The calendar turns to December as the NFL heads toward the home stretch for the 2012 season.
There are divisional battles taking pace which will definitely help to determine the division races as the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to play the first-place Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North. Another big battle in the AFC will have the New England Patriots traveling South to face the Miami Dolphins in a big AFC East tilt.
Meanwhile, the New York Giants (7-4) will be in Washington on Monday Night Football to take on the Redskins (5-6) and will be looking to solidify their hold as leaders in the NFC East. Another game that will impact the playoff race in the NFC is the Minnesota Vikings at the Green Bay Packers, as these two old rivals face each other while looking up at the Chicago Bears in the NFC North division. The San Francisco 49ers play the St. Louis Rams in an NFC West battle.
One other thing to look for this weekend will be the Denver Broncos looking to clinch the AFC West division with a home win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There are five weeks left in the 2012 season and this is where the contenders and pretenders (and there are so many of those this season) are separated.
Here is a capsule preview of the games with the Heftyinfo predictions following up.
Seattle (6-5) at Chicago (8-3) - This game could go down to the wire. The Bears always have problems with the 'Hawks.
Minnesota (6-5) at Green Bay (7-4) - The Packers looking to bounce back after getting blown out last weekend. The Vikings seem to be coming back to earth after a hot start.
Arizona (4-7) at New York Jets (4-7) - The Cards have lost seven in a row and the Jets desperately need a win as well.
Indianapolis (7-4) at Detroit (4-7) - You would think these two teams would have the opposite records at this point of the season.
Jacksonville (2-9) at Buffalo (4-7) - The Bills should win this game, but there are no guarantees this season anywhere around the NFL.
Houston (10-1) at Tennessee (4-7) - Remember the Titans ... upset special may be at hand this week.
Tampa Bay (6-5) at Denver (8-3) - The Bucs looking to bounce back after a heart breaking loss last weekend, but the Broncos are on a big time roll and will likely wrap up the AFC West this week.
Cleveland (3-8) at Oakland (3-8) - The stinker game of the week.
Pittsburgh (6-5) at Baltimore (9-2) - The Ravens lucked one out last week and now face their arch rivals (minus Big Ben) once again.
New England (8-3) at Miami (5-6) - Only the Dolphins stand in the way of the Patriots running away with the AFC East division race.
Carolina (3-8) at Kansas City (1-10) - The other stinker game of the week.
San Francisco (8-2-1) at St. Louis (4-6-1) - These two cannot possibly tie again, can they? Not with super QB Colin Kaepernick running the 49ers' offense.
Cincinnati (6-5) at San Diego (4-7) - The 2012 season cannot end soon enough for the Chargers. Bengals roll!
Philadelphia (3-8) at Dallas (5-6) - It's December, usually the time of year for Cowboys QB Tony Romo to go belly up. But the Eagles are in town with their seven game losing streak. Cowboys roll!
New York Giants (7-4) at Washington (5-6) - The Giants have a huge opportunity to open some ground in the NFC East race. Not so fast, because RG3 and the Redskins are on a roll.
The Heftyinfo picks for Week Thirteen . . . (Home teams listed in BOLD)
Atlanta over New Orleans
Chicago over Seattle
Green Bay over Minnesota
New York Jets over Arizona
Detroit over Indianapolis
Buffalo over Jacksonville
Tennessee over Houston
Denver over Tampa Bay
Baltimore over Pittsburgh
New England over Miami
Carolina over Kansas City
San Francisco over St. Louis
Oakland over Cleveland
Cincinnati over San Diego
Dallas over Philadelphia
Washington over New York Giants
Last Week's Record: 7-9
SEASON RECORD: 108-67-1