You know that old line about being careful about the company you keep, well, it applies to NFL teams.
Don't look now but the Carolina Panthers are lumped in with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers as the remaining winless teams this season. That's the NFL version of homecoming opponents.
The good news is the 18-game schedule won't start until 2012 by which time each of those teams should have won a game.
Here's a bulletin: The chance of an 0-3 team making the playoffs is about the same as Jennifer Aniston walking in and asking me to run away with her to live at Augusta National.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
At this point, I'll settle for her making a movie I like and a win or two around here.
Who knows what Week Four holds:
CAROLINA at NEW ORLEANS: The Panthers have made a habit of losing by 13 points this season. Not anymore. Saints 34, Panthers 10.
NEW YORK JETS at BUFFALO: The Bills have a simple - and attainable - goal this year - they want to be as good as the Lions. Jets 24, Bills 14.
DENVER at TENNESSEE: Give me a minute and I'll think of something....ah, never mind. Titans 24, Broncos 23.
CINCINNATI at CLEVELAND: Good news for Panthers' fans. The Browns are still on the schedule this year, but Nov.28 is a long way away. Bengals 33, Browns 20.
DETROIT at GREEN BAY: Kindergarten classes have more discipline than the Packers, who were called for 18 penalties on Monday night. Who's in charge up there, SpongeBob SquarePants? Packers 26, Lions 14.
SEATTLE at ST. LOUIS: The who cares game of the week. Rams 24, Seahawks 20.
SAN FRANCISCO at ATLANTA: Three disappointments this football season:
The ACC (again)
Falcons 30, 49ers 20.
BALTIMORE at PITTSBURGH: Charlie Batch is suddenly cool again. Can a Hall and Oates comeback be far behind? Steelers 20, Ravens 17.
HOUSTON at OAKLAND: Maybe I've been too hard on the Raiders recently. It's time to be nice, so here goes: For a lousy team, the Raiders aren't that bad. Upset special. Raiders 28, Texans 21.
INDIANAPOLIS at JACKSONVILLE: A week ago, Trent Edwards was the Buffalo quarterback. Now he's the Jaguars' quarterback. And Jeff Garcia is still playing minor-league professional football. Hmmm...Colts 41, Jaguars 17.
WASHINGTON at PHILADELPHIA: Donovan McNabb against Michael Vick. You can't make this stuff up. Eagles 31, Redskins 27.
ARIZONA at SAN DIEGO: Did you know there's a new Elvis version of Mr. Potato Head? Just thought you should know. Christmas is just around the corner. As for this game...Chargers 28, Cardinals 21.
CHICAGO at NEW YORK GIANTS: In doing my exhaustive research this week, I came across this telling statistic: The Giants are 4-10 over their past 14 games. That tells me they haven't won many games. I call that a trend. And trends continue. Bears 27, Giants 20.
NEW ENGLAND at MIAMI: Time for a big Tom Brady moment. Patriots 29, Dolphins 20.
Last week: 9-7