NFL PREVIEW \ Today's games



TAMPA BAY at CLEVELAND
Game time: 1 p.m.TV/radio: (17/62) (8) WKBN-AM (570), WNCD-FM (93.3)Opening line: Browns by 3. Record vs. spread: Bucs 5-8-1; Browns 7-6-1.Series history: Browns lead 5-1 (Bucs lead 1-0 since 1999). Last meeting: Bucs 17, Browns 3, Oct. 13, 2002 at Tampa Bay.Notes: Strength of schedule for both teams is .566, second highest in NFL. ... Tampa Bay, loser of four straight, has scored fewest points in NFC (182). ... Bucs have worst turnover margin (minus-13) in NFC. ... QB Tim Rattay will make first start of season, replacing rookie Bruce Gradkowski, who was 3-8 as starter. Rattay has 16 starts, all with San Francisco, in seven NFL seasons. ... Cleveland has minus-11 turnover margin. ... Browns have lost at least 10 games in each of past four seasons, six of past eight. ... Cleveland is 40-86 since returning to league as expansion team in 1999. ... QB Derek Anderson has passed for more than 200 yards in both his starts. ... Kellen Winslow leads team and NFL TEs with 76 receptions (755 yards). ... In his past five games vs. NFC, RB Reuben Droughns has 441 yards rushing (88.2 per game).Prediction: Browns, 17-13
BALTIMORE at PITTSBURGH
Game time: 1 p.m.TV/radio: (27) (2) WBBG-FM (106.1)Opening line: Steelers by 3. Record vs. spread: Ravens 8-6; Steelers 6-7-1.Series history: Steelers lead 14-8. Last meeting: Ravens 27, Steelers 0, Nov. 26, 2006 at Baltimore.Notes: Ravens have given up fewest points (187) in NFL. ... Baltimore has allowed 10 TDs and 10 FGs in 30 trips inside its 20 for NFL-best 33.3 TD percentage. ... Ravens lead NFL with plus-15 turnover margin. ... LB Ray Lewis leads Ravens with 142 tackles. ... QB Steve McNair is 9-4 as starter vs. Pittsburgh. McNair needs 281 yards for 30,000 yards passing in career. ... Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is 28-10 as starter and 10-1 in December. Roethlisberger (3,092) got his first 3,000-yard season last week. ... RB Willie Parker has 1,331 yards rushing and is fourth in NFL with 14 TDs (11 rushing).Prediction: Steelers, 19-17
CHICAGO at DETROIT
Game time: 1 p.m.Opening line: Bears by 6. Record vs. spread: Bears 9-4-1; Lions 4-10.Series history: Bears lead 85-62-5. Last meeting: Bears 34, Lions 7, Sept. 17, 2006 at Chicago.Notes: Chicago has home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs. ... Bears lead NFC with 394 points scored and 208 allowed. ... Chicago is tied in NFC with plus-12 turnover margin and leads league with 42 takeaways. ... Detroit has lost six straight. ... Lions average conference-low 69.8 yards rushing.Prediction: Bears, 27-20
CAROLINA at ATLANTA
Game time: 1 p.m.Opening line: OFF. Record vs. spread: Panthers 4-9-1; Falcons 7-7.Series history: Falcons lead 15-8. Last meeting: Falcons 20, Panthers 7, Sept. 10, 2006 at Carolina.Notes: Carolina has lost four straight. ... DE Mike Rucker, team's all-time sacks leader, is lost for season (ACL). ... Carolina has played past two games without QB Jake Delhomme (thumb). ... QB Chris Weinke has thrown one TD pass and four INTs as Carolina has scored only 16 points in his two starts. ... Falcons can become first team in NFL history with QB-RB tandem with 1,000 yards rushing: RB Warrick Dunn (1,053) and QB Michael Vick (990).Prediction: Falcons, 27-10
TENNESSEE at BUFFALO
Game time: 1 p.m.Opening line: Bills by 4. Record vs. spread: Titans 10-4; Bills 10-4.Series history: Titans lead 24-16. Last meeting: Titans 28, Bills 26, Dec. 14, 2003 at Tennessee.Notes: Tennessee, winner of five straight, is one victory away from doubling last year's victory total (4). ... Vince Young tied Dan Marino and Kerry Collins for most wins by rookie QB since 1970 and is now 7-4 despite completing only eight passes last week. ... Buffalo is averaging 23 points in past seven games, 11-point improvement over what it produced in its first seven.Prediction: Bills, 19-13
