So it’s getting close to the end of this Thanksgiving holiday weekend for this year. But we still can rejoice as there’s plenty of football action left on tap. And we all are desperately in NEED of some football, well I should actually say some BETTER football. With the empty and lonely feeling we all felt after Thursday’s games just about diminished. Let’s hope these contests leave us with that “oh so nice feeling” in the pits of our stomachs. It’s now time for week 13′s top match-ups around the NFL. Enjoy the action, as the playoff pictures become clearer for a few select teams and much dimmer for the others.
A huge NFC South showdown takes place in Tampa on Sunday. After the Saints impressive win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, it’s now or never for them. The first of three remaining divisional games for the Saints has them with their backs against the walls. The Bucs offense isn’t great and they no way can be involved in a shootout in this game. Jeff Garcia has enough left in his tank to be good, sorry not great. If the Bucswinthey will have to do it on the strength of their defense. They need to pressure Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Force him into leaving the pocket, and making poor throws. Brees in capable of doing that, but he’s still a smart player. Force, pressure and pound him that’s what it takes and he’ll fold like a cheap suit. If the Bucs defense allows him time, it’s over, he’ll pick apart the secondary with the deep balls. That’s what happens when you have the likes of a Marques Colston and Lance Moore racing down field. Look for the return of Reggie Bush to get back into game form in this game, I said a return, don’t expect a normal Bush like game just coming back from injury. NEW ORLEANS 27-21
It’s half of the leaders in the AFC facing off in the Meadowlands. With the Broncos still some how managing to hold onto the top spot in the AFC West. They are in a great place to knock off a potential playoff opponent in the Jets. Of course the Jets are coming into this meeting on a five game winning streak. And enter a pretty easy portion of their late season schedule over the next two weeks. The offense of the Jets has been stellar recently with the old veteran Brett Favre leading the charge. Thomas Jones and Leon Washington handling the running duties, and doing very well I might add. But it’s there defense that has stepped it up a notch or two the last week weeks. By hitting the quarterbacks, forcing bad throws, making the key plays at the right time. The defense has been great and very instrumental in shutting opposing teams down. Jones who after this game, should join the 1000 yard rushing club in the NFL. Since the Broncos have no run stopping defense. For you fantasy owners of Jones start him and weep the rewards this week. Now the only way I see the Broncos making this game close enough for them to win, it’s Jay Cutler. Cutler needs to regain his form from the start of the season, and get this offense back on track. With injuries depleting their running backs, and now relying on their 4th and 5th backs on the season, it’s time for their receivers to play their best ball. Brandon Marshall and fellow wide out Eddie Royal need to open the field and hit the marks in order to help Cutler. Look for tight end Tony Scheffler to get back into the mix with his size and quickness. If the Broncos want a chance a winning they need to utilize the speed and play makers they have catching the ball. It’s as easy as that, do it and win, don’t and lose. I don’t see it happening that’s why I’m going with the big whammy. NEW YORK 34-26
For the Redskins, there are two things on the line. Their playoff wild card hopes and redemption from that humiliating opening night loss at the hands of the Giants. Face it the NFC East is weak this year, every one’s had their problems including New York. Theirs being upset by the Cleveland Browns back in week six. Washington needs to rely on Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley for a victory. Portis needs to do what no other back in the league has done with the giants defense. Move the ball and keep the clock ticking. Cooley need to stop making headlines off the field and start making them on it. He needs to use his size and strength with coverage from the Giants, and make plays. Help Jason Campbell out in the passing department. If they do these little things, it’s huge for Washington. One they can score some points, and two it keeps Eli Manning and hispotent offense off the field. With Brandon Jacobs questionable and Plaxico Burress already ruled out for this game. It’s going to be tougher for the Giants to score a ton of points. The need Eli to become his big brother and lead this team through injuries to another win. Look for Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw to have the running game covered. But if Bradshaw’s unable to play due to injury, watch out the stock’s going to rise for Ward. As Ward is a very capable runner when he has the chance to showcase it. I like the upset to happen in this contest. Washington 24-20
2 – Carolina Panthers (8-3) at Green Bay Packers (5-6)
Sorry all you CHEESEHEAD fans up in Green Bay, but there will be no playoffs for you this year. With the Packers sitting in third place in the NFC North, the road to the playoffs is just about snowed in. But for the surprise Panthers it’s alive and well in North Carolina. Look for a high scoring affair here. With the likes of Aaron Rodgers, and Jake Delhomme airing the ball at will. With speedy superstars in Steve Smith, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver making defenders look like high school kids on the field. This will truly be a special game, since it’ll be a high scoring one. And two I have the feeling defense won’t play much of a part. And let’s not forget the talented running backs involved here, with Ryan Grant, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Grant will be the key for a Packers win, if he’s able to move the ball on the ground and help Rodgers through the air, it’s key. The Panthers have a good defensive line that will pressure you, if Grant’s able to slip past them, he could run for days with his speed. The combo of Stewart and Williams if their on their A game, will be a blessing for the Panthers in the cold confides of Lambeau Field. A cold weather game is great for the RB’s, not so great for the passing game. So if the Panthers can hold onto the ball and run it, which the Saints did with ease on Monday night. It’s going to be a long and cold day for the non playoff bound Packers. Green Bay 34-24
The best game on the schedule is deserving to be shown on Sunday night football on NBC. Two of the top ranked defenses will be on display inside the dome in Minnesota. Look at this it’s late in the season and the Bears and Vikings are fighting for the top spot in the NFC North. It’s winner take first for this week anyways. With the Bears having to rely on the defense to keep them close in games, and at times win them. The Vikings will look towards these two men to led them, QB Gus Frerotte and RB Adrian Peterson. Look for Peterson to rush for at least 125 yards. And Frerotte to do his normal duty, play consistent turnover free football. Also look for him to be on his back I’d say 4-5 times from the Beards “D”. With Kyle Orton at the helm still for Chicago (look for McNabb to land there next season) we just never know what were going to see. The confident QB who can throw for 300 yards and hit targets at will down field. Or the cruddy play off an underachiever, who doesn’t belong calling the signals on a Pop Warner team. Minnesota 27-23
Topics: Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Brandon Marshall, Brett Favre, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Chris Cooley, Cleveland Browns, Clinton Portis, DeAngelo Williams, Denver Broncos, Derrick Ward, Donald Driver, Drew Brees, Eddie Royal, Eli Manning, Green Bay Packers, Greg Jennings, Gus Frerotte, Jake Delhomme, Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler, Jeff Garcia, Jonathan Stewart, Kyle Orton, Lance Moore, Leon Washington, Marques Colston, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFC East, Plaxico Burress, Reggie Bush, Ryan Grant, Steve Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Thomas Jones, Tony Scheffler, Washington Redskins