What to know for NFL Week 13: Score picks, bold predictions, fantasy tips, key stats and more
The Week 13 NFL schedule for the 2021 season is stacked with great matchups, and we got you covered with what you need to know heading into the weekend. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the biggest keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and, of course, final score picks.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a big stat to know and a betting nugget for each contest, and our Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN researcher Kyle Soppe hands out helpful fantasy football intel, as well. Everything you want to know is here in one spot to help you get ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.
Let’s get into the full Week 13 slate, including Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow in a 2020 NFL draft showdown, a big AFC North matchup between the Ravens and Steelers and a Sunday night meeting between AFC West foes. It all culminates with a massive Monday Night Football matchup between the Patriots and the Bills on ESPN. (Game times are Sunday unless otherwise noted.)
Buccaneers (8-3) at Falcons (5-6)
1 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating: 58.5 | Spread: TB -11 (50.5)
What to watch for: A.J. Terrell has a chance to take another step. The Falcons’ second-year cornerback has been one of the best at his position this year. Rarely targeted by opponents and beat for a completion infrequently (42.7% of passes thrown at him, according to NFL’s Next Gen Stats), he has a chance to garner attention facing one of the league’s top receiving duos in Tampa Bay with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. That matchup will be a fun one for fans to see how Tom Brady and Co. test one of NFL’s top young corners. — Michael Rothstein
Bold prediction: The Buccaneers will sack Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan four times and pick him off twice. Over the past three games, Ryan has produced a total QBR of 21.7 — the lowest in the NFL — and he was sacked four times by the Patriots last week. He has also thrown a league-leading five interceptions in that three-week span. Meanwhile, the Bucs’ 10 sacks in the past three games are second-most in the NFL, and their four interceptions are tied for fifth. — Jenna Laine
Stat to know: Tampa Bay tight end Rob Gronkowski had a season-high 123 receiving yards in his last game, which gives him 30 career games with 100-plus receiving yards. That’s one shy of tying Tony Gonzalez for the most by a tight end in NFL history. He is also one TD (90) shy of matching Isaac Bruce for 12th all-time in receiving scores.
Injuries: Buccaneers | Falcons
What to know for fantasy: Brady is QB17 on a per-game basis over the past three weeks, putting him among the big-name signal-callers who are either struggling or off this week. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Atlanta has failed to cover four of its five home games this season and is 0-3 against the spread (ATS) against teams with winning records. Read more.
Laine’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 23
Rothstein’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 20
FPI prediction: TB, 79.3% (by an average of 10.9 points)
Matchup must-reads: Buccaneers WR Brown suspended 3 games for COVID-19 violation … Patterson finds fit, ignites Falcons offense … Fournette stars on field, in locker room as Buccaneers rally past Colts
Chargers (6-5) at Bengals (7-4)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 57.4 | Spread: CIN -3 (50)
What to watch for: This game is a matchup of two of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL, both from the 2020 draft class. Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow is looking to lead the Bengals to a third straight win and inch Cincinnati closer to a playoff berth. Justin Herbert and the Chargers are looking to bounce back from a loss to the Broncos to keep pace in the AFC playoff race. Herbert currently leads the NFL in Total QBR (65.9). — Ben Baby
Bold prediction: Chargers running back Austin Ekeler will go for 200-plus yards from scrimmage, as the Chargers bounce back to beat the Bengals. His 1,077 scrimmage yards are seventh in the NFL. Also look for Herbert to have a 300-plus-yard game. — Shelley Smith
Stat to know: Bengals running back Joe Mixon has recorded multiple touchdowns in four straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL and longest in Bengals history. No one has done it in five straight games since Alvin Kamara across the 2019-20 seasons, and the last to do it in five straight within a season was LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 (eight straight).
Injuries: Chargers | Bengals
What to know for fantasy: Remember less than two months ago when everyone was excited to tweak the wide receiver hierarchy of the Chargers? Well, Keenan Allen has posted five straight top-20 weeks while Mike Williams has just one such performance over that stretch. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Cincinnati has failed to cover its past four home games. Read more.
