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(By Rice World Staff)

by None, Rice, Gerry

     Wow! Check out the final comments of None on the bottom. A very nice summary of how the AFC East is going to turn out. Anyways, I will again apologize for the Thursday debacle. I guess sleep was just more important than the football picks! Hm... what else? Lots of picks this week lack disparity, so that makes the conflicting games even more important for our records! Heh heh, but of course, our first priority is to provide you, the reader, with clear and comprehensive analysis each week. Okay, enough inane ramblings. I don't know what to say anyways... let's get it on!

Wins Losses Locks Back
None 98 60 7-4 ---
Gerry 96 62 6-5 2
Rice 94 64 6-5 4
kurupt 9 5 1-0 N/A


Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Gerry 10-5 - 9-6 - 8-6 + 11-3 +
None 9-6 + 10-5 + 9-5 + 12-2 -
Rice 8-7 + 11-4 - 8-6 - 10-4 -
kurupt N/A N/A N/A 9-5 +
Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8
Gerry 7-7 - 4-10 + 10-4 + 8-6 -
None 6-8 + 9-5 + 10-4 - 10-4 +
Rice 7-7 + 5-9 + 9-5 - 7-7 -
kurupt N/A N/A N/A N/A
Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12
Gerry 6-8 - 13-2 + 10-5 + N/A
None 7-7 - 8-7 + 8-7 - N/A
Rice 9-5 + 9-6 + 11-4 + N/A
kurupt N/A N/A N/A N/A


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pantherssmall.gif (1186 bytes)  vs  brownssmall.gif (1058 bytes)
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions
Gerry: Detroit
None: Detroit

Rice: Detroit

None: The NFC Central is topsy-turvy, and Chicago can get back into the playoff race with a win today. What do I give thanks for? the last two lines of the Miami at Dallas analysis. Oh, yeah, Detroit wins because they need to rebound after the Arizona & GB defeats. And they're at home.

Gerry: The Lions D actually looks pretty good, although penalty prone. Chicago is now a purely passing team, and Jim Miller's luck can't last 3 straight weeks.

Rice: Bears are surprising many people, but this week they come back down to earth.

lionssmall.gif (559 bytes)  vs  packerssmall.gif (691 bytes)
Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys
Gerry: Dallas
None: Miami

Rice: Dallas

None: Oooh....this one's weird: Dan Marino is back. Why weird? Damon Huard showed some poise last week, rebounding from that bad loss in Buffalo to beat the Patriots in a big game. Can Marino take them to victory? What's really at stake here? Home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. I think they can pull it off. The real reason to watch, though? Shania Twain's (growl!) live concert on CBS after this game on Thursday. I give thanks to her...assets.........yea.

Gerry: Emmitt Smith's back, and even though he has a broken hand, he's still one of the best. The Dolphins' run defense is actually pretty good, so Dallas should be forced to the air. Likewise Miami's also lacking their QB, so this should be an ugly game.

Rice: This game is at Texas Stadium. I have yet to see Dallas lose at home.

patssmall.gif (599 bytes)  vs  billssmall.gif (1791 bytes)
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
Gerry: New England
None: Buffalo

Rice: Buffalo

None: Carve this one in stone: The winner of this game makes the playoffs, the loser doesn't. In Buffalo, it's the biggest game of the year for the Patriots (They have lost to the Jets & Dolphins in consecutive weeks), I still see them losing. Why? It's in Buffalo - it might snow, and it's gonna be windy. The defense will be huge - like always - and the offense will get a lift by the home-crowd.

Gerry: The Patriots should bounce back big time. Terry Glenn hasn't gotten anything thrown his way for about a month. I see big numbers for that sissy. The clock's striking midnight for Buffalo's Cinderella.

Rice: Clock's not striking midnight at home, that's for sure. Playing AT Buffalo in the winter is one hell of a home field advantage. Plus there's the fact that they're the better team in this matchup...

