Sports writers Mitch Albom, Nicholas J. Cotsonika and Drew Sharp take their best shots each week at predicting the NFL’s winners and losers. Their choices are made against the Glantz-Culver line. (Home teams capitalized.)
THE GAMES TIME TV ALBOM SHARP COTSONIKA COMMENT Green Bay 3 1/2 over DETROIT (Today) 12:30 Fox Detroit Green Bay Green Bay Packers DBs won’t have to pay teammates to stop the run; Mike Martz does that on his own. DALLAS 14 over N.Y. Jets (Today) 4:15 CBS Dallas Dallas Dallas Poor Terrell Owens; he gets a 4-TD day, and Randy Moss’ shadow eclipses him. Aw. Indy 11 1/2 over ATLANTA (Today) 8:15 NFLN Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis “NFL Network, yes, Comcast, no!” says a DirecTV-smitten NFL. JACKSONVILLE 7 1/2 over Buffalo 1:00 – Jacksonville Buffalo Jacksonville After last week, we now know why Maurice Jones-Drew wasn’t in Shawn Merriman’s Nike spot. CLEVELAND 3 1/2 over Houston 1:00 CBS Cleveland Houston Cleveland Andre Johnson, if he stays healthy, may be fantasy’s most valuable non-Patriot down the stretch. N.Y. GIANTS 7 1/2 over Minnesota 1:00 Fox Giants Minnesota Minnesota When did the Vikings become the Broncos? Who else can rush for 150-plus behind their line? New Orleans 3 over CAROLINA 1:00 – New Orleans New Orleans New Orleans If Steve Smith is in, Carolina could beat the Saints; if not, they couldn’t beat Archie Manning’s ‘Aints KANSAS CITY 5 1/2 over Oakland 1:00 – Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City Priest Holmes re-injured his neck, then retired Wednesday – finally. Seattle 3 over ST. LOUIS …… 1:00 – St. Louis Seattle Seattle After this week, the Lions could be farther from their division leader than the Rams. Ouch, Seattle. Tennessee 1 over CINCINNATI 1:00 – Cincinnati Tennessee Tennessee If the Titans don’t nab a big-name WR in the off-season, Vince Young should demand a trade. TAMPA BAY 3 over Washington 1:00 – Washington Tampa Bay Tampa Bay How did Jon Gruden become a rumored candidate at U-M? His scowl doesn’t approach Lloyd Carr’s. ARIZONA 10 over San Francisco 4:05 – Arizona Arizona San Francisco If Ted Tollner gets the Niners’ offense back on track before Martz fixes the Lions’, we’re leaving. CHICAGO 2 over Denver 4:15 CBS Denver Denver Chicago So, do you think Devin Hester has nightmares involving Seattle kicker Josh Brown? SAN DIEGO 9 1/2 over Baltimore 4:15 – Baltimore San Diego San Diego Note to Ravens fans on last week’s loss to the Browns: They stole a win; you stole their team. NEW ENGLAND 22 over Philadelphia 8:15 NBC Philadelphia New England New England How good are the Patriots when a 22-point spread seems a little low? PITTSBURGH 16 over Miami (Mon.) 8:30 ESPN Miami Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Either Ricky Williams needs money or playing for a future 0-16 team has an appeal we can’t fathom.
HOME TEAMS IN CAPS; COMMENTS BY KYLE O’NEILL, FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER