1. Archive


Bucs (3-8)at Steelers (4-7)

Time: 4:15 p.m., Ch. 13

Line: Steelers by 7

Any hope the Steelers had of defending their Super Bowl championship ended with last week's loss to the Ravens, so it will be interesting to see how the team responds with little to play for but pride. The Bucs know the drill. The Bucs must establish the running game with Cadillac Williams. When the Steelers have the ball, the key will be the Bucs' ability to pressure quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was sacked nine times last week.

Steelers 17,Bucs 13

Vikings (5-6)at Bears (9-2)

Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 13

Line: Bears by 9

Chicago can clinch the NFC North with a victory and a loss by Green Bay. The Bears barely beat the Vikings in September, when Rex Grossman threw a touchdown pass with less than two minutes left for a 19-16 victory. Watch for verbal exchanges between Grossman and Vikings safety Dwight Smith, left, who antagonized each other in the first meeting when Smith intercepted Grossman. Chicago has won 10 of its past 11 home games, outscoring opponents 268-92, and its past five at home against Minnesota.

Bears 28, Vikings 10

Falcons (5-6)at Redskins (4-7)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Redskins by 2

Both teams will want to establish the running game in back-to-basics efforts, but both defenses are more susceptible to passing attacks. Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell is the fourth player to throw for two touchdowns in each of his first two career games. Atlanta's Michael Vick needs 99 rushing yards to break Bobby Douglass' single-season record for a quarterback (968 yards for the Bears in 1962). Falcons kicker Morten Anderson, right, needs 13 points to break Gary Anderson's NFL scoring record (2,434 points).

Redskins 17,Falcons 15

Jets (6-5)at Packers (4-7)

Time: 1 p.m., Ch. 10

Line: Jets by 1

Both teams remain in playoff contention as the Jets travel to Lambeau Field for the fourth time in franchise history. Packers quarterback Brett Favre is 27-4 in home games after Dec.1, with 53 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Green Bay has been surprisingly competitive the past month, but it needs the running game to produce to avoid putting Favre in long passing situations. Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, left, will look to take advantage of Green Bay's secondary.

Jets 21,Packers 20

Cardinals (2-9)at Rams (5-6)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Rams by 6 -1/2

Arizona abandoned the running game last week at Minnesota, where quarterback Matt Leinart threw for an NFL-rookie-record 405 yards in a loss. That plan might not work against St. Louis, which has the league's 10th-ranked pass defense. Rams quarterback Marc Bulger, right, takes care of the ball. He has only four interceptions in 398 pass attempts this season, contributing to the team's league-leading plus-11 turnover ratio. Like receivers? How about Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt?

Rams 31,Cardinals 24

Colts (10-1)at Titans (4-7)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Colts by 7 -1/2

Indianapolis can clinch the AFC South with a victory. The Titans nearly beat the Colts in the first meeting of the season, when running back Travis Henry, left, gained 6.5 yards per carry. Rookie quarterback Vince Young is 4-0 as a starter when he does not throw an interception, 0-4 when he does. But the difference will be Peyton Manning, who will be less inclined to throw away a late 21-point lead on the road than little brother Eli was last week with the Giants.

Colts 28, Titans 20

Chargers (9-2)at Bills (5-6)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Chargers by 6

The task facing Buffalo's shaky run defense is to slow down San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who has a league-high 24 touchdowns - 21 in the past seven games. He also has a career-best five consecutive 100-yard rushing games. This matchup also features the first meeting between two 2004 first-round quarterbacks in Philip Rivers (the No. 4 pick) and J.P Losman (No. 22), right. The Bills, who played the Chargers twice a year in the early days of the American Football League, will wear 1960s uniforms.

Chargers 24, Bills 14

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

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Patriots by 13 -1/2

New England is looking to complete a sweep of the NFC North, having beaten Minnesota, Green Bay and Chicago. Quarterback Tom Brady is 22-4 against the NFC. The Patriots are one of three teams, with the Cowboys and Chargers, to rank among the top 10 in yards gained (346.9) and yards allowed (286.8). Detroit is yet to gel under first-year coach Rod Marinelli, though receiver Roy Williams, left, is having a breakout season with play-caller Mike Martz. The Lions are 5-40 on the road the past five seasons.

