Week 13 (December 4):
- Tentative game: None. For the first time ever, the NFL has announced that it is pulling a game out of primetime before the two-week deadline – Colts-Pats has become that sucky. Notably, they haven’t announced a replacement yet, which suggests there are multiple candidates…
- Protected games: Jets-Redskins (CBS) and Packers-Giants (FOX).
- Other possible games mentioned on last week’s Watch and their records: Lions (7-3)-Saints (7-3), Bengals (6-4)-Steelers (7-3), Falcons (6-4)-Texans (7-3), Titans (5-5)-Bills (5-5), Chiefs (4-5)-Bears (7-3), Broncos (5-5)-Chargers (4-6).
- Impact of Monday Night Football: The Chiefs’ hard charge deserves to be respected, but at best, Chiefs-Bears (only a “dark horse” on last week’s Watch) would be 5-5 v. 7-3, more lopsided and with a worse pair of records than at least three other games.
- Analysis: I felt that Lions-Saints was the heavy favorite and that Bengals-Steelers was the only game with a legitimate shot at passing them, and the Lions won and the Bengals lost. There is no shortage of good options, but the game that doesn’t involve a four-loss team is also probably the most TV-friendly game, which should make this obvious.
- Final prediction: Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints.
- Actual selection: Detroit Lions @ New Orleans Saints (matches prediction).