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Week 6

Week 6
Sunday - 1:00 PM EST Sunday, 4:00 PM EST
ATL at NO - CB NYJ at BUF - AD
CAR at DET - CB NE at DEN - CB
CIN at TEN - CB SD at OAK - CB
CLE at BAL - CB  
JAX at PIT - AD  
MIA at TB - AD Sunday - 8:30 PM EST
NYG at DAL - AD Monday - 9:00 PM EST
WAS at KC - AD STL at IND - CB

Last Week's Projections
(8-6) Straight Up - 57.1%
(7-7) Against The Spread - 50.0%

Atlanta (-5) at New Orleans 1:00 p.m.
This one is like taking candy from a baby. Are you kidding me? The Saints without Deuce is like a hot dog without a bun. A plate of lips and …well…you know. Anyway the Saints were drubbed last week by the fine works of Favre and Co. You can’t say enough bad things about this team. They consistently whine about not playing at home (what home??). I mean what did they expect? This has never happened before so the NFL is doing the best they can. In any event they have obviously given up and chose the “poor me” route.

The Falcons had a chance last week and blew it by giving Adam a chance to seal it yet again. Just when you thought this team had the Pats right where they wanted them they the reigning champs pulled a gut check win out. At the end of the day the Falcons are still in great shape. They have a good back-up in Schaub but he won’t be there next year. I think this game should be a “river” walk in the park. Play Vick or Schaub, Dunn, Finneran looks to be ok as well.

Final Score: Falcons 28, Saints 14

Carolina (+1) at Detroit 1:00 p.m.
A tale of two teams that can’t figure out if they are good or not. Carolina eked one out in the desert last week in the latest Cardinal choke job. They played good enough o win but had trouble running the ball again. They have to learn to stop the pass at some point but luckily they face a Lions team that doesn’t know how to pass the ball. I would play Delhomme, and Smith.

Pretty good win by the Lions at home. Give them credit they moved the ball against a supposedly good defense. However that defense doesn’t look quite as good right now. Understand that the Ravens game them this game they didn’t win it. Harrington just is no good and at some point must go. He will have a tough time, as the Panthers will bring the heat. I don’t know but I see bad things for the Lions this week.

Final Score: Panthers 20, Lions 10

Cincinnati at Tennessee (+3) 1:00 p.m.
Was it me or did I just see a team exposed a little last week? The Jags handled the Bengals for the better part of the game. But the Bengals made a run late and lost by 3. That defense looked awfully leaky against the run as they let F Taylor scorch them the entire afternoon. I think they really need to shore some things up this week or McNair and fellas are completely capable of putting up some points. I think it will be high scoring from a fantasy point of view so play most of their starters

The Titans beat the lights out of a fading Houston team. McNair was really efficient, as he had no turnovers, 220 yards and Tds. It will take another one of those to beat the Bengals. I think they will have to win a shoot-out because they will not be able to stop the Bengal offense. But at home with the 3 points I am going with Tenn. I think they can hang and will shock the world.

Final Score: Titans 35, Bengals 32

Cleveland at Baltimore (-5.5) 1:00 p.m.
Oh boy did the Ravens have some issues last week. They did get jobbed on some calls but that is no reason to lose your head like that. Hitting refs and getting thrown out. That is a team out of control and the coach has the reign them back in. Where was Ray-Ray in all of this? He should have been able to get everyone to keep their composure as the Ravens were in that game up until that point. Some calls don’t go your way but you have to be able to play through it and not lose yourself. But I say they put it together this week and I feel sorry for Dilfer.

Dil pickle and the Browns come off a week in where they played a good Bears team (defensively) and moved the ball well. Dilfer made a couple of mistakes but threw most of his passes on target with 218 yards and 2 TDs. Of course the Bears have a horrible passing offense and the Ravens are not much better. I think of this game as retribution. The Ravens will just simply impose their will on these guys and scare the crap out of them. That is what happens when thugs get together and form a team.

Final Score: Ravens 20, Browns 13

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh (no line) 1:00 p.m.
At press time this game had no line waiting on confirmation of the Steeler QB situation. If I were a betting man I would say that Ben misses this game but is back next week. So taking that into consideration I would have to get the Jags the edge. Batch and Maddoux are good fellas and all but they just won’t have time to get this offense past this defense. They will try to run the ball and give the Jags a slow death but without a passing game that will be hard to do.

