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Rating The Games

October 13, 2002|Jim Barrero

**** Makings of a classic

*** Smash-mouth football

** Good for an end around

* Strictly fantasy fodder


** Buffalo (2-3) at Houston (1-3), 10 a.m.: Texan offensive coordinator Chris Palmer gets to see former pupil Drew Bledsoe up close again. Expect a schooling by the student. LINE: Buffalo by 7 1/2.

** Carolina (3-2) at Dallas (2-3), 10 a.m.: Emmitt Smith's pursuit of Walter Payton has turned into a slow-speed chase, but even Smith says "on any given day, anything can happen." LINE: Dallas by 2.

** Atlanta (1-3) at New York Giants (3-2), 10 a.m., KNX (1070): After this one, Giants will be league's most undeserving 4-2 team. Other victories have come against St. Louis, Seattle and Dallas. LINE: New York by 5 1/2.

*** Baltimore (2-2) at Indianapolis (3-1), 10 a.m.: Now that Jamal Lewis has shown convincingly that a running back can return from a torn ACL, Colts' Edgerrin James eager to follow his lead. LINE: Indianapolis by 7.

*** New Orleans (4-1) at Washington (2-2), 10 a.m.: Steve Spurrier doesn't let pride get in the way and names Patrick Ramsey his starting quarterback. Did Jim Haslett come in early this week? LINE: New Orleans by 1.

*** Green Bay (4-1) at New England (3-2), 10 a.m., Channel 11: Terry Glenn returns to Foxboro with the Tom Goodwin Award under his arm. At least Patriots aren't paying most of his salary. LINE: New England by 5 1/2.

* Detroit (1-3) at Minnesota (0-4), 10 a.m.: "I think we just need to go out and have some fun when we're playing," Viking quarterback Daunte Culpepper says. Nothing like a visit from the Lions to bring smiles. LINE: Minnesota by 4 1/2.

** Pittsburgh (1-3) at Cincinnati (0-5), 10 a.m.: Watch the battle of the clock. Bengals have held a lead only 2 minutes 30 seconds all season. Steelers not much better at 2:54. LINE: Pittsburgh by 6.

** Cleveland (2-3) at Tampa Bay (4-1), 10 a.m., Channel 2: If Little Timmy Couch thought the fans were rough last week, wait until the Buccaneers' second-ranked defense gets through with him. LINE: Tampa Bay by 7.

*** Oakland (4-0) at St. Louis (0-5), 1:15 p.m., Channel 2, KMPC (1540): Raiders arrive to officially take crown from Rams as league's most exciting team. But somehow "Greatest Show on Part-Dirt, Mostly-Grass" doesn't have the same ring. LINE: Oakland by 8.

** Jacksonville (3-1) at Tennessee (1-4), 1:15 p.m.: Jaguars have league's best road record (24-19) since Nov. 24, 1996, but have never won at The Coliseum in Nashville. In this rivalry, however, it's best to expect the unexpected. LINE: Jacksonville by 2.

*** Kansas City (3-2) at San Diego (4-1), 1:15 p.m., KNX (1070): Donnie Edwards gets to show Chiefs what they are missing on defense and Marty Schottenheimer gets to ... well, never mind. LINE: San Diego by 3.

**** Miami (4-1) at Denver (4-1), 5:30 p.m., ESPN, KLSX (97.1): Marshall Faulk, Garrison Hearst and LaDainian Tomlinson have been thwarted by Broncos this season. Is Ricky Williams next in line for similar treatment? LINE: Denver by 3 1/2.

** San Francisco (3-1) at Seattle (1-3), Monday, 6 p.m., Channel 7, KNX (1070), XTRA (690): Mike Holmgren is 2-1 against former protege Steve Mariucci, but this is first time they meet with Holmgren as Seahawks' coach. LINE: San Francisco by 3.

Open date: New York Jets, Arizona, Philadelphia, Chicago.

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