Smith’s pick: Chargers 34, Bengals 27
Baby’s pick: Chargers 34, Bengals 31
FPI prediction: CIN, 54.3% (by an average of 1.5 points)
Matchup must-reads: Chargers on a quest to break out of up-and-down pattern … Bengals’ offense finding groove behind Mixon, running game
Cardinals (9-2) at Bears (4-7)
1 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating: 57.4 | Spread: ARI -7.5 (43.5)
What to watch for: Can the Cardinals slow down Bears edge rusher Robert Quinn? The best — and perhaps only — shot of Chicago winning on Sunday comes down to quarterback pressure and forcing turnovers. With Khalil Mack on injured reserve, Quinn has been in the zone. The veteran edge rusher is tied for fourth in the NFL with 11 sacks. Back in Week 11, Quinn had 3.5 sacks against Baltimore, making it only the third time since 1988 that a Bears player had 3.0 sacks or more in a game. If Quinn is allowed to be a game-wrecker, maybe the Bears have a chance to win. — Jeff Dickerson
Bold prediction: It’s looking like Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be back against the Bears, and they will make their presence felt with 125 yards and two touchdowns between them. The Cardinals scored 40-plus points in their past two road games against the Bears, and they’ve won all six of their road games this season by 10-plus points. — Josh Weinfuss
Stat to know: Murray’s 72.7% completion percentage leads the NFL, and it is on pace to be the third-highest rate in a season in NFL history.
Injuries: Cardinals | Bears
What to know for fantasy: Bears running back David Montgomery has accounted for over 83% of Chicago running back touches in both games following their Week 10 bye. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Chicago has failed to cover in five of its past six games and in each of its past four games against teams with winning records. It is also 0-3 ATS as a home underdog this season. Read more.
Weinfuss’ pick: Cardinals 34, Bears 17
Dickerson’s pick: Cardinals 26, Bears 14
FPI prediction: ARI, 76.3% (by an average of 9.5 points)
Matchup must-reads: Cardinals exit their holiday bye week as Super Bowl favorites … Bears hall of famer Hampton arrested on OVI charge … Kingsbury tops list of NFL coaching success on fourth down
Giants (4-7) at Dolphins (5-7)
1 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating: 31.9 | Spread: MIA -4 (40.5)
What to watch for: The Dolphins rank second in the NFL in defensive expected points added (EPA) during their current four-game winning streak, forcing 10 turnovers (third in the NFL). In that same span, the Giants have been one of the least-efficient offensive teams in the league, ranking 31st in yards per game and 28th in offensive EPA. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Bold prediction: Miami will pressure the Giants’ quarterback — either Daniel Jones or Mike Glennon — at a rate over 50%. Considering the Giants’ offensive line struggles and Miami’s propensity to bring the zero blitz, Jones or Glennon could be in trouble. The Giants generally allow pressure on 32.2% of dropbacks, the eighth-highest rate in the league. Miami, meanwhile, pressures at a 30% clip, the sixth highest in the league. — Jordan Raanan
Stat to know: Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completed at least 80% of his passes with at least 30 attempts in each of his past two games. That’s tied for the longest such streak in NFL history (Kyler Murray in 2021, Drew Brees in 2018 and Peyton Manning in 2013).
Injuries: Giants | Dolphins
What to know for fantasy: Giants running back Saquon Barkley got 81% of the running back touches last weekend and was on the field for 86.2% of the Giants’ offensive snaps. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Miami is 5-1 ATS as a home favorite under coach Brian Flores. But New York is 9-3 ATS as a road underdog under Joe Judge. Read more.
Raanan’s pick: Dolphins 27, Giants 19
Louis-Jacques’ pick: Dolphins 20, Giants 10
FPI prediction: MIA, 64.0% (by an average of 4.8 points)
Matchup must-reads: Is second-year safety McKinney becoming a ‘superstar’ for Giants? … How Tagovailoa’s improvement has helped fuel Dolphins’ win streak … Dolphins rookie Waddle establishing himself as a No. 1 receiver
Colts (6-6) at Texans (2-9)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 26.1 | Spread: IND -10 (45)
What to watch for: Will Colts running back Jonathan Taylor continue his dominance? With a rushing touchdown on Sunday, Taylor would become the fifth player in NFL history with 10 straight games with a rushing touchdown in a season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Texans have allowed 17 rushing touchdowns this season and are allowing an average of 135.6 rushing yards per game, which ranks 31st in the NFL. — Sarah Barshop
Bold prediction: Indianapolis receiver T.Y. Hilton will have his first 100-yard receiving game since December 2020. Why? He’s playing the Texans, of course. Hilton’s last 100-yard receiving game was when he had eight receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown against the Texans on Dec. 6, 2020. The veteran receiver has 52 receptions for 1,061 yards and eight touchdowns in nine career games against the Colts’ AFC South counterpart. — Mike Wells
Stat to know: Colts quarterback Carson Wentz has 21 touchdowns and five interceptions this season, the fourth-best TD-INT ratio in the NFL. Overall, the Colts are 1-5 when Wentz has a turnover and 5-1 when he doesn’t.
