The Lions at the Bears, the Panthers at the Niners and the Cowboys at the Saints headline today's action. There are some other compelling games as well. Here are my picks.
Overall: 82 - 50
Seattle (8-1) 20 @ Atlanta (2-6) 27: At some point, as Atlanta gets a little healthier, you have to figure they'll be able to put up some more wins. The Seahawks haven't been very impressive on the road, but have somehow found a way to maintain the top record in the NFC. It's time for the Falcons to wake up.
Detroit (5-3) 27 @ Chicago (5-3) 28: The Lions scorched the Bears' defense for 40 points in their first meeting. Injured QB Jay Cutler returns for the Bears, but should he struggle physically, they can rely on their backup, Josh McNown, who engineered a win over the Packers last week. The Bears need to contain Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson to be able to win.
Philadelphia (4-5) 27 @ Green Bay (5-3) 24: I still think the Packers are one of the elite teams in the NFC, but not with Seneca Wallace at QB, replacing the injured Aaron Rodgers. What baffles me is why the Packers don't have a more capable backup. We'll have to see which Eagles team shows up in Green Bay. I'm thinking it will be the "good" Eagles.
Jacksonville (0-8) 19 @ Tennessee (4-4) 27: The Jaguars are just awful and the Titans are still fighting for a chance at a playoff spot. I think Jacksonville will find a way to get a win or two, but it won't be this week.
St. Louis (3-6) 20 @ Indianapolis (6-2) 31: The Rams looked like they were improving a few weeks ago, but they're not up to the level of the Colts.
Oakland (3-5) 17 @ New York Giants (2-6) 26: Something woke up the Giants a few weeks ago and now have some life in the NFC Least. They don't control their own destiny, but with the Redskins losing and the Eagles and Cowboys facing tough tests on the road, the Giants could pick up another game on the entire division with a win today.
Buffalo (3-6) 17 @ Pittsburgh (2-6) 20: The Bills have lost four of their last five, the Steelers their last two. Someone has to win, right? I'll take the home team.
Cincinnati (6-3) 27 @ Baltimore (3-5) 17: A lot of experts have a lot of numbers that support a Ravens' win. I'm looking at this season and these two teams. I'm taking the Bengals.
Carolina (5-3) 20 @ San Francisco (6-2) 28: The Panthers have finally found a way to finish games with wins behind QB Cam Newton. But they're facing a 'Niners squad that is getting healthy and rounding into form.
Houston (2-6) 17 @ Arizona (4-4) 27: The Texans' season has just been a nightmare, and going to Arizona won't help things much.
Denver (7-1) 37 @ San Diego (4-4) 27: The Broncos will be without coach Jon Fox, but it won't matter, since they have a coach on the field in Peyton Manning. The Chargers are coming off a crushing OT loss at Washington. This should be a good one, but I'll take Denver following their bye week.
Dallas (5-4) 27 @ New Orleans (6-2) 35: I just don't see how the Cowboys can get out of the Superdome with a win today. But it is Dallas, and they can be surprising at times. Nah, not this time.
Miami (4-4) 23 @ Tampa Bay (0-8) 24: You couldn't ask for a better scenario to get your first win if you're the Bucs. The Dolphins have been mired in controversy all week and Tampa is not as bad as their record would indicate.