Week 13 in the NFL is upon us, a week with no Thursday game to kick off the card but instead two Monday night matchups and a Tuesday tilt due to COVID-19 rearrangements. For many fans, it also marks the final regular-season game of their Fantasy Football season before that world embarks on their playoff schedule.
The Week 13 slate does not appear very strong on paper, with only two games featuring both teams with winning records. But on the eve of the final quarter pole of the season, teams like the Saints, Packers, Seahawks, Chiefs, Raiders, Dolphins, and Colts cannot afford a slip-up against their inferior opponents. The Steelers, Bills, and Ravens are in similar positions on Monday and Tuesday. That leaves the two marquee matchups noted above, so let’s take a closer look.
Titans & Browns Battle for Ninth Win
Tennessee and Cleveland have identical 8-3 records as they get set to take the field in Nashville on Sunday. It’s the Browns’ best start since 1994, when they managed to get to 9-3, and they are aiming for their first playoff spot since 2002. The Titans tasted playoff success last year, going all the way to the AFC Championship in a season that started with a 43-13 romp of these Browns in Cleveland in Week 1 of the 2019 campaign.
These two are the top two rushing teams in the NFL, so it’s worth monitoring which attack can wear the opposing defense down the most in the second half.
Sunday's game is undoubtedly a measuring stick game for the Browns as none of their victories this season have come against teams with winning records. The Titans are 9-1 to the OVER in Ryan Tannehill’s last 10 regular-season starts while the trends are not in the Browns’ favor coming in. Cleveland has failed to cover five of their previous six, they’re 1-7 ATS in their last eight conference games and 1-4 ATS in their past five on the road. The Titans are six-point favorites in this one, with the winner remaining or taking over the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoff picture.
Rams & Cardinals Meet in NFC West Showdown
Los Angeles and Arizona square off in the first of two critical meetings on Sunday, separated by just a game in the ultra-competitive NFC West. The two will meet again in Week 17 in what could be a win-or-go-home scenario, depending on how the next few weeks play out. Both are in playoff position entering this week, but a Cardinals loss would logjam the seventh and final spot with three teams sitting a game back of Arizona coming into Week 13. A Cardinals win means three NFC teams would have seven wins, with the idle Bucs joining these two.
The Rams have won six straight in this series, including five straight in the desert, but Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins are two of the reasons this time is much different than the Rams have been used to recently. The Hopkins-Jalen Ramsey matchup is certainly worth keeping an eye on, but that’s not the only one.
The Cardinals rank first in the NFL in rush yards per game, but the Rams have allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game (93.5) this season.
Los Angeles is installed as the chalk in this one, laying three points on the road