Yes the Jags mentioned above pulled off the defeat. Beating the Bengals in fine fashion and trying to solidify themselves as playoff caliber. I don’t quite know about that yet but we will see. That Leftwich is a pretty good player and will be counted on to make it happen this week. That Steeler D will be mighty tough to score on but look at what the Chargers did. They moved the ball. They might have trouble running it but I think they will have more chances with the QB situation. I reserve the right to change my opinion if Ben can play. Play Taylor, Jimmy in this one.

Final Score: Jags 24, Steelers 20

Miami (+4.5) at Tampa Bay 1:00 p.m.
To celebrate the return of Ricky Williams this week, the Dolphins will ride to Tampa Bay in a Volkswagen bus featuring psychedelic colors and clam-baked windows. The bus will arrive 20 minutes late because the team will stop for munchies and the pot-mobile should undoubtedly be followed by a cloud. The Dolphins have a couple viable options here, but not many. Start Chambers and McMichael without prejudice, but be wary of Ronnie Brown and/or Rick the Stick. He’s not yet up to his ideal playing weight, and won’t go nuts until he’s the definite starter. Frerotte might be okay, but I’m sure most of you have better QBs to go this week.

The Bucs should respond to last week’s loss to the Jets with a ruthless running attack featuring both Pittman & Cadillac. Hey, that rhymed! Galloway’s good, and go ahead with Griese, but if you start Michael Clayton, you’ll be feeling quite queasy.

Final Score: Bucs 23, Dolphins 17

Minnesota (+2.5) at Chicago 1:00 p.m.
If the 1-3 Vikings play the 1-3 Bears in a meaningless NFC North battle, do they make a sound? The Vikings offense might finally make some noise against a Bears defense that’s played above its head all year. Look for Culpepper, Marcus Robinson and Mewelde Moore to play well this week despite the Bears D’s success. I’m not buying it, renting it or leasing it.

The Bears Kyle Orton couldn’t score if he was a one-armed hooker trolling around at an amputee convention, but I think he might have a decent game this week. If T. Jones goes, he’ll be the man, but watch out for Cedric Benson this week and go with Muhsin Muhammed and Desmond Clark.

Final Score: Vikings 30, Bears 27

N.Y. Giants (+3.5) at Dallas 1:00 p.m.
As a Dallas fan living in New York and surrounded by Giants fans, nothing makes me happier than watching the Gay Blue Brigade take on the Cowboys. The main reason is that I’m guaranteed the game will be broadcast on TV — a benefit I realized mostly before the advent of Direct TV’s NFL package. The Giants have also become much more familiar. I’ve seen the Giants players out on the town in Albany quite a bit over the past few years since they moved training camp to the state capital, and it’s interesting to see how those guys behave in clubs and bars. They are actually pretty low-key and well-behaved.

The Giants look like a team on a mission, and they will undoubtedly bring their A game to Dallas. Eli Manning, Tiki Barber, Burress and Shockey are obviously no-brainers, but even Toomer may throw in a decent performance as he’s been okay versus the Cowboys lately.

The Cowboys played to their potential for three quarters on Sunday, much to the delight of Bill Parcells. The dispute between Bledsoe and Keyshawn shouldn’t be taken too seriously, as both players are hot-headed and they really wanted to finish off the Eagles before another win slipped away. The Boys won not just because they shut down Terrell Owens and limited all the Eagles to moderate gains and few first downs, but because they refused to get burned by the big play. The secondary seems to have finally learned to bend but not break, a coaching philosophy that Belichick — a Parcells disciple and defensive wizard — has mastered. Look for Bledsoe, Keyshawn, Glenn and Witten to exploit the Giants vulnerable secondary, but don’t count on another 150-170 yard total from the Cowboys running game, which has blistered the Giants in its last two. Julius Jones is nursing an ankle and the other options are Irving native Tyson Thompson (who might get the start in Jones’s place) and Chicago castoff Anthony “A-Train” Thomas. If you’re feeling lucky, try them out, but you can’t rely on my column, or the insights of anyone else, to give you a sure thing there.

Final Score: Cowboys 30, Giants 24

Washington (+6) at Kansas City 1:00 p.m.
Hail to the Redskins! Actually, don’t, and start the countdown, because the collapse is commencing. The Redskins lost last week and should continue to lose, despite facing one of the league’s worst defenses this week. Start Portis, Chris Cooley and Santana Moss, but steer clear of Brunell, Patten and anybody else in a headdress this week. The Chiefs should get solid performances from Trent Green, Priest, Gonzalez and maybe even Eddie Kennison, depending on your desperation level.

