comscore Mediocre matchup has meaning

Mediocre matchup has meaning

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Associated Press
Take one 7-6 team, match it up with a 5-8 team on national TV and let’s all yawn.

Except the San Francisco-San Diego game today is quite meaningful, even if it pairs mediocre teams in downtrodden divisions.

A win against San Francisco, a 9-point underdog, and victories in San Diego’s final two games — at awful Cincinnati and Denver — might be enough for a playoff berth.

The 49ers almost certainly need to win out, but the NFC West is so weak that maybe even a 7-9 mark will get them their first division crown since 2002. San Francisco finishes with division mates St. Louis and Arizona.



New Orleans (plus 2 1/2 ) at Baltimore

Saints are on a six-game tear, albeit against generally mediocre competition. Their now-healthy offense will show no mercy.



Atlanta (minus 6 1/2 ) at Seattle

Both of these teams usually are dominant at home, which means Seahawks should be the pick, right? Not even close — Falcons are primed for Super Bowl run.

FALCONS, 24-10


Jacksonville (plus 5) at Indianapolis

This would be a slam dunk for Colts in previous years. These aren’t the same Colts, although they should have enough to reclaim the AFC South.

COLTS, 24-21


N.Y. Jets (plus 5 1/2 ) at Pittsburgh

Jets swooning, Steelers surging. This one should be smashmouth all the way and fun to watch.



Philadelphia (plus 3) at N.Y. Giants

For the NFC East lead. Eagles squeezed out a win in last meeting. Now it’s Giants’ turn.

GIANTS, 21-20


Buffalo (plus 6 1/2 ) at Miami

Dolphins could keep playoff hopes alive right up until their finale at New England.



Detroit (plus 4 1/2 ) at Tampa Bay

Lions ended one futile string with first division win in 20 tries. Unless Josh Freeman goes down, their road woes continue.



Denver (plus 6 1/2 ) at Oakland

Although there seems to be nothing left in Denver’s tank, the sight of the Silver and Black on the other side normally gets the Broncos stoked. Not this time.

RAIDERS, 30-20


Washington (plus 6) at Dallas

Both teams playing out the string, with Cowboys looking to get Jason Garrett the permanent coaching job.

COWBOYS, 28-20


Houston (plus 1) at Tennessee

Two more teams playing out the schedule in disappointing years that could lead to coaching changes.

TEXANS, 23-21


Arizona (plus 1 1/2 ) at Carolina

Panthers could just about clinch first overall draft pick with another loss. Now there’s some incentive.



Cleveland (plus 1) at Cincinnati

The, uh, Battle of Ohio. Not even a thumb wrestle.

BENGALS, 12-10


Kansas City (OFF) at St. Louis

The, uh, Battle of Missouri. At least this one shows some promise, as both teams are in first place, albeit in weak divisions.

RAMS, 17-16


Green Bay (OFF) at New England

The way the Patriots are playing, it doesn’t matter if a healthy Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre in his prime or Bart Starr show up.



Chicago (OFF) at Minnesota

Play this one anywhere in the Midwest and it will be the same outcome.

BEARS, 20-3

RECORD: vs. spread, 8-4-4 (overall 109-82-10); Straight up, 11-5 (overall 139-68); Best Bet: 8-6 against spread, 10-4 straight up; Upset Special: 8-6 against spread, 8-6 straight up.


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