Bold Predictions for NFL Week 13 and Possibly Beyond
Week 13 in the NFL is upon us, and most would bet that these games are nothing but a formality going forward. It looks as if the AFC is all but figured out for the playoffs, five teams can clinch berths and most of the have-beens are fading away. Not so fast though as there is plenty of football left ahead, and a ton of room for embarrassing predictions to ring true.
There are many angles that can be used for a predictions slideshow, as there are very good probabilities of upsets, QBs and RBs creating personnel match-ups, and defenses that may prey on the weak. There is also the probability of every underdog winning and the good defenses look absolutely foolish against some underrated talent.
With just about every possibility in mind, it is almost impossible to narrow bold predictions for any week down to five choices. My attempt is not to baffle you as a reader, or jog your memory into fact-checking and needles running around trying to scratch your head at what I am discussing here. However, I do want to make you think about the possibility of the next five slides happening in real time.
One or two of them may look like no-brainers, but there is a reason they are listed. So here I give you five bold predictions that will have implications for not only week 13, but also going forward for the rest of this year and possibly beyond.
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Luck and Stafford Go Off
Yes, both the rookie Andrew Luck and the inconsistent Matthew Stafford will have over 350 yards passing this week and record at least three TDs. This may not seem like such a bold prediction, but that will lead to what I believe will be the highest scoring game of the week.
Both teams will be able to run the ball this week, and that will set up beautiful play-action passes that will be music to the ears of Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson, and also Indianapolis Colts WRs Reggie Wayne and Donnie Avery. Luck will get the final say, however, as he goes on the road and wins another one to get his Colts team in a better position to make the playoffs. This is the game that gives them confidence moving forward.
Jim Harbaugh Caught in Controversy
As if Jim Harbaugh didn't have enough problems on his hands, he just adds more fuel to the fire. Regardless of how he explains the QB "situation", he has handled it poorly, now publicly coming out and saying that he doesn't have to tell Alex Smith what is going on and when. That must be the ultimate kick in the groin for Smith, who was having the best season of his career and according to him, "was only benched for getting a concussion."
The really bad thing is that Harbaugh will bench Colin Kaepernick this weekend against the St. Louis Rams in favor of Smith, who according to coach, "has the hot hand." With the Rams having plenty of tape on Kaepernick this week, it is realistic for the 49ers starter to struggle the second time around, especially with a divisional opponent. The 49ers will win this one, but I bet by the third quarter, we will see Harbaugh make a change that eventually will hurt the team going forward, and derail a championship run because of a house divided.
Chargers Fire Turner
Do you often wonder what is truly in the mind of some owner when they retain the services of someone that just does not have ability to lead their team week in and week out? Why all those years did Jerry Jones keep Wade Phillips? How come Andy Reid is still coaching in Philadelphia? Why the heck does Alex Spanos keep Norv Turner trolling the sidelines?
Well, we may not get answers(at least not truthful ones) this weekend, but I believe with an ugly loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Turner will see his last day on their sideline. Turner has had a team well above the median talent level in the NFL, and has proven year after year that he can not a championship. While this may have been a year or two too late, it was inevitable. Broncos fans are just hoping Spanos makes another mistake and brings in Rex Ryan as his predecessor. Oops, that could have been the next slide.
Brady, Pats Erase Stigma
Maybe not many NFL fans know this, but the future Hall of Fame QB that resides in the Northeast and plays for football's evil empire is 0-3 in December when playing in Miami. That's right, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots does not win in warm weather late in the year.
Let me just say this: while it may not be the boldest prediction for Brady to go into Miami and leave with a win on Sunday, the numbers do not lie. When predicting the NFL, it's all about the numbers. So I will say that Brady and company will play a close game in Miami and eke out the victory against their division rival Dolphins. Let that stigma be cast aside, Patriot-haters.
Texans Show Human Side
Finally, my boldest prediction of them all. The Tennessee Titans will beat the suddenly human Houston Texans!! While the Titans are clearly one of the bottom-feeders of the league at 4-7, they are still a divisional opponent that the Texans should never sleep on. RB Chris Johnson has been running the ball very well, the Titans have made a change at the offensive coordinator position, and QB Jake Locker plays much better at home posting a 3/1 TD/INT rate and completing just over 73% of his passes.
Add to the fact that the Texans come off a stretch playing two back to back overtime games and may be looking past the Titans towards next week's game against the Patriots. This may turn out to be the perfect storm for the Titans to eke out a 24-23 win in front of their home crowd. This also may be the game that propels the Texans back into the crowded AFC playoff race and they know that the Colts are coming up in weeks 15 and 17. This will spell trouble.