Week 13 is in the books and the Las Angeles Rams are the first team to clinch a playoff spot! The Cowboys beat the Saints and made Patrick Mahomes the favorite for MVP, the Steelers got zebra’d, and the NFC North lost every game. Welcome back for another segment of “On the Record” with Ian and Cameron! Our Game Changer Sports Network football experts Ian and Cameron go against the top sports broadcasters in an NFL pick-ems competition. Let’s see how the NFL experts from around the league did last week:
Dave Richard CBS: 10-6 ; 129-61-2
Mike Clay ESPN: 10-6 ; 127-63-2
Elliot Harrison NFL: 9-7 ; 128-62-2
Nathan Jahnke PFF: 10-6 ; 129-61-2
Ian Zimmerman GCSN: 10-6 ; 127-63-2
Cameron Riggs GCSN: 7-9 ; 117-73-2
In Week 13 Cameron had another tough run picking upsets by both Cleveland and Buffalo which didn’t pay off. Ian was a benefactor of the poor officiating during the Sunday Night Game posting a 10-6 record. Ian picks up his 3rd head-to-head win over Cam in a row, so we’ll hear from him first. Let’s see what our GCSN Experts have to say during this week’s segment of “On the Record”:
Thursday Night Football
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
The Jaguars violated the Colts last week. Regardless their offense only scored 6 points and is ranked 30th in points per game. The Titans got back on track last week with a win against the Jets. The Jaguars defense was on fire last week and will need to carry the team again this week if they want to beat the Titans. Divisional games are hard to pick especially when two of the worst offenses in the league are involved.
My Prediction: Both teams suffer from mediocre QB’s and going up against Jacksonvilles secondary expect big games out of the runningbacks. Both teams run for 300+ yards and Henry scores 2 times.
TEN 27 – JAX 10
Well… it’s been a tough go at it for me as of late, but I’m thinking this week is the one that breaks the slump! We start out with a divisional matchup that has two teams that many believed could be playoff contenders. The Jags just gave one of the highest scoring offenses in the league a goose egg and I couldn’t be more disappointed by it. Statistically speaking, these two teams are extremely close in points per game, points allowed per game, total yards, and total yards allowed. Thursday night games this year have been high scoring matchups, and I look for that to continue tonight.
My Prediction: Both teams run for over 100 and get a rushing TD, but Mariota outshines Cody Kessler and the Titans pick up a much-needed win to keep their season alive.
TEN 20- JAX 17
Sunday Noon Games
Carolina Panthers @ Cleveland Browns
There was a time where the Panthers were 6-2, but now that they’ve lost 4 in a row, they’ve fallen out of their wildcard spot. The Browns are 4-7-1 but have won 5 times this year thanks to the firing of Hue Jackson. Last week Cam Newton threw 4 interceptions in their loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Baker Mayfield and the Browns defense are playing with some swagger and are a serious threat to the Panthers playoff hopes.
My Prediction: Cleveland takes advantage of the skidding Panthers and picks up its 5th win of the year. Browns defense is feeling dangerous with 3 turnovers.
CLE 27 – CAR 24
It was a rough one for both of these teams last week. Carolina has dropped four straight and continues to slide lower and lower in the playoff hunt. Cleveland was hot and then got steamrolled by Houston. The matchup for me to look for in this game is how the Browns defense plans to contain Christian McCaffery. He has been unstoppable the last few games and unless Cleveland can contain him, he’s going to make it a long day for that defense.
My Prediction: Carolina gets back on the winning track behind 9 receptions from McCaffery and two total TDs.
CAR 24- CLE 17
Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs
I have yet to pick Lamar Jackson to win, and he has proved me wrong every time. Hats off to the young QB for carrying the Ravens to 3-straight wins. Jackson continues to prove his doubters wrong, including myself. This week the Ravens do battle with the 10-2 Chiefs. The Chiefs have one of the most electric offenses in the league averaging the most points per game. This will be a real test for the young QB Lamar Jackson.
My Prediction: Kansas Citys defense allows Jackson to have one of his best games, but it won’t be enough to keep up with Mahomes. Spencer Ware has 75+ and a touchdown.
KC 34 – BAL 23
Kareem Hunt was a pivotal part of the Chiefs offense and they could really struggle without him. We saw the Raiders hang with the Chiefs last week… not good for them. However, they still have plenty of offensive talent. The Ravens are rolling behind three wins in a row for Lamar Jackson and it looks like there could be a quarterback change for good in the works. I believe the Ravens have the best defense in the AFC right now- They allow 213 yards in the air and only 87 yards on the ground per game and only allow 18 points per game. However, their secondary is pretty beat up right now, with three cornerbacks and a safety listed as questionable for the game.
My Prediction: I think that Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and company step up to get a pivotal win to hold hopes for the AFC West championship. Hill has two receptions of over 40 yards this game.
