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NFL Picks Week 13: The Circle of Life

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Week 12 saw the Saints dominate in their most complete effort of the season, now they face one of the NFC's hottest teams. Let's take a look at all of the Week 13 action here.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints face the Detroit Lions, with an opportunity to climb themselves back to .500 and remain in playoff contention.  The quarterback matchup of Drew Brees vs Matthew Stafford usually tends to be a very good one and this should be no different.  The biggest thing to watch though, will be the Saints much-improved defense and how it handles one of the better QB's in the NFL.

Hopefully for the Saints, with frequent trips to the endzone, they'll have more chances to play "Circle of Life" over the PA system, much like they did in last week's game against Los Angeles.  Let's take a deeper look at this game and all of the rest on the Week 13 schedule.

Last week I went 15-1 (Why didn't I go to Vegas last week?!!)

I told you so: Bucs over Seahawks! (unfortunately)

What do I know: Eagles over Packers?

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WEEK 13

Thursday, December 1st - Thursday Night Football

Cowboys(10-1) at Vikings(6-5)

Homefield advantage and the NFL's 3rd ranked defense are what will keep this game closer than it should be.  The major problem for Minnesota is that they have no offense to speak of.  Ultimately, Dallas' superior rushing attack will wear down the Vikings defense and secure an 11th consecutive victory for the Cowboys.  Dallas wins 27-23.

Pick: Cowboys

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Sunday, December 4th - Early Games

Chiefs(8-3) at Falcons(7-4)

Atlanta's 3rd ranked offense will overwhelm Kansas City early and cruise to the finish.  Atlanta wins 39-19.

Pick: Falcons

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Rams(4-7) at Patriots(9-2)

Jared Goff is staring a 3 interception, pulled by halftime performance right in the face here.  New England wins 34-9.

Pick: Patriots

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Broncos(7-4) at Jaguars(2-9)

Denver will rebound from a tough loss las Sunday Night, with a big win in Jacksonville.  Denver wins 35-19.

Pick: Broncos

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Texans(6-5) at Packers(5-6)

Houston's non-existent passing game will cost them in snowy Lambeau Field, as Green Bay looks to keep their season alive.  Green Bay wins 32-24.

Pick: Packers

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Eagles(5-6) at Bengals(3-7-1)

Carson Wentz will attack the suspect Bengals defense through the air, cruising to a big win in Cincy.  Philadelphia wins 34-13.

Pick: Eagles

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Dolphins(7-4) at Ravens(6-5)

The Miami rushing attack will have difficulty gaining ground against the NFL's 2nd ranked defense in Baltimore.  Baltimore wins 22-17.

Pick: Ravens

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49ers(1-10) at Bears(2-9)

WHY?  Chicago wins 28-26.

Pick: Bears

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Lions(7-4) at Saints(5-6)

Unlike Los Angeles last week, expect Detroit to attack the Saints' secondary deep downfield in this game, making the Saints' pass-rush even more vital in containing Matthew Stafford and the Lions.  One of the biggest keys in shutting down the bad Detroit running game and putting pressure on Stafford will be DT Nick Fairley, who should have a monster game in this one.

The defense is improving and the offense is operating at a perfect hum right now.  The Saints can and should dispatch of the Lions, who have been luckier than they have been good this season, and dispatch of them thanks to a very solid effort.  The Saints need to play motivated and inspired for all four quarters, as the Lions stand as a far greater threat to the Saints than Los Angeles did last week.  The Saints will be ready and up to the challenge.  Saints win 34-26.

Pick: Saints

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Sunday, December 4th - Late Games

Bills(6-5) at Raiders(9-2)

Buffalo's rushing game against Oakland's passing game have the makings of a very good game.  Ultimately, Buffalo's inability to push the ball downfield through the air will cost them against Derek Carr and the deadly Raider passing attack.  Oakland wins 26-24.

Pick: Raiders

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Giants(8-3) at Steelers(6-5)

The surprising Giants defense will be the key to victory by holding the Steeler offense in check.  Eli and the passing game will make the big plays in the end to get a big win in Pittsburgh.  Giants win 23-21.

Pick: Giants

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Redskins(6-4-1) at Cardinals(4-6-1)

It's strength on strength, as the top-ranked Arizona defense faces the second-ranked Washington offense.  The key here will be Kirk Cousins thoroughly outperforming walking liability Carson Palmer.  Washington wins 24-17.

Pick: Redskins

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Buccaneers(6-5) at Chargers(5-6)

After last week's performance, Tampa has a real opportunity here to legitimize themselves with a win in San Diego.  The key to this game will be Phillip Rivers and the potent Charger passing attack, which will lead the bolts to a late victory.  San Diego wins 32-27.

Pick: Chargers

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Sunday Night Football

Panthers(4-7) at Seahawks(7-3-1) - Game of the Week

Seattle looks to rebound from their embarrassing 5-point effort in Tampa last week as they return home to face off against arguably their most bitter non-divisional rivals, in the Carolina Panthers.  Both defenses will be up to the challenge, but this game will ultimately come down to the quarterbacks, and Russell Wilson will have the clear advantage over Cam Newton.  Seattle wins 20-17.

Pick: Seahawks

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Monday, December 5th - Monday Night Football

Colts(5-6) at Jets(3-8)

Even with the return of Andrew Luck from a concussion, Indy will fall victim to the Jets thanks to their pourous defense.  Jets win 27-9.

Pick: Jets

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There it is, Week 13 of the NFL season.  The Saints are still alive for playoff contention, but they need to win here to stay alive.  Leave us your picks, comments, and insight below.