2003-11-27 / Other News

NFL FORECAST-WEEK 13

November 27, 30, Dec. 1
(Thursday) *Dallas 21 Miami 20
NFL FORECAST-WEEK 13

November 27, 30, Dec. 1

(Thursday) *Dallas 21 Miami 20

Though the Cowboys’ defense can shut the Dolphins down, Miami’s solid defensive line can keep it close, because Dallas’s offense isn’t what it was. The Cowboys won their most recent meeting, in 1999.

Green Bay 23 *Detroit 13

With Ahman Green rambling for 160 of the Packers’ 200 rushing yards and a TD, G.B. took its sixth straight from the Lions in Week Two, 31-6. Detroit can slow the Pack in the air but not on the ground.

(Sunday) *Baltimore 20 San Francisco 17

A risky pick, because the Ravens are all run and no pass, which makes things easy for a solid D like the 49ers’. But can S.F. score on Baltimore? They’ve faced off only once, a 49ers win seven years ago.

Showdown of the Week:

*Indianapolis 29 New England 19

Against this passing attack, the Patriots don’t have a chance, though the Colts were happy to skip this rivalry in ’02, with N.E. having taken 10 of the last 12 in the series, including a sweep in ’01.

*Carolina 27 Philadelphia 21

All run and no pass accurately describes both the Panthers and Eagles, too, and on the other side of the ball that favors Carolina. Each has beaten the other once, the Panthers most recently, in ’99.

*Chicago 17 Arizona 12

Both of these struggling squads’ defenses are better than their offenses, so don’t expect a shootout. The Cardinals have better stats, so call this an upset. Two years ago the Bears beat Arizona 20-13.

Denver 28 *Oakland 16

The Broncos outplayed the Raiders on both sides of the ball 10 weeks ago, scoring the first 31 points and cruising to a 31-10 win. Oakland is helpless against the run, which is what Denver does best.

*Houston 26 Atlanta 18

This just might — might — be a shootout, because the Falcons’ only bright spot on offense is their ground game, which the Texans can’t stop, while Houston should be able to run and throw on Atlanta.

*Indianapolis 29 New England 19

Against this passing attack, the Patriots don’t have a chance, though the Colts were happy to skip this rivalry in ’02, with N.E. having taken 10 of the last 12 in the series, including a sweep in ’01.

Kansas City 28 *San Diego 21

Paced by Priest Holmes’s 183 yards of offense, the Chiefs dismissed the Chargers 27-14 in Week One. S.D.’s offense can explode at any time, and K.C.’s defense is vulnerable, so this could be a surprise.

*N.Y. Giants 17 Buffalo 13

Though their secondary can handle anything the pass-dependent Giants throw at them, the Bills just don’t have enough offense to beat N.Y. The teams met most recently four years ago, a 19-17 Giants win.

*Pittsburgh 20 Cincinnati 17

The Steelers held the Bengals to just 57 rushing yards in a 17-10 victory in September, their sixth in the series’ last seven games. So Cincy should go to the air, where the Pittsburgh D isn’t as sharp.

*St. Louis 32 Minnesota 24

The only team with as wide a stat gap between its running and passing than Baltimore is the Rams, who are all pass — not that that’ll help the defenseless Vikings. St. Louis was a 40-29 winner in ’00.

*Seattle 25 Cleveland 20

Nothing was working on offense for the Browns until they came alive against the Cardinals two weeks ago, so the Seahawks may have their hands full in this one. Seattle beat Cleveland two years ago, 9-6.

Tampa Bay 14 *Jacksonville 9

For what it’s worth, the Jaguars have healthy stats, but they’re weakest in pass defense, which the Buccaneers will exploit. T.B. won the first of their two matchups and Jacksonville won the last, in ’98.

*Washington 22 New Orleans 19

After battling Dallas, Seattle, Carolina and Miami, Washington can’t afford to let down against the Saints. N.O. had its biggest game of the season last year against the Redskins, pounding them 43-27.

(Monday) Tennessee 24 *N.Y. Jets 7

Not necessarily a blowout, because the Jets should be able to throw on the Titans’ sorry secondary — while their own neutralizes Tennessee’s passing attack. They haven’t butted heads in five years.

Season Record:

Total games predicted, first 11 weeks: 160 Total right: 92 Total wrong: 68 Forecasting percentage: .575

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