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NFL: The ‘You Are Looking Live!’ preview for Week 13

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Bills-Cowboys, Niners-Ravens, Packers-Giants, Raiders-Chiefs, Patriots-Texans and Vikings-Seahawks highlight the cool slate of Week 13 action.

Three years ago, we began honoring radio legend Steve Czaban — who was surprisingly booted from the SB Nation Radio morning lineup in 2016, despite having perhaps the most engaging program in the radio marketplace — with a “You Are Looking Live!” preview of each NFL weekend.

The bit was so well-received, so roundly praised by media pundits (including a few SB Nation writers) and Czabe’s legion of fans alike, that we decided to make You Are Looking Live! a permanent Friday staple of the BATSBY Sports Network blog.

So, without further ado, here’s a print doppelganger to the best 60 minutes in sports radio — Hour #3 of Czabe’s NFL-heavy Friday show (heard daily from 4-7 p.m. in Washington D.C).

As such, it makes perfect sense to include Brent Musburger and Joey Porter into the presentation, via YouTube:

WEEK 13

THURSDAY

CHICAGO (5-6) @ DETROIT (3-7-1)

TIME: 12:30 p.m. EST
LINE: Lions (+3.5) … Over/Under: 38
REFEREE: Jerome Boger
TV ANNOUNCERS: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (FOX)

AT STAKE: Let’s not sugarcoat it. The Bears need to run the table moving forward, if they harbor realistic dreams of earning the final wild-card spot.

According to BATSBY Sports’ own projections, the Vikings, Packers, Seahawks and Niners are all slated for 12 wins … and even a slip-up to 11 would still be enough to usurp Chicago.

BUFFALO (8-3) @ DALLAS (6-5)

TIME: 4:30 p.m. EST
LINE: Cowboys (-6.5) … Over/Under: 47
REFEREE: Bill Vinovich
TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (CBS)

FUN FACT: Cowboys tailback Ezekiel Elliott might have eight touchdowns on the season, but that Toucan Sam-like nose for the end zone doesn’t necessarily apply to games against non-conference competition.

Charting his last seven meetings with AFC foes, the three-time rushing champion has accounted for only two scores during this stretch. On the plus side, though, Elliott holds superb averages of 114 total yards.

Here are other Elliott-related nuggets to celebrate during Thanksgiving week:

**The Bills are allowing 4.6 yards per carry to opposing backs this season.

**Citing Points Per Reception leagues, the seven-tailback grouping of Le’Veon Bell, Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon, Adrian Peterson, Derrick Henry, Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb collectively averaged 17.1 points against the Bills.

**On Thanksgiving Day, Elliott boasts supreme averages of 132 total yards and 1.5 TDs.

NEW ORLEANS (9-2) @ ATLANTA (3-8)

TIME: 8:20 p.m. EST
LINE: Falcons (+7) … Over/Under: 48.5
REFEREE: Shawn Smith
TV: Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Michelle Tafoya (NBC)

FUN FACT: Saints wideout Michael Thomas has collected double-digit targets for seven straight games. During this prolific stretch, the prospective All-Pro holds staggering averages of 10 catches, 12 targets, 126 yards and 0.7 touchdowns.

SUNDAY

SAN FRANCISCO (10-1) @ BALTIMORE (9-2)

TIME: 1 p.m. EST
LINE: Ravens (-6) … Over/Under: 46.5
REFEREE: Brad Allen
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (FOX)

AT STAKE: The Ravens might be the hottest team in football, but they desperately need a win here to keep pace with the 10-1 Patriots, in the race for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Of course, we have no rooting interest here … outside of cheering for a Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes battle during the NFL Divisional Round playoffs.

CLEVELAND (5-6) @ PITTSBURGH (6-5)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Steelers (+2) … Over/Under: 39.5
REFEREE: Clay Martin
TV ANNOUNCERS: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (CBS)

CAN YOU BELIEVE … it’s only been two weeks since the Myles Garrett/Mason Rudolph ‘helmet’ melee rocked the NFL world?

In the immediate fallout, fans and national pundits were expecting multi-game suspensions for Garrett and Steelers O-tackle Maurkice Pouncey. However, there was always anticipation for Rudolph directing the Pittsburgh offense in this week’s rematch.

But alas, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin executed a surprising move, handing the reins to backup QB Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges, who’s claim to fame involves last Sunday’s eventual game-winning touchdown pass to James Washington.

Does this take some of the luster off Sunday’s rematch? Short of another brawl breaking out … it certainly has the feeling of anti-climactic event.

Look no further than the 1 p.m. kickoff time.

GREEN BAY (8-3) @ N.Y. GIANTS (2-9)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Giants (+6.5) … Over/Under: 45.5
REFEREE: Craig Wrolstad
TV: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake (FOX)

FUN FACT: The last three games have been a major struggle for Aaron Rodgers, with the Packers quarterback averaging only 166 yards passing and 0.7 touchdowns.

That’s the bad news … now for the good stuff:

a) Of his last eight games played on FieldTurf (including the playoffs), Rodgers holds excellent averages of 319 yards and 2.1 touchdowns.

b) The Giants defense ranks in the bottom 10 with passing yards and passing touchdowns allowed.

c) Charting his last eight meetings with the Giants, Rodgers boasts elite-level averages of 313 yards passing and 2.9 TDs.

TENNESSEE (6-5) @ INDIANAPOLIS (6-5)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Colts (-2.5) … Over/Under: 43.5
REFEREE: Carl Cheffers
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Jay Feely (CBS)

AT STAKE: This could be a make-or-break game for the Titans’ hopes of claiming the AFC South title.

Why is that?

Well, with a 1-2 record inside the division, Tennessee cannot afford a third South defeat before hitting the final stretch of December.

Even with two shots at division leader Houston for Weeks 14 and 17.

TAMPA BAY (4-7) @ JACKSONVILLE (4-7)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Jaguars (-1) … Over/Under: 48.5
REFEREE: Walt Anderson
TV ANNOUNCERS: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Jennifer Hale (FOX)

FUN FACT: Don’t fall asleep on Bucs running back Ronald Jones being a bankable star for Weeks 13-16, the universal period for the fantasy football playoffs.

WEEK 13 — Jones (nine-game average: 66 total yards, 0.6 TDs) draws the Jaguars, who have surrendered the third-most rushing touchdowns to opposing backs.

What’s more, these same backs are averaging 5.6 yards per carry versus Jacksonville.

WEEK 14 — The Colts are solid against the run; but opposing backs have enjoyed a robust catch-to-target rate of 82 percent.

WEEK 15 — The Lions are among the NFL’s worst defenses with opposing tailbacks, citing rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and receiving TDs allowed.

As such, Detroit ranks 31st in fantasy circles against PPR backs.

WEEK 16 — The Texans own bottom-5 tallies with opposing backs, across the board, citing catches, targets, receiving yards and receiving TDs surrendered.

PHILADELPHIA (5-6) @ MIAMI (2-9)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Dolphins (+9.5) … Over/Under: 45
REFEREE: Adrian Hill
TV ANNOUNCERS: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Peter Schrager (FOX)

CHECK THIS OUT: Charting the 14-game series between the Dolphins and Eagles (Miami has an 8-6 lead), neither team has ever been shut out … or hit the 40-point mark.

N.Y. JETS (4-7) @ CINCINNATI (0-11)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Bengals (+3.5) … Over/Under: 41
REFEREE: Ron Torbert
TV ANNOUNCERS: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta (CBS)

FUN FACT: Jets QB Sam Darnold has accounted for nine touchdowns in his last three games.

For the season, the Bengals’ quarterbacking duo of Andy Dalton (this week’s starter) and Ryan Finley have combined for 14 touchdowns (nine passing).

WASHINGTON (2-9) @ CAROLINA (5-6)

TIME: 1 p.m.
LINE: Panthers (-10) … Over/Under: 39.5
REFEREE: Scott Novak
TV ANNOUNCERS: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Melanie Collins (CBS)

APROPOS OF NOTHING: The Vegas over/under of 39 1/2 points feels too much on the nose. Charting the last 10 meetings between the clubs, the Panthers and Redskins failed to clear 40 points seven times.

And when charting the cumulative numbers for the 10 previous matchups … the average combined score works out to precisely 40 points!

L.A. RAMS (6-5) @ ARIZONA (3-7-1)

TIME: 4:05 p.m. EST
LINE: Cardinals (+3) … Over/Under: 47.5
REFEREE: Alex Kemp
TV ANNOUNCERS: Chris Myers, Darryl Johnston, Laura Okmin

CHECK THIS OUT: Cardinals wideout Christian Kirk (46 catches, 508 yards, 3 TDs) has racked up double-digit targets in every odd-numbered game that he’s played this season.

And for Games 1, 3, 5 and 7 on his personal docket, Kirk has symmetrical averages of seven catches, 77 yards and 0.7 TDs. Pretty cool, huh?

In case you’re wondering, Sunday’s outing against the suddenly vulnerable Rams will be Game No. 9 for Kirk.

OAKLAND (6-5) @ KANSAS CITY (7-4)

TIME: 4:25 p.m. EST
LINE: Chiefs (-10) … Over/Under: 51.5
REFEREE: John Hussey
TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (CBS)

FUN FACT: Only wretched weather can stop Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes from carving up the Raiders; and by the looks of things, Missouri’s mid-week snowstorm will likely be gone ahead of Sunday’s late-afternoon kickoff window.

What makes us so sure? A few things:

a) Last week, Jets QB Sam Darnold torched the Raiders for 315 yards passing, three total touchdowns and a sterling completion rate of 69 percent.

b) Citing his three career starts versus Oakland, Mahomes sports stellar averages of 340 yards passing and 3.3 touchdowns.

c) Mahomes has accounted for 300 yards passing and/or multiple TDs in his last nine regular-season home outings.

For this productive stretch, the NFL’s reigning MVP has averaged 309 yards passing and 2.6 scores.

L.A. CHARGERS (4-7) @ DENVER (3-8)

TIME: 4:25 p.m.
LINE: Broncos (+3) … Over/Under: 38.5
REFEREE: Brad Rogers
TV ANNOUNCERS: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Michael Grady

FUN FACT: Chargers wideout Keenan Allen (5 career TDs vs. Denver) has accounted for 90 yards receiving and/or one touchdown in six of his last nine outings against AFC West foes.

NEW ENGLAND (10-1) @ HOUSTON (7-4)

TIME: 8:20 p.m. EST
LINE: Texans (+3.5) … Over/Under: 45
REFEREE: Tony Corrente
TV: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michelle Tafoya (NBC)

DARN-NEAR PERFECT: QB Tom Brady, who claimed his first Lombardi Trophy (January 2002) seven months before the Houston franchise’s NFL debut, has an all-time record of 10-1 against the Texans.

Of equal importance, the Brady-led Patriots have registered 27-plus points 10 times during this one-sided rivalry.

MONDAY

MINNESOTA (8-3) @ SEATTLE (9-2)

TIME: 8:30 p.m. EST
LINE: Seahawks (-3) … Over/Under: 49
REFEREE: Clete Blakeman
TV ANNOUNCERS: Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland, Lisa Salters (ESPN)

FUN FACT: Vikings tailback has amassed 100 total yards and/or one touchdown in his six games played outdoors; and during this wonderful stretch, the Florida State alum owns excellent averages of 131 total yards and 0.5 TDs.

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

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