It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
This year has been even more difficult to show an old home dawg an old trick, as in covering a point spread! Home dogs were the laughing stock of the NFL at 9-15-1 after six weeks. In Week 7, anyone betting against them went down crying.
The Browns, Dolphins and Cards all won the money for Denny The Dog. The Fish and Arizona won straight-up while the Brownies just missed, losing in OT to the undefeated Eagles. The Pats and Eagles remain unbeaten. All clubs have at least one win now, with Dolphins the final team to break through.
Now, it’s on to this week.
Sunday, Oct. 31
Packers (-1) at Skins: The offensive coordinator’s blocked arteries inadvertently unclogged the Packers offense. Since Mike Sherman resumed play-calling duties Green Bay has had little problem scoring. Favre can relax now with first home win under wraps. Green Bay has been a better road team this season. Brunell is not the medicine Joe Gibbs needs to feel better. Pack is banged up a little at TE and safety, but this is a tiny number for a team on a roll to cover. PACKERS.
Ravens (+7Â½) at Eagles: Eagles D suffered a temporary malfunction in Cleveland. Andy Reid will fix the defensive lapse, which permitted the Browns to run wild in the first half. Jamal Lewis-less Ravens will not be able to run the ball. Eagles will put excessive heat on Kyle Boller. EAGLES.
Cards (+3Â½) at Bills: Told you last week that Denny Green’s team plays with reckless abandon for full 60 minutes. Cards have been a great "green" (as in money) team. Arizona has yet to win on the road, but the three losses are by a combined 13 points! Drew Bledsoe is being sacked more than an Idaho potato. He threw four picks the past two weeks and fumbled once. CARDS.
Giants (+7) at Vikings: Culpepper is bad to-the-bone, even without Randy Moss! As good as the Giants offense has been, G-men had only converted 19 of 64 third-down opportunities. Hey Tom (head coach Coughlin), what do you say we have the team show up an hour early for third-down conversion meetings this week? VIKINGS.
Bengals (+3) at Titans: Will the Titans finish winless at home after eight weeks? I can’t see it happening. McNair left Vikes game with bruised sternum, but a banged-up McNair or healthy Volek might be better than Carson Palmer. Head coaches need to make heady decisions, but looks like Marvin Lewis blew it by naming Palmer the starting QB over Jon Kitna. Rudi Johnson not offering much help in the backfield. TITANS.
Colts (—2Â½) at Chiefs: KC a much better team than shown. The early line I’m seeing on this game doesn’t show the Colts enough respect. A matchup of a 4-2 team against a 2-4 that hasn’t put two quality starts together. COLTS.
Lions (+3) at Cowboys: Dallas asking too much from an old man. Vinny has a strong arm, but needs a little rushing attack to lend a helping hand. And guess what, it’s not there. Lions starting to feel more comfortable running the ball with Kevin Jones picking up 65 yards on 13 carries versus G-men. Seems like yesterday Detroit was on a 150 game road losing streak. Look who’s 3-0 on road! LIONS.
Jags (PK) at Texans: Something about the Jags you have to love. One thing in particular was nipping Colts for comeback win and their fourth this season in the final minute! Matchup of two great, young QBs. JAGS.
Falcons (+7) at Broncos: Falcons received a wake-up call from Chiefs. They know now what we all suspected, that the 5-2 record isn’t as good as we would think. But they will be underrated in this tough road game in Denver. The Broncos have the top rush attack, but the defense will have their tongues hanging out from chasing Michael Vick. FALCONS.
Panthers (+7Â½) at Seahawks: Wasn’t everyone talking about Seattle and the Super Bowl in the same sentence? Seahawks blew big lead to Rams and look where they are now after losing to Pats and Cards! Panthers look like the type of team that could end a three game losing streak. SEAHAWKS.
Pats (-3) at Steelers: Roethlisberger’s toughest test to date, no doubt. Pats keep defying the odds and refuse to lose! Brady completing passes to a depleted receiving corps. Look for Pats to throw some Belichick wrinkles at the rookie! PATS.
Raiders (+4Â½) at Chargers: Oakland has squeaked out two home wins, but the team is basically lost. San Diego has been impressive on the road and drubbed the Jags at home. Bolt backers continue to line up at the cashier’s window. CHARGERS.
49ers (+3) at Bears: I made a vow not to play the Bears until Jonathan Quinn disappeared from behind center. Krenzel is making me break my vow! On second thought, just substitute Krenzel for Quinn and I can keep the original decision with a simple name change. QB Tim Rattay has the edge. 49ERS.
Monday, Nov. 1
Dolphins (+7) at Jets: New York has to be slightly down after emerging as the loser in a battle of undefeated clubs with Pats. Jets beat Miami 17-9 in Week 4, but the Fish out-gained Jets in total yardage. Stats were very even except for three big Miami turnovers. If Dolphins don’t mess up, they cover the rematch with the Jets at the Meadowlands. DOLPHINS.
Last week: 10-3