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Bucs and Giants will win big this week

Last week’s record, 8-5, for season, 76-54,

Pick of the week, 1-0; for the season, 6-3

I managed to keep my head above water, but four games really hurt me last week. Both Buffalo and Detroit gave up fourth-quarter leads. Picking against the Giants and for the Patriots was a definite brain lock. The Saints, my Pick of the Week, covered nicely, so for the most part I’m happy to have escaped with as many wins as I did.

This week, unfortunately, we miss the Thursday night game, unless you subscribe to the NFL Network. What really stinks is the game between the Ravens and Falcons has the potential to be a very good contest between teams looking for a spot in the playoffs.

Here’s how I see this week’s matchups.

Thursday, Nov. 11

Baltimore at Atlanta — These two teams come in with the same record, 6-2, while occupying first place in their respective divisions. You should know by now my dislike of the Ravens, but they are undefeated at home and for that reason I’ll give them the nod, 24-23.

Sunday, Nov. 14

Detroit at Buffalo — The loss of quarterback Matt Stafford is huge for the Lions. With that said, I’ll try once more in predicting that the Buffalo Bills pick up their first win of the season, 20-17.

Houston at Jacksonville — This division is wide open, yet I don’t see either team making a serious run for the playoffs. Actually, I think the Jags will be ready to pounce on the Texans, who are on the road after a tough home loss to the Chargers. Jags win, 23-21.

Tennessee at Miami — The Titans are coming off a bye week and should be well prepared. The Dolphins seem to play a tough opponent every week and this week is no different. I’m going with Randy Moss messing up the Titans, which enables the Dolphins to win at home, 26-23.

Minnesota at Chicago — The Vikings showed signs of waking up in the fourth quarter against Arizona, but I just don’t trust Brett Favre. I’ll go with a hunch. The Bears win, 23-17.

New York Jets at Cleveland — The Jets were very lucky to eke out a win against the Lions, but I see their luck running out against the Browns. I’ll take Cleveland, 21-16.

Cincinnati at Indianapolis — Both of these teams are coming off losses, but I think the Bengals have a much greater chance of losing two in a row. I’ll stick with Manning and the Colts to rebound at home, 23-19.

Carolina at Tampa Bay — Make no mistake, the Bucs are pretty darn good. This is my Pick of the Week. Bucs win big at home, 28-17.

Kansas City at Denver — This is the second conference road game in a row for the Chiefs, who need a win. I don’t think the Broncos are going anywhere, so I’ll stick with the Chiefs, 24-21.

Seattle at Arizona — In what is the weakest division in the league, both of these teams still have a chance at the playoffs. If Hasselbeck is back, the Seahawks could be tough, but I like the Cards at home, 27-23.

Dallas at New York Giants — This shouldn’t even be a game the way both teams are playing. Strange things happen in the NFL, but it should take a miracle for the Cowboys to defeat the Giants. I’ll stick with Eli and Co. 33-16, but watch out here with the coaching change in Dallas.

St. Louis at San Francisco — I haven’t given up on the 49ers yet, plus St. Louis hasn’t won on the road all year. I’ll stick with San Francisco, 20-17.

New England at Pittsburgh — Cleveland embarrassed New England, while the Steelers picked up a tough road win on Monday night against the Bengals. The Steelers are always a good pick at home even against the Brady Bunch. I’ll stick with Pittsburgh, 24-20.

Monday, Nov. 15

Philadelphia at Washington — As long as Mike Vick stays healthy, the Eagles are going to be tough to beat. The Redskins seem to be in turmoil with McNabb at quarterback. I’ll stick with Philly, 28-20.

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