Today's Games

September 10, 1995|By VITO STELLINO

Dolphins (1-0) at Patriots (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Dolphins by 1 1/2

Outlook: Miami's Dan Marino, 33, needs 1,580 yards and 11 touchdowns to overtake Fran Tarkenton as the NFL's top passer. Drew Bledsoe, 23, needs less than 3,000 yards this season to become the youngest quarterback in league history to reach 10,000 yards. Flip a coin. Halftime check: If the Dolphins are trailing, the game might be over. In their past six games, the Patriots have not given up a second-half touchdown.

Stellino's pick: Dolphins 21, Patriots 14 -- Think Don Shula is tired of hearing about Jimmy Johnson?

Steelers (1-0) at Oilers (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Steelers by 5

Outlook: The Oilers hit the jackpot, getting the Steelers without Neil O'Donnell and Rod Woodson. Houston quarterback Chris Chandler returns after bruising his shoulder. The Steelers start Mike Tomczak at quarterback and Alvoid Mays at cornerback. Willie Mays would be more effective -- both at quarterback and corner. The Steelers' last loss to a division opponent was Dec. 19, 1993 -- against Houston.

Stellino's pick: Steelers 24, Oilers 14 -- I don't think Woodson is going to endorse artificial turf.

Saints (0-1) at Rams (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: t Rams by 1 1/2

Outlook: Who better to spoil the Rams' first game in St. Louis than Jim Everett? The Saints will be without linebackers Winfred Tubbs and Rufus Porter; the way Jerome Bettis has been running, the Saints can go with nine defenders. New Orleans ought to look into filling Anaheim Stadium; the Saints won eight in a row on the Rams' former home turf.

Stellino's pick: Saints 26, Rams 17 -- Those St. Louis fans haven't caught Rams fever. The first Rams game got only a 17.2 rating in St. Louis (percentage of TV sets tuned in). Milwaukee got a 29.1, Washington a 28.4 and San Diego a 28.3 for their home teams.

Lions (0-1) at Vikings (0-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Vikings by 3

Outlook: Minnesota kicker Fuad Reveiz needs two more field goals to break John Carney's NFL record of 29 in a row. Four years ago, Barry Sanders rushed for 220 yards and scored four touchdowns on the Metrodome carpet.

Stellino's pick: Lions 17, Vikings 13 -- Are the Vikings having second thoughts about not wanting to pay Terry Allen?

Panthers (0-1) at Bills (0-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Bills by 9 1/2

Outlook: Frank Reich, a former Bill, engineered the greatest comeback in NFL history, rallying Buffalo from a 32-point deficit to defeat the Oilers, 41-38, in the 1992 playoffs. Experience in falling behind will come in handy playing for Carolina.

Stellino's pick: Bills 28, Panthers 10 -- Give Dom Capers credit for being ready to go for a two-point conversion last Sunday. He's apparently not your typical conservative coach.

Giants (0-1) at Chiefs (1-0)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Chiefs by 7

Outlook: New York gave up 459 yards and failed to sack Troy Aikman. The Chiefs lead the NFL in take-aways in the '90s with 195, including 101 fumble recoveries.

Stellino's pick: Chiefs 24, Giants 23 -- The Chiefs didn't miss Joe Montana last week.

Buccaneers (1-0) at Browns (0-1)

Time: 1 p.m.

Line: Browns by 8

Outlook: Vinny Testaverde faces his former team for the first time. Linebacker Pepper Johnson had 17 tackles against the Patriots. Buccaneers receiver Horace Copeland caught five passes for 155 yards, threatening to make Wally Pipp out of Alvin Harper (ankle). The Tampa Bay defense, which had a league-low 20 sacks in '94, had five Sunday and gets a tackling dummy in Testaverde.

Stellino's pick: Browns 28, Bucs 27 -- This is the Bob Leffler Bowl. The Baltimore ad man represents both teams, but won't say which one he's rooting for today.

Broncos (1-0) at Cowboys (1-0)

Time: 4 p.m., Ch. 11

Line: Cowboys by 10

Outlook: The Cowboys draw Denver without run-stuffer Michael Dean Perry (knee). Emmitt Smith averaged 2.4 yards a carry in the only previous meeting. Quarterback John Elway is 1-0 against Dallas with three touchdowns. Dallas is without cornerback Kevin Smith (partially torn Achilles' tendon) and will start Clayton Holmes. History tidbit: Mike Shanahan was the receivers coach at Oklahoma under Barry Switzer.

Stellino's pick: Cowboys 24, Broncos 10 -- Will Jerry Jones have Nike's Phil Knight on the sidelines again?

Colts (0-1) at Jets (0-1)

Time: 4 p.m.

Line: Colts by 2

Outlook: The Colts have defeated the Jets 12 of the past 16 times they have met. Quarterback Craig Erickson starts again, but owner Robert Irsay will be ready to insert Jim Harbaugh. Marshall Faulk has averaged 101 yards in two games against the Jets. Ted Marchibroda is 51-59 against the rest of the league, 11-5 against the Jets.

Stellino's pick: Colts 20, Jets 10 -- The Orioles somehow forgot to thank Irsay last week. If he hadn't moved, there wouldn't have been a Camden Yards to play host to Cal Ripken's record night.

Seahawks (0-1) at Chargers (0-1)

Time: 4 p.m.

Line: Chargers by 9

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