Final Score: Chiefs 27, Redskins 17

N.Y. Jets (+3) at Buffalo 4:15 p.m.
When did Buffalo get such a horrible run defense? I missed that situation developing and can only think that they should step it up against a Jets team that still can’t get Curtis Martin’s yardage totals going. The Jets will be forced to take it to the air more this week, as the Bills will concentrate on the run more and be somewhat successful stopping Martin. Vinny Testaverde will improve his totals from last week, but don’t count on anything more than 200 and 2 TDs. He’s also bound to throw a couple picks. Martin will probably grab 65 and a score on about 20 carries, but again, he will mostly be held in check. While Laveranues Coles has a tough matchup this week against Nate Clements, he’ll still be the go-to guy. Doug Jolley could also be a decent surprise start at TE, as he’s emerged as a decent target for Testaverde.

The Bills did a good thing replacing J.P. Loser with Kelly Holcomb, and the perennial backup has always done well given the opportunity in big games. With both teams trying to get to 3-3, this should be a wild one. Go with Holcomb, McGahee, Moulds and Lee Evans, as the Bills might open it up this week despite a tough Jets pass defense.

Final Score: Bills 24, Jets 20

New England (+3) at Denver 4:15 p.m.
The game of the week, period. I don’t think it’s time to abandon the Pats just yet, and while listening to Woody Paige every morning raving about the Broncos has me confused by the time I get to work, I think I’m still ready to render a verdict. The Pats are a team that’s almost impossible to analyze from week to week because they are so dynamic. While the team has enough potential to go all the way each season, the Pats sometimes play no better than the sum of their parts, which is only slightly better than average, especially this season. I believe they should open it up a bit this week and attack the Broncos secondary early and often. Start Brady, Dillon, Branch and Givens. Graham might add a score, but don’t count on too much.

The Broncos are once again my least favorite team, as last week I bailed on Bell, and he blew up. At least I recommended you folks think about playing him. I can’t figure out Shanahan’s game plan, which is probably the way he wants it. This week, the anti-fantasy continues with another confounding matchup against New England. Maybe the way to do it is to play the RB situation is to use both Bell and Anderson, whomever you have, and pray Shanahan features your boy. I’m not too sure, but I think Rod Smith turns 65 this weekend.

Final Score: Pats 27, Broncos 20

San Diego (-2) at Oakland 4:15 p.m.
This will be my game of the week. I will sit down it take this one in as these two teams will light it up Sunday afternoon. The Chargers really earned that victory but you have to stop somebody and two drives in a row they let the Steelers run right past them. You just can’t do that in this league. You have to be able to put people away. Brees looked good as well as LT. Look for Brees, Gates, McCardell, and the incomparable one LT to have great games this week.

The Raiders come back from a much needed by week and really need this game. They will have the usual cast of characters with Collins, Jordan, Moss and the gang all scoring a lot of points which is good from a fantasy perspective but not from a winning perspective. They have to be able to stop someone and I don’t think they can. The Chargers offense is just that good and they have NOBODY that can match up with Gates. LT could possible rush for 200 in this one. Boy it will be fun though.

Final Score: Chargers 38, Raiders 31

Houston at Seattle (-9.5) 8:30 p.m.
I won’t be staying up to watch this snooze fest. The Seahawks are better than anticipated and have a chance to win the West. As a matter of fact with Martz out they are in the drivers seat. Hasselbeck made due with Jackson out with an injury. Jurevicius made a good impression as he had 137 yards and a TD. That defense still lets the Rams throw the ball everywhere but they came away with an important win and that is the reason why we play them. They will crush this team, as they will have defense to stop them. Play everyone.

Final Score: Seahawks 30, Texans 10

St. Louis (+14) at Indianapolis 9:00 p.m.
With the Colts playing excellent football, the Rams will definitely be playing from behind. The spread is a bit of a sucker, and I think St. Louis should cover. The Rams will get good totals from Bulger, Holt and Kevin Curtis, but Steven Jackson’s effectiveness may be limited to receiving yardage out of the backfield.

The Colts should get some of their best offensive totals this week against a defense that is easy to shred. Start Peyton Manning, Edge James, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and maybe even Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark. If the Indy O is ever going to return to 2004 form, this will be the game. Play ‘em if you got ‘em and hope I’m right.

Final Score: Colts 37, Rams 27