The Big Game
Green Bay (6-1) at Carolina (7-0)
Line: Packers by 3
Packers’ Swiss cheese defense has allowed 1,048 yards past two games, including 828 passing. QB Aaron Rodgers had his worst day as a pro (14-22, 77 yards). Unbeaten Panthers survived rain, sloppy play to kick two overtime FGs and run unbeaten streak to 11 regular-season games.
Best of the rest
Washington (3-4) at N. England (7-0)
Line: Patriots by 14
’Skins’ secondary could start two undrafted rookies. Doesn’t seem fair. Patriots, with at least 28 points every game, lead league in scoring (35.6). QB Tom Brady (20 TDs, 1 INT) is 94-15 at home. Pats’ nine remaining games feature one team with a winning record (Broncos).
Oakland (4-3) at Pittsburgh (4-4)
Line: Steelers by 5
Perennial punching bags (11 total wins past three seasons), the Raiders are over .500 this late for the first time since 2011. And they’ve beaten the Steelers their past two meetings. Pittsburgh gets its QB back, but loses All-Pro RB Le’Veon Bell for the season.
St. Louis (4-3) at Minnesota (5-2)
Line: Vikings by 1
Winning record in November is Rams’ first since 2006. Rookie Todd Gurley has run for 146, 159, 128 and 133 yards in four starts. Defense allowed only four FGs past two weeks. Stealth Vikings have quietly won five of six, but only one of nine remaining foes has a losing record.
Worth a look
Miami (3-4) at Buffalo (3-4)
Line: Bills by 2 1/2
Dolphins coach Dan Campbell’s flying start ran into brick wall against Patriots, scoring just seven points and rushing 13 times for 15 yards. Bills have been outscored 50-14 in third quarters. Rex Ryan-coached teams are 1-5 after a bye. Offense expects return of QB Tyrod Taylor.
NY Giants (4-4) at Tampa Bay (3-4)
Line: Giants by 2 1/2
Giants are history, joining 1963 Houston Oilers as only team to lose while scoring 49 points. Their Big 12 pass defense (315.4 yards) is the NFL’s worst but plus-10 turnover margin is league’s best. Bucs have won two of three. Rookie QB Jameis Winston hasn’t had a turnover in three games.
Denver (7-0) at Indianapolis (3-5)
3:25 p.m., KTVT/11
Line: Broncos by 5 1/2
Peyton Manning turned back time, passing for 340 yards vs. Packers for his 186th career win, tying Brett Favre’s NFL record. He can set the mark in Indy, where he won his first 141. Colts QB Andrew Luck forced overtime in Carolina, but three more picks gives him NFL-high 12.
Viewer discretion advised
Jacksonville (2-5) at NY Jets (4-3)
Line: Jets by 8
Jags have lost past 12 road games by average of 14.7 points. Both wins this year are against AFC East teams (Dolphins, Bills). Jets’ defense has no turnovers in past two games, both losses, after 15 in first five. RB Chris Ivory has 58 total rush yards past two outings. Averaged 115 in first four.
Tennessee (1-6) at New Orleans (4-4)
Line: Saints by 7 1/2
Titans, losers in 16 of their past 17, have five teams .500 or better still to play. They’ve scored 36 points the past four games. The Saints had 52 in four quarters Sunday and 110 the past three games, all wins. QB Drew Brees, with his video game stats (511 yards, 7 TDs vs. Giants), is back.
Atlanta (6-2) at San Francisco (2-6)
Line: Falcons by 7
Falcons turnovers (12 in past four games) threaten to derail hot start. Niners have thrown in the towel. Blaine Gabbert will replace Colin Kaepernick at QB. A needed shake-up for an offense worst in yards (282.2), points (13.6) and without a TD in three of five games.
Philadelphia (3-4) at Dallas (2-5)
7:25 p.m., KXAS/5
Line: Eagles by 3
Philly benefitted from not playing Sunday as NFC East rivals Giants and Cowboys lost. QB Sam Bradford’s 10 INTs are second worst in league. A third division loss would be crippling to any playoff dreams. Cowboys haven’t won since Week 2 in Philadelphia. QB Tony Romo still two weeks away, putting even more pressure on defense to carry anemic offense.
Bye week for Arizona, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City and Seattle