Today's NFL capsules
|Patriots (8-2) at Lions (2-8)
Time/TV: 12:30 p.m., Ch. 10
Line, O/U: Patriots by 6½, 51
|It's hard not to consider the Patriots the hottest team in the NFL. They've beaten the Steelers and Colts in consecutive weeks, rebounding nicely from a letdown against Cleveland on Nov. 7. And they continue to do it with a defense full of little-known guys. Oh, and they have that Brady guy, too.
Holder's pick: Patriots 28, Lions 17
|Saints (6-3) at Cowboys (3-7)
Time/TV: 4:15 p.m., Ch. 13
Line, O/U: Saints by 3, 50½
|Now is about the time you should expect the Saints to start acting like the defending champs and make a real push to defend their Super Bowl title. They have to overcome a minus-4 turnover margin (last season their defense had a plus-11 advantage). QB Drew Brees' 14 interceptions are more than he had all last season, but he'll be less prone to forcing the ball into coverage with RB Reggie Bush returning and opening up play-calling options for coach Sean Payton.
Holder's pick: Saints 27, Cowboys 20
|Bengals (2-8) at Jets (8-2)
Time/TV: 8:20 p.m., NFL Network
Line, O/U: Jets by 8½, 43½
|WR Terrell Owens is having a very good season for the Bengals, but his team is so abysmal, he probably shouldn't go around insulting Jets CB Darrelle Revis like he did this week. Someone should remind Owens he plays for a 2-8 team that gave up 35 unanswered points to the Bills on Sunday. The Bengals appear to have given up in general. The Jets, meanwhile, have too much to play for to slip up now.
Holder's pick: Jets 29, Bengals 14
Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer