You'd think that with the meager amount of blogging I've been doing of late that I'd relish the chance for two separate blog posts, but no--I'm going to combine these two. First with the promotion: new poems in Measure (complete with author's photo and .mp3 of me reading the thing) and the Waccamaw Journal.

On to the picks--I went 8-5 last week, and the longer this season goes on, the more I'm convinced that my early success was just a fluke. I might as well flip coins for some of these games, I'm convinced. Here's how I think they'll go this week. Winners in all caps.

Washington at ATLANTA When the Falcons lost to the Saints last week, it was the first time in over a year that they'd lost two games in a row. I don't see much chance of them losing three in a row, even wth Washington coming off a bye week.

Kansas City at JACKSONVILLE I'm picking the Jaguars but with absolutely no confidence. They're the kind of team that makes picking games hard, because they're consistently inconsistent. They could win or lose this game by 30 and I wouldn't be surprised either way.

GREEN BAY at Tampa Bay I suppose Josh Freeman could have the luck of the rookie starter and Tampa could steal this game--Green Bay isn't as good as a lot of the preseason folks thought they would be, after all--but I think it's more likely Freeman will get pounded pretty hard.

Houston at INDIANAPOLIS The Colts, like the Saints, are almost certain to lose a game this season, and Houston is a better team than the one which drove me out of my game-picking mind early this season, but I still like the Colts in this game.

Arizona at CHICAGO Two deeply flawed, slightly better than average teams. Chicago's at home, so I'll pick them.

Baltimore at CINCINNATI When the Ravens beat the Broncos last week, the pundits were all talking about how the Ravens were desperate for a win and so played better. I've never bought into that notion--desperate teams play poorly and give up big plays because they're taking stupid risks. Baltimore was just the better team that day. Cincy is at home and they match up better with the weaknesses in the Baltimore defense. The over in this game might be 70.

Miami at NEW ENGLAND This is my "would love to be wrong" pick. New England is getting how, and Miami is young and improving. I wouldn't be surprised to see Miami win--they're certainly good enough to compete-but New England at home is a tough game in any circumstance.

Carolina at NEW ORLEANS Carolina has some sort of insane winning streak in the Superdome, and they played well against the Cardinals last week. The Saints should win handily, but it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't. Note to Stuart Scott of ESPN: after the Monday night game, you said Saints fans were chanting "who dey say they gonna beat them Saints?" "Who dey" is the chant of the illiterate Cincinnati Bengals fans. Illiterate Saints fans chant "who dat."*

Detroit at SEATTLE No matter who wins, football loses.

Tennessee at SAN FRANCISCO "A tale of two quarterbacks" is how this will probably be pitched to the seventeen people who watch the game.

San Diego at NY GIANTS This will also be a "tale of two quarterbacks" storyline, but more people will watch it because one of the QBs is named Manning.

Dallas at PHILADELPHIA Three weeks ago, I'd never have believed these two teams would be tied at the top of the NFC East. Dallas has gotten healthy of late on some weak competition, and Philly is at home, so I'm going with them.

Pittsburgh at DENVER Should be a good game in general. Denver's at home.

* Can you imagine the grammatical train wreck if the Saints and Bengals met in the Superbowl? I can see chant-offs, t-shirts, fisticuffs. Hmmmm.

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