Three observations ...

• The Patriots are the best team in the league and the one least likely to experience a letdown after thrashing the Texans 42-14.

• The 49ers have the most difficult next two weeks with trips to New England (10-3) and Seattle (8-5).

• The Giants might disagree with that last one. They go to Atlanta (11-2) and Baltimore (9-4).

... and two bold predictions

• The Vikings' playoff chances will get a boost when the Bills upset the soaring Seahawks in Toronto. Of course, the Vikings also have to win at St. Louis.

• Adrian Peterson will run for at least 175 yards against the Rams, leaving him about 225 short of 2,000 with two games to go.