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Atlanta (6-6) at Indianapolis (4-8)Time: 1 p.m....

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Atlanta (6-6) at Indianapolis (4-8)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Colts by 4.

Outlook: The Colts' defense has allowed an average of more than 40 points in the past three games. With the running game eliminated, QB Peyton Manning has no choice but to take risks downfield. The Falcons are struggling on offense, too, as RB Maurice Smith has gained only 130 yards in his past four games.

The pick: Indianapolis. Look for Manning to have a big day against an ineffective pass defense.

Denver (7-6) at Kansas City (3-9)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Pick 'em.

Outlook: Chiefs RB Priest Holmes has 643 total yards in his past three games. But the Broncos held Holmes to 42 yards in 17 carries earlier this season. In an interesting subplot, the Broncos are facing Eddie Kennison for the first time since releasing him Nov. 15. For the Broncos, Gus Frerotte will start at quarterback in place of Brian Griese.

The pick: Denver. The Broncos are still in the playoff hunt, while the Chiefs are building for next season.

Cincinnati (4-8) at N.Y. Jets (7-5)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Jets by 8 1/2 .

Outlook: The Bengals' sputtering offense gets no relief against a Jets defense that has allowed five TDs over the past 25 quarters. RB Corey Dillon has been the Bengals' only consistent offensive weapon, with six TDs in the past six games. Jets RB Curtis Martin has not scored a TD in three games.

The pick: New York. Both teams are reeling, but the Jets have more to lose.

Tampa Bay (7-5) at Chicago (9-3)

Time: 1 p.m. today, chs. 45, 5.

Line: Bears by 3.

Outlook: With a win, the Bears will clinch their first playoff berth since 1994 and first 10-win season since 1991. Bears WR Marty Booker caught seven passes for 165 yards and three TDs in a Week 10 victory over the Bucs. Booker and rookie RB Anthony Thomas need to light a fire under a Chicago offense that hasn't scored more than 13 points in the past three games.

The pick: Chicago. The Bucs have struggled at Soldier Field, and the lack of a sound running game will be their Achilles' heel.

Minnesota (5-7) at Detroit (0-12)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Vikings by 3.

Outlook: Led by backup QB Todd Bouman's 348-yard, four-TD performance, the Vikings had their best offensive output of the season in Sunday's 42-24 victory over the Titans. This does not bode well for a discouraged Lions team still seeking its first win. Detroit has lost its past nine games by an average of 4.2 points.

The pick: Minnesota. The Vikings' eight-game road losing streak should end vs. the woeful Lions.

New England (8-5) at Buffalo (2-10)

Time: 1 p.m. today.

Line: Patriots by 4.

Outlook: The Bills hope to play spoiler against the Patriots, who have won seven of their past nine games. New England RB Antowain Smith stung his former team for 100 yards and two TDs in a Nov. 11 victory. The return of WR Terry Glenn gives Patriots QB Tom Brady another dependable target. The New England defense has seven sacks and seven interceptions in the past three games.

The pick: New England. The Patriots can rest easy, as the Bills usually commit enough penalties and turnovers to beat themselves.

Jacksonville (4-8) at Cleveland (6-6)

Time: 1 p.m. today, Chs. 13, 9.

Line: Browns by 2 1/2 .

Outlook: Because of Fred Taylor's season-long injury, the Jaguars' offense has become one-dimensional. The team has failed to gain 100 yards rushing in seven consecutive games. Without a reliable running game, Jacksonville QB Mark Brunell will be a sitting duck against the Browns' front seven. In the past three games, WR Kevin Johnson is the only Brown to have scored an offensive TD.

The pick: Cleveland. The Browns should win their last home game in their bid for a postseason berth.

Miami (9-3) at San Francisco (9-3)

Time: 4:05 p.m. today.

Line: 49ers by 3 1/2 .

Outlook: The Dolphins, averaging 33 points over the past three games, have discovered an offense, sparked by QB Jay Fiedler's 63.5 completion percentage with seven TDs and no interceptions over that period. The 49ers are coming off their worst offensive performance of the season, gaining 220 yards in a loss to the Rams. RB Garrison Hearst needs 61 yards for his first 1,000-yard season since 1998.

The pick: Miami. The Dolphins are finally showing offensive balance to go with their excellent defense.

Dallas (4-8) at Seattle (6-6)

Time: 4:15 p.m. today.

Line: Seahawks by 5 1/2 .

Outlook: Seattle coach Mike Holmgren will try to jump-start his stagnant offense by replacing RB Shaun Alexander with Ricky Watters. Alexander has gained 1,009 yards and scored 12 TDs as Watters' replacement. Dallas WR Raghib Ismail has emerged as Quincy Carter's favorite target with 13 receptions for 211 yards and a TD in the past two games, both victories.

The pick: Seattle. The Cowboys have improved, but a road victory over a superior opponent is a bit much to ask.

Philadelphia (8-4) at Washington (6-6)

Time: 4:15 p.m. today, chs. 45, 5.

Line: Eagles by 3.

Outlook: In a 13-3 victory Nov. 25, the Redskins controlled the ball for 37:47 and held the Eagles to 186 yards and seven first downs. Look for the Redskins to employ LB LaVar Arrington as a spy against QB Donovan McNabb. The Eagles' defense has limited opponents to 17 or fewer points in the past six games. Stephen Davis is the first Redskins running back to gain 1,000 yards in three straight seasons.

The pick: Philadelphia. The Eagles need to make RB Duce Staley the focal point.

Green Bay (9-3) at Tennessee (5-7)

Time: 4:15 p.m. today.

Line: Packers by 2 1/2 .

Outlook: Titans RB Eddie George has been fighting injuries all season and is averaging only 2.9 yards a carry. George is still without a 100-yard rushing game this season. QB Steve McNair has revived the Tennessee passing game, throwing for 880 yards and seven TDs in the past three games. The Packers' four remaining opponents are .500 or worse.

The pick: Tennessee. In a season marred by injuries and subpar performances, this could be the Titans' last stand.

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