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NFL Picks, Week 13: Unreasonable Optimism, JJ Watt, and the Winnebago Man

Bob Levey

New Orleans @ Atlanta: Revenge of the Birds! Atlanta gets a chance to rectify their only loss on the season, a 4 point squeaker at New Orleans in Week 10. Ultimately, this game comes down to the Saints' defense. It's putrid bad. It's almost coached-by-Nick-Holt bad. I don't think they can come up with a game plan that they could possibly execute on the road to stop Atlanta. PICK: FALCONS.

Seattle @ Chicago: [BEWARE! UNREASONABLE AMOUNTS OF OPTIMISM FOLLOW] It's unclear if the Sherman-Browner Adderall cartel will be available for the game Sunday, but here's to hoping it doesn't matter. Because Chicago's offensive line has more sweaty, uniformed men go through it than a Turkish prison. Because CHRIS FREAKING SPENCER is a "key" member of that group. Because getting demoted out of the starting lineup is so embarrassing you have to quit football forever (I know, I know, he tried to come back). I am seriously starting to understand why Jay Cutler makes that face. Considering the litany of injuries the Bears are now facing, it's definitely the right week to go to Chicago. PICK: SEAHAWKS

Jacksonville @ Buffalo: Wow, hard to write this one after talking about the Hawks. Um, The Jags did manage to get a win last week against the Titans, which is cool. Again they utilized the Cecil Shorts Bomb to devastating effect. But I think Buffalo will simply run them into the ground in this one. PICK: BUFFALO

San Francisco @ St. Louis: Even though the Rams nearly accomplished the unthinkable a few weeks back, I've awarded the 49ers pick 'em till they lose status. Ergo... PICK: 49ers.

New England @ Miami: Sorry Miami, no love for you right now. I know everyone joked about the Buffalo Wild Wings - Sprinkler connection, but consider this: What happens when you fire a 5'10", 200 pound rocket on wet grass that should be dry? It fails to avoid brushing against the quarterback's head and a game changing interception is taken off the board. Kick rocks Dolphins. PICK: PATRIOTS

Arizona @ NY Jets: Ugh, whatever. PICK: JETS, why not

Indianapolis @ Detroit: The Colts are a weird team. Being 7-4 is good, but they have lost games by 20, 26 and 35 points. Huh? All of those losses were on the road as well. Let's call it a gut feeling, but I like Detroit in this one. PICK: LIONS

Minnesota @ Green Bay: Losers of 4 out of the 6, Minny is fading from relevancy. While they won't be mathematically eliminated, a loss to the Packers is likely a nail in the coffin of their playoff hopes. And lose they will. PICK: VIKINGS

Houston @ Tennessee: JJ Watt is the MVP of the league, and I don't think it's even that close. He's an unstoppable killing machine. PICK: TEXANS

Carolina @ Kansas City: I remain steadfastly in favor of the fact that the Panthers are not this bad. I don't think they're good, but I'm telling you, they'll beat KC. PICK: PANTHERS

Tampa Bay @ Denver: Ouch Bucs. Not a good week to lose ALL the corners off of the 32nd ranked pass defense (by yards allowed). Still, Tampa Bay has some crazy mojo working these days. I think they make it close, but ultimately fall. I wouldn't bet against them with, like, real money or anything. PICK: BRONCOS

Cleveland @ Oakland: Look, Cleveland is going to win this game. I know, I know, they're terrible, but keep in mind they are .500 over their last six, and Oakland, despite some explosive offensive performances, have lost whatever they had when they topped Pittsburgh in week 3. PICK: BROWNS

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore: So Big Ben is 50-50 to play this Sunday, so basically, Pittsburgh has a 50-50 chance to be competitive. Because Charlie Batch is not going into Baltimore and beating the Ravens. I believe this is what they call a "tough road to hoe" for Pitt. PICK: RAVENS

Philadelphia @ Dallas: Heard this on the radio this week: The Phillies have won a game more recently than the Eagles. Holy tailspin Batman. What a heap of crap. I have no love for the Cowboys, but picking Philly right now is dumber than turning the camera off when Jack Rebney is in the room. PICK: COWBOYS

NY Giants @ Washington: The Giants are tough to predict. After a 4 week stretch where they looked meh at best, they managed to cause a kerfluffle when they lambasted Green Bay last week. Washington is coming off a good win in Dallas. Eli is going to have to find a way to get this one done, as Washington can really defend the run. I think he does. PICK: GIANTS