Friday, September 30, 2005

Welcome to the fourth week of the National Football League, where Washington and Cincinnati are undefeated and Indianapolis is winning with defense. At last check, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue had not been replaced by Rod Serling.

Even more surprisingly, the Giants are scoring at will, but the Raiders are still waiting for their offense to fire up -- sorry, poor choice of words. I'm hoping they'll make a trade for suspended Miami running back Ricky Williams. Partnered with Randy Moss, Oakland could call them the "Best Buds".

We use Danny Sheridan's USA Today odds as the spread, mainly 'cause he's in Vegas and I might get some free hot dogs at Circus Circus out of it.

Remember: these picks are just for fun. Using them to wager money is as advisable as inviting Dick Cheney to be a celebrity contestant in your local bar's "Hot Legs" competition.

San Diego at NEW ENGLAND (-5): I want to pick the Chargers to win this game, but I keep having "Apocalypse Now" style flashbacks of Pats QB Tom Brady picking apart the Steelers in the fourth quarter last week. And if Brady says it's safe to surf this beach, it's safe to surf this beach! New England 24, San Diego 20.

Denver at JACKSONSVILLE (-3.5): I'm taking the Broncos to cover for two reasons -- 1) Maybe Denver QB Jake Plummer can finally have two good games in a row, and 2) Jags RB Fred Taylor carried the ball 37 times last week. Thirty-seven. A downtown dealer doesn't tote the rock that much. Denver 27, Jacksonville 23.

Houston at CINCINNATI (-9.5): The Bengal offense is awesome. I haven't seen this many strong Johnsons since Peter North and Ron Jeremy co-starred in "Shaving Ryan's Privates". Cincy 34, Houston 20. Editor's Note: These two weren't actually in that fine film. They've only teamed up for one movie, 1987's "Rising". I know that because I had my research assistant Myles O'Toole look it up.

Indianapolis at TENNESSEE (+7): The big question is whether these two teams will combine to score seven points. Indianapolis 17, Tennessee 13.

Philadelphia at KANSAS CITY (+2): After hitting the game winner on one leg last week, Eagles kicker David Akers has been annointed as a hero. Where's the love for Sebastian Janokowski, who regularly has performed after heroic bouts of drinking and spending the night in jail? Philly 26, Kansas City 20.

Detroit at TAMPA BAY (-6.5): How long can the Bucs survive relying solely on the legs of rookie Carnell Williams? Oh, at least one more week. Tampa Bay 23, Detroit 13.

St. Louis at NEW YORK GIANTS (-3): The Giants and Jets have come to an agreement to share a new stadium in the Meadowlands. There could still be a snag, however, as the two teams may fight over who gets Jimmy Hoffa's body. St. Louis 31, New York 21.

Buffalo at NEW ORLEANS (PK): This could be about the Saints being carried by their new-found fans in San Antonio. It could be about inspiration and heart. But it's mostly about Buffalo sucking. New Orleans 24, Buffalo 19.

Seattle at WASHINGTON (-2): How the hell are the Insensitively Named Jerks 2-0? Twenty-three points keeps you undefeated? Unless Sammy Baugh rose from the dead to install an offense over the bye week, the Seahawks wins in a walk. Seattle 27, Washington 14.

New York Jets at BALTIMORE (-7): The Jets have again called on quarterback Vinny Testaverde to take the helm, and it wasn't just his history with the team that led them to pick him up. He also had a wonderful letter of reference from Bronco Nagurski. Baltimore 17, New York 16.

Minnesota at ATLANTA (-5): Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper finally woke up last week, and it'll be the Falcons having the nightmares this week. Minnesota 27, Atlanta 26.

Dallas at OAKLAND (-3): Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells and offensive coordinator Sean Peyton have gotten together to draw up a daring new scheme -- the all fake punt offense. Oakland 30, Dallas 24.

Green Bay at CAROLINA (-7.5): Oh, just a half a point too much! Carolina 27, Green Bay 20.

San Francisco at ARIZONA (-3): Arizona senator John McCain has been on the warpath over the use of steroids, but he should be focusing on the fraud perpetrated on the state when the Cardinals moved from St. Louis. I mean, they said they had a pro franchise! San Francisco 38, Arizona 19.

Lock of the Week: Philadelphia
Trifecta: Philly, Seattle, San Francisco

Week Three, Straight Up: 10-6
Week Three, ATS: 6-8
Week Three, LOTW: 0-1
Week Three, Trifecta: 0-1
Week Three Bank Statement: -$1,000

Season, Straight Up: 25-23
Season, ATS: 23-23
Season, LOTW: 1-2
Season, Trifecta: 0-3
Season Bank Statement: -$1,200

Editor's Note: During weeks in which only 14 games are played, the Lock of the Week will be bumped to $500 from $300. You'd think I'd occasionally get one of them right and benefit from it ... and it makes figuring the math and the juice easier.


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