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The NFL playoff race is on. Division leading New Orleans, Minnesota and Indianapolis are locks. Cincinnati and New England are closing in on division crowns. Everything else is up for grabs. Soon enough we'll be hearing of magic numbers to clinch. Great divisional games are on tap in coming weeks.
My 10-6 record last weekend wasn't sharp. Season total now stands at 115-61. Let's see if I can crack 13 or better this week.
Week 13 (home in CAPS):
Jets 24 BUFFALO 20 - (Thursday) Jets pushing for playoffs. Buffalo playing for respect. TO has been on fire lately. This one can go either way.
Philadelphia 33 ATLANTA 21 - Battle of the birds. Eagles prevail. Banged up Falcons in deep trouble after this loss.
CHICAGO 20 St Louis 10 - Bears haven't lived up to pre-season hype. Both teams can't wait for their 2009 nightmare to end.
CINCINNATI 27 Detroit 6 - Bengals seeking 1st division title and second winning season since 1990.
PITTSBURGH 24 Oakland 14 - Roethlisberger expected to play. Mendenhall has favorable matchup vs terrible Raiders run D. Steelers need this one to stay in playoff picture. A loss could end any chance of repeating.
INDIANAPOLIS 33 Tennessee 28 - I'm split on this game. Titans are red hot and have the right formula for knocking Indy from unbeaten ranks. Then again, Peyton Manning's team has found ways to win (11-0). Sticking with Indy while smelling upset.
Denver 17 KANSAS CITY 14 - Denver will have their hands full in KC as Chiefs threaten upset. Broncos looked great vs inept Giants on turkey day. KC continues to rebuild.
New England 34 MIAMI 17 - Pats humiliated by Saints will take it out on injury riddled fish. Miami's 4th quarter defense non-existent.
New Orleans 40 WASHINGTON 17 - Saints should Brees by Skins. Washington playing revitalized football but are severely overmatched.
Tampa Bay 24 CAROLINA 16 - Late prediction change. Carolina banged up. Backup QB to start, RB Williams probably out. TB D has a chance to shine.
Houston 27 JACKSONVILLE 24 - This game might come down to the last play. Both team make big plays. Both surrender big plays. One of the more entertaining games of the weekend.
San Diego 38 CLEVELAND 13 - Chargers tighten grip on AFC West. Browns ugly brand of football has Cleveland fans enraged.
GIANTS 27 Dallas 23 - Predicted Sunday weather calls for cold weather and heavy winds which favors NY. If it's a clear day with no wind then I'll pick Dallas over struggling injury riddle Giants. If NY loses, consider their season over.
San Francisco 20 SEATTLE 17 - SF still holding onto playoff hopes need this one. QB Smith has looked good at times. Inconsistent Seahawks will have a very long rebuilding process after '09.
Minnesota 31 ARIZONA 20 - All eyes have been on Favre's success. It's time for Adrian Peterson to let loose vs Cards. Fumbling has been his problem in '09. As a result, Vikes relying on Brett's right arm and speedy young WR's.
Baltimore 21 GREEN BAY 17 - (Monday Night Football) - It's up to Ravens defense to pressure Rodgers into mistakes. Rodgers sacked 44 times already faces tenacious Baltimore D. Passing lanes will be jammed. Must win game for Ravens.