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Texans looking to clinch top seed against motivated Colts

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano second from left watches during NFL football practice Colts complex Wednesday Dec. 26 2012

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, second from left, watches during NFL football practice at the Colts complex Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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Updated: January 31, 2013 6:51AM



Cleveland Browns (5-10) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8), noon

Let’s not discount the impact of all the key injuries to the Steelers this season, a laundry list that includes all their top players. That has resulted in a season to which the Steelers are not accustomed. Prediction: Browns, 17-16

Baltimore Ravens (10-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (9-6), noon

The Ravens found their step and righted their ship with a convincing victory against the Giants. And just in time, too: The Bengals have won six of their past seven. Prediction: Ravens, 16-14

Houston Texans (12-3) at Colts (10-5), noon

What could have been a good final-day division matchup now means little because the Texans have clinched the division and the Colts have secured a wild-card spot. Still, the Texans need a win to secure a first-round bye. But the Colts are storming. Prediction: Colts, 24-23

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9) at Atlanta Falcons (13-2), noon

The Falcons have clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC and appear to have a nice path to the Super Bowl. Prediction: Falcons, 24-17

New York Jets (6-9) at Buffalo Bills (5-10), noon

Only Times Square after New Year’s Eve is in more disarray than the Jets. What happened? Go back to who made the decision to bring in Tim Tebow. Prediction: Bills, 24-16

Bears (9-6) at Detroit Lions (4-11), noon

Once looking like a division winner, the Bears find themselves needing a victory against the Lions and a loss by the Vikings to get a wild-card spot. They should uphold their end of the parlay. Prediction: Bears, 30-23

Philadelphia Eagles (4-11) at New York Giants (8-7), noon

The Giants have not only lost two in a row, they’ve been thumped by a combined score of 67-14 by the Falcons and Ravens. They need a win and some outside help to defend their Super Bowl title. Prediction: Giants, 27-16

Carolina Panthers (6-9) at New Orleans Saints (7-8), noon

The Panthers have won three in a row and four of the past five to turn a bad season respectable. The Saints have bounced back from a three-game losing streak to win two in a row. Prediction: Saints, 40-28

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13) at Tennessee Titans (5-10), noon

The Jaguars are still involved in a race, but it is with Kansas City for the No. 1 draft choice. Like the Jaguars, the Titans are 1-4 in their past five games. Prediction: Titans, 15-12

Kansas City Chiefs (2-13) at Denver Broncos (12-3), 3:25 p.m.

The Broncos have won a league-best 10 in a row and can at least secure a first-round bye with a victory. Prediction: Broncos, 30-3

Oakland Raiders (4-11) at San Diego Chargers (5-10), 3:25 p.m.

True to form, the Chargers follow a bad home loss to the Panthers with a road victory against the Jets. In a season that will likely be Norv Turner’s last, his brightest moment was at Heinz Field. Prediction: Chargers, 27-13

Arizona Cardinals (5-10) at San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1), 3:25 p.m.

The 49ers need a victory to hold off the surging Seahawks and win the division title. There’s probably a good chance that will happen against the Cardinals, who are 1-10 after a 4-0 start. Prediction: 49ers, 27-3

St. Louis Rams (7-7-1) at Seattle Seahawks (10-5), 3:25 p.m.

The Seahawks are one of two teams who have not lost a home game (7-0) in 2012. And, in their past three games, they’ve outscored their opponent, 150-30. Prediction: Seahawks, 38-13

Green Bay Packers (11-4) at Minnesota Vikings (9-6), 3:25 p.m.

The Packers have revved up their offense and won four in a row. And they need a win to secure a first-round bye. But the Vikings have won three in a row and can secure a wild-card spot with a victory. Prediction: Packers, 30-24

Miami Dolphins (7-8) at New England Patriots (11-4), 3:25 p.m.

The Patriots need some outside help to determine if they will play next week or have a bye. But they won’t need any help beating the Dolphins at home. Prediction: Patriots, 34-20

Dallas Cowboys (8-7) at Washington Redskins (9-6), 7:20 p.m.

The Redskins can win the division with a victory against the Cowboys. But, despite their loss to the Saints, the Cowboys are in another winner-take-all battle in the season finale. Prediction: Redskins, 27-20

— Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



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