NEWS

Getting down to point for picking with points

BILL LIESSE

At  least half a dozen intriguing matchups this week. Let's leave the space to yesterday's high school heroes and get right to it.

Love 'em

SEAHAWKS -10 vs. Lions:

This isn't one of them. Then again, at 2-5, Seattle is right in the thick of the NFC West race. Can they become the first 3-5 team in history to have the three wins all be by blowout, shutout? SEATTLE.

Like 'em, but I'm scared

FALCONS -10 vs. Redskins:

Five days' rest vs. 13. Maybe if it were two days' vs. 100, Wazzoo would have a chance. ATLANTA.

BEARS -3 vs. Cardinals:

 Sometimes, the ghosts of Bidwills past make the Cardinals be as mentally weak as last week. But they don't stay down long under this coach, and they're primed to score 30 in their long-abandoned hometown. ARIZONA.

49ERS -4 vs. Titans:

 A game that could have been Shaun Hill vs. Kerry Collins if it wasn't careful instead provides the Alex Smith-Vince Young matchup it should. The high picks will direct offenses that seem to rely on the 80-yard run. SAN FRANCISCO.

JAGUARS -61/2 vs. Chiefs:

It's not that I don't know Jax is bad. It's just that I believe no team can get in home tussles with both Missouri squads. JACKSONVILLE.

I'll know more Monday

Packers -91/2 at BUCCANEERS:

 I don't know who should reevaluate more, Byron Leftwich or the coach. But a Tampa team that shouldn't be this bad is the league's only winless club. Three able runners are moot as long as the Bucs keep Joshing around at QB. GREEN BAY.

GIANTS -41/2 vs. Chargers:

The same imposters who took over the Giants locker room after Plaxico's greatly exaggerated crime last season have pulled another coup? So Philip Rivers gets to beat the team that drafted and traded him, sort of. Because we're still in They Might Be Giants phase. SAN DIEGO.

PATRIOTS -101/2 vs. Dolphins:

 Sure, it's not hurting anyone. But why does virtually every police department in the country have to call the car with dogs in it the 'K-9 Unit?' This might have been cute around Rin Tin Tin's time. Someone, please, be strong and paint 'canine' on the car.  NEW ENGLAND.

Ravens -3 at BENGALS:

 Team with a better record, that won the first one between the two, at home, coming off a bye, getting points. Vegas is trying to lure you into a Cincy pick with this line. Don't bite. BALTIMORE.

COLTS -9 vs. Texans:

 Houston has been quite good since its dud opener. Indianapolis has been quite good since ... geez, I dunno, Jim Harbaugh left town. HOUSTON.

I hate these games

Steelers -3 at BRONCOS:

Actually, I love this and the next game, part of the half dozen we talked about. But with nary a win on Pittsburgh all year, I hate picking it. Despite many 'lure' similarities to the game two spots above, I'm going to be defiant and put out the only Broncos pick I have seen. DENVER.

EAGLES -3 vs. Cowboys:

Good to know there's still one person left who thinks Roy Williams can play. That, of course, being Roy Williams. The guy with the famous name and no game is the sixth-best receiver on this field, tops. PHILADELPHIA.

SAINTS -131/2 vs. Panthers:

Darren Sharper might be the leading receiver in the game. But with Julius Peppers and both running backs playing well, I've got to take this chunk of points. CAROLINA.

Last week:

 7-6

Season:

 57-58-1

Bill Liesse

 is sports editor of the Journal Star. Write to him at bliesse@pjstar.com or call (309) 686-3213.