NFL Week 13: Predictions for most interesting matchups

Each game gets more and more important as we head closer to the end of the regular season. This week’s slate of games features great division matchups that will help determine the playoff picture. If a team wants to control its own destiny, this is the week they’d want to start winning.

Here’s a look at some of the interesting games coming up in Week 13.

New Orleans Saints (5-6) at Atlanta Falcons (10-1)

The Falcons look to avenge their only loss of the season, while the Saints need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Falcons quarterback (QB) Matt Ryan has been turnover-prone as of late, but the Saints still have the worst defense in the league. Meanwhile, Saints QB Drew Brees, who threw two pick-sixes last week against the San Francisco 49ers, looks to get back on track against the Falcons’ banged-up secondary.

Prediction: Saints 34, Falcons 28

Minnesota Vikings (6-5) at Green Bay Packers (7-4)

Both coming off tough losses, these NFC North teams look to keep pace with the division- leading Chicago Bears. The Vikings will again lean on running back Adrian Peterson, who leads the league in rushing, but the team needs another playmaker on offense to step up. Meanwhile, the Packers are having trouble protecting QB Aaron Rodgers, who has taken the most sacks among any quarterback this season. Still, Rodgers is one of the best in the business, while the Vikings’ offense is too one-dimensional.

Prediction: Packers 27, Vikings 17

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) at Baltimore Ravens (9-2)

After battling just two weeks ago, the Steelers and Ravens renew their rivalry and will likely play another defensive struggle. The Steelers were without Roethlisberger last time they played and he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s matchup. His backups, Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch, have been awful. Ravens RB Ray Rice will be relied on heavily, especially after converting a 4th-and-29 with the game on the line last week.

Prediction: Ravens 20, Steelers 16

New York Giants (7-4) at Washington Redskins (5-6)

After losing two straight games, the sleeping Giants woke up last week and completely dominated the Green Bay Packers. They face a Redskins team and red-hot QB Robert Griffin III, who has thrown eight touchdown passes the last two weeks. As a rookie, Griffin is fourth in the league in passer rating with 104.6 and has a four-to-one touchdown to interception ratio. Meanwhile, Giants QB Eli Manning has been hot and cold this season. These two teams played a thriller in October and it could be another close one on Sunday.

Prediction: Redskins 27, Giants 26