I’m still ticked off at those Deadskins!
Notice that my picture isn’t above this column this week? That’s because it depicts me grinning – and after watching Washington and Philadelphia get in the spirit of giving mood a month early and gift-wrap wins for Tampa Bay and Dallas (DALLAS, for Chrissakes!) last week, I’ve been in full-blown Guns-of-Navarone mode all week. I mean, did those two squads slip up and think that the games were only 58 minutes long and the last two didn’t count?!
I guess the ‘Skins were thinking, &uot;Hey, the Giants just got seriously upset by Minnesota, so out of common courtesy, we’ll stay a game back to make them feel better.&uot; And Philly was like &uot;Hey, wait a minute, are we supposed to be validating Terrell Owens or something?&uot;
Washington 32, Oakland 17. I actually wouldn’t mind Oakland winning this, not just to punish Washington for choking last week, but for Norv Turner to get redemption on a city, a team and a front office that I don’t feel ever supported him enough. On the other hand, wouldn’t it be a feather in the cap of Santana Moss to show up his last-namesake Randy? Who would have guessed that Santana would be up (53 receptions for 935 yards to 32 catches for 629 yards) in the Moss Mingling this year?
N.Y. Giants 35, Philadelphia 6. Actually, as much as Philly fans were hating life last Monday, they at least lost to an equal, if not better team. The Giants got humiliated by Minnesota, and they’re out for blood. Without Donovan McNabb or Terrell Owens, Mike McMahon’s got a chance to get into Tug McGraw territory as Philadelphia’s favorite son. Then again, some said Mondale had a chance to beat Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.
Tampa Bay 26, Atlanta 14. Warrick Dunn has replaced Michael Vick as the Falcons’ most effective offensive weapon, but he’s been about their only one this year, as Vick has just eight touchdown passes against six interceptions this season, and got swallowed up by Green Bay last week, not to mention completely whomped by Tampa Bay 27-0 Oct. 5. The Atlanta defense got walked all over by Green Bay last week, and Chris Simms, Joey Galloway and Edell Shepherd are on a high after squeaking past Washington.
Carolina 20, Chicago 19. If this game isn’t televised, I’m driving down to Carolina to watch it. Chicago has done a hell of a job this season, ponying up the league’s best defense and a fifth-ranked running game. A win today might really get them going, but Carolina knows what it’s in for, and needs a win to stay ahead of Tampa Bay and Atlanta. This outcome could have serious implications either way.
Miami 10, Cleveland 7. If we here in Suffolk get this instead of Carolina-Chicago, I’m going to throw a cinder block through my TV set.
Dallas 30, Detroit 10. The Lions’ only chance will be if Dallas is thinking too hard about their Thanksgiving battle with Denver and gets really neglectful – kind of like they did for the first three quarters of last week’s win over Philly.
Jacksonville 31, Tenn-essee 17. For a team in a must-win situation like Jacksonville, three games behind perfect Indianapolis, Tennessee is a pretty good team to play. The Jags are also out for revenge for the 18-15 loss the Titans handed them last year, kicking off a three-game skid that pushed them right out of the playoffs.
St. Louis 20, Arizona 13. Sentiment would let Kurt Warner beat his own team, but reality can be one mean motorscooter.
New England 16, New Orleans 9. One team started with title aspirations, only to see them slip away with shoddy playing. The other, riddled with injuries, has lost several games it should have won. Can you tell them apart? Neither can I.
Pittsburgh 17, Balti-more 7. What used to be one of the league’s most intense rivalries could be a laugher, with Baltimore’s offense playing like it couldn’t beat a Pop Warner team. That’s good news for Tommy Maddox, who’s looking to rebound from a woeful showing against Jacksonville earlier this year.
Seattle 42, San Fran-cisco 20. Wouldn’t it be great if Terrell Owens got sent right back to his old team and we found out if he could have the same success there? Wouldn’t that be something? You think he’d still be walking around with his mouth six feet open if he had San Fran’s &uot;offense&uot; behind him?
Cincinnati 27, Indian-apolis 7. Upset of the Week. First of all, Cincinnati’s having an outstanding season. Second, they’ve beaten a 9-0 team before, upsetting Kansas City two years ago. Don’t think Indy won’t be ready, but I’m going with emotion over realism.
Denver 42, N.Y. Jets 28. Denver hasn’t lost at home this year, and it’s been one disappointment after another for the Jets. The Broncos need to put this one away early and rest up for Dallas.
San Diego 17, Buffalo 16. This could be a war, as both teams are struggling to keep their playoff hopes alive. San Diego gets the Pick because Buffalo hasn’t won on the road.
Kansas City 20, Houston 17. The Chiefs looked like they were in a team-wide catatonic state last week against Buffalo, and if that doesn’t change today, their playoff hopes are going bye bye. Houston beat them last season, but they’ve gotten worse as well.
Green Bay 21, Minnesota 20. The Vikings have been 3-1 since beating Green Bay Oct. 23. They don’t have Daunte Culpepper anymore, but Brad Johnson has won both his starts. But the Pack is fired up too, holding down Atlanta last week.
Last week: 6-8
Jason Norman is the sports editor at the Suffolk News-Herald. He can be reached at 934-9614.