Not a great weekend of NFL games, but a couple of matchups will get our attention, including last season’s NFC title game rematch, in San Francisco.
Pittsburgh at Tennessee: Steelers 27-15. The Titans have guaranteed $30 million to a tailback, Chris Johnson, who this season has gained 210 yards on 73 carries, with no touchdowns nor gains over 19 yards. In five games this season, Johnson has reached 25 yards rushing only once. The Steelers don’t do that kind of nonsense.
Cincinnati at Cleveland: Browns 26-16. Cleveland can’t keep losing. Or can it?
Indianapolis at New York Jets: Jetropolitans 30-20. How can such calm and chaos inhabit the same stadium? Both the Jets and the Giants inhabit MetLife Stadium, but while the Giants go about their business, the Jets make everything a circus. Not that they won’t win here.
Kansas City at Tampa Bay: Buccaneers 19-13. Matt Cassell’s concussion cheered by hometown fans. Jet fans wanting Mark Sanchez benched. Carson Palmer quarterbacking the awful Raiders. Matt Leinart backing up Palmer. You made the right move, Matt Barkley, staying at Southern Cal. Trojan quarterbacks are getting nowhere in the NFL.
Oakland at Atlanta: Falcons 31-19. The Raiders are kooky enough to pull off the upset of one of the two remaining unbeatens. But I don’t see it. In fact, it’s time Atlanta’s streak of narrow wins comes to an end. Time for a breather.
Dallas at Baltimore: Ravens 27-24. Not exactly the place to come for redemption. Tony Romo and the Cowboys were disastrous in their previous game, 10 days ago against Chicago. But I do expect Dallas to play better.
Detroit at Philadelphia: Eagles 23-20. Things seemed so bright in Lion Land. The playoffs last season. A promising roster. But lose this one, and Detroit goes to 1-4.
St. Louis at Miami: Dolphins 26-20. I think we all owe Ryan Tannehill an apology.
New England at Seattle: Seahawks 21-20. That Seattle defense is the real deal. So is the Patriot offense, but that Seattle crowd will be the difference.
Buffalo at Arizona: Cardinals 23-7. I had high hopes for Chan Gailey, but despite a 2-3 record, the Bills have been outscored by 58 points, third-most in the NFL (behind Jacksonville and Tennessee).
Minnesota at Washington: Vikings 22-18. OK, maybe I’m starting to believe in Minnesota. I was slow to the 49er bandwagon a year ago.
New York Giants at San Francisco: 49ers 20-17. Admit it. These are the teams you figure will make the NFC championship game. And admit it. These are the teams you’d like to see in the NFC title game.
Green Bay at Houston: Packers 28-27. Upset special. Green Bay seems to play well one week, down the next. And the loss of Brian Cushing has got to set back the Texans.
Denver at San Diego: Chargers 33-31. I like San Diego. I know, I always like San Diego, and Norv Turner never fails to disappoint. But I like Philip Rivers. I like him a lot.
Last week: 7-7. Season: 45-32.