NFL Predictions 2019: Week 13

I replicated my showing from last week on every level and I guess I’ll take it. I was 12-2 picking winners (117-58-1 overall) and now it gets really difficult in that area as the weather changes, some teams are out of contention and injuries make predicting the lineups impossible. I was 7-7 against the spread (90-83-3 overall) and thrilled to be in the black considering how poorly I did early on. I was 8-6 on the over/under (85-89-2 overall) and that’s disappointing because I usually thrive in that area. However, the +2 week edges me to +3 against Vegas on the season.

Chicago (5-6) @ Detroit (3-7-1): When this was put on the schedule to open the Thanksgiving triple header it looked like a potential winner. At worst the Bears would be heading to hostile territory against a capable team trying to spoil their playoff drive. Now it’s two teams going nowhere. Technically the visitors are in the mix, but three games out of the second wild card with five to play is not realistic. Trubisky is out the door if Instagram has anything to say about it and Cam Newton’s jersey is practically available for sale at their stadium store. The Lions are looking to start a rookie who wasn’t drafted and why not? They are well out of the mix thanks in part to Stafford going out of the lineup. There is no reason to rush their starter back and it makes sense to find out of Blough can play. Driskel has a hamstring injury. For all Chicago’s struggles the defense has not quit. They have not allowed more than 22 points in five straight (2-3 record) including a 20-13 win over the Lions just a few weeks ago. The hosts totaled just 226 yards in the win and 13 first downs. Driskel wasn’t awful in the game and actually finished with 306 yards including his 37 rushing. Now it’s the dome and the holiday always makes this team play better, but a rookie passer against this defense? Yikes, that makes me nervous. They have dropped seven of their last eight games and while seven of those came by one score the losses have mounted. Neither team is great at protecting the passer. While Detroit is sixth in passing none of that of course came with Blough. Chicago is third-worst and has no excuses, but they face a Lions team that is third-worst against the pass with 22 touchdowns allowed against 4 interceptions. The Bears are ninth and can bring the heat. Detroit has a better rushing offense and by roughly that same margin Chicago has the better rushing defense. This is an even matchup. Quarterbacks are so important and turnovers decide games. I wouldn’t be shocked if the hosts pull this out, but I think the visitors can run a little here and their defense will create enough to help the offense out: Chicago 22, Detroit 17 (DET +6/over 37)

Buffalo (8-3) @ Dallas (6-5): The Cowboys definitely could have won at New England and created some cushion in their fight for the NFC East, which is a trash division. Instead they continued their pattern of losing to good teams and beating bad ones. It’s a short week after two road games and last week was a mess in bad weather. I wonder if they can recover quickly enough to get this one. The Bills dumped Denver 20-3, their second consecutive 17-point win over a bad team. I am starting to believe this squad and the leader of their division are simply benefiting from an awful schedule with both east divisions being garbage. They are laughing all the way to the playoffs it appears, because wins at Pittsburgh and against the Jets will likely be all they need to qualify at 10-6. They would love to get this one of course. Dallas is leading the NFL in passing offense and has allowed only 12 sacks, but 10 interceptions is a high number for a contender. Buffalo is below average. Both pass defenses are top 6, but only have a combined 11 interceptions. They both can generate sacks at least. The teams are both north of four and a half yards per carry in rushing offense with double digit scores on the ground. The Bills do it with their mobile quarterback and the timeless Gore while the Cowboys have Zeke. Both run defenses are in the middle of the pack and allow just below four and a half yards and double digit scores. In other words this could be a matter of which team can impose their will with the run or stop the run. I think Dallas has the defense to stand up here and while on paper Buffalo can do the same, their schedule is mostly responsible for their numbers: Dallas 24, Buffalo 16 (DAL -6.5/under 47.5)

