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NFL predictions

Seahawks (8-1) at Falcons (2-6)

1 p.m. Seahawks by 41/2, 45

For the second week in a row, Seattle coach Pete Carroll faces a team he has never beaten (only five left after beating the Bucs). Hard to remember Atlanta beating Seattle in last year's playoffs given its downward spiral since. Seattle is plus-6 in turnover margin, Atlanta minus-7, including seven interceptions by Matt Ryan, above, over the past two games. When the Bucs picked off the Seahawks' Russell Wilson twice last week, it was his first time with more than one in 19 games dating to his first month in the NFL.

The pick: Seahawks 28, Falcons 17

Bengals (6-3) at Ravens (3-5)

1 p.m. Ch. 10. Bengals by 1½, 44

As much as Torrey Smith is Baltimore's go-to receiver, rookie Marlon Brown, above, has five touchdowns to Smith's one, including two last week. The Ravens haven't scored more than 18 points during their three-game losing streak though Cincinnati comes off a surprising overtime loss to Miami. Bengals WR A.J. Green seeks 100-plus yards in a fifth straight game. The Ravens' Dallas Clark, who played for the Bucs last season, needs two catches to become the ninth tight end with 500.

The pick: Bengals 27, Ravens 21

Lions (5-3) at Bears (5-3)

1 p.m. Ch. 13. Pick 'em, 52½

A key matchup of two of the three teams tied atop the NFC North. Detroit won the first meeting 40-32 with Reggie Bush rushing for 139 yards. Bush is third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage, though much more attention has gone to Calvin Johnson, who has 821 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Bears WR Brandon Marshall, above, has at least one touchdown in his past five home games. Can you name Detroit's top tacklers? They're linebackers Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy.

The pick: Bears 31, Lions 28

Eagles (4-5) at Packers (5-3)

1 p.m. Packers by 1, 47

Green Bay a one-point home favorite? That's because QB Aaron Rodgers is hurt and replaced by Seneca Wallace, whose last touchdown pass came in 2011. Speaking of backup QBs, Philadelphia's Nick Foles has 13 touchdowns, including a record-tying seven last week, and zero interceptions. Three last week went to Clearwater Central Catholic's Riley Cooper, who has as many (five) this season as his first three. Look for Green Bay to lean on rookie Eddie Lacy, above, who rushed for 150 yards last week.

The pick: Eagles 31, Packers 24

Rams (3-6) at Colts (6-2)

1 p.m. Colts by 9½, 44

St. Louis sticks with QB Kellen Clemens, above, for the hurt Sam Bradford. There's another rookie running back to lean on: Zac Stacy has 261 yards over the past two weeks. Indy's Andrew Luck, fresh off a comeback win against the Texans, has 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. WR T.Y. Hilton (given name Eugene) had three touchdowns last week, solidifying a larger role after Reggie Wayne's injury. Name you should know? LB Jerrell Freeman, who played at tiny Mary Hardin-Baylor and spent three years in the CFL, leads Indy with 65 tackles.

The pick: Colts 34, Rams 14

Raiders (3-5) at Giants (2-6)

1 p.m. Giants by 7, 43½

Oakland comes off a 49-20 home loss to the Eagles while the Giants had a bye after beating the same Eagles on the road 15-7. After throwing 15 interceptions during an 0-6 start, Eli Manning, above, has zero in the past two, both wins for New York, which is minus-12 in turnover margin. While Oakland QB Terrelle Pryor's running has been impressive, he has one touchdown and seven interceptions over his past three games. Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski is on pace for 18 field goals, matching the low of his 14-year career.

The pick: Giants 21, Raiders 17

Bills (3-6) at Steelers (2-6)

1 p.m. Steelers by 3, 43½

Barring a late setback, QB EJ Manuel will return for the Bills, who are starting to get RB C.J. Spiller, above, back to form after 116 yards last week. Pittsburgh has won seven of eight and six straight at home in the series dating to 1979. But it gave up 55 points to New England last week, and its turnover margin is down to minus-11. While WR Robert Woods has drawn praise, fellow Bills rookie Marquise Goodwin now has two touchdowns, including a 59-yarder last week.

The pick: Steelers 27, Bills 21

Jaguars (0-8) at Titans (4-4)

1 p.m. Titans by 13, 41½

The stat we like for Jacksonville is point differential, where it is at minus-178. That's 96 points worse than the next-worst team (Giants at minus-82). Last season, LB Zach Brown had two pick-sixes for the Titans in a 38-20 home win. Tennessee is underwhelming — QB Jake Locker has only eight touchdowns and RB Chris Johnson, above, two — but is only a half-game out of the second AFC wild card. Even coming off of a bye, it's hard to see Jacksonville coming together here.

The pick: Titans 34, Jaguars 13

Panthers (5-3) at 49ers (6-2)

4 p.m. 49ers by 6, 43

Carolina has won four in a row, though the 49ers have even more steam coming in having won five straight and scored at least 30 in each. Carolina has actually won three straight in the series, but the last game in San Francisco was back in 2004. Panthers QB Cam Newton, above, has 10 touchdowns — seven by air and three by rush — during the four-game win streak. Meanwhile, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has nine — six by air and three by rush — during his team's win streak.

The pick: 49ers 31, Panthers 27

Texans (2-6) at Cardinals (4-4)

4:25 p.m. Cardinals by 21/2, 411/2

Houston had a Bucs-like collapse last week, allowing the Colts to rally from a 21-3 deficit. Case Keenum, above, did throw for 350 yards and three touchdowns — all to Andre Johnson, who had 229 yards. Continuing to emerge is Cards rookie Andre Ellington, who rushed for 154 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown, last week. Arizona S Tyronne Mathieu has 49 tackles, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a sack. Houston's record obscures the NFL's No. 1 defense (273.5 yards per game).

The pick: Texans 21, Cardinals 17

Broncos (7-1) at Chargers (4-4)

4:25 p.m. Ch. 10. Broncos by 7, 58

The Broncos' Peyton Manning has topped 37 touchdown passes once in his career (49 in 2004), but he already has 29. His 2,919 yards are the most after eight games in NFL history. Enjoying the attention given to the passing game is RB Knowshon Moreno, who has eight touchdowns. In Manning's shadow is Chargers QB Philip Rivers, above, second in the AFC with 17 touchdowns and 309.1 yards per game. How soon is Denver LB Von Miller at full strength?

The pick: Broncos 38, Chargers 27

Cowboys (5-4) at Saints (6-2)

8:30 p.m. Ch. 8. Saints by 61/2, 54

New Orleans has won seven of the past eight meetings, including 34-31 in overtime in December. Dallas' Tony Romo threw for 416 yards and four touchdowns while Drew Brees, above, went for 446 and three. These two are strong in turnovers — Dallas is at plus-10 and New Orleans plus-6 — with the quarterbacks combining for 41 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. This is a potential postseason preview — if Dallas can win close games such as last week's.

The pick: Saints 35, Cowboys 31

NFL predictions 11/09/13 [Last modified: Saturday, November 9, 2013 9:10pm]
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