Sunday, February 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL predictions

Jaguars (2-9) at Browns (4-7)

1 p.m. Browns by 7, 40½

The Browns' Josh Gordon (above) had 14 catches for 237 yards last week, a reminder of what great receivers Robert Griffin III had at Baylor. Gordon needs 12 yards for 1,000, Tennessee's Kendall Wright is on pace for 1,000 and Dallas' Terrance Williams has five touchdowns. Cleveland has dropped five of six, giving up 28.5 points per game in that stretch. Jacksonville has won two of three, both wins on the road. Browns LB and Largo's D'Qwell Jackson needs three tackles for 100.

The pick: Browns 24, Jaguars 14

Titans (5-6) at Colts (7-4)

1 p.m. Colts by 3½, 45

Indy has won nine of 10 in this series but has allowed 32.4 points per game over its past five overall. The Colts have committed only 12 turnovers, matching the Bucs for second in the NFL. But they have forced only 15. The Titans' Ryan Fitzpatrick (above) has filled in well with no interceptions and five touchdowns in three games. These two met just two weeks ago with Colts RB Donald Brown getting two touchdowns in a 30-27 win. He's averaging 107 yards in his past three against Tennessee.

The pick: Colts 24, Titans 17

Bears (6-5) at Vikings (2-8-1)

1 p.m. Vikings by 1, 49½

Chicago has won seven of eight in the series. But after giving up 42 to the Rams last week, it looks rough, having given up 40-plus points in three road losses this season. For the Vikings to stay close, they must buck their turnover trend. They are minus-9 while Chicago's plus-7. The Bears won the first meeting 31-30 on a touchdown catch by TE Martellus Bennett (above) with 10 seconds left. He quietly has five touchdowns for the second year in a row after none in his final three seasons in Dallas.

The pick: Bears 38, Vikings 35

Dolphins (5-6) at Jets (5-6)

1 p.m. Ch. 10 Jets by 2, 40

The AFC's pack of six 5-6 teams entering Week 13 are still very much in postseason contention. These two are three back of leader New England in the East and play each other in the final week, perhaps with a wild card on the line. Jets QB Geno Smith (above) has a league-high 18 interceptions, and New York had 220 total yards in a 19-3 loss to the Ravens last week. Six of Miami's past seven games have been decided by four points or fewer with just two wins in that span.

The pick: Jets 21, Dolphins 17

Cardinals (7-4) at Eagles (6-5)

1 p.m. Eagles by 3, 48½

We weren't sold on Arizona's record, but last week's 40-11 win against the Colts turned some heads. Philadelphia needs a win to stay even with Dallas for the NFC East lead. Eagles QB Nick Foles (above) is coming off the best passing month in NFL history. His November QB rating of 152.8 is the best in any month ever. He has 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season. Only Carolina has a current longer winning streak than the Cardinals, who have won four straight.

The pick: Eagles 31, Cardinals 24

Patriots (8-3) at Texans (2-9)

1 p.m. Patriots by 7½, 47½

New England is a big favorite despite losing their past three road games. Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (above) has touchdowns in his past three games, and since his debut in Week 7, he leads all tight ends with 31 catches. New England rallied from 24 down to beat Denver last week. But the last time the Patriots were in Houston, the Texans rallied from 14 down in the fourth for a 34-27 win. Houston doesn't have RB Arian Foster this time, so it will struggle to avoid a 10th straight loss.

The pick: Patriots 31, Texans 17

Falcons (2-9) vs. Bills (4-7)

4 p.m. At Toronto. Bills by 3½, 47

Buffalo is 1-4 in Toronto, including a 50-17 loss to Seattle last year. Though the Falcons could be just the import the Bills need. Atlanta has lost five straight by an average of 15.6 points. The teams haven't played in four years, but QB Matt Ryan led a 31-3 Falcons win in 2009. EJ Manuel (above) needs just three touchdown passes for a Bills rookie record. Name you should know: LB Paul Worrilow. The undrafted rookie from Delaware leads the Falcons with 80 tackles.

The pick: Falcons 21, Bills 17

Rams (5-6) at 49ers (7-4)

4 p.m. 49ers by 7½ 41

Cool stat from Elias: Rams rookie WR Tavon Austin (above) is just the fourth player with a 60-yard touchdowns rushing, receiving and returning in the same season. The other three? DeSean Jackson, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson and Gale Sayers. Name you should know: Rams DE Robert Quinn leads the NFC with 13 sacks and the NFL with six forced fumbles. The 49ers' Colin Kaepernick has five touchdown passes in his past two games, a win against the Redskins and loss to the Saints.

