NFL Countdown

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:24 AM ET

Detroit (3-2) at N.Y. Giants (4-1)

The line: Giants by 6 1/2

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. In last week's 38-10 loss to Green Bay, the Lions trailed the Pack by only seven at halftime, but had fewer yards (18) in the second half than the Packers had points (21). A critical matchup could be Giants defensive end Michael Strahan versus Lions right offensive tackle Stockar McDougle. The Lions struggled on the ground Sunday, gaining only 33 yards (12 of them by quarterback Joey Harrington). McDougle and Co. on Detroit's O-line will need to clear the way for Detroit's mediocre running backs. Strahan, coming off an all-pro season, already has three sacks. Giants running back Tiki Barber leads the NFL with 817 yards from scrimmage.

Cody's call: Giants 23-14

Buffalo (1-4) at Baltimore (3-2)

The line: Ravens by 6

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. The Ravens will be without star running back Jamal Lewis, who has started serving his two-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Enter Chester Taylor, who has run for just 164 yards this season. Defensive tackle Sam Adams leads Buffalo's meet-and-greet defence, which is No. 5 versus the run (No. 8 overall). The 335-pound Adams played two seasons in Baltimore and won a Super Bowl there. Buffalo's defensive front will aim to force the Ravens to run outside or, even worse, turn to their passing game, which is ranked dead last. The Ravens, ranked sixth on D (no. 7 versus the pass, No. 11 versus the pass), are 3-0 this when they get an interception. Bills QB Drew Bledsoe has thrown three picks.

Cody's call: Ravens 17-10

St. Louis (4-2) at Miami (0-6)

The line: Rams by 6 1/2

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. The Dolphins 20-13 loss to Buffalo last Sunday makes them the NFL's only winless team. While the Rams have the league's No. 3 passing attack and the Fish are No. 1 in pass D, a more telling matchup will be how successfully Miami QBs Jay Fiedler (the starter) and A.J. Feeley throw against the St. Louis secondary. Believe it or not, the Dolphins have thrown just as many TD interceptions as TD receptions -- four of each. Last week, Marshall Faulk became the sixth player in NFL history to run for 100 TDs. Also, he needs just seven snags to become the second running back in league history with 700 catches (Larry Centers has 808).

Cody's call: Rams 28-10

Atlanta (5-1) at Kansas City (1-4)

The line: Chiefs by 3 1/2

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. What a difference a year makes. Last season after Week 6, the Chiefs were 6-0 and the Falcons 1-5. Atlanta has already matched last season's win total (5-11). Both the Falcons and Chiefs have a running back who knows how to find the end zone. Atlanta's Warrick Dunn and KC's Priest Holmes are tied for second in the league, each with six rushing TDs. Holmes averages more yards per carry, 4.6 to Dunn's 3.9, but in facing the Falcons, Holmes will be running into the No. 1 run defence. Atlanta allows only 74.5 yards a game, while the 23rd-ranked Chiefs surrender 126.4.

Cody's call: Chiefs 21-20

Jacksonville (4-2) at Indianapolis (4-1)

The line: None offered

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. With Jags QB Byron Leftwich questionable due to an ankle injury, Jacksonville's best chance lies in its run game. Expect Jags crack running back Fred Taylor to knock noodles with Colts linebacker/leading tackler David Thornton. Taylor is a trooper, picking up 394 yards on 101 carries. However, the Colts' defence is strong versus the run (ranked sixth), surrendering 91.8 yards a game. Indy has the NFL's shakiest pass defence (ranked 32nd), allowing 293.6 yards a game, but if Leftwich can't go, the Jags will be hard-pressed to take advantage. Colts QB Peyton Manning, the NFL's second-rated passer (114.1), has thrown for more touchdowns (14) than 22 teams have total TDs.

Cody's call: Colts 30-20

Chicago (1-4) at Tampa Bay (1-5)

The line: Bucs by 6

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. In a matchup of two of the NFL's most anemic offences (Tampa Bay has scored 90 points, Chicago 78), kickers could make the difference. Martin Gramatica of the Bucs is 9-of-13 on field-goal tries this season and perfect on seven PATs, while Paul Edinger of da Bears has made five of eight field-goal attempts and all seven convert tries. Bears QB Jonathan Quinn is making the sixth start of his seven-year career. The Bears have a minus-1 turnover differential, the Bucs are minus-4.

Cody's call: Bucs 12-10

Philadelphia (5-0) at Cleveland (3-3)

The line: Eagles by 7

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. The Eagles will try to become the seventh team in NFL history to win each of a season's first six games by at least 10 points. The last to do it was the Rams in '99. While Philly QB Donovan McNabb is off to a flying start (with a little help from his new best friend Terrell Owens), Cleveland's Jeff Garcia has been inconsistent in his first season with the Browns. Garcia, drummed out of San Fran, has thrown for 1,146 yards and eight TDs, but he's also tossed six interceptions. That's where Eagles corner Lito Sheppard comes in. Sheppard had two interceptions last week and took one back 64 yards for a touchdown. The Browns are 3-0 at home this year.

