Friday, March 7, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
Prediction: Redskins, 23-21
COLTS (9-4) at TEXANS (11-2), 1 p.m.
Outlook: Good teams usually bounce back from rare spankings, and Texans got spanked pretty good (dare say embarrassed) by Pats on Monday night, so expect a big home rebound. But I like hot Nags to keep it inside a big bet number.
Prediction: Texans, 28-21
BUCCANEERS (6-7) at SAINTS (5-8), 1 p.m.
Outlook: Both teams are still mathematically alive in the playoff hunt, an indictment of math. But Cajuns are the safe play at home against an opponent that has flushed its once-realistic postseason shot with three losses in a row.
Prediction: Saints, 34-27
LIONS (4-9) at CARDINALS (4-9), 4:05 p.m.
Outlook: Meet your Dog of The Week runner-up. Cards fell 58-0 last week, third-worst shutout loss in NFL since 1950. Good news? They can't be that bad again. Bad news? Their QB play is horrific, and their secondary is no match for Detroit's air game.
Prediction: Lions, 30-16
PANTHERS (4-9) at CHARGERS (5-8), 4:05 p.m.
Outlook: Cam Newton has been hot the past three games but too late for eliminated Carolina. San Diego somehow is still alive, but only by the same screwy math that has Miami and Buffalo still alive, too. Make it a straight venue call.
Prediction: Chargers, 26-20
SEAHAWKS (8-5) vs. BILLS (5-8) (in Toronto), 4:05 p.m.
Outlook: What did poor Canada do to deserve an annual Bills game? Seattle is playoff-headed but would be imperiled by a loss here, while Buffs are technically still alive but I think would require several other teams to all suddenly go out of business or be kidnapped. Birds won 58-0 last week and will have a letdown to keep this close.
Prediction: Seahawks, 23-20
STEELERS (7-6) at COWBOYS (7-6), 4:25 p.m.
Outlook: Here's a marquee matchup in that these clubs have combined for 16 Super Bowl appearances and 11 titles. But their 2012 versions both are fighting on the edge of playoff contention largely because they are a combined minus-23 on turnovers. I like the 'Boys and Tony Romo against a depleted Pitt secondary.
Prediction: Cowboys, 24-23
JETS (6-7) at TITANS (4-9), 8:30 p.m.
Outlook: And the big week ends with a crashing bore of a Monday night snoozer! Tennessee is eliminated from playoff contention while the Planes by winning here still would have an outside shot given their friendly closing schedule. Chris Johnson has hit quicksand the past three games (53-175), and Tenners don't have much else, so Rex Ryan, alas, leaves the field smiling. And I leave the week rolling dice with a fifth outright upset call.
Prediction: Jets, 19-17
-- Greg Cote, The Miami Herald; last week: 11-5; Season: 135-72-1