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Sunday, Oct. 3 (Note: All times listed are Eastern Standard Time)
Arizona at Dallas (-7), 1:00 pm
The Prophecy: Remember all those talking heads touting Arizona as the "Beast o' the East." Well where are they now? Other than a gift game against the Eagles, they are back to their losing ways. As for Jake the Snake, he already has 9 interceptions against 1 TD pass. As for Dallas, their time-tested veterans are playing like it's 1993. Deion Sanders will also be back. Dallas beats them handily.
Straight-Up Pick: Dallas/Point Spread Pick: Dallas
Baltimore at Atlanta (NO LINE), 1:00 p.m.
The Prophecy: The Atlanta offense is an utter mess. The vaunted defense has also sunk to the offense's wretched level. Meanwhile, Baltimore is coming off a win. Stoney Case also seems to be a capable QB. And finally, their defense is pretty solid. So why is Nostradamus picking Atlanta. There is just no way that the reigning NFC champs can go 0-4, at home, against a team that had trouble beating the Browns. Atlanta by a field goal.
Straight-Up Pick: Atlanta/Point Spread Pick:
Jacksonville (-3) at Pittsburgh, 1:00 p.m.
The Prophecy: Things are starting to look dire indeed for Bill Cowher. His Steelers stunk up the joint against the Seahawks last week. Kordell Stewart reverted back to his '98 in that game. That could lead to disastrous consequences. Jerome Bettis still is not 100% either. These factors do not bode well against a Jacksonville team who is out for blood after a hard-fought loss against the Titans. The road team always wins this match-up, so bet the Jags.
Straight-Up Pick: Jaguars/Point Spread Pick: Jaguars
New England (-12) at Cleveland, 1:00 p.m.
The Prophecy: You might not have noticed, but in each subsequent game, the Browns have scoring has increased (0-to-9-to-10) while their defense has given up less points (40-to-28-to-17). So what? Well the Browns are getting better. And they're home too. I don't think they can beat the Patriots, but they can keep it real close. Despite a hot start, New England has not beaten anybody by more than a touchdown.
Straight-Up Pick: Patriots/Point Spread Pick:Browns
New Orleans (-1.5) at Chicago, 1:00 pm
The Prophecy: Here's Nostradamus' "Canis horriblus" (Nasty Dog) of the week. The Bears are a sensible pick at home. Just like last year, the Bears were a tough team early on until injuries destroyed them. As for the Saints, Ricky Williams has had too many nagging injuries to truly factor yet.
Straight-Up Pick: Bears/Point Spread Pick: Bears
Philadelphia at New York Giants (-9.5), 1:00 pm
The Lock-Prophecy of Nostradamus:
Reeling Gargantuans return to their dungeon,
Their fate not yet clearly seen.
The defenders free to pillage against the porous front,
They deny this wretched band of Green.
The Author's Thoughts: The Giants should prevail by a score of 23-6. Not that we're particularly impressed with New York and their bumbling offense. It's simply the Eagles are the worst team in the NFL. Worse than the Browns, worse than Florida State, maybe even worse than Temple. We don't have any idea who Philly will start at QB. Not that it matters; the Eagles have yet to pass for more than 175 yards. The scary thing in their 26-0 drubbing at the hands of the Bills is the fact that the Eagles brought their "A-Game." The Giants defense will literally be in the Eagles huddle this Sunday. Oh by the way, the Iggles now have lost 18 straight road games since 1996.
Straight-Up Pick: Giants/Point Spread Pick: Giants
St Louis (-3.5) at Cincinnati, 1:00 pm
The Prophecy: Nostradamus would have decided this game by a toss of the coin last year. Both teams were inconsistent underachievers. The Bengals haven't changed, but look at the Rams. Someone wake up Kurt Warner and tell him he's playing arena-ball in Albany. He has 6 touchdown passes in his first two games. The only other rookie to do that: Dan Marino. Here's an X-Factor: Dick Vermeil did not turn around the Philadelphia Eagles until Year 3 -- He is in their third year with the Rams. The St. Louis defense is very strong. Could they be the Falcons of '99. We're not ready to say that yet, but they will go 3-0.
Straight-Up Pick: Rams/Point Spread Pick: Rams
Tampa Bay at Minnesota (-7), 1:01pm
The Prophecy of Nostradamus:
Norsemen and Pirate skirmish,
The Captain of the Freebooter's Galleon a louse.
In the dome of Thor, the purple attack recovers.
The day belongs to the Valhalla house.
The Author's Thoughts: Minnesota by a TD. No way they lose three in a row. No way they lose two straight at home. The Bucs defense does keep it close. In the very uncertain pecking order of the NFL, we still think the Vikings are the best team and will go on to finish 12-4.
Straight-Up Pick: Vikings/Point Spread Pick:Bucs
Carolina at Washington (-8), 4:05 p.m.
The Prophecy: A very interesting match-up. Both teams coming off big wins. Both teams have good QBs, but Brad Johnson has not thrown a pick yet this year. Washington seems stronger on both sides of the ball. Their kicking game is also vastly improved. 'Skins by a TD, but not over 8.
Straight-Up Pick: Redskins/Point Spread Pick:Panthers
Kansas City at San Diego(-1), 4:15pm
The Prophecy: As long as Elvis Grbac is playing hot, the Chiefs resemble the '97 13-3 team instead of the awful '98 team. The Colts showed that San Diego's defense is not invincible. I know the Chiefs are not a good team but ride with the hot club for a minor upset.
Straight-Up Pick: Chiefs/Point Spread Pick: Chiefs
New York Jets at Denver (-5.5), 4:15 pm
The Prophecy: Thrice, Nostradamus has been burned by a very ordinary Denver squad. Are they really this bad? No. Once Brian Griese get untracked, their offense will roll again. As for the Jets, they know (right up to Parcells himself) in their hearts that the '99 season is toast. You cannot win with Rick Mirer as your starting QB (even though he had a pretty good game against the Redskins. The Broncos are healthier, hungrier and outright better than the Jets. Yet, this will be decided by a last second outcome.
Straight-Up Pick: Broncos/Point Spread Pick:Jets
Tennessee at San Francisco (-5) at, 4:15 p.m.
The Prophecy:This game could cause Nostradamus' crystal ball to implode. So many factors: Young's injury, the suspect Neil O'Donnell, the homefield advantage, the sudden emergence of RBs Garner and Phillips, the injury to the Titans' starting TE, the expected demise of the 49ers, the suprising Titans -- perhaps the front-runner for the AFC title. Jeff Garcia did not do such a bad job filling in for Steve Young. We see a conservative 49ers attack, using the running attack to forge a small lead. They hang on and hold the Titans off 17-13. If the Titans pull this one out, they may be the team to watch this year!!!
Straight-Up Pick: 49ers/Point Spread Pick:Titans
Oaklandat Seattle (-3.5), 4:15 p.m.
The Prophecy: The Seahawks broke diplomatic relations with disgruntled WR Joey Galloway. Galloway is an idiot. The vigor of youth is ever so brief but immaturity can last forever. He will never recoup the ability and revenue of the lost '99 season. So the Seahawks get back to business and beat Oakland in a close one. Don't be too shocked if the Raiders pull out a road dog upset. Seattle's worst game of the year so far was at home. We think Seattle by 3.
Straight-Up Pick: Seahawks/Point Spread Pick:Raiders
Monday, Oct. 4
Buffalo at Miami(-4.5), 1:01 p.m.
The Prophecy of Nostradamus:
Bison and fish wage battle,
A war in the ground blessed by Apollo.
Tenacious struggle between these two foes,
But jubilation from the keys to the cape will follow.
The Author's Thoughts: Miami should prevail. But it will be close as a Flutie cardiac finish falls just short. Both teams, in essence had a bye week. Miami was off while the Bills only had to play hard for 20 minutes to shutout the hapless Eagles.
Straight-Up Pick: Dolphins/Point Spread Pick:Bills