National Football League
NFL Week 13: Predictions, analysis, key matchups and stats for every game
National Football League

NFL Week 13: Predictions, analysis, key matchups and stats for every game

Updated Dec. 4, 2022 11:35 a.m. ET

FOX Sports' staff of NFL reporters gives you everything you need to know going into Week 13. We'll tell you about all the games, players and matchups you should be watching out for, as well as give a prediction for each game on this week's slate.

Sunday, Dec. 4

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-7) at Atlanta Falcons (5-7) (CBS, 1 p.m. ET)

Overview: Technically, this is a showdown of the top two rookie quarterbacks drafted this year, but you'd never know it. Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett has only three touchdown passes in his first seven NFL starts. In the past 20 years, only three quarterbacks with seven starts have had fewer: John Beck (2), Jimmy Clausen (1) and Alex Smith (1), the last of whom turned out pretty well. Atlanta's Desmond Ridder is a backup who hasn't played a snap, despite the Falcons ranking 31st in passing with Marcus Mariota. If anything, it's impressive that Pittsburgh has managed four wins — the Steelers have an NFL-low seven touchdown passes this year, and they've given up 23, one off the NFL high.


The difference between these two teams: Pittsburgh is three games out of first place in the AFC North, while the Falcons are just a half-game back of the Bucs in the NFC South, still very much alive for an unlikely division title. Making matters worse for Pittsburgh, running back Najee Harris (585 yards, four TDs) is a question mark due to an abdominal injury that sidelined him in Sunday's win over the Colts. The name to watch is Benny Snell, who didn't have a carry all season before Sunday but stepped up with 62 yards and a touchdown in the win. The fourth-year back from Kentucky has 954 yards and seven touchdowns in his career, but most of those came in 2019-20. He could have a small window to show what he can do if Harris isn't healthy enough to play.

Matchup to watch: Steelers run defense vs. Falcons running game

Pittsburgh ranks sixth in the NFL in run defense, giving up 104 yards per game on the ground, and the Falcons pride themselves on their run game, ranking fourth in the league at 160 per game. The 1-2 punch of Cordarrelle Patterson and rookie Tyler Allgeier has a combined 1,058 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Pittsburgh hasn't given up more than 125 rushing yards in a game since Week 3, when Cleveland went for 171 in a 29-17 win over the Steelers.

Key stats: After seeing Mariota throw a deflected interception in the end zone in the final minutes of a 19-13 loss to Washington last week, it's worth noting that Pittsburgh's defense is tied for the second-most interceptions in the league with 13 this season. Mariota has always been good about minimizing turnovers and has eight interceptions in 2022.

Prediction: An Atlanta win would keep it close to Tampa Bay in the NFC South standings heading into the Falcons' bye week, and they're 4-2 at home this season, including a win over the 49ers. These are two struggling offenses, but Atlanta might have just enough to pull out the close win. 

Falcons 21, Steelers 17 Greg Auman

Green Bay Packers (4-8) at Chicago Bears (3-9) (FOX, 1 p.m. ET)

Overview: Aaron Rodgers left Sunday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles early after suffering a rib injury. He was already dealing with an avulsion fracture of his throwing thumb, and still is, but he intends to play on Sunday. He's 23-5 in 28 regular-season starts against the Bears. If he plays and Green Bay wins, Rodgers would break a tie with Brett Favre (23 wins) for the most wins against the Bears by any quarterback in the Super Bowl era.

Rodgers will be facing a dilapidated Chicago team that just put its best defensive player on injured reserve after safety Eddie Jackson suffered a Lisfranc injury last weekend. Couple that with the fact that two of the Bears' brightest young stars in Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon are both still in concussion protocol and Rodgers should have an easy time, injuries and all.

Aaron Rodgers leaves game with rib injury

Dr. Matt Provencher analyzes the injury that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers sustained against the Eagles and how long it could take Rodgers to heal.

