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Ride those Texans on to playoffs

Sep 18, 2007 6:00 AM

Who would have thought the marquee matchup for Week 3 would be the Houston Texans hosting defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis.

Those raising their pencils in the affirmative are probably the same individuals holding 60/1 futures tickets on the Texans winning this year’s Super Bowl. For sure, the Texans and Colts have this in common. Each is 2-0.

For fans of New Orleans and the NY Giants, two disturbing trends continue. The Saints suddenly can’t score and the G’men can’t defend the forward pass.

And, as for poor Buffalo and all the emotional baggage they’re carrying for their hospitalized tight end, the Pittsburgh Steelers showed no mercy.

So we move on to Week 4 with spies kept out of visitors camps, Cleveland finding a quarterback not named Brady and Vince Young continuing to amaze in Tennessee.

Sunday, Sept. 23

49ers +8½ at Steelers: The Steelers dominated Buffalo last week at Heinz Field, but this is the second straight home game. Facing the 49ers in a nonconference game may bring a flat spot. If so, good for SF coming off a big road victory at St. Louis. 49ERS.

Bengals +3½ at Seahawks: Cincinnati gave up 51 to Cleveland! Nothing wrong with the offense and Carson Palmer. Only one way to look in this shootout. OVER.

Colts -5½ at Texans: Indy held off Tennessee and QB Young in Nashville, but did not cover. This could well be déjà vu against a hungry Houston team that believes Matt Schaub will lead them to the playoffs. TEXANS.

Bills +16½ at Patriots: You would think New England could win by 3 touchdowns. But, this is the wacky NFL and the Pats are home a second straight week. We see a letdown against a Bills team hurting from last week’s Pittsburgh meltdown. BILLS.

Monday, Sept. 24

Titans +5 at Saints: Get the bags out, the Saints could be 0-3. Look for another Young miracle in prime time. If not, he should be good at least for a comfortable cover. BEST BET: TITANS.

Bonus play: Dolphins +3 at Jets (Sun): The loser fall to 0-3. More of a plus side with GangGreen. JETS.