Dogs barkin’

Jan 11, 2005 5:23 AM

By Denny the Dog

The Rams and Vikings last weekend came up bigger than Randy Moss’s hair! The wildest scene to emerge from wild-card weekend was Moss’s hair and the fact that no team until this weekend had won a playoff game without a winning record. But the playoff party is entering the second round and neither nor the Rams or Vikes want to leave the dance early.

The dogs won all the do-re-mi. Only a pathetic Broncos performance at Indianapolis prevented the puppies with the points from sweeping the board. We should have moved all of our moolah on the dawgs, in which case we would have cha-chinged on three out of four games. I’m not going to make the same mistake this weekend. I can’t find any great reason to pass on any of the doggies this weekend. I’m taking all the hounds plus the points like I should have last weekend!

Saturday, Jan. 15

Jets +9 ½ at Steelers: Betting against the Steelers to win this game would be tough. Jets are 2-5 lifetime and 0-6 in Pittsburgh. Rookie Ben Roethlisberger entered the season in Week 3 and has ripped off 14 consecutive wins, including a 34-20 thrashing of New England. Whatever you want to call that string of victories makes the Steelers the team to beat in the AFC.

I’m not going to bet against Pittsburgh on the money line, but I’m taking the Jets and the points. Say what? Five weeks ago Pittsburgh opened as a 5½-point favorite over Jets, and covered in a 17-6 decision. But I don’t think the outcome and recent results warrant a four-point swing! Chad Pennington’s arm looks better than it was during the loss at Pittsburgh in Week 14. When you look at the stats, the one glaring negative was Chad’s three picks. Pennington is poised to be better. And, the Jets D can keep them in games. JETS.

Rams +7 at Falcons: These two teams will have Week 2 in the back of their minds. Falcons were a 2½-point favorite and butted the Rams in Atlanta, 34-17. I’m concerned about Atlanta being able to regain momentum. Having clinched early and wisely resting a banged up Michael Vick, the Falcons lost twice. The defense didn’t play particularly well against Carolina in a 34-31 win.

St. Louis has no consistency, but all of a sudden Martz discovered Steven Jackson, Marc Bulger began to sizzle and the defense picked up the intensity. The Rams have suddenly made plays the last three weeks at critical positions in the game. Marc Bulger is hot and his passes are finding receivers sporting hot glue on their fingers, including Bruce, Holt, Curtis. You can even throw in Cleeland and McDonald. RAMS.

Sunday, Jan. 16

Vikings +9½ at Eagles: The Eagles without T.O. represent the biggest storyline of the weekend aside from Moss hair and moon! Eagles were clearly the best team in NFC having destroyed the Packers and winning six straight prior to the Owens injury. Vikings put it all together at Green Bay last Sunday. Mike Tice’s job was on the line and the players responded with their best effort of the season.

I don’t know about the win, but the points look bigger than the moon. In Week 2, the Eagles were a 3½-point favorite on Monday night. Wow! Shall we talk about the public taking a liking to favorites in the playoffs? Why do the Vikes receive nearly 10 points in this playoff game? I’m not going to argue, just take. VIKINGS.

Colts +2½ at Patriots: Colts traveled to New England on opening day and were defeated 27-24. Peyton Manning has one win in seven games against Bill Belichick’s defense. It hasn’t hurt the Pats playing at home and away from Indy’s dome. The new factor in this annual classic is that Manning’s offense is much better.

The Colts have moved the sack and interception totals down, averaging more points than any other team in the NFL. Indy then opened the postseason with 49 versus Denver. The defense is also playing better, allowing more than 20 just three times in the last nine games. Brady is very solid, he doesn’t have the Manning’s weapons. COLTS.

Last week: 2-2

Season: 142-110