There's another question mark under center for the Bears, who are trying to figure out whether to play their quarterback of the future. Justin Fields missed last weekend's game because of a shoulder injury. He's still dealing with what he described as "basically an AC joint" injury and opened practice this week on a limited basis. Head coach Matt Eberflus said Fields is still day-to-day, along with backup Trevor Siemian, who injured his oblique in pregame warmups at MetLife Stadium last weekend. He played the game, but the Bears signed quarterback Tim Boyle off the Lions' practice squad. While they said it was a precautionary measure, it sure looks like they aren't optimistic Fields or Siemian will play. That would leave Nathan Peterman and now Boyle.

Matchup to watch: Bears runners vs. Packers front seven

What makes the decision of whether to play Fields a week ahead of Chicago's bye so difficult is that the Bears, when healthy, match up well against the Packers. Chicago has the NFL's most productive ground game, averaging 192 rushing yards per game thanks in large part to Fields himself, while Green Bay ranks second-to-last in rushing defense, allowing an average of 154.8 rushing yards per game.

Pre-injury Fields could have had a field day with the Packers, especially after they got even more exposed against the Eagles last week, surrendering 363 yards on the ground to Philadelphia. Chicago's best shot is David Montgomery, who had more than 100 all-purpose yards against the Jets last week. Even if Fields plays, the Bears likely won't use him as a runner as much as they might have before, given his injury.

But keeping the ball on the ground is Chicago's only shot at winning this matchup. That's unless Peterman has the game of his life in front of the roaring Bears crowd.

Key stats: The Packers have won seven straight matchups against the Bears and the two teams are currently tied as the NFL's two winningest franchises of all time, with each having 786 wins.

Prediction: When pride and records are on the line, Rodgers shows up. Period. He's going to play because that's just the way the universe works, and despite Green Bay's struggles this season, Rodgers is going to beat the Bears. That's just what he does. He beats the Cowboys, too, and look at how that went a few weeks ago. The Packers looked like a legitimate contender against Dallas because for whatever reason, Rodgers can will himself and his team to a win when history suggests he will.

Packers 23, Bears 10 Carmen Vitali

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7) at Detroit Lions (4-7) (FOX, 1 p.m. ET)

Overview: The Jaguars and Lions, teams that have toiled at the bottom of the NFL for years, are surprisingly in the playoff mix as we enter December, even if those chances are small. 

Jacksonville, which has won two of its past three games, got a signature moment from quarterback Trevor Lawrence in a thrilling 28-27 victory over Baltimore last week. Leading the Jaguars back from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit in a seesaw affair, the 2021 No. 1 overall pick looked like a franchise quarterback after an inconsistent start to his career. 

The Lions showed their competitiveness in a close loss last week to the Bills, one of the league's best teams. Before that, Detroit won three straight games. Running back Jamaal Williams has been a great story for the Lions, enjoying a breakout season. 

Matchup to watch: Lions RB Jamaal Williams vs. Jaguars ILBs Foyesade Oluokun/Devin Lloyd/Chad Muma

Williams leads the NFL with 13 rushing touchdowns, the most by a Lion since Barry Sanders in 1991 — and Detroit still has seven games left. The sixth-year running back figures to be a handful for a Jaguars defense that gave up 162 rushing yards to Baltimore and 155 to Kansas City the past two weeks. A third-round rookie, Muma started last week against the Ravens in place of the struggling Lloyd, the 27th overall pick in the 2022 draft.

Key stats: Someone has to win this game. The Jaguars are 1-21 in their past 22 road games, dating back to 2019 (1-4 this season). The Lions are 0-10-1 in their past 11 non-conference games (0-3 this season). 

Prediction: Lawrence is ascending. In the past three games, he has completed 76.9% of his passes for 815 yards and six touchdowns with zero interceptions and a 116.1 passer rating. He has something special going with his receivers. And running back Travis Etienne is expected back after spraining his left foot vs. the Ravens. All of that is bad news for a Lions team with the NFL's worst scoring defense (28.2 PPG).

