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How to interpret this page: Below are the first week's games in the 1998 NFL regular season. For each game, the latest point spread is provided with the favored team having the point differential in parenthesis directly to the right. For example, the Dallas Cowboys are favored to defeat the Arizona Cardinals by 5 and one half points.

While I elected not to break down each quatrain, thus allowing you to make your astute inference on the outcome of each game as foretold by Nostradamus, I did provide a tool for the less imaginative. Based on the author's analysis, he has color coded teams on the basis of how they will fare in each week's game. Teams highlighted in green are expected to win the game, both outright and with the point spread. Teams highlighted in blue are expected to win the game; however, the prophesy of Nostradamus does not support a resounding win, such that it covers the point spread. On seldom occasions, a team is listed in gray. The author feels that Nostradamus vaguely decrees a victorious outcome, but not as compelling as some of his other prophesies.

The author also provides his insights to selected games.

Sunday, Sept. 6 (Note: All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time)

Arizona at Dallas (-5.5), 4:05 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Many sevens are registered by stellar helmets,
They will credit new generals for resolving the errors of the Swiss.
Crimson covey are decimated from the outset,
The serpent's attack in the abyss.

The Author's Thoughts: I strongly concur with Nostradamus. People may be reluctant to go with a Dallas ballclub, mired in scandal and winless during the preseason, giving points to a team earmarked as an up-and-comer. Don't fear!

Forget the false hype of Arizona being a contender this year; they won't be. Though Andre Wadsworth finally signed on the eve of the game, I doubt he can be an immediate influence.

Dallas can and will be a contender in the diluted NFC east. The aged, yet reliable, triad of Aikman, Smith and Irvin will put a stop to the Cowboys' astounding skein of ten consecutive setbacks in both regular season and exhibition play!

Atlanta at Carolina (-4.5), 1:01 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Winged visitors again vexed by grand solecisms,
They are denied triumph by sparest of margins, justifying opinion.
Feline field marshal is competent enough,
Rich mercenaries contribute in defense of the Dominion.

The Author's Thoughts: Carolina comes back this year. Their offense, absolutely dreadful in 1997, will rebound as quarterback Kerry Collins shakes off his season-long funk. With Jason Peter and Shawn Gilbert, defense will be even stronger.

People view Atlanta as the Tampa Bay of 1998. Not yet -- and probably not against Carolina this Sunday. But you always know that Dan Reeves will have them well prepared; therefore it's going to be close.


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

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Aged Bison assault the prodigy from all quadrants,
And prevail in a distant terrain of parade.
They will rain terror from the sky,
By the hand of an apprentice well-paid.


Detroit at Green Bay (-9.5), 1:01 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Leo attacks the king's palace by land,
They are countered by the master of air.
Though the Green will finally conquer by tourney's end,
Their flaws are exposed for all who care.

The Author's Thoughts:Of course, we are well aware of Detroit's main battery of Barry Sanders and Herman Moore. However, Detroit's hidden weapon lies in their coach -- Bobby Ross. Next to Bill Parcells, he is the best in the business in terms of turning moribund teams into successful squads.

Ross has a lot to overcome against Green Bay. While Detroit's defense is strong in the front line, it degrades significantly as you span out to the secondary. As Nostradamus foretells, this will be the decisive edge as Packers quarterback, Bret Favre, connects to Antonio Feeman et. al. The timely return of Dorsey Levens also helps the Packs cause. Playing at Lambeau Field is another intangible that works in Green Bay's favor.

Detroit should score enough against an aging Packers defense to keep it within one score, but the Pack remains the top-shelf team of the NFC.


Jacksonville (-8.5) at Chicago, 1:01 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Expected rout becomes a struggle for reckless ocelets,
Four times the vanguard changes until the Stuarts penetrate through will.
In defeat, Ursus takes solace,
They display long-absent fervency and skill.

The Author's Thoughts: The Jaguars will win a lot of games this year, starting with this one. However, 8 1/2 points is a lot to give on the road. The Bears, fighting for coach Dave Wannstadt's hide, should keep it within the spread.


Miami (-3.5) at Indianapolis, 4:15 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

The new man remians poised when attacked by Pieces,
He is abetted by sagacious judgment of cheiftains new:
As a result, the horses shall victor,
And the favored are vanquished by a weaker crew.


New Orleans at St. Louis (-4), 1:01 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

The flower of Louis is flattened along the great river,
They will falter on the land and through the sky.
Despite the best efforts of the martyr's defenders,
Capricorn's triumph will not be denied.

The Author's Thoughts: Nostradamus is high on the Rams. We've seen Dick Vermeil build a powerhouse in Philadelphia 20 years ago. I see the same thing happening in St. Louis.

This game is a lock. Not necesarilly because of Tony Banks having a big day, but more because the Saints look butt-ugly on offense. They did sign Joe Johnson, who wanted Dana Stubbelfield dollars, even though he has never appeared in a Pro Bowl. Can he pass?


New York Jets at San Francisco (-7.5), 4:15 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

The ground will again shake by the bay,
As flyers dictate empty policy and gather fame.
The grand maestro's many maneuvers now justified,
He provides his forces a portal to the Great Game.

The Author's Thoughts: San Francisco or Green Bay? The populace is pretty much unanimous (including myself) that one of these teams is going to represent the depressed NFC in the Super Bowl.

Indeed San Francisco still has some of the best, albeit aging, talents in pro football. Steve Young could be your league MVP, if (a BIIIGGG if) he can stay healthy. That's the rub with the 49ers; they are one-deep in talented players in several positions -- particularly at quarterback.

Nostradamus sees something that bucks conventional logic. He not only predicts a huge Jets upset on the road, but also alludes to the Jets and the "Great Game." Nostradamus had numerous prophecies that yielded undecipherable nonsense. Is this the case here -- or is there something truly clairvoyant afoot here??!!??


Pittsburgh (-3) at Baltimore, 1:01 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Costly lapses will plague Iron's uneasy field marshall,
While the partisans exult in the new cathedral.
At least two scores separate victor from vanquished,
The black wings shall prove their potential is now legal.

The Author's Thoughts: Three reasons why Nostradamus likes the Ravens:

Watch out for the Ravens this year.


Seattle (-3) at Philadelphia, 1:01 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Aquarius returns to fields of past distinction,
He is rebuked by the furious horde.
Luna is also treated with extreme disregard,
And talons of land overwhelm talons of sea in the ultimate score.

The Author's Thoughts: If Santa Claus can get booed off the field, imagine what they will do to Rickey Watters (who is referred by Nostradamus as Aquarius, the water carrier -- a play on words of his name). It was truly a love-hate relationship between Philly and Watters. By the end, a brooding Watters and Philadelphia parted on acrimonius terms.

If you have been tracking the line, the Eagles have shifted from a slight favorite to an underdog. And how can you argue. Seattle is being touted as a playoff team by many. Meanwhile, the Eagles -- based on their preseason -- have all the looks of a train wreck.

So what does Nostradamus see here? Perhaps, it's the fact that the Eagles play possessed at their home turf. Or is it the fact that Eagles quarterback, Bobby Hoying, is a rising talent. Or, most compelling, is it simply the fact that Nostradamus is not very positive of the Seahawks prospects. (see Nostradamus' 1998 standings prophesy.) The Seahawks are possibly the most apprehensive team coming into their season opener. Seattle spent handily for free agent talent. They have been slow starters of recent years and this game could be a microcosm to their entire season.

Both Nostradamus and myself see a victory for Ray Rhodes, as the Eagles are always a tenacious team to beat in the forboding confines of Veterans Stadium. Seattle's going down in flames!


Tampa Bay at Minnesota (-3), 1:01 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Uneasy alliances of Asgard do not affect the Norsemen,
They handle viscious skulls through aerial assault.
The denizens of Gaspar demand inquiry,
Which defenders of dungeon were at fault.

The Author's Thoughts: Minnesota is a sure-fire pick! Randy Moss looks like an outstanding complement to Cris Carter and Butch Reed for Brad Johnson to connect with.

Even Tampa Bay's defense cannot shutdown Minnesota for 60 minutes -- and there's no way the Bucs offense can match scores with the home team Vikes. The jury is still out on Trent Dilfer.


Tennessee at Cincinnati (-2.5), 1:01 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Shiftless nomads travel to the Queen's city,
Again unable to stop the charge of Dijon.
The numerals will astound from both sides,
With the Tiger's ledger proving they perchance won


Washington at New York Giants (-1.5), 1:01 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

A medley of sphere couriers aids the Great cause,
They thwart the savages by a single true kick.
A herald will ring throughout the seat of the government,
That their corps are up to old and pathetic tricks

The Author's Thoughts: This game could yield less points than a World Cup Soccer match. The Giants took a major setback in losing cornerback Jason Seehorn for the season.

Washington will not have Jeff Hostetler to fall back on if Gus Frerotte has problems. Hos will be back by week 4. The Giants running attack is strong and will be the deciding edge here.


Oakland at Kansas City (-8), 8:20 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

Chieftains bandaged and rash take the field,
They are put to task by improved corsairs' broach:
Goals are rampant with the differential favoring the visitors,
As a consequence they will place lofty praise on the boy-king's approach.

The Author's Thoughts: The NFL benefits from a successful Raiders season. They are one of the few teams that attract a nationwide fan base (for the wrong reasons unfortunately).

The Chiefs looked indifferent during exhibition play and still have not sorted out their running back situation. Meanwhile, the Raiders have shown flashes of a contending team. Whether they can maintain this level remains to be seen.

New Raider coach, Jon Gruden, did magic with the likes of Rodney Peete and Ty Detmer as Eagles offensive coordinator. Oakland has the offensive toys (read George, Kauffman, Brown and maybe even Woodson). Let's give these "Road Dogs" a ride.

Monday, Sept. 7


New England at Denver (-7), 8:20 p.m.

The Prophesy of Nostradamus:

The jubilation of Equus is ended with utter abruptness,
By suffer of defeat in front of a nocturnal tribunal.
With their gate eroded through age and defection,
Wavering leeway is attacked by zealots who are brutal.

The Author's Thoughts: It's simple: Denver has beaten New England by an average of 29 points over their last three games (two of those games were at Foxboro by the way), averaged over 170 yards rushing in those three games, are home and coming off a Super Bowl high.

Pick Denver....not! It's sure things like these that make your so called "experts," pondering why they went 7-8 for the week.

Losing Curtis Martin was tough on the Pats, but they still have Bledsoe, an outstanding defense and a valid shot to upend Denver on Monday night.