Dog having tough time searching for NFL parity these days

Nov 13, 2001 9:42 AM

What happened to all that parity everyone was shouting about? No major upsets as 10 favorites covered the point spread. Wasn’t it just two weeks ago, everyone was talking parity. Now, we’re looking for upsets.

Denny The Dog’s problem with parity is that it’s never there when you need it and it always seems to surface when you least expect it. Nevertheless, my pursuit of parity marches onward. Plenty of numbers off the board at press time so be careful.

Here are three winners to make up for last week’s fiasco.

SAINTS —2 over Colts: As tough as I believe Peyton Manning is, his team just isn’t! Colts are as soft as an ice cream cone inside the RCA Dome. Jim Haslett has stood by Aaron Brooks with everyone and their brother calling for Jeff Blake. Brooks proved himself in San Francisco even though the Saints came up one point short. If Ricky Williams could have held on to one pass in the end-zone the Saints would have upset.

Jets +5 over DOLPHINS: Jets won by four on week five. Feeling is that Dolphins might return the favor here. But you have to give the Jets some respect. They’ve won three in a row. The defense is shutting teams down. Curtis Martin continues to find plenty of daylight through the offensive lines gaping holes.

Eagles —7½ over COWBOYS: On week three Philly pounded Dallas 40-18. I see no reason for the beating to end there. Eagles flying higher now that Duce Staley has huge game under his belt. Cowboys have serious QB problems.

49ers —12 over PANTHERS: To say Carolina is struggling is like saying the Taliban has been slightly weakened. Matt Lytle, who had his first NFL start last Sunday, is trying to lead a team that is already decimated with injuries. The Niners were hitting hard against the Saints and Garrison Hearst ran for over a 100 yards for the first time since his devastating knee inury three years ago. Jeff Garcia threw for 4 TDs and would be tough to bet against here.

BILLS +2 over Seahawks: Seattle may have used every ounce of energy against Oakland. Matt Hasselbeck finally looked comfortable. Shaun Alexander ran for over 200 yards. But I need to see a couple of weeks put together before I jump on the bandwagon. Things could be much different on the road.

Titans —2 over BENGALS: The Bengals led the way out of the gate. But since then they’ve stumbled. Only 2-4 in their last six games. Corey Dillon unimpressive for several weeks. The Titans should not be below the Bengals in the AFC Central. Tennessee will start to crawl back right here.

PACKERS —12 over Falcons: Can’t bet against any team that can beat the magic at Soldier Field. Falcons having to play musical quarterbacks the last few weeks. Vick isn’t ready for the NFL and the status of Chris Chandler is uncertain.

Bears +4½ over BUCS: I’m not so sure Tampa Bay would be the team I’d want to cover a point spread if my life depended on it. Maybe as a dog, but never as a fave! Da Bears streak is over but Da defense may put the Bears in position to start another one in Tampa Bay!

Browns +5  over RAVENS: The Ravens coming off two tough road games. Lucky to win Steeler game. Even the last home game they were fortunate to nip Jags by a single point. Browns stinging with two OT losses in succession. But team is too young and coach is too bright to quit.

Chargers +9 over RAIDERS: Raiders D has given up some serious points the last two weeks. Should win the game but have my doubts if they’ll win the money. Flutie has been suprisingly quiet and so has Tomlinson.

Jaguars +5 over STEELERS: Jags ended a five game losing streak. Victory was against the lowly Bengals but it’s a start. Stacey Mack gave the Jags a little punch at running back and Fred Taylor may be back this weekend. One thing you can almost always count on with the Steelers is that the game will close. Bring me some parity here, please!

Skins + 9 over BRONCOS: Stephen Davis has made a positive impact for the Skins. Since turning the ball over to Davis, the Skins have won three in a row and lost the other game by a single point.

Lions +3 over CARDS: Is it in the Cards? I can’t bet on it. They’ve lost four of their last five games. And, the victory prior to that streak was by a single point. No better time than now for the Lions to get off the schnide!!

PATRIOTS +7½ over Rams: Pats should give us a go as home dog. Tom Brady has been nothing short of brilliant. Antowain Smith continues to run wild. And the defense is stingy. Rams are the best. But the best is usually overated.

VIKINGS +1½ over Giants: The Vikes clobbered the Pack 35-13 in their last home game. Nothing but heartache since then, but should be able to get up for Monday Night national crowd. G-Men have been known to struggle on offense and that might play a huge part in winning the money.