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Rating The Games

November 02, 2003

**** Makings of a classic

*** No remote needed

** Good to keep checking

* Strictly fantasy fodder

* Oakland (2-5) at Detroit (1-6), Channel 2, XTRA (1150), 10 a.m. Based on cornerback Charles Woodson's recent comments, the Raiders are experiencing inner-turmoil. That always makes for good television. LINE: Raiders by 3.

* San Diego (1-6) at Chicago (2-5), Channel 8 (San Diego), KMPC (1540), KFMB (760 San Diego), XEXX (1420 Spanish), 10 a.m. Both the Chargers and Bears hope to make late-season playoff runs. Let me know when they start because until then, I'll pass on a Drew Brees vs. Chris Chandler-Kordell Stewart showdown. LINE: Bears by 2 1/2.

** New York Giants (3-4) at New York Jets (2-5), 10 a.m. The Meadowlands should be rocking for this Big Apple battle, with the Giants and Jets both trying to get back into the playoff picture. LINE: Giants by 2 1/2.

* Carolina (6-1) at Houston (2-5), 10 a.m. The Panthers keep finding ways to win and the Texans keep finding ways to lose. Two nondescript teams going in different directions but at least Carolina has a big-time running back in Stephen Davis. LINE: Panthers by 6 1/2.

*** Indianapolis (6-1) at Miami (5-2), KFWB (980), KAVL (610), 10 a.m. Brian Griese vs. Peyton Manning. The Dolphins are hoping that Griese is the real deal and the Colts know that Manning is their man. Don't forget about the battle of the running backs with Ricky Williams and Edgerrin James. LINE: Dolphins by 3.

**Jacksonville (1-6) at Baltimore (4-3), 10 a.m. The Jaguars and Ravens each start rookie quarterbacks in Byron Leftwich and Kyle Boller, but only Baltimore has middle linebacker Ray Lewis on defense. LINE: Ravens by 6 1/2.

**New Orleans (3-5) at Tampa Bay (4-3), Channel 11, Channel 6, KLSX-FM (97.1), 10 a.m. Although the Saints have had recent success against the defending Super Bowl champions, this game just doesn't excite. Maybe Warren Sapp should do something outlandish. LINE: Buccaneers by 8.

**Pittsburgh (2-5) at Seattle (5-2), 1 p.m. Coach Bill Cowher's Steelers are desperate for a victory and the Seahawks do not want to lose two in a row. Maybe not a glamour game but it should be competitive. LINE: Seahawks by 4 1/2.

**Cincinnati (3-4) at Arizona (2-5), 1 p.m. In case you didn't know, Coach Marvin Lewis has the Bengals playing good football and they are even favored on the road. LINE: Bengals by 3.

** St. Louis (5-2) at San Francisco (3-5), Channel 11, Channel 6, KLSX-FM (97.1), 1:15 p.m. The way the Rams have been playing lately, with quarterback Marc Bulger in control, they are fun to watch . It should also be worth watching Terrell Owens work with a new starting quarterback for the 49ers. LINE: Rams by 4.

** Washington (3-4) at Dallas (5-2), 1:15 p.m. When the Redskins and Cowboys play each other, it's normally a passionate game. With Washington hungry for a win and Dallas coming off a loss, this one should be pretty good. LINE: Cowboys by 4 1/2.

** Philadelphia (4-3) at Atlanta (1-6), KFWB (980), KAVL (610), 1:15 p.m. Without Michael Vick, you can avoid watching every game the Falcons play; unless you are an Eagles' fan and you've been waiting for Donovan McNabb to have a breakout game. LINE: Eagles by 4 1/2.

** Green Bay (3-4) at Minnesota (6-1), ESPN, KLSX-FM (97.1), 5:30 p.m. Some games, the Packers' Brett Favre looks great. Other times, Favre just looks old. That's not a problem with Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss. Too bad the game is being played indoors. LINE: Vikings by 4 1/2.

*** New England (6-2) at Denver (5-3), Monday, Channel 7, 6 p.m. The Broncos will start Danny Kanell at quarterback again and if he struggles, watch Coach Mike Shanahan's facial expressions on the Denver sideline. LINE: Broncos by 2 1/2.

-- Lonnie White

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