It wasn't supposed to be this way for Tampa Bay and its new "impact" player, Keyshawn Johnson. The 3-0 start was fine, but not the 0-3 segment that followed.
Starting slowly is not unusual for Tony Dungy's team, however. Last season, the Bucs began 3-4, won eight of nine and came within two minutes of the Super Bowl.
That's why they're 8-point favorites at home tonight over Detroit, which is a game ahead of them in the NFC Central. Oddsmakers have long memories.
One of the problems for the Lions is offense. Even in the Silverdome, they've had trouble scoring. Worse, they're now without Germane Crowell and while Herman Moore is around to replace him, it just makes the Lions thinner at receiver.
The Bucs actually showed some offense in Minnesota, then had a bye week.
Figure that Dungy got things straightened out.
St. Louis (minus 7) at Kansas City
Does someone know something? This game opened at 81/2 and enough money came in to drop it to 7.
Try this: The Rams' two closest wins were against AFC West teams: 41-36 over Denver and 37-34 over Seattle, the 37 being the fewest points St. Louis has scored this season.
Or this: St. Louis has to lose sometime. This is the time and place a team coming off a bitter division loss in a stadium that's one of the toughest in the NFL for road teams.
Miami (plus 3) at New York Jets (Monday night)
For all of Miami's defensive heroics, the Dolphins are only 1-1 on the road and the win was at Cincinnati, a I-AA team, meaning it doesn't count in the BCS standings.
Tennessee (plus 1) at Baltimore
The Ravens have to score a touchdown some week. Don't they?
New England (plus 8) at Indianapolis
The Patriots won at home two weeks ago. It won't happen again against a team relieved just to be home after three straight road games.
Washington (minus 4) at Jacksonville
It would be tempting to think the Jaguars can turn it around here. But not off a short week with an offensive line that's a mess and a limping Jimmy Smith.
Buffalo (plus 61/2) at Minnesota
Doug Flutie time. But the Vikings don't lose in the dome.
Seattle (plus 71/2) at Oakland
The Raiders play down to the level of competition and rarely win by 71/2.
Arizona (plus 7) at Dallas
The Cowboys put up 31 points with Randall Cunningham and lost in Arizona. If Troy throws two interceptions or fewer ...
Chicago (plus 61/2) at Philadelphia
The Eagles might be a playoff team. The Bears aren't.
New Orleans (minus 11/2) at Atlanta
The Saints? A road favorite?
San Francisco (plus 3) at Carolina
George Seifert is a defensive guru.
Denver (minus 10) at Cincinnati
The Broncos reap the benefits of last season's last-place finish.
Cleveland (plus 9) at Pittsburgh
Oh, those red-hot Steelers.