Notes from the North
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Okay, so it's late Sunday afternoon and I'm doing great in the pool. My only bad pick to that point was Tampa Bay over Carolina in the Thursday night game but, since I only risked 3 points on that one, I figured I was still in the running.

After taking the dog for a much needed walk, I came back to find out that the Cowboys, who were comfortably leading Detroit when I left the house, had managed to lose the game in the end.

"I'll bet Romo tossed a pick in the last minute, again," I said to myself, then settled in to watch the highlights.

Sorry Tony. For once, it wasn't you who blew it for Dallas. I owe you one.

So I finished 11-2, with only my three- and four-point games tanking on me, so you figure I must have done pretty well in the pool, right? Well, I finished 10th out of the 69 players. I know, it's not bad. But still... 11-2 and you're 10th? I gotta get into a pool with stupider people.

With that said, mired in 60th place overall, I now must take some risks to try to win a week. So here are the risky World's Worst Football Picks for NFL Week 9:

Miami over Cincy: My bet is that the Bengals come out flat after that drubbing of the Jests last week. The Bengals are good but not good enough to win on an off-day, especially against a Dolphin team motivated to make up for its disintegration against NE. (8)

Carolina to beat Atlanta: I believe! I believe! The Panthers are for real. And the Falcons only stand a chance in this one if they establish the run. And their coaches aren't bright enough to recognise that. (11)

Dallas to beat Minny: I have to admit, I'm starting to think the Vikes might turn things around, at least on offence. But I owe Romo one so this is it. (7)

New Orleans over the Jests: Oh my. If Cincy can beat NY by 40+, just think what the inspired Saints will do. (12)

St. Louis over Tennessee: The Rams surprised me with their strength on defence against Seattle. And maybe their career back-up can actually play some. (2)

Buffalo to beat Kansas City: Go Bills. Alex Smith has not been playing lights out football of late and the Chiefs have been squeaking by against some pretty mediocre teams. The Buffalo defence can play some good football and I expect to see some INTs in the bag for Buffalo by the end of this game. (10)

San Diego over Washington: The Chargers are coming off a bye, which frankly worries me. Will they lose that fine edge on offense that has Philip Rivers posting ridiculous passer ratings? Any team with RGIII is dangerous. (1)

Oakland to beat Philly: Another tough one. I like that Oakland is winning; I'm just not sure I like the way they are winning. Who says Matt Barkley doesn't have a massive game after a week of taking first-team snaps in practice? Me, I guess. (3)

Seattle over Tampa Bay: Can you say "trap game"? This should be no contest. Let's hope, for the sake of my picks, that it is. But that Seahawks offence has to sort itself out. (13)

Cleveland to beat Baltimore: I can't figure out the Ravens. They might explode here and hammer the Browns. But if they remain consistent to season form, they'll lose to a decent Cleveland team. (4)

New England over Pittsburgh: The key will be pressure on Roethlisberger. Can the Patriots generate some? Or is it going to be up to Brady and Co to post big numbers to win? (5)

Houston to beat Indianapolis: Upset special (#3). Both teams are coming off a bye. That's given the Texans a chance to work on some things and get better; it's also given the Colts a chance to get smug and look past this game. (6)

Green Bay over Chicago: No Cutler, no chance. Okay, one chance. Run the ball, Chicago, pound it down the Packers' collective throats. Keep the ball away from Aaron Rodgers and beat up that front seven. I wouldn't put it past Marc Trestman to do that and win this game. But I also wouldn't bet on it. (9)

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