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NFL predictions

Browns (3-4) at Chiefs (7-0)

1 p.m. Chiefs by 71/2, 39½

Jason Campbell, above, becomes the third starting quarterback for the Browns this season, replacing Brandon Weeden and joining Brian Hoyer. In all, Campbell becomes the 20th starting quarterback for the Browns since they rejoined the league in 1999. His last start? A 32-7 Bears loss to the 49ers on Nov. 19, 2012. In the undefeated Chiefs, he faces a defense that hasn't allowed more than 17 points all season and leads the league with 35 sacks. The game features the Schwartz brothers, Chiefs OL Geoff and Browns OL Mitchell.

The pick: Chiefs 13, Browns 7

Bills (3-4) at Saints (5-1)

1 p.m. Saints by 11, 48½

Buffalo visits the Superdome for the first time since 1998. Its last "road" game against the Saints came in San Antonio, Texas, in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina forced the Saints out of New Orleans. Since 2011, Saints QB Drew Brees is 15-4 at home while completing 67.6 percent of his passes. QB Thad Lewis, above, gets his third start for the Bills. He is 1-1 with two touchdowns and an interception. First-year Bills coach Doug Marrone was the Saints' offensive line coach and offensive coordinator from 2006-08, Sean Payton's first three seasons as coach.

The pick: Saints 27, Bills 17

Dolphins (3-3) at Patriots (5-2)

1 p.m. Ch. 10. Patriots by 6½, 45½

Both AFC East teams are struggling. The Dolphins have lost their past three. The Patriots have dropped two of three, the only win coming on a touchdown pass with five seconds left against the Saints. After going 1-of-12 last week against the Jets, New England has converted just seven of its past 39 third downs over the past three games. Miami's Ryan Tannehill, above, threw a career-high three touchdown passes last week but also threw two interceptions and lost a fumble that led to the Bills' winning field goal.

The pick: Patriots 23, Dolphins 20

Cowboys (4-3) at Lions (4-3)

1 p.m. Ch. 13. Lions by 3, 51

The Cowboys' 28.6 points per game are second in the NFL, the Lions' 26.6 eighth. In their last meeting, 2011, Matthew Stafford hit Calvin Johnson with 1:39 left to cap Detroit's rally from a 24-point third-quarter deficit. This season, Stafford has used his new weapon, RB Reggie Bush, above, well. He's the only NFC player with 400 yards rushing (426) and 300 receiving (305) — despite missing 11/2 games to injury. Dallas won its season-high second in a row last week despite Tony Romo's season-high two interceptions.

The pick: Cowboys 23, Lions 21

49ers (5-2) vs. Jaguars (0-7)

1 p.m. London. 49ers by 15, 401/2

Earlier this season, England had the "privilege" of seeing the 0-3 Steelers and 0-3 Vikings. Now it gets the Jaguars. They not only are 0-7, but have lost every game by double digits They are the first team to do so since the 1984 Oilers (who lost their first 10 by 10 or more). The Blaine Gabbert experiment could be over in Jacksonville. Despite being recovered from a broken right thumb, the 10th overall pick in 2010 will be the No. 2 quarterback behind Chad Henne, above. The 49ers, who have won four in a row, flew in from Nashville immediately after last week's game.

The pick: 49ers 30, Jaguars 10

Giants (1-6) at Eagles (3-4)

1 p.m. Eagles by 5½, 51

Eli Manning, above, needed 39 passes (23 completions) just to reach 200 yards. But the Giants got their first win Monday. Today, Manning needs only 15 passing yards to pass Phil Simms (33,462) for the franchise record. After a poor start, Philadelphia's defense has allowed 21 points or fewer in three straight. And overall, it hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season while holding four teams to fewer than 100. The Eagles turn back to QB Michael Vick, returning from a hamstring injury, for Nick Foles, who sustained a concussion last week.

