Felger & Mazz

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FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 24: Outside linebackers coach Stephen Belichick and head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots stand on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium on October 24, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

So here we are, in Week 13 and in December, and the Patriots once again look like a chocolate Santa, which is to say they are hollow. The Patriots beat the bad teams and lose to the good ones, and now the Buffalo Bills are rumbling into Foxboro.

So what’s it going to be?

We here at Pick It and Stick It are also entering the stretch run of our 2022 season, coming off a bye in Week 12 thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday. In Week 11, we went a solid 8-5-1 and nearly reached 10 games over .500, a threshold we hope to (and expect to) eclipse here in Week 13. Picking every game every week is no easy task in the NFL – we have told you this multiple times, of course – and contrary to public opinion, the games really do not get any easier during the final months of an NFL season.

This season, things feel trickier than usual. There are only a few elite teams. The middle class is expansive. And we are entering crunch time during the era of an expanded schedule, which means very few teams have been eliminated from playoff contention.

What will Week 13 bring? Good question. But like the Belichicks (pictured above), we are on the hot seat. Time to produce, fellas. Or else.

Week 11: 8-5-1.
Week 12: Bye.
Season: 86-77-4.

(Week 13 odds courtesy of DraftKings.)

 

  • Buffalo (-4.5) at New England (Thursday night)

    BUFFALO, NEW YORK - JANUARY 15: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

    BUFFALO, NEW YORK – JANUARY 15: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

    There’s a reason we chose the Belichick family above – and there’s a reason we chose Josh Allen here. For the Patriots to win this game, they have to keep Buffalo’s offensive output in the 20s. Can they do it? Murray likes the Bills. Felger likes the Pats. I think this game is going to be decided by a field goal so I’m going to take the points – I generally like home underdogs getting more than a field goal, anyway – and I think that Josh Allen’s elbow issue is very, very real. The Bills are the better team. The Pats don’t completely smell. Murray loses out. Pick: New England.

  • Denver (+8.5) at Baltimore

    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 27: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens embrace after the game at TIAA Bank Field on November 27, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 27: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens embrace after the game at TIAA Bank Field on November 27, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

    OK, so the above photo was taken last week, and the Ravens and Jaguars are not in the same division. Still, one can’t help but wonder if this snapshot was a figurative changing of the guard. Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson lost his marbles after this defeat and started spewing nonsense on Twitter, which is never a good sign. The good news is that the Broncos are a much bigger mess than the Ravens and have a truly dreadful offense. I actually like the points here because I think the Denver defense will keep it close, but I’ve been overruled yet again by Dumb and Dumber. Pick: Baltimore.

  • Green Bay (-4) at Chicago

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 27: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is sacked by Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – NOVEMBER 27: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is sacked by Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    Anyone else have enough of Aaron Rodgers talking about his injuries and medical scans this week? Yeesh. The guy reality should have his own reality show. I like the underdog again here – especially at home – but Murray and Felger have overruled me. I’m actually somewhat stunned by this development because I figured Felger would be fed up with Rodgers and the Packers by now. But then, a fan is a fan is a fan – even Felger. This is proof that you can take little Mikey out of Green Bay – or this case, Wisconsin – but you can’t take the Green Bay out of little Mikey. Pick: Green Bay.

  • Cleveland (-7) at Houston

    BEREA, OHIO - NOVEMBER 23: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns throws a pass during a practice at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on November 23, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

    BEREA, OHIO – NOVEMBER 23: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Cleveland Browns throws a pass during a practice at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on November 23, 2022 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

    Well, well , well … guess who’s back. In a game that should be sponsored by Orchids of Asia, DeShaun Watson will be making his return this week, starting for the Browns against his former team, the Texans. I thought the instinct in this game would be to pick Cleveland and Watson, who basically hasn’t played a game in two years. But you know what? We all like the Texans in what is their biggest game of the season. Houston is getting a touchdown in this game and the Browns are just 1-4 on the road this season, and we all agree that Houston will at least keep the game close. Let’s hope the referees don’t … er … massage the spread at all. Pick: Houston.

