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Each week this season, OutKick will get you primed for an NFL Sunday on the couch by telling you which games deserve the most attention. For Week 13, here we go…
NFL Sunday Games Worth Watching From Opening Kick Until Final Whistle
If you’re a fan/regular reader of this column — and let’s be honest, of course you are — then you know it’s been a rough few weeks. But on this Week 13 NFL Sunday, we’ve got some GAMES, people! Let’s dive in…
- New York Jets (7-4) at Minnesota Vikings (9-2), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main storyline: I was truly torn on which of three early afternoon games to put in this slot. I can make arguments for this game (obviously), Eagles/Titans and Commanders/Giants. But, I asked my wife which one she would pick and she said this one. So there you have it!
I’m actually backing the Under in this game because I think the whole “Mike White is a revelation” is a complete overreaction. In fact, here’s what I wrote: “They just scored 31 points with Mike White at the helm. Of course, everyone is going nuts about how great he is, but remember that this is still Mike White. And the 31 points the Jets scored came against the second-worst defense in the NFL — the Bears, who are only better than the Lions.”
I am hyped to watch the Justin Jefferson vs. Sauce Gardner battle, though. That’s going to be one of the most underrated one-on-one matchups on a packed Sunday, but true football fans are going to be keeping a close eye on that one. I like Sauce to lock him up, for what it’s worth.
- Miami Dolphins (8-3) at San Francisco 49ers (7-4), 4:05pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: How this game did not get flexed into Sunday Night Football, I will never know. I guess the NBC execs are taking that one to the grave. And, it screws fans over, too, since it’s going to be on during the Chiefs-Bengals game. And, it’s only going to be delivered to local markets. This is a BIG TIME miss by the NFL; we’re talking about a potential Super Bowl preview. I’m not exaggerating. The 49ers (+275) are the second-favorites to win the NFC at DraftKings (Eagles, +230) and the Dolphins are fourth in the AFC (+850).
Tyreek Hill. Christian McCaffrey. Jaylen Waddle. Deebo Samuel. This game represents everything the NFL is trending towards: speed, skill and athleticism. I never put two games from the same timeslot in this tier, but both this game and the one below it are well worth your time. If you don’t have two TVs, go get a second one and find a way to get both of these matches on. At least throw this one on an iPad or something.
- Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-4), 4:25pm (CBS)
Main storyline: OutKick’s Armando Salguero wrote a detailed piece on why this is the Game of the Week, which you can read here.
- Indianapolis Colts (4-7-1) at Dallas Cowboys (8-3), 8:20pm (NBC)
Main storyline: I have literally no idea how NBC kept this game. They have the ability to flex better matchups and, as mentioned, there are MANY better options to choose from. Yes, the Cowboys always garner ratings and they are 8-3. But the Colts are an unmitigated DISASTER. I guess the Jeff Saturday angle is kinda fun.
But both of these teams are more known for their defense than their offense and that doesn’t make for a very fun game. Literally, there are four games I would have picked over this one. Instead, we’re all stuck watching a game in which the Colts are double-digit underdogs. Lame.
Game To Flip To During Commercials Of Better NFL Sunday Game
Last week, we had ONE game between teams with winning records. This week, we’ve got FIVE games between current playoff teams. There are only 14 teams currently in position to make the playoffs (duh) and ten of them are facing each other. What a day!
- Tennessee Titans (7-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-1), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: This game was very close to making it into my number one slot for early afternoon games, but is held back by the Titans. Ryan Tannehill is just so BORING. And as great as Derrick Henry is, watching him grind down opponents isn’t very exciting, either. But still, this is a match between the NFC’s current #1 seed and the AFC’s current #3 seed.
Plus, we’ve got the “AJ Brown revenge game” angle. And the spread for this game is just 4.5 points favoring the home team. Which is wild, if you think about it, because if this were a Tennessee home game, the spread would need to be Titans -1.5. Does anyone think Tennessee should be favored over Philly, even if they were at home? I don’t.