New Orleans (9-2) @ Atlanta (3-8): As much as I criticize the NFL scheduling procedures, I love the third Thanksgiving game. This one pits two rivals and while clearly the Falcons are in a lost season, turns out it’s a revenge game after they smoked the Saints 26-9 a few weeks ago. Maybe the post-bye week magic on defense just doesn’t translate to their home field? They had allowed 27-plus points six times during their 1-7 start and then held two teams without a touchdown including these guys. All that went up in smoke during a 35-22 home loss to Tampa Bay. The NFL is weird. It’s just about clinch time for New Orleans. A win coupled with a loss by Carolina wraps up the NFC South. All they really need to do is finish 1-4 as long as the win is over the Panthers, that’s how much they have dominated this division. Seven times they have scored 30-plus this season, all wins. However, in the other four games (2-2 record) they have scored a grand total of 48 points. Yep, the NFL is weird. There isn’t a lot of in between for this offense, either they are dominant or inept. My inclination is they figure out whatever went wrong the first meeting. Mostly it was a lack of running game as Kamara and Murray combined for 36 yards on 9 carries. They only punted four times, but failed all three times they tried to convert on fourth down. Thomas is having a monster season at wide receiver and his opposite number Jones has done the same for years. Overall Atlanta’s pass defense is not as good and Winston just rolled them last week to the tune of 11.2 yards per attempt. New Orleans is the better running team by far and all told has a stiffer run defense. I see no reason not to expect revenge to kick in here, but it’s a division rivalry game and anything goes. A short work week only makes the result more unpredictable. I don’t think the visitors can blow them out, but I do think they will crank the offense up: New Orleans 31, Atlanta 23 (NO -5.5/over 48)

Tennessee (6-5) @ Indianapolis (6-5): Last week’s divisional matchups in the AFC South at least settled that the Jaguars are out of the mix thanks to their 1-4 mark within the division after these Titans blew them out 42-20. The Colts lost the fight to take over the lead with a 20-17 loss at the Texans. Those results set this one up to find out which team will be in the best position to challenge the division lead in the final quarter of the season. Indy won the first meeting 19-17 two months ago and it feels like two months ago. Mack won’t be the lead back in the rematch and on the other side Mariota won’t be the starting quarterback. Both of those help the visitors who have been hot with Tannehill at the helm. Neither team reached 300 total yards in that one and despite winning the turnover battle 2-0 the visitors couldn’t overcome a dreadful 1/10 conversion performance on third down. The key I see is that Tennessee has really ramped up their scoring of late, especially the last two games totaling 77 points. Indianapolis has been in an odd funk of scoring production every other week. This is the week for them to put up a bigger number so we’ll see. Both pass offenses are below average and the Titans have allowed twice as many sacks (43 to 21). Defensively while the Colts are better in the ranking there isn’t a huge difference across the stat sheet and they let passers complete 68.4% of their throws. Indy is third in rushing and while Mack’s absence hurts they have been okay. Tennessee has Henry and he can dominate, especially over defenders tired from a long season. The run defenses are comparable. It’s a coin flip game. Momentum favors the visitors, but the home team has had extra rest. I never know what to expect from the Titans and that uncertainty is why I’m going against them here in a close one: Indianapolis 24, Tennessee 23 (TEN +3.5/over 41.5)

NY Jets (4-7) @ Cincinnati (0-11): Four weeks ago the Jets had lost to then-winless Miami and appeared to be in contention for the top pick. They have won three straight games and scored exactly 34 points in each win to change all that. I suppose they are finally showing the talent that made preseason prognosticators high on them. No one expected anything from the Bengals who are now two clear of the field for the first pick in the draft. Maybe that’s why suddenly Dalton is starting at quarterback again. No team wants to go 0-16 and if 1-15 pairs with having their choice of any college prospect that’s not so bad right? Their offense has failed to score more than 17 points in six straight and only once since the season opener. Their defense has stiffened the last two weeks, allowing a total of 33 points but they are facing a suddenly hot attack. Darnold is playing a lot better of late so let’s forget the team has allowed 42 sacks, thrown 13 interceptions and has more passing yards than only the Redskins. The Bengals have given up 40 sacks and tossed 10 picks, but manage almost 35 yards more per game. Plus, Dalton gives them a boost at home. The pass defenses are both below average and New York has an edge in sacks (26 to 16). The Jets are third-worst in rushing offense, two spots below the Bengals. Both sides have a talented lead rusher, but the lines haven’t opened up the holes. New York is first in rushing defense and Cincinnati is dead last. That’s really the rub on this game. Cold weather late in the season means running the ball is vital. I trust Bell over Mixon, and a hot Darnold over a rusty Dalton: NY Jets 23, Cincinnati 17 (NYJ -2.5/under 43)

