- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 28, 2006

On the heels of a 13-3 record in Week 3, I fell back to earth with a thud last week, going 7-7 and having New England, Arizona, Cleveland and Buffalo all lose home games. Here are this week’s slate:

First up as usual are the five games I pick against the Virginian Pilot’s Jim Ducibella. Through three weeks, he leads by a few games but I have no earthly idea what his record is.

The Five-Pack

Me: Redskins 16, Jaguars 11. Jacksonville has the better team but I’m taking a flyer on this one - one of the few games this season where the Redskins will be the underdog and win.

Duce: Jacksonville 16, Redskins 13

Me: Dallas 34, Tennessee 13. Even with the Cowboys’ latest saga, the Titans provide minimal opposition.

Duce: Dallas 27, Tennessee 17

Me: Philadelphia 40, Green Bay 21. The Eagles could score 55 points in this Monday nighter if they want to, but instead the NFC East favorites will take it easy on Brett and Co.

Duce: Philadelphia 35, Green Bay 21

Me: San Diego 14, Baltimore 6. Points will be a premium in this match up of undefeated teams. Look for Shawne Merriman to have a few sacks.

Duce: Baltimore 20, San Diego 17

Me: Seattle 27, Chicago 24. Even without Shaun Alexander, the Seahawks have the better quarterback and will keep their spot as the best team in the NFC.

Duce: Chicago 20, Seattle 16

(Sorry, folks, no Toilet Bowl Game of the Week, there are too many good matchups.)

The rest of my picks

Atlanta 30, Arizona 17. Kurt Warner’s last game as the starter - Matt Leinart takes over next week.

Minnesota 22, Buffalo 16. The Purple lost a heartbreaker at home to Chicago last week; the Bills laid an egg in their home opener, losing to the Jets.

Carolina 14, New Orleans 9. The Saints will pitch a stinker following last week’s emotional return home. Steve Smith makes all the difference for the Panthers.

Miami 34, Houston 27. The Texans looked like an NFL Europe team last week. The Dolphins have to be concerned about Daunte Culpepper.

Kansas City 27, San Francisco 23. Herm Edwards gets his first win as Chiefs coach.

Indianapolis 35, NY Jets 19. Eric Mangini comes from the Belichick Coaching Tree, but the Jets defense doesn’t have enough talent to stop Peyton.

St. Louis 15, Detroit 14: Lions offensive coordinator Mike Martz returns to St. Louis, but he doesn’t have Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Marshall Faulk or Torry Holt.

New England 42, Cincinnati 37: Brady vs. Palmer will be a shootout but Tom finds a way in the fourth quarter to defeat Carson, handing the Bengals’ their first defeat.

Cleveland 6, Oakland 3: Who cares.

Last week: 7-7

Season: 28-17

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