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Sunday, Sep. 19 (Note: All times listed are Eastern Standard Time)

 Arizona at Miami (-9), 1:00 p.m.

The Prophecy of Nostradamus:

Crimson Bird and fish wage battle,

A slaughter on the ground blessed by Apollo.

Futile struggle as the winged are dragged to sea,

A surge to the pinnacle to follow.

The Author's Thoughts: Miami should prevail handily over what looked like the team of the next millennia, but is turning out to be the same old Cards. The Dolphins make their drive to the AFC East Title, as foretold by Nostradamus in the last stanza of this quatrain.

Straight-Up Pick: Miami/Point Spread Pick: Miami

 

Green Bay (-6) at Detroit, 1:00pm

The Flag of the Verdant Grande will sortie from the machines relieved,

The faithful of Leo may believe.

The Author's Thoughts: Last year, Detroit pulled off a shocker, upsetting the Packers 27-20. Detroit at the Silverdome can do wondrous things. They give the Pack a good bout here, but the loss of Barry Sanders limits Detroit's offensive attack. Watch Brett Favre pull another one out at the end.

Straight-Up Pick: Green Bay/Point Spread Pick: Detroit

  

Indianapolis at New England (-4), 1:00 p.m.

The Prophecy of Nostradamus:

Horse looks to the future,

In time a dynasty in the making.

But the present is grim.

The Englanders have one for the taking.

The Author's Thoughts: The Colts are improving. But playoff contenders -- not yet. New England should prevail at home. In fact, this has major rout potential.

Straight-Up Pick: New England/Point Spread Pick: New England

 

 

Jacksonville (-9.5) at Carolina, 1:00 p.m.

The Prophecy of Nostradamus:

The competition of felines is viscous,

Cubits of territory captured by both squads.

As the final sand drains,

Bruno performs as one of the gods.

The Author's Thoughts: What was George Seifert thinking. The Panthers are old, devoid of superstars and just plain bad. Despite this, QB Steve Buerlein is a cagey performer and the home team advantage plays a factor. The Jaguars are just a .500 team on the road and the team has been distracted by Hurricane Floyd. Watch for a very tight battle. Jacksonville has too many weapons at the skill positions to lose this game outright.

Straight-Up Pick: Jacksonville/Point Spread Pick: Carolina

 

Oakland at Minnesota (-11), 1:00 p.m.

The Prophecy of Nostradamus:

 I see the grim visage of Silver Pirates hanging in the rafters of the dome.

The Norsemen are ruthless as they devastate at home.

The Author's Thoughts: This game is a , stone cold, lead pipe lock. Even with a respectable Raiders defense, the Vikings' offense is a touchdown scoring machine that can't be stopped. Now they have defense too. Watch out NFL.

Straight-Up Pick: Minnesota/Point Spread Pick: Minnesota

 

Pittsburgh (-2.5) at Baltimore, 1:00 p.m.

The Prophecy of Nostradamus:

 

The gilded lay siege to the city of anthem,

The jutting chin is dealt a grim surprise.

The Steeled flesh is pecked away by angry crows,

A change of ruler is secretly appraised and sized.

The Author's Thoughts: Here's an upset surprise. Raven's QB Scott Mitchell is no Doug Pedersen. He has taken teams to the playoffs. He will outplay Kordell Stewart, who still looks like a harried Arena League QB. Don't be fooled by the Cleveland game. That was not a valid test for the Steelers. Add the all-important home team edge and the Ravens have some nice upside against a team that is living on name recognition alone. Bill Cowher's job may be in peril.

Straight-Up Pick: Baltimore/Point Spread Pick: Baltimore

 

 San Diego at Cincinnati (-1), 1:00 pm

The Prophecy of Nostradamus:

The beleaguered Tiger responds with fury during Virgo.

Achilles runs and throws to victory, sword quickly back in sheath.

A failure for unprepared lightning,

Still reeling by the follies of the fallen Leaf.

