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Thursday, Oct. 21 (Note: All times listed are Eastern Time)

 

Kansas City at Baltimore (Even), 8:20 p.m.

 

 The Prophecy: The Chiefs are world-beaters at home, yet they are winless on the road. Meanwhile, Baltimore's got some defense but the Stoney Case led offense only averages about 14 points a game. Head Coach Brian Billick used to get that in a two-minute drill when he coached the Vikings offense last season. Both teams are very evenly matched. The edge goes to Baltimore by virtue of being the home team.

Sunday, Oct. 24

 

Chicago at Tampa Bay (-8), 1:00 p.m.

 

The Prophecy: Too bad the Bears couldn't play the Vikings all year. But Cade McNown had more down gripes than kudos against the Eagles. Against the lethal pass rush of the Bucs (Warren Sapp is fully recovered from his hand injury), he will be running for his dear life. The same old story for the disappointing Buccaneers, they have to win for any hope of making the playoffs. They should be doing better, but Trent Dilfer's stock keeps dropping. Fortunately for TB, RBs Dunn and Alstott will dictate the game against a Bears rushing defense that was exposed by Duce Staley. The home field advantage, at the Pirate ship, is large. Nostradamus sees a 17-10 game, in favor of Tampa Bay.

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

 

Cincinnati at Indianapolis (-11.5), 1:00 p.m.

 

The Prophecy: About the only team the Bengals can beat these days are the Browns. An awful performance against the Steelers last week proves that Cincinnati is the worst non-expansion team. Th Colts are a different story: great coaching, Peyton Manning, and RB Edgerain James had 111 yards last week (compare to Rickey Williams 35). Against the Jets, the Colts showed they could play some defense too. Cincinnati is better off losing this game and setting themselves up for the #1 pick in next year's NFL draft. Bruce Coslet may be for the first coach to go. The Bengals cry "No Mas," as Nostradamus sees them losing by 17 or so.

 

Cleveland at St. Louis (-19.5), 1:00 pm

 

 The Prophecy: The Rams are the most balanced team in the NFL. We know the offense is potent. But their defense is holding teams to just 12 points per game. And their special teams break games open. We know there are no "sure things" in the NFL this year. While Nostradamus sees the chances of the Browns winning this game about the same as the sun rising in the west. What is a good prediction is that the Rams could either get caught looking ahead or Coach dick Vermeil will treat this game like a pre-season game and sit out his starters in the second half (with the Rams comfortbly in the lead, of course). Either scenario makes the Browns an attractive pick getting all those points.

 Straight-Up Pick: Rams/Point Spread Pick: Browns

 

Denver at New England (-3.5), 4:05 p.m.

 

The Prophecy: Before we place a burial shroud over New England, consider that they are still dangerous at home and quite healthy. Denver is not as moribund as originally thought, but Nostradamus feels beating a tough Patriot team on the road may be a tough proposition. Expect the Pats to give Kevin Faulk some more carries; he looks like a breakaway-type runner. New England wins by 10.

 

Detroit at Carolina (-4.5), 1:00 p.m.

 

 The Prophecy: Two disappointing teams last year are amongst the league's most compelling this year. Nostradamus' crystal ball detonated when formulating a prognostication. Charlie Batch is the key here. If he plays, Detroit would probably be the favorite. But Carolina can score too. Steve Buerlein threw 4 TD passes last week and Tim Biakabatuba is one of the best RBs this year. But Carolina's defense has been very porous of late. Lots of injuries to ponder and then there is the evil curse of Leo. We're giving Detroit the upset special nod by virtue that the Great Seer feels that Gus Frerotte is competent enough to carry the Lions if Batch can't play, plus the Panthers are not a team that specializes in blowouts.

 

New Orleans at New York Giants (-3), 1:00 p.m.

 The Prophecy: New Orleans injury woes continue. They don't even have a healthy tight end. This has all the makings of an ugly game, but Tiki Barber showed some promise to revitalize a Giants offense that is truly horrible. The Giants defense does its job and they prevail by 7.

 

Philadelphia at Miami (No Line), 1:00 pm

 

The Prophecy: Dan Marino won't play. Why should he, Damon Huard played just fine last week. The Eagles are going to be without Hugh Douglas, their best sacker, and standout DB Troy Vincent is also injured. Even on offense, the Eagles lost WR Dietrich Jells, who connected for the Eagles longest play from scrimmage this year. A long day for the short of talent Doug Pedersen. Miami wins by 17.

 

San Francisco at Minnesota (-7), 1:00 p.m.

 

 The Prophecy: The Vikings are yet another team to taste the bitter "scourge of George." Wherever Jeff George goes, teams self-destruct despite dazzling passing stats. The Vikings have lost the magic and Nostradamus knows that George is not the answer. And who will run the ball now that Robert Smith is out. The 49ers aren't your father's 49ers, but they can still score and win. They Niners pull a big one off here.

 

Washington at Dallas (-2), 1:00 p.m.

 

 The Prophecy: Hard to believe last year's 6-10 Redskins are in the catbird seat to be NFC East champs. Washington's offense is not even the vaunted west Coast offense; it's more reminiscent of the "Air Coryell" offense of the '80s. And look how far and how fast Dallas' stock has dropped in the last 2 weeks. Most impressive in Washington's win over Arizona was that the defense played excellent. Dallas is reeling. They can't keep pace with Washington like they did in Week 1. Go with the road dogs!

 

Green Bay (-3) at San Diego, 4:05 p.m.

 

The Prophecy:  The Packers need a win to assert themselves in the up-for-grabs NFC Central. But there's something mysterious about Packers Coach Ray Rhodes and road games. Counting his time with the Eagles, he's gone 20 straight without winning one. And what's the deal with the Chargers. Their defense is awesome. Based on the punishment Green Bay took at Denver, Nostradamus likes the Bolts by two TDs.

 

Buffalo at Seattle, 4:15 p.m.

 

 The Prophecy: On paper, a very close match-up. But don't count on Doug Flutie to have two bad games in a row. Watch WR Peerless Price fill in handsomely for Eric Moulds. Seattle's non-existent rushing attack and plain-Jane passing game can't keep pace. The Bills by 14.

 

New York Jets at Oakland (-6.5), 4:15 p.m.

 

 The Prophecy: The Jets have every form of bad luck heaped upon them. They even have a player out due to a "serious illness." Once again, QB duties are with Rick Mirer. He can't move the offense. Don't expect a hungry band of Pirates, at home, to take pity on Parcells and his woeful "airmen," as Nostradamus says. Low scoring game: Oakland wins it, but not by 7!

 

Monday, Oct. 25

 

Atlanta at Pittsburgh (-5.5), 8:15 pm

 

 The Prophecy: Neither team is a scoring machine. That's why Nostradamus Steelers 14, Falcons 9!

 

 

 

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