INDIANAPOLIS at HOUSTON
Game time: 1 p.m.Opening line: Colts by 9. Record vs. spread: Colts 8-6; Texans 5-9.Series history: Colts lead 9-0. Last meeting: Colts 43, Texans 24, Sept. 17, 2006 at Indianapolis.Notes: Indianapolis clinched AFC South for fourth straight season and can clinch first-round bye with win and Baltimore loss. ... Colts lead AFC in total offense (382.3) and passing offense (272.9). ... In his past two games against Colts, Houston QB David Carr has four TDs and no INTs.Prediction: Colts, 28-20
WASHINGTON at ST. LOUIS
Game time: 1 p.m.Opening line: Rams by 3. Record vs. spread: Redskins 5-7-2; Rams 7-7.Series history: Redskins lead 22-8-1. Last meeting: Redskins 24, Rams 9, Dec. 4, 2005 at St. Louis.Notes: Washington's offensive line has allowed 18 sacks and anchored rushing attack that ranks fifth in league (236.6). ... St. Louis is tied for NFC lead with plus-12 turnover margin.Prediction: Redskins, 21-17
NEW ORLEANS at NEW YORK GIANTS
Game time: 1 p.m.Opening line: Giants by 3. Record vs. spread: Saints 9-5; Giants 6-7-1.Series history: Giants lead 14-9. Last meeting: Giants 27, Saints 10, Sept. 19, 2005 at New York.Notes: Saints are only team averaging 400 or more yards per game (400.6), including league-high 296.0 yards passing. ... Giants' Tiki Barber, with 1,357 yards rushing, leads NFL RBs with 42 rushes of 10 or more yards.Prediction: Saints, 28-24
NEW ENGLAND at JACKSONVILLE
Game time: 1 p.m.Opening line: Jaguars by 21/2. Record vs. spread: Patriots 7-6-1; Jaguars 8-6.Series history: Patriots lead 5-1. Last meeting: Patriots 28, Jaguars 3, Jan. 7, 2006 (wild-card playoffs) at New England.Notes: Patriots, who have won 10 or more games in five of last six seasons, have given up second-fewest points in league (193). ... Jacksonville is only NFL team to allow fewer than 100 points (97) in red zone (10 TDs, 9 FGs in 28 trips).Prediction: Jaguars, 17-12
ARIZONA at SAN FRANCISCO
Game time: 4:05 p.m.Opening line: 49ers by 31/2. Record vs. spread: Cardinals 6-8; 49ers 8-6.Series history: 49ers lead 17-13. Last meeting: Cardinals 34, 49ers 27, Sept. 10, 2006 at Arizona.Notes: Arizona has worst defense in NFC (355.8). ... San Francisco has allowed most points in NFL (363).Prediction: 49ers, 24-21
CINCINNATI at DENVER
Game time: 4:15 p.m.TV: (27) (19) (2)Opening line: Broncos by 3. Record vs. spread: Bengals 7-6-1; Broncos 5-9.Series history: Broncos lead 15-8. Last meeting: Bengals 23, Broncos 10, Oct. 25, 2004 at Cincinnati.Notes: Cincinnati has worst passing defense in league (241.6). ... Denver's Hay Cutler became third rookie in league history to throw multiple TD passes in first three starts, joining Miami's Dan Marino (1983) and Giants' Charlie Conerly (1948).Prediction: Broncos, 20-19
SAN DIEGO at SEATTLE
Game time: 4:15 p.m.Opening line: Chargers by 31/2. Record vs. spread: Chargers 9-5; Seahawks 4-9-1.Series history: Seahawks lead 25-22. Last meeting: Seahawks 31, Chargers 28 in OT, Dec. 29, 2002 at San Diego.Notes: Chargers, winners of eight straight games, have scored most points in league with 445. ... Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck has won four in row vs. AFC, completing 68 of 96 passes (70.8 percent) for 789 yards with six TDs and two INTs.Prediction: Chargers, 28-17
Associated Press
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