The Author's Thoughts: Some people have gone on record that the Bengals could easily go 0-16 this year. Nostradamus thinks that there are some wins yet for this team. Many factors support Nostradamus' prediction for a Bengals' win. First, they are at home. Second, WR Carl Pickens is back. Third, Akili Smith should be ready to play if Jeff Blake falters again. Finally (and most importantly) San Diego came off a horrid pre-season and became the first NFL team ever to sit out the first week of the season as the result of a Week 1 Bye. For a bad team, this is a distinct disadvantage, much the same way college teams falter when they play teams with a game under the belt. Cincinnati wins.

Straight-Up Pick: Cincinnati/Point Spread Pick: Cincinnati

 

Seattle (-5.5) at Chicago, 1:01pm

The Prophecy of Nostradamus:

Ursus and Erne shall go head-to-head,

Both with legacies long dead.

Matthew's errant pitches become factor,

As the beaked ones will find themselves ahead.

 The Author's Thoughts: Despite the decimation of the receiving corps, Seattle is not as bad as they looked last week. The Bears just never get untracked this week. Will McNown be playing soon? Seattle by two touchdowns.

Straight-Up Pick: Seattle/Point Spread Pick: Seattle

 

Tampa Bay (-6.5) at Philadelphia, 1:00pm

 

The Prophecy of Nostradamus:

Reeling Piratess do battle in the old round dungeon,

Their offensive a nightmare not dream.

Despite ineptitude at the Galleon's helm once again,

They beat this wretched band of Green.

 

Straight-Up Pick: Bucs/Point Spread Pick: Bucs

 

Washington at New York Giants (-2), 1:00 pm

The Author's Thoughts: While some people sport Washington as a real contender this year, Nostradamus sees an impatient Dan Snyder getting ready to give Coach Norv Turner the hook if they suffer another bad start. The Giants defense is one of the best. Their offense should catch up with them this week. Washington will be held to 7 points or less.

Straight-Up Pick: Giants/Point Spread Pick: Giants

 

New Orleans at San Francisco (-10.5) at, 4:05 p.m.

 

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Seekers of gold scream "Eureka,"

They gather fortune by subduing the weak of the occident pack.

The Saintly reign ends at one,

Hermes spends most of this campaign upon his back.

The Author's Thoughts: The 49ers stock went down after the deep hurting they took against Jacksonville. But this was a close game up until R.W. McQuarters third quarter kickoff gaffe. It's too early to write off San Francisco -- especially at home. Rickey Williams may miss carries with all these ankle injuries.

Straight-Up Pick: 49ers/Point Spread Pick: 49ers

 

Cleveland at Tennessee (-16), 4:15 pm

The Prophecy of Nostradamus:

Five times you will see the Titanic band reach their intent,

Brown generals get put in a bloody pouch.

The new band will be left in shambles,

Confused are Detmer and Couch.

The Author's Thoughts: That's a lot of points. But if the Browns could be that pathetic in what should have been a glorious debut, they're going to get another shellacking with the offensively potent Titans. Couch gets a rude welcoming. Tennessee covers the spread.

Straight-Up Pick: Titans/Point Spread Pick: Titans

 

Denver (-3.5) at Kansas City, 4:15pm

Straight-Up Pick: Broncos/Point Spread Pick: Broncos [Gift of the Gods]

 

New York Jets at Buffalo (-4), 8:20 pm

The realization of collapse,

Is assessed carefully by the corpulent general.

He devises a strategy to put the Bison down through deparate assault,

But Mired in decimation, his squad is invisible.

Straight-Up Pick: Bills/Point Spread Pick: Bills

 

 

 

 

Monday, Sep. 20

Atlanta at Dallas, 9:00 p.m.

The Prophecy of Nostradamus:

The squad with the ring,

Will subdue the aged warriors with unmatched play.

The Taloned will control the sky,

And by a pair of breaches conquer the day.

Straight-Up Pick: Falcons/Point Spread Pick: Falcons