Washington (2-9) @ Carolina (5-6): Haskins missed the final snap because he was taking a selfie with a fan and that’s not a good look for the rookie. However, at least he won a game. It clearly wasn’t based on his play. He completed 13/29 passes and outplayed Driskel who threw 3 picks. The team’s only touchdown was on a kickoff return. They have not scored 20 points since week 2. The Panthers played well enough to win at New Orleans, but Slye missed two extra points and a short field goal in a 34-31 loss. Their last home game was a stunning 29-3 loss to Atlanta and they are only 2-3 here. However, this is a struggling opponent they are facing and the Redskins can’t score. Washington is dead last in passing offense and has taken 35 sacks. Carolina has absorbed 35 and both teams are double digits in interceptions so it’s a matter of which team can control the bad plays. The Panthers have a slightly lower ranked pass defense, but have more sacks (41 to 29) and have allowed fewer TD passes (14 to 20). Carolina is a lot better running the ball and of course has McCaffrey. Both teams have struggled to stop the run. Washington allows fewer yards per carry (4.3 to 5.0) but does Peterson have enough gas left in the tank to take advantage? He’s chugged along this season and in the end with the weather near freezing I don’t believe in an offense with a struggling quarterback. All Carolina needs to do is stack the box and it’s over: Carolina 27, Washington 16 (CAR -9/over 39)

San Francisco (10-1) @ Baltimore (9-2): This is being billed as a Super Bowl preview and it’s hard to disagree. Both teams are coming off resounding primetime wins. Travel is a factor as the 49ers take the long flight east. The truth is that next week’s game at New Orleans is a lot more important to them because that’s the team they are battling for the NFC’s top seed, assuming they can hold off Seattle in the NFC West. It’s conceivable they finish 13-3 as a wild card. The Ravens have suddenly become bullies, winning fives straight by at least two touchdowns and by 33-plus points in three straight. Next week in Buffalo is a challenge on paper against an 8-3 team, but honestly this is the last potential pothole I see for them. They are one slip up by the Patriots away from stealing the AFC’s top seed. I expect an absolute rumble, and the forecast of near freezing temps and rain only adds to the drama. While the stats show both passing offenses in the middle range, each team is so efficient and able to protect their quarterback effectively. Jackson is an MVP candidate and Jimmy G has had some struggles in spots. San Francisco is leading the NFL in pass defense and has a 44-25 edge in sacks over a Baltimore unit that has been average and allows almost 100 yards more through the air. These are the top two rushing offenses in the league and everyone knows what Jackson can do. The Ravens have 17 carries of 20-plus yards and no other team has more than 13. Baltimore is third in run defense, but has given up 10 rushing scores and not a great average per carry (4.3). San Franciso is just below average and allows even more per rush (4.7). Can anyone stop this runaway train that is the Ravens? I feel like the 49ers are just as hot, but on the road in bad weather? I’m not so sure they can be as effective in this environment: Baltimore 22, San Francisco 17 (SF +6/under 46.5)

Tampa Bay (4-7) @ Jacksonville (4-7): It’s the battle for Florida supremacy and time to get excited right? The Sunshine State has a trio of bad teams, as usual and this is the game to decide who is the best of the worst. The Bucs are done in the NFC and are officially playing out the string, but won last week. The Jags were run over last week and have just been pushed out of the AFC South picture. Momentum favors the visitors who if nothing else can sure score. Unfortunately they also allow points in bunches. The last time one of their games had a total of under 50 was week 2. Three of their games have produced totals of 95, 63 and 74. At least their games are fun to watch. Jacksonville has fallen apart in their last three games, allowing 26, 33 and 42 points to fade from the race. The timing couldn’t be worse for them as all of those games were within the division. Now we find out if they have the ability to show up when nothing is on the line. These are actually a pair of top 10 passing offenses. Winston has thrown 20 picks and the team has allowed 36 sacks so that explains the issues for the Bucs in the debut season for coach Arians. The Jags have thrown only 5 interceptions, but can’t find the right recipe for success. Tampa Bay is second-worst in pass defense having allowed 26 aerial scores while Jacksonville is tenth and has 34 sacks. The Jags have a better rushing offense and gain 0.8 yards more per carry. However, the Bucs are second in run defense and give up 1.9 yards fewer per rush. I do think the home team can show some effort here and rise to the occasion. Strange things happen when two losing teams get together. I’m expecting a frustrated team to make a short road trip and take out some frustration on a lost season. I trust them more because at least I know they will put up points: Tampa Bay 30, Jacksonville 24 (TB +4.5/over 46.5)