Patriots 28,Lions 13

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

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Saints by 7

San Francisco had its three-game win streak snapped at St. Louis, but Frank Gore, right, the NFL's second-leading rusher with 1,177 yards, gives the 49ers a chance. Controlling the clock with Gore, who seeks his fourth straight 100-yard game, could help keep the Saints' top-ranked offense and quarterback Drew Brees off the field. Brees, the league's passing yardage leader at 3,463, has thrown for more than 300 yards his past five games. San Francisco has the league's 25th-ranked pass defense.

Saints 27,49ers 24

Chiefs (7-4)at Browns (3-8)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Chiefs by 5

Kansas City has won five of its past six, including both games since quarterback Trent Green returned to the lineup. But the offense changed in his absence. Coach Herm Edwards is completely committed to the running game and Larry Johnson, even if it means scoring fewer points. The Chiefs are 16-4 when Johnson rushes for 100 yards or more. The Browns have the league's 25th-ranked run defense, and second-year coach Romeo Crennel, left, is under fire after being shut out at home by the Bengals.

Chiefs 27, Browns 13

Jaguars (6-5)at Dolphins (5-6)

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Line: Dolphins by 1

Miami quarterback Joey Harrington, right, has guided the team to four straight wins and will hold onto the job a little longer now that Daunte Culpepper has had surgery to clean up cartilege in his right knee. With running back Ronnie Brown out, Harrington needs to be a bigger part of the reason Miami is winning. The Jags will make their first visit to Dolphins Stadium looking to establish the running game. Miami's secondary is suspect, but Jacksonville's receivers won't take advantage.

Dolphins 20,Jaguars 17

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

Time: 4:05 p.m.

Line: Raiders by 3

Oakland's offense showed signs of life last week with the return of quarterback Aaron Brooks, left, but these teams won't exactly put on a show. Houston quarterback David Carr has one touchdown pass in his past five games. Perhaps the Raiders will be inspired by the play-calling of new offensive coordinator John Shoop. Oakland's defense gives it the edge in this less-than-inspiring matchup.

Raiders 17, Texans 13

Cowboys (7-4)at Giants (6-5)

Time: 4:15 p.m.

Line: Cowboys by 3-1/2

The winner emerges as the favorite to win the NFC East. The Cowboys are the vogue pick to win the conference title after winning four of five since Tony Romo replaced Drew Bledsoe at quarterback. But the winds will be whipping in Giants Stadium, providing Romo's biggest road test yet. The Giants must overcome their internal turmoil to snap a three-game losing streak. Running back Tiki Barber, right, needs to be a bigger part of the game. If both teams play their best, the Cowboys are better.

Cowboys 24, Giants 21

Seahawks (7-4)at Broncos (7-4)

Time: 8:15 p.m., Ch. 8

Line: Broncos by 4

Denver rookie quarterback Jay Cutler makes his first career start against the defense that leads the NFC in sacks with 36, which means the Broncos will want to rely on their bread-and-butter running game. Back Tatum Bell, left, is expected to return after missing two games with a toe injury. The Seahawks weathered the loss of stars Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander to injuries and will look to gain momentum in December. A first-round bye is within reach.

Seahawks 20, Broncos 17

Monday Night Football

The matchup: Panthers (6-5) at Eagles (5-6)

The story: Carolina would like to get its sluggish offense going. Philadelphia, which has allowed at least 200 yards rushing in three of its last four games, may be the remedy.

The line: Panthers by 3

Time/TV: 8:30 p.m., ESPN


Among three 2-9 teams, the Lions have the edge in the Brady Quinn lottery for the 2007 draft. Detroit's remaining foes are a combined 32-22, while Oakland's are 27-28. Arizona doesn't need a quarterback.

Last week: 10-6

Overall: 106-70

Upset specials: 4-8

Can't miss picks: 7-5