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SPORTS WEEKEND | WEEK 10 BREAKDOWN

Chiefs Walk Into Tough Town

November 03, 2000|MIKE PENNER

"The autumn wind is a Raider," you can almost hear the late, great John Facenda intoning from a celestial sound studio for this one. "Welcoming you from afar. You come to town, and he'll spin you 'round. And send several of your fans to the local ER."

Raider fans, the closest things in the NFL to English soccer hooligans, are back home Sunday after taking their carnage carnival on the road to San Diego and terrorizing powder-blue-clad Charger fans--even stabbing one--and reminding everyone in Los Angeles why we all said good riddance in 1995.

Sebastian Janikowski did the damage on the field, kicking five field goals to beat the Chargers, 15-13, and doing it the Raider way. Tackle Lincoln Kennedy, on Janikowski's game-winning kick: "We told him we'd break both his legs if he missed."

Next up: the hated Chiefs, coming in on a 5-1 roll that includes a 20-point victory over St. Louis, facing a 7-1 Raider team that can virtually clinch the AFC West title with a victory.

Pressing pre-kickoff question: How soon does Gray Davis send in the state militia?

The line: Oakland by 3 1/2.

HE IS THE KNIGHT WHO SAYS "SWEEP"

Pittsburgh (5-3) at Tennessee (7-1), 10 a.m. Apparently, Titan running back Eddie George has been watching "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" instead of studying game films. Remember the never-say-die Black Knight in "The Holy Grail," cursing and vowing to fight on ("Just a flesh wound") as each of his limbs is lopped off? That's George.

The line: Tennessee by 7 1/2.

SORRY, NO LIFELINES IN THIS GAME

Baltimore (5-4) at Cincinnati (2-6), 10 a.m. On the day the Ravens scored their last touchdown, American Laura Wilkinson was also taking the plunge, winning the women's 10-meter platform diving competition at the Sydney Olympics. The date was Sept. 24, 2000. Since then, Wilkinson has appeared on "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?" with Regis Philbin and the Ravens have gone broke with Tony Banks and Trent Dilfer. Q: And the early leader for understatement of the century is? A: Raven Coach Brian Billick, with: "Maybe we do need to open it up . . . and become a little more free-wheeling."

The line: Baltimore by 6.

ONE MORE QUESTION: CAN ANYONE HOLD THE FORTE?

Miami (6-2) at Detroit (5-3), 10 a.m., Channel 2. Lion wide receiver Herman Moore is stumped: "Right now, if you ask me what it is we do well, or what is the identity of the Detroit Lions' offense, I couldn't tell you. I know it's an offense that wants to be physical, but what is our forte? What is our bread and butter? What is it that we consistently do on a regular basis that teams have a hard time defending?" Answers: a) Aldo Forte, a 6-foot 213-pound lineman who played three games for the Lions in 1946. b) The third-down incompletion. c) The punt.

The line: Detroit by 2 1/2.

JUST GIVE HIM THE DAMN ADDRESS

Tampa Bay (4-4) at Atlanta (3-6), 10 a.m. Finally, Keyshawn Johnson put that mouth of his to good use. Last Wednesday, with a must-win game against Minnesota on the schedule, the Tampa Bay wide receiver paid a visit to Shaun King's home, on the theory that if you can't make the quarterback come to you, you then must go to the quarterback. "I told him to let 19 and 28 eat till they're full," Johnson said, referring to his jersey number and running back Warrick Dunn's. Fresh out of cold cuts, King was at a loss, ready to phone Domino's, until Johnson explained he meant the football.

The line: Tampa Bay by 7.

BOBBY DOUGLASS OR CADE McNOWN? HMMM, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE A POINT

Indianapolis (6-2) at Chicago (1-7), 10 a.m. Bad news, Bears. Now you are being trashed by the 1969 Bears, who were also 1-7 en route to a 1-13 finish. "That '69 team team would beat this year's Bears' team," '69 vet Gale Sayers told the Chicago Sun-Times. humbly suggesting he'd be a reason why: "Mainly because we had a running back on offense and a great linebacker in Dick Butkus on defense." Added Doug Buffone, linebacker, class of '69: "We'd win it. I'm positive." Which is a sorry statement on the current team. Many of those '69 Bears are now pushing 60.

The line: Indianapolis by 7.

BRUCE WILLIS AS A NICKEL BACK? MIGHT BE WORTH A LOOK

San Francisco (2-7) at New Orleans (5-3), 10 a.m. Steve Mariucci sees dead people. Well, not really dead, not in the literal sense. But the San Francisco coach sees the ghosts of 49ers past, names such as Lawrence Phillips, Tommy Vardell and Gabe Wilkins, no longer on the 49er roster but with salaries still counting against the team's current salary-cap allowance. "We have about $12 million invested in those guys," Mariucci said. "And I got a feeling Casper is going to be on our roster for another year or two."

The line: New Orleans by 5 1/2.

CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET A LEAD?

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