Jaguars 30, Lions 22 Ben Arthur

New York Jets (7-4) at Minnesota Vikings (9-2) (CBS, 1 p.m. ET)

Overview: We have two teams that have done masterful jobs of managing game-ending and game-deciding situations. On one hand, the Vikings have one of the worst statistical defenses. And yet they always seem to pull off wins, even with help from their defense. (Just look at their overtime win vs. the Bills and their Thanksgiving win over the Patriots in the past two weeks.) The Vikings are now 8-0 in one-score games this season. Minnesota's defense bends but it doesn't break. It shows up at crucial moments in the fourth quarter and overtime. The offense, meanwhile, is just clearly elite. With Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook, quarterback Kirk Cousins has absolutely no choice but to ball out. He's doing just that.

For New York, QB Mike White has been a pleasant surprise. Last week the Jets elected to bench Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in 2021. And it worked out just fine. White tore up the Chicago Bears defense, with 315 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Bears defense is pretty awful. So the Vikings could be a (slightly) more substantial test for White. Let's see how he fares in clutch moments against Minnesota. And if there's any unit that can slow the Vikings’ powerhouse offense, it's this New York defense. Behind Sauce Gardner and Quinnen Williams, the Jets have built something special. 

Mike White, Zach Wilson battle for starting QB spot

Craig Carton and Greg Jennings discuss the Jets' QB situation and share their thoughts on who should be the starter going forward.

Matchup to watch: Vikings WR Justin Jefferson vs. Jets CB Sauce Gardner

These two players have enjoyed outstanding success in their short careers. Jefferson is in Year 3 and putting up numbers like he's the next Randy Moss. Gardner is in his first season and already looking like the next Darrell Revis. That's what makes this matchup so fun.

Key stats: New York ranks fourth in the league in scoring defense, allowing 17.8 PPG. The Vikings rank 32nd in passing defense, allowing 276.1 YPG. 

Prediction: The Jets might just eke out a win here. I think the Vikings have been a bit lucky in closing out games. And maybe New York will have an answer to Minnesota's late-game magic.

Jets 17, Vikings 14 Henry McKenna

Washington Commanders (7-5) at New York Giants (7-4) (FOX, 1 p.m. ET)

Overview: If the playoffs started right now, all four NFC East teams would be in. This division is tough. The Giants know that better than anyone given that they're 0-5 in their past five divisional games (0-2 this season). They've got basically their entire division still ahead of them this season and will resume with the Commanders, who have quietly put together seven wins on the back of quarterback Taylor Heinicke.

Washington also has one of the best defensive fronts in football, leading an overall unit that is allowing just 15.4 points per game over the team's past seven games. The Commanders are 6-1 in those contests. Their 7-5 start is their best 12-game start to a season since 2008. That year, they only won one more game the rest of the way, finishing the season 8-8. They're hoping for a better result this time around.

Matchup to watch: Chase Young vs. New York's offensive line

That's right: Just as Washington's defense is on a hot streak, it could also get one of the league's best young pass-rushers back this weekend against the Giants. Young started the week limited in practice but very well could make his season debut, back from his ACL injury in Week 10 last season. The Commanders sit just outside the top 10 with 30 sacks already this season. Young could increase that total, considering the Giants have allowed the second-highest sack rate. Daniel Jones is getting sacked on 10.34% of his pass attempts, taking 33 sacks already this season — far more than his 22 (in 11 games) in 2021.

Key stats: The Commanders are allowing just 17.3 first downs per game. They have the fourth-best third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert just 33.33% of third downs.

Prediction: This one is a total toss-up. Both teams are averaging right around 20 points per game, and with how stifling Washington's defense is, New York will find points hard to come by. Ultimately, though, I think the home team takes this one.

