T.G.I. Friday’s NFL Weekend Preview – Week 13

“This series is brought to you by T.G.I. Friday’s, where every Sunday means Food, Fun & Football! Hut, hut, hut!”

The Scores Report has teamed up with T.G.I Friday’s to promote the action in Week 13 of the NFL. Here’s a look at Sunday’s top games.

The Top-5 Games of Week 13:

1. Jets (9-2) @ Patriots (9-2), 8:30PM ET, Monday
Besides Panthers-Seahawks on a Sunday evening, does it get any better than Jets-Patriots on Monday Night Football? Rex Ryan vs. Bill Belichick. Tom Brady vs. Darrelle Revis. Mark Sanchez vs. Mark Sanchez. It’s outstanding football! The winner of this game will own sole possession of first place in the AFC East and if the Jets win, they’ll essentially have a two-game lead over New England by virtue of a tiebreaker (they would have won both games in the series this year). If last year is any indication, the Patriots could roll on Monday night. They lost to the Jets earlier in the season (Week 2 in fact, the same week they lost to gang green this year) and then stomped them 31-14 in Foxboro later in the year. Can Ryan figure out a way to beat Belichick on his home turf?

2. Steelers (8-3) @ Ravens (8-3), 8:20PM ET, Sunday
The two primetime games are outstanding this week. Just like in the Jets-Pats matchup, the winner of this game will have sole possession of first place in the division. And just like the Jets, if the Ravens win they’ll have a two-game lead over the Steelers because they would have beaten Pittsburgh twice this season. Of course, that win came during Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension and even though he suffered an ankle injury last Sunday in a win over the Bills, Baltimore has had issues with Big Ben in the past. Roethlisberger has missed four games against the Ravens due to injury or suspension since entering the league, and the Steelers have lost all four games. But when he starts, they’re 7-2 against Baltimore. Can the Ravens get the best of Big Ben this year?

3. Falcons (9-2) @ Bucs (7-4), 4:15PM ET, Sunday
The Bucs have earned respect around the league for hanging with teams like the Falcons and Ravens over the past month. But if they truly consider themselves a playoff contender, then they need to do more than just gain teams’ respect. They’re lacking that signature win this year – one in which they beat a playoff contender (or at least beat a team with a winning record). Their seven wins have come against the Bengals, Rams, Cardinals, Panthers and 49ers. Not exactly a murderous row of opponents. But they have an opportunity this Sunday to beat a team that has struggled against them in the past. The Falcons own the top record in the NFC but Tampa Bay has always proven to be a difficult place for them to win, which dates back to the Michael Vick era. Win, and the Bucs will keep their playoff hopes very much alive. Lose, and maybe reality will start to set in for this team that they’re still a year away from competing for the postseason.

4. Redskins (5-6) @ Giants (7-4), 1:00PM ET, Sunday
The pressure is on the Giants after the Eagles beat the Texans on Thursday night. If New York loses this weekend, then it’ll be a full game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East and the Eagles already own the tiebreaker between the two teams (although they do play again in three weeks). This is a game that the Giants should win, but they’ve had issues with Donovan McNabb-led teams in the past. When McNabb was with the Eagles, he beat the Giants 11 out of 18 times, including once in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean his success will carry over now that he’s with the Redskins, but the Giants are well aware of what he’s done to them in the past. New York has been a careless team for most of the season and now would be a great time to start protecting the football more. They’re averaging –0.6 turnovers per game, which ranks them 26th in the league. If Tom Coughlin’s team can’t figure out a way to stop turning the ball over, then they may cough up an opportunity to go to the playoffs.

5. Cowboys (3-8) @ Colts (6-5), 4:15PM ET, Sunday
Everyone wants to know what’s wrong with Peyton Manning. Is his poor play of late a direct result of the injuries that the Colts have or are his skills as a passer declining? He still owns a 90.8 QB rating this season, but he’s thrown seven interceptions the past two games. Granted, those numbers are a little misleading. In the Colts’ loss to the Chargers last Sunday night, Eric Weddle should have been flagged for pass interference on one interception and another pick came at the tail end of the game when Manning was just trying to make a play by heaving one to the end zone. Still, even if you subtract those two interceptions he would still have five INTs in two games. That’s a very Brett Favre-like ratio. On the other side, the Cowboys are playing remarkably better under Jason Garrett than Wade Phillips. This isn’t the same team that was blown out by the Packers on Sunday Night Football a couple weeks back, even though Tony Romo is still nursing a shoulder injury. This is a game Manning and the Colts need to win so they can avoid dropping to 6-6 on the year. (Can you imagine the Colts at .500 this late in the season? Yeesh.)

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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