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Week Two to present a clearer picture

It's easy to jump to erroneous conclusions after one week of the NFL regular season.

Are the Bills, Buccaneers and Dolphins that good? Can the Broncos, Jets and Vikings really be that bad? Probably not.

There were six upsets in Week One, three by the visiting teams (Tampa Bay, Dallas and New Orleans) and three by the home teams (San Francisco, Miami and Atlanta).

Now the tables are turned. Home lions often turn into lambs on the road. This week should start to present a more balanced picture as to what teams are for real.

Fifteen of the 16 teams that opened at home now get tested on the road.

> Game of the Day

Jaguars (1-0) at Colts (1-0)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Colts favored by 9.

The scoop: Only the Jaguars beat the Colts in the RCA Dome last season and they have won two of last three in series. . . . Jacksonville used rookie Matt Jones as a runner (2-28), passer (1-1) and receiver (2-22) against Seattle last week. . . . Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison of the Colts need to hook up for 59 yards to surpass Jim Kelly and Andre Reed (9,358) for most all-time by a duo.

Outlook: Tough Jax front will beat on Colts for a while. Indy, 28-21.

> Top attractions

Bills (1-0) at Buccaneers (1-0)

TV: Ch. 4, 1 p.m.

The line: Bucs by 2 1/2 .

The scoop: Bills have never played well in Tampa. Some of franchise's most nightmarish games have occurred there. . . . Bucs pose much more of a challenge than Texans to Bills' defense with WRs Joey Galloway and Mark Clayton and RB "Cadillac" Williams. . . . Bucs' veteran defenders have had a look at J.P. Losman on video.

Outlook: Buccaneers, 17-13.

Chiefs (1-0) at Raiders (0-1)

TV: ESPN, 8:30 p.m.

The line: Chiefs by 1 1/2 .

The scoop: K.C. has won last four versus Oakland, all by seven or fewer points. Oakland has won its last seven home openers.

Outlook: Randy Moss and Lamont Jordan give K.C. defense a good test. Raiders, 37-28.

Patriots (1-0) at Panthers (0-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Patriots by 3.The scoop: Last time teams met was in Super Bowl XXXVIII, with New England winning, 32-29. . . . Amazing Pats have won 33 of last 35, including six postseason victories.

Outlook: After tough home loss to Saints, Panthers bounce back with super effort, 27-24.

Redskins (1-0) at Cowboys (1-0)

TV: Monday, Ch. 7, 9 p.m.

The line: Cowboys by 6.

The scoop: Seven of last eight games between teams decided by seven or fewer points. Both offenses struggled in last meeting in Irving, Texas, when Cowboys took 13-10 victory on 39-yard TD pass to Patrick Crayton. . . . Drew Bledsoe of Cowboys led league with 143.4 passer rating in opener. . . . Redskins coach Joe Gibbs will start Mark Brunell instead of Patrick Ramsey at QB.

Outlook: Another Parcells coaching masterpiece in works. Dallas, 20-10.

Saints (1-0) at Giants (1-0)

TV: Monday, Ch. 7, 7:30 p.m.; ESPN, 9 p.m.

The line: Giants by 3.

The scoop: Game moved from Louisiana Superdome to Giants Stadium. . . . Giants rolled over Arizona last week. Close game turned on 95-yard KO return by Willie Ponder late in third quarter. . . . Saints have a six-game regular season winning streak.

Outlook: Giants take advantage of extra home game, 21-17.

> Best of the rest

Chargers (0-1) at Broncos (0-1)

Kickoff: 4:15 p.m.

The line: Broncos by 3.

The scoop: Chargers get tight end Antonio Gates back. . . . After 23-13 loss in Denver last year, Chargers went 11-2 the rest of the way. . . . Broncos' defense gave up league-worst 426 yards to Miami in opener but will be tougher in Denver altitude.

Outlook: Chargers back, 34-31.

Ravens (0-1) at Titans (0-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Ravens by 4.

The scoop: Titans gave up 424 yards to Steelers last week and showed no deep threat. Half of Steve McNair's 18 completions went to tight ends. . . . Ravens want Anthony Wright at QB and get their wish.

Outlook: Ravens easily shoot down Titans' aerial game, 20-3.

Lions (1-0) at Bears (0-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Lions by 1 1/2 .

The scoop: Lions QB Joey Harrington is only 15-30 as starter in NFL, but he is 4-2 versus Bears. . . . Detroit has won last three against Bears and five of last 12 in Chicago, including 20-16 a year ago.

Outlook: With rookie QB Kyle Orton, Bears have no offense. Lions, 14-3.

Vikings (0-1) at Bengals (1-0)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Bengals by 3.

The scoop: After being upset at home last week, Vikings have to travel to face up-and-coming Bengals. . . . Vikings had no offensive TDs last week. . . . Bengals' Carson Palmer completed 26 of 34 for 280 yards and two TDs, but that was against suspect opposition, the Browns.

Outlook: Bengals put Mike Tice on thin ice, 34-20.

49ers (1-0) at Eagles (0-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Eagles by 13.

The scoop: Except for Terrell Owens and Brian Westbrook, QB Donovan McNabb seems to have no other weapons. . . . McNabb is hurting (chest). . . . Niners had possession for only 20:37 last week but still upset Rams.

Outlook: Eagles start slowly. Philadelphia, 21-19.

Falcons (1-0) at Seahawks (0-1)

TV: Ch. 29, 4 p.m.

The line: Seahawks by 1.

The scoop: Falcons rookie DT Jonathan Babineaux will face his brother, Jordan, a Seattle DB. . . . Already Michael Vick (24-12-1, .662) is winningest quarterback in Atlanta history.

Outlook: Not expecting fiery Falcons team that beat Eagles. Seattle, 28-24.

Rams (0-1) at Cardinals (0-1)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: Cardinals by 1.

The scoop: Long punt return cost Rams game at San Francisco. . . . Cards RBs managed only 20 yards in 18 attempts against Giants. QB Kurt Warner completed 27 of 46 for 264 yards but was sacked three times.

Outlook: Early afternoon heat in Tempe helps Cardinals, 24-20.

Dolphins (1-0) at Jets (0-1)

TV: Ch. 4, 4 p.m.

The line: Jets by 6.

The scoop: Surprise! Miami leads the NFL in offense after one week with Gus Frerotte at QB. . . . Jets shut out for first 59 1/2 minutes in K.C. QB Chad Pennington had six fumbles.

Outlook: Nick Saban has brought new attitude to Dolphins. Miami, 17-10.

Browns (0-1) at Packers (0-1)

Kickoff: 4:15 p.m.

The line: Packers by 6 1/2 .

The scoop: Packers managed only 216 yards against Lions and lost WR Javon Walker for season (knee). . . . Brett Favre needs only 65 passing yards to join Dan Marino (61,361) and John Elway (51,475) with 50,000.

Outlook: Pack get Lambeau magic back today, 27-10.

> Dog game of the day

Steelers (1-0) at Texans (0-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Steelers by 6.

The scoop: The Texans' offense was almost unwatchable against the Bills last week. Poor David Carr. First the Bills, now the Steelers. . . . Pittsburgh has won last 15 in regular season.

Outlook: Texans upset Steelers in their rookie season, but it won't happen again. Pittsburgh, 27-6.

e-mail mnorthrop@buffnews.com

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