Ok, so my picks sucked for the second week in a row. However, let me remain unfettered, and turn my back-patting machine on high. I quote myself from last week: "BET THE OVER. Due to a series of potentially sport-altering kneejerk reactions, scoring could reach record levels this weekend."
The Week Seven games featured an average of 52.6 points, the highest since 1984. That's 26 years, people. So let's ignore that pesky "6-8 against the spread" number and focus on what's really important: that rare time I'm correct about something. My back is practically bruised at this point.
Washington @ Detroit (-3). This is only the second time I've picked against the Redskins this season, but that doesn't necessarily mean I believe in 'em. Sure, I'll guarantee a Washington victory whenever DeAngelo Hall has four interceptions, but that's about it. Matthew Stafford is back under center for Detroit, with a reportedly healthy Jahvid Best behind him - four fresh legs that should equal a Lions win. (As a Georgia grad, I steadfastly refuse to single out any specific Detroit receiver. I hope y'all understand.) PICK: Detroit
Green Bay @ NY Jets (-6). It's been a tough few days. First, I'm forced to root for Brett Favre on Sunday, followed by the Cowboys on Monday. Then, I find myself pulling for the freaking Boston Celtics in the NBA's opener. Now the Jets? I expect to look at Saturday's college football schedule and see Georgia Tech playing al-Qaida. Which, of course, means I'll be rooting for Favre, Dallas, Boston, New York and al-Qaida in the same week. PICK: Green Bay
Denver vs. San Francisco (-1 1/2). This game will be played in London, spawning the same joke from about 3,000 beat writers this week: "Har-har, outreach? The UK won't want anything to do with the NFL after seeing these two teams play! Har-har!" That aside, I'm stumped by this spread - the 49ers will be trotting out Troy Smith at quarterback, against a Denver team that isn't good, but isn't that bad either. Ski over surf. PICK: Denver
Jacksonville @ Dallas (-7) "Garrard! Kitna! The NFL on CBS!" Last week, I worried about being able to afford Cowboys/Cardinals tickets when I'm in Phoenix for Christmas. The way it's looking now, I'll be able to get two of 'em plus a six-pack for $20. (Side note: I think Jon Kitna's entire life should be scored by Miley Cyrus's "The Climb." There are uncanny parallels.) PICK: Jacksonville
Carolina @ St. Louis (-3). The Panthers side-stepped 0-16 humiliation last week, but can they avoid falling victim to a rookie quarterback? Vegas says no, I do too. PICK: St. Louis
Miami @ Cincinnati (-1 1/2). This is clearly the weekend's hardest game to pick, if only because both of these teams suffer from multiple personalities. The Bengals are 2-4, but they've beaten Baltimore and lost their last three games by a total of 11 points. The Dolphins have a slightly more respectable 3-3 record, but they haven't won anything by more than a five-spot, and have suffered home shellackings by the Patriots and Jets. Flip a coin. PICK: Cincinnati
Buffalo @ Kansas City (-7 1/2). Since this game is, well, this game, let's veer off course and talk about our bye-week'd Atlanta Falcons. We're starting to see "potential MVP" lists emerge from all journalistic corners, but I'm ignoring any that don't have Roddy White at the top. There has been no more valuable player in the league this year, especially since you can almost 100% guarantee two more losses if he's not on the field - Cincinnati and San Francisco would have almost doubtlessly ended in defeat without #84. Hell, I think the Arizona blowout is the only game I'd feel confident in a Roddy-less Falcons victory. The "White for MVP" train needs to pick up some serious steam, even if history is working against him (no receiver has ever won the award, and no non-QB/RB has taken it since 1986). PICK: Kansas City
Tennessee @ San Diego (-3 1/2). WARNING. PICK: San Diego
Tampa Bay @ Arizona (-3). When the 2010 schedule was released, I saw Atlanta's bye week preceded Tampa Bay and thought it was a gip. Some extra time to rest up and heal would, I presumed, be far more valuable before Baltimore or Green Bay come to town. And I guess that's still true, but the Bucs are looking feisty. I would still bet a finger they don't finish above .500, but I'm not chalking up an automatic W either. PICK: Tampa Bay
Minnesota @ New England (-5 1/2). This game is still without a line in most places, due to the questions about Brett Favre's participation. Thing is, I have no idea if Favre would be considered a help or hinderance at this point. Would the Patriots be double digit favorites if the oddsmakers thought he would be under center? PICK: New England
Seattle @ Oakland (-2 1/2). Can anybody else share the misery of having Darren McFadden on their fantasy bench last week? I was standing outside of the Georgia Dome post-Falcons game, and saw the stats: something like 150 yards and three scores. And then I almost threw up when I realized it was only halftime. PICK: Oakland
Pittsburgh @ New Orleans (-1 1/2). The gamblers of America are still in love with the Saints. This game opened as a pick 'em, but has swung rather confidently in New Orleans' favor over the past few days. And whenever a line moves that much, that fast, run the other way - which all Falcons fans should be doing anyway. A huge game for the NFC South. PICK: Pittsburgh
Houston @ Indianapolis (-6). When I think of the AFC South, I can actually taste a mouthful of flour. Or maybe week-old swiss cheese, peppered with drywall. Sure, there are some exciting plays and big names, but it just seems so bland most of the time. Indianapolis will win the division, Houston will ride an explosive offense to 8-8, Tennessee will either fail-then-succeed or succeed-then-fail but never but two halves together, and Jacksonville will suck. A Houston win here, meaning a sweep of the season series, may mark a change - but I'm not betting on it. PICK: Indianapolis
Last week: 6-8-0