Spotlight shines on sidelines

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

With Owens-Gate and Carolina cheerleaders doing who knows what in a Banana Joes bathroom, there certainly hasn't been a lack of attention on the NFL this week.

It's too bad, however, the league's best receiver -- quite possibly its best athlete -- couldn't keep his mouth shut and play football.

For all you poolies out there who had Terrell Owens on your fantasy team, tough luck.

As for the Barbies, who now say they weren't making out in that family restaurant, stick to the first story, it makes for better press.

ARIZONA +4 1/2 AT DETROIT: Former Stamp Jeff Garcia is still feeling the effects of an injury he sustained in the pre-season, which means Joey Harrington will get his second straight start against the Cards. Harrington looked comfortable in the pocket against the Vikings last weekend but couldn't get the win. Lions 25 Cards 18

BALTIMORE +6 1/2 AT JACKSONVILLE: As promised, the Ravens are putting Kyle Boller back in the starter's role as he returns from injury, which should take some pressure off a struggling Jamal Lewis. However, even with Jaguars running back Fred Taylor still nursing, Jacksonville is too confident on both sides of the ball to lose this one. Jaguars 32 Ravens 19

HOUSTON +18 1/2 AT INDIANAPOLIS: Many other NFL experts are predicting the Texans will be able to upset the Colts Sunday. To them, I say, you're crazy. As long as the Colts don't go looking ahead to the perfect season they'll crush the Texans. BEST BET. Colts 42 Texans 17

KANSAS CITY +2 1/2 AT BUFFALO: The Bills proved they can play with the big boys as they narrowly lost to the Pats a couple of weeks ago. This week should be no different. Even with Larry Johnson replacing the injured Priest Holmes, the Chiefs are going to miss him Sunday. Bills 28 Chiefs 23

MINNESOTA +9 1/2 AT NEW YORK GIANTS: The Vikings got some momentum from last Sunday's win over the Lions, however, it will be short lived as the Eli Manning is coming of age and will keep the Giants' perfect home record intact. Giants 37 Vikings 23

NEW ENGLAND -3 1/2 AT MIAMI: I'm afraid the reign of the mighty Patriots is finally over. With no injuries to report and with Ricky Williams starting to return to form, the Dolphins are ready to redeem themselves and show critics the rebuilding process is on track. UPSET OF THE WEEK. Dolphins 29 Patriots 28

SAN FRANCISCO +12 1/2 AT CHICAGO: Bears rookie Kyle Orton has improved every game since taking over for starter Rex Grossman. Look for Orton to hit his targets and Chicago's runners to do the rest, taking the Bears to a fourth straight win. Bears 23 49ers 20

DENVER -31/2 AT OAKLAND: The Raiders are seething after yet another close loss last weekend in Kansas City but will that rage be enough to beat the Broncos, who will rely heavily on their running game to get another W. My guess is the Black Hole will intimidate the Broncos a bit too much. Raiders 34 Broncos 30

NEW YORK JETS +81/2 AT CAROLINA: Jets QB Brooks Bollinger showed he's a gamer after coming in to relieve the injured Vinny Testaverde against the Bolts Sunday but it's going to take more than a couple of friendly cheerleaders to throw the Panthers off their game. Panthers 36 Jets 27

WASHINGTON -1/2 AT TAMPA BAY: Bucs coach Jon Gruden is determined to make Chris Simms a player yet. Gruden has said he will go back to the rookie this week, despite some poor showings in the last couple of contests. Buccaneers 28 Redskins 25

GREEN BAY +8 1/2 AT ATLANTA: Brett Favre's losing interest fast. The future Hall of Famer didn't practice Wednesday because ... well, just because he didn't feel like it. Look for Mike Vick to try and stay in the pocket but like a fat kid chasing choclate, he'll scamper out just to make sure he sees the whole field. Falcons 26 Packers 19

ST. LOUIS +6 1/2 AT SEATTLE: I'm going to take the advice of the Sun's associate sports editor Jefferson Hagen and say if St. Louis expects to win this one they'll have to score big because Shaun Alexander's good for at least two. Seahawks 34 Rams 26

CLEVELAND +8 1/2 AT PITTSBURGH: The Steelers couldn't have picked two better opponents to play without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Running back Duce Staley and backup pivot Charlie Batch had no problem with the Packers and the same should go against the Browns. Steelers 25 Browns 17

DALLAS +21/2 AT PHILADELPHIA: The Terrell Owens situation is solved and the Eagles are moving forward. Now he's out of the dressing room, the Eagles will come closer together and start to concentrate on the task at hand -- playing football. Plus, the Eagles are looking for some redemption against the Cowboys. Eagles 28 Cowboys 16

HOW I DID LAST WEEK: Against the spread I was 6-8 (43-54) and 10-4 (64-33) straight up.


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