Bill Liesse's Inside the Lines column
Sure enough, just in time for a quickie trip to Vegas, I have all the confidence of Mark Sanchez. All the NFL expertise of Matt Millen.
I picked all the games below before writing this intro, and I'm seriously considering flops to Arizona, San Francisco, Minnesota, Pittsburgh and New Orleans right now.
You might notice those games are scattered among the confidence categories below. Seldom has the order of confidence meant as little as this week.
When it comes to confidence, I'm Jay Cutler, just getting the ball out of my hands.
The disclaimer is supposed to be 'for entertainment purposes only.' Entertainment? What entertainment?
These picks are for frustration only.
BENGALS -13 vs. Browns:
Cleveland used up 14 months' worth of offense last week. And still lost. CINCINNATI.
Like 'em, but I'm scared
JETS -3 vs. Panthers:
You could watch hockey games with fewer stolen passes. CAROLINA.
Dolphins -3 at BILLS:
T.O. showed up for the first time as a Bill last week, grabbing almost 200 yards in Ryan Fitzpatrick passes, which has to be a first. Unimpressed, the few remaining men who qualify as the Bills coaching staff dropped a few copies of the 'Allen Iverson retires' story in Owens' locker this week. Just as food for thought. MIAMI.
TITANS -3 vs. Cardinals:
We came awfully close to a Vince Young-Matt Leinart rematch in this one, but Arizona says Kurt Warner will play. Maybe they heard his team has gone to the Super Bowl in all seasons in which he starts 16 times. TENNESSEE.
49ERS -4 vs. Jaguars:
The great Maurice Jones-Drew, arguably now De La Salle's greatest product, returns home to the Bay Area. Let's just say 'triumphantly.' JACKSONVILLE.
FALCONS -13 vs. Buccaneers:
Tampa is 1-0 in its fruity, original uniforms and 0-9 in the still-not-exactly-Ralph Lauren current duds. I'd say break out the Creamsicles against Matty Ice. TAMPA.
CHARGERS -14 vs. Chiefs:
Beware the mindset of any team that has destroyed a divisional foe at their place, then lays a ton of points in a rematch at home. KANSAS CITY.
I'll know more Monday
Seahawks -3 at RAMS:
Whether it's the kind-of-looking-like-his-old-self Marc Bulger or the oft-booed Kyle Boller, we're going to trust the Lambs to have the greater energy between these also-rans. Because with 'The Invention of Lying' still in theaters, Seattle seems to have released the sequel: 'The Perfection of Lying Down.' ST. LOUIS.
VIKINGS -11 vs. Bears:
Apparently one of the perks of signing Brett Favre is getting 12 home games. CHICAGO.
Colts -3 at TEXANS:
If it's possible to be flatter than Houston, Texas, this Houston team is. Is there a more .500 number than .500? They're it. INDIANAPOLIS.
I hate these games
SAINTS -2 vs. Patriots:
First feeling? Saints by 24. A day later? I figured Brady was just the guy to ruin someone else's stab at 16-0. Crunch time? Don't know. Truly don't know. What I do know is Monday Night Football is revitalized this year, this one maybe topping them all. NEW ENGLAND.
EAGLES -10 vs. Redskins:
A number of college campuses offer more running backs than this yawner in the overrated NFC East. Expect 100 passes. We're begging the visitors to find a bonanza in third-stringer Rock Cartwright. WASHINGTON.
RAVENS -2 vs. Steelers:
At 0-10, I conceded I can't pick Steelers games and turned to son Tommy for help. He seemed more interested in getting out the door to 'The Fantastic Mr. Fox,' but he's never short on opinions. 'I'd take Baltimore because Pittsburgh is, I don't know, disgusting. Now going out on the road? I'd say Baltimore by about 7.' Who am I to argue? BALTIMORE.
Bill Liesse is sports editor of the Journal Star. Write to him at email@example.com.