Dallas Cowboys (7-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)
DALLAS minus 7
Back-to-back embarrassing losses for the Cowboys; back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back losses for the Bucs.
The pick COWBOYS
Tennessee Titans (7-6) at Indianapolis Colts (0-13)
TENNESSEE minus 7
No matter if it’s Matt Hasselbeck or rookie Jake Locker under centre, tailback Chris Johnson holds the Titans’ fate in his hands against an awful Colts run defence.
The pick TITANS
New Orleans Saints (10-3) at Minnesota Vikings (2-11)
NEW ORLEANS minus 7
With 17 1/2 to his name, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen leads the NFL in sacks, although he may be hard pushed to increase that total against the quick-thinking Drew Brees.
The pick SAINTS
Green Bay Packers (13-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-8)
GREEN BAY minus 15
Former Browns coach Romeo Crennel gets the unenviable task of launching his interim career in charge of the Chiefs by welcoming the NFL’s current juggernaut to town.
The pick PACKERS
Miami Dolphins (4-9) at Buffalo Bills (5-8)
MIAMI minus 2
It’s nearly bowl season, and what better way to kick it off than with the AFC East’s very own toilet bowl?
The pick BILLS
Washington Redskins (4-9) at New York Giants (7-6)
WASHINGTON plus 7
With an NFL-record-tying 14 fourth-quarter touchdowns already this season, Giants fans will be praying they’re not left relying on another of Eli Manning’s clutch performances here.
The pick GIANTS
Detroit Lions (8-5) at Oakland Raiders (7-6)
DETROIT minus 2
With a league-leading 27 personal fouls apiece, the NFL’s two dirtiest teams prepare to butt heads. Not literally we hope.
The pick RAIDERS
New York Jets (8-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-8)
NEW YORK plus 3
After hauling themselves back into the AFC playoff race last week, New York now needs a franchise first – in eight regular-season meetings, the Jets have never defeated the Eagles.
The pick EAGLES
New England Patriots (10-3) at Denver Broncos (8-5)
NEW ENGLAND minus 7
Tim Tebow’s about to get a crash course in NFL gospel, New England style. After beating a series of has-beens, rookies and ne’er-do-wells, the Denver quarterback is about to get up close and personal with Tom Brady. God help him.
The pick PATRIOTS
Seattle Seahawks (6-7) at Chicago Bears (7-6)
SEATTLE plus 4
The Seahawks have their first-string QB and RB on the field; the Bears don’t. Plus, WR Sam Hurd being arrested this week for allegedly being a large-scale drug dealer – and police reportedly holding a list of NFL players Hurd sold to – will be a distraction the Bears won’t overcome.
The pick SEAHAWKS
Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) at St. Louis Rams (2-11)
CINCINNATI minus 7
With four loses in five games, the shine is off the Bengals’ season. They’ll win, but beware the garbage-time touchdowns as the Rams coaches try to save their jobs.
The pick RAMS
Carolina Panthers (4-9) at Houston Texans (10-3)
CAROLINA plus 6
Defensive co-ordinator Wade Phillips has turned the once-timid Texans into a top-four unit. He is in hospital this week after kidney and gall bladder surgery. Win one for the Gipper.
The pick TEXANS
Cleveland Browns (4-9) at Arizona Cardinals (6-7)
CLEVELAND plus 7
Arizona is shockingly still in playoff contention, winning five of its past six games. Cleveland’s underpowered offence is in backup QB Seneca Wallace’s hands this week.
The pick CARDINALS
Baltimore Ravens (10-3) at San Diego Chargers (6-7)
BALTIMORE minus 3
San Diego has picked itself up with recent wins over inferior teams; the well-balanced Ravens are not an inferior team.
The pick RAVENS
Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3) at San Francisco 49ers (10-3)
PITTSBURGH plus 3
After a largely underwhelming sequence of matchups, Monday Night Football’s about to experience a doozy: for just the fourth time in the show’s history, a matchup between two 10-win teams with a winning percentage of at least .750. Enjoy.
The pick 49ERS
LAST WEEK 9-7