Cody's call: Eagles 31-21

San Diego (3-3) at Carolina (1-4)

The line: Panthers by 3

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. A year after leading the Panthers to an improbable appearance in the Super Bowl, QB Jake Delhomme leads the NFL in interceptions thrown with nine, including four last week. Delhomme's offensive line has been porous and he's been treated roughly by opponents. The Chargers have five interceptions this season and could be the beneficiary of Delhomme's hurried heaves. More bad news for the Panthers: Stephen Davis, back for one game, left practice this week with swelling in his knee, leaving another question mark at the Panthers' paper-thin running back position. San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson leads the AFC in yards from scrimmage with 724 (535 rushing, 189 receiving).

Cody's call: Chargers 23-20

Tennessee (3-3) at Minnesota (4-1)

The line: None offered

The skinny: Sunday, 1 p.m. Daunte Culpepper threw five touchdown passes for an NFL-record third time this season in the Vikings' 38-31 outlasting of the Saints on Sunday. Ace wideout Randy Moss (eight TD catches) may be out of Culpepper's arsenal this week due to a hamstring injury. If Moss can't go, chaps such as Kelly Campbell, Marcus Robinson and Nate Burleson will have to pick up the slack. The Titans are allowing 234.3 passing yards a game, seventh-worst in the league. Titans running back Chris Brown, questionable with a shoulder injury, is second is the league with 608 yards rushing.

Cody's call: Vikings 27-20

N.Y. Jets (5-0) at New England (5-0)

The line: Patriots by 6 1/2

The skinny: Sunday, 4:05 p.m. Twenty games. That's the Patriots' living, breathing NFL-record regular-season and playoff win streak. I thought the Seahawks might get them last week, but no. This week, the Jets get a shot at their AFC East rival. The Jets need guards Pete Kendall and Brandon Moore. Injured for the New York's 22-14 victory over the Niners Sunday, the Jets' offence struggled to get off the ground. Patriot defensive ends Richard Seymour and Ty Warren will be a menacing challenge for Kendall and Moore. The Jets have beaten teams that are a combined 6-22. The Pats' opponents are a combined 9-17.

Cody's call: Patriots 27-20

Dallas (2-3) at Green Bay (2-4)

The line: Packers by 4

The skinny: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. Can the Pack possibly plummet to 0-4 this season at Lambeau? The answer could turn on how effectively the Packers lug the ball against Dallas, which is ranked No. 19 versus the run. The Packers are successful when they run. Green gobbled up 157 yards in last week's 38-10 trouncing of Detroit. The Pack's horse, Green has 26 100-yard rushing games for Green Bay to share the team record with Jim Taylor. The Packers are 0-3 this season when Brett Favre has thrown more than 40 passes, so they will need a strong running game from Green to balance the attack. The home team has won the last nine games in this series (eight in Dallas, one in Green Bay).

Cody's call: Packers 23-20

Seattle (3-2) at Arizona (1-4)

The line: Seahawks by 7

The skinny: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. The attraction here is Seattle's Jerry Rice versus Arizona's Emmitt Smith, the leading receiver in NFL history against the leading rusher. Rice, dealt to Seattle from Oakland just before this week's trade deadline, has 1,254 receptions for 22,533 yards, both league records. Smith's rushing mark is at 17,771 yards and counting. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this game marks the first time in nearly 20 years that the NFL's career rushing and receiving leaders have locked horns. The last time was Dec. 3, 1984, when Chargers wide receiver Charlie Joiner played against Bears running machine Walter Payton.

Cody's call: Seahawks 27-9

New Orleans (2-4) at Oakland (2-4)

The line: Raiders by 3

The skinny: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. With a league-high eight sacks in six games this season, Saints defensive end Charles Grant warrants all kinds of attention. He will get it from Raiders right tackle Robert Gallery, the No. 2 pick in this year's draft. It's particularly important that Gallery does well because Raiders QB Kerry Collins has struggled since replacing 2002 MVP Rich Gannon, who sustained a broken vertebrae Sept. 26. Collins has the arm, he just needs more time to throw. The Saints are 20-14 on the road under coach Jim Haslett, including 1-1 this season.

Cody's call: Raiders 23-21

Denver (5-1) at Cincinnati (1-4)

The line: Broncos by six

The skinny: Monday, 9 p.m. (ABC). The Bengals are bungling it. Cinci played well enough last season to gain a place in the Monday Night Football spotlight (their first as the host team in 15 years). The question is, will they ever get another? Since joining the Broncos in 2003, quarterback Jake Plummer is 14-3 as a starter. Only New England's Tom Brady has a better mark in that span. Running back Reuben Droughns has rushed for 369 yards in the Broncos last two games. Cinci QB Carson Palmer is averaging 231.5 yards passing per home start.

Cody's call: Broncos 27-17

Season record

Straight up

Last week: 9-5; overall: 56-32

Spread

Last week: 8-5; overall: 40-43


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