NY Jets, all the way

Dec 31, 2002 6:23 AM

  The NFL starts its second season, ultimately leading to the Super Bowl. No hemming or hawing in the year of parity. The Jets will win it all.

   Saturday, Jan. 4

   Jets 34, Colts 17: Wide open shootout favors the Jets. The passing of QB Chad Pennington, combined with the hard running of Curtis Martin spells a Jets victory. New York also brings to the table a fierce defense known for their gang tackling. Indianapolis is dangerous offensively, but its defense is soft. Those stats about the Colts having the fourth best defense in the AFC is misleading. The Jets will cruise in a rout. JETS (-6)

   Packers 30, Falcons 10: Cold weather and Brett Favre will prove too much for Atlanta. The jitters and inexperience of the Falcons shows up here. Atlanta will not be happy traveling to Lambeau Field in January. Take the Packers and lay those points. No problem here. PACKERS (-6)

   Sunday, Jan. 5

   Browns 27, Steelers 24: The Steelers defeated Cleveland twice during the regular season, winning both times by three points. The bad feature to this battle of longtime rivals is that Cleveland QB Tim Couch is sidelined. Backup Kelly Holcomb is more than adequate and will give Pittsburgh fits. BROWNS (+3)

   Giants 23, 49ers 20: The 49ers are vulnerable on defense and offensively have not been as dangerous as in past years. The passing of Giants QB Kerry Collins to go along with the running of Tiki Barber breeds trouble for the Niners. Another factor is the long 49ers injury roster, stretching out further than your wife’s shopping list at Christmas time. The visitors getting points is a lock. GIANTS (+3)