NFL rating game

1. HOUSTON (8-1)

Last week: 2nd

They passed a big test on the road in Soldier Field.

2. ATLANTA (8-1)

Last week: 1st

Let’s see how they rebound from that loss to Saints.

3. SAN FRANCISCO (6-2-1)

Last week: 4th

They weren’t expecting a long tussle with the Rams.

4. GREEN BAY (6-3)

Last week: 5th

Fresh off their bye, they’re primed to get on big roll.

5. NEW ENGLAND (6-3)

Last week: 7th

After getting scare from Bills, they face young Colts.

6. BALTIMORE (7-2)

Last week: 8th

Big games with AFC North rival Steelers are looming.

7. CHICAGO (7-2)

Last week: 3rd

Offense was horrible after Cutler was lost vs. Texans.

8. DENVER (6-3)

Last week: 9th

They’re getting ready to run away with division title.

9. PITTSBURGH (6-3)

Last week: 10th

Can they survive tough stretch with all their injuries?

10. N.Y. GIANTS (6-4)

Last week: 6th

They need a bye week after laying big egg in Cincy.

11. SEATTLE (6-4)

Last week: 11th

After plugging along, they’re taking break this week.

12. INDIANAPOLIS (6-3)

Last week: 12th

They’re for real if they can beat the Patriots on road.

13. MINNESOTA (6-4)

Last week: 14th

They survived a rough patch and are in playoff race.

14. DALLAS (4-5)

Last week: 18th

After clipping poor Eagles, they get to face Browns.

15. TAMPA BAY (5-4)

Last week: 19th

They have looked like a new team since Saints’ loss.

16. NEW ORLEANS (4-5)

Last week: 21st

Victory over Falcons has lots of people talking again.

THE SECOND HALF

17. Detroit (4-5) Last week: 13th

18. San Diego (4-5) Last week: 15th

19. Cincinnati (4-5) Last week: 22nd

20. Miami (4-6) Last week: 16th

21. Arizona (4-5) Last week: 20th

22. Philadelphia (3-6) Last week: 17th

23. Washington (3-6) Last week: 23rd

24. Tennessee (4-6) Last week: 26th

25. St. Louis (3-5-1) Last week: 27th

26. Oakland (3-6) Last week: 24th

27. Buffalo (4-6) Last week: 29th

28. N.Y. Jets (3-6) Last week: 25th

29. Carolina (2-7) Last week: 28th

30. Cleveland (2-7) Last week: 30th

31. Jacksonville (1-8) Last week: 31st

32. Kansas City (1-8) Last week: 32nd

GAME TO WATCH

Chicago (7-2)
at San Francisco (6-2-1)

7:30 p.m. Monday, Candlestick Park (ESPN)

If you like wild, throw-the-ball-all-over-the-field games with lots of scoring, this one isn’t for you. The 49ers have the ability to put points on the board, but this is expected to be a defensive affair with two of the NFL’s old-style rock-’em, sock-’em defenses vying to see who can flex their muscles more in a battle of division leaders.

MICK’S PICKS

Saints (-41/2) over Raiders

Redskins (-31/2) over Eagles

Packers (-31/2) over Lions

Cardinals (+10) over Falcons

Bucs (-11/2) over Panthers

Cowboys (-71/2) over Browns

Rams (-31/2) over Jets

Colts (+91/2) over Patriots

Texans (-15) over Jaguars

Bengals (-31/2) over Chiefs

Broncos (-71/2) over Chargers

Steelers (+31/2) over Ravens

49ers (-4) over Bears

Last week: 5-8-0 (.385)

Season totals: 66-67-3 (496)

TV SCHEDULE

Sunday’s games

Noon: Browns at Cowboys (CBS)

3:05 p.m.: Saints at Raiders (Fox)

3:25 p.m.: Chargers at Broncos (CBS)

7:20 p.m.: Ravens at Steelers (NBC)

Monday’s game

7:30 p.m.: Bears at 49ers (ESPN)

Sheldon Mickles