Cleveland (5-6) @ Pittsburgh (6-5): Are they going to ring the bell before this one? All eyes will be on the rematch from two weeks ago on TNF, punctuated by a play that never should have happened. Instead of running out the clock down by 14 with precious seconds remaining the Steelers were throwing as if they had a chance. The rest is history. Pouncey finishes his two-game suspension here and the liar Garrett can dream of playing in 2020 if he’s lucky. Lost in all this nonsense is the fact that this game has serious wild card implications. The Browns have two dates with currently 0-11 Cincinnati left on the schedule and a trip to Arizona who isn’t exactly lighting the league on fire. They have a path to 9 wins even if they can’t repeat their dominance over Baltimore in the rematch and no one expects them to do that. Looking at their body of work, they did lose a close 32-28 decision to a Seattle team that’s now 9-2 and weren’t overwhelmed by currently 10-1 New England. They beat Buffalo who is 8-3. Pittsburgh has a lot at stake here too. They are currently in the second wild card position and have chosen to turn to Hodges at quarterback. It’s probably the right move because I can’t imagine Rudolph being able to focus against this opponent so soon after that traumatic experience honestly. The Browns won the game 21-7 but it was ugly. It wasn’t until a clutch drive ending with a score at the 5:25 mark remaining that the game was settled. The quarterbacks were both south of 54% completions and Rudolph’s 4 interceptions were the deciding factor. Cleveland has the better passing offense and is starting to get in motion. Both passing defenses are in the top 8 with a combined 24 interceptions and 72 sacks in 22 games. The Browns are a lot better running the ball as well, and Hunt as a reliever makes them even more dangerous down the stretch. Cold weather and rain in the forecast make that even more important. The Steelers have a better rushing defense by a yard per carry and that definitely matters. I’m just not sure how Hodges can deliver in this spot. This is an important game, a playoff atmosphere. Mayfield is the first overall pick and played in some huge college games. I am certain Tomlin can coach his way to the upset here and certainly his players will be motivated to play at maximum effort. I don’t know if that’s enough to sway the outcome. The Browns are more talented and at the moment playing a lot better: Cleveland 20, Pittsburgh 17 (CLE +3/under 40.5)

Green Bay (8-3) @ NY Giants (2-9): The Packers got trucked in San Francisco under the lights and need to put that loss behind them as they focus now on winning the NFC North. On the road in miserable weather is a trap situation for them, just ask the Raiders. The other residents dumped the silver and black in this stadium last week. Let’s also not forget that in the last two road games Rodgers has produced a total of 19 points, both losses in California. How much fight do the Giants have? They lost a close game in Chicago last week after a bye and prior to that lost close to the Jets. They did break a streak of six straight allowing 27-plus points, but the Bears are inept on offense. Green Bay has a clear edge in passing offense with a massive quarterback advantage. Rodgers has only 2 interceptions all season and while last week was ugly he can definitely bounce back from his statistically dreadful showing. Both pass defenses are below average, and both rushing offenses are as well although the per carry averages are good. The rushing defenses are also both bad and the Packers allow much more per rush (4.8 to 3.9). On paper the hosts can make this interesting, especially with the weather murky. Instead I think it matters that the better team was rolled last week. They are upset and looking to make amends: Green Bay 24, NY Giants 13 (GB -6/under 47)

Philadelphia (5-6) @ Miami (2-9): The Eagles have been on a great run defensively, allowing no more than 17 points in four straight games. Unfortunately, the last two weeks they have played elite contenders (Seattle, New England) and lost one score games at home. The good news is that after this game they play four within the division and if they win out including a win over Dallas all they need is another loss by the Cowboys for them to win the NFC East. In other words, don’t choke against four 2-9 opponents and you’ll have a decent shot at effectively a winner-take-all for the division in the penultimate week of the season. The Dolphins did their thing avoiding the winless campaign and a week later played spoiler by beating the Colts. Then they went back to ineptitude losing twice by 17 points. Eight of their losses are by double digits this season. These passing offenses are both below average, but Miami has thrown 15 interceptions and taken 46 sacks. Philadelphia is the better pass defense and has a 31-14 edge in sacks. The Dolphins have no rushing attack and sit dead last. The Eagles are just above average and even at that are almost doubling them in yards per game (121.2 to 63.2). Miami is the second worst run defense and that’s volume based as teams roll them. Philadelphia is fifth and while Florida isn’t that cold this time of year that’s a big factor. It’s running season. Fitzpatrick can still sling the ball and keep his team in it, which is code for backdoor covering of the spread: Philadelphia 26, Miami 19 (MIA +10.5/over 44.5)

LA Rams (6-5) @ Arizona (3-7-1): It was hard to watch the Rams get decimated on MNF and the concern here is that some of what Baltimore laid on them will carry over here. They are two back of the wild card with five to play and showing no signs of being the team they were a season ago. While losing two of the last three games they have totaled 35 points, which last year wouldn’t have even have been among their top five single game scoring outputs. Two games with the Cards are sandwiched around a brutal stretch of Seattle, at Dallas and at San Francisco. I don’t see them winning any of those at this point. Arizona is off a bye week and their season has been very streaky. After opening with a tie, they won three, lost three and have now lost four in a row. In their last three games they have scored an average of 26 points, but unfortunately allowed 31.3. It feels like the kind of game where the visitors can reignite their offense and get into a shootout. The Rams are the better passing offense in terms of yardage, but have thrown more picks (13-5) than a team led by a rookie signal caller. The Cardinals have allowed twice as many sacks (36-18). Defensively Arizona is dead last against the pass having allowed a ridiculous 29 passing scores. Los Angeles is just above average and has 32 sacks. Their defense is better than they showed on MNF, and if nothing else learned how to approach a mobile quarterback. Murray is no Jackson, at least not yet. The Cards are better in rushing offense thanks to their quarterback. The Rams are better at stopping the run, but this is going to be a wild game I believe. I think offenses will rule the day and points will fly. It’s about which team wants it. Emotionally can Los Angeles recover? I’m not really sure they are all that much better than Arizona right now and I know the home team will care about this outcome. They are out of the race, but aren’t tanking. They have a rookie coach and quarterback and I think pull this out in a thriller: Arizona 38, LA Rams 34 (AZ +3.5/over 47)

LA Chargers (4-7) @ Denver (3-8): The weather actually shows sunny although the temperatures show 24 degrees. Football is physical and when teams are out of the hunt it becomes about desire when the weather turns this way. Los Angeles lost two close games in primetime to their division rivals and fell out of the race prior to last week’s bye. It’s hard to know their mental state of mind for this one because they aren’t in spoiler mode and have little reason to care. Rivers seems to have one foot out the door and a 2-7 record in one score games illustrates the frustration of a team that came in with high expectations. Flipping just three of those would have them tied for the division lead in the final month. The Broncos won the first meeting 20-13 and entered that game at 0-4. They are 3-4 since that poor start. Flacco was their starter back then and that seems like a distant memory. The rookie Lock might play in this one and I’m not sure it really matters all that much. Their fate is tied to the defense and running game. These chilly conditions make that even more true. They were ambushed in Buffalo last week 20-3 a week after blowing a 20-3 lead in a 27-23 loss in Minnesota so they have been outscored 40-3 in the last six quarters. Not a good look. Rivers leads a much better passing offense, but the 14 interceptions have been a problem. Denver has taken 36 sacks, but even with suspect quarterbacks have thrown only 7 picks. These are two top 5 pass defenses, but the units have combined for only 14 interceptions. The Chargers let opponents complete 70.4% of their throws and that’s a huge number. The Broncos have a better rushing offense and in the cold when passing is difficult that’s big. Neither run defense is great, just below average letting teams gain a little over four yards a pop. It’s a close game. Rivers is the better quarterback, but he’s been choking. This is a good defense, a proud defense at home. I think in the cold they come through. Los Angeles finally quits: Denver 17, LA Chargers 14 (DEN +3.5/under 38)

Oakland (6-5) @ Kansas City (7-4): This should have been a battle of 7-4 teams with sole possession of the AFC West on the line, but the Raiders choked in the New Jersey elements last week. It was a deflating loss and the complete domination at the hands of a losing Jets team was demoralizing. Now they have to rebound on the road against a team that has had their number for a while. It’s not realistic to expect them to do that. They have endured so many injuries this season, not to mention their arguably best player quitting on them before taking a single snap. They’ve already been clocked a couple times on the road this season and cold weather is not their friend. Once Carr isn’t a threat down the field, defenses smell blood and it’s over. This was illustrated last week. In the first meeting held in the warmth of the Bay Area it was actually a great showing by the Raiders on defense if you consider it in sections. Yes, they allowed Mahomes to throw for 443 yards, but it was a burst of scoring in the final six minutes of the half that was all they allowed. Outside of that time period they actually outscored the Chiefs 10-7 including a second half in which neither team scored. Holding Kansas City scoreless in a half with a healthy Mahomes is unheard of. The Chiefs are focused on this game because it’s for the division lead, but they have bigger aspirations and next week in New England could be a slight distraction, especially if they think about the Jets hammering these guys last week. Obviously the Chiefs are much better in passing offense and have just 2 interceptions in 415 attempts. The teams have combined to allow only 35 sacks. The Raiders are without so many players in the secondary and have given up 26 passing scores and 266.8 yards per game. The hosts are average and have recorded 32 sacks. Arrowhead Stadium is treacherous in December and will be roaring. Oakland is better running the ball with Jacobs having a great rookie season, but struggled last week in bad weather. Kansas City can run enough to get by and hardly matters when they can throw at will. Defensively the Raiders are a full yard better per carry at stopping the run. However, fatigue is a factor here and so is home field emotion. The Chiefs are off a bye week and at this time of year that’s vital. They are relaxed and ready. It will show: Kansas City 31, Oakland 17 (KC -8.5/under 54.5)

