Originally created 11/28/02

Pro picks



If the New England-Detroit game Thursday goes into overtime, Marty Mornhinweg has one major burden off his back:

The game is indoors, so the Lions' coach won't have to decide whether to take the wind or the ball.

OK, enough about Detroit's loss last week to the Bears, in which Mornhinweg took a 17 mph wind in overtime, giving Chicago the ball. The Bears, of course, drove down and won the game on Paul Edinger's 40-yard field goal into the wind.

It probably won't come to that Thursday.

New England has won three of four games and is favored by 5 1/2 points against a Detroit team that has lost three straight and could give up on the season after the demoralizing loss to the Bears.

Not so, says New England cornerback Ty Law, who played college football at Michigan.

"They're always up for it," Law said. "Those guys come out and beat anybody. We're aware of that. This is their big game. This is their show, their Super Bowl, year in and year out."

Take the wind.

Er, the spread.

PATRIOTS, 26-17

--- Washington (minus 1) at Dallas (Thursday)

Despite its overall travails the past few seasons, Dallas has won nine straight in this series.

COWBOYS, 13-3

Tampa Bay (minus 1) at New Orleans

The Saints need it more than the Bucs, who may be exhausted after their battles (physical and verbal) with Green Bay.

SAINTS, 20-17

New York Jets (plus 6) at Oakland (Monday night)

Third game between these teams since January. The Jets have won four straight, the Raiders three.

RAIDERS, 28-27

Denver (minus 3) at San Diego

Broncos are 7-0 in daylight.

BRONCOS, 20-19

St. Louis (minus 1) at Philadelphia

Is A.J. Feeley the next Mark Bulger? Delayed reaction to the loss of McNabb.

RAMS, 20-15

Tennessee (plus 3) at New York Giants

Two teams coming off bad, bad losses.

TITANS, 16-14

Miami (minus 2 1/2 ) at Buffalo

Like a lot of young teams that start fast, the Bills are fading.

DOLPHINS, 24-20

Chicago (plus 9 1/2 ) at Green Bay

Mike Sherman will take the ball, not the wind.

PACKERS, 20-17 (overtime)

Baltimore (minus 3) at Cincinnati

A classic example of why the Bengals lose. They may have more talent; the Ravens have a front office.

RAVENS, 13-12

Atlanta (minus 3 1/2 ) at Minnesota

How come Randy Moss gets tired and Michael Vick doesn't?

FALCONS, 31-14

Carolina (plus 7 1/2 ) at Cleveland

At least the Panthers get to face the stationary Tim Couch instead of Vick.

BROWNS, 19-6

Houston (plus 11) at Indianapolis

Tony Dungy is known for late-season streaks.

COLTS, 34-10

Pittsburgh (minus 3) at Jacksonville

The Steelers have been flirting with trouble. Here it is.

JAGUARS, 20-17

Seattle (plus 9) at San Francisco

Terrell Owens Sharpied the Seahawks the first time. And no more Jose Cortez to kick (around).

49ers 21-16

Arizona (plus 9 1/2 ) at Kansas City

The battered Cardinals are back in their accustomed patsy role.

CHIEFS, 41-26

LAST WEEK: 7-9 (spread), 9-7 (straight up)

SEASON: 86-86-4 (spread), 111-64-1 (straight up)