I'm really in no condition to make these picks right now. Thank God I actually made them Wednesday night.
Atlanta at Tampa Bay: I'm tempted to pick the underdog in this case. Unfortunately I have no idea who the underdog actually is. In that case, I always pick Atlanta.
Baltimore at Kansas City: Another thing I didn't expect to be saying at this point in the season: What does Baltimore have to play for in this game?
Pick: Kansas City.
Buffalo at N.Y. Jets: I resent the powers at be, whoever they may be, for keeping the Jets in the playoff chase as long as they have been, thereby taking away my ability to make jokes about them. I'm afraid they'll be in it a little longer.
Pick: New York.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville: We're entering our annual Peyton swoon season, so all historical data points to a stunning late-season Jacksonville victory to preserve their playoff hopes. But Peyton still looks good to me. Maybe it's just that third installment of his MasterCard series, but it's a real good installment.
Minnesota at Detroit: This game has been cancelled. You'll be watching a rerun of Lost instead.
New England at Miami: Last week I asked whether I was picking the Patriots every week just out of habit. This week I'm wondering if the Patriots are actually this benevolent otherworldly spirit that's been preserving us in times of doubt. Funny how things change.
Pick: New England.
New Orleans at Dallas: I was just bragging to some guy at the bar -- um, I mean, church -- tonight, that before the season even started I picked the Saints to be the surprise team of the season. I'd like confirmation of my psychic abilities, if you don't mind. Thanks. These days, however, I've been Romo-rific. And I'd prefer the Cowboys win this from a conference-seeding standpoint. So...
N.Y. Giants at Carolina: The only guy in New York who still believes in the Giants is also preaching in Central Park about how Paris Hilton is the anti-Christ to anyone who'll listen to him. [editor's note, by Shrug] I wrote this before I knew Chris Weinke would be quarterbacking the Panthers in this game. However, I was too tired to change the pick.
Oakland at Cincinnati: This is a matter of pride for the Raiders. They're pretty ticked off that the Bengals are beating them in arrests this year.
Philadelphia at Washington: The Eagles caught the breath of life last week against the Panthers thanks to... Jeff Garcia. Folks, that storyline is just so bizarre, I gotta go with it for one more week.
Tennessee at Houston: The Titans picked a terrible point in the season to start being the pick du jour. But at least they're the pick du jour.
Green Bay at San Francisco: There's nothing to see here, folks. Please move on.
Pick: San Francisco.
Denver at San Diego: The Chargers win the division tonight. The end. Next week the Grinch steals Christmas.
Pick: San Diego.
Chicago at St. Louis: Are you kidding? Lilly was one thing, but now you're telling me Chicago's stealing Jason Marquis from St. Louis? It's over, man.
Seattle at Arizona: The schedule says it's an away game, but Kate informed me tonight that a lot of Seattle-area retirees live in Arizona nowadays because of the weather. However, it's incumbent upon me to insist that the Seahawks not overlook this game the way they did with the 49ers. But I don't think they will.
Last week: 8-8, but it was a screwy week.
Season, excluding Thursday's game: 116-76.