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Today's Games

November 30, 1997


New York Jets vs. Buffalo

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* TV: Channel 4

* Records: Jets 8-4, Bills 5-7.

* Storyline: The Jets have been brilliant, a reflection of Bill Parcells' coaching and ability to juggle starting quarterbacks and at the same time maintain consistency. The win over Minnesota last week should legitimize their claim to being a postseason team, but Miami and New England continue to apply pressure, although the Jets have the easier remaining schedule. The Bills are lost on offense with quarterback Todd Collins, but still have the defensive pep to spring an upset.

* The line: Jets by 2.

* The pick: Upset special, Bills.

San Francisco vs. Kansas City

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* TV: Channel 11.

* Records: 49ers 11-1, Chiefs 9-3.

* Storyline: With Rich Gannon at quarterback, the Chiefs have no business beating anyone, and certainly not a team that has had the success of the 49ers. But the Chiefs have defied such pronouncements most of the season, with last-minute rallies time and again to win. The 49ers have the No. 1 defense in the league, so if Kansas City is to spring an upset it will probably have to come with special-team play and its defense. The 49ers have won close games three of the last four weeks against talent that probably doesn't measure up to Kansas City.

* The line: 49ers by 3 1/2.

* The pick: Really big upset special: Chiefs.

Miami vs. Oakland

* Kickoff: 1 p.m.

* TV: Channel 4.

* Records: Dolphins 7-5, Raiders 4-8.

* Storyline: The Dolphins are 0-9 in Oakland, but have they ever played a worse Raider team? Oakland ranks last in the NFL in defense, and has been unable to stop anyone from running the ball, which is something Jimmy Johnson emphasizes. Dan Marino is coming off a personal disaster in New England intent on redemption, but the Raiders are on the same mission having been embarrassed on national TV. Miami has something to play for too, and the Raiders don't, but isn't Oakland the better team?

* The line: Dolphins by 2 1/2.

* The pick: Raiders.

Denver vs. San Diego

* Kickoff: 5 p.m.


* Records: Broncos 10-2, Chargers 4-8.

* Storyline: The Chargers have started cutting starters--not a good sign. They released guard Isaac Davis this week, who was caught moving too soon last week, negating a touchdown against the 49ers. How come General Manager Bobby Beathard and Coach Kevin Gilbride are getting off scot-free? The Broncos are ripe for a letdown after throwing everything they had at the Raiders for revenge, but in reality all they have to do is make sure they catch the plane to beat the Chargers.

* The line: Broncos by 8 1/2.

* The pick: Broncos.


Baltimore vs. Jacksonville

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* Records: Ravens 4-7-1, Jaguars 8-4.

* Storyline: Baltimore has the AFC's No. 4 offense, and it's much ado about nothing. It will continue to have Bam Morris too, but the Jaguars are starting to get play out of running back Natrone Means, which should take the pressure off Mark Brunell and free him up to have a big game. The Jaguars have the easier schedule, but Pittsburgh has the tiebreaker so far in the race for the AFC Central title.

* The line: Jaguars by 8.

* The pick: Jaguars.

Cincinnati vs. Phila

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* Records: Bengals 4-8, Eagles 5-6-1.

* Storyline: How's this for a contrast? The Bengals have returned to their glory days with an aging Boomer Esiason at quarterback to revive them, while the Eagles are looking down the road with an inexperienced Bobby Hoying. Esiason, however, will not have Carl Pickens, who is out for the season because of a torn groin muscle, which puts Darnay Scott back in the spotlight.

* The line: Eagles by 5.

* The pick: Bengals.

Indianapolis vs. New England

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* Records: Colts 1-11, Patriots 7-5.

* Storyline: The Patriots got back on the winning track, but looked ugly in doing so, and a loss to the lowly Colts might result in the public lynching of Pete Carroll. Quarterback Drew Bledsoe continues to be one of the disappointing performers of the season, but there is still time to salvage the season--maybe even win the division title.

* The line: Patriots by 11.

* The pick: Patriots.

New Orleans vs. Carolina

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* Records: Saints 4-8, Panthers 6-6.

* Storyline: Coach Mike Ditka quit after last week's loss, but then took it back. His players quit a long time ago, and probably won't take it back. New Orleans will start its fourth quarterback of the season in Billy Joe Hobert, not necessarily because he's the answer, but because the other three have been a disaster.

* The line: Panthers by 9.

* The pick: Panthers.

St. Louis vs. Washington

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* Records: Rams 2-10, Redskins 6-5-1.

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