- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2006

It’s time to get untracked with these picks. Two straight 7-7 weeks doesn’t cut it. I can’t imagine how bad my record would be if I was picking games against the spread. Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas betrayed me last week and I was convinced New England would beat Indianapolis.

This week features a return to a full 16-game slate - every team has had its bye week, but more games doesn’t necessarily mean better match ups. For some reason, New Orleans-Pittsburgh is the FOX’s doubleheader game at 4:15 p.m. Ouch.

To the picks.

The Five-Game Contest

Myself and Virginian-Pilot beat man Jim Ducibella keep running around in circles. I went 3-2 and he 2-3 last week so I think I’ve forged a tie in the overall standings. His key win was picking the Redskins over Dallas.

Washington at Philadelphia: I can’t think of a reason why the Redskins have a chance. The Eagles are 7-0 after byes under Andy Reid. They’ve lost three straight. And they have the best player on the field (McNabb). Eagles 33-20.

Duce: Eagles 27-17.

Chicago at NY Giants: The Bears are slightly overrated and coming off a bad home loss; the Giants have won five straight but are banged up all over the lineup. Expect a tractor pull-type game. Giants 26-24, meaning the NFC playoffs are likely to go through the Meadowlands.

Duce: Bears 20-19

Green Bay at Minnesota: The Vikings at SF last week. I still can’t believe it. Brad Childress’ defining mistake in his first year was gambling on Koren Robinson as a No. 1 receiver despite a laundry list of transgressions. Robinson is serving a one-year suspension (as a Packer) and the Vikings don’t have a passing game. Still, I will NEVER pick GB over Minny. Vikings 42-0.

Duce: Packers 16-13.

San Diego at Cincinnati: A San Diego-Indianapolis or San Diego-New England AFC title game would be like a mini Super Bowl. That’s how good the Bolts are. Chargers 30-6.

Duce: Bengals 27-25.

Toilet Bowl - San Francisco at Detroit: Who in the world cares. 49ers 6-3.

Duce: Lions 35-31

The rest of the games

Baltimore at Tennessee: The Ravens have won two straight since Brian Billick assumed the play calling but their defense remains the main reason for the success. Ravens 6-2.

Buffalo at Indianapolis: The Colts are 8-0 for the second consecutive year and because their defense seems at least semi-formidable, Indy looks better than last year. They won’t have a let down today. Colts 41-18.

Cleveland at Atlanta: Did the Falcons show their true colors (one of a pretender) with last week’s loss at Detroit or was it merely a bump in the road? The answer isn’t provided today against the bad Browns. Falcons 22-16.

Dallas at Arizona: The single most impressive thing about last week’s Cowboys-Redskins game was QB Tony Romo. He’s good. Really good. Cowboys 34-29.

Kansas City at Miami: The Chiefs have been one of my surprises - 5-3 without injured quarterback Trent Green. But KC is banged up this week and Miami showed signs of life last week in an upset at Chicago. Dolphins 22-21.

Houston at Jacksonville: Jags RB Fred Taylor has all but guaranteed victory over Houston today. A developing issue - where does D.C. native Byron Leftwich play next year, J’ville or somewhere else? Jaguars 44-14.

NY Jets at New England: Although this could be an intriguing game, let’s cancel it and have Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini meet at midfield and just brawl for 60 minutes. That’d be cool. Patriots 20-19.

Denver at Oakland: The Raiders showed Monday night they will end up as one of the worst offense’s in NFL history. They are beyond pathetic. But their D will keep them in games. Broncos 16-6.

St. Louis at Seattle: St. Louis continues its downward spiral (the Rams enter 4-4) and Seneca Wallace moves to 2-1 in place of Matt Hasselbeck. Seahawks 31-28.

New Orleans at Pittsburgh: If it weren’t for the Steelers’ 2-6 record, more heat would be placed on the Redskins as the NFL’s biggest bust. But I see a last-gasp victory over the Saints. Steelers 27-23.

Tampa Bay at Carolina: Tampa is 2-6, Carolina is 4-4 - not exactly the seasons expected from two NFC South 2005 playoff teams. The Bucs have the Redskins next Sunday. Panthers 13-12

Results: Last week - 7-7. Season - 80-55.

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