KC 37 – BAL 27
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans
I don’t know what to say, how do you go from record setting QB numbers to not even scoring a single point? Colts fans are upset about the call on the last play, but they had 59 other minutes to score and couldn’t. The Texans are still rolling on their 9-game win streak. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has settled in nicely and has added a whole new level to the Texans offense. I see the Colts playoff hopes slipping away, they NEED this win.
My Prediction: Houston’s ability to disrupt the quarterback allows them to force 2 turnovers, but it won’t be enough. Andrew Luck throws 3 TDs to get back on track.
IND 30 – HOU 23
The Colts got embarrassed by Jacksonville last weekend and the Texans embarrassed the Browns but I think this week is going to be different. The last time these two teams played was Week 4 and it began the incredible winning streak that the Texans are currently on. It started with the Colts, and it ends with the Colts.
My Prediction: Indianapolis redeems itself from the embarrassment last week by scoring over 30 this week against the Houston defense. Darius Leonard has 15 tackles and a sack.
IND 34- HOU 30
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
After a slow start to the season the Patriots are starting to hit their stride. There are 4 teams at 6-6 hoping to grab a playoff spot, and the Dolphins are one of them. I don’t think this Dolphins team has enough to hang with the GOAT Tom Brady.
My Prediction: Tom Brady throws for 250+ and 3 TDs including 1 to Gronk and 1 to Gordon.
NE 27 – MIA 20
After watching the Patriots pick apart Minnesota last week, it sure is hard to pick against them. Tom Brady finally reached 1,000 career rushing yards and they looked like Super Bowl contenders. Miami is coming off a tight win against Buffalo. The Dolphins currently sit at 6-6 but have a -4.7 scoring differential (20.3 ppg, 25.0 allowed ppg). James White has caught 74 receptions for 659 yards this season and I look for him to be the difference maker in this one.
My Prediction: The Pats continue their success, making it five wins in their last six games. They hold Miami to less than 250 yards of total offense.
NE 30- MIA 10
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
The Redskins will be starting Mark Sanchez at QB this week against the Giants. Josh Johnson will be his back-up and Jordan Reed will be his back-up. Injuries have really affected this Redskins team from QB to the offensive line. The Giants meanwhile have finally hit their stride. I don’t think this depleted Redskins team has enough left to hold back the Giants.
My Prediction: Mark Sanchez, enough said. Saquon Barkely runs for 150-yards and a touchdown in a low scoring game.
NYG 20 – WAS 13
The Giants were the talk of the NFL on Sunday as they took down the mighty Bears sans Trubisky. Their offense has been heating up under the direction of Pat Shurmer. In my opinion, Saquon Barkley is already a top-five offensive player in the NFL. I think he’s going to have at least one with the potential for multiple MVP awards by the end of his career. OBJ has had success as a wide receiver and a quarterback this year, having thrown for two 40+ yard touchdowns this season. The Redskins are working to open up the playbook for Mark Sanchez, who last week against the Eagles only knew roughly 30 of their plays.
My Prediction: The QB situation in Washington puts the Redskins in too much of a hole. Barkley has 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards on their way to a win.
NYG 27- WSH 14
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What happened last week? The Saints got knocked down by the Cowboys and The Bucs ran the table on the Panthers. Last time these two played it was a shootout, but these teams are not the same as they were in Week 1. The Saints defense has found its groove and their offense continues to dominate. In my opinion last week killed Drew Brees hopes for MVP. This week he tries to get back on track against division rival Tampa Bay.
My Prediction: New Orleans bounces back after a tough loss to the Cowboys. Drew Brees throws for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.
NO 30 – TB 23
The Saints are coming off a loss last Thursday night to a red hot Dallas team where they were held to only 10 points. Even with last week’s minimal offensive performance, the Saints are still averaging 35 points per game. The Bucs come in averaging 26.5 ppg, but their offense has been mostly through the air this season; they’re averaging almost 360 yards passing per game. These two teams faced off at the beginning of the season and Tampa Bay took the win that time, but these two teams are in much different positions this time around.
My Prediction: The Saints rebound from last week’s loss against the Cowboys in a big way- Michael Thomas grabs 10 catches for 100 yards and a TD. The duo of Kamara and Ingram have 200 yards from scrimmage.
NO 35- TB 21
Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers
Last week I could see in Aaron Rodgers face that he did not care. He had nothing to play for. Now he does. A new head coach could be the change of pace that the Packers need. I expect Aaron Rodgers to go out and give maximum effort I support of his new coach. The Falcons have been extremely disappointing this season and have failed to get it done on the field.
My Prediction: This game boils down to the effort of Aaron Rodgers. I think he has his best game of the year throwing for 300-yards and 2 TD’s.