Injuries: Colts | Texans
What to know for fantasy: Don’t look now, but Indianapolis tight end Jack Doyle has a score or at least five targets in five straight games. The tight end position isn’t pretty, and if you’re stuck, you could do worse. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Houston quarterback Tyrod Taylor is 9-2 ATS in his past 11 starts dating back to 2017, including playoffs. And he is 8-3-1 ATS in his career when getting at least six points. Read more.
Wells’ pick: Colts 35, Texans 17
Barshop’s pick: Colts 28, Texans 20
FPI prediction: IND, 75.8% (by an average of 9.3 points)
Matchup must-reads: Colts proving they’re not a playoff team — because playoff teams close out games … Texans coach Culley says Reid to play Sunday after Week 12 benching … What losing to the Jets means for the Texans’ 2022 draft position
Vikings (5-6) at Lions (0-10-1)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 25.4 | Spread: MIN -7 (46.5)
What to watch for: Detroit’s defense will have to find a way to slow down Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for November. Jefferson went off against Detroit in the Week 5 matchup between these teams, going for 124 receiving yards on seven catches. Detroit has lost eight straight games to Minnesota, dating back to 2017. — Eric Woodyard
Bold prediction: This feels like the perfect scenario for Jefferson to be a game wrecker, and he will have 160 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The Vikings are 4-0 when Jefferson has 100 receiving yards and 1-6 when he doesn’t, and Minnesota will lean into a pass-first attack with running back Dalvin Cook sidelined. — Courtney Cronin
Stat to know: Vikings receiver Adam Thielen has a receiving touchdown in two straight games and 10 total receiving touchdowns on the season — which is tied with Cooper Kupp and Mike Evans for most in the NFL.
Injuries: Vikings | Lions
What to know for fantasy: Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins is QB3 (19.9 fantasy points per game) on a per-game basis over the past four weeks and is in a favorable spot this week for those streaming in shallow leagues or looking to save some salary in daily fantasy. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Eight of Detroit’s past nine games have gone under the total. Read more.
Cronin’s pick: Vikings 26, Lions 21
Woodyard’s pick: Vikings 24, Lions 17
FPI prediction: MIN, 67.8% (by an average of 6.2 points)
Matchup must-reads: Vikings’ path to postseason is murky, but goal is still attainable … Lions’ Swift could miss multiple weeks with shoulder injury
Eagles (5-7) at Jets (3-8)
1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 18.8 | Spread: PHI -7 (45)
What to watch for: It’s all about Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, his balky ankle and the Jets’ ability to contain his rushing. The Jets have allowed only 96 rushing yards to quarterbacks, but they haven’t faced many dangerous runners. Hurts, who leads the Eagles with 695 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, is “almost Lamar-esque,” as Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said, comparing him to the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson. — Rich Cimini
Bold prediction: The Eagles will return a Zach Wilson interception for a touchdown. Wilson is tied for third in the NFL with 10 picks despite playing just seven games so far due to injury. The Eagles will throw some disguises Wilson’s way to confuse him, and the secondary will be licking its chops — particularly cornerback Darius Slay, who already has three defensive touchdowns this season. — Tim McManus
Stat to know: The Jets’ defense is last in the NFL in points allowed per game (30.4) and yards given up per play (6.1), and it is second-worst in opponent Total QBR (56) ahead of only the Jaguars.
Injuries: Eagles | Jets
What to know for fantasy: A hefty 100.5% of Hurts’ fantasy points over the past two weeks have come on the ground. You read that right: 100.5%. (He had negative points on the passing side of things.) The rushing ability is elite, but right now, it’s a need to have, not a nice to have. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: New York is one of two teams to not be favored in a single game this season (Detroit) and is 2-8 ATS, the worst ATS record in the NFL this season. Read more.