The pick: Eagles 24, Giants 20

Steelers (2-4) at Raiders (2-4)

4 p.m. Steelers by 2½, 40½

Why are the Steelers struggling so much? Among other reasons, their eight sacks are 31st in the NFL. (Their average of 43.4 from 2008-12 tied for first.) There are the six touchdowns among 16 red zone trips. (Only the Jaguars have a lower percentage.) Finally, they have forced a league-low two turnovers. But there is hope for today. Oakland is coming off a bye, and it has lost its past 10 games after one by an average score of 27-14. Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor, above, is 2-0 at home while completing 70.2 percent of his passes with a 105.5 rating.

The pick: Steelers 17, Raiders 16

Jets (4-3) at Bengals (5-2)

4 p.m. Bengals by 6, 41

Both teams are coming off walkoff wins. Nick Folk, above, made a 42-yard field goal in OT for the Jets against the Patriots. Mike Nugent was good from 54 on the final play for the Bengals against the Lions. (Two weeks ago, he kicked an OT winner.) Folk, by the way is 16-for-16 on field goals. Cincinnati is 3-0 at home. It hasn't won four straight at home since 2009, when they won five straight. Jets rookie Geno Smith is the only quarterback since the 1970 merger with four winning drives among his first seven games. Last week, he got help from Chris Ivory's 104 yards on a career-high 34 carries.

The pick: Bengals 20, Jets 16

Falcons (2-4) at Cardinals (3-4)

4:25 p.m. Cardinals by 2½, 45½

The Tampa Bay Bucs: the cure for whatever ails a team. Last week, it was the Falcons, who got big days from Harry Douglas (seven catches, career-high 149 yards) and Matt Ryan (20-of-26, three touchdowns, career-high 148.4 rating. The Cardinals also got their second win of the season against the Bucs (in Week 4). Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, above, has caught a pass in 140 straight games. He needs four catches to become the youngest with 800 at 30 years, 57 days. Fun fact: Fitzgerald has caught a touchdown pass against every NFC team except Atlanta.

The pick: Cardinals 17, Falcons 16

Redskins (2-4) at Broncos (6-1)

4:25 p.m. Ch. 13. Broncos by 12, 58½

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan makes his first visit to Denver since his firing in 2009. He spent 21 years there (14 as coach) and won two titles. Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, above, looked like the running threat of 2012 in last week's win over the Bears. The Broncos are coming off their first loss, during which QB Peyton Manning's return to Indy was spoiled. Even if they aren't mad, there is a good chance they will put up a lot of points today. The Redskins gave up 41 last week and are 25th in total defense, 29th against the run and 22nd against the pass.

The pick: Broncos 37, Redskins 31

Packers (4-2) at Vikings (1-5)

8:30 p.m. Ch. 8. Packers by 9, 47

Among the teams' past 21 meetings, 16 have been decided by a touchdown or less. Don't expect this one to be that close. After QB Josh Freeman's dud of a debut (and concussion) Monday, the Vikings turn back to Christian Ponder. Meanwhile, RB Adrian Peterson has only 90 yards over his past two games. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will be without WR Randall Cobb, TE Jermichael Finley and, possibly, WR James Jones. Last week, he turned to WR Jarrett Boykin, above. He caught a career-high eight passes for 103 yards and a touchdown.

The pick: Packers 30, Vikings 13

Seahawks (6-1) at Rams (3-4)

8:40 Monday. ESPN. Seahawks by 111/2, 42½

The Seahawks' 6-1 start is the best in franchise history. And after a Thursday victory in Week 7, they are back in prime time. Against the Cardinals, Russell Wilson, above, had three touchdown passes and no interceptions. Overall, he has 10 and three, respectively. The Rams, conversely, have a quarterback problem. Sam Bradford is out for the season with a torn ACL sustained last week. So they turn to Kellen Clemens. He makes his 13th career start and first since the Rams' 34-27 loss to the 49ers in the 2011 season finale. In that game, he was just 14-of-31.

The pick: Seahawks 23, Rams 3

NFL predictions 10/26/13 [Last modified: Saturday, October 26, 2013 7:01pm]
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