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Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens
Gerry: Jacksonville
None: Jacksonville

Rice: Jacksonville

None: Jacksonville's big win against New Orleans silenced a lot of critics, including me. However, let's see what they can do against a better defense. Although...didn't Baltimore give up 31 to the Bengals or something? Ugh... well, Jacksonville still lights it up on their march to home-field.

Gerry: The Haguars came out of their slumber to explode on the Saints, who actually put up a fight in the 1st half. Musta pissed the Jags off because they whaled on them in the 2nd half. This game won't be 6-3. Maybe after 5 minutes in the 1st quarter.

Rice: Looks like Brunell's hitting his stride. Better watch out, AFC. When the Jaguars are on their game, no team can touch them.

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Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Gerry: Pittsburgh
None: Pittsburgh

Rice: Pittsburgh

None: None's rules o' football picks: 1) You DO NOT pick the Bengals 2) See #1 3) Stop picking Cleveland... Well, the third one's off the subject, but look at the first two. Although they scared the f--- out of me last week when they posted 31. This could be an upset special, but I'm scared: My lead is going down faster than a 5 dollar whore. Anyways, go safe. Take the Steelers.

Gerry: The Bengals were robbed last week. And as much as I wanna take them, I just can't. Not against a Steeler team that's on a bad winning streak, who's playing at Three Rivers.

Rice: Ouch. Tough loss last week. But no worries. Like what Gerry said last time, Cincy heals all.

seahawkssmall.gif (866 bytes)  vs  chiefssmall.gif (1052 bytes)
Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns
Gerry: Tennessee
None: Tennessee

Rice: Tennessee

None: Who needs this game more? And rule #3 applies in None's Rules o' football picks. Anyways, Tennessee is the better team, they're 8-2, and the AFC Central sucks. By the way, they want home-field advantage as well. Between the Colts, the Dolphins, the Jaguars, the Seahawks and the Titans, it's going to be fun to see where the AFC playoffs go through. Easy win for the Titans.

Gerry: The TITans are by no means a good team. But alas, the TITans are better than the Browns, so this should be a rather easy victory. Look for Eddie George to run wild for the TITans. Do you like my subliminal messages?

Rice: Besides Cincy, the Browns are also a good ointment to any pains the opposing team may be suffering. To a team like the Titans who are on a roll, it's like taking candy from a baby.

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Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants
Gerry: NY Giants
None: NY Giants

Rice: NY Giants

None: This late in the season, it becomes a simple matter of who needs (and wants) the games more. To make up for their loss to Washington last week, the Giants must beat a strong-looking Cardinals team to stay in the NFC East division race. Also, they need all the wins they can get for the wild-card hunt. I think they win at home.

Gerry: They're making the switch to Kerry Collins, which is just what they need. Kent Graham is pretty good, but the Giants' offense needs a change. Look for TE Pete Mitchell to get a ton of receptions.

Rice: Okay, Arizona's had enough winning. Michael Strahan of the Giants is a monster. At home, he's going to eat up the Cardinals single-handedly. Definitely going to be a low scoring affair here.

steelerssmall.gif (1522 bytes)  vs  titanssmall.gif (1018 bytes)
Philadelphia Eagles @ Wash. Redskins
Gerry: Washington
None: Washington

Rice: Washington

None: Two weeks ago, the Redskins lost to these lowly Eagles, 35-28. 35 points to the Eagles- that's just sad... This week, however, in Washington, the Skins will get revenge. It won't be sweet revenge, because the Eagles will probably score tons off that defense again, but it'll be good enough. Washington in a shootout. (Isn't that redundant? Washington & shootout?)

Gerry: The Redskins should be eager to avenge their embarassing loss to Philly a couple weeks ago. Michael Westbrook is healthier than expected, but won't see many passes. This will be Stephen Davis' week again.

Rice: Philly's a weird team. Sometimes they can hang w/ the big boys, and other times they seem like they don't know how the game is played. Regardless, the 'skins will roll over the Eagles because they're at home, and then there's that revenge factor stated above...