McManus’ pick: Eagles 26, Jets 20
Cimini’s pick: Eagles 24, Jets 14
FPI prediction: PHI, 68.7% (by an average of 6.5 points)
Matchup must-reads: Reagor, after critical drop, faces pivotal moment in career with Eagles … Lawson leans on Jets’ teammates during long injury rehab … Eagles QB Hurts ‘ready to go’ despite ankle sprain
Jaguars (2-9) at Rams (7-4)
4:05 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating: 47.8 | Spread: LAR -13 (48)
What to watch for: The Super Bowl hopeful Rams enter Sunday’s game amid a three-game losing streak for only the second time in Sean McVay’s five seasons as coach. Watch for the Rams and quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has committed six turnovers in the three-game skid, to course correct and re-develop a rhythm with a continually evolving offense against the 2-9 Jaguars, whose own offense has produced a league-low average of 14.6 points per game this season. — Lindsey Thiry
Bold prediction: The Rams — led by defensive tackle Aaron Donald and edge rusher Leonard Floyd — will sack quarterback Trevor Lawrence eight times. Jacksonville center Brandon Linder and left guard Andrew Norwell rank eighth and 17th, respectively, in pass block win rate at their positions, but offensive tackles Jawaan Taylor (47th) and Cam Robinson (33rd) are struggling. Add in the fact that Jaguars receivers are still running wrong routes at times and get limited separation, and Lawrence is going to have a long day. — Mike DiRocco
Stat to know: Los Angeles receiver Cooper Kupp has seven straight games with seven or more receptions, tied for the longest streak by a Rams player in franchise history, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Kupp also needs just eight more catches to reach 100, which would make him the third different Rams player with that amount in a season and the first since Torry Holt in 2005.
Injuries: Jaguars | Rams
What to know for fantasy: Not one, not two, but three Rams receivers finished last week tucked inside the top-15 at the position. Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr. and Van Jefferson all saw at least nine targets and project as viable options in this high-octane offense. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Jacksonville is 2-0 ATS as a double-digit underdog this season with an outright win over Buffalo as a 15.5-point underdog. It is also 3-1 ATS when getting at least seven points. Read more.
DiRocco’s pick: Rams 35, Jaguars 7
Thiry’s pick: Rams 32, Jaguars 10
FPI prediction: LAR, 85.6% (by an average of 14.1 points)
Matchup must-reads: My Cause My Cleats: Jaguars punter Cooke and wife fund water well in Kenya … Shocked Ramsey, Rams ‘way too good’ to be mired in three-game skid … Why NFL star QBs Stafford is struggling and how he gets back on track
Washington (5-6) at Raiders (6-5)
4:05 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating: 38.2 | Spread: LV -2.5 (49)
What to watch for: Keep an eye on the “reunion” of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. The two were thick as thieves when Del Rio was the Raiders’ coach from 2015-2017, but an awkward social media exchange between the two occurred when Del Rio, then an analyst for ESPN, pointed out Carr’s difficulty in cold-weather games. The chess match within this game, though, will be between Carr and Del Rio, who know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Del Rio, whose .521 winning percentage is the best of any Raiders coach since Tom Flores resigned in 1988, might have a chip on his shoulder for being canned in favor of Jon Gruden. — Paul Gutierrez
Bold prediction: Washington will run for 150 yards. Washington has some injury concerns, so there will be questions entering this game, but assuming some of those questions are answered in the affirmative, the run game will have a day. Antonio Gibson will rush for 90 yards and a touchdown, offsetting a 60-yard touchdown catch by the Raiders’ DeSean Jackson. — John Keim
Stat to know: The Raiders are 6-0 this season when Carr throws for 300-plus yards.
Injuries: Washington | Raiders
What to know for fantasy: It’s rarely exciting, but receiver Hunter Renfrow has been a top-11 fantasy receiver (PPR) in three of Las Vegas’ past four games. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Washington is 1-5 ATS against teams with winning records this season, but it has covered three straight games after starting the year 1-7 ATS. Read more.
