Second season features 49ers surviving cold

January 08, 2002 6:51 AM
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The second season starts Saturday with two Wild Card affairs, and another double-header Sunday. St. Louis is the huge favorite to cop it all.

Strange things happen in football games and playoffs are not immune from the uneventful. It’s hard to go against the Rams, but the best chance to pull an upset is New England.

The Patriots have been living in Fantasyland the last 12 weeks of the NFL season. New England must be living right when the Jets get a victory the Pats needed by beating a team (Oakland) they had not defeated on the road in over 30 years.

New York gets a 53-yard field goal in the last minute against the Raiders to give the Pats a bye in the playoffs and needed rest. Lady Luck takes some strange routes to tap its victim’s shoulder.

NFC

49ers 27, Packers 24: The Niners are not excited about playing in Arctic weather, however their mindset is they can beat Green Bay even if the game was played in the North Pole. You know it’s not far from the Pole, playing in Green Bay.

The odds favor a low scoring game. However, we are going against the grain and looking strongly at the “overs.” Take NINERS (+4) and OVER (39½).

Eagles 23, Bucs 16: Cold, nasty weather doesn’t appeal to the Bucs. Tampa Bay wants to play all their games in the warmth of Florida. Sorry boss, you have to own the best record or an above average mark to get a home game. The chill and Philly fans submerge the Bucs. Take EAGLES (—3).

AFC

Jets 27, Raiders 23: The Jets beating Oakland two weeks in succession is like hitting Megabucks with two spins of the wheel back-to-back. The Jets beat Oakland playing poorly. Now that they know they beat the Raiders, it will be an easier chore. Take JETS (+3½).

Dolphins 23, Ravens 16: The Ravens have no offense and are weaker on defense. They won’t get past Miami. Last year when Baltimore won the Super Bowl its defense didn’t spend too much time on the field like this season.

Common sense says the Ravens are vulnerable. Another point is that Baltimore is without the injured Jamal Lewis at tailback and he is sorely missed. Take DOLPHINS.

Editors note: Should Baltimore lose to Minnesota in the Monday night game, Seattle would play at Oakland and the Jets would visit Miami. GamingToday favors both road teams with the points.