Dog still trying to
digest Roethlisberger

Oct 19, 2004 5:26 AM

Is there anything about the NFL that shocks you this season? Here are my biggest surprises after six weeks of play.

”¡ Pittsburgh rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger at 4-0. Phil Simms was the only other player to see those numbers.

”¡ Kansas City Chiefs on the bottom of the AFC Western Division at 1-4.

”¡ Tennessee Titans cellar-dwelling at 2-4 in AFC South.

”¡ Atlanta Falcons running away with a three game lead in NFC South.

And there’s also: Eagles, Pats and Jets still unbeaten, and Dolphins remaining winless.

Home teams against the spread are pretty brutal at 36-47. Dogs have a slight edge at 44-39. And, home dawgs, old favorite play of many pigskin punters, are absolutely terrible at 9-15-1.

Sunday, Oct. 24

Bills (+5½) at Ravens: Willis McGahee carried for over 100 yards on 26 carries in his first NFL start. Super comeback from a horrific knee injury. The Bills rolled the dice on McGahee in the draft and it looks like they didn’t crap out! The offensive line not only opened holes but protected Bledsoe, who had been sacked 19 times in the first four games. More pressure on a struggling Kyle Boller now that Jamal Lewis has begun serving his two game suspension. BILLS.

Lions (+6½) at Giants: The G-men have made me pay dearly this season for underestimating the power of discipline. My hat is off to Tom Coughlin and so are my flip-flops and sandals. I’ve also started showing up for work one hour early every day! Giants are rolling and coming off a bye. But I’m afraid to jump on the bandwagon now for fear Tiki will start fumbling (nine last season, losing five) but he hasn’t coughed up the pill in 116 rushes and receptions. LIONS.

Eagles (-7) at Browns: All five Philly wins have been over double digits. So you should receive an inflated line and a ripe home doggie! Browns can give it their full shot with bye-week on-deck. Suggs and Green give Garcia a big 1-2 punch in backfield. BROWNS.

Jaguars (+7½) at Colts: These two clubs just locked horns two weeks ago with Colts winning by seven at Jacksonville. Jags have a way of hanging tough. Three wins in final 45 seconds of the game. Jags controlled ball for 11 more minutes and racked up more total yardage than Indy in first contest. Leftwich banged up but if he plays I’m taking all the way. JAGS.

Titans (+5) at Vikings: What happened to the once-feared, smash-mouth Tennessee Titans? Fisher apparently needed more attention in the offseason to defensive holes created with a couple of key players leaving the team. Titans also have injuries on offensive line. Vikes have their own defensive lapses to be concerned about. But the M&M boys ( Moss and Moore) have the Vikes’ offense ranked No. 1! VIKES

Chargers (+3½) at Panthers: Bolts continue to receive little respect from linesmakers. Panthers reeling after three straight losses. Going into Eagles game Panthers had allowed over 150 rushing yards per game. Injuries have big cats mentally and physically beat up! Marty-ball has won the money three straight weeks! CHARGERS.

Rams (-8) at Dolphins: Miami fans staring at 0-6 for the first time in team history! May be able to catch Rams napping after Monday night game and short week. DOLPHINS.

Bears (+ 4) at Bucs: Jonathan Quinn needs all the help his offensive line can offer. Injuries have prevented Chicago from extending a helping hand. Defense did all they could do last week and it wasn’t enough. BUCS.

Falcons (+3½) at Chiefs: If Dick Vermeil isn’t crying right now he should be. Chiefs just not the same team this season. Priest Holmes is not the same guy and neither is Trent Green. Michael Vick is still the X-factor. Big TD scramble last week to help Falcons come from 14 back to nip Chargers. FALCONS.

Jets (+6½) at Patriots: Both division leaders unbeaten. First 5-0 start in Jets history. Pats at 20 consecutive wins and still counting. Great matchups abound, but none more exciting than Martin versus Dillon. I thought Pats’ run would end last Sunday. I may have been one week off! JETS.

Cowboys (+4) at Packers: I’m not quite sure about either team. Both teams playing like Jekyll and Hyde. I’m betting the Packers will show up at home. Can you believe we’re heading into Week 7 and Pack have yet to win at home? Take Favre’s mobility over Testaverde’s muddy feet. PACKERS.

Seahawks (-6½) at Cards: Seattle has two more wins than Arizona, but the Cards play hard for a full 60 minutes. Denny Green’s bunch is more of a money team so far this season. CARDS.

Saints (+4) at Raiders: Both teams going nowhere fast! Give the edge to the home guys in a battle of teams looking for answers. RAIDERS.

Monday, Oct. 25

Broncos (-5) at Bengals: Another no-name running back running wild in Denver. Droughns ran for 190-plus two weeks ago and followed that up with 170-plus versus Oakland. Bengals fans left wondering why Jon Kitna didn’t start at QB this year. And last week in Cleveland, the Bengals defense went in the tank. BRONCOS.

Last week: 8-5

Season: 54-30-3