Skins try to go bucking

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 9, 2005

Denver 24, Washington 20. Will the Redskins’ luck finally run out this week? I hope not, but I’m going with odds. Clinton Portis has been hot for Washington, but his former team has a defense that’s allowing 79 rushing yards a game. The Redskins’ defense is pretty good, but the Broncos have more weapons on the other side.

Baltimore 17, Detroit 6. Yeah, the Ravens’ offense hasn’t done much this year, but the one they took to a Super Bowl title five years ago didn’t score a touchdown for five weeks. Detroit is the perfect team for a squad looking to get on a roll.

Tennessee 10, Houston 7. The Titans will probably win, and few outside of Texas or Tennessee will care.

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St. Louis 35, Seattle 13. Normally I’d go with Seattle, but St. Louis gets the sentiment as coach Mike Martz battles heart problems. Marc Bulger threw for 442 yards in a loss to New York last week, and he’s itching to come out on the other side of fate.

Atlanta 28, New England 16. For a team that’s suddenly looking human, the Patriots could probably think of a few dozen quarterbacks they’d rather face than Michael Vick New England’s offense was shoddy against the run to begin with – 23rd in the league – and without Rodney Harrison, Atlanta’s top-ranked rushing offense might just quite the confidence shot in the arm. On the other hand, their defense destroyed Minnesota last week, and while that doesn’t have the luster it once did, it gets them hungry for blood.

Cleveland 13, Chicago 9. This is a battle of teams that have been their own worst enemies all year, but Cleveland’s two losses have come to better teams. Whoever makes less mistakes wins.

Tampa Bay 35, N.Y. Jets 6. Overconfidence or a miracle is the only thing that can keep the Bucs from moving to 5-0 today. After last week’s controversial win over Detroit, they’ll know to be careful. Vinny Testaverde will be needing some serious Ben-Gay after the league’s top-ranked defense gets through with him.

New Orleans 14, Green Bay 13. This could be pretty good. The Packers almost pulled off the season’s best comeback last week against Carolina, but they lost several players to injury. Deuce McAllister got hot in the Saints’ win over Buffalo last week, and they did it without Joe Horn, who’s back in action today.

Miami 28, Buffalo 10. The Dolphins are on a roll, and the Bills are rolling like a cinderblock. Miami’s offense is the best its been and a while, and the defense, while unspectacular, faces the league’s 31st-ranked offense.

Indianapolis 49, San Francisco 3. If Alex Smith had to make his first career start today, he probably would have rathered it wasn’t against one of the AFC’s top defense. On the other hand, the ‘Niner offense got beaten up and down last week – and by Arizona. Enough said.

Carolina 31, Arizona 28. This is tougher to Pick then it seemed last week. Outstanding though their offense was, Carolina’s defense almost got waxed by Green Bay last week, and they’re looking to take it out on Arizona. On the other hand, Arizona caught fire in a beat-down of San Francisco, and it’s the first momentum they’ve had all year.

Philadelphia 26, Dallas 18. What will the Eagles do if Donovan McNabb’s hernia gets too bad? That’s not a question anyone’s ready to answer. Right now, let’s just think about the Cowboys, and how the Eagles want to win to keep America’s Captial’s Team from getting too far away in the NFC East.

Cincinnati 20, Jackson-ville 10. Don’t be fooled by the score in the Bengals’ 16-10 defeat of Houston last week; it would have been a blowout but for those 14 penalties.

Pittsburgh 28, San Diego 24. Game of the Week. San Diego did what Pittsburgh couldn’t – beat New England. Don’t think that won’t be on Ben Roethlisberger’s mind. The Chargers’ offense and the Steelers’ defense are both among the top in the league, but Pittsburgh gets the Pick because their offense is better than San Diego’s defense.

Last week: 10-4

Overall: 31-27