NFL Week 13 picks: Chargers vs. Bengals, Bills vs. Patriots highlight slate

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Week 13 picks: Chargers vs. Bengals, Bills vs. Patriots and more originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

After a wild Week 12 slate, the playoff races in both conferences are off the rails with just six games remaining in the regular season.

This week's slate only features three games that have two teams with winning records, but there are several matchups that could go a long way in determining how the Wild Card race shakes out. Five of the six teams playing in primetime games this week have a winning record, with both Sunday Night Football (Broncos vs. Chiefs) and Monday Night Football (Bills vs. Patriots) featuring huge divisional matchups.

So, which teams will come out on top in Week 13?

Each week, NBC Sports Washington’s Ethan Cadeaux and Matt Weyrich will run through every NFL game and make their predictions for the final scores. Below are their picks for Week 12. All game times listed are EST.

COWBOYS (7-4) at SAINTS (5-6)

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. on FOX and NFL Network

Thursday night's game is a matchup both the Cowboys and Saints badly need. Dallas has dropped three straight and now holds just a two-game lead in the NFC East, while New Orleans has lost its last four contests and fallen out of the playoff picture. The Saints are likely to return some key players such as running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, so this game could be closer than some expect.

Ethan: Cowboys 31, Saints 13 | Matt: Saints 27, Cowboys 21

GIANTS (4-7) at DOLPHINS (5-7)

Sunday, 1 p.m. on FOX

Don't look now, but the Dolphins have been winners of four straight and are creeping back into the AFC playoff race. The Giants are also coming off a solid win over the Eagles, but starting quarterback Daniel Jones could miss time with a neck injury moving forward. If Miami plays the way it has over the past month, the Dolphins should have little issue beating the Giants.

Ethan: Dolphins 23, Giants 13 | Matt: Dolphins 24, Giants 10

COLTS (6-6) at TEXANS (2-9)

Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS

The Colts had the chance to make a statement win last week, but Indianapolis coughed up a double-digit lead to the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers in what was one of the best games of the weekend. The Colts will look to get back in the win column against a lowly Texans squad that fell to the New York Jets last week.

Ethan: Colts 34, Texans 10 | Matt: Colts 36, Texans 17

VIKINGS (5-6) at LIONS (0-10-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS

The Vikings fell in a close one to the 49ers last week, a game that was huge for the NFC Wild Card race moving forward. Luckily for Minnesota, they should have no problem getting back on track this week against the winless Lions. However, Kirk Cousins is known to play down to his competition, so don't be surprised if this game is closer than it should be.

Ethan: Vikings 24, Lions 16 | Matt: Vikings 28, Lions 7

EAGLES (5-7) at JETS (3-8)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. on CBS

The Eagles suffered a devastating loss last week to the Giants, as Philadelphia's offense was out of sync all day against Big Blue. Philadelphia has been inconsistent this season, but they're simply the better team than the Jets this week. Until Zach Wilson starts to play better football, it's hard to see the Jets stockpiling wins, even if they were able to edge past the Texans last week.

Ethan: Eagles 23, Jets 14 | Matt: Eagles 21, Jets 20

CARDINALS (9-2) at BEARS (4-7)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. on CBS

Arizona, currently the top seed in the NFC, has continued to play winning football despite having two of its best players, Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, miss time due to injuries. The Cardinals are optimistic both will return this week against the Bears. Chicago barely squeaked by the winless Lions on Thanksgiving, too. Without rookie Justin Fields under center, it's difficult to see Chicago putting up much of a fight this week.

Ethan: Cardinals 28, Bears 14 | Matt: Cardinals 30, Bears 10

CHARGERS (6-5) at BENGALS (7-4)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. on CBS

Joe Burrow, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft, will face off against Justin Herbert, the No. 6 pick in the 2020 draft, in a battle of two of the best young quarterbacks in the sport. This matchup is crucial for the AFC Wild Card race, too, as both clubs are vying for one of those three spots. Both teams have plenty of talent on both sides of the football, as this matchup should be one of the best games of Week 13.

Ethan: Chargers 27, Bengals 24 | Matt: Bengals 24, Chargers 17

BUCCANEERS (8-3) at FALCONS (5-6)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. on FOX

The Buccaneers and Falcons played in Week 2 this year, with Tampa Bay cruising by Atlanta, 48-25. It's hard to imagine this week going any differently, especially with the Falcons still without standout wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Look for Tom Brady and co. to try and put Atlanta away early as Tampa's quest for the top seed in the AFC continues.

Ethan: Bucs 38, Falcons 10 | Matt: Bucs 42, Falcons 6

JAGUARS (2-9) at RAMS (7-4)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. on FOX

Perhaps no team needs a 'get right' game more than the Rams, who have dropped three straight games following a blazing 7-1 start to the season. Luckily for LA, the lowly Jaguars come to town this weekend. Jacksonville has proven they can hang with good teams (see the Bills game from earlier this season), but expect Sean McVay to have his guys ready this Sunday as the Rams badly need a victory.

Ethan: Rams 28, Jaguars 3 | Matt: Rams 31, Jaguars 14

WASHINGTON (5-6) at RAIDERS (6-5)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. on FOX

Both Washington and Las Vegas are coming off big victories in Week 12, as the WFT defeated Seattle on Monday Night Football, while the Raiders took care of business on the road against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Both teams have been wildly inconsistent this season, so predicting how this matchup will unfold is difficult. While this matchup might not look that intriguing on paper, it has the potential to be one of the better games this weekend.

Ethan: Washington 27, Raiders 24  | Matt: Raiders 33, Washington 28

RAVENS (8-3) at STEELERS (5-5-1)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Both the Ravens and Steelers are coming off ugly AFC North games. Baltimore managed to still defeat Cleveland last week despite Lamar Jackson throwing four interceptions. Pittsburgh was not nearly as lucky, as the Steelers were blown out by Cincinnati. Ravens-Steelers has produced some of the best games over the past decade, though, so it's hard to imagine this game not being close. 

Ethan: Steelers 23, Ravens 20 | Matt: Ravens 24, Steelers 14

49ERS (6-5) at SEAHAWKS (3-8)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on CBS

In this matchup, the 49ers will likely be without their best offensive player, Deebo Samuel, as the wideout is nursing a minor groin injury. But San Francisco is playing excellent football right now, while the Seahawks have looked abysmal as of late, even with Russell Wilson's return. It's hard to pick against the 49ers or in favor of the Seahawks right now.

Ethan: 49ers 26, Seahawks 16 | Matt: 49ers 27, Seahawks 13

BRONCOS (6-5) at CHIEFS (7-4)

Sunday, 8:20  p.m. on NBC

Kansas City has gotten the best of Denver as of late. The Chiefs have won the last 11 contests in this AFC West rivalry. Denver is coming off a big win over the Chargers last week, but Kansas City was one of the NFL's best teams in the month of November. This game should be a close one, but Denver has its work cut out if it hopes to snap this 11-game skid against KC.

Ethan: Chiefs 31, Broncos 23 | Matt: Chiefs 34, Broncos 28

PATRIOTS (8-4) at BILLS (7-4)

Monday, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

It's very rare that the best game of the week is on Monday Night Football these days, but that's the case this week when New England travels to Buffalo for a crucial AFC East clash that could go a long way in deciding the division winner. The Patriots have won six straight and are the hottest team in football, but Buffalo swept New England in their two meetings last year. This game is must-see television.

Ethan: Bills 24, Patriots 21 | Matt: Patriots 17, Bills 14