An unlikely Game of the Week but (sorry, runnerup Cowboys-Falcons) here are two teams that have roared from mediocrity to playoff contention -- the Buffs aiming to make it for first time this century. Saints have rolled a six-pack of consecutive W's since an 0-2 start; Bills counter with a shiny 4-0 record at home. Tempting home 'dog here, but I'm seriously buying Drew Brees and N'Awlins with that newfound offensive balance and solid defense (both for a change).
UPSET OF THE WEEK
JETS (4-5) at BUCCANEERS (2-6)
LINE: NYJ by 2 1/2.
COTE'S PICK: TB, 23-20.
TV: 1 p.m., CBS.
"AAAWWK!" trills the Upset Bird. "Tampa Baaawwwk!" Like many upset picks, this one may strike you as illogical, with NYJ having won eight straight over Bucs, and Tampa missing QB Jameis Winston to a shoulder injury. But I'm playing the law-of-averages-and-a-hunch quiniela. And Winston sub Ryan Fitzpatrick should shine vs. his team of the previous two years. "Indeed, one of the league's better backups," notes U-Bird. "Fitzpaaawwwk!"
At Bears (3-5, -5 1/2) over Packers (4-4), 19-16: Aaron Rodgers' injury changes everything in 196th renewal of a great King Sport rivalry. Brett Hundley's been awful, and Bears' D is pretty strong. Still, bet-line feels fat for what should be a point-shy scrum.
At Lions (4-4, -11) over Browns (0-8), 24-17: Matthew Stafford should hoist fantasy-big stats vs. Earthtones' weak secondary, but Motown has dropped three straight at home.