GB 26 – ATL 24
Both of these teams were expected to make the playoffs this year and both teams have failed. Green Bay fired former head coach Mike McCarthy after last week’s embarrassment to Arizona and Atlanta is coming off yet another loss, this time to Baltimore. I honestly am stumped by this game. Matt Ryan is having a great season statistically (3,814 yards, 25 TDs, 5 INTs) but they’ve dropped four in a row. Aaron Rodgers is also having a statistically great season (3,504 yards, 21 TDs, 1 INT) but they have lost three in a row.
My Prediction: If this game were played last week, I would have sided with Atlanta but now that McCarthy is gone, I anticipate Aaron Rodgers to go off. 350+ in the air, 3 TDs and 0 INTs on their way to a win.
GB 27- ATL 16
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
The Bills have been playing solid football these past few weeks. Their defense is one of the best in the league and Josh Allen has been using his mobility to extend plays. Sam Darnold will get the call this week after missing a few games due to a foot injury. Darnold has thrown 14 interceptions and just 11 touchdowns. Last time these two met the Bills destroyed the Jets in New York. Advantage Bills.
My Prediction: Sam Darnold being back is not good news for the Jets. Buffalos defense has 2 interceptions, a forced fumble, and 4 sacks.
BUF 23 – NYJ 17
The last time these two teams played, Buffalo routed the Jets 41-10. The Jets have dropped five in a row and Buffalo has won two of their last three. The matchup I’ll be watching is the Bills’ run attack against the defense of the Jets; New York allows 128 yards per game on the ground and the Bills run for 121 a game. Sam Darnold this season has completed just 55% of his passes, throwing for 1,934 yards, 11 TDs and 14 INTs. The Bills defense has 11 INTs this season.
My Prediction: Josh Allen contributes to 75 of 150 rushing yards and the Bills get a win at home. Darnold throws two INTs.
BUF 27- NYJ 10
Sunday 3:00 Games
Cincinnati Bengals @ Las Angeles Chargers
No Andy Dalton. No AJ Green. The Bengals have now dropped 4 games in a row and have now set their focus on next season. The Chargers are the best team in the AFC. Don’t @ me. They have only lost 3 times and 2 of those losses came against 10-win teams. They still have a chance to win their division and maybe more. I believe in Phillip Rivers who is having his best statistical season yet.
My Prediction: Sorry Bengals fans, but the Chargers offense is about to flex on ya. Rivers throws for 3 touchdowns and Melvin Gordon runs one in.
LAC 34 – 13
The Chargers came away with a huge win last week against Pittsburgh and find themselves in position to possibly win the AFC West. The Bengals are without pro-bowl QB Andy Dalton, pro-bowl WR AJ Green, and without any momentum to win this game away from Cincy. Phillip Rivers has had a great year this year: 69.7% pass completion, 3,418 yards, 28 TDs and 6 INTs. The Bengals defense allows 289 yards passing and over 153 yards rushing per game. Even if Melvin Gordon doesn’t play this week, look for the Chargers to run the ball.
My Prediction: The Chargers rout Cincinnati and pick up their fifth win in their last six games. Keenan Allen catches 10 for over 100 and a score.
LAC 37- CIN 14
Denver Broncos @ San Francisco 49ers
The Broncos have hit stride at the perfect time in an effort to make the playoffs. The AFC has one wildcard spot within reach and the Broncos would love to have it. It may be a little too late for them, but in the NFL anything can happen. The 49ers lost franchise QB Jimmy G at the beginning of the season and have been struggling to find themselves since. Nick Mullens has been good, but this Broncos defense is a whole different animal. It will be a long game and Von Miller is ready.
My Prediction: Denvers defense carries the team to a win in San Francisco. Von Miller has 2 sacks and their defense forces 2 turnovers.
DEN 23 – SF 17
The Broncos are looking to make a late surge at a playoff run behind three wins in a row. Phillip Lindsay has emerged as an incredible, three down back for the Broncos offense. He’ll probably be seeing an increase in touches this game, as Emmanuel Sanders went down with an Achilles Tendon tear that sent him to the IR. Last week, Nick Mullens threw for 414 yards and two TDs against a tough Seattle team, but this was due to having to play “catch up” as the 49ers found themselves down early. Denver averages just over 280 passing yards allowed per game.
My Prediction: Denver continues their winning ways and finds themselves looking at a legitimate chance to take the AFC’s 6 seed in the playoffs.
DEN 28- SF 20
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
The Birds NEED to win here to keep their playoff hopes alive. The offense looks like its finally settling in thanks to solid running by rookie Josh Adams. The Cowboys are playing good football and shockingly knocked off the Saints last week. Hats off to them. Their defense is playing big-boy football and has been one of the most dominant these last 4 games. Mouthwash please! Divisional match-ups are always fun to watch and this game will be no different.
