Last Week: 10-6
Atlanta 30, Detroit 16
The Falcons made quite the statement by smashing the Giants. Now it's time to see if they can do the same to a Lions team that ranks among the NFL's biggest disappointments. I don't know if I completely trust Atlanta, particularly on the road, but this game is being played in a dome.
Green Bay 32, Tennessee 12
There hasn't been much talk about the Packers, at least compared to last season when they rolled through at 15-1. Don't look now, but they've clinched the NFC North once again and will be a threat down the stretch if they can find a running game.
Kansas City 7
The Colts need this one badly if they harbor playoff hopes. The Chiefs simply need this season to end. Always go with the team that has something to play for during the dog days of December.
Dallas 27, New Orleans 24
It's impossible to get a read on this Saints team, because it loses the games it should win and vice versa. The Cowboys are coming off a major victory and have their sights set not only on a playoff berth, but the NFC East title. If the Cowboys don't make it, the Saints' coach could well be Dallas' coach next season.
Houston 28, Minnesota 14
If Adrian Peterson isn't named NFL Most Valuable Player, then why even give out the award? The Vikings have very little talent to go around him, yet somehow are right in the thick of the playoff race as we enter the final two weeks. That may not last long, however.
Carolina 38, Oakland 6
Where were these Panthers for the first two-thirds of the season? Had they shown up, Carolina would be talking playoffs instead of the draft. The Raiders, on the other hand, are nearly always thinking about April this time of year.
Miami 17, Buffalo 7
The Bills are reeling after getting thoroughly destroyed by the Seahawks. Like a lot of teams, Buffalo has had several key injuries this season, but that doesn't explain being outscored by nearly 100 points.
Cincinnati 23, Pittsburgh 20
Sorry, but when the corners getting all the playing time are named Josh Victorian, Curtis Brown and Robert Golden, the immediate future isn't all that bright. That, and the fact Pittsburgh is turning it over at an alarming pace spells doom.
New England 44, Jacksonville 9
The Patriots are mad, and rightfully so. They were buried 31-3 before staging a big rally against San Francisco, only to still lose. Generally when New England gets angry, bad things happen to the opposition.
Washington 29, Philadelphia 10
Nothing the Eagles would rather do - outside of making the playoffs, which they won't - than knock off a chief rival that holds division title and playoff aspirations. The problem though, is Philadelphia doesn't have the talent to do so. RG3 is rested and ready.
St. Louis 21, Tampa Bay 20
Will the real Buccaneers please stand up? Man, is there a more Jeckyl and Hyde team out there? Tampa looks great one week and awful the next. The Rams on the other hand, have played just about everyone tough this season.
N.Y. Jets 8, San Diego 3
This was originally supposed to be the Sunday Night game, but since both team are absolutely dreadful the league spared us, and itself, really, the embarrassment. Go with the home team here, only because someone has to be picked.
Denver 36, Cleveland 16
Wouldn't it be something if the Browns were the team that finally solved the Broncos and broke their nine-game winning streak. On a related note, wouldn't it be something if I was signed to play quarterback in the NFL? Both scenarios have the same chance of happening - zero.
Chicago 22, Arizona 17
Well, after dropping the division to the Packers the best the Bears can hope for now is one of the NFC's two wild cards. They just might still get there, but this is a must-win game. If Chicago doesn't, it doesn't belong in the playoffs anyway.
Baltimore 20, N.Y. Giants 13
Both teams are free falling. The Ravens continue to try to give away the division title, but it doesn't seem as though anybody wants it. The Giants, after years of making a habit of second-half rallies, perhaps have run out of magic. Baltimore, your 2012 AFC North champion.
Seattle 26, San Francisco 23
The 49ers have already clinched a playoff berth, but a victory here gives them a division title. Hey, could someone please tell Pete Carroll he's not at USC any longer, and that margin of victory plays no role in the proceedings? Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at Rine@theintelligencer.net