As the calendar rolls into December, the playoff picture for the NFL is still very much up in the air as to who the contenders and pretenders are.
The Dallas Cowboys (who beat Minnesota 17-15 on Thursday night) will be the first team in if Tampa Bay and Washington lose this weekend. That very well could be the case as the Buccaneers travel to play the San Diego Chargers, who always are in their games even with a 5-6 record.
The Redskins have to go on the road against the Arizona Cardinals (4-6-1), who have been a disappointment this year but cannot be taken lightly.
The NFC playoff picture has the Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks (7-3-1) as the top two teams to date with Atlanta and Detroit (both 7-4) right there in the mix. After that, there are many contenders/pretenders vying for the final two playoff spots with five game remaining in the regular season.
In the AFC, the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots (both 9-2) are the top two seeds with Baltimore and Houston rounding out the top four division leaders. The last two spots (for now) are occupied by Kansas City (8-3) and Miami (7-4), two of the hottest teams in the NFL right now.
Week Thirteen promises to be exciting in what many have considered to be a rather lack luster NFL season to this point.
The following offers the capsule style previews for all of the action this weekend along with the Heftyinfo predictions for the games.
Kansas City (8-3) at Atlanta (7-4) - This game is one of the better ones this weekend and should go down to the wire.
Detroit (7-4) at New Orleans (5-6) - Saints QB Drew Brees coming off a very impressive showing last game . . . take the Saints.
Los Angeles (4-7) at New England (9-2) - Patriots roll, even without All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Denver (7-4) at Jacksonville (2-9) - Upset alert! Jags could win this one . . . they are due.
Houston (6-5) at Green Bay (5-6) - Packers need to win out to make the playoffs. They should beat the visiting Texans.
Philadelphia (5-6) at Cincinnati (3-7-1) - The Bengals have been a huge disappointment this year. The Eagles look to be in a free fall following a very hot start to the season.
Miami (7-4) at Baltimore (6-5) - Dolphins keep finding ways to win while the Ravens have been erratic this season.
San Francisco (1-10) at Chicago (2-9) - The loser of this game stays in the hunt for the top pick in the next NFL draft.
Buffalo (6-5) at Oakland (9-2) - The Raiders continue their winning ways in the 2016 season.
New York Giants (8-3) at Pittsburgh (6-5) - The Steelers will snap the Giants winning streak.
Washington (6-4-1) at Arizona (4-6-1) - This game is an interesting one for sure. Flip a coin.
Tampa Bay (6-5) at San Diego (5-6) - Two very evenly matched teams in this game. Again, flip a coin in this one.
Carolina (4-7) at Seattle (7-3-1) - The Seahawks got a wake up call last week in a road loss. The Panthers are just awful this year.
Indianapolis (5-6) at New York Jets (3-8) - A yawner game for Monday Night Football.
The Heftyinfo picks for Week Thirteen . . . . . (Home teams are listed in bold; Lock of the Week is listed in BOLD CAPS)
Dallas over Minnesota
Atlanta over Kansas City
New Orleans over Detroit
New England over Los Angeles
Jacksonville over Denver
GREEN BAY over Houston
Cincinnati over Philadelphia
Baltimore over Miami
Chicago over San Francisco
Oakland over Buffalo
Pittsburgh over NY Giants
Arizona over Washington
San Diego over Tampa Bay
Seattle over Carolina
Indianapolis over NY Jets
Last Week's Record: 12-4
SEASON RECORD: 114-61-2
Lock of the Week Record: 12-0