Giants 23, Commanders 20 Carmen Vitali

Tennessee Titans (7-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) (FOX, 1 p.m. ET)

Overview: This is the A.J. Brown Revenge Game, right? Well, that's certainly the juicy headline, considering Brown was the Titans' No. 1 receiver his first three seasons. This past spring, he was dealt to the Eagles in the surprising blockbuster trade on Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft after extension talks with Tennessee soured. Brown promptly signed a four-year extension worth $100 million to be Philadelphia's No. 1 receiver. 

But this game is a lot more than Brown vs. the Titans. While Tennessee will key on stopping its former WR1 (and the rest of the Eagles' wideout weapons), the Titans will also have their hands full with Philadelphia's run game. The Eagles ran for an eye-popping 363 yards in their 40-33 victory over the Packers. That's not only the work of standout running back Miles Sanders, but also third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts, who has emerged as an MVP candidate this season. He's become a force as a dual-threat signal-caller. 

Michael Vick on Eagles QB Jalen Hurts

Shannon Sharpe and Michael Vick discuss Eagles QB Jalen Hurts. "I think attitude is everything," Vick said. "The dedication will always lead to success."

And of course, the Eagles defense is strong at all three levels. Since Philly’s surprising Week 10 loss to the Commanders, the Eagles have won two straight. 

The Titans are looking to bounce back from their loss to the Bengals last week. They were the less physical team in that matchup, losing the battle in the trenches on both sides of the ball – which is uncharacteristic for Tennessee. In the past nine games, the Titans are allowing only 15.9 points per game and are 7-2 record over that span.

Matchup to watch: Titans RB Derrick Henry vs. Eagles defensive front

The Titans need to get their superstar running back going. He's averaging just 2.78 rushing yards per carry the past three games, after averaging 4.75 in Tennessee's first eight games of the season. Center Ben Jones (concussion) should be back this week, and Aaron Brewer, who filled in for Jones, would slide back to left guard. That should help. But the Eagles, who have struggled in run defense for a large chunk of the year, have been more stout against the run the past two games. The acquisitions of veteran defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph have been a lift. Couple that with rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis' possible return, and it could be tough sledding for Tennessee in the run game — again. 

Key stats: The Eagles’ 363 rushing yards last week were their most in a game since 1948. The Titans are allowing just 84.5 rush yards per game, third-best in the NFL.

Prediction: Eagles win their third straight. The Titans offense is too flawed to score enough points against Philly’s elite defense to keep up with the Eagles offense. Powered by emotion, Brown could have a big game after recent struggles, too, showing Tennessee what it's missing. 

Eagles 26, Titans 24 Ben Arthur

Denver Broncos (3-8) at Baltimore Ravens (7-4) (CBS, 1 p.m. ET)

Overview: What NFL team is likely to have the longest drought without a winning season when 2022 is over? The answer is Denver, which can clinch a sixth straight losing season with a loss in this game. The Jets have gone a year longer without one, but they're 7-4 and two wins from ending their own streak. 

Russell Wilson, who threw for at least 20 touchdowns in all 10 of his seasons in Seattle, has just eight in 10 games, in a season so disappointing reporters are checking the attendance at birthday parties, a real-life Bo Callahan story unfolding before our eyes. Just to separate fact from fiction: "Draft Day" made $28.8 million in 2014, about half the $57 million Wilson will get between his signing bonus, roster bonus and base salary in Denver. The Broncos have already had five games scoring 11 points or fewer, and the franchise hasn't done that in any season since 1979, with Craig Morton at quarterback. In fairness, Denver's defense carried the team to a 10-6 record that year.

How bad has this season been for Russell Wilson?

Joy Taylor weighs in on Russell Wilson and the struggles he has faced in his first season with the Broncos. She says Wilson’s legacy has taken a big hit.

