AP Pro Football Writer
Injuries can be damaging to NFL teams -- and to Pro Picks, which is hurting after an awful week in which even our Best Bet flopped, for the first time.
So do we ride the Redskins or the Vikings in Thursday night's game, in which Washington is a 2-point favorite?
Washington (No. 21 tie, AP Pro32) seems on the rise as Robert Griffin III gets closer to his true form, the running game has been revived, and the defense regularly is getting sacks.
Minnesota (No. 30, AP Pro32) is rapidly sinking, even though it came close to a win last week in Dallas. The QB situation is in flux, the line isn't opening holes for 2012 MVP Adrian Peterson, and opponents gain more than 300 yards a game through the air.
Injuries keep striking the Vikes, who won't have tight end Kyle Rudolph, one of their few offensive threats outside of Peterson, or right tackle Phil Loadholt. The Redskins are getting healthier.
In a short week, RG3's crew seems to have a lot of edges on AD (Peterson, known as "All Day") and the hosts.
"It's a huge mental week and we had this experience last year going into our Thanksgiving game," Griffin said. "There's not much contact. You don't get to go out there and run every single play, get multiple reps at it. You kind of have to be on top of your studying, be on top of your film work ...
"But the other team has the same situation and no one's going to feel sorry for you. You've got to go out there and step up on Thursday and go win the game."
No. 25 Oakland (plus 7½) at No. 23 New York Giants
After six straight losses, Giants thinking six straight wins. Next one ...
BEST BET: GIANTS, 30-17
No. 24 Buffalo (plus 3½) at No. 28 Pittsburgh
Hard to believe how low Steelers have fallen this year.
UPSET SPECIAL: BILLS, 20-17
No. 13 Dallas (plus 7) at No. 7 New Orleans
Angry Saints return home and take it out on Cowboys.
No. 19 Philadelphia (plus 2½) at No. 11 Green Bay
Line opened at 9½, then Aaron Rodgers' collarbone got in the way.
No. 26 St. Louis (plus 10) at No. 4 (tie) Indianapolis
Colts are rolling, Rams are reeling.
No. 2 Seattle (minus 6½) at No. 29 Atlanta
Both teams burned us last week.
No. 8 Cincinnati (minus 1½) at No. 21 (tie) Baltimore
Loss here and it's time to write off defending champions.
No. 9 Detroit (minus 2½) at No. 12 Chicago
Bears should hope Lions lose their starting QB like Packers did.
No. 10 Carolina (plus 6) at No. 4 (tie) San Francisco
Like the way both teams are playing. Niners are more than a TD better, though.
No. 3 Denver (minus 7) at No. 15 San Diego
Well-rested Broncos want this one for ailing coach John Fox.
No. 27 Houston (plus 2½) at No. 16 Arizona
Texans want this one for ailing coach Gary Kubiak.
No. 18 Miami (minus 2½) at No. 13 Tampa Bay, Monday night
Dare we take Bucs for first win? NAH ...
No. 32 Jacksonville (plus 13) at No. 17 Tennessee
Dare we take Jaguars for first win? Double NAH ...
Against spread: 4-8 (57-67-4). Straight up: 6-7 (80-54).
Best Bet: 4-5 against spread, 8-1 straight up.
Upset special: 3-6 against spread, 1-8 straight up.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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