Hey, it’s Moneyline Mo, the man in the know, hoping that Week 13 is anything but unlucky for me. Week 12 ended up being about as rough as I predicted, but I can live with a 7-8 record knowing how close the matchups were. I gave ample warning that Week 12 was going to be rough, but I have a good feeling about Week 13.

Even though Green Bay finally has a bye, you should still join Milwaukee Record at the Cactus Club on Sunday at 3 p.m. for an extended performance by the Green Day Packers. I believe this is their first ever non-halftime show, so don’t miss this potentially historic event! And let’s hope I don’t miss with these Week 13 picks:

THURSDAY

DALLAS OVER NEW ORLEANS
Both of these teams lost on Thanksgiving, but now get to play a second Thursday night game in a row. While initially there were murmurs of a COVID outbreak in Dallas, as I write this, the only development is that Mike McCarthy will not be coaching on Thursday night.

New Orleans did not win a single game in the month of November and currently would not be a playoff team. I think this will be the week that we see Taysom Hill as the starting quarterback for the Saints, so I’m excited to see what their offensive system is with him at the helm. This feels like a must-win game for New Orleans, but I haven’t seen enough from this past month to think they could pull this one off.

SUNDAY

TAMPA BAY OVER ATLANTA
Has anyone watched the Tom Brady documentary series that’s currently running? Is anyone interested in it? He’s certainly someone with a career that warrants praise and reflection, but I think it’s a mistake to air while he’s still playing. Take the time and record whatever behind the scenes stuff you want now, but sit on that footage! Take a lesson from The Last Dance or Get Back!

And yeah, I know it’s covering his career, so it is reflecting on stuff from 20 years ago but wait until the guy is officially retired and then put this together. They jumped the gun on this thing! Do you know a single person who has seen anything from the Tom Brady documentary other than the promos? You’re telling me this wouldn’t be an event if we waited even a couple years after Brady eventually retires? Come on!

ARIZONA OVER CHICAGO
If you like a game between two teams that have had rumors swirling around their head coaches, this is the matchup for you!

What a week for Matt Nagy, huh? I mean, that leaked report that he was going to get fired probably had some truth to it, but since the team insisted it was wrong, he’s probably in the clear for the remainder of the season. Would they keep him for another year, just to make that report look especially bad? I mean, the team would be doing it against the long-term interests of the organization, but I wouldn’t put it past them to retain Nagy purely out of spite.

Meanwhile, Kliff Kingsbury is a possible candidate for multiple college openings and I’m getting bad vibes about it. If Arizona was playing a better team, this could have been a risky week to pick them. However, I feel like the possibility of their head coach leaving after this season is not going to be a rallying point but will serve as a distraction the rest of the way.

LOS ANGELES (A) OVER CINCINNATI
I keep expecting more from Los Angeles and less from Cincinnati, so I’m going to continue to be stubborn and insist that Los Angeles is the better team. Sometimes you must do that in life, just keep doubling down even if it isn’t rational because you’ll either be proven right eventually or be so wrong that you can finally admit to yourself that you messed up. Now, this approach is also responsible for the decline of western civilization and the rise of conspiracy theorists, but I’m willing to stick with it when it comes to this L.A. football team.

MINNESOTA OVER DETROIT
In last week’s game against San Francisco, with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Kirk Cousins accidentally lined up over the guard instead of the center and Minnesota was forced to use a timeout. That is such a perfect little piece of comedy, it makes me mad that Kirk Cousins will always get credit for the bit. It seems like something Harold Lloyd would have done in The Freshman. If Kirk Cousins drops a “step right up and call me Speedy” in a press conference, I’ll have no choice but to do a 180 on him.

MIAMI OVER NEW YORK (N)
Miami has won four games in a row? I try to notice things under the radar, but even I completely missed this. Heck, I just looked at their schedule and this might end up being a seven-game win streak for them. I think there’s too many teams ahead of them in the mix for Miami to make a run this year, but they could go on a long enough run to keep Brian Flores around for a fourth season as head coach.

PHILADELPHIA OVER NEW YORK (A)
I’m a musical theater guy. I’ve listened to countless cast recordings and have seen hundreds of shows locally and across the country. I saw The Producers with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick when it had its pre-Broadway run in Chicago back in early 2001! Donny Osmond once waved to me during a production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! When Damn Yankees came to town, I went the night that Jerry Lewis had his understudy fill in for him! Now that I’ve listed three things about musicals, please know that what I’m about to say is not a joke and is coming from a sincere and knowledgeable place.