- Washington Commanders (7-5) at New York Giants (7-4), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: I’m a sucker for divisional matchups between two playoff teams, even if both quarterbacks stink. And they do, don’t let people fool you with the “Taylor Heinicke is suddenly good” talk. To his credit, Heinicke has ALMOST everything you want in an NFL quarterback. He just lacks one important feature: talent. He’s a natural leader, not afraid to sacrifice his body, teammates loves him and he’s athletic. He just can’t really throw. That seems important. So, I’m backing the Giants in what I still believe will be an entertaining NFL Sunday game.
- Cleveland Browns (4-7) at Houston Texans (1-9-1), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: How are two teams that are combined 5-16-1 in this slot. Well, the answer is pretty damn obvious. Deshaun Watson. He hasn’t played in nearly two years and returns to Houston to face his former team. This is certainly not a game I want to watch from beginning to end because, let’s be honest, who cares about Houston’s offense? But I will certainly tune into at least the first few Browns drives to see how Watson looks. And to see if the Houston crowd lets him have it. If I don’t see several offensive signs in the crowd, I’ll be very disappointed.
I Guess It’s OK If These Games Show Up On NFL RedZone
- Los Angeles Chargers (6-5) at Las Vegas Raiders (4-7), 4:25pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: This is such a perfect RedZone game. High Over/Under (50 at DraftKings), bad defenses and good offenses, and teams that kinda matter but don’t really matter. Though, the Chargers desperately need to win this match. Head coach Brandon Staley REALLY needs to win this game. Otherwise, the chatter about Sean Payton will only increase.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7) vs. Detroit Lions (4-7), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: I know what you’re thinking: how is this game not at the bottom? Well, keep reading because I’m going to tell you! I rate watchability on several factors but the main one is FUN. And this game should be FUN. Even if neither team is going to factor into a playoff race, Trevor Lawrence had his coming-out party last week and the Lions play 0 defense.
The Jags actually don’t play much defense, either, and both teams have above-average offenses. The total for this game is set at 51, second highest on the slate. Points are fun. This will be a fun game.
If You’re A Fan Of These Teams, I Guess You Might Care. But I Don’t.
- Denver Broncos (3-8) at Baltimore Ravens (7-3), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: I kind of feel bad for Baltimore. They’re a fun team with a fun quarterback and they’re currently a playoff team. But they keep finding themselves in this tier because of their opponents. This week, it’s the nearly-impossible-to-watch Denver Broncos. Russell Wilson is a complete disaster. Nathaniel Hackett is a complete disaster. Even Broncos fans don’t want to watch them play. But, once again, the Ravens save this match from going into the bottom tier.
- Green Bay Packers (4-8) at Chicago Bears (3-9), 1:00pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: There are a couple factors keeping this game out of the bottom tier. It’s a historical rivalry. The teams are in the same division. Justin Fields appears poised to play despite a pretty wicked left shoulder injury. Aaron Rodgers is still quarterbacking the Packers. And he HATES the Bears. It’s not enough to move it up higher since both of these teams stink, but at least enough to keep my TV safe if I accidentally turn the game on.
- Seattle Seahawks (6-5) at Los Angeles Rams (3-7), 4:05pm (FOX)
Main Storyline: I’m putting this game here because Seattle is actually a decently fun team, they have a winning record and are just outside the playoff picture. The Rams, on the other hand, are done this season, there’s talk that both their coach and quarterback could walk after the season and they don’t have a first round pick for practically the next decade. The Super Bowl run was magical and they’ll have to live off it for the rest of the 2020s because as the great philosopher Eminem famously said, “when your run is over just admit when it’s at its end.”
If This Game Shows Up On My TV, I’m Punting It Off My Back Deck
- Pittsburgh Steelers (4-7) at Atlanta Falcons (5-7), 1:00pm (CBS)
Main Storyline: The teams aren’t interesting and I’m betting the Under. A game between two boring teams that should be low-scoring played while several other better games are going on? No thanks. I’ll set an alert for the final score to see if my bet hits.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