Cook’s NFL Picks: Week 13 Thursday Edition!

Hi, hello and welcome to Week 13 of the National Football League! In an absolute rarity, we have two teams facing off on Thursday night with the normal amount of rest. We just might see two teams at their best this week, and they’re teams with playoff intentions. I’m hype. Are you hype? GET HYPE.

Thursday, December 1

Dallas (-3) at Minnesota

Ten straight wins and the Cowboys just keep trucking along. People wonder if they can possibly be stopped on their way to the Super Bowl. It reminds me of Week 6, when we were wondering if the Minnesota Vikings could be stopped on their way to the Super Bowl after five straight victories to begin their season. What happened? The Viking offense fell apart and they lost four straight. It just goes to show that almost nothing in the NFL is certain and narratives change at the drop of a hat.

The Vikings did finally get a win a couple of weeks ago against Arizona, and we thought that meant they had turned the corner. We also thought Arizona was good, and the more we see the less we’re sure of that. They lost a close one to Detroit on Thanksgiving that could have gone either way, and we were glad it went some way because we didn’t need any of that overtime stuff. I kinda think they are what they are at this point…a limited offensive team that really needs to shut down the other team.

The key to this game: how the Cowboys offense performs against the Vikings defense. Dak Prescott hasn’t had to deal with much pressure on the field. That offensive line holds everybody at bay and creates wide open spaces for Ezekiel Elliott to do his thing. As much as I traditionally toot the horn of the AFC North defenses that the Cowboys have feasted on this season, they have not faced a defense on the Vikings’ level.

Interesting note here: Vikings coach Mike Zimmer might not be at the game as he had emergency eye surgery on Wednesday night. If Zimmer’s out the Vikings have a number of potential fill-ins, as Pat Shurmur & Tony Sparano have head coaching experience & know the team well enough to take over in a pinch. I don’t know how much play-calling Zimmer does on the defensive side of the ball, I assume he doesn’t call offensive plays since he’s a defense guy.

You know what they say as it gets later in the season…a great defense beats a great offense any day of the week. Give me the home underdogs with a great defense against a great offense powered by rookies that are bound to hit a wall at some point. The Cowboys gotta lose at some point, folks. In Minnesota to a Vikings team that needs to keep up with their own divisional foes makes sense to me.

Week 12 Results: 7-8-1

2016 Results: 86-84-7

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