NFL Week 13 Preview: Do we have a possible Super Bowl preview?


Tony Avelar, Associated Press

49ers defensive end Nick Bosa rushes against Packers offensive lineman Alex Light on Sunday Night Football.

Michael Raupp, Sports Editor

Michael Raupp, Editor

Overall Record: 66-42-1

Thanksgiving Scores:

Chicago (6-6) 24 @ Detroit Lions (3-8-1) 20

Buffalo Bills (9-3) 26 @ Dallas Cowboys (6-6) 15

New Orleans Saints (10-2) 26 @ Atlanta Falcons (3-9) 18


Quick Bullets:

  • David Blough played pretty darn well. Who is that may you ask? The Lions third string quarterback that was a touchdown away from beating the stout Bears defense.
  •  For those that didn’t watch the first of three Thanksgiving games, the Bears were in for a surprise when Blough hit wide open Kenny Golladay for a 75-yard touchdown on his second throw of the game. After scoring once again to make the game 14-7 late in the first, Blough and the Lions did not score another touchdown the rest of the game, as the Bears’ defense began to settle in throughout and the Lions play calling took a more conservative route.
  • Chicago found themselves down for the majority of the game, however, Mitchell Trubisky played arguably the best game of his career, leading the Bears to victory on a 95- yard drive late in the 4th quarter.
  • Meanwhile, the Bears will play at home next Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys, who once again were defeated, which extends their streak of not beating an opponent with a winning record all season. Head coach Jason Garrett’s seat is getting hotter each week, but the Cowboys cannot panic because they remain in the division lead at 6-6. With that said, the Bears will be playing for their season while the Cowboys look to remain in the lead ahead of the Eagles (5-6), who have the easiest remaining schedule in the league.
  • It is the truth Falcons’ Younghoe Koo succeeded on THREE onside kick recoveries. New Orleans looked to have firm control late in the fourth quarter, but Koo’s impressive onside kicks set the Falcons up to possibly tie the game being down eight late in the fourth. However, injuries to the Falcons revamped offensive line prevailed with Matt Ryan being sacked multiple times on their last drive. 
  • The Saints clinched their third consecutive NFC South title, and what can’t Taysom Hill do?

My Five Best Games of the Weekend:


San Francisco 49ers (10-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (9-2)

Sunday, Noon (FOX)

In what could be a Super Bowl preview, both team’s confidence continues to grow exponentially after each win. On Sunday night, the 49ers shredded the Packers in a statement win (37-8) that put them at 10-1 for the first time since 1997. The next night, the Ravens followed up the 49ers’ performance in a blowout victory of their own, winning 45-6 against the Rams. If anyone can put the brakes on Lamar Jackson, it would be San Francisco. Then again, it was expected New England, Los Angeles, and others were the ones to slow him down, but all have failed thus far. San Francisco does have the top ranked defense with a front seven that can cause disruption on any given play, but Lamar’s athleticism is like none they have seen. The 49ers have a high-powered offense themselves, but no one has been able to keep up with the Ravens — that trend will continue. 

49ers 27, Ravens 38

Tennessee Titans (6-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (6-5)

Sunday, Noon (CBS)

This is the true definition of a toss-up game. Whoever wins this has a real shot at the second and final AFC wild card spot in a crowded bundle of teams either just below the .500 mark or slightly above. Tennessee was in what was expected to be another toss-up last week against division rival Jacksonville, but they went out and manhandled them. The Colts will be without running back Marlon Mack once again, but Jonathan Williams has showed what he can do with back to back 100 yard games. 

Nonetheless, the Titans have a bulldozer in Derrick Henry and the better defense, based off defensive statistics. Without much confidence in this selection, the Titans win. 

Titans 24, Colts 20

Oakland Raiders (6-5) @ Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)

Sunday, 3:25 (CBS)

Tennessee and Indianapolis were thankful the Raiders decided to put up a stinker in New York, as the loss opened the door for them and others. If Oakland finds a way to win, the AFC playoff picture will look entirely different. The Raiders have one of the easier schedules down the stretch and the Chiefs as a second wild card team would be a game teams want to avoid. It is without saying Jon Gruden will have his team fired up after an embarrassing defeat against the Jets, but Andy Reid and the Chiefs have had two weeks to prepare and will not disappoint.

Chiefs win a must have. 

Raiders 21, Chiefs 35

New England Patriots (10-1) @ Houston Texans (7-4)

Sunday, 7:20 (NBC)

New England is holding onto the first seed in the AFC once again, but this season has been completely different than years past. Tom Brady’s offense has not been the same and he is well aware of the struggles. Luckily for him, he has a league-best scoring defense that can control anyone — well maybe just not Lamar Jackson. 

If the Texans win, the AFC South is most likely all wrapped up, however, this will be the game Brady and his offense breaks through. Teams that have committed to the running game have had success against the Texans’ front, notably Baltimore and Indianapolis the last few weeks. With the Patriots having success last week with Sony Michel running the ball, the Patriots could lean on him more this week, especially if their receiver corps are still banged up. 

A defense as suffocating as the Patriots could mean Texans’ Deshuan Watson will make his share of mistakes, which Brady will most definitely capitalize on.

Patriots 27, Texans 21

Minnesota Vikings (8-3) @ Seattle Seahawks (9-2)

Monday, 7:15 (ESPN)

The final game of Week 13 could not be any better. Depending on what happens Sunday, one of these two teams might have the opportunity to ascend further in the NFC playoff picture.

The Seahawks have the edge being the home team with the better quarterback, and their defense actually carried the offense to victory in Philadelphia last Sunday. The combination of Dalvin Cook, Stephon Diggs, and Adam Thielen is a whole other animal than what the Seahawks faced last week, but this game will come down to the quarterback, and Seattle has that advantage handily.

Seahawks win and improve to 10-2 and possibly first place in the NFC West with a 49ers loss to the Ravens.

Vikings 23, Seahawks 30