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Sunday, Sep. 26 (Note: All times listed are Eastern Standard Time)

Atlanta (-1.5) at St. Louis, 1:00 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Winged visitors advance in this comedy of errors,
Their triumph, different from opinion.
The heart-worn general devises the strategy,
To win with a front of minions.

The Author's Thoughts: No Anderson! But Yes Chandler? Atlanta is not dead yet? Look. they are playing the Rams, who we all gave up for dead after Trent Green got hurt. Atlanta still has defense and too many intangible factors say that Atlanta can't go 0-3.

Straight-up Pick: Atlanta/Point Spread Pick: Atlanta.


Cincinnati at Carolina (-7), 1:00 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Faltering Predators battle it out,
The one from its lair is has the edge.
Debut of Achilles without glory,
The jungle felines now at the ledge.

The Author's Thoughts: Panthers gave the Jaguars all they could handle last week. I'll take Buerlein over a fledgling Akili Smith at this stage. X-factor: Tim Biakabutuka is averaging 6.6 yards a carry and should be able to shred Cincy's porous defense.

Straight-up Pick: Carolina/Point Spread Pick: Carolina.


Cleveland and Baltimore (-12.5), 1:00 p.m.

The Author's Thoughts: For the second straight year, for two different teams, Scott Mitchell was yanked as starting QB by Game 2. Stoney Case looked impressive and nearly pulled out the Steelers game. The underachieving Ravens are due for a win at home. But Cleveland is not going to get destroyed every week -- they win with the spread.

Straight-up Pick: Baltimore/Point Spread Pick: Cleveland.


Denver at Tampa Bay (-2.5), 1:00 p.m.

The Author's Thoughts: Denver is a Nostradamus 'dog of distinction! Same rationale as Atlanta. History favors the fact that a defending Super Bowl champ can't go 0-3. Tampa Bay still has to work out their QB situation. Trent Dilfer had less yards passing than Doug Pedersen last week. Nostradamus acknowledges the loss of Denver's star LB, John Mobley. However, the Broncos' linebacker corps is deep and WR Rod Smith is back. Don't count the Broncos out quite yet.

Straight-up Pick: Denver/Point Spread Pick: Denver.


Detroit at Kansas City (-4), 1:00 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

The anguish of the Chieftains is replaced with enchantment,
By virtue of victory in front of a crimson horde.
They prosper by Leo's loss of the great runner,
Suddenly hard-pressed to move forward.

The Author's Thoughts: The Chiefs defense was most impressive in their win over Denver. As for Detroit, do not kid yourself in thinking they are a better team without Barry Sanders. They are simply working well with the limited talent they got. As faithful surfers of this site are aware, Nostradamus invariably never picks the right outcome of any game involving Detroit. He's 0-2 this year. But that slump ends on Sunday as Kansas City wins by 2-TD+ differential. LOCK POTENTIAL

Straight-up Pick: Kansas City/Point Spread Pick: Kansas City.


Philadelphia at Buffalo (-11.5), 1:00 p.m.

The Author's Thoughts:  One thing that Nostradamus is certain about: the Eagles are a losing machine. The Arizona Cardinals could not even give the game away to the Eagles. Inferior at all positions, Coach Andy Reid is building a team via waiver wire. Their offense is just plain the worst I've seen in years. And now even their marginal defense took a setback with the loss of their best pass rusher, Hugh Douglass. The sad thing is the Eagles can go 0-16 this year and be even worse next year; much, much worse, next year. Buffalo looks to be a competent team and a potential playoff contender. Doug Flutie had a great game against the Jets. Home team advantage is huge here; the Eagles have not won on the road since they beat the Kotite Jets by 1 point in 1996. Buffalo crushes them 28-6. I LOVE THIS GAME

Straight-up Pick: Buffalo/Point Spread Pick: Buffalo.


Seattle at Pittsburgh (-4), 1:00 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Black Knights impressive,
Against the Ernes, little is tested.
A resounding conquest where the rivers meet,
The Talons of Sea are bested.

