Remember just two weeks back, when I was coming off an awful performance picking against the spreads and I reasoned that I would rebound because I always do? Well, if 23-8-1 ATS over the last two weeks isn’t rebounding, Donovan McNabb’s health isn’t important to the Eagles.
But please don’t mistake the above for any sort of boasting. All it means is that my ability to prognosticate, in reality, is almost as unpredictable as the games themselves. We do this for entertainment and informational purposes only, so what the heck…
And of course, my over/under selections that had been so steady in recent weeks were horrid – just five correct. Wonder if there’s a reverse correlation?
Before going on to Week 12’s picks, please allow me to wish you – and those you care most about – a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend…
2006 Prognosticating Statistics:
FOR THE SEASON: Straight-Up – 100-60 (63 percent); ATS – 83-69-8 (55 percent)
LAST WEEK: Straight-Up – 12-4; ATS – 12-3-1
OVER/UNDER: 83-75-2 for the season, 5-11 last week.
MIAMI (4-6) at DETROIT (2-8)
Line: Dolphins favored by 3 (total points line is 39)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Dolphins 3-6-1, Lions 3-7
Strongest Trend: Miami has lost its last seven in a row on artificial turf.
Last Meeting: Miami rolled at home, 49-21, in 2002.
Dolphins Status Report: Sunday’s 24-20 victory over Minnesota was the Dolphins’ third in a row. They are tied with Buffalo for third in the AFC East, a game behind the second-place New York Jets.
Lions Status Report: Detroit lost at Arizona last weekend, 17-10, and remains last in the NFC North.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR MIAMI – RB Ronnie Brown, WR Chris Chambers. Dolphins defense. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR MIAMI – QB Joey Harrington, TE Randy McMichael, K Olindo Mare. QUALITY STARTERS FOR DETROIT – QB Jon Kitna, WR Roy Williams. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR DETROIT – WR Mike Furrey, K Jason Hanson, Lions defense.
Game Summary: It didn’t take us long to arrive at an upset pick. There was a period when the Lions were ultra-reliable as home underdogs on Thanksgiving, but beginning with a shellacking at the hands of Indianapolis a few years ago, they haven’t been so reliable since. Still, Miami has had struggles on phony grass going back to when the Dolphins were pretty good, the home team has won eight of the last nine meetings, and I’m guessing that the Lions defense will be fired up to make life miserable for ex-Detroit QB Joey Harrington. If emotion can sway a game, the ‘dog Lions get the edge even without a healthy Kevin Jones running the ball.
Prediction: LIONS, 20-16
TAMPA BAY (3-7) at DALLAS (6-4)
Line: Cowboys favored by 11 (total points line is 39)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Buccaneers 4-5-1, Cowboys 6-4
Strongest Trend: Tampa Bay has won the last three meetings, including one at Dallas.
Last Meeting: Tampa Bay blanked the visiting Cowboys, 16-0, in 2003.
Buccaneers Status Report: Tampa Bay edged Washington at home last week, 20-17, but remains in last place in the NFC South.
Cowboys Status Report: Host Dallas whipped previously unbeaten Indianapolis Sunday, 21-14, and is tied atop the NFC East with the New York Giants.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR TAMPA BAY – WR Joey Galloway. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR TAMPA BAY – RB Carnell Williams. QUALITY STARTERS FOR DALLAS – QB Tony Romo, WR Terrell Owens, Cowboys defense. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR DALLAS – RBs Marion Barber and Julius Jones, WRs Patrick Crayton and Terry Glenn (check injury status), TE Jason Witten, K Mike Vanderjagt.
Game Summary: This is potentially a dangerous trap game for the Cowboys, coming off a huge, emotional triumph over the Colts and looking ahead to Week 13’s rematch with the Giants at The Meadowlands. Will Dallas take the Bucs lightly? I don’t think so. There was the same opportunity to be flat earlier this season at Tennessee a week before the Cowboys faced Philadelphia, and Dallas routed the Titans. The numbers say the Cowboys win easily, and I’ll stick to that here.
Prediction: COWBOYS, 30-7
DENVER (7-3) at KANSAS CITY (6-4)
Line: Broncos favored by 1 (total points line is 38)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Broncos 4-6, Chiefs 5-4-1
Strongest Trend: The home team has won the last eight meetings.
Last Meeting: The Broncos edged the visiting Chiefs, 9-6, in Week 2.
Broncos Status Report: Denver squandered a 17-point lead at home and lost to San Diego, 35-27, Sunday night to fall a game behind the Chargers in the AFC West.
Chiefs Status Report: Obviously looking ahead to this week, the Chiefs scuffled but escaped with a 17-13 victory over visiting Oakland on Sunday. K.C. is a game behind the Broncos in third place in the division.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR DENVER – WR Javon Walker, K Jason Elam. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR DENVER –RB Tatum Bell (check health status) or RB Mike Bell, WR Rod Smith, Broncos defense. QUALITY STARTERS FOR KANSAS CITY – RB Larry Johnson, TE Tony Gonzalez, K Lawrence Tynes. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR KANSAS CITY – QB Trent Green, WR Eddie Kennison, Chiefs defense.
Game Summary: With the home team in this series on an 8-game winning streak, logic says to take the host Chiefs. And that’s tempting. But the recent numbers point decisively toward Denver – all except those that measure QB Jake Plummer’s road success, that is. It’s been an illogical type of year, so I’m going against the grain here and taking a Denver club that has a propensity for avoiding losing streaks. Honestly, had Denver won last week, I’d probably take the Chiefs. Truly a tough call.
Prediction: BRONCOS, 23-20
JACKSONVILLE (6-4) at BUFFALO (4-6)
Line: Jaguars favored by 2½ (total points line is 36½)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Jaguars 6-3-1, Bills 6-4
Strongest Trend: The road team has won five of the last six meetings.
Last Meeting: The Jaguars won at Buffalo, 13-10, in 2004.
Jaguars Status Report: Jacksonville pounded the New York Giants at home Monday night, 26-10, and are three back of Indianapolis in the AFC South.
Bills Status Report: Buffalo scored late to turn back host Houston, 24-21, on Sunday. The Bills are just a game behind the second-place New York Jets in the AFC East.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR JACKSONVILLE – RB Fred Taylor, Jaguars defense. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR JACKSONVILLE – RB Maurice Drew-Jones, WRs Ernest Wilford and Matt Jones, K Josh Scobee. QUALITY STARTERS FOR BUFFALO – WR Lee Evans. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR BUFFALO – Bills defense.
Game Summary: Jacksonville is an ugly 1-3 on the road this season, but it looked to me Monday night as if the defense was prepared to boost this club on its back and carry it the distance. What does that mean? I dunno… just sounds sorta cool. All kidding aside, this is the type of game Jacksonville must win consistently to be considered a quality club. The ‘D’ gets it done.
Prediction: JAGUARS, 17-10
HOUSTON (3-7) at NEW YORK JETS (5-5)
Line: Jets favored by 6 (total points line is 39½)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Texans 4-6, Jets 6-4
Strongest Trend: None.
Last Meeting: The Jets won easily at home, 29-7, in 2004.
Texans Status Report: Houston lost at home to Buffalo a week ago, 24-21, and is tied with Tennessee for third (last) in the AFC South.
Jets Status Report: The Jets were blanked at home by Chicago, 10-0, and trail New England by two games in the AFC East.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR HOUSTON – WR Andre Johnson. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR HOUSTON – QB David Carr, RB Wali Lundy, Texans defense. QUALITY STARTERS FOR THE N.Y. JETS – WR Laveranues Coles, Jets defense. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR THE N.Y. JETS – QB Chad Pennington, RBs Leon Washington and Kevan Barlow.
Game Summary: This game is no gimme for the Jets. Houston has been especially tough on the road recently, including a close loss to the Giants at this same Meadowlands stadium as well as a victory at Jacksonville. The Jets should have enough to get it done, but Houston is likely to keep it tight, with an upset not unthinkable.
Prediction: JETS, 17-13
PITTSBURGH (4-6) at BALTIMORE (8-2)
Line: Ravens favored by 3 (total points line is 38)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Steelers 4-6, Ravens 6-4
Strongest Trend: The home team has won the last seven meetings.
Last Meeting: Baltimore won at home, 16-13, last November.
Steelers Status Report: Pittsburgh rallied past host Cleveland, 24-20, on Sunday. The Steelers are third in the AFC North, four games behind the Ravens but just one behind second-place Cincinnati.
Ravens Status Report: Baltimore cruised past visiting Atlanta, 24-10, and has a three-game bulge atop the AFC North.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR PITTSBURGH – RB Willie Parker. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR PITTSBURGH – QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Hines Ward (check injury status), TE Heath Miller. QUALITY STARTERS FOR BALTIMORE – RB Jamal Lewis, TE Todd Heap, Ravens defense. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR BALTIMORE – QB Steve McNair, WRs Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton, K Matt Stover.
Game Summary: For the Steelers, the playoffs have essentially already started. Any more defeats for the defending champs and it’s wait ‘til 2007 time. But as much as Pittsburgh needs the game, Baltimore is playing too well to pick against. The Ravens’ ball-control offense should keep the Steelers’ inconsistent defense at bay… and grind out a home win that all but clinches the division crown.
Prediction: RAVENS, 27-21
CINCINNATI (5-5) at CLEVELAND (3-7)
Line: Bengals favored by 3 (total points line is 43)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Bengals 4-5-1, Browns 5-5
Strongest Trend: The Bengals are 13-3-1 ATS on the road since 2004.
Last Meeting: Cincinnati prevailed at home, 34-17, in September.
Bengals Status Report: Cincinnati whipped New Orleans at The Superdome on Sunday, 31-16, to remain three games back of Baltimore in the AFC North.
Browns Status Report: Cleveland squandered an early lead and lost at home to Pittsburgh, 24-20. The Browns are last in the AFC North.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR CINCINNATI – QB Carson Palmer, RB Rudi Johnson, WR Chad Johnson, K Shayne Graham. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR CINCINNATI – Just about every other skill-position player, Bengals defense. QUALITY STARTERS FOR CLEVELAND – TE Kellen Winslow. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR CLEVELAND – QB Charlie Frye, RB Reuben Droughns (check health status), WR Braylon Edwards, K Phil Dawson.
Game Summary: Even though it’s a rivalry game, that hasn’t meant much lately. The Bengals have won the last four meetings, most in dominating fashion with their offense. I expect the Cincy attack to get it done again, in a game it has to have if it’s going to entertain playoff aspirations.
Prediction: BENGALS, 28-17
CAROLINA (6-4) at WASHINGTON (3-7)
Line: Panthers favored by 4 (total points line is 36)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Panthers 4-5-1, Redskins 3-6-1
Strongest Trend: The Panthers are 8-1 ATS in their last nine November games.
Last Meeting: Carolina won at home, 20-17, in 2003.
Panthers Status Report: Carolina blanked visiting St. Louis last week, 15-0, and is tied atop the NFC South standings with New Orleans.
Redskins Status Report: Washington lost at Tampa Bay, 20-17, on Sunday and is last in the NFC East.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR CAROLINA – WR Steve Smith, Panthers defense. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR CAROLINA – QB Jake Delhomme, RB DeAngelo Williams, WR Keyshawn Johnson, K John Kasay. QUALITY STARTERS FOR WASHINGTON – TE Chris Cooley. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR WASHINGTON – WR Santana Moss, Redskins defense.
Game Summary: Carolina’s superior defense and the big-play ability of Steve Smith lead the way to victory.
Prediction: PANTHERS, 24-14
ARIZONA (2-8) at MINNESOTA (4-6)
Line: Vikings favored by 6 (total points line is 38½)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Cardinals 3-7, Vikings 4-5-1
Strongest Trend: The home team has won five of the last six meetings.
Last Meeting: The Cardinals won at home, 18-17, in 2003 in a game highlighted by Arizona’s two TDs in the last minute.
Cardinals Status Report: Arizona snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 17-10 home win over Detroit.
Vikings Status Report: Minnesota’s 24-20 loss at Miami Sunday was its fourth straight setback.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR ARIZONA – WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, K Neil Rackers. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR ARIZONA – QB Matt Leinart, RB Edgerrin James, Cardinals defense. QUALITY STARTERS FOR MINNESOTA – RB Chester Taylor, K Ryan Longwell, Vikings defense. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR MINNESOTA – QB Brad Johnson, any starting WR or TE.
Game Summary: Coach Denny Green returns to the Metrodome. He is likely to be treated rudely by a slumping team itching to get off its recent schneid. Minnesota’s improved defense will control the game.
Prediction: VIKINGS, 23-13
NEW ORLEANS (6-4) at ATLANTA (5-5)
Line: Falcons favored by 3 (total points line is 47½)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Saints 6-4, Falcons 5-5
Strongest Trends: The home team has won five of the last six meetings.
Last Meeting: The Saints routed the visiting Falcons at home, 23-3, on a Monday night in Week 3.
Saints Status Report: New Orleans lost at home to Cincinnati Sunday, 31-16, and is tied with Carolina atop the NFC South.
Falcons Status Report: Atlanta was thumped at Baltimore last weekend, 24-10, and is third in the NFC South, a game behind the Saints and Panthers.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR NEW ORLEANS – QB Drew Brees, RBs Reggie Bush and Deuce McAlister, WR Joe Horn, K John Carney. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR NEW ORLEANS – WR Marques Colston (check injury status). QUALITY STARTERS FOR ATLANTA – QB Michael Vick, RB Warrick Dunn, TE Alge Crumpler. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR ATLANTA – WR Michael Jenkins, K Morton Andersen.
Game Summary: Sometimes, when I run the numbers they simply amaze me. Like with this game. You’d think the Saints would get the edge somewhere, wouldn’t you? But according to my “formula,” Atlanta gets the nod across the board in the key categories… plus Marques Colston’s status is in question, plus the Falcons are at home, plus they’ll be fired up to get payback for the 20-point beating the Saints handed them before a national TV audience in September. Way too much to overlook.
Prediction: FALCONS, 34-24
SAN FRANCISCO (5-5) at ST. LOUIS (4-6)
Line: Rams favored by 6 (total points line is 44½)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: 49ers 6-4, Rams 5-4-1
Strongest Trend: The 49ers have won three straight in the series.
Last Meeting: San Francisco won at home, 20-13, in September.
49ers Status Report: San Francisco beat visiting Seattle, 20-14, last week to pull within a game of the front-running Seahawks in the NFC West. It was the 49ers’ third consecutive victory.
Rams Status Report: The Rams were blanked for the first time since 1998 Sunday, losing 15-0 at Carolina. St. Louis has dropped five in a row after a 4-1 start, but is still just two games out of first in the NFC West.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR SAN FRANCISCO – RB Frank Gore. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR SAN FRANCISCO – QB Alex Smith, WR Arnaz Battle (check injury status), Any TE, 49ers defense. QUALITY STARTERS FOR ST. LOUIS – QB Marc Bulger, RB Stephen Jackson, WR Torry Holt, K Jeff Wilkins. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR ST. LOUIS – WRs Isaac Bruce (check injury status) and Kevin Curtis, Rams defense.