The pick: 49ers 28, Rams 17

Bengals (7-4) at Chargers (5-6)

4:25 p.m. Chargers by 1, 48½

Chargers QB Philip Rivers (above) has been prolific at times this season. He has four games of 390-plus yards, tying Dan Marino (1984) and Joe Montana (1990) for the NFL record. He's doing that with a lot of targets. TE LaDarius Green had a 60-yard touchdown catch last week, and WR Seyi Ajirotutu had the score that beat Kansas City last week. Bengals QB Andy Dalton is averaging just more than 300 yards on the road, though all of Cincinnati's losses are on the road.

The pick: Chargers 28, Bengals 24

Broncos (9-2) at Chiefs (9-2)

4:25 p.m. Ch. 10. Broncos by 5½, 49

The Chiefs have lost two straight, going from the last undefeated team to a home underdog against the Broncos — the same Broncos who blew a 24-point second-half lead at the Patriots last week. With 278 passing yards, the Broncos' Peyton Manning (above) will get to 4,000 for the 13th time in his career. He also has a 10-1 career record against the Chiefs. Kansas City is 5-1 at home this year with the league's best turnover margin at plus-13.

The pick: Broncos 34, Chiefs 27

Giants (4-7) at Redskins (3-8)

8:30 p.m. Ch. 8. Giants by 1½, 45½

Not exactly a prime-time showdown, though the winner stays alive in the NFC East. Who would have thought the Giants' Hakeem Nicks would have zero touchdowns at this point while second-year Rueben Randle (above) would have six? Washington has won three of the past four against New York, including 17-16 at home last year. These two meet again in Week 17, but the Giants have a rough three before then: Chargers, Seahawks and Lions.

The pick: Giants 31, Redskins 20

Saints (9-2) at Seahawks (10-1)

8:40 p.m. Monday. ESPN. Seahawks by 5, 47

This could be a league championship preview — if not a game that decides where that game will be played. Seattle hasn't lost at home in 13 games under QB Russell Wilson (above) and the Saints have two road losses (Patriots and Jets). If Seattle is without CB Brandon Browner, who faces a league suspension, that's good news for New Orleans, which is second in the league in passing yards per game (317) and passing touchdowns (28).

The pick: Saints 35, Seahawks 31

Titans (5-6) at Colts (7-4)

1 p.m. Colts by 3½, 45

Indy has won nine of 10 in this series but has allowed 32.4 points per game over its past five overall. The Colts have committed only 12 turnovers, matching the Bucs for second in the NFL. But they have forced only 15. The Titans' Ryan Fitzpatrick (above) has filled in well with no interceptions and five touchdowns in three games. These two met just two weeks ago with Colts RB Donald Brown getting two touchdowns in a 30-27 win. He's averaging 107 yards in his past three against Tennessee.

The pick: Colts 24, Titans 17

Bears (6-5) at Vikings (2-8-1)

1 p.m. Vikings by 1, 49½

Chicago has won seven of eight in the series. But after giving up 42 to the Rams last week, it looks rough, having given up 40-plus points in three road losses this season. For the Vikings to stay close, they must buck their turnover trend. They are minus-9 while Chicago's plus-7. The Bears won the first meeting 31-30 on a touchdown catch by TE Martellus Bennett (above) with 10 seconds left. He quietly has five touchdowns for the second year in a row after none in his final three seasons in Dallas.

The pick: Bears 38, Vikings 35

Dolphins (5-6) at Jets (5-6)

1 p.m. Ch. 10 Jets by 2, 40

The AFC's pack of six 5-6 teams entering Week 13 are still very much in postseason contention. These two are three back of leader New England in the East and play each other in the final week, perhaps with a wild card on the line. Jets QB Geno Smith (above) has a league-high 18 interceptions, and New York had 220 total yards in a 19-3 loss to the Ravens last week. Six of Miami's past seven games have been decided by four points or fewer with just two wins in that span.