Matchup to watch: Ravens defensive line vs. Broncos offensive line

Baltimore's defense is tied for the fifth-most sacks in the league with 35, and Denver's offensive line has given up the fourth-most with 36, so this could be a long day for Wilson. Baltimore has had 15 different players register sacks this season, including midyear additions like Roquan Smith and Jason Pierre-Paul. By no coincidence, the Ravens' nine forced fumbles are one off the league high, and their turnover margin of plus-8 is second only to Philadelphia's.

Key stats: We keep going back to Denver's horrible offense. The Broncos haven't scored more than 10 points in any quarter this season. By comparison, the Eagles have scored at least 11 in just the second quarter seven times this year. A loss to Baltimore would put the Broncos at 3-9, matching their worst win percentage in any full season in the Super Bowl era (4-12 in 2010). And they still have to face the Chiefs twice.

Prediction: The one thing that gives us pause is Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson leaving practice Wednesday with a quad injury, leaving his status for Sunday uncertain. Backup Tyler Huntley has played one snap this season and went 1-3 last year filling in for Jackson, so that's obviously a line-shifting change to keep an eye on. Jackson has played through other injuries this season, so we'll presume he's a go, and it should be an easy win for Baltimore. 

Ravens 31, Broncos 14 Greg Auman

Cleveland Browns (4-7) at Houston Texans (1-9-1) (CBS, 1 p.m. ET)

Overview: The big headline? Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson returns from an 11-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, which stemmed from allegations of sexual misconduct during massage sessions. The Texans, of course, are Watson's former team. He was Houston's franchise quarterback for four seasons before reportedly requesting a trade amid frustration with their hiring process at head coach and general manager. The Browns signed Watson to a fully guaranteed $230 million deal.

There's reportedly excitement among Browns players about Watson's return, but he hasn't played a regular-season game since the 2020 season. Can he lift Cleveland's already low playoff odds? It remains to be seen, but that seems unlikely. The Browns, though, enter Sunday's game riding high off an overtime victory over the Bucs.

The Texans have been the worst team in the NFL this season. They benched quarterback Davis Mills last week for Kyle Allen, but it made no difference for their dreadful offense in a blowout loss to the Dolphins. Houston's lone victory came in early October.

Matchup to watch: Browns RB Nick Chubb vs. Texans defensive front

The Texans' run defense issues this season have been well-documented. They're allowing 168.6 rushing yards per game, by far the worst in the league. They got a temporary reprieve last week — but only because Miami dominated in the air and didn't need a running game. 

Expect the Browns to turn to the ground with Chubb, who's a top-three running back in the NFL. He's one of three players who have already surpassed 1,000 rushing yards on the season. The Browns have a great run-blocking offensive line, too. The Texans figure to get overwhelmed on the ground.

Key stats: Browns DE Myles Garrett, who has 10 sacks this season, is currently the only player with 10-plus sacks in each of the past five seasons.

Prediction: The Browns win in Watson's return. I don't expect him to play well — it could take a while for the three-time Pro Bowler to knock off the rust — but the Chubb-powered run game should take considerable pressure off him, especially against the Texans. On the defensive side, I would imagine Myles Garrett smells blood, as Allen was sacked five times last week.

Browns 22, Texans 18 Ben Arthur

Seattle Seahawks (6-5) at Los Angeles Rams (3-8) (FOX, 4:05 p.m. ET)

Overview: Two teams headed in the wrong direction will try to stop their respective slides at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.

The Rams have lost five straight. With another loss, Los Angeles would become the first defending Super Bowl champ to finish the following season with a losing record since the 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It would also clinch the Rams' first losing season under head coach Sean McVay.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks are trying to stop a two-game losing streak that has dropped them behind the division-leading San Francisco 49ers. Seattle leads the all-time series 25-22. However, the Rams have won the past two games against Seattle.

Matchup to watch: Rams LB Bobby Wagner vs. Seahawks RB Ken Walker III

The All-Pro middle linebacker and Southern California native signed with the Rams during the offseason after Seattle unceremoniously released him. And now Wagner gets a chance to play against his former team. A lot has gone wrong for the Rams this year, but Wagner has been the consummate professional in his first season in Los Angeles, starting every game and leading the team in tackles (90). He is the NFL's highest-graded inside linebacker per Pro Football Focus.