Game Summary: My upset special for this week, not that I believe it’s much of an upset. The nearly full touchdown line is baffling. The 49ers are playing well, the Rams are not. The 49ers have won the last three meetings. They run the ball effectively with Frank Gore, while the Rams have all sorts of trouble defending against the run. And, with All-Pro tackle Orlando Pace injured, the Rams offensive line is having enormous difficulties giving QB Marc Bulger enough time to throw. On paper, this game clearly leans toward the 49ers even at St. Louis (which is why the Rams will probably win easily).
Prediction: 49ERS, 24-17
OAKLAND (2-8) at SAN DIEGO (8-2)
Line: Chargers favored by 13 (total points line is 43)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Raiders 5-4-1, Chargers 7-3
Strongest Trend: The Chargers have covered ATS in the last seven meetings.
Last Meeting: San Diego blanked the Raiders at Oakland, 27-0, in a Monday night season-opener Monday.
Raiders Status Report: In QB Aaron Brooks’ return to the starting lineup, the Raiders played tough but lost at Kansas City, 17-13.
Chargers Status Report: San Diego rallied from a double-digit deficit for the second week in a row, on the road, and beat Denver, 35-27, Sunday night. The Chargers seized a one-game lead over the Broncos in the AFC West.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR OAKLAND – None. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR OAKLAND – RB Justin Fargas, WR Randy Moss. QUALITY STARTERS FOR SAN DIEGO – QB Phillip Rivers, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, TE Antonio Gates, K Nate Kaeding, Chargers defense. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR SAN DIEGO – WRs Eric Parker and Keenan McCardell.
Game Summary: This game stacks up to be every bit as lopsided as the numbers would suggest, with a 13-point spread actually being on the tight side. Could San Diego suffer a letdown from the big win at Denver? Sure, but that would probably mean a 20-point win rather than by 35. I simply can’t see San Diego stumbling here.
Prediction: CHARGERS, 31-7
CHICAGO (9-1) at NEW ENGLAND (7-3)
Line: Patriots favored by 3 (total points line is 36½)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Bears 7-2-1, Patriots 5-4-1
Strongest Trend: The Patriots are 2-3 at home this season.
Last Meeting: New England won at Chicago, 33-30, in 2002.
Bears Status Report: Chicago blanked the New York Jets at The Meadowlands, 10-0, to boost stranglehold on the NFC North to five games.
Patriots Status Report: New England rolled at Green Bay a week ago, 35-0, and is two games up in the AFC East.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR CHICAGO – RB Thomas Jones, WR Muhsin Muhammad, TE Desmond Clark. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR CHICAGO – QB Rex Grossman, K Robbie Gould, Bears defense. QUALITY STARTERS FOR NEW ENGLAND – QB Tom Brady, TE Ben Watson. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR NEW ENGLAND – RBs Corey Dillon and Lawrence Maroney, WR Reche Caldwell, Patriots defense.
Game Summary: Maybe the Patriots would have a better chance if this were being played at Chicago. New England is unbeaten on the road, and the Bears’ only defeat was a home loss to an AFC East foe. The Pats have a losing record at home, and Chicago is unscathed on the road. Ah, but two major factors prevail here – the Patriots’ penchant for winning in November and later, and the fact the Bears will be playing their third straight road game. I like New England to halt the home skid.
Prediction: PATRIOTS, 20-13
NEW YORK GIANTS (6-4) at TENNESSEE (3-7)
Line: Giants favored by 3 (total points line is 42½)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Giants 5-5, Titans 6-4
Strongest Trend: The Titans have won the last three meetings.
Last Meeting: Tennessee prevailed at The Meadowlands in 2002, 32-29.
Giants Status Report: The injury-plagued Giants were soundly beaten at Jacksonville Monday night, 26-10, to fall into a tie with Dallas for first place in the NFC East.
Titans Status Report: Tennessee knocked Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb from the game, then whipped the host Eagles, 31-13, last weekend. The Titans are tied with Houston at the bottom of the AFC South.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR NY GIANTS – QB Eli Manning, RB Tiki Barber, WR Plaxico Burress, TE Jeremy Shockey. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR NY GIANTS – K Jay Feely, Giants defense. QUALITY STARTERS FOR TENNESSEE – RB Travis Henry. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR TENNESSEE – QB Vince Young, K Rob Bironas.
