I’ve hit a wall and the perpetual mediocrity has worn me down, for every moment of brilliance such as going with the Bears Monday night in Philly there’s subsequently the wasted pick on the Browns who all seemed to have a non-compete cause in their contracts for last week’s games. 7-7 for Week 9, 54-69-7 on the season and running out of weeks to climb out of this hole. At least this week there are no byes so more opportunities to either begin a march to respectability or be at a point where I quit doing this before Thanksgiving.

Vikings (+14) at the Packers: So many reasons not to like a Packer rout in this one, and most of those are having a defense so bad against the pass I’m surprised Ahmad Carroll isn’t playing again. Add onto that Adrian Peterson putting the fear of god in me each and every time they play, as well as division familiarity naturally making games closer than the talent gaps would suggest and I think this is a game in the second half but yet again too much Rodgers will be the difference (also helps that Jared Allen operates at about 60% capacity on the Lambeau surface).

Chargers (-7) over the Raiders: BREAKING NEWS – This game already happened and I got it wrong, goddammit Phil.

Cardinals at Eagles: No line exists for this game at the moment, make your own “Does it really matter if it’s Kevin Kolb or John Skelton or Red Skelton starting” joke. I’ll try and remember to check in Sunday morning to see if one’s out there. (UPDATE: I’ll take the Eagles -13.5, John Skelton starts)

Broncos (+3) at the Chiefs: At this point there’s no reason to fight it, Denver is going to win this game on its way to 8-8 and the division crown all thanks to Tim Tebow. I hate the NFL sometimes.

Colts (+3) over the Jaguars: This is probably your last chance at glory Indy, if not now, when? Spero Dedes gets the call of this one as he counts down the days until the NCAA Tournament.

Steelers (-3) at the Bengals: Fun week in the league as it seems like aside from a couple exceptions good teams are playing each other as are the bad ones. I like the Bengals and how they play but their list of victims this season thus far has been Browns, Bills (which might not look as impressive by the end of the season), Jaguars, Colts, Seahawks and Titans. So I’m curious to see how they’ll fare with four games upcoming against Pittsburgh and Baltimore, methinks the legend of the Ginger takes a hit (but hey, he’ll still have a better week than Penn State’s Ginger).

If Andy Dalton doesn't do this for real some week Goodell needs to levy a fine

Cowboys (-6) over the Bills: Man alive so I hate this line since the Cowboys continue to be overvalued due to its fans betting the hell out of theme. But my one real moment of pride from last week’s picks was going with the Jets and determining that Fitzpatrick was due to come crashing back to Earth. Won’t get any easier this week at Jerrah’s World.

Buccaneers (+3.5) over the Texans: Not a clue, suspect this one to be some 17-16 affair (Andre Johnson’s still out). As a guy who still roots for JJ Watt we can only hope that LeGarrate Blount keeps doesn’t go dirty again this week.

Panthers (-3.5) over the Titans: So. Much. Pastel blue.

Browns (-3) over the Rams: From the guys who brought you Seattle-Cleveland just 3 weeks ago comes another Ron Pitts/Jim Mora Jr joint.

Dolphins (-4) over Washington: John Beck has never won an NFL start (something that Mike Shanahan must not have been aware of at the time of Sexy Rexy’s undue benching) so now that Miami has fallen behind the Colts in the race for #1 the fans should root for them to avoid the indignity of being their former QB’s first. A two-game win streak would be call for repeated playings of this.

Saints (-1) at the Falcons: Love this game, love it. Consequently I haven’t the foggiest idea who’s going to win it, seems like New Orleans having the firepower advantage should give them the edge but then again they’re ass on the road. Meanwhile the Falcons might finally have the added dimension of Julio Jones playing at full strength but do you still want to take Matt Ryan in a shootout with Brees? This is a game where I’d advise against betting on it and just enjoying the action.

Bears (-3) over the Lions: Another great game with the back from the dead Bears who now own tiebreakers over a bunch of potential Wild Card competition and with a win here would draw even with Detroit. Because I’m really hoping the Thanksgiving Day game isn’t all that important for the Packers’ division hope so let’s send our support to Chicago and cheer for getting a 3-game lead. Soldier Field should be rocking with some of this nation’s best and brightest on display.

I think the toughest thing to explain to aliens visiting our planet would be why guys do this at sporting events and feel no shame

Ravens (-6.5) at the Seahawks: This game stinks of letdown alert for Baltimore after the Joe Flacco heroics at Heinz last week. Let’s just move on before I overthink this.

Giants (+3.5) at the 49ers: I think the Niners are the Bengals of the NFC and this will be the best team they’ve faced so far this season (sorry Lions fans but even you should know this to be true). Whoever would have thought a couple years back that an Eli Manning-Alex Smith matchup would someday be a good game between former #1 overall picks andnot one where the one team gets mocked (think Peyton-David Carr games).

Jets (-1) over the Pats: And then a great day of matchups concludes with this battle for first place, I know I’m sounding like an NFL PR rep here but goddamn there’s some big time November games this week. Give me the Jets at home to ugly up the proceedings, cover Tom Brady’s few pass-catching threats and grind out a win.