Ravens at Giants
The Giants continue to prove that they are the class of the NFC, and that last year was no fluke. Eli Manning's game management is increasingly impressive and it is hard to overlook what Brandon Jacobs has been doing in the running game or how good the defense has been all year. The Ravens are not to be ignored, at 6-3 with the same stingy run defense as always and quarterback Joe Flacco, who does just enough to win games. Ultimately, however, the Giants are too good, especially at home, to lose this one.
The Pick: New York
Jets at Patriots
In the Thursday night special this week, the suddenly conservative Brett Favre leads the Jets into New England to take on the injury depleted Patriots in a battle for first place in the AFC East. The Jets should be able to continue running the ball effectively, especially with New England linebacker Adalius Thomas out for the season. However, on the other side of the ball, the Jets' fifth ranked run defense isn't likely to be tested as the Patriots' top three running backs are also out with injuries. Instead, look for the continually improving Matt Cassel to do plenty of damage to the New York secondary.
The Pick: New England
Bears at Packers
It's probable that only the division winner will make the playoffs in the NFC North, making this a must-win game for both teams. Chicago is coming off a tough loss to undefeated Tennessee, while Green Bay lost a heartbreaker to Minnesota. Rex Grossman performed well enough in the run-heavy Chicago offense as Kyle Orton's replacement, but Aaron Rodgers had his first poor outing of the season for Green Bay. This week, Chicago will likely stick with the run against Green Bay's weak rush defense, while Green Bay will try to air it out against Chicago's 30th ranked pass defense. Expect Aaron Rodgers to return to early season form.
The Pick: Green Bay
Browns at Bills
The Bills are in the playoff picture once again, but Bills fans seem unable to believe it. With three consecutive games against weak teams, the Bills could conceivably go into their rematch with Miami at 8-4. The first of those games will be this week as they take on Cleveland Monday night at home. Trent Edwards will pick apart their 27th ranked defense and the tandem of Lynch and Jackson will have no trouble running the ball. Look for a blowout at home on national TV.
The Pick: Buffalo