Game Summary: The Giants have a lot of disadvantages to deal with going in. The defensive line and receiver corps are short-handed, they’re on a short week, have lost two straight, and must stay on the road. Also, they have to stay focused and not think of the following week’s clash with Dallas. A tall order, to be sure. But I’m still taking the Giants because they are the superior club. Simple as that.
Prediction: GIANTS, 24-16
PHILADELPHIA (5-5) at INDIANAPOLIS (9-1)
Line: Colts favored by 9 (total points line is 44)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Eagles 5-5, Colts 5-4-1
Strongest Trend: The Colts have won the last three meetings, all by at least 22 points.
Last Meeting: The Colts won at Philadelphia, 35-13, in 2002.
Eagles Status Report: Philadelphia lost at home to Tennessee last weekend, 31-13, losing QB Donovan McNabb to a season-ending knee injury. The Eagles are third in the NFC East, a game behind the Giants and Dallas.
Colts Status Report: Indy lost at Dallas a week ago, 21-14, for its first defeat of 2006. The Colts’ lead in the AFC South is at three games over Jacksonville.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR PHILADELPHIA – RB Brian Westbrook, TE L.J. Smith, K David Akers. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR PHILADELPHIA – WRs Donte’ Stallworth and Reggie Brown. QUALITY STARTERS FOR INDIANAPOLIS – QB Peyton Manning, WRs Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, K Adam Vinatieri, Colts defense. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR INDIANAPOLIS – RB Joseph Addai.
Game Summary: Get ready for another against-the-grain selection. No, no… I’m not forecasting an Eagles upset. But I have a lot of respect for Eagles coach Andy Reid. He knows how to attack a team’s weaknesses. Indy is still dead last in the NFL in rushing defense, and Philly’s Brian Westbrook is a pretty good back. The Colts will probably stack the line, sure, but both Jeff Garcia and A.J. Feeley – whomever gets the start – have started and won NFL games before, especially Garcia. The drop-off from McNabb to either one is significant, but not impossible to overcome. Now that the shock of McNabb’s injury has worn off (that’s what you saw with the Eagles taking a beating from lowly Tennessee), you’ll see a team rally around its coach and its defense and play tough. Indy’s talent is too much, but I like the Eagles to remain competitive.
Prediction: COLTS, 23-16
GREEN BAY (4-6) at SEATTLE (6-4)
Line: Seahawks favored by 6½ (total points line is 42½)
2006 Records Against-The-Spread: Packers 4-6, Seahawks 3-7
Strongest Trend: The Packers have won the last three meetings, all at Green Bay.
Last Meeting: Green Bay beat Seattle in the 2005 NFC wild-card playoffs, 23-17.
Packers Status Report: Green Bay was routed at home by New England, 35-0. QB Brett Favre was knocked out of the contest with a pinched nerve in his arm but is tentatively slated to return this week.
Seahawks Status Report: Seattle lost at San Francisco last week, 20-14, and saw its lead in the NFC West trimmed to one game over the 49ers.
Fantasy Summary: QUALITY STARTERS FOR GREEN BAY – WR Donald Driver, TE David Martin. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR GREEN BAY – QB Brett Favre (check injury status), RB Ahman Green, WR Greg Jennings. QUALITY STARTERS FOR SEATTLE – QB Matt Hasselbeck, RB Shaun Alexander, WRs Darrell Jackson and Deion Branch, TE Jerramy Stevens, K Josh Brown. MARGINAL STARTERS FOR SEATTLE - Seahawks defense.
Game Summary: A lot of questions surrounding this clash – the health of Seahawks stalwarts Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander as well as the status of Packers QB Brett Favre. The defending NFC champs, at home on a Monday night, figure to play well.
Prediction: SEAHAWKS, 31-20