Three Games of the Week
New England at Buffalo
The Bills — yes, the Bills — lead the NFL with 79 points scored and the team’s 80 percent touchdown conversion rate in the red zone (eight touchdowns, 10 possessions) is tied for the best mark in the league. New England, however, leads the NFL in total offense (563.0 yards per game) and passing offense (463.0 ypg). The Patriots have beaten up on their rivals 15 straight times. Expect a shootout, and Mr. Brady and Co. to out-do the upstart Bills.
Pick: Patriots 34, Bills 27
Atlanta at Tampa Bay
The Buccaneers have lost five straight to the Falcons, with four of those games being decided by a touchdown or less. Look for Josh Freeman, aka Mr. Fourth Quarter, to find a way in this one. They’re young and they make mistakes, but the Bucs finish strong. Especially at home.
Pick: Buccaneers 27, Falcons 24
Detroit at Minnesota
Want a fun water cooler fact for this morning? Sunday’s Lions-Vikings game marks the first time since 1990 the Lions have been favored in a game at Minnesota. Want another? Since 1990, the Lions have never been favored in a road game by more than a field goal. They’re 3 ½ point favorites in this one. Get aboard the Matt Stafford Express. It’s not too late.
Pick: Lions 28, Vikings 23
Fact of the Week
With his interception last week, Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson has now recorded an interception against four fellow former Heisman Trophy winners: Cameron Newton (2010), Matt Leinart (2004), Carson Palmer (2002), and Vinny Testaverde (1986).
Quote of the Week
“I said this year, I’m going to try to be the black Wes Welker.”—Lions WR Nate Burleson, who had nine catches Sunday vs. Kansas City
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