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THE NFL WEEK 3

Today's Games

September 14, 1997

ARIZONA (1-1) at WASHINGTON (1-1)

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* TV: Channel 11.

* Records: Cardinals 1-1, Redskins 1-1.

* Storyline: The Redskins open a new stadium, and were supposed to be matched against the Little Sisters of the Poor. But now the Cardinals look threatening, winning until the very end in Cincinnati and then winning outright in overtime against Dallas. Good thing it was only a fluke.

* The Line: Redskins by 7 1/2.

* The Pick: Edge to the Redskins.

BALTIMORE (1-1) at NEW YORK GIANTS (1-1)

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* Records: Ravens 1-1, Giants 1-1.

* Storyline: The Ravens have their win for the year. The Giants got waxed by the Jaguars and must go on without wide receiver phenom Ike Hilliard. That's all right, because the Giants won't need anyone to catch the ball on offense--only on defense to snare Vinny Testaverde's errant tosses.

* The Line: Giants by 3.

* The Pick: Edge to the Giants.

BUFFALO (1-1) at KANSAS CITY (1-1)

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* Records: Bills 1-1, Chiefs 1-1.

* Storyline: The Raiders couldn't put enough heat on Elvis Grbac, and although the Bills got to Neil O'Donnell for eight sacks a week ago, forget it. Two weeks ago Minnesota's speedy Robert Smith shredded the Bills' defensive line, and now it's Greg Hill's turn.

* The Line: Chiefs by 4.

* The Pick: Edge to the Chiefs.

OAKLAND (0-2) at ATLANTA (0-2)

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* Records: Raiders 0-2, Falcons 0-2

* Storyline: The Falcons are supposed to be winless, but have looked good in doing so. The Raiders are not supposed to be winless, but that teaches you to listen to Al Davis. The Falcons don't have a quarterback, but the Raiders are worse off--they have a quarterback who used to play in Atlanta.

* The Line: Raiders by 4.

* The Pick: Edge to the Raiders.

MIAMI (2-0) at GREEN BAY (1-1)

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* TV: Channel 4.

* Records: Dolphins 2-0, Packers 1-1.

* Storyline: Wouldn't it be just a hoot if the Packers lost two games in a row after suggesting they might remain unbeaten all season? The Dolphins, however, lack the firepower to win a shootout with Green Bay, and don't have the defense to steal a win.

* The Line: Packers by 13.

* The Pick: Decisive edge to the Packers.

DETROIT (1-1) at CHICAGO (0-2):

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* Records: Lions 1-1, Bears 0-2

* Storyline: The Bears have indicated they intend to get serious, not hand the ball to Rashaan Salaam. Funny they didn't think about that two weeks ago. Bobby Ross apologized to the citizens of Detroit just as he did in San Diego. Twenty-eight more cities and he will have hit them all.

* The Line: Bears by 2 1/2.

* The Pick: The way-out-on-a-limb upset special of the week, the Lions. Hey, Chicago is favored.

TAMPA BAY (2-0) at MINNESOTA (2-0)

* Kickoff: 10 a.m.

* Records: Buccaneers 2-0, Vikings 2-0.

* Storyline: Make those reservations in San Diego for the Super Bowl. A classic showdown featuring two quarterbacks who are playing way over their heads. The Buccaneers have the defense now to remain competitive every week, but they also have the track record to suggest the joy ride is about to end.

* The Line: Vikings by 4.

* The Pick: Edge to the Vikings.

CAROLINA (1-1) at SAN DIEGO (1-1)

* Kickoff: 1 p.m.

* Records: Panthers 1-1, Chargers 1-1.

* Storyline: Should be canceled because of boredom. The Panthers have no offense, a banged-up defense, a trip across country and they are probably still the better team. San Diego can't run the ball, doesn't much care for Stan Humphries at quarterback, but also can't be that thrilled with Jim Everett after watching him play.

* The Line: Pick 'em.

* The Pick: Flip a coin. Slight edge to the Panthers.

NEW ORLEANS (0-2) at SAN FRANCISCO (1-1)

* Kickoff: 1 p.m.

* TV: Channel 11.

* Records: Saints 0-2, 49ers 1-1.

* Storyline: The 49ers' defense could remain on the sidelines for first and second downs, and the Saints still wouldn't score. They might not score 16 offensive touchdowns--one per game--all year. Jim Druckenmiller looks like Saint material down the road, but this one's decided by San Francisco's defense.

* The Line: 49ers by 11.

* The Pick: Edge to the 49ers.

ST. LOUIS (1-1) at DENVER (2-0)

* Kickoff: 1 p.m.

* Records: Rams 1-1, Broncos 2-0.

* Storyline: The Rams' petition to the NFL to allow quarterback Tony Banks to line his hands with Velcro has been denied. If he's not dropping the ball, Lawrence Phillips is. That's just what John Elway needs, a few more opportunities to have the ball in his hands.

* The Line: Broncos by 14.

* The Pick: Edge to the Broncos.

SEATTLE (0-2) at INDIANAPOLIS (0-2)

* Kickoff: 1 p.m.

* Records: Seahawks 0-2, Colts 0-2

* Storyline: The buildup for this one should be something. The Seahawks have one offensive touchdown, the Colts none. The Seahawks have no defensive secondary, but the Colts have no offensive line. Warren Moon lights it up.

* The Line: Colts by 2 1/2.

* The Pick: Edge to the Seahawks.

NEW YORK JETS (1-1) at NEW ENGLAND (2-0)

* Kickoff: 5 p.m.

* TV: TNT.

* Records: Jets 1-1, Patriots 2-0.

* Storyline: Bill Parcells jumped for the money and the power, and now he must pay. The Patriots will be out for revenge, humiliation if at all possible, and a chance to establish themselves early on as the best team in football--and all without Parcells. Parcells, meanwhile, will still be rich and powerful.

* The Line: Patriots by 10.

* The Pick: Edge to the Patriots.

* Last week: 8-7. * Season: 17-13. * Upset Special record: 1-1.

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