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Parcells Brings Jets Closer to Pats in AFC East

By Chris Brocoum

The last undefeated team of the NFL made a gallant effort this past weekend, but even Denver and John Elway proved vulnerable as they lost to the Oakland Raiders. No matter, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Better for them that it was sooner.

Of course, the big story of the week is the disaster also known as the Patriots. Losing to their old treacherous coach? What's going on here? I sense a little case of second­guessing on the part of Patriot ownership. Maybe Bill Parcells isn't such a bad coach after all. He gingerly orchestrated the come-from-behind victory lead by none other than the second string QB who went for14 straight completions in the second half and lead not one, not two, but three scoring drives.

In a gutsy move Parcells benched Neil O'Donnell and it proved to be just the spark the Jets needed. Amazing, so now it turns out that the Jets are only a measily half­game behind the ol' Patsies in the AFC East. Maybe Parcells was a good investment after all. Nobody gives the good coaches enough credit.

In other news it is interesting to note that the New York Giants actually sit at the top of the NFC East. The sad state of the NFL today.

The picks,week 9

As we head to the midpoint of this NFL season, the 49ers are looking as impressive as ever. Meanwhile the New Orleans Saints, expecting big things from Mike Ditka, have had nothing but frustration. Take the Niners in a gimme even though they struggled a little last week againstŠ Atlanta?

The K.C. Chiefs are jockeying for playoff position. Meanwhile the St. Louis Rams are jockeying for draft position and losing badly to the Falcons and the Colts. Take the Chiefs.

Green Bay, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay are gridlocked at the top of the NFC Central. Now that is a powerful division right there. Look for the Vikings to pull it out over the faltering Buccaneers who can't shake a two-game skid after starting off 5­0.

Just because Washington is now behind the Giants in the NFC East, they have to win this week. Period. The Ravens shouldn't present too much of a problem.

I said it before, and I'll say it again. The Giants do not belong atop the NFC East. Unfortunately, when you play teams like Cincy, there is nowhere to go but up. Take the Giants.

In a classic NFC East matchup, Dallas is heading to Philly. Time for the Eagles to make a statement or get out of the way. Take Philly in a thriller and looked for many scowling Cowboys in the process.

Denver has hit a little speed bump on the highway to the AFC Championship. Lets see if they can avoid the free fall the other undefeated teams have experienced after their first loss. Take the Broncos over the Bills.

Da Bears got no game. It's as simple as that. 0­7 just ain't gonna hold water against Jimmy Johnson and Dan Marino among others. Take da Dolphins.

The Oilers are on an impressive two-game win streak. Two games usually wouldn't mean much, but then again, that is more games than Arizona has won all year. Take Tennessee.

Indianapolis is 0­7. Take the Chargers.

The Jaguars and the Steelers go head-to-head this weekend to decide the AFC Central. This is all about heart, as they say. Both teams have had good years, but not great. Games like this define greatness. Take the Steelers, Kordell Stewart and Bill Cowher in a fun one.

After pulling one out last weekend against Denver, the Raiders may have a little of that old attitude back. Just a very little. Then again, that may be all they need to beat the Seahawks.

The Atlanta Falcons held a contest recently to find potential new names for the franchise. It was no coincidence that "Goats" was the most popular suggestion. Take the the Panthers.

Monday Night Special: What a game it is going to be. The Packers are coming to Foxboro. After choking in the last monday night game versus Denver, Drew Bledsoe and the Patriots should come out huge in this rematch of last years Super Bowl. Nothing like a little revenge to goad a team on. The only thing I wonder is if the Patriots couldn't stop Glenn Foley last week, how on earth are they going to stop Brett Favre? Take the Packers in a thriller.

Last week: 9­4, season record: 59­32.