Bill Liesse's Inside the Lines column
Today is the day.
It's going to happen.
The Miami Dolphins win today.
Declarations like this clearly don't require evidence, which is a good thing. Because the Dolphins have offered none.
Rolled by whatever remains of Buffalo's roster last time out. More than tripled by the two-win Jets before that. Hyperscoreless at Pittsburgh late last month. And so on.
This notion, which we realize could be a comical one by 12:30 or so, is strictly on feeling. And it has less to do with the Dolphins than it does the Ravens and Patriots.
Why the Pats? Because they're supposed to be 14-0 next week, home to 0-14 Miami. And since people are already writing stories about that, the guess here is the matchup will not happen. Well, they'll still play, I guess, but the double-zero aspect is going to get ruined one week out.
It being far too insane to pick the Jets to throw a wrench into things by beating New England, we'll instead ask the Ravens to be Miami's foil.
And they're just the people to do it. Crashing even worse this year than the Saints and Bears, the Ravens mustered some pride and were a few feet and flags from beating the powerful Pats a couple weeks ago.
To display the kind of inconsistency inherent in bad teams, they'll respond to the other end of the spectrum by playing miserably. And losing.
Ravens -3.5 at DOLPHINS
: Let's pretend we love Cleo and the gang just so we can move past this game and start talking about pro football. MIAMI.
Colts -10.5 at RAIDERS
: Double-figure wins every season. At least one team in the room has a commitment to excellence. INDIANAPOLIS.
CHARGERS -10 vs. Lions
: One team coming off a win, another a loss. Should be true but in reverse. Won't be any such dramatics here. SAN DIEGO.
GIANTS -4.5 vs. Redskins
: Maybe Joe Gibbs used some of his three extra days to prepare with his nose in a rulebook. Unless he used it to buy a quarterback not named Collins, his team is in trouble here. NEW YORK.
Like ‘em, but I'm scared
VIKINGS -10 vs. Bears
: Unless Lovie holds things together better than Dikka and Wanny used to, the Bears can be expected to go entirely belly-up the rest of the way. MINNESOTA.
STEELERS -3.5 vs. Jaguars
: Unless Miami shows up on the schedule, no one wins a week after playing the Patriots. Pittsburgh's turn. JACKSONVILLE.
Seahawks -7.5 at PANTHERS
: There's simply no taking Carolina. SEATTLE.
BROWN S -5.5 vs. Bills
: On paper, Buffalo and its ravaged defense are not equipped to guard Braylon Edwards and Cleveland's other fine weapons. But Dick Jauron has not used paper to paint this year's coaching masterpiece. BUFFALO.
I'll know more Monday
Packers -10 at RAMS
: Another one just on feel. Think the Rams will give one more game effort this season, and it's hard for the Pack to get up for another nasty team on its schedule. ST. LOUIS.
SAINTS -3.5 vs. Cardinals
: Don't ask me why: ARIZONA.
COWBOYS -10.5 vs. Eagles
: Still waiting for someone to call or write with some clues on how to figure out Philly. I remember asking the Eagles to play tough in this rivalry at the Linc, and they failed miserably. This time we'll ask them not to … and probably be wrong. DALLAS.
I hate these games
BUCCANEERS -13.5 vs. Falcons
: The guess is Atlanta will be so refreshed to be out of Bobby Petrino that it'll rally. The question is, does a Falcons rally mean being within 14 points of an average team? ATLANTA.
Titans -4 at CHIEFS
: Depending on whether you believed in Priest Holmes' comeback, KC looked to be breaking camp with Michael Bennett as a third-string runner. Now look. TENNESSEE.
PATRIOTS -23.5 vs. Jets
: I mean, what the heck? A pro game that opens at 27? Begging for weather help in this out-and-out guess. NEW YORK.
Last week : 13-3