Today's Game

September 18, 1994|By Vito Stellino

Cardinals (0-2) at Browns (1-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Cleveland by 3

Outlook: Jim McMahon is again Buddy Ryan's QB. Steve Beuerlein has been benched after another ineffective outing against the Giants. Last week, Vinny Testaverde had four interceptions and Eric Metcalf was not a factor for the Browns.

Stellino's pick: Cardinals 23, Browns 12 -- When do the Browns bring in Mark Rypien?

Packers (1-1) at Eagles (1-1)

Time: 1 p.m., Chs. 45, 5

Line: Eagles by 3 1/2

Outlook: Along with receivers Fred Barnett and Calvin Williams, Randall Cunningham has the Eagles' offense rolling. Like most games against the Packers, the defensive strategy comes down to the ability to limit Sterling Sharpe. The next step is to harass QB Brett Favre into throwing before he's ready.

Stellino's pick: Eagles 28, Packers 21 -- Will Reggie White feel like he's in the wrong locker room at the Vet?

Colts (1-1) at Steelers (1-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Steelers by 7 1/2

Outlook: The Colts might be able to just run the ball against the Steelers, who are 25th in the NFL against the rush. Rookie Marshall Faulk has revitalized the Colts' running game, rushing for 247 yards, 6.0 yards per carry.

Stellino's pick: Steelers 23, Colts 14 -- I actually picked the Colts to win last week. I should have known better.

Saints (0-2) at Bucs (1-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Buccaneers by 4

Outlook: Bucs QB Craig Erickson was 19 of 24 for 313 yards and 3 TDs last week against the Colts. Jim Everett completed 31 of 46 passes for 376 yards and 2 TDs last week against the Redskins.

Stellino's pick: Saints 21, Bucs 13 -- Do the Bucs think anybody believes the statement that they're not for sale?

Bills (1-1) at Oilers (0-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Oilers by 2 1/2

Outlook: The Bills came back to life in a big way last week against New England. They scored often and in the clutch. That trend seems like it will continue against the Oilers, who have not recaptured any of the swagger that made them the top defense of last season.

Stellino's pick: Bills 28, Oilers 17 -- Do you think the Oilers are tired of hearing about the comeback?

Vikings (1-1) at Bears (1-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bears by 1

Outlook: Behind a strong front seven, the Vikings limited Barry Sanders to 16 yards in 12 carries last week. Like the Vikings, the Bears don't have much of a running game. Lewis Tillman and Tim Worley are capable but have not been big-play guys.

Stellino's pick: Bears 21, Vikings 14 -- Do you think George Halas liked a particular model of the Hupmobile in that Canton showroom 75 years ago?

Jets (2-0) at Dolphins (2-0)

Time: 1 p.m., Chs. 2, 4

Line: Dolphins by 3 1/2

Outlook: This game has all the earmarks of being a shootout. Both teams have had early success at stopping the run, but neither has cut off the pass. In nine of their past 17 meetings, the teams have combined for 48 or more points.

Stellino's pick: Dolphins 21, Jets 14 -- Imagine what Dan Marino could do on two good legs.

Patriots (0-2) at Bengals (0-2)

Time: 1 p.m.

b,8.9,9.5 Line: Patriots by 5

Outlook: The Patriots have scored 70 points and Drew Bledsoe has passed for 801 yards in two games -- that would be enough for most teams to win one. The Bengals' offense is adequate and might do well against the NFL's worst defense.

Stellino's pick: Patriots 31, Bengals 7 -- The Patriots finally play a team that won't score more than 30 points against them.

Raiders (0-2) at Broncos (0-2)

Time: 4 p.m.

Line: Broncos by 4 1/2

Outlook: Jeff Hostetler's passing rating of 48.2 is the second lowest in the AFC and he was intercepted three times by Seattle. John Elway has the Broncos' offense producing just about as expected.

Stellino's pick: Broncos 24, Raiders 16 -- For a guy's who %J supposed to be a genius, Al Davis is pretty slow at figuring out he needs a running game.

Chargers (2-0) at Seahawks (2-0)

Time: 4 p.m.

Line: Seahawks by 3 1/2

Outlook: San Diego's Stan Humphries is proving again that, when he is healthy, he is a good quarterback. After two weeks he is the highest-rated passer in the NFL. The Seahawks' offense has been solid if unspectacular with Rick Mirer running the show.

Stellino's pick: r Seahawks 27, Chargers 20 -- Tom Flores is proving he can win without Al Davis pulling the strings.

49ers (1-1) at Rams (1-1)

Time: 4 p.m.

Line: 49ers by 13 1/2

Outlook: The 49ers have beaten the Rams seven consecutive times and the Rams have lost their past eight to them at Anaheim Stadium. Steve Young has completed 43 of 66 passes for 596 yards, has five touchdowns, three interceptions and a passing rating of 100.3.

Stellino's pick: 49ers 31, Rams 12 -- All the 49ers fans will help the Rams draw a respectable crowd for this one.

Chiefs (2-0) at Falcons (1-1)

Time: 8 p.m., TNT

Line: Chiefs by 2 1/2

Outlook: The Chiefs should not underestimate Jeff George's emergence -- he is at the top of every passing statistic list. Andre Rison leads the NFL in receptions (26), yards (316) and touchdowns (four).

Stellino's pick: Falcons 23, Chiefs 20 -- George doesn't miss Indianapolis.

Stellino's best bets: Patriots, Cardinals, Giants and Steelers

CLast week's record: 8-6. against the spread: 7-6-1. Best Bets: 3-1

Season record: 16-12. Against the spread: 12-15-1. Best Bets: 5-3


Vito Stellino covers pro football for The Sun

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