O-high-Oh!

Nov 30, 2004 7:25 AM

BY DENNIS BALL

What would fans do without the wild card? That’s the only thing they have to root for in over a dozen NFL cities.

You hear a lot of talk about parity. But the only parity I see is after applying the point spread. The dogs were 6-8 last week and home dawgs (in Seattle Seahawks great one week, terrible the next fashion, were 2-2).

Sunday, Dec. 5:

Texans (+3) at Jets: Texans guilty of more flip-flopping in the last two weeks than John Kerry did in onel. Two weeks ago the Texans turned a 10-point lead into a 16-13 loss to Green Bay. Last Sunday, Houston rallied from a 21-3 deficit to defeat Titans. Carr, Davis and Texans’ D heating up. Don’t think Jets can keep winning with one TD. TEXANS.

Bengals (+7) at Ravens: Bengals were dumped 23-9 back on Week 3. Carson Palmer has improved considerably and so has the Bengals rushing attack. Rudi Johnson got over 200 in 58-48 win versus Browns. BENGALS.

Patriots (-7½) at Browns:Belichick was booed as loudly as Butch Davis is right now. That’s back when Bill was an idiot and coached in Cleveland. Davis might not even be around to hear any more boos after Browns gave up over 50 to Cincy. Don’t worry Butch, you’re not a bad coach, only a poor evaluator of talent. And, there’s plenty of coaches guilty of that offense. PATRIOTS.

Cards (+3) at Lions: How happy are the Arizona fans with Denny Green’s decision to bench Josh McCown in favor of Shaun King? Cards had been averaging a little over 20 points with McCown under center. Arizona has scored 13 over last two games with King at QB. The King should be dethroned! LIONS.

Titans (+10) at Colts: Titans have not been healthy since day one. Tailback Chris Brown and QB Steve McNair both hurting for Tennessee. McNair played last week, but Brown didn’t. Not sure how much more punishment McNair can withstand in carrying the entire offensive load. Colts have scored over 40 in last three games. Peyton Manning is burning defenses beyond recognition. Colts have scored over 40 in last three games. COLTS.

Vikings (-7½) at Bears: I think Chicago’s great defense was largely responsible for Krenzel’s fast start at QB. Bears defense has dipped a little lately and Krenzel’s approval rating has dropped like a rock! Vikings hanging tough, even with a less-than-full-strength Randy Moss. People waiting for Vikes to fold up have been put on hold. VIKINGS.

Bills (-3) at Dolphins: The Fish displaying signs of biting since giving Wannstedt the hook. A.J. Feeley showing some toughness by throwing long TD pass immediately after dislocating finger. But Bills have the stronger defense and a better running game with McGahee. BILLS.

Falcons (PK) at Bucs: Falcons should be vulnerable on the road after managing two straight wins in the final minutes. Bucs have played solid with Griese at QB. The defense has been up to the task, winning the last three home games. BUCS.

49ers (+7½) at Rams: Can’t find anything positive in 49er-land, except for one thing that may happen next year — the No. 1 draft pick. RAMS.

Panthers (+1) at Saints: Panthers on a three-game roll and Jake Delhomme has been red-hot. Have to take a close look at New Orleans, which should have won in Atlanta and covered easily. Looking for the home team to win close. SAINTS.

Chiefs (-1½) at Raiders: KC has lost four straight. Kerry Collins praying for snow in Oakland. Difficult to go on the road in December with no hope of reaching the playoff- promised land. RAIDERS.

Broncos (+3) at Chargers: Super-Chargers haven’t lost since Week 6. One of their three losses this season was in Week 3 at Denver, 23-13. San Diego has won five straight and is in excellent position to strike back. CHARGERS.

Giants (+1) at Redskins: Eli Manning looked comfortable in his first start, even though G-men lost. Manning was 6-for-21 with two picks, looking anything but comfortable versus Philly. Skins should have learned from Eagles how to handle Manning. Ramsey not spectacular against Pittsburgh but improving. SKINS.

Packers (+4) at Eagles: Steelers are the only team to blemish Eagles record this season. Philly’s edge in rushing attack and defense should be enough to cover against Green Bay. EAGLES.

Steelers (-4) at Jaguars: Will Big Ben ever lose? We all know the answer is yes, but when? Steelers are as good as anyone right now. But they didn’t win the money last week versus Skins and will face a fired-up Jags team at home, desperate for a win to stay in the playoff hunt. JAGUARS.

Monday, Dec. 6

Cowboys (+7½) at S’hawks: Seattle Seahawks and the sun have much in common. Neither one have been shining in Seattle on any type of consistent basis. Things haven’t been bright and sunny in Dallas either. The owner, coach and fans all have their own idea on who should be quarterbacking the team. Rookie Julius Jones looks like a bright idea at running back, but QB Drew Henson is a reach and Vinny is too immobile. SEAHAWKS.

Last week: 7-8

Season: 98-72-4to fold up have been put on hold. VIKINGS.

Bills (-3) at Dolphins: The Fish displaying signs of biting since giving Wannstedt the hook. A.J. Feeley showing some toughness by throwing long TD pass immediately after dislocating finger. But Bills have the stronger defense and a better running game with McGahee. BILLS.

Falcons (PK) at Bucs: Falcons should be vulnerable on the road after managing two straight wins in the final minutes. Bucs have played solid with Griese at QB. The defense has been up to the task, winning the last three home games. BUCS.

49ers (+7½) at Rams: Can’t find anything positive in 49er-land, except for one thing that may happen next year — the No. 1 draft pick. RAMS.

Panthers (+1) at Saints: Panthers on a three-game roll and Jake Delhomme has been red-hot. Have to take a close look at New Orleans, which should have won in Atlanta and covered easily. Looking for the home team to win close. SAINTS.

Chiefs (-1½) at Raiders: KC has lost four straight. Kerry Collins praying for snow in Oakland. Difficult to go on the road in December with no hope of reaching the playoff- promised land. RAIDERS.

Broncos (+ 3) at Chargers: Super-Chargers haven’t lost since Week 6. One of their three losses this season was in Week 3 at Denver, 23-13. Chargers have won five straight and in excellent position to strike back. CHARGERS.

Giants (+1) at Redskins: Eli Manning looked comfortable in his first start, even though G-men lost. Manning was 6-for-21 with two picks, looking anything but comfortable versus Philly. Skins should have learned from Eagles how to handle Manning. Ramsey not spectacular against Pittsburgh but improving. SKINS.

Packers (+4) at Eagles: Steelers are the only team to blemish Eagles record this season. Philly’s edge in rushing attack and defense should be enough for the cover. EAGLES.

Steelers (-4) at Jaguars: Will Big Ben ever lose? We all know the answer is yes, but when? Steelers are as good as anyone right now. But they didn’t win the money last week versus Skins and will face a fired-up Jags team at home, desperate for a win to stay in the playoff hunt. JAGUARS.

Monday, Dec. 6

Cowboys (+7½) at Seahawks: Seattle Seahawks and the sun have much in common. Neither one have been shining in Seattle on any type of consistent basis. Things haven’t been bright and sunny in Dallas either. The owner, coach and fans all have their own idea on who should be quarterbacking the team. Julius Jones looks like a bright idea at running back, but Drew Henson is a reach and Vinny is too immobile. SEAHAWKS.

Last week: 7-8

Season: 98-72-4