Wagner's No. 1 objective will be bottling up Seattle's run game, led by Walker. The rookie out of Michigan State had been an explosive playmaker the first half of the year but has struggled of late, totaling only 43 yards on 24 carries in the past two games for Seattle, both losses.

Key stat: Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett has a receiving touchdown in four straight games, one game shy of a Seattle franchise record.

Prediction: This game pits a pretty good Seattle offense averaging 26.5 points a game led by quarterback Geno Smith against a stingy defense led by Wagner and cornerback Jalen Ramsey. The Rams are holding teams to just 16.2 points per contest. However, L.A. will be without All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is out with a high-ankle sprain.

Seahawks 20, Rams 14Eric D. Williams

Miami Dolphins (8-3) at San Francisco 49ers (7-4) (FOX, 4:05 p.m. ET)

Overview: The 49ers had a rough patch, with an embarrassing loss to the Falcons and a blowout loss to the Chiefs. But since then, San Francisco has won four straight. The 49ers have looked as unpredictable and balanced on offense as most expected after the trade for running back Christian McCaffrey, and it feels like they have just barely tapped into the potential of McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel's versatility. Against a Dolphins defense that is improving but not impressive, the 49ers could have some fun.

The Dolphins offense, meanwhile, seems to have fun against everyone. But maybe San Francisco will prove the rare exception. The Dolphins sit at sixth in points per game and third in yards per game. Tua Tagovailoa, who is 14-2 in his past 16 starts and leads the NFL with a 115.7 passer rating this season, is a strong MVP candidate. Mike McDaniel is a candidate for coach of the year. It's all because of how good this offense has looked, with receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle looking uniquely dangerous. This week they will go against a defense that is first in points allowed per game and yards allowed per game. The 49ers boast the best defense in the league when it comes to most of the counting stats. They'll make for an amazing test for Tua & Co.

Mike McDaniel not surprised by Tua Tagovailoa's success

Emmanuel Acho and Joy Taylor discuss Tua Tagovailoa's performance this season. Taylor says she predicted this outbreak last year but admits she is very impressed by first-year head coach Mike McDaniel.

Matchup to watch: 49ers TE George Kittle vs. Dolphins safety Jevon Holland

Kittle has three touchdowns in the past four outings and has been yet another weapon of this offense. Holland has continually improved on the back end of a secondary that has dealt with injuries. It's likely we see these two square off for most of the game on Sunday. It’ll be a battle of two players among the best at their respective positions.

Key stats: The Dolphins have scored 30-plus points in four straight games, tied for the longest such streak in franchise history. The 49ers have gone six straight quarters without allowing a point, and have held their opponents scoreless in the second half in each of their past four games. 

Nick Bosa ranks third in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, and has recorded a sack in five straight games.

Prediction: The 49ers' stats seem somewhat boosted by unimpressive competition. I'm not totally sold. So I'll go the way of the Dolphins. 

Miami 31, San Francisco 30 Henry McKenna

Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) (CBS, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Overview: The Chiefs face the Bengals in a rematch of last year's AFC Championship Game, when Kansas City could not hold onto a 21-10-point halftime lead and fell to the Bengals in overtime at Arrowhead Stadium.

Like last season, Cincinnati appears to be getting hot at the right time. The Bengals have won three straight games and five of their past six. Led by talented quarterback Joe Burrow, Cincinnati's offense has averaged 29.5 points per contest during that six-game stretch.

The Chiefs have won five straight and are on the verge of earning an eighth consecutive postseason berth, the longest active streak in the league. Kansas City coach Andy Reid has led the Chiefs to at least nine wins each year since taking over in 2013. Reid's 112 wins in the regular season are the most in the NFL during that span.

Chiefs reign supreme atop Nick's NFL Tiers

Nick Wright, Kevin Wildes and Greg Jennings reveal Nick Wright's NFL Tiers entering Week 13.

Matchup to watch: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes vs. Bengals secondary

In the last matchup, Cincinnati defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo did a nice job of taking advantage of an impatient Mahomes, coaxing him into some bad decisions by playing a two-high safety look most of the time.

Mahomes finished 26-of-39 for 275 passing yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Texas Tech product is the frontrunner for the MVP award this season, but will he be patient and take what the defense gives him this time around against the Bengals?

Key stats: The Chiefs are 0-6 in their past six games in Cincinnati, last winning there in 1984. The Bengals are 12-2 over the past two seasons when Joe Burrow does not throw an interception.

Prediction: Burrow is 2-0 in two career starts against the Chiefs (including the postseason) with six touchdown passes and an interception. The LSU product is playing at a high level. The Bengals also could get a boost with JaMarr Chase (hip) and running back Joe Mixon (concussion) returning to practice this week and possibly playing on Sunday. However, tight end Travis Kelce could prove the wild card here for Kansas City. 

Chiefs 31, Bengals 28Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Chargers (6-5) at Las Vegas Raiders (4-7) (CBS, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Overview: The Bolts continue their quest to reach the postseason for the first time since the 2018 season. Next up for the Chargers is a road contest against the surging Raiders in Las Vegas, winners of two straight overtime contests. The two teams met earlier this year in the season opener, a 24-19 win for the Chargers at home.

The Raiders lead the all-time series 66-57-2, but the Bolts have won three of the past four games. Six of the last seven meetings between these two teams have been decided by seven or fewer points.

Matchup to watch: Raiders RB Josh Jacobs vs. Chargers defensive front

Jacobs totaled a career-high 303 scrimmage yards in his team's overtime win at Seattle last week, including an 86-yard touchdown run to clinch the victory. Jacobs leads the league in rushing yards (1,159) and scrimmage yards (1,484).

The Chargers have been awful defending the run this season, allowing a league-worst 5.44 rushing yards per play. Last week, Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner rushed for a season-high 120 yards in a loss to L.A.

Key stat: Each of the past four wins for the Bolts has been by three points or fewer.

Prediction: Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has thrown 13 touchdowns passes and just one interception in five career games against the Raiders. Herbert should have some success moving the football through the air against Las Vegas. But the Chargers will have trouble stopping Jacobs from running wild.

Raiders 28, Chargers 24Eric D. Williams

Indianapolis Colts (4-7-1) at Dallas Cowboys (8-3) (NBC, 8:20 P.M. ET)

Overview: How's this for a test of coaching acumen? Things have cooled down for Jeff Saturday and the Colts, as that exhilarating debut win against the Raiders has given way to back-to-back losses — most recently, an ugly one to Pittsburgh on Monday night.

If Indy is going to right the ship, it'll take going on the road and outplaying one of the hottest teams in the league. The Cowboys' only loss in the past six weeks came on the road in overtime. Their four wins have come by an average of 21 points. Their defense leads the league in sacks, and their offense is among the best in the NFL since Dak Prescott's return from a broken thumb. If the Colts are going to pull this off, it's not only going to require a masterful coaching job by Saturday, but perhaps his team's best performance of the season.

Matchup to watch: Colts OL vs. Dallas pass rush

Maybe it feels repetitive, but what else can you say about a game that features the league's worst offensive line and its best pass rush?

The Colts have surrendered 43 sacks, while the Cowboys have racked up 45. Micah Parsons is the biggest piece of that puzzle, but DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler Jr. aren't easy to block, either. This is the type of mismatch that can single-handedly swing a game.

Dak Prescott: "Our defense can win a lot of games"

FOX Sports' Erin Andrews interviews Cowboys QB Dak Prescott following Dallas' 28-20 win over the Giants on Thanksgiving.

