NFL Rating Game

1. NEW ENGLAND (10-3)

Last week: 3rd

After ripping Texans, they get
another test in 49ers.

2. DENVER (10-3)

Last week: 4th

They’ve been unstoppable for the past eight games.

3. HOUSTON (11-2)

Last week: 1st

Can they rebound from Patriots’ loss against Colts?

4. ATLANTA (11-2)

Last week: 2nd

Lopsided loss to woeful Panthers wasn’t good at all.

5. SAN FRANCISCO (9-3-1)

Last week: 5th

They’re headed to huge
showdown with Seahawks.

6. GREEN BAY (9-4)

Last week: 7th

They should be home free if they can trip the Bears.

7. INDIANAPOLIS (9-4)

Last week: 8th

They’ve got to be pinching
themselves at this point.

8. BALTIMORE (9-4)

Last week: 6th

After back-to-back losses, they get the Broncos now.

9. SEATTLE (8-5)

Last week: 12th

Bills are next after thorough crushing of lowly Cards.

10. CINCINNATI (8-6)

Last week: 11th

Don’t count them out in the race for AFC North title.

11. N.Y. GIANTS (8-5)

Last week: 13th

Is statement win on road against Falcons in the cards?

12. CHICAGO (8-5)

Last week: 9th

Once 7-1, they’re starting to see the season slip away.

13. WASHINGTON (7-6)

Last week: 14th

They were thinking big, but RGIII injury really hurts.

14. DALLAS (7-6)

Last week: 15th

Big game with Steelers could make or break season.

15. PITTSBURGH (7-6)

Last week: 10th

After big win, they laid an egg against the Chargers.

16. MINNESOTA (7-6)

Last week: 16th

They’re trying to hang in there in NFC playoff race.

THE SECOND HALF

17. St. Louis (6-6-1) Last week: 18th

18. Tampa Bay (6-7) Last week: 17th

19. Miami (5-8) Last week: 19th

20. N.Y. Jets (6-7) Last week: 23rd

21. San Diego (5-8) Last week: 24th

22. New Orleans (5-8) Last week: 20th

23. Buffalo (5-8) Last week: 22nd

24. Cleveland (5-8) Last week: 27th

25. Detroit (4-9) Last week: 21st

26. Carolina (4-9) Last week: 28th

27. Arizona (4-9) Last week: 25th

28. Tennessee (4-9) Last week: 26th

29. Philadelphia (4-10) Last week: 29th

30. Oakland (3-10) Last week: 31st

31. Kansas City (2-11) Last week: 30th

32. Jacksonville (2-11) Last week: 32nd

GAME TO WATCH

San Francisco (9-3-1)
at New England (10-3)

7:20 p.m. Sunday, Gillette Stadium (ESPN)

Last week, the Patriots had a possible AFC title game preview with the Texans and blew Houston’s doors off on both sides of the ball in a 28-point romp. Six days later, it’s a possible Super Bowl XLVII preview against the 49ers — again in a primetime setting. It’s no secret that the Patriots love to shine in big-stage games.

MICK’S PICKS

Saints (-31/2) over Bucs

Packers (-3) over Bears

Giants (+11/2) over Falcons

Rams (-3) over Vikings

Dolphins (-7) over Jaguars

Broncos (-21/2) over Ravens

Colts (+9) over Texans

Chargers (-3) over Panthers

Seahawks (-51/2) over Bills

Lions (-6) over Cardinals

Steelers (-2) over Cowboys

Raiders (-3) over Chiefs

Patriot (-51/2) over 49ers

Titans (-2) over Jets

Last week: 7-7-1 (.500)

Season totals: 92-95-5 (.492)

TV SCHEDULE

Sunday’s Games

Noon: Bucs at Saints (Fox)

Noon: Broncos at Ravens (CBS)*

(*not available in New Orleans area)

3:25 p.m.: Steelers at Cowboys (Fox)

7:20 p.m.: 49ers at Patriots (NBC)

Monday’s game

7:30 p.m.: Jets at Titans (ESPN)

Sheldon Mickles