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Archive for Friday, December 7, 2001

Pro Picks: Look for 49ers to trip Rams

San Francisco discovers defense

December 7, 2001

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The San Francisco 49ers discovered their defense last week, albeit against Buffalo, which has won one game all season.

They'll need that defense when they go to St. Louis on Sunday. This game is for the lead in the NFC West, for San Francisco like many between 1981 and 1998 when it dominated the division. The Rams took over in 1999, won the Super Bowl and are trying to get back after losing in the first round of the playoffs last season.

The Rams are favored by 712 points, and the over-under is a whopping 5412, a reflection of both teams' offenses.

But ... St. Louis barely won 30-26 in the first meeting. Terrell Owens had four dropped passes. 49ERS, 39-38.

Chicago (plus 512)

at Green Bay

The other NFC division showdown. PACKERS, 20-12

New York Jets (plus 4) at Pittsburgh

No Jerome Bettis, so it's Curtis Martin vs. Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala.

STEELERS, 16-13

Indianapolis (plus 4) at Miami

The Colts are dangerous here, particularly because the Dolphins don't start playing until the fourth quarter. Everyone will be sleeping in the fourth quarter this week. Road advantage. COLTS, 27-26

Detroit (minus 9) at Tampa Bay

The Lions might have to go to the finale with Dallas to win a game. And that's at home, the disadvantage. But they're always close. BUCS, 17-13

Kansas City (plus 9) at Oakland

Priest Holmes can cause trouble for the shaky Oakland run defense. RAIDERS, 27-24

Cleveland (plus 5)

at New England

Courtney Brown is hurt again, the Patriots have a playoff shot, so ... PATRIOTS, 22-9

New Orleans (off) at Atlanta

Chris Chandler says he'll be ready. SAINTS, 21-16

Seattle (plus 6) at Denver

The Seahawks have a better shot at the playoffs than the Broncos. No road advantage here. BRONCOS 21-20

Washington (pick'em) at Arizona

The hot Cardinals have a lot of injuries, including both guards. REDSKINS, 24-20

Tennessee (off) at Minnesota

Daunte Culpepper is hurting. Todd Bouman was heroic in relief last week. The Vikings are one of the few teams that win at home and lose on the road. VIKINGS, 21-13

New York Giants (minus 312) at Dallas

A road favorite? GIANTS, 8-2

San Diego (plus 7)

at Philadelphia

The Eagles are one of those teams 2-4 at home, 5-0 away. But the Chargers have lost five in a row. EAGLES, 20-3

Jacksonville (plus 3)

at Cincinnati

The Bengals continue to slide. JAGUARS, 26-23

Carolina (plus 312) at Buffalo

They're kidding. PANTHERS, 6-5

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