The pick: Jets 21, Dolphins 17

Cardinals (7-4) at Eagles (6-5)

1 p.m. Eagles by 3, 48½

We weren't sold on Arizona's record, but last week's 40-11 win against the Colts turned some heads. Philadelphia needs a win to stay even with Dallas for the NFC East lead. Eagles QB Nick Foles (above) is coming off the best passing month in NFL history. His November QB rating of 152.8 is the best in any month ever. He has 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season. Only Carolina has a current longer winning streak than the Cardinals, who have won four straight.

The pick: Eagles 31, Cardinals 24

Patriots (8-3) at Texans (2-9)

1 p.m. Patriots by 7½, 47½

New England is a big favorite despite losing their past three road games. Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (above) has touchdowns in his past three games, and since his debut in Week 7, he leads all tight ends with 31 catches. New England rallied from 24 down to beat Denver last week. But the last time the Patriots were in Houston, the Texans rallied from 14 down in the fourth for a 34-27 win. Houston doesn't have RB Arian Foster this time, so it will struggle to avoid a 10th straight loss.

The pick: Patriots 31, Texans 17

Falcons (2-9) vs. Bills (4-7)

4 p.m. At Toronto. Bills by 3½, 47

Buffalo is 1-4 in Toronto, including a 50-17 loss to Seattle last year. Though the Falcons could be just the import the Bills need. Atlanta has lost five straight by an average of 15.6 points. The teams haven't played in four years, but QB Matt Ryan led a 31-3 Falcons win in 2009. EJ Manuel (above) needs just three touchdown passes for a Bills rookie record. Name you should know: LB Paul Worrilow. The undrafted rookie from Delaware leads the Falcons with 80 tackles.

The pick: Falcons 21, Bills 17

Rams (5-6) at 49ers (7-4)

4 p.m. 49ers by 7½ 41

Cool stat from Elias: Rams rookie WR Tavon Austin (above) is just the fourth player with a 60-yard touchdowns rushing, receiving and returning in the same season. The other three? DeSean Jackson, Billy "White Shoes" Johnson and Gale Sayers. Name you should know: Rams DE Robert Quinn leads the NFC with 13 sacks and the NFL with six forced fumbles. The 49ers' Colin Kaepernick has five touchdown passes in his past two games, a win against the Redskins and loss to the Saints.

The pick: 49ers 28, Rams 17

Bengals (7-4) at Chargers (5-6)

4:25 p.m. Chargers by 1, 48½

Chargers QB Philip Rivers (above) has been prolific at times this season. He has four games of 390-plus yards, tying Dan Marino (1984) and Joe Montana (1990) for the NFL record. He's doing that with a lot of targets. TE LaDarius Green had a 60-yard touchdown catch last week, and WR Seyi Ajirotutu had the score that beat Kansas City last week. Bengals QB Andy Dalton is averaging just more than 300 yards on the road, though all of Cincinnati's losses are on the road.

The pick: Chargers 28, Bengals 24

Broncos (9-2) at Chiefs (9-2)

4:25 p.m. Ch. 10. Broncos by 5½, 49

The Chiefs have lost two straight, going from the last undefeated team to a home underdog against the Broncos — the same Broncos who blew a 24-point second-half lead at the Patriots last week. With 278 passing yards, the Broncos' Peyton Mannin (above) will get to 4,000 for the 13th time in his career. He also has a 10-1 career record against the Chiefs. Kansas City is 5-1 at home this year with the league's best turnover margin at plus-13.

The pick: Broncos 34, Chiefs 27

Giants (4-7) at Redskins (3-8)

8:30 p.m. Ch. 8. Giants by 1½, 45½

Not exactly a prime-time showdown, though the winner stays alive in the NFC East. Who would have thought the Giants' Hakeem Nicks would have zero touchdowns at this point while second-year Rueben Randle (above) would have six? Washington has won three of the past four against New York, including 17-16 at home last year. These two meet again in Week 17, but the Giants have a rough three before then: Chargers, Seahawks and Lions.

The pick: Giants 31, Redskins 20

Saints (9-2) at Seahawks (10-1)

8:40 p.m. Monday. ESPN. Seahawks by 5, 47

This could be a league championship preview — if not a game that decides where that game will be played. Seattle hasn't lost at home in 13 games under QB Russell Wilson (above) and the Saints have two road losses (Patriots and Jets). If Seattle is without CB Brandon Browner, who faces a league suspension, that's good news for New Orleans, which is second in the league in passing yards per game (317) and passing touchdowns (28).

The pick: Saints 35, Seahawks 31

     
             
Comments
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