JUDGE: Week 9 upset special, and more

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Clark Judge

  • Game of the week

    New England over Buffalo
    OK, I admit it. was a steal for the . And he's a candidate for MVP. But he hasn't had what he wants most ... uh, retribution ... and that's possible now that New England's on the schedule. It's not the organization that bothers Bledsoe; heck, he and owner Bob Kraft were so close they might as well have been family. It's coach Bill Belichick who was his problem, and Drew better be careful Sunday. Belichick could rattle him again. In 8 games against Belichick, Bledsoe has nine touchdowns, 13 interceptions and is 4-4. Buffalo has the advantage because it's home and because the game means everything to Bledsoe. But it means plenty to Belichick, too, and not just because he dealt away the ' most popular player; but because the are stuck in a 4-game slide that threatens to sink their season. One word of caution: They were 3-4 at this juncture a year ago, too, after having just lost to Denver. Then they won 11 of their next 12. I'm not saying it will happen again, but don't pass out those shovels for the yet.

    Upset of the week

    San Francisco at Oakland
    It used to be nobody hated the more than Kansas City. Or was that San Diego? Mike Shanahan? Anyway, the haven't had much use for them since they returned to the Bay Area in 1995. There are all sorts of issues here. vs. his former team; vs. his former team; Marc Trestman vs. his former team. Once, the best matchup was Carmen Policy's sound bites (remember the one about "the evil empire?") vs. Al Davis' glares. But Policy is gone, so you better be satisfied with -Charles Woodson — with Woodson cleared for the first time in six games. San Francisco last week played its best half of the season against Arizona, and it's about time started to produce. Now the are 3-point underdogs? I don't see it. Not unless the plan to use more efficiently or hand the ball to Garner. Yep, Oakland's lost three straight, and the cracks are beginning to show. I know, it's tough to beat these guys in front of The Raider Nation, but the are on their heels ... and the are on their marks.

    Crummy game of the week

    Washington at Seattle
    This is what I really want to happen: turns up with a cold Sunday morning and has to turn the S.S. Holmgren over to — yes, that — and the guy leads the to victory. Remember, this is the same the cut last year after he watched videotape of himself in a 37-0 loss to Green Bay and told coach Marty Schottenheimer, "I don't know that I could've played any better." I guess that's why he never got the lead in "Patton." The edge here goes to Holmgren, whose reputation is at stake against a "ball coach" who prides himself on producing points and quarterbacks. Let's see, vs. Hasselbeck. Yep, that will keep NFL Films busy.

    Lock of the week

    Cincinnati at Houston
    Yeah, normally I'd make this the Crummy Game of the Week, too, but that was before the and coach Dick LeBeau opened their yaps and "guaranteed' victory. I like that, especially when you're 0-7 and are to success what Anna Nicole is to dignity. What I don't like is what ' defensive lineman said about this game — namely, that the winless would finish the year with more wins than an expansion team. Huh? Now where's the logic in that? You want Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich in next year's draft? Here's how you get there: Just lose, baby. Clark Judge can be reached at his e-mail address,
  • Tagged: Bills, Bengals, Raiders, Patriots, 49ers, Seahawks, Redskins, Shane Matthews, Tony Williams, Jerry Rice, Charlie Garner, Drew Bledsoe, Terrell Owens, Matt Hasselbeck, Jeff George

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