NFL Week 13 Predictions: MEH Edition

Here is an obvious sign the Week 13 NFL slate isn’t quite up to par: the big CBS game at 4:25 is Eagles-Packers.

Now it’s not the NFL’s fault that Drew Brees has been injured for both NO-ATL games, or that we’ll be lucky to see even half of the intended QB battles between Dak-Lamar and Burrow-Tua.

One game that has surprisingly turned out to be a big one is Cleveland at Tennessee, two 8-3 teams and almost the only two teams in the league with a good argument for building their offense around the run.

Alas, I already wrote my preview for that game, along with Lions-Bears, Bengals-Dolphins, and Broncos-Chiefs.

So what’s left?

We are finally getting the first Rams-Cardinals game this season, though it has lost some luster after both had disappointing losses in Week 12. Sean McVay is 14-7 against the NFC West, an impressive mark given the teams in that division since 2017. McVay is 6-0 against the Cardinals and has five wins of 16+ points against them. His smallest margin of victory is 7 points over Arizona. The Rams are very hard to predict from week to week, but I took that into consideration when I made my pick for that game.

Another game that interests me is Monday night where the Bills are a 1.5-point underdog in San Francisco despite having the better record (8-3 vs. 5-6). It’s only the sixth time in the last 20 seasons where an 8-3 team is an underdog to a 5-6 team. The last time was in 2008 when Carolina was a 3-point dog to the Packers in Lambeau in Aaron Rodgers’ first season as a starter. The Panthers won 35-31 with a fourth-quarter comeback. The 8-3 team is 5-0 against the 5-6 team. With the way Buffalo’s defense handled the Chargers last week, I think they’ll be adequate against Nick Mullens and an offense that has lost George Kittle for the season.

Finally, there’s the Steelers-Washington game on Monday. The line was about PIT -10 before Wednesday’s ugly win over Baltimore, but is now down to PIT -7.5. I have to say I really like the Steelers in this one, as they are still 8-3 ATS this season, a record as good as anyone in the league in 2020. I think they’ll put that weird game on Wednesday behind them quickly and play sharper on offense without all the dropped passes. An Alex Smith-led offense reliant on one wideout in the passing game is unlikely to do much damage to this defense.

We also have to put Washington’s recent performance in the context of the worst division in NFL history. Washington started the season 1-4 with all the losses by 14+ points. Then in their last six games they’re 3-3, but they’ve played four games against NFC East teams, the Bengals in a game Joe Burrow was injured (W 20-9), and a 30-27 loss in Detroit where they trailed 24-3 before making a game of it (typical Matt Patricia).

Put this team on the road against the Steelers and I’m very confident the home team will win by 8+ points. That’s my favorite spread pick this week, and yes, I don’t think it will be a pleasant game to watch again. Probably something in the 24-13 range of final scores.

NFL Week 13 Predictions

The full slate (at least every team has a QB, or someone posing as one this week):

I really wanted to pick Atlanta to beat the Saints again, but they screwed me over last time, and several of the skill players are on the injury report for the Falcons. I’m just going to stay away from that one. I hope I’ve learned a lesson there. But the Saints really need Drew Brees back ASAP.


My Top 250 Films of All Time vs. IMDb

IMDb has another alternative to its top 250 film list. I finally took my own list and ranked my top 250 films of all time. Be sure to follow me on Letterboxd if you use that site.

Three months ago, I posted my own top 500 list to celebrate my 5,000th film watched, but at the time I only ranked the top 100 films. Today I took a stab at expanding that to rank the top 250 with 251-500 still ranked alphabetically for the time being.

I’ve slowed my pace of watching in the last three months due to football season, but there was one new entry to the list in that time. I watched The Shop on Main Street (1965) on HBO Max and thought it was incredible with one of the saddest endings ever. I placed that at #248 on my list.

I thought it would be interesting to compare my top 250 to the current IMDb 250, of which I have seen 245 titles.

A total of 128 titles (or just over half) on IMDb also made my top 250. In the two tables below I show where those 128 titles rank for me compared to IMDb, starting with the titles I was most favorable to.

Seven Samurai (#19) and The Apartment (#118) are the only two films I have in the exact same spot as IMDb. Overall, there are 21 films I’m within 10 positions of either way. Apparently I’m lower on Forrest Gump (-202) than most, which makes perfect sense to me.

Finally, here are the 122 titles in my top 250 that IMDb does not have, some of which I’m very surprised to see are gone. Many of these used to be on that list.

Perhaps when I do the next update to rank 251-500, I can look at where those films rank relative to the IMDb list.

Finally, in case you were curious, these are the only five I have yet to see on the IMDb top 250. I’m still confused how Hamilton even counts as a film.