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Ok...back to earth now.

Dallas at Minnesota: On offense, the Vikings just have too many weapons for the Cowboys over-achieving defense to contain. Ware is a great pass-rusher, but can be exploited in the run game. Adrian Peterson will run over, around and through the Cowboys all day long. Once A.P. gets revved up, Favre can use play action passing and screens to further slow the pass rush. Watch for quick passes and short crossing routes to Rice, Shiancoe and Berrian. By the 2nd Quarter, Percy Harvin will be wide open on the slot post, since the Safeties will collapse on the short routes. Yes, the Cowboys offense is potent, but they will not be able to run on the Vikings. Barber is usually only good for 3 yards and a cloud of dust anyway, so cut that in half. Felix Jones doesn't get enough carries to be a big factor. Basically, Romo will have to try to win with his arm against the best pass rush in the NFC. Sorry, Dallas, your playoff run is likely over. Vikings 31, Cowboys 17.

Arizona at New Orleans: Part of me wants to say that this will be a repeat of AZ/GB with a ton of points on both sides. Problem is, the Saints have a defense. I like Warner, but the Saints secondary may be the best in the NFL, and they have a very sporadic running game. If the Saints play anything like they did the first 13 weeks of the season, this should be a relatively easy win. If the team that lost their last three shows up, it's going to be time to bring out the sacks again in Aints land. Saints 34, Cardinals 28.

Baltimore at Indianapolis: This game comes down to one player: Ray Rice. If he blows up Indy's suspect run defense, it's going to be a long day for Peyton & Co. The Ravens are a ball control team, and if they can keep Manning from picking them apart, they have a good shot to pull an upset. Indianapolis is the worst 14-2 team I've ever seen, having pulled out several wins in the waning minutes before giving away their final two games to "rest" the starters. Yes, I'm picking an upset. Ravens 27, Colts 21.

New York Jets at San Diego: Man, who would have seen this game a few weeks back? If the Jets defense plays well, this could be a really close, low-scoring game. If not, the Chargers get another bye week (sorry George). The Jets need a big game from their running backs to have a shot. My fear is that Sanchez will make too many rookie mistakes. Chargers 21, Jets 10



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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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