NFL Predictions: Game Plan for Week 13

December has arrived, the most important month of the NFL regular season, in which the contenders move away from the suitors and which regularly has a few surprises in store.

For now, the menu for Week 13 of the regular calendar offers us two dishes in which the leadership of two divisions, the AFC East and the AFC West, is in dispute and other meetings in which at least one of the protagonists is forced to win to stay in good position to win a playoff berth.

As in the current NFL season, the prediction race between the experts at ESPN Deportes is also closed and any blink can make a difference in the last leg of the road to the Postseason.

WHO DO YOU TRUST MORE TO WIN THE AFC EAST, THE PATRIOTS OR THE BILLS?

PABLO VIRUEGA / Twitter: @PabloViruega

By names on the roster, Buffalo is better, but the Bills have been characterized by their irregularity throughout the season, while New England continues to grow in its form of play, because it manages to combine coaching planning with execution. of the players on the field.

The Patriots are a team that has played great defense with a well balanced attack and their quarterback, Mac Jones, does what it takes to win and sometimes more than expected. In turn, Buffalo has become a team that has only attacked through the air and has forgotten to run or swing its offense more.

Now, because of their remaining schedule, the Patriots are in a better position to stay with the division than the Bills. They both have very even rivals, but the bye week can be the difference, as well as the last two games of the season.


IVIS ABURTO / Twitter: @IvisAburto

On the Patriots. It has surely happened to you when you drive your car on a highway at a considerable speed, you see in the rear view mirror another car that is approaching quickly and, even if you step on the accelerator, it passes you anyway. Those are Bill Belichick’s Patriots in 2021.

In the preseason, few gave the Patriots a chance to fight for the AFC East title, perhaps for a wild card berth in the Playoffs, and if New England knows anything under Belichick it is to play relevant games in December, the month. The most important of the NFL regular season, while the Bills will face a tough challenge in a season in which they were marked as favorites to win the division, after not being demanded in 2020 by anyone to take it.

One piece of data that reflects how dominant the Patriots have been since 2001 is that this week’s game against the Bills is just the third in December in which they will play for the division leadership and the first two won (2001 and 2010) .


SEBASTIÁN M. CHRISTENSEN / Twitter: @SebastianMCESPN

In the Bills. I understand that the Patriots have won six straight games, and that their defense has been one of the best, if not the best in the NFL, yet sometimes it’s as simple as thinking that Buffalo’s ceiling is higher than that of New England.

Mac Jones will likely end up as the Offensive Rookie of the Year and his development has been commendable, but he’s still not vertical enough and New England’s series have to be perfect or impose his will on the ground. For their part, while their running game has left a lot to be desired, the Bills have the ability to hurt you in the blink of an eye, thanks to Josh Allen’s arm.

Buffalo’s defense suffered a sensitive loss from cornerback Tre’Davious White, but their defense is very talented and is flying under the radar. The two games between them in the next four weeks will define the division winner, but at the moment, I still think the Bills have the highest ceiling despite their inconsistencies.


ALFONSO MANCILLA / Twitter: @poncho_mancilla

When posed to the question of a New York Jets fan, such as this writer, it will be understood that trusting Patriots or Bills would be like asking a Major League Baseball fan to believe in the honesty of the Houston Astros. Of course, in case there were only those two soups, I would lean towards the Bills with the understanding that in the final stretch of the season, having a more experienced quarterback, as Josh Allen is compared to Mac Jones, should Make a Difference.

Come to think of it further, I have so little confidence in the Patriots that every time I think of them, the image of Bill Belichick and his infallible handycam comes to mind.


CARLOS NAVA / Twitter: @TapaNava

OF THE TEAMS WITH SIX WINS IN THE AFC, WHICH DO YOU SEE AT PLAYOFFS?

PABLO: Of the Chargers, Colts and Raiders, the strongest is Indianapolis, which has good defense as well as a great running game. The Chargers are very talented, but they need to be more consistent and the Raiders, barring a couple of hiccups, have played better since Jon Gruden left.

Of those that remain, Pittsburgh has no offense, especially a front line, and its defense lacks intensity. The Browns are a disaster that starts from their quarterback, Baker Mayfield, perhaps he is one of the most talented among the wild cards, but he has not taken advantage of it and Denver, with the lack of a good quarterback, has nothing to do there.


IVIS: To the Colts. Although they lost their last game, it was not against any rival, it was against Tampa Bay and in a duel in which Indianapolis did not use its running attack properly after taking advantage of the Buccaneers’ perimeter. Had we used Jonathan Taylor better in the second half, we’d probably be talking about a Colts win.

The thing was not like that, but if the duel against the Buccaneers tells us something, it is that the Colts are ready and have the drive and strength necessary to fight for a place in the Playoffs as a wild card team and if the Tennessee Titans are neglected, even for the title of the AFC South.


SEBASTIAN: Every six-win team in the AFC is flawed, but I’ll probably have to lean towards the Indianapolis Colts.

They have a clear identity, which is running, and also the best running back in the league in Jonathan Taylor now that Derrick Henry is injured. His offensive line is elite and while Carson Wentz sometimes makes me nervous with decision making, overall he has had a good season.

The defense shows bright versions and others that worry, but I consider Indianapolis to be more complete than the Browns, Chargers, Raiders and Broncos. To make matters worse, two of the Colts’ remaining games are against the Texans and the Jaguars.


ALFONSO: For some time now I have expressed my personal taste in Frank Reich’s style and philosophy, which is why I would put the Indianapolis Colts at the top of my list.

This empathy is also reinforced in that the Colts are the team with the best record against rivals in the AFC among the teams with six victories and although in journalism we are prohibited from writing with common phrases or common places, the “anything can happen” applies perfectly from Heading into the final stretch of a season in which, according to my calculations, the Miami Dolphins will still move the paw thanks to the benevolent schedule that remains.


CHARLIE:

NOW ON THE NFC… OF THE TEAMS WITH FIVE WINS, WHICH WILL BE IN THE POST-SEASON?

PABLO: The Minnesota Vikings are the team with the best offensive talent of the rest of those in contention.

The Vikings are off to a bad start and their record is misleading. His defense is not at the level of other years, but his offense is explosive. They must maintain more regularity, it is a team that is not only going to get to the Playoffs but can give headaches, not for a conference final, but it can eliminate a better seed.


IVIS: The Vikings. They just have to learn to win close games.

The Vikings are the only team in 2021 that has led at least seven points in all of their games and have lost five games by eight or fewer points and four of them by four or fewer units, including two losses by a field goal in overtime and another for a point.

The Vikings could easily have two or three more victories and their outlook would be an even more favorable one, but they certainly have the talent to win a wild card spot.


SEBASTIAN: The fight for the wild cards in the NFC has as protagonists, in my opinion, weaker teams than in the AFC, however, if I have to choose one of the teams with five wins, perhaps I will lean towards the Philadelphia Eagles, more That nothing, because despite the recent loss to the Giants, they have found their identity and Nick Sirianni has adapted his system to maximize the strengths of Jalen Hurts.

It’s tough to run against the Eagles defense and if they can tighten the nuts against the pass, I genuinely think they can sneak in as one of the wild cards.

That said, I don’t trust any of the teams in the NFC beyond the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and Los Angeles Rams.


ALFONSO: Although the performance of five-win teams in the NFC has been mediocre enough to deny everyone a playoff ticket, the same reasoning as in the AFC would apply.

That said, I think Washington, backed by a 5-2 record against NFC rivals and a defense that sometimes delivers quality sparks, has the best chance of qualifying.


CHARLIE: