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NFL Picks Week Nine – Highway To Ham


Welcome to the first installment of the Highway To Ham. This will be my weekly segment where I talk a little about this week’s games, share my insights, and give you my picks. Hey, every NFL show does it, why shouldn’t we? Besides, I’m currently way ahead of Dan Marino on the “Beat The Hosts” website so I believe my system works. Watch out Collingsworth, I’m on your ass!

As a note, the column is called “Highway To Ham” because my friends and I at work run our very own inter-office *ahem* not-for-profit betting pool. In addition to *ahem* no profit, the overall winner at the end of the year receives an autographed Jack Ham rookie card. How’s that for a trophy?

On to the picks:

Bucs over Cards – The two-headed QB monster Wisenhunt concocted was stupid. Leinart had mostly looked awful while Warner was looking like his old 1999-with-the-Rams self. Then Leinart went down and Warner went back to being his post-2000 self. The Bucs pass defense hasn’t looked good this year but Garcia is a warrior and I don’t see him letting the Bucs lose three in a row.

Titans over Panthers – I think it’s kind of funny that the most respect that Vinny Testeverde has gotten from fans his entire career is for his ability to come off the couch and still play at his age. *Sigh* I remember the good old days when he was one of the most despised QBs (even by his own fans) in the history of football. Tennessee wins ugly, but they win.

Lions over Broncos – Lions QB John Kitna attended the team’s annual Halloween Party dressed as Joe Cullen. Cullen, you may recall, was the O-line coach who got suspended by the league for going through a McDonald’s drive-thru while not wearing any pants (I suppose there’s a “Special Sauce” joke to be made here but I’ll refrain in the name of good taste). This officially makes Kitna the Coolest Man Alive. His costume sure beats the hell out of this guy’s mediocre effort. Where’s the spit, the drool, the slobber?

Bengals over Bills – The aptly named J.P. Losman gets the start for the Bills this week. It amazes me how some teams spend years and years “grooming” quarterbacks who never accomplish anything. How long was Tom Brady groomed? How about Ben? If you don’t win early, you’re never gonna win.

Chargers over Vikings – Adrian Peterson might as well start signing his checks “Rookie of the Year” right now. Unfortunately, he’s all the Vikings have. And San Diego is pretty good at stopping the run. If AP is on your fantasy team, prepare to be disappointed.

49ers over Falcons – Ladies and gentlemen, Trent Dilfer blows. He’s blown in the past and he will continue to blow in the future. He was saved from Rex Grossmanism by one season, where he still blew, but because the team around him was unbelievable (Priest Holmes was a freaking backup, for crying out loud), people still say things like “he’s a pretty good backup to have on your team.” No, he blows. Thankfully, Alex Smith is starting for the Niners this week.

Redskins over Jets – Kellen Clemens starts for the Jets this week so now the only question in NY will be “Does Pennington have the arm strength to hold his clipboard?” The ‘Skins will be angry after last week’s pasting by the Pats so this one might get ugly.

Packers over Chiefs – I like Bret Favre and all but after last Monday night, I hope they never show another Green Bay game as long as Favre is there. It’s like they’re trying to make me hate him with the endless praise and the Deanna Favre love poem that almost sent me into a diabetic coma. I think I threw up in my mouth a little when Berman said a few Sundays ago, “You can’t hate Brett Favre, it’s like hating America!” Well, I love America. I love apple pie. I even voted for Lynn Swann. So I’m picking the Pack.

Jaguars over Saints – Quinn Gray is undefeated as a starting quarterback in the NFL. I’m riding that horse until it drops.

Browns over SeaPigeons – Derek Anderson should change his name to Peyton Brady because he’s the best QB in the league outside of the Big Two. The SeaPigeons start Charlie Frye, who the Steelers slapped around and ran out of town in week one. Besides, as much as I hate Cleveland, I love seeing Holgrem lose.

Raiders over Texans– The Matt Schaub Lovefest is over in Houston. The Daunte Culpepper Abusive Relationship is over in Oakland. Since Josh McKown is better than Sage Rosenfels, I’ll go with the Raiders.

Cowboys over Eagles – The judge in one of the drug arrests of Andy Reid’s two boys described the Reid household as “a drug emporium.” I am shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, that two fine young men like the Reid brood could get mixed up in such unsavory business as smack and cocaine while living in such a fine, clean, friendly, safe, family-oriented city as Philadelphia.

And that’s it for…oh wait. I think there’s one more game this week.


Colts over Patriots – This one is impossible to pick so I’m forced to consider the intangibles. Tom Brady used to date actress Bridget Moynahan. Peyton Manning used to date country-western singer Kenny Chesney. Advantage: Pats. Tony Dungy used to be a Pittsburgh Steeler. Bill Belichek used to be a documentary filmmaker. Advantage: Colts. I say flip a coin and take your pick. Just remember to take the over.