiders
Peter's Pick: Raiders
Peter's Analysis: This Raiders team has been the best case scenario of anything we could have predicted for them in the beginning of the year. The Bills are the same inconsistent team we see almost every season in recent history. I don't see very many ways in which Oakland comes out of this game without anything but a very decisive victory on their home field.
Will's Pick: Raiders
Will's Analysis: The Bills are going to be a little better now that they have Sammy Watkins back, but this is still probably the best team in the AFC we're talking about in the Raiders. They really need to get the running game moving better, but so far it hasn't mattered much as the passing game has been excellent and this game probably won't be an exception either.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Diego Chargers
Peter's Pick: Buccaneers
Peter's Analysis: The Bucs have looked pretty decent in a couple of upsets the last two weeks and find themselves in the middle of a three game winning streak. It's ironic that they face a Chargers team who caused a couple of upsets themselves in the beginning of the year then fell back to earth. I see Tampa Bay walking out of this one with their seventh victory of the season and a lot of momentum heading into the home stretch.
Will's Pick: Chargers
Will's Analysis: Once the Chargers get going, it's pretty difficult to stop them for a few games. And although the Buccaneers defense has been playing excellent the last couple games, Rivers is still one of the more prolific passers around, and it'll help that the defense pretty much only has to concentrate their efforts on Winston and Mike Evans.
New York Giants @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Peter's Pick: Giants
Peter's Analysis: Everyone seems to be sleeping on the Giants, even though they have very quietly earned themselves the second best record in the NFC. It will be tough to go into Pittsburgh and wrestle one away from the Steelers who are desperately in need of a win but I believe Eli and Co. definitely have what it takes.
Will's Pick: Steelers
Will's Analysis: The Giants do have a very good defense right now, but right now Ben Roethlisberger is playing out of his mind, as usual. As is Antonio Brown. And though they don't have much else right now besides Le'Veon Bell, they will have the home advantage against a Giants team that hasn't been quite as savory on offense lately as they have on defense.
Washington Redskins @ Arizona Cardinals
Peter's Pick: Redskins
Peter's Analysis: As odd as this year has been, it wouldn't be that surprising to see two teams who already have ties on their record, finish another one in a draw. Yet, in my opinion Washington is by far the more talented team and should easily walk away with this one.
Will's Pick: Redskins
Will's Analysis: The Redskins will be looking to bounce back after their loss to the Cowboys and stay ahead in the Wildcard race, and Kirk Cousins is playing some of the best football in the NFL right now. The Cardinals have not been playing up to last year's standards, and though they'll be at home, their defense will likely be their undoing, since a pretty good Cowboys defense couldn't stop Cousins from going 41-for-53 for about 450 yards and three touchdowns with no turnovers.
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks
Peter's Pick: Seahawks
Peter's Analysis: In spite of their inability to remain focused at times, this is still a very talented Seahawks team who should be able to do some major damage when it matters. It's still hard to know what we have with these Panthers who have shown brilliance at time and I have a feeling this will be an easy game for Seattle at home.
Will's Pick: Seahawks
Will's Analysis: “One does not simply beat the Seahawks at home.” Cliched meme, but it's true; the Seahawks are very difficult to defeat at Seattle, and it doesn't help when you're a 4-7 team and on a big Super Bowl hangover. The Seahawks should take this one no problem, as that loss to the Buccaneers probably didn't mean much in the grand scheme of things.
Indianapolis Colts @ New York Jets
Peter's Pick: Colts
Peter's Analysis: It looks like Andrew Luck should be able to play in this one and even though he has struggled at times against the Jets, he seems determined to make a late season push at winning the AFC South and getting his team a spot in the playoffs.
Will's Pick: Colts
Will's Analysis: It sounds like Andrew Luck will be back for this one, so the Colts offense should be able to go to work on the Jets secondary. Ryan Fitzpatrick might keep them in the game a little bit, as he did against the Patriots, but the fact is the Jets are another imploding squad in this league, and while the Colts aren't exactly Super Bowl material, a win here could put them in a three-way tie for first in the AFC South (assuming the Texans lose).