Key stats: After losing their season opener, the Cowboys have won five straight home games. It's the longest active home winning streak in the NFL. The Colts have committed 21 turnovers, tied with the Saints for the most in the NFL.

Prediction: It's hard to find an aspect of this game that favors the Colts. Their offense struggles to score points and protect the quarterback. Their defense, while solid, doesn't seem likely to win this without some help. Maybe the Colts can slow the Cowboys down a bit, but do you trust the league’s No. 30 scoring offense to get the job done against this Dallas defense? Didn't think so.

Cowboys 29, Colts 13 David Helman

Monday, Dec. 5

New Orleans Saints (4-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6) (ESPN, 8:15 P.M. ET)

Overview: After an overtime loss to the Browns, the Bucs are just 5-6 but still somehow leading the NFC South. Clean things up and they're in good shape to win a division title, but that means opening the playoffs against a top wild card, likely out of the NFC East. 

What's most important is the Bucs start playing better overall, and the Saints aren't an ideal opponent for that. Few defenses have solved Tom Brady as well as Dennis Allen has in the past three seasons: In six games against the Saints since joining the Bucs, Brady has nine touchdown passes against 11 turnovers. Tampa Bay's 20-10 win in Week 2 in New Orleans was a step in the right direction, but that was a 3-3 game with eight minutes to play, and the Bucs pulled away largely on five Saints turnovers in the final 17 minutes. That's less likely to happen with Andy Dalton, who has three total turnovers in his past five games, though the Saints are still just 2-3 in those games.

Are Brady and the Bucs contenders or pretenders?

After Tampa Bay's Week 12 loss to the Browns, Nick Wright and Greg Jennings debate whether the Bucs are contenders or pretenders this season.

Matchup to watch: Bucs receiver Mike Evans vs. Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore

Lattimore hasn't played since Week 5, dealing with broken ribs and a lacerated kidney, but he has returned to practice. If he does play this week, these two do not like each other, enough so that twice, Evans has gotten a one-game suspension for leveling Lattimore in exchanges after plays. His ejection in Week 2 proved to be a catalyst for the Bucs' win, but the Saints do a great job of keeping Evans in check. In 17 career games against New Orleans, he has just one 100-yard game and six touchdown catches. What's more, Evans has been in a slump, with no touchdowns in his past seven games, the longest such stretch of his career. 

Getting Brady and Evans back on the same page is crucial to the Bucs offense clicking at the league-leading levels of 2020 or 2021, and it'd help things to start that Monday night.

Key stats: If Brady can throw three touchdown passes, he'd have 100 in his three seasons with the Bucs, becoming just the fifth QB in NFL history to do so with two different teams, joining Kurt Warner, Fran Tarkenton, Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer. Brady already has the NFL record for most career TD partners, with rookie tight end Ko Kieft becoming No. 96 last Sunday. There's still plenty of Bucs who haven't caught a TD from Brady, so it's still in play for him to reach 100 by the end of the season if they get creative.

Prediction: If the Bucs lose here, there's a strong chance the NFC South has a champ with a losing record, and there's a real question as to whether Brady makes the playoffs in what could be his final NFL season. At home, in prime time, with so much on the line, it seems like the Bucs will step up and handle things, though the absence of right tackle Tristan Wirfs (ankle) is something they'll have to overcome. It's telling that 24 points for this Bucs team counts as a breakout game, but we'll say Tampa Bay's defense plays four quarters to lead the way.

Bucs 24, Saints 13 Greg Auman

Top stories from FOX Sports:

FOX Sports’ Week 13 NFL preview was compiled by:

AFC South reporter Ben Arthur (@benyarthur)
NFC South reporter Greg Auman (@gregauman)
AFC East reporter Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis)
NFC West reporter Eric D. Williams (@eric_d_williams)
NFC East reporter Ralph Vacchiano (@RalphVacchiano)
NFC North reporter Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV)
Dallas Cowboys reporter David Helman (@davidhelman_)


Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more

in this topic