Good day, and welcome to Week Nine. Didyou have a pleasant bye week? What's that you say? You say that any week that doesn't have the Texans playing is a week not worth having? Yeah, I think I'd have to agree with you there. Because the Texans were off last week, I had to spend my Sunday hauling disgusting orange gloop out of pumpkins that had never done me or my family any harm at all, and carving them (the pumpkins) into attractive and vaguely frightening figures to terrify the local children. That'll teach them to play out in the parking lot when I'm driving.
Anyway, I learned a very valuable lesson last Sunday, a lesson that I think every decent Texans fan should take to heart. If you don't watch the Texans, your hands will be coated with nasty gloop that you need a sandblaster to get off. The logic behind it might be sketchy, but are you willing to take that risk? I'm certainly not.
The one regret that I have about Sunday (aside from what I already stated) is that I couldn't carve a jack o'lantern for Buffalo Wild Wings. But I guess I'll have to console myself with pictures of their tasty wings instead.
Ode To A Sauce
This week, we honor a sauce that gets its roots from the islands, with a flavor like there's a steel drum band jamming on your taste buds, and a name that makes middle school kids giggle uncontrollably.
This week's sauce: Caribbean Jerk
Wild island spices, with flavors I crave
They're hot and juicy, a crowd-pleasing fave
Confronted with these wings, I will not waver
Enjoy the heat slowly, my taste buds they savor
Last week was probably the single best week of picks I've made all season. With, any luck, it'll be a harbinger of things to come.
Last week's record: 10-4
Record to date: 63-54
Off this week: St. Louis Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers
On with the picks!
8:20 EDT/5:20 PDT
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers - So you're telling me the Brady Quinn experiment didn't pan out? Hang on, I'll give you a minute to imagine me pretending to be surprised. Okay, now that they're back to terrible quarterback option A, I still don't see the Chiefs winning this one, despite the Chargers losing in one of the ugliest games in recent memory. Pick: Chiefs
1:00 p.m. EDT/10:00 a.m. PDT
Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts - If you had told me that both of these teams would have winning records at this point in the season, I'd have said you should go home and sleep it off. If you had told me that they would (at least theoretically) be in contention for a wild card berth, I'd have told you to seek psychological help. But here we are. Go figure. The Dolphins are without Ryan Tannehill this week and in the last couple of games, Reggie Bush has remembered that he's Reggie Bush. But I don't want the Colts to win, so I won't pick them. Pick: Dolphins
Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans (a/k/a The Only Game That Matters) - I swear upon everything holy, Mario Williams, if you cause any harm to teh Schaub, I will look for you, I WILL find you, I will toilet paper your house, shove potatoes up your sports cars' tailpipes, and leave on your front lawn 50 skunks with love in their hearts and lust in their minds. Pick: Texans
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns - After coming off a one point curbstomping of the Chargers, the Browns welcome a reeling Ravens team to the friendly confines of Cleveland, Ohio. Can the Browns make it two in a row? Will the Ravens win easily and thus propel the bovine-like media to declare in no uncertain terms that the Ravens are back? Can I get away with another question on this game? You better believe it! Pick: Ravens
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals - These are two teams going in opposite directions. The Manningful Broncos (whose quarterback is now being touted as an MVP candidate after having a good game against a bad defense) have won three of the last four games while the Bengals have dropped three straight. I don't see this trend changing this week. Pick: Broncos
Chicago Bears at Southern Kentucky BESFs - The Bears just keep on keepin' on and are playing some pretty good football. The BESFs are, however, the BESFs, which means that this should be no real competition at all. Or at least I don't want it to be one anyway. Pick: Bears
Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars - Oh please, oh please, oh please let the Jags end up with Tim Tebow. It would only make a comically bad team that much worse and that much more fun to laugh at. Jacksonville's offense is one of the worst in the league and even a half-assed defense such as Detroit's should be able to keep the Glitter Kitties out of the end zone. Pick: Lions
Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers - It's hard to believe that the Cardinals were considered one of the best teams in the NFL only a few weeks ago. It's NOT hard to believe, however, that their shoddy offensive line would be said team's downfall. The Redbirds seem to be in freefall and the Packers should make easy work of them this week. Pick: Packers
Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins - With all the sulking Cam Newton has done this season, how insufferable do you think he'll be when Robert Griffin III makes him look like Jimmy Clausen by comparison? Pick: Redskins
4:05 p.m. EDT/1:05 p.m. PDT
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Oakland Raiders - Why should you care about either of these teams? Neither of them will affect the Texans' playoff hopes in any significant way that we know of, and we don't face either one this season. But the Bucs did just trade Aqib Talib to New England, who the Texans face next month. So maybe we'll see if Carson Palmer can throw on the Bucs' secondary? Probably not. Pick: Buccaneers
Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks become a whole other team when they play at home. The defense stiffens up, Russell Wilson plays like a monster and they just take their game to a whole new level. While I do think the Vikings have improved this season, I still think Seattle has the better team. Pick: Seahawks
4:25 p.m. EDT/1:25 p.m. PDT
Pittsburgh Stealers at New York Giants - This could be a historic game: the first time that an NFL game has taken place in a swimming pool that used to be a football stadium. The Giants have been playing well of late, and since I hate the Steelers, I'm just going to save us all a lot of work and take the Giants in this one. Pick: Giants
8:20 p.m. EDT/5:20 p.m. PDT
Arlington Cowfarts at Atlanta Falcons - Why couldn't the Falcons have just lost last week? Now I have to choose between a team I despise (Cowfarts) and an undefeated Falcons team. It's not right, I tell you, not one little bit. But if I have to choose, and obviously I do, then I'm going to go with the team that hasn't consistently crapped the bed week in and week out; or at least, that have crapped the bed and managed to get away with a win. Pick: Falcons
8:30 p.m. EDT/5:30 p.m. PDT
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints - The Saints' defense is terrible. I mean really just gut-wrenchingly awful. Then again, so is Michael Vick this year. Monday night, it appears, should live up to the "suckfest" reputation it has received since moving to ESPN a few years ago (funny how that works). As for the game, I think the Saints pull one out against the dog killers. Pick: Saints
See any picks you disagree with? Want to make your own not-so-veiled threats against Mario Williams? Upset about the lamentable lack of octopus references in this week's post? Have your say in the comments below!