New England (10-1) @ Houston (7-4): It feels like the Texans are the kind of team that should give the Patriots trouble and the last two seasons it has been that way in September matchups. Unfortunately they lost both games in close outcomes. Do they finally break through here? New England has been sluggish on offense to say the least. In three November games they totaled just 50 points. This was after an October averaging 32 points per game in four wins. The defense, Baltimore loss aside, has been tremendous. That loss was the only time they have allowed more than 14 points all season although three times including the last two weeks they have won one score games because the offense failed to score over 17 points. Houston is coming off a huge 20-17 win over Indianapolis to take over the AFC South lead for the moment. Every game is crucial to them from here on out with two teams a game back in the division. New England is in playoff seeding mode as usual and feels no pressure. The Texans are 5-1 at home this season and it’s an advantage for them not to be playing in crappy east coast weather. However, they won three of those by a total of 7 points. This isn’t a dominant team by any stretch of the imagination. Their margin for error is zero and this is primetime pressure. Both passing offenses can produce, but Houston has allowed more sacks (33-19). New England has a dramatically better pass defense. Their TD/INT ratio allowed is actually almost opposite (4-20 to 22-5) of the hosts, and they let passers complete only 53.9% of their throws not to mention 37 sacks. The Texans can run the ball with Watson pitching in from the quarterback position. They have a wide advantage in yards per carry (5.0 to 3.3). Both teams allow 4.6 yards per carry on defense and that’s interesting. Can the home team do some damage on the ground here? I always think that can be the case, but in the end Belichick finds a way to scheme, adjust and win the game: New England 24, Houston 16 (NE -2/under 47)

Minnesota (8-3) @ Seattle (9-2): It’s a potential playoff preview in the PNW on MNF and for all the scheduling woes in the NFL this is a rare bright spot for December primtime. Cousins always struggles against good teams, that’s the book on him. The Vikings come in very rested off a bye, throwing in an extra day since it’s a Monday night tilt. They roared back to beat Denver a week after their dramatic win in Dallas. Their only setback in October/November was 26-23 at Kansas City. During that 6-1 stretch the Cowboys are the only good team they beat though. Lucky for them, three more losing teams rest on the schedule and it seems a virtual lock they make the playoffs at this point. The Seahawks gutted out a win in Philly last week coming off their bye and they are on a 7-1 roll with the only loss coming to red hot Baltimore. Likewise for them, most of those opponents were bad with the exception of a huge win over San Francisco. They get two more losing opponents and control their own destiny to win the NFC West and take the top seed. It is not too soon to consider playoff positioning here and Minnesota would love to avoid the wild card route on the road by stealing this win. I’m not sure they are equipped to get it though. Their passing offense is average, but Cousins has thrown 21 interceptions against only 3 interceptions and 16 sacks allowed. Limiting mistakes at quarterback is why teams are 8-3 instead of 4-7. Wilson’s ratio is even better (24-3) but they have absorbed 33 sacks. Seattle’s pass defense has been torched in the yardage department, but has given up only 13 TD passes. Minnesota is better, and has more sacks (31-23). This is a brutal place to play and the visitors need to generate pass rush if they want to compete. Both teams are top 6 running the ball and can slow the game down. I expect that to happen and limited possessions to take place. The run defenses are both in the top 10. The Vikings allow fewer scores (3-12) by far and fewer per carry (4.1 to 4.5). I absolutely believe that on paper the visitors would win this game. However, the elements matter and at some point a mistake will be made. Cousins throws a killer pick six to make the difference: Seattle 23, Minnesota 21 (MIN +3/under 50)

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