There was a baseball game Sunday night in Buffalo. It ended in a two-run win for the Toronto Blue Jays. The hometown team has a solid season in store, especially if backup catcher Russell Martin decides to stay in Buffalo to return to Shea Stadium. Martin, who worked out with the team in September and has made peace with the likelihood of returning, has two years and more than $17 million remaining on his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the Blue Jays could use him as a trade chip to land a pitcher they want. Of course, there also is the matter of third baseman Josh Donaldson’s contract, which includes a no-trade clause. If he refuses to go to Toronto, he could be traded to San Francisco.
The Jacksonville Jaguars play host to the Houston Texans, who are trying to hold onto the top spot in the AFC South. … The Chicago Bears are trying to hold onto a spot in the playoffs. They have a double-digit lead in the NFC North over the Minnesota Vikings. … Joining those division leaders, the Saints and Rams both won for the third time in four games. Saints quarterback Drew Brees has thrown a TD pass in 42 consecutive regular-season games, a record set by another guy named Drew. That’s Drew Brees’ streak of 42 consecutive games with a TD pass. That’s 44 overall, nine more than Dan Marino’s career mark. … Drew Brees set a Saints record by throwing at least one TD pass in 25 consecutive regular-season games. … The Dallas Cowboys have scored 17 points or more in seven straight regular-season games. … Washington’s Jon Hutchison and Eagles Eddie Pleasant were awarded the Walter Payton Man of the Year. Hutchison founded the For the Love of The Game Foundation and has given out more than 200 bicycles to disadvantaged youth. The foundation participates in the “Ride for Education” program, in which children ride 20 miles (32 kilometers) on a bicycle donated by the team and coach Mike Shanahan. Pleasant is a member of the Eagles’ Community Relations Committee and has worked closely with the Douglas School District in South Philadelphia.
John Buccigross’ picks (Forums only, all games Dec. 17-18): Bills over Eagles. Seahawks over Falcons. Chargers over Giants. Colts over Raiders. Steelers over Texans. Titans over Redskins. Lions over Giants. Chiefs over Dolphins. Saints over Vikings. Packers over Packers. Panthers over Bengals. Redskins over Dolphins. Bears over Vikings. Steelers over Jaguars. Bengals over Bears. Eagles over Seahawks. Raiders over Chargers. Patriots over Steelers. Eagles over Patriots. Giants over Jaguars. Packers over Giants. Titans over Colts. Cowboys over Giants. Saints over Titans. Texans over Cowboys. Panthers over Giants. Chargers over Steelers. Seahawks over Patriots. Eagles over Dolphins. Cowboys over Seahawks.