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Sunday, October 17, 2004 

Games of the Day

The division races are starting to take shape, and it's time to find out whether teams like Detroit and San Diego are for real (I think they'll both lose this week) and if others like Green Bay and Tennessee can turn things around.

Early Games

This is easy. Seattle (3-1) at New England (4-0) is a possible Super Bowl preview. The Seahawks have to be steamed after last week's meltdown against the Rams, and while Tom Brady could pick them apart like Bulger did, the Patriots receiving core is decimated. They got away with it against Miami, but Patriots fans should be concerned about this one. Seattle needs a win to ensure that they stay ahead of St. Louis (who play Tampa on Monday night), while New England wants to remain (at worst) tied with the Jets heading into that game next weekend.

Late Games

Remember how everyone was shocked when Denver lost to Jacksonville? That loss doesn't look nearly as bad now, even though the Broncos (4-1) gave it away at the end. Now they travel to Oakland to play the Raiders (2-3) who have not been impressive. This is always a good rivalry game, and the teams match up fairly well. Neither team airs it out on offense, and Oakland actually has more throwing yards than Denver so far (1163-1124). I expect Denver to try to keep it on the ground, which will result in a close game.

Prime Time

Neither game is great, and both will be up against the baseball playoffs in the ratings game. Minnesota (3-1) at New Orleans (2-3) is the pick here, mainly because Duante Culpepper should have a field day. New Orleans hasn't had much luck stopping anyone, but neither has Minnesota - these are two of three worst defenses in the NFC (Green Bay is the worst). Unless the Vikings turn the ball over, they should win.

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