Notice must be paid, though, to the spectacular year that Keyshawn Johnson is having. It's one thing to pad your stats with meaningless catches, but he's been putting up big numbers the hard way. In that offense, every time he grabs a ball, it's significant. Right now he's the best wideout in the NFL.
In one of the more intriguing matchups this week, the Bucs host the Vikings, who rose up in a fury and buried a Green Bay team that had been playing at championship level. In a move that went practically unnoticed last week, Minnesota traded for Browns defensive end Stalin Colinet, adding needed muscle to a beleaguered line. The rotation kept people fresh on Sunday, and Brett Favre was under constant pressure. Now the Vikings face a team that just allowed the most sacks by any team this season.
Home field—the Vikings have lost on their last three visits to Tampa—says go for the Bucs, but recent form says, pick Minnesota. It's been an illogical year, and believe me, that's the only reason I'm picking Tampa Bay.
Nothing's wrong with the unbeaten Rams, who for some reason were not a popular preseason Super Bowl choice. One more week or so and the media will become obsessed with St. Louis's chances of an unbeaten season, and you will read at least 500 Mike Martz quotes about how he will not address that issue. New Orleans won two of its three games with the Rams last year, but the Saints won't triumph this time. Back home at the St. Louis Speedway, the Rams are the choice.
Upset special, on a hunch: The Chiefs will beat the Colts on Thursday. The Jets, coming off the St. Louis embarrassment, will get back on track against Carolina. The 49ers are rested after their bye week, but Chicago's on a roll and at home. The Bears will win, but it'll go down to the wire. The Dolphins will beat the Seahawks in Seattle, and in the Monday-nighter, the Titans will upset the Steelers in a nasty, low-scoring struggle.