The Author's Thoughts: Seattle struggled with a pair of below-average NFC Central teams. They are nowhere close to signing Joey Galloway either [plus WR Mike Pritchard is not 100%]. Now they play a team with solid defense and renewed inspiration from QB Kordell Stewart. Based on Glenn Foley's performance last year, Seattle is little more than a .500 team. You'll see a lot of Jerome Bettis: 30 - 35 carries and lots of time taken off the clock. The Steelers win handily.

Straight-up Pick: Pittsburgh/Point Spread Pick: Pittsburgh.


Washington (-1) at New York Jets, 1:00 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

The savages fail to advance by the aeros,
Their momentum halted as soon as the bout begins.
The corpulent maestro gets production from one Mired by misfortune,
Martin's feet seal the Gotham win.

The Author's Thoughts: Who will quarterback the Jets? The dreaded Rick Mirer or the rusty Todd Collins. At least they'll have their excellent TE, Eric Green, back. Nostradamus must be banking on a Washington Redskins' failure to either advance the ball this week or to win on the road. Once again, how can the odds-on favorite to win the AFC in pre-season start 0-3. Nostradamus goes with the home team Jets for a big win.

Straight-up Pick: Jets/Point Spread Pick: Jets.


Tennessee at Jacksonville (-9.5), 4:05 p.m.

The Author's Thoughts: A lot of points to give, but here's the deal: Jacksonville is remarkable healthy. Neil O'Donnell is not playing the Browns here. A big win for the Jaguars.

Straight-up Pick: Jaguars/Point Spread Pick: Jaguars.


Indianapolis at San Diego (-1.5), 4:15 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

The steeds do battle,
Lightning strikes the bay.
Defenders smother Man and King James,
The Moral ones lose badly this day.

The Author's Thoughts: Everything clicked for the Chargers last week. Their defense is the real deal. Jim Harbaugh showed he is a cagey veteran at the QB spot. The Colts had an emotional letdown in their loss to New England. They lose one on the road. Note the shift of 1.5 in the point spread in favor of the Chargers.

 Straight-up Pick: Chargers/Point Spread Pick: Chargers.

Chicago at Oakland (-6.5), 4:05 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Amidst the Pirates gallery,
Ursus struggles to stop the Raids.
The young Admiral posts another conquest,
The faithful are hoping for a return to grander

The Author's Thoughts: Oakland fought the best of the NFC Central and broke even. Now they play the worst of the NFC Central. I expect another war for the Raiders, but they will overcome. Chicago at an emotional low after their heartbreking loss to the Seahawks!

 Straight-up Pick: Raiders/Point Spread Pick: Bears


Minnesota at Green Bay (-1), 4:15 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

They trade goals without relent,
'Til three unretaliated strikes seals the Green's doom.
In victory, Norsemen takes measures,
To return to the annointed room.

The Author's Thoughts: We know the Packers and Vikings are mortal -- the Raiders showed us that. But the Vikings are the better team here. We still haven't seen a good Minnesota offensive performance this year. You will on Sunday.

Straight-up Pick: Vikings/Point Spread Pick: Vikings


 New York Giants at New England (-6), 8:20 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Bledsoe deftly evades the rush of the Grande-Men,
He is supported by his blockade:
As a result, the Revolutionists will victor,
The Puritans revel in parade.

The Author's Thoughts: Everytime you give up the Patriots for dead, they come out smoking. Lots of upside for New England: their offense is clicking and the Giants really don't have much offense at all without RB Gary Brown. When it's over, New England in a Redskins-style rout.

Straight-up Pick: Patriots/Point Spread Pick: Patriots



Monday, Sep. 26


San Francisco (-2.5) at Arizona , 9:00 p.m.

The Author's Thoughts: Arizona's defense is questionable. Unless they put a ton of pressure on Steve Young, he's due for a big day. The cardinals cannot contain the 49ers for four quarters. Nostradamus sees a game Jake the Snake could pull out in the last second, but San Francisco gets the win in a close shave.  

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