Saturday, March 8, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
Prediction: Texans, 31-17
PANTHERS (3-8) at CHIEFS (1-10), 1 p.m.
Outlook: Chiefs are 0-6 at home and have lost eight in a row, which is partly why I give them an XXL-sized upset shot here. Panthers will arrive cocky, even though they haven't earned the right. Every dog has its day, and nobody is due like Kansas City.
Prediction: Chiefs, 20-17
BUCCANEERS (6-5) at BRONCOS (8-3), 4:05 p.m.
Outlook: Denver clinches division crown with a win. Broncos are on a six-game winning streak and Bucs are on a 4-1 roll. Peyton Manning's offense hit an uncharacteristic lull at Kansas City last week but should find its gear shift at home. But I like Josh Freeman, Doug Martin and that suddenly potent Tampa Bay offense to keep it under the bet line.
Prediction: Broncos, 27-23
BROWNS (3-8) at RAIDERS (3-8), 4:25 p.m.
Outlook: This matchup stayed off the betting boards because of Browns QB Brandon Weeden's concussion, though it appears he'll play. Good timing, in that Oakland has surrendered a league-high 23 TD passes, six in the past two games. Cleveland has lost an abysmal 12 road games in a row, but every trend eventually must end. Right?
Prediction: Browns, 19-17
BENGALS (6-5) at CHARGERS (4-7), 4:25 p.m.
Outlook: Andy Dalton is 9-0 on TDs/picks in Cincy's three-game winning streak, and San Diego has a banged-up secondary. But, you know how when you play certain lottery numbers you have to always play them because the one week you don't those numbers will finally hit? I'm that way picking the Chargers to win.
Prediction: Chargers, 27-24
STEELERS (6-5) at RAVENS (9-2), 4:25 p.m.
Outlook: Baltimore clinches playoff spot with a win. Ben Roethlisberger will be sidelined again, plundering Pittsburgh's chances. Ravens have won three in a row in series, including 13-10 three weeks ago, and 16 in a row at home overall.
Prediction: Ravens, 21-14
EAGLES (3-8) at COWBOYS (5-6), 8:20 p.m.
Outlook: Philly has lost seven in a row, and rookie Nick Foles starts again at QB. Cowboys are a bit untrustworthy, and if Eagles have an ounce of pride left, they'll pour it into a credible showing in this division rivalry.
Prediction: Cowboys, 27-20
GIANTS (7-4) at REDSKINS (5-6), 8:30 p.m.
Outlook: Giants have won 10 of past 13 vs. Redskins, but Robert Griffin III changes the dynamic. Redskins thought they should have won Round 1 in October, but a late defensive lapse gave Giants a long TD pass with 1:13 left and a 27-23 win that felt like a gift. Now Washington is home with extra time to prepare and something to prove.
Prediction: Redskins, 28-27
-- Greg Cote, The Miami Herald; last week -- 8-8, season -- 113-62-1