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San Diego Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings
Gerry: Minnesota
None: Minnesota

Rice: Minnesota

None: Alright, so I was right last week: San Diego's defense is getting tired now... they gave up 23 points to the Bears. However, what nearly gave me a heart attack was that their offense came to life...kinda... This week, in the Metrodome, I see the Vikings' offense's struggles continue, but not to the point where they can't outscore the Chargers. What is this- 5 losses in a row now for the Chargers? Ugh...what a promising start they had.

Gerry: Poor Chargers. They will get bombed on through the air. Randy Moss is coming around, and Cris Carter has all of a sudden turned 10 years younger. This will be an ugly blowout.

Rice: SD's got nuthin'. Last week the Bears slacked off and it made the Chargers offense look miraculous in the waning seconds. Looks like my Minnesota curse has worn off, so this one will go to the Vikings.

cowboyssmall.gif (794 bytes)  vs  cardssmall.gif (1052 bytes)
New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams
Gerry: St. Louis
None: St. Louis

Rice: St. Louis

None: St. Louis should stop picking on teams with no defense. Of course, they play in the NFC West, so that's hard to change... Last week, Saints RB Ricky Williams finally got his first NFL touchdown... in a loss to Jacksonville. Welcome to the big league, son. Guess what? You lose again. Maybe if Dikta didn't give away the draft for you, you'd have better than that offensive line and a couple of Billy Joes handing it to ya.

Gerry: I actually think the Saints have a decent chance here. Ricky Williams is finally healthy, and no, Ron Dayne ain't as good as Ricky. Dayne bowls people over; you can't tackle him. Ricky's got moves, but is too fragile.

Rice: I see why many experts rag on the Rams... because their schedule is so soft! The Saints are going nowhere fast this season. I hope they invest in the O-line in the draft this year. Ricky Williams will need it.

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T. B. Buccaneers @ Seattle Seahawks
Gerry: Seattle
None: Seattle

Rice: Seattle

None: Tampa Bay's that team that scores barely enough to win. Look under Chargers, San Diego & Jaguars, Jacksonville for other examples. However, Seattle's been playing excellent ball (8-2) and can assert themselves with a win on their turf against the 'mighty' NFC power. I think the Bucs are overrated, and Seattle is underrated. Justice will be served.

Gerry: As much as I love TB's defense, there's no way their offense can hang w/ Seattle's murderous D. Ricky Watters is turning into an all-purpose monster, and Kitna has proven himself an able QB. He's way better than Dilder.

Rice: Wow! These Seahawks are a powerhouse! The Buccaneers can't hang. Especially on the road.

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NY Jets @ Indianapolis Colts
Gerry: Indianapolis
None: Indianapolis

Rice: NY Jets

None: The Jets might be the AFC East's bane right now, but no way in hell they beat the Colts. The hottest team in the NFL have the hottest offense in the NFL, and their defense is playing great too. Plus, one additional factor: Miami plays Thursday, so no matter if the Dolphins win or lose, Manning and the boys realize they've either a) got to keep up or b) take over the division lead.

Gerry: Bill Parcells' magic will run out here. The Colts are starting to hit their stride. Edgerrin James is Offensive Rookie of the Year, and Peyton Manning might just be MVP.

Rice: Shoot me now, but after seeing Buffalo get man-handled by the Jets, Ray Lucas is leading one hell of a rejuvanated team after a disappointing start. Indy is good, but they're overrated as of now. Everybody is gushing about a Colts team that has a relatively bump free schedule. Wake up call for Indy, and upset special for the Jets!

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Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
Gerry: Oakland
None: Kansas City

Rice: Oakland

None: A couple of 5-5 teams. The winner has that tiniest of shots at the playoffs. The loser can go home. KC is 1-4 on the road, and normally, I would pick the Raiders. But...Oakland's a team in dissarray, losing against a team they had to beat and should have beat. (Denver) Plus, you've got legal charges on a couple of players cuz they attacked some fans, a lot of mental errors (horrid punts, dropped passes), and it's not good. Not that it's great for KC right now, but they have more.