Keim’s pick: Washington 23, Raiders 21
Gutierrez’s pick: Raiders 27, Washington 26
FPI prediction: LV, 61.7% (by an average of 4.0 points)
Matchup must-reads: Washington ‘hasn’t arrived yet’ despite hot streak, 2020 comparisons … Jackson providing spark, confidence for Raiders, Carr … Carr channels Gruden advice in Raiders’ OT win over Cowboys
49ers (6-5) at Seahawks (3-8)
4:25 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 62.7 | Spread: SF -3.5 (45.5)
What to watch for: Can quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense snap out of their slump? That group has scored only 26 points during the three-game losing streak that began when Wilson returned from finger surgery. Among all their issues, his uncharacteristic inaccuracy has been the most striking. In that span, Wilson leads the league in off-target percentage, per ESPN Stats & Information. Having 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa — who has 11 sacks in 11 games — bearing down on him Sunday won’t make things any easier. — Brady Henderson
Bold prediction: Making a bold prediction on any game involving the Seahawks is hard because nothing seems out of reach, especially when they play the 49ers. But let’s go with this: The Niners will have at least 40 minutes of time of possession. Seattle has the worst time of possession margin in the league by a substantial amount (minus-11:57) and the Niners have had 37-plus minutes time of possession in each of their past three games. If both teams stay on those trajectories, San Francisco could play the ultimate game of keep away. — Nick Wagoner
Stat to know: Niners running back Elijah Mitchell has four games with 100 or more rushing yards this season, the most by a rookie in 49ers history. The last rookie to be drafted in the sixth round or later with five such games in a season was Alfred Morris in 2012 (seven games — and under then-Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan).
Injuries: 49ers | Seahawks
What to know for fantasy: Is it a Tyler Lockett week? In 2019, the Seattle receiver scored 11.2 more points in the second meeting with the divisional rival 49ers than he did in the first. In 2019, he spiked for a 33-point game in the second game after disappointing with just 7.3 in the first. In Week 4 this season at San Francisco, 6.4 points. Be careful in counting him out. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is 9-0 outright and 6-3 ATS as a road favorite in his career (3-1 ATS this season). Read more.
Wagoner’s pick: 49ers 30, Seahawks 20
Henderson’s pick: 49ers 22, Seahawks 20
FPI prediction: SF, 51.8% (by an average of 0.7 points)
Matchup must-reads: 49ers’ Mitchell goes from sixth-round pick to Peterson comparisons … Wilson’s misfires are most striking among Seahawks’ offensive woes … 49ers WR Samuel, LB Warner out 1-2 weeks … Seahawks sign veteran Peterson to practice squad
Ravens (8-3) at Steelers (5-5-1)
4:25 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating: 51.3 | Spread: BAL -4.5 (44)
What to watch for: Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has just two starts against the Steelers, but he struggled mightily in each. He threw five total interceptions to three touchdowns in those games and was sacked nine times. And just a week ago, Jackson turned in a dismal performance with four interceptions against the Browns. But one of the Steelers’ biggest weaknesses is their run defense — something Jackson is more than capable of exploiting — and the unit hasn’t been great at containing mobile quarterbacks this season. Plus, edge rusher T.J. Watt is likely sidelined. — Brooke Pryor
Bold prediction: Ravens running back Devonta Freeman will gain 100 yards rushing for the first time in four years. Freeman hasn’t cracked 100 yards rushing since December 2017, when he was with the Falcons. The Ravens, who lost their top two running backs to season-ending injuries before the start of the season, are one of just two teams to not have a running back eclipse 80 yards rushing in a game this season (Jets), but the droughts end for Freeman and Baltimore against the Steelers, who are allowing their highest yards per rush (4.8) in at least two decades. — Jamison Hensley
Stat to know: Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has at least one passing TD in 25 straight games, one shy of matching the second-longest streak of his career (26 straight from 2017-18).
Injuries: Ravens | Steelers
What to know for fantasy: Steelers running back Najee Harris is a test case for the fantasy value of volume. He remains locked into lineups despite going through all of November without a touch gaining 15 yards. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Each of Baltimore’s past four road games have gone under the total. Read more.
