Texans looking to clinch top seed against motivated Colts
By Michael Marot The Associated Press December 29, 2012 11:38PM
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)
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