Gerry Dulac's NFL Forecast: Week 9
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Last week: 8-6 (.571)
Season record: 68-50 (.576)
Kansas City Chiefs (1-6) at San Diego Chargers (3-4), 8:20 p.m., Thursday
The Skinny: In grammatical parlance, the Chargers are a misnomer -- a team that does not charge to the finish. They have not scored a point in the fourth quarter during their three-game losing streak, the latest coming at the hands of the Browns. Ugh.
Prediction: Chargers, 23-15
Steelers (4-3) at New York Giants (6-2), 4:25 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: It's the rarest of battles in the NFL -- quarterbacks with two Super Bowl rings facing off. Ben Roethlisberger, the third-down master vs. Eli Manning, the fourth-quarter wizard. The Giants average 33.3 points in their victories.
Prediction: Giants, 23-20
Denver Broncos (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-4), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: Since he threw three interceptions in the first quarter at Atlanta in Week 2, Peyton Manning has thrown 15 touchdowns -- three in each of the past four games. Think the middle of that Bengals defense can slow that?
Prediction: Broncos, 27-24
Baltimore Ravens (5-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-6), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: The Ravens needed a bye week to regroup after being embarrassed by the Texans. They also needed the extra week to re-tool a rush defense that has slipped to 30th in the league and allowed more than 200 yards rushing in each of the past three games.
Prediction: Ravens 13-12
Arizona Cardinals (4-4) at Green Bay Packers (5-3), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: After opening the season with four victories, the Cardinals have gone the other way with four consecutive losses. It might not get any better against Aaron Rodgers, the first QB in NFL history to have 20-plus TD passes after 8 games in back-to-back seasons.
Prediction: Packers, 30-13
Buffalo Bills (3-4) at Houston Texans (6-1), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: The Texans had the best bye possible -- a week to rest and contemplate a lopsided 43-13 victory against the Ravens. Now they have the best possible week following a bye -- a game against the Bills defense that has allowed an average of 45 points in defeat.
Prediction: Texans, 45-20
Miami Dolphins (4-3) at Indianapolis Colts (4-3), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: After losing two of their first four games in overtime, the Dolphins have come back to win three in a row with their rookie quarterback. Meantime, the Colts are 3-1 since Bruce Arians took over as interim coach with his rookie quarterback.
Prediction: Dolphins, 24-23
Detroit Lions (3-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: Safe to say, the Lions are not the team they were a year ago. Maybe part of the reason is that Calvin Johnson, perhaps the league's best receiver, has just one TD catch in seven games. But they should get back to .500 against the Jaguars.
Prediction: Lions, 24-18
Chicago Bears (6-1) at Tennessee Titans (3-5), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: The Titans offense that put 61 points in victories against the Steelers and Bills managed just 13 in an OT loss to the Colts. They will have a tough time mustering that many points against the Bears, who have allowed the fewest points in the league (100).
Prediction: Bears, 20-9
Carolina Panthers (1-6) at Washington Redskins (3-6), 1 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: A matchup of last year's rookie QB phenom, Cam Newton, versus this year's rookie QB wunderkind, Robert Griffin III. But can Newton win the close game? He is already 1-10 in games decided by seven or fewer points.
Prediction: Redskins, 30-28
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) at Oakland Raiders (3-4), 4:05 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: Amazingly, the Buccaneers have never scored 28 or more points in four consecutive games, but they have a chance to do so against the Raiders -- a team that allows nearly 27 points a game. The Raiders have won two in a row.
Prediction: Raiders, 28-27
Minnesota Vikings (5-3) at Seattle Seahawks (4-4), 4:05 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: Just when you thought the Vikings were the surprise team of 2012, they go and give up 36 points in a home loss to Tampa Bay. The Seahawks have lost two in a row, but Russell Wilson has more wins (4) than any other rookie quarterback.
Prediction: Seahawks, 24-21
Dallas Cowboys (3-4) at Atlanta Falcons (7-0), 8:20 p.m., Sunday
The Skinny: Maybe it is a good thing for Tony Romo to play on the road after throwing nine interceptions in his past two home games. But it is a never a good thing to play the unbeaten Falcons at the Georgia Dome, where they are 16-3 since the start of 2010.
Prediction: Falcons, 31-27
Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) at New Orleans Saints (2-5), 8:30 p.m., Monday
The Skinny: Andy Reid said he is sticking with QB Michael Vick, even though the Eagles have lost three consecutive games. Funny, there is no such question in New Orleans, where Drew Brees continues to throw TDs despite five losses.
Prediction: Saints, 28-20
First Published November 1, 2012 12:00 am