Seven is point of no return in NFL

TREVOR BUNKE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 6:42 AM ET

After the first two weeks of the NFL season, no team that has trailed by more than seven points has come back for a victory. I'm 10 games under .500 after two weeks, so there may be no catching up for me, either.

Onward and upward in Week 3?

Pittsburgh (+1) at Miami: No matter how bad these Dolphins appear to be, beating them with a rookie quarterback who is making his first NFL start -- as the Steelers will with Ben Roethlisberger (say that 10 times fast) -- is an awful lot to ask. Add to that the fact the temperature will be 31C with high humidity and thundershowers, and it could be a long day for Pittsburgh's rookie pivot. DOLPHINS

Jacksonville (+6) at Tennessee: The 2-0 Jaguars should probably be 0-2, but the bounces have gone their way. The law of averages say it's not likely to happen for a third straight week, especially against a Titans team that will be ornery after last week's loss to the Colts. TITANS

Cleveland (+3) at NY Giants: Browns QB Jeff Garcia had a 0.0 passer rating last week vs. Dallas. That's only happened four other times since 1970. Throw in all the defensive injuries Cleveland has suffered and Tom Coughlin's Giants look pretty good. GIANTS

Baltimore (-3) at Cincinnati: How bad are the Ravens on offence? TE Todd Heap went down in the second quarter last week vs. the Steelers, yet still led the team with three catches for 27 yards. Ouch. Baltimore will need its defence to score at least two TDs to beat the Bengals. Not likely. BENGALS

Houston (+7.5) at Kansas City: The Chiefs have given up 62 points in two games, worst in the NFL. The Texans have given up 55 points, second worst in the NFL. The Chiefs should win, but that defence is too vulnerable to give up on the 71/2-point spread Houston is getting. TEXANS

New Orleans (+7) at St. Louis: The Rams only beat the Cardinals by seven points two weeks ago. The Saints are a lot better than the Cards. SAINTS

Chicago (+9) at Minnesota: The Bears have no DBs. The Vikings have WR Randy Moss. A rolling stone might gather no Moss, but try stopping a rolling Moss with a battered secondary. VIKINGS

Philadelphia (-4.5) at Detroit: The 2-0 Lions have been a nice surprise so far in 2004. They aren't about to surprise Donovan McNabb and the Eagles. EAGLES

Arizona (+10) at Atlanta: If the Michael Vick we saw last week vs. the Rams shows up Sunday, the Cardinals are doomed. Doomsday it is. FALCONS

San Diego (+10) at Denver: The Chargers aren't as bad as most people thought they would be. The Broncos might not be as good as most people thought they would be. That means a 10-point spread is too high. CHARGERS

Green Bay (+6) at Indianapolis: When the Bears expose your weaknesses -- at home no less -- and your next opponent is Peyton Manning on his turf, it's lights out. COLTS

San Francisco (+10.5) at Seattle: I've gone against the Seahawks for two straight weeks and been wrong. Let's make it three straight, as the 49ers have hung tough both weeks. 49ERS

Tampa Bay (+3.5) at Oakland: The Super Bowl participants from two seasons ago have fallen on hard times. Raiders DT Warren Sapp gets to face his old team while Buccaneers WR Tim Brown does the same. The Raiders -- at least the ones who aren't too old to remember -- will be out to avenge that Super Bowl loss. RAIDERS

Dallas (+2) at Washington: I'm not sold on either of these two fierce rivals, so I'll play it safe and take the two points the Cowboys are getting. COWBOYS

Bye Week: Buffalo, Carolina, New England, New York Jets.

Last Week: 7-9.

Season: 11-21.

Best Bet: Atlanta.

Best Bets: 1-1 after the 3-point favourite New York Jets beat San Diego 34-28.

Suicide Pick: Atlanta.

Suicide Picks: 2-0 after New England beat Arizona 23-12.

trevor.bunke@ott.sunpub.com


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