Hensley’s pick: Ravens 23, Steelers 20
Pryor’s pick: Ravens 24, Steelers 14
FPI prediction: BAL, 56.8% (by an average of 2.3 points)
Matchup must-reads: He changed my son’s life’: How the Ravens’ Andrews inspires others with diabetes … Tomlin promises changes for Steelers after lopsided loss to Bengals … Imperfect Ravens face perfect scenario: In control of AFC No. 1 seed
Broncos (6-5) at Chiefs (7-4)
8:20 p.m. ET | NBC
Matchup rating: 61.7 | Spread: KC -10 (47.5)
What to watch for: The Chiefs have beaten the Broncos 11 straight times, and the final margin often hasn’t been close. Three of the past four were decided by at least 20 points. So it seems a fast start by the Broncos is essential. The Chiefs haven’t been scoring a lot of points in their current four-game winning streak but have been jumping out ahead of opponents early. They had early leads of at least seven points in all four games and never trailed in the past three. — Adam Teicher
Bold prediction: Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will finish with at least 240 passing yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and one or fewer sacks. But it is dependent on the Broncos actually using play-action to push the ball down the field in the passing game and putting Bridgewater under center more. The last Broncos quarterback to have that kind of stat line when these two teams have played? Peyton Manning in September 2014. — Jeff Legwold
Stat to know: Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has 48 touchdown passes in 19 career prime-time starts. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s already the most since 1950 in a QB’s first 20 career prime-time starts. And his 77.8 career Total QBR in division games is the highest by any QB since 2006.
Injuries: Broncos | Chiefs
What to know for fantasy: Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce has gone over 19 fantasy points in each of his past five Arrowhead games against the Broncos, averaging an outrageous 130 yards and 26.4 fantasy points in the process. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Nine of Denver’s 11 games have gone under the total this season. Read more.
Legwold’s pick: Chiefs 23, Broncos 21
Teicher’s pick: Chiefs 23, Broncos 19
FPI prediction: KC, 68.3% (by an average of 6.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: With rookie Surtain leading the way, Broncos have found a defensive formula … Chiefs hope to use Edwards-Helaire as a receiver, not just a runner … Broncos must wrestle history to earn division lead in Kansas City … Do the Broncos finally have a solution to their Kelce problem?
Patriots (8-4) at Bills (7-4)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET | ESPN
Matchup rating: 87.7 | Spread: BUF -2.5 (43)
What to watch for: While the absence of cornerback Tre’Davious White will be big for the Bills’ defense, it’s the recent trend of turning the ball over that is the key to watch when the Patriots and Bills face off. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen has thrown seven interceptions in his past four games and lost one fumble. Thus far, Buffalo’s defense has been able to bail the team out, but New England will be a tougher task, especially considering the defense has forced a league-high 20 turnovers since Week 5. Allen maintaining his composure will be crucial, and he could be assisted by two starting offensive linemen potentially returning to the starting lineup. — Alaina Getzenberg
Bold prediction: Patriots kicker Nick Folk leads the NFL with 31 field goals (on 34 attempts) and has made 50 straight attempts from within 50 yards, stretching back to last season. But that streak — which is the second longest in NFL history behind Ryan Succop’s 56 — will be snapped in Western New York, where the weather conditions are often unpredictable with wind and snow. In turn, Bills second-year kicker Tyler Bass, who is 20-of-23 on the season, will also be tested. — Mike Reiss
Stat to know: Tight ends Hunter Henry (Patriots) and Dawson Knox (Bills) each have seven receiving touchdowns this season, tied for the league lead among tight ends.
Injuries: Patriots | Bills
What to know for fantasy: Did Allen crack the Patriots’ puzzle in Week 16 last season? In that game, he completed 75% of his passes for 320 yards and four touchdowns. In his four prior career games against New England, he completed 50.4% of his passes and averaged 183 pass yards with a total of three passing scores (and six interceptions). See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: Buffalo has covered each of its last five games in the month of December or later, and it is 4-0-1 ATS in its past five games against AFC East opponents. Read more.
Reiss’ pick: Bills 20, Patriots 16
Getzenberg’s pick: Patriots 24, Bills 23
FPI prediction: BUF, 64.4% (by an average of 4.9 points)
Matchup must-reads: Jackson keeps picking up trash, helping the Patriots … Bills receiver Diggs embracing leadership role and Buffalo community … Bills remove Lotulelei, Brown from COVID-19 list … What’s next for the Bills after losing No. 1 corner White for the season?
Source: Read Full Article