I should have known better. The sun was shining, the leaves were putting on a dazzling autumn show, and I was buying into all the beautiful angles of November. Promise finally fulfilled, the downtrodden rising up, and to top it off, a dazzling young runner who would render the records meaningless. Bitter reality ruined all the lovely angles. Detroit sank back into the pit. The Giants had another poor showing against the Cowboys. The Saints got overrun by winless St. Louis. Cleveland had Pittsburgh on the ropes and failed to finish them off. Cruelest of all, the rookie idol, Adrian Peterson (right), now joins the long list of knee casualties. It almost makes one want to give up handicapping games and just root for kinder treatment for all parties concerned. But in a singularly unattractive NFL weekend, we can still ply our trade and try to find a few winners.
The Giants at Detroit opened pretty much as a pick 'em game. I overrated the impact the Giants' pass rush would have on the Cowboys, but now they're going up against a line that produced minus-18 yards rushing on Sunday. This looks too easy, and it goes against my basic handicapping formula. But I'm taking the Giants, and if they get routed, then I swear to you, I'll never go against my formula again. The Titans' reputation as neighborhood bullies took a hit when they ran into an even nastier bunch—the Jaguars—but I think they'll impose their will on Denver on Monday night. When will the Saints start building a new winning streak? Not this weekend. I've got Houston in another miniupset. Cleveland will make up for past indignities by nailing the vulnerable Ravens. Seattle will have too much offense for the Bears. If David Garrard QBs the Jaguars, I'll take them over San Diego. If it's still Quinn Gray, I'll go with the Chargers.
Last week 4--2
JEFF HANISCH/US PRESSWIRE