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Rating The Games

October 26, 2003|Lonnie White

**** Makings of a classic

*** No remote needed

** Good to keep checking

* Strictly fantasy fodder

* Detroit (1-5) at Chicago (1-5), 10 a.m. I don't know about you, but this is one game that I wouldn't mind sleeping in on. The Lions looked horrible last week against Dallas, and the Bears looked just as bad in their loss at Seattle. But if you're a fan of punters, this is a game for you. LINE: Bears by 3.

** Denver (5-2) at Baltimore (3-3), Channel 2, Channel 8 (San Diego), KAVL (610), KFWB (980), 10 a.m. Even with third-string quarterback Danny Kanell starting for the Broncos, this has the makings of an interesting game between teams entertaining playoff hopes. LINE: Ravens by 2.

** St. Louis (4-2) at Pittsburgh (2-4), KFWB (980), KAVL (610), 10 a.m. The Rams are on a roll with Marc Bulger, but the Steelers still have a talented roster. Give Pittsburgh Coach Bill Cowher credit for picking a good time to give running back Jerome Bettis his first start of the season. Bettis normally runs well against his former team. LINE: Steelers by 1 1/2.

** Seattle (5-1) at Cincinnati (2-4), 10 a.m. One of the best feel-good stories in the league this season has been Coach Marvin Lewis and the Bengals. If Cincinnati is sticking close to the Seahawks, this could be an upset in the making for the Bengals, who play well at home. LINE: Seahawks by 2.

*** Dallas (5-1) at Tampa Bay (3-3), Channel 11, KLSX-FM (97.1), 10 a.m. This is the type of game that will go a long way in determining how the Cowboys will be regarded the rest of the season. If Dallas could win this one, Coach Bill Parcells could run for governor of Texas and win. LINE: Buccaneers by 6.

** Tennessee (5-2) at Jacksonville (1-5), 10 a.m. The Rush Limbaugh Bowl. Steve McNair, the NFL's hottest quarterback, versus Byron Leftwich, the league's most promising rookie signal caller. LINE: Titans by 4.

** Cleveland (3-4) at New England (5-2), 10 a.m. The Patriots are the most underrated team in the league. If Coach Bill Belichick can keep getting them to win games they should win, they will be a force at playoff time. LINE: Patriots by 5.

** Carolina (5-1) at New Orleans (3-4), 10 a.m. If the Saints play as they did last week against Atlanta, the Panthers could be looking at their second consecutive defeat. New Orleans quarterback Aaron Brooks is the difference maker. LINE: Saints by 2.

** New York Giants (2-4) at Minnesota (6-0), 10 a.m. The Giants need to pull things together soon, and what better time to get started than against the undefeated Vikings? LINE: Vikings by 5 1/2.

* San Francisco (3-4) at Arizona (1-5), 1 p.m. Unless Terrell Owens goes off again, on or off the field, for the 49ers, I'll let Chris Berman tell me about this one. LINE: 49ers by 6 1/2.

* Houston (2-4) at Indianapolis (5-1), KLSX-FM (97.1), 1:15 p.m. This is the time of the season when you can start making plans around must-miss games. The Texans may be improving but a little too slowly. LINE: Colts by 13.

* New York Jets (2-4) at Philadelphia (3-3), Channel 2, Channel 8 (San Diego), XPRS (1090), KFWB (980), KAVL (610), 1:15 p.m. Neither team has a pretty record and neither plays pretty football. But because both teams play with passion, this should be a good game to check out if you love old-school football. LINE: Eagles by 3.

** Buffalo (4-3) at Kansas City (7-0), ESPN, KAVL (610), KLSX-FM (97.1), 5:30 p.m. Arrowhead Stadium will be rocking for the Chiefs. If returner Dante Hall breaks one for a touchdown, the place may explode. LINE: Chiefs by 6.

*** Miami (4-2) at San Diego (1-5), Monday, Channel 7, 6 p.m. The Junior Seau "Chicken and Watermelon Bowl. " "Monday Night Football" lucked out with this one because the Chargers will get a boost from a home crowd, despite their record. LINE: Dolphins by 3.

-- Lonnie White

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