My Prediction: #BirdGang wins with a little elbow grease from Carson Wentz who throws 3 TDs.
PHI 27 – DAL 17
This game will be a hard-fought battle for the top spot in the NFC East. Dallas is red hot and has had an extra few days to prepare for the defending Super Bowl champs. Josh Adams has emerged as the definite #1 back for Philly, averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Philadelphia is on their third divisional matchup in a row, winning the other two against the Giants and the Redskins. Dallas has won four in a row after a 3-5 start to the year. If Philadelphia can contain Ezekiel Elliott, they have good chance to win this game.
My Prediction: The Cowboys pull off another win and set Philly back in their quest for a playoff spot. Ezekiel Elliott is just too much for them and runs for 120+.
DAL 27- PHI 24
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are awful. I have no clue how they hung on with the Chiefs last week. The Steelers were the victims of some poor officiating on Sunday Night and look to bounce back from that this week.
My Prediction: Pittsburgh gets in done through the air. Brown and Juju both catch touchdowns and Big Ben runs one in.
PIT 27 – OAK 17
The Steelers lost last week, but Oakland is awful.
My Prediction: Without Conner, the Steelers look to throw the ball. AB has a season high 15 receptions this week.
PIT 38- OAK 17
Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals
Two teams who are ready to move on to next season meet up in a “Battle of the Mediocre.” The Cardinals are disappointed in the performance of Josh Rosen thus far this year. He has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions this season and has one of the worst completion percentages in the league. Josh Rosen or Matt Stafford?
My Prediction: Stafford needs to step-up and show the Lions why they paid him like they did. I believe Stafford will throw for 250-yards and 3 touchdowns.
DET 24 – ARI 16
In one of the least exciting matchups of the week, we’ll see the Lions try to stop the Cardinals in a game that could decide top five draft pick spots for both teams. The Cards score less than 15 points per game behind an offense led by Josh Rosen (1,670 yards, 10 TDs, 11 INTs on the year), that just lost their leading receiver, Christian Kirk, for the rest of the year. The Lions allow over 26 points per game this year, giving up 120 yards per game on the ground. David Johnson, returning from a season-ending injury last year, has rushed 205 times for 761 yards and six TDs so far this year.
My Prediction: The Lions defense steps up against the rookie and picks him off 3 times on their way to a win.
DET 24- ARI 14
Sunday Night Football
Las Angeles Rams @ Chicago Bears
Game of the week. This is a potential NFC Championship preview and I couldn’t be more excited about it! On one side Khalil Mack and on the other Aaron Darnold. This is a lot like the Chargers-Steelers game last week and I just have to go with my gut on this one!
My Prediction: My gut says Bears. Defense wins Championships and the Bears have a championship caliber defense!
CHI 27 – LAR 24
The Rams are the only one loss team in football and have one of the most explosive offenses in the league. The Bears just fell to the Giants and have one of the most impactful defenses in the league. This game will surely be one that entertains. Todd Gurley leads the league in rushing yards (233 carries, 1,175 yards, 15 TDs) but the Bears only allow 86 yards per game on the ground. Both defenses feature potential DPOY candidates in Khalil Mack for Chicago and Aaron Donald, who will look to get after Mitch Trubisky as he returns from injury.
My Prediction: The Rams offense continues to dominate, even against the best defense in football. Todd Gurley runs for 100 and scores twice.
LAR 30- CHI 28
Monday Night Football
Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks
Vikings fans, let me know if this sounds familiar: “Snap good. Spot down. Walsh’s kick is up and its… NO GOOD! He missed it! Are you kidding me!? The season can’t end like that!” I bet that still stings. Luckily you have Kirk Cousins, right? Wrong. Captain Kirk is AWFUL on primetime. In his career he is 5-17 when playing in a Nationally televised game. This season the Vikings are 1-3 on primetime. This week they head to Seattle which is a very hard place to play. The Seahawks are on fire right now and the Vikings are on the verge of missing the playoffs.
My Prediction: SEA
At the beginning of the season, any Minnesota fan would have told you that they were winning the Super Bowl this season. Sitting at 6-5-1, they might not even make the playoffs. This game against a tough Seattle team, playing in Seattle, will make or break their chances of seeing the postseason. The Seahawks average almost 150 yards per game rushing and the Vikes are allowing just under 100 rush yards per game. The Vikings have been very pass-heavy this year; both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are in the top 10 for targets and receptions this season.
My Prediction: Seattle continues their impressive streak and makes it four wins in a row behind 150 yards on the ground total. Russell Wilson throws 2 TDs.
SEA 28- MIN 20
We have the right to update the article up until the start of each game!
For advertising and sponsorship opportunities with The Game Changer Sports Network please contact Jake at Jake.Jollymore@gmail.com! Thank you!