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VOL. 43 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 6, 2019

Key for Titans at Oakland: More of same

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Titans 23, Raiders 19: The Titans stay alive in the playoff race by going out to Oakland and downing a young, but talented Raiders team. If the offensive line does its work by opening holes for Derrick Henry and protecting Ryan Tannehill, the Titans should be able to take care of business.

Cowboys 24, Bears 20: Two disappointing teams that were much better a year ago. Both are 6-6, but the Cowboys have the luxury of playing in the NFC Least, which means they are still in the hunt for the postseason. Meanwhile, the Bears are wondering whether to find another quarterback in 2020 or gamble that Mitch Trubisky can bounce back.

Colts 27, Bucs 24: The Colts play a methodical style of football and won’t beat themselves very often. The Bucs, on the other hand, are high-risk, high-reward, and Jameis Winston can probably be counted upon to find a Colts jersey with one or two of his passes, which probably will make the difference.

Ravens 31, Bills 23: The Bills defense is quite solid and might be able to slow down Lamar Jackson and keep the Ravens from putting up 40 points. But does Buffalo have enough offense to keep up? Both teams have playoff spots all but locked up, but Buffalo will have to bring its ‘A’ game to have a shot at the upset.

Vikings 31, Lions 21: The Vikings are one of the good teams in the NFC that no one is talking about. They have a solid offense and a strong defense. The Lions, now on to David Blough at quarterback, are playing for a high draft pick. They’ll take another step toward that in this one.

Browns 23, Bengals 20: The Browns were supposed to be the trendy pick early in the season, and now they’re again relegated to also-ran status. They can’t afford to slip up against the lowly Bengals or they could finish with a losing season yet again.

Chargers 23, Jaguars 20: It looks like the Phillip Rivers era is ending for the Chargers. That said, Los Angeles should still be good enough to defeat the Jaguars, who look like they may be mailing it in.

Cardinals 21, Steelers 20: The Steelers are now down to Delvin Hodges at quarterback, in place of Mason Rudolph, who replaced Ben Roethlisberger. The Cardinals have been competitive, and Kyler Murray might be ready to get his first signature win.

Packers 30, Redskins 17: The Packers are cruising toward a playoff spot, be that the NFC North crown or a wild-card. The Redskins are struggling as they try to find out what they have in first-round pick Dwayne Haskins and live with the growing pains of a young quarterback.

Texans 28, Broncos 19: The Texans have had a rough stretch of schedule and catch a break with the Broncos coming to town. It should help Houston hang on to its lead in the AFC South with two games against the Titans upcoming over the final three games.

Panthers 20, Falcons 16: The Falcons have been terrible most of the season and have vastly underachieved. The Panthers are likely in the process of moving on from Cam Newton. Both squads will likely be retooled in the offseason.

Seahawks 28, Rams 23: The Rams have been a major disappointment this season, coming off a Super Bowl appearance. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are poised to be a dangerous playoff team once again.

Dolphins 20, Jets 17: Every time you want to think the Jets are turning the corner, they do something like give the Bengals their first win of the season. Come to think of it, they gave the Dolphins their first win a few weeks ago.

Saints 27, 49ers 24: Could this be a preview of the NFC Championship Game? It’s very possible. The Niners have passed nearly every test thus far – even their two losses have been close calls – as there were plenty of doubters when they started fast. But the defense is for real. The Saints get the edge here because it’s in the Superdome.

Patriots 29, Chiefs 26: New England’s offense has not been as sharp this season, but the defense is top-notch, and you have to feel like Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will be up to the challenge that Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will throw at them. The difference could be the porous KC run defense.

Eagles 27, Giants 20: After a good matchup in the Vikings and Seahawks, Monday night is back to duds this week with the mediocre Eagles against the awful Giants in an NFC Least matchup. Philly could very easily win the division, given how weak the remainder of its schedule is.

— Terry McCormick

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