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Look for Kansas City to break in Broncos

Posted: Friday, October 03, 2003

Rarely can a game in the fifth week be described as ''big.''

Consider that a fitting description for Sunday's game in Kansas City between the Chiefs and Broncos, clearly the class of the AFC West and perhaps of the entire AFC. Is it an omen that the only other times the Broncos have started 4-0, they've made it to the Super Bowl? The Chiefs are favored by 3 1/2 points.

Score one for Arrowhead Stadium and Kansas City kick returner Dante Hall. Hall has returned kickoffs or punts for touchdowns in a record three straight games, including a 97-yarder that gave the Chiefs a 17-10 win in Baltimore last week.

CHIEFS, 24-20

Indianapolis (plus 4 1/2) at Tampa Bay (Monday night)

The biggest of the many reunion games this weekend Tony Dungy's first against the team he coached to respectability. Peyton Manning won't throw six touchdown passes this week, although Edgerrin James should be back.

Tampa already has lost one at home. It won't be two.

BUCS, 17-16

Seattle (plus 2 1/2) at Green Bay

Mike Holmgren returns to Wisconsin for the second time since he left. On the theory that the Seahawks aren't a 4-0 team ...

PACKERS, 27-23

Tennessee (minus 1 1/2) at New England

Has anyone checked the Patriots' injury report?

TITANS, 22-16

Miami (pick 'em) at New York Giants

The line is right and this game is very hard to figure. Two of the Giants' three games have gone to overtime.

GIANTS, 20-17 (OT)

Arizona (plus 7) at Dallas

Emmitt returns and will probably play well. Too bad he's not playing for Parcells.

COWBOYS, 27-10

Washington (plus 5) at Philadelphia

The Redskins have beaten two backup QBs and a team missing nine starters. Now they get a battered Philadelphia secondary. Still ...

EAGLES, 27-24

Detroit (plus 7) at San Francisco

Mooch returns. The bickering 49ers probably wish he was still there.

LIONS, 16-15

Minnesota (minus 4) at Atlanta

The Vikings can win without Culpepper. The Falcons can't without Vick.

VIKINGS, 26-20

New Orleans (plus 7) at Carolina

The Saints are battered, but the spread is a measure of respect for the Panthers.

PANTHERS, 20-11

Cleveland (plus 7) at Pittsburgh

Rivalry game. Closer than it probably should be.

STEELERS, 20-16

Oakland (minus 4) at Chicago

The Raiders are struggling. The Bears are just plain bad.

RAIDERS, 31-13

Cincinnati (plus 7 1/2) at Buffalo

In their last two games, the Bills have played like the Bengals.

BENGALS, 22-20

San Diego (plus 3) at Jacksonville

Two winless teams. Maybe they'll tie 0-0. No ...

CHARGERS, 8-5

LAST WEEK: 8-6 (spread); 8-6 (straight up)

OVERALL: 33-26-1 (spread); 40-20 (straight up)



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