NFL: On Top of the Covers

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Life's pretty good when seen from the sunny side of .500, which is where at least two of our pigskin prognosticators are sitting after a strong refutation of the previous week's paltry performance. The question you've got to ask yourself: Was last week, when we went a combined 21-24, a fluke and the 8-33 of the week before the representative sample? Or was it the other way around? Do you feel lucky? Our suggestion: Follow us to freedom. And remember, it isn't a loss, it's a score adjustment.

Favorite
Line
Dog
Redskins
1
JETS
PATRIOTS
6
Giants
RAVENS
12
Browns
BILLS
11 1/2
Eagles
PANTHERS
7
Bengals
CHIEFS
3 1/2
Lions
STEELERS
4
Seahawks
Falcons
4 1/2
RAMS
BUCCANEERS
2 1/2
Broncos
JAGUARS
9 1/2
Titans
Colts
1
CHARGERS
PACKERS
pick
Vikings
RAIDERS
6 1/2
Bears
49'ers
2
CARDINALS
The K.C. Line
I lovethe Cards, especially now that speedy receiver Rob Moore is happy and back with a new contract (just hope all that cash doesn't slow him down). Monday, they're at home against a 49'ers team that's starting to show its age — only the Cajun Contagion, Billy Joe Hobart, stood between them and defeat last week — and getting two points to boot. Go with the boys in red.

It's tempting to jump on the Lions bandwagon, and say that the absence of Barry Sanders has made Charlie Batch better because he now has complete freedom with the offense. Tempting also because the Chiefs just lost their big back, and Elvis Grbac is still playing like Elvis Grbac. Still, nobody loses Bad Barry without it catching up to them, and this is the week: go with the Chiefs minus 3 1/2.

The worst game on Sunday: Carolina vs. Cincinnati, two teams going nowhere and in a leisurely fashion. Both are equally bad, which means we shall fall back on the timeless advice of Mr. Ogden Nash: "If called by a Panther, don't Anther." Fair enough; take the Bengals and seven points.

The Rest:
JETS +1 Redskins PATRIOTS -6 Giants
RAVENS -12 Browns
BILLS -11 1/2 Eagles
STEELERS -4 Seahawks
RAMS +4 1/2 Falcons
Broncos + 2 1/2 BUCS
Titans + 9 1/2 JAGUARS
Colts -1 Chargers
PACKERS pick Vikings
RAIDERS 6 1/2 Bears

L.I. Slim
Redskins -1 over JETS: The canker on L.I. Slim’s return to his winning ways last week remains those floundering Jets. So he’s turning against the Tuna and going with the red-hot Redskins in a New York sweep. And that Rick Mirer was so good at Notre Dame.

Browns +12 over RAVENS: Come on, Browns — beat those Browns.

RAIDERS –6.5 over Bears: Slim swerves from his regular Steelers pick (too easy) to tap the Raiders as one of his Big Three – a reward for de-horning the Vikes last week. Just win by a touchdown, baby.

Giants +6 over PATS
BILLS -11.5 over Eagles
PANTHERS 7 over Bengals
Lions +3.5 over CHIEFS
STEELERS 4 over Seahawks
RAMS +4.5 over Falcons
BUCS –2.5 over Broncos
Titans +9.5 JAGS
Colts –1 over CHARGERS
Vikings (Pick) over PACKERS
CARDS +2 over 49ers

"Mean" Josie Greene

The STEELERS will just keep plowing ahead and, with any luck, no one will wake them up. It's been a nice, smooth ride so far, and Kordell is keeping a stiff upper lip, thank goodness. The Seahawks have been unimpressive up to this point, although their defense looks better than in years past. Look for Pittsburgh to take it with 6 points to spare.

I wish I could stick with the Eagles this week, but I have been shamed into facing reality. The BILLS looked pretty darn good last week, and their running game will leave Philadelphia in the dust. Sorry, guys, but I have to pick Buffalo to win by 13.

The PATRIOTS - Giants game looks like the squeaker of the weekend, and a little bloodshed is always good for the spirit. The Giants are once again whole, with Jason Sehorn's return almost wrapped up. If New England can keep the home fires burning and rile up the crowd, they should be able to sneak past New York, winning by 2.

The Rest:

Redskins -3 JETS
Falcons -1 RAMS
PANTHERS +10 Bengals
BALTIMORE +13 Browns
Denver -4 TAMPA BAY
CHIEFS -6 Lions
Colts +2 CHARGERS
Titans -10 JACKSONVILLE
OAKLAND +6.5 Chicago
San Francisco -3 Arizona