  • NY Jets (+3) at Minnesota

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 27: Mike White #5 of the New York Jets and Garrett Wilson #17 of the New York Jets celebrate after a touchdown in the second half of a game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 27: Mike White #5 of the New York Jets and Garrett Wilson #17 of the New York Jets celebrate after a touchdown in the second half of a game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium on November 27, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    Interesting test case here. The Jets travel to Minnesota one scheduling week after the Patriots did, though the Vikings obviously will operate with more rest. With Mike White at quarterback last week, the Jets offense erupted – and now White gets to face a very suspect pass defense that allowed Mac Jones to throw for nearly 400 yards. The difference from the Patriots? The Jets actually have a good defense. As a result, Murray and I are on the Jets while Felger is taking the Vikings. Felger loses out. Zach Wilson may never play another game for the J-E-T-S … Jets, Jets, Jets. Pick: New York.

  • Tennessee (+5) at Philadelphia

    NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans during the nation anthem before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)

    NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans during the nation anthem before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)

    I’m on record as saying I’d like Mike Vrabel to be the next coach of the Patriots, though this week will be a good test. Tennessee lost late to the Bengals last week but the Titans basically have been in every game they have played. The Eagles, meanwhile, appeared to regain their stride last week with a win over the Packers, but Vrabel has kept the game close against just about everyone this season, including a road affair at Kansas City. Can the Titans win this game? Sure. But at a minimum, it feels like the Titans will keep it close and five points qualifies as a big number in the NFL – especially between two playoff teams. It’s unanimous. Pick: Tennessee.

  • Jacksonville (-1.5) at Detroit

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 20: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions looks on during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 20, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – NOVEMBER 20: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions looks on during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 20, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

    Know who the flavor of the week is the NFL? The Jacksonville Jaguars or, more specifically, Trevor Lawrence, who had his first real signature win last week in a comeback victory over Lamar Jackson and the Raiders. Like greyhounds chasing a mechanical rabbit, Felger and Murray have completely taken the cheeses and ar e on the Jags so, officially, that is our selection. I, however, want it duly noted that I like the Lions to win this game given Detroit’s good play of late and development under the bro coach, Dan Campbell. The Lions almost beat Buffalo last week. They’ll beat the Jags. Pick: Detroit.

  • Washington (-2.5) at NY Giants

    LANDOVER, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders looks on prior to a game against the Atlanta Falcons at FedExField on November 27, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

    LANDOVER, MARYLAND – NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders looks on prior to a game against the Atlanta Falcons at FedExField on November 27, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

    Is anyone else stunning by this point spread? I know I am. The Giants have slumped of late, but to make them a home underdog against the Commanders – or should we say the Commodores? – feels like a bit of stretch, no matter the size of the actual number. I’ll be the first to admit that I completely underrate Ron Rivera as a coach and continue to dismiss the Commanders, who have won three straight to improve to 7-5. That’s right, the Washington Commanders are 7-5. I like the Giants to win this game outright. Murray also likes the Giants. Felger again is looking in with his nose pressed against the glass. Pick: New York.

  • Pittsburgh (-1.5) at Atlanta

    INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter in the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter in the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    You may notice a lot of coaches profiled in the photos along with this week’s picks. So why Mike Tomlin? Because until now, it has been widely assumed that Tomlin’s streak without a losing season appears to be in jeopardy. But after the Steelers defeated the Colts on Monday night that, in part, to the cooperation of Jeff Saturday, let’s not count out Pittsburgh just yet. The Steelers have a couple of tough games remaining, but they’re playing better football and still have a chance at reaching nine games, however crazy that seems. The margin is thin, but we all like the Steelers this week and it feels like the Falcons have gone belly up. Pick: Pittsburgh.

  • Miami (+4) at San Francisco

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins talks with Tua Tagovailoa #1 during the fourth quarter in the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 06, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Mike McDaniel of the Miami Dolphins talks with Tua Tagovailoa #1 during the fourth quarter in the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 06, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

    The game of the week in the NFL? You bet it is, and not just because Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel will be returning to San Francisco to take on his mentor, Kyle Shanahan. The Dolphins and the Niners are are both entertaining teams with aspirations of deep playoff runs, though the Niners probably need the game more. The Dolphins probably have the better quarterback and offense. The Niners have the better defense. I believe in balance, so I’m going with the more physical San Francisco team, which I think has a chance of exposing Miami. Felger is drinking with me. Murray is smoking alone. Pick: San Francisco. 

  • Seattle (-7.5) at LA Rams

    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams and head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs shake hands before a game at Arrowhead Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)

    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams and head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs shake hands before a game at Arrowhead Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)

    Know what I like about the picture above? That Sean McVay looks like he actually has to be consoled by Andy Reid because the Rams such so bad this season. I mean, what could Reid possibly be telling him. If you want to make yourself feel better, try those Tex-Mex eggrolls at The Cheesecake Factory. Seattle is coming off a loss and now faces a wretched Los Angeles offense that was lucky to score last week. One would advise the Rams to tank at this point but there is really no benefit given that they’ve traded away most of their future draft picks. Hard times coming in LA? For some reason, Felger like the Rams. Pick: Seattle.

  • Kansas City (-2) at Cincinnati

    NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 27: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals is sacked by DeMarcus Walker #95 of the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Nissan Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)

    NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – NOVEMBER 27: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals is sacked by DeMarcus Walker #95 of the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Nissan Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)

    OK, I take it back. This might be the game of the week. In fact, it probably is. Murray likes the Chiefs, who have a great deal to prove after the Bengals represented the AFC in the Super Bowl a year ago. Felger likes the Bengals, which seems incredible. I like any team quarterbacked by Joe Burrow, who remains, to me, the prototype for what an NFL quarterback should be. Is Burrow perfect? No. But it’s his third year. And I’m going to say this now, the criticism be damned: Burrow is currently the closest thing the NFL has right now to the next Tom Brady. Intangibles are off the charts. Pick: Cincinnati.

  • LA Chargers (-2) at Las Vegas

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 27: Josh Jacobs #28 of the Las Vegas Raiders carries the ball for a touchdown in overtime to beat the Seattle Seahawks 40-34 at Lumen Field on November 27, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 27: Josh Jacobs #28 of the Las Vegas Raiders carries the ball for a touchdown in overtime to beat the Seattle Seahawks 40-34 at Lumen Field on November 27, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    Maybe the Raiders are lucky. Maybe they’ve turned the corner. Whatever the case, Las Vegas has won back to back games in overtime to regain at least a shred of respectability and climb out of last place in the AFC West. Nobody is predicting anything ridiculous for the Raiders, but they’re home this week against a Chargers team (and quarterback) that doesn’t win as much as it should, which raises all kinds of questions about Los Angeles signal-caller Justin Herbert. Believe it or not, we all like the Raiders this week – and I don’t think it has anything to do with them being a home underdog. The spread is small. Pick: Las Vegas.

  • Indianapolis (+11) at Dallas (Sunday night)

    INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Jeff Saturday of the Indianapolis Colts looks on against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter in the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Jeff Saturday of the Indianapolis Colts looks on against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter in the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    It took a few weeks, but Indianapolis coach Jeff Saturday finally looked clueless last week, keeping all three of his timeouts in the freezer while his team lost in the final seconds to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A day later, Saturday admitted the error of his ways, which suggests he heard all of the criticism that came with such a truly a boneheaded decision. Does that make Saturday an idiot? No. It just makes him inexperienced. Indy has played its best football of the year since he took over, which is probably why Felger is picking the Colts this week. Murray and I are on the Cowboys, who are likely to kill Matt Ryan. Big test for the Colts. Pick: Dallas.

  • New Orleans (+3.5) at Tampa Bay (Monday night)

    CLEVELAND, OHIO - NOVEMBER 27: Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns picks up Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a sack during overtime at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

    CLEVELAND, OHIO – NOVEMBER 27: Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns picks up Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a sack during overtime at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

    Wow. Talk about a suckbag game. Tampa Bay has had great difficulty against New Orleans since Tom Brady came aboard, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Felger likes Brady and the Bucs in this game, which makes some sense. Murray, meanwhile, was in Cleveland last week for Tamps’ unsightly loss, after which Tom Brady seemed as depressed as ever. When submitting his picks this week, Murray wrote: Please let readers know that this will be the start of me picking against the Bucs from here until the end of the season because they are TRASH.” I’d like to pick a tie in this game, but even the spready prohibits it. Pick: New Orleans.