Handicapper: NFL Week 9

1:00 p.m. ET
Washington at Atlanta (-10)
Thanks to a bye week, Jim Zorn has had two weeks to prepare for the Falcons. So … yeah, I guess he's done nothing for two weeks.
My pick: Atlanta
Arizona at Chicago (-3)
Many thought the Bears would contend for a Super Bowl this season with Jay Cutler. They're not even close to that level. Lovie Smith, you're on the hot seat. (Note: his expression changed from this, to this after I put him on the hot seat. I think he got the message. I think. Or maybe he just thought of a really hilarious story. Or someone close to him died. Hard to tell with that guy.)
My pick: Arizona (and to win)
Baltimore at Cincinnati (+3)
Hey, I'll admit that I didn't have this game circled on my calendar at the beginning of the season. But that's partly because who uses a calendar anymore? I mean, really? Sure, I underestimated the Bengals. But you — you still use a calendar. Dork.
My pick: Baltimore
Houston at Indianapolis (-9)
Bad news for the Colts: cornerback Marlin Jackson is out for the rest of the season with an injury. Good news for the Colts: it seems they have another defensive back with characteristics similar to the great Bob Sanders.
My pick: Houston
Miami at New England (-10.5)
Bill Belichick is going to be extra motivated to stop the Dolphins. Why? The man absolutely hates wildcats. Wildcats remind him of cougars. And cougars turn down his advances in favor of younger men.
My pick: Miami
Green Bay at Tampa Bay (+9.5)
You have to feel bad for Aaron Rodgers. I bet sometimes he wishes that he got drafted by the other Bay. Then all he'd have to worry about is Brad Johnson or Trent Dilfer or Vinny Testaverde trying to seek revenge against his team. And those guys suck. Although, to their credit, they could all start right now for the Buccaneers.
My pick: Green Bay***
Kansas City at Jacksonville (-6.5)
Often I make fun of the Jaguars for their inability to draw fans and for the tarped-off sections of their stadium. But, really, in this case … the Jaguars … in a game against the Chiefs … I say tarp over the entire top of the stadium and save us all from seeing this.
My pick: Jacksonville
4:05 p.m. ET
Detroit at Seattle (-10)
What's more humiliating: that Lions fans wear bags on their heads? Or that the Seahawks marketing department probably thinks that's possibly a great look for an alternate helmet. "Hmmm … a rectangular helmet made of paper … a splash of radioactive green … KA-CHING!"
My pick: Seattle
Carolina at New Orleans (-13)
Jake Delhomme is from New Orleans. This game is kind of like when a dog runs away from home, gets hit by a car and then hobbles back to his front door to die. In this analogy, consider Delhomme's turnovers in this game as the dying dog's loss of its bowels.
My pick: New Orleans
4:15 p.m. ET
San Diego at New York Giants (-4.5)
People get on Philip Rivers because, unlike fellow 2004 draft class members Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, he has yet to quarterback his team to a Super Bowl. But consider this: the guy drafted two spots ahead of him, Robert Gallery, has yet to win a game. Oh, but you say: "Robert Gallery isn't a quarterback." Maybe not. But he has the same body type of Oakland's quarterback, so what's his excuse?
My pick: San Diego
Tennessee at San Francisco (-4)
I think Jeff Fisher really wants to get fired. Last night he showed up at a benefit for the charity Tiny Hands Across America in an Alex Smith jersey.
My pick: San Francisco
8:20 p.m. ET
Dallas at Philadelphia (-3)
This Philly crowd should be especially cantankerous following the Phillies loss. But they're going to need to step up their game to get noticed. Let's see, they've booed Santa. (Although that one has an asterisk because he was drunk.) They've cheered when Michael Irvin was possibly paralyzed. What can top those? Ooh! I know, booing a moment of silence. The gauntlet has been thrown down, Philly. Disappoint me.
My pick: Philadelphia
Monday night
Pittsburgh at Denver (+3)
Steelers safety Ryan Clark could die if he plays at altitude because he has sickle cell trait. But he has been cleared by team doctors to play. I mean, it's the 6-1 Broncos. On Monday night. Big games need storylines.
My pick: Pittsburgh





Last week vs. spread: 7-6
Last week just winners: 10-3
- – – – -
Season vs. spread: 63-51-1
Season just winners: 83-32
- – – – -
***Lukewarm Locks last week: 0-0
***Lukewarm Locks season: 9-7


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