On Monday Night, the Vikings, with new QB Josh Freeman, take on the winless Giants. And while Freeman was the problem in Tampa, he will be the cure in NY/NJ. Take the Gints -3.5 at home to get off the schneid.
On Sunday night Peyton Manning returns to Indy. Coming off a lackluster performance against the Jags last week, Manning has stayed quiet while the Colts owner has taken shots at him all week long, wondering out loud how the Colts made the playoffs 11 years in a row with Manning but managed to "only" win one Super Bowl. You want to answer that Dan Marino? Manning doesn't have two off weeks in a row this season. Take the Broncos -6.5 at Indy.
And finally, the J...E...T...S are only a 3.5 dog at home against the visiting Bradys. The Jets are up and down every week and after a lackluster performance last week, look for Geno Smith to keep it close against the Cheaters. Take the 3.5.
UPDATE: The line between good and great is thin. The line between good and bad in the NFL is also thin. If there is one team that has crossed over that line repeatedly, disappointing its fans, confounding the experts, and losing games it should win, it has been the San Diego Chargers. That is why we are eschewing the points (+7) and taking the money line +280. You're getting almost 3-1 on your money on a home dog. A nice score like that buys you dinner at Joes. The Bolts fold on the road and the Jags pick up a win.
Bum Phillips passed away on Saturday at the age of 90. The coach of the Houston Oilers in their hey-day of the late 1970's doesn't get the credit he deserves. He used the 3-4 on defense way before it was popular. His QB's were gunslingers (Dan Pastorini and then an old Ken Stabler) and he knew his players. In pre-season he had his players do a mile run. Earl Cambell, the big bruising running back could only make it a half a mile. When asked about it, Bum said "Well, when it's 3rd and a mile, I won't give him the ball." Our favourite quote about him was one he said about Don Shula and Bear Bryant: "He can take his'uns and beat your'uns, and he can take your'uns and beat his'uns."
Phillips Oilers often were the second best team in the NFL. The problem was they played in a division with the best team in the NFL at the time: The Steelers. You want a rivarly? Go watch some Steeler/Oiler games circa 1975-1980. You won't see a harder hitting, better played series of games.
Coming Monday: Once you beat em, join em.