Gerry: The Chiefs are a fraud of a team. They look good pounding weaker opponents, duping people into thinking they're good. But the truth is, the KC's run defense only plays well when they have a lead. Oakland's reeling after a heartbreaking win @ Denver. But they should bounce back.

Rice:What a tough pick here. I am torn between KC and Oakland, but at the end, I believe the Chiefs can do it at home... and tank everywhere else. Raiders coach John Gruden is electrifying. I just love his game face. This will be a gritty win in an emotional division rivalry.

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Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
Gerry: Carolina
None: Carolina

Rice: Atlanta

None: Wouldn't it be cool if both these teams were wiped off the map? Anyways, Atlanta has sneaked up on ppl, and had some close games, but not in Carolina, against a pretty decent team. Since no one cares about this game, that's it.

Gerry: Beuerlein to Muhammad all day long. But don't count Atl out. They played well against TB, and might even squeak out a victory. But Carolina's at home, so you instantly favor them.

Rice: Just right now, I erased Carolina and put down Atlanta. Pure gut. Hope I don't get raped...

raiderssmall.gif (1530 bytes)  vs  broncossmall.gif (999 bytes)
Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers
Gerry: Green Bay
None: Green Bay

Rice: Green Bay

None: GB has Favre. SF doesn't have Young. GB has momentum after beating the Lions at home. SF lost to the Rams last week. The Packers are a decent-overrated team. The 49ers are a bad-whogivesafuck? type of team. Take the Packers. No one cares about this one, either. What a change from four years ago, huh?

Gerry: Brett Favre's back, and he's even confident enough to simulate throat cutting taunting tactics. This bodes well for GB's offense, which is opened up and Dorsey can go crazy again.

Rice: Did you see Favre last week? He was having fun man! No more painful thumb... it's game time baby.

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{ Bye week }
None: OVERALL ANALYSIS- The AFC East is the best division in football; watch it for the rest of the season. Seattle, Tenn, & Jax are shoo-ins for the playoffs because of their weak division schedules. That leaves three spots for these four teams: The 8-2 Colts & Dolphins, the 7-4 Bills, and the 6-4 Patriots. The #s in parenthesis are the division losses, which is important cuz division records become the second tie-breaker after head-to-head. (Read carefully- this is what they need to make the playoffs)

Colts (2) need: to win out. Every single game.
Dolphins (2) need: to win out. Every single game.

    The problem? They face each other once more. Whoever wins that one likely wins the division. But since they have two less losses than the other two teams, as long as they lose only once the rest of the way, both will be in the playoffs.

Bills (2) need:    to win at least 1 of 2 games with Patriots, and the rest.
Patriots (3) need: to beat Buffalo in both their remaining games, and the rest.

Why? If these two win all the games (excluding head-to-head), they have identical ecords. Since the Patriots have more division losses right now, they have to win both. If they win one, the head-to-head is tied at 1 apiece, and the tie-break goes to the divisional record.

    One final comment: It's more complicated than that. The Colts play the Bills one more time, which could decide if a) The Colts have home-field and b) If the Bills make the playoffs. And don't forget c) The Jets, they play Miami twice & Indy and can spoil everything. One thing's for sure, though, one of these four teams stays home.


Gerry's LOCK OF THE WEEK: New England -> I think I'll lose, but by the law of averages, Drew Bledsoe passes his way to 3 TDs. Buffalo can't run, so this will be a shootout. And the Pats are formidable in shootouts.
None's LOCK OF THE WEEK: Buffalo -> Overlooking the final game of the year against the Colts, this is the biggest game of the year for the Bills. At home, it's gonna be crazy, and their offense is going to click...hopefully.
Rice's LOCK OF THE WEEK: Oakland -> Gruden all the way baby. I love that coach. I know, I'm usually a KC fan, but this week, it's the Raiders that are going to hit the money.