In 2014, I saw Rocky The Musical on Broadway and it was the greatest spectacle I’ve ever seen live. Folks, there’s a boxing ring hovering above the stage the whole show and then it is lowered and pushed out into the audience for the fight between Rocky an Apollo Creed! Everyone that had been sitting in the first six rows were relocated onto the stage where they set up bleachers and the entire theater felt like it was converted into a sports arena. During the fight, every time Rocky and Apollo would go their corners, the trainers/cutmen were actually applying makeup to make them battered and bruised as the fight went on. It was incredible and unfortunately it only ran for about six months in the United States. My hope is they one day remount the show in Vegas, because it deserves to be seen by an audience that will appreciate it!

INDIANAPOLIS OVER HOUSTON
What a crusher on Sunday to watch Indianapolis waste a double-digit lead over Tampa Bay. They psyched themselves out of giving the ball to Jonathan Taylor and when they finally got back to him late in the game, he was awesome and led them down the field. Hopefully, it is a game the team can learn from, because you know I’ve been bullish on them. Had they won, I think they would have been in contention for winning a division title, but now they’re going to have to work extra hard to make it in as a wild card. They still have a shot, but the loss last week was tough.

WASHINGTON OVER LAS VEGAS
You know how in hockey there are emergency goalies available at every game? I think that football would be smart to borrow a page from that playbook and have emergency kickers on-hand where if a kicker is injured, teams can just sign a guy from the stands to complete the game. We saw it earlier this year when Chris Boswell was hurt in a game for Pittsburgh and we just saw it again on Monday night as Joey Slye got hurt for Washington, which prevented them from attempting any field goals or PATs the rest of the game. There’s a surplus of kickers, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t have two former college kickers on standby in case of emergency at every single game.

LOS ANGELES (N) OVER JACKSONVILLE
Troy Aikman said something on Sunday that was laughable while discussing the failures of Los Angeles. He said that if they didn’t get things right, he wasn’t sure if they were going to win another game this season. Clearly, Troy Aikman did not know their schedule, otherwise he would have known that this week is the exact sort of game the team needs: one where it is essentially a glorified practice. It’s also a home game for L.A., so Jacksonville doesn’t benefit from a west coast team traveling into hot and humid conditions. Los Angeles is going to win this game and that’s a Moneyline Mo Guarantee (patent pending).

BALTIMORE OVER PITTSBURGH
Baltimore is currently the top seed in the conference, but is anyone in the AFC North actually good? Pittsburgh is currently the only team with a losing record, but I’ve watched duds from every single team in the division. I’m picking Baltimore, but this game feels like a trap to me.

SAN FRANCISCO OVER SEATTLE
I told you San Francisco was coming back! They currently have the sixth seed in the conference, and I think they can be a very hard out this year. Last weekend, you could have gotten a futures ticket for them to win the championship with 50-1 odds. That number is now 40-1, which I still think is a pretty good investment. Deebo Samuel has become a Derrick Henry style one-man wrecking crew for San Francisco. So as long as he’s healthy, they should–oh shit, he got hurt in the last game and now might be out? Come on!

Meanwhile, I think with one more loss I can officially write off Seattle. I know that they have the second worst record in the conference, and they’ve looked awful since Russell Wilson returned, but they are like a horror villain. If they were to fall to nine losses on the year, that would make the math nearly impossible for them to sneak in as a seventh seed, so the sooner they get that loss, the better.

KANSAS CITY OVER DENVER
Well, well, look at my guy Slick Vic Fangio who continues to keep Denver right in the thick of things. Every time I start to count him out, he leads the team to a big win and keeps them right in contention. Denver’s a scrappy team and I hope he’s shown enough to get to stick around one more year, I really think they could break through next season with a few more tweaks.

Call me Natalie Imbruglia, because I’m torn about this game. I know I’ve said that Kansas City is back and that Denver has probably been fool’s gold. The logical part of me thinks this is a clear pick for Kansas City, but I would love a prime time victory for my fellow kidney stone sufferer. In the end, I have to go with logic this time, but know that my heart and kidneys are with Denver.

MONDAY

BUFFALO OVER NEW ENGLAND
This is a heck of a game on Monday night! New England has gone on a remarkable run and if Baltimore had lost last week, New England would currently be the top seed in the conference. However, I think that Buffalo is still the superior team between the two and they will have extra rest since they played on Thanksgiving. Whatever the case, we’re lucky to have a big December game take place on Monday night, so let’s all cherish this one as well as next week’s Rams-Cardinals showdown. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s end by reflecting on last week and the season so far.

LAST WEEK: 7-8
SEASON TO DATE: 108-71-1

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