I stumbled into the twilight zone while channel surfing the Direct TV NFL package on Sunday. I really didn’t know where the heck I was for about three full minutes.
After a bout of head scratching I finally came to the realization that it was the Carolina Panthers visiting the Arizona Cardinals.
Both teams were down to the bottom of the QB barrel. Vinny Testaverde was behind center for the Panthers. Tim Rattay was calling signals for the Cards. Both quarterbacks were signed earlier that same week. I guess that’s the price you pay for a weak offensive line, an old QB, a fragile QB or a combination of all three.
Complicating things was the fact that Tony Boselli sounded eerily similar to Rod Sterling.
The favorites came out on top for the second straight week. But so did Denny The Dog. Maybe we are in the twilight zone. Whatever zone we’re in I want to stay right in the middle of it!
Cards + 4 at Skins: Matt Leinart was the starter. Kurt Warner was the hurry-up QB, brought in to change the pace and give the defense a new wrinkle to contend with. Now enter Tim Rattay, the pick-off guy. Tim enters the game when Whisenhunt is tired of watching his hurry-up guy throw receptions to the players with the different colored jerseys. Rattay threw 3 picks. He’s vowed to pick up the pace. SKINS.
Falcons +4 at Saints: The Saints are on the board! The win versus Seattle shouldn’t have come as a shock to anyone. New Orleans dominated everything but the scoreboard against the Panthers in its previous game. SAINTS.
Ravens -4Â½ at Bills: The Bills defense looked a little tougher with the return of LB Keith Ellison and DE Anthony Hargrove. Physically, the Bills will be healthier after their bye week. Mentally, I’m not sure they’ll recover from the Monday night debacle with Dallas until the pads and helmets start crunching after kick-off. BILLS.
Vikings +9Â½ at Cowboys: Dallas should be able to rebound, figuring only to have one guy named Peterson to stop. If Peterson runs for over 200 yards, the Vikes will be in this game. But I don’t think he can repeat the performance he gave last week in Chicago. And, I’m fairly certain the Vikes QB is Jackson, not Brady. COWBOYS.
Pats -15 at Dolphins: The Fish are at the bottom of the NFL East fish bowl. Even though Miami has a Lemon at QB, he did show some spunk late in Cleveland. I think the Dolphins will put enough points on the board to cover this spread. I don’t know what makes me think that way since the Patriots are 6-0 and haven’t missed covering a number yet. But it’s way overdue. DOLPHINS.
49ers +7 at Giants: I’m searching for a great reason to take the dog in this contest and I can’t really come up with one. Trent Dilfer and company will need to show me more before I ante up on these Niners. GIANTS.
Bucs +1Â½ at Lions: Gruden keeps praising Jeff Garcia like he’s Joe Montana. Maybe he is because the Bucs are sitting on top in the NFC South. Bucs have a great defense and Garcia is playing well. But sooner or later the lack of a running threat should bite them. The Lions are well rested and will roar at home. LIONS.
Titans +1 at Texans: Vince Young was sidelined with a strained quadriceps. I’m not a big Kerry Collins backer so with a question mark over Young, I’m putting another one on Titans team. TEXANS.
Chiefs +3 at Raiders: Huard stepped up big at home last week. He won’t find the path to the end zone as easy as he did versus Cincy. But with Larry Johnson starting to emerge, the Chiefs will find their way to pay dirt. Culpepper had the Raiders fans fat and happy for a couple weeks, but I think the party is over. CHIEFS.
Jets +6 at Bengals: Even though I’m certain both of these clubs will show up for the game, I’m not sure there will be a legitimate defense on the field. The Jets offense isn’t much better. Jones ran for 130 yards versus Philly and it didn’t win the game or the money! BENGALS.
Bears +4 at Eagles: Cedric Benson refuses to take charge. Da Bears defense is right in the same ball park. EAGLES.
Rams +10 at Seahawks: The Rams have many questions to be answered at 0-6. There aren’t many answers when you start looking at their big guns. Frerotte with five interceptions. Who’s going to run the ball? Leonard? Minor? The problems aren’t minor. SEAHAWKS.
Steelers -3Â½ at Broncos: Pittsburgh has been impressive, especially the shutout win over Seattle, without four solid starters in the lineup. But the Steelers shouldn’t take Denver lightly. The Broncos are steaming, while coming off two straight losses, The Steelers did look shaky in their last road game at Arizona. BRONCOS.
Colts -4 at Jags: Colts undefeated but will face a strong test at Jacksonville. Jags don’t give up points easily. They allowed 17 to Houston last week, the first team to put up over 14 this season! Garrard is improving every week, while Jones-Drew and Taylor are a great 1-2 punch! JAGS.