* CHICAGO 17, LIONS 9: I tried. I really tried. Every way I could, I looked for a reason to pick the Lions to win this thing. But it’s not just Rodney Peete being injured. The Bears went to New Orleans and beat an undefeated Saints team last week. That was impressive. I will say this: If Chuck Long gets into the game, all bets are off.
* MINNESOTA 21, TAMPA BAY 12: I don’t see why the Bucs didn’t give Long a shot. They’ve tried just about everyone else at quarterback.
* WASHINGTON 24, HOUSTON 21: If I go to this one, can I skip the rematch in Super Bowl XXVI?
* CLEVELAND 19, CINCINNATI 7: The hapless Bengals are ready to start a rookie named Donald Hollas at quarterback. Donald Hollas? Wasn’t he Marlo Thomas’ boyfriend in “That Girl”?
* NY JETS 27, GREEN BAY 10: Green Bay can pack it in because the Jets are tough at home even on good teams.
* BUFFALO 23, NEW ENGLAND 14: The Lousy Weather Bowl.
* DALLAS 28, PHOENIX 10: The Cardinals are actually happy to play on the road, since it’s the only time they see people in the stands.
* NEW ORLEANS 20, LA RAMS 9: This Cajun ain’t jumping off the bandwagon just because the Saints lost a game.
* SAN FRANCISCO 23, ATLANTA 21: Who was that fella used to quarterback the 49ers? Brown hair? Had a pretty wife?
* MIAMI 27, INDIANAPOLIS 3: The going rate for Colts tickets these days is
$20. That’s how much they pay you to take them.
* DENVER 26, PITTSBURGH 14: Why do I keep expecting to see Scott Hastings run out as the new placekicker for the Broncos?
* NY GIANTS 28, PHILADELPHIA 20 (Monday night): You couldn’t pay me enough to take a snap behind Philly’s offensive line.
* RECORD LAST WEEK: 9-3.
* RECORD VS. SPREAD: 7-5.
* SEASON RECORD: 83-32.
* SEASON VS. SPREAD: 54-56-5.
* BEST PICK LAST WEEK: Washington 24, NY Giants 20 (Redskins won, 17-13).
* WORST PICK LAST WEEK: New